It’s been a very long time since I’ve made a post here. The past few years have been a whirlwind of life. For now I’m just going to post a brief [in theory] overview…
In July 2012 I received my copy of the Photographer’s Forum Best of High School & College 2012. That was the second time my sunset photo has been published.
The end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 most of my life was at school [I’m pretty sure I spent more time there than everywhere else combined].
I did however make some time to volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association and do photography for some of their walks near me in 2012.
I had a great time and intend to do more work for them, unfortunately I have been unable to this past two years due to my schedule.
The shot to the left was a happy accident. I intended to focus on the crowd, but was holding the camera above my head so I set it on auto-focus… it decided the lady’s hands were much more interesting.
Over the course of about a month I volunteered at 3 different walks for the Alzheimer’s association.
Pretty much the rest of 2012 was class & the required projects, I won’t bore you with the details… but I will say it was a lot less hectic than the following semester!
The Spring semester of 2013 was the last of my stint at FLCC. Somehow I managed to juggle time for my life outside of school, 25-30 hours of work, and being at school from 9am til midnight pretty much every Monday through Thursday. There was one project in particular that I poured my heart and soul into every semester… and this semester wasn’t any different. I bled Graphic Design, Design for the Web, Sculpture, and Ceramics that Spring.
In Graphic Design we were given a list of all our projects at the beginning of the semester & as soon as I read about the magazine layout, I knew I would be dedicating myself to that project. I chose National Geographic Traveler & Burning Man for my magazine & topic. The project only required a cover page and 2 spreads [2 facing pages].
When I was done I ended up with the cover and 6 spreads… that was after I cut it down from 9 spreads [because my professor told me it was too many]. Even though I cut a lot out, I love how it came out.
The photos I used are all taken by Trey Ratcliff [of Stuck in Customs], he uses a Creative Commons Noncommercial license on his photos so students [like myself] could use them for projects. After the project was complete I emailed him a copy of magazine layout; he posted the cover on his Facebook and blog.
I’ve done a bit of web design before I took the class, so that class was a breeze. I learned a bit of CSS & had a lot of fun with two projects. One of which was redesigning a brand [ie- Coca-Cola makes cars] & creating a website for it. I chose Apple & decided they would be selling drinks.
I had a lot of fun with that one, but my favorite project from that class was the portfolio project. I had to make an online portfolio, I think it came out pretty good – link.
The end of my last semester I put 3 of my projects in the Student Honors Art Exhibition at FLCC… I was expecting maybe an honorable mention for my magazine, but I walked away with a few extras…
- Second Place – Graphic Design [Nat Geo Explorer Magazine]
- Honorable Mention – Sculpture [Bronze Torso]
- Dr. Henry Buxbaum Fine Arts Prize
It was a great last semester for me at FLCC. I’ll never forget the people I met & friendships I made while there. I graduated in May of 2013 with my AS in Graphic Design & AAS in Fine Arts.
In July 2013 I was blessed with a new niece, Peyton. I didn’t get to go meet her until she was 1 month old… and have yet to go back again. I will be visiting again as soon as possible.
I’ve picked up gaming again again since school let out, so there might be more game-related updates coming. I spend most of that time exploring the world of Tamriel. I do a lot of modding to The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim… I’ve reached the point where I need to update my graphics card if I’m going to continue to mod it.
Well, I think that’s all I have for this update. I intend to start posting a bit more often again, but I don’t know how good I’m going to be about sticking to regular updates [not to mention my life has slowed down to the point where there isn’t much to post about, lol.
Hmm… three posts to cover 2011? This blog has not turned into what I originally intended. I was thinking a post a month at the very least would be good. Oh well… it is what it is, I guess.
I had a fantastic time camping with my friends back in June. It’s been a while since I had gone camping. We stayed at the Wakins Glen campground Friday night through Sunday morning.
Friday night after everyone had finished setting up, we spent hanging around the camp site – drinking, talking, & playing card games.
We spent a chunk of Saturday walking the gorge. Of course I took my camera; my friends got a little annoyed with how long I was taking… but being a photographer, I couldn’t help but stop to take pictures. I was taking a lot of long shutter speed pictures and multiple exposures for HDR images. After walking around the gorge for a while we went back to camp; we made some new friends that were there camping across the way from us.
After that a group of us went out on wine tasting. I didn’t do any tastings, because I decided to drive. When we got back from the tasting tour, we went back to our new friends’ camp site and spent the evening partying.
When I had finished post-processing my photos and posted them, most of the people that had complained about me taking so long responded with something like, “I see what took so long, good thing you didn’t rush. These are some gorgeous shots!”
I spent the fourth of July with a bunch of friends; there was a BBQ at Katie’s house. That night we drove to the city to watch the fireworks. I made my first attempt at taking photos of fireworks and think I did rather well. After watching the fireworks we made our way back to Katie’s.
Most of the group was ready to head to bed, so they left. Katie and I decided we wanted to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog.
After that night, Katie and I started hanging out on a daily basis, up from our once every month or so. We started geocaching & going on all sorts of adventures together.
Katie and I went on our first date on July 19th; we took a day trip to Niagara Falls. She likes to think that she asked me out… in all honesty, she kind-of did, but I like to think of it as a joint effort [haha]: I mentioned that I still needed to get up to Niagara Falls so I could take pictures; she said that she wanted to go up there again soon, and said we should go together. One of us [I don’t remember who] made the semi-joking comment, “It’s a date.” Well, that semi-joking comment made us think, is it really a date-date or was it just a date we had set to go?
On the 19th, I drove out to Katie’s and we packed up lunch and snacks for a picnic, then left for Niagara Falls. After walking around for a while [and me stopping repeatedly for photos], Katie poked fun at me & told me that she was going to make me an “I break for photos” patch for my camera bag [which I’m still waiting for, lol]. After we had been there a while we began talking about what there was between us… were we just awesome friends, or was there more? Shortly after that, we made our relationship official.
In August, I had my first legit paid photography gig – a wedding vow renewal. It was a bit nerve-racking, but it was my first paid gig, and it was a wedding. At least it wasn’t their first wedding [not to make it sound that the renewal wasn’t important], so it wasn’t as stressful as if I was in charge of getting all the pictures perfect or suffer the wrath of the family. They also understood that I was new to the events/portrait photography. It was a great experience and even though it was stressful, it was a lot of fun. I think I still prefer landscape/nature photography though.
Katie and my next great adventure together was the Sterling Renaissance Festival, we went with our friends Kat and Shannon. They managed to get me in a kilt. Not that it was very hard, I think it went something like: Katie- “I want to see you in a kilt before we leave.” Kat & Shannon- “Yes!” Me- “I was thinking about checking them out anyways, but ok… if you insist.”
My 10-year high school reunion was in August of 2011. I had some car problems and almost couldn’t go due to repair costs, but then I suggested being an unpaid photographer in exchange for free admission & got in to the reunion that way. It was cool seeing everyone again, even though I didn’t talk to most of them back in high school.
Katie and I attended Uproar Festival 2011 with a bunch of friends… that was a great day. All day at the Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center listening to a bunch of great bands while hanging out with some awesome people. Katie and I ended up taking almost the same picture, just a slightly different angle, and I edited mine a little.
Last year was the first time I’ve dressed up for Halloween in a few years. Katie and I dressed up as Desmond Miles and Lucy Stillman from Assassin’s Creed.
We started off by doing a bunch of the traditional shots, where Katie was helping with getting Tommy into the positions that they wanted for indoor & outdoor shots. After we had finished with the traditional sets, Tommy and I screwed around and got a few fun pictures of him with his dirt bike.
One of my instructors at school invited me to pick up my third paid photo job. There was an event at the Phelps Art Center where Stan Munro, the creator of Toothpick City was at the center giving a demo for some kids & there was a reception after.
It was a lot of fun & great getting to meet Stan. I had been to the Phelps Art Center a few times before to look at & take pictures of the display. It’s amazing what he’s done with just toothpicks & Elmer’s Glue.
I honestly haven’t played a ton of Assassin’s Creed. Between Katie, school, & Battlefield 3 – I didn’t have enough time to invest and get caught up in the story. Maybe I’ll hit it up some more later this week.
Battlefield 3, ah… Battlefield. I have heard friends say both good and bad things about BF3. All-in-all, it’s pretty much the same game as Bad Company 2. Sure, they’ve made it much prettier, added a few things here and there, and added a new physics engine… but it’s essentially the same game as every other FPS out there. Even so, I still enjoy the game immensely. It’s not a game I can spend days playing though, it gets too repetitive.
I was debating getting Skyrim, I’ve messed with most of the past Elder Scrolls games, but I never got very involved with them, I just got bored. Ever since I snagged Skyrim, most of my gaming-time is spent there. To say the game is amazing would be an understatement. The world is massive, there are tons of quests and things to be done. I have a level 37 Orc warrior that focuses on bows & two-handed weapons. I started a mage & thief characters around the same time as my warrior, but the warrior was the only one that has really kept my interest.
Red Dead Redemption is another game I wasn’t sure if I wanted. It was neat and all, but I had played a bit at a friend’s and wasn’t very impressed. The lack of excitement probably stemmed from a few weeks after it was released, when a friend tossed me the controller to a game that he was half way through and didn’t give me much of the back-story or any real instruction about what I was supposed to do. Katie got it for me as a Christmas gift and my interest in the game perked up again. It’s a pretty good game, kind of like a GTA of the wild west.
Skyrim is still consuming most of my gaming time, which is hindering progress in the other three games… but they are coming along, slowly.
This past semester at school went really well too. I took my first Photography class; it was all black & white film, and I loved it. As much as I enjoy digital, it’s a blast developing and printing photos. I also took Computer Imaging, which was loads of fun… even though a good chunk of it was review. I finished up the Design & Foundation Drawing class chain taking the second part of each. The last class I took the past semester was Ceramics I, I decided to take this so that I could make things that I can actually use in every-day-life now that the classes are done.
The other day I received a letter in the mail from school, I was worried that it might be an issue with billing or something. Luckily, it was to tell me that I was added to the Dean’s List this semester because my GPA was above 3.5!
All that being said, I leave you with an inspirational video for the start of the year. ❤
The words in this video are from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
I can’t believe how long it’s been since I updated. I’ve been pretty busy with photography & school, that’s probably why I haven’t updated.
Back in January before classes started I went out to California again. That trip wasn’t for pleasure… I went out to visit and support my mom, while she had surgery. Everything went well, and she’s recovering relatively quickly. I wish I could have spent more time out there with her, but I had to get back for classes.
Right before school started, I quit World of Warcraft. It’s weird not playing, but it’s nice. I have more free time to do all the other things that I would put off because I was being lazy. I replaced WoW with more productive things like taking pictures, messing with Photoshop more, hanging out with friends, playing some of my Xbox 360 games I still haven’t finished [Dragon Age: Origins], catching up on movies/tv shows via Netflix. Ok, those last two aren’t so productive… but I can only sit in front of a computer messing in Photoshop for only so long, and I can only do so much with night pictures.
I spent time playing Battlefield 2: Bad Company again, I’ve missed that game and some of my friends have played it recently. Actually, it’s the same with Borderlands too… a few friends have messed with it on occasion the past couple of weeks and I’ve joined them a few times.
This semester is going better than the past two… I’m enjoying my classes a lot more! My favorite classes are Design and Foundation Drawing. I love doing something for the class and not sitting there and listening to lectures. English is surprisingly good, even though the class is mainly lecture… Dr. T keeps the class interesting. It’s a bit small, so there’s not much discussion which kinda sucks. The one class I’m having the most problems with is Art History… I wish the professor was a bit more captivating.
I switched majors about two weeks into the semester; I went from Information Technology to Fine Arts. My school doesn’t have a Photography degree. Once I finish up my Fine Arts degree, I’ll be transferring to a school with a Photography degree. I’m thinking about doing a double major Photography/English or Photography/Journalism, but I haven’t decided. I guess it depends on where I want to go with the course my life has taken. I’m going to take some time and think about it, see where this semester leads.
So… I stopped typing this update mid-March [saved a draft] and now resume it mid-April. I’m really slacking with the blogging thing this year… gotta work on that! >_<
I have to reload my laptop after I get stuff backed up. Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 [64-bit] pulled a number on the system… most systems from what I’ve found online. It now takes 20-30 minutes from hitting the power button til I’m logged in and the machine is “ready” to run. I put ready in the quotations because even though the machine has booted… it takes about 10 times as long to do anything. I can’t even boot into my Ubuntu partition now, which is even more frustrating. This is what I get for being lazy and not reading up on any issues the Service Pack might have before I installed it. >_<
On a brighter note, it turns out the only thing wrong with my desktop is the RAM is fried. I thought there was more wrong with it… from what I could find online – I thought it was the motherboard or CPU. I’ll be replacing the RAM as soon as I can.
I have to swing back out to main campus and drop off a form. Since I last worked on this post, I’ve decided that I am changing my major again… slightly: I’m going to do a double-major of Graphic Design & Fine Arts.
This semester has my first ever art classes [actual classes, not counting art in Kindergarten]. Andrea [my Foundation Drawing professor] is awesome… over the semester I’ve gotten to know her pretty well. She asked to see some of my photography when I mentioned how much positive feedback I was getting for just starting out. I brought my laptop in one day so that she could see some of my stuff. After she saw some of my work she told me I should start networking and she introduced me to Liz.
Kurt [Liz’s husband] is a professional photographer… Andrea told Liz that she liked my photography and she thought Kurt would be a good contact for me. Liz suggested I email Kurt and mention that Andrea & Liz and she had sent me to him. She also suggested asking about going to see his studio and meet up with him sometime. I’ve since heard back from him, Kurt invited me to come and sit-in at one of his shoots [should happen in the next few weeks]. He said he would email me once he had a date finalized… I can’t wait! ^_^
Andrea is also encouraging me to put some of the work I’ve done this semester in the Student Art show on campus. I’m my own worst critic… I know this. I don’t feel like any of my stuff is good enough, but a lot of that is because I’m comparing my work to extremely talented artists that have done it for a long time. She pointed out two things that she thinks I should put in the show; I probably will enter them. What’s the worst that can happen? They tell me I need more practice? I’ll be practicing either way. I also have to look into if I can submit stuff that wasn’t done for class… if I can – I’m going to submit some of my photos.
I think that’s enough for today. It’s late and I was up most of the night last night and I had class early this morning… time to kick back and watch some Netflix before bed.
Hmm, I think I finished Fable II… I can’t quite recall at the moment now. Of course, if not, the reason being… better games. Also, Batman: Arkham Asylum is still sitting in the que to be finished, I’m picking at it on occasion. There are just so many games that catch my attention. I really need to work on completing a game before I start another.
I have spent a lot of time playing Borderlands, although, I stopped playing Mordecai [the “Hunter”]. I started playing Lilith [the “Siren”]. When I started Lilith, I started playing online. I thought it was good before, it’s even better online, especially with friends! I don’t know why I even thought about playing that game solo. The only downside to playing online is people talk & it gets hard to hear what NPCs are saying in game.. you miss a bit of the story.
From what I’ve heard, there is another downside for playing online… but I have yet to experience it. The loot drops on the ground, anyone can grab it and leave the game for no reason. I’ve only ever played with friends, so I have yet to see that. My friends and I chose the drops based on what character we are playing and who it would benefit most.
When you distribute skill points properly, Lilith becomes vicious. I managed to get her to level 50 on her before I got Mordacai past 25. She becomes even more dangerous once you get her some nice weapons. I managed to get some pretty beastly weapons for her. She rips almost anything apart, even in 4 player games. There are a few areas that I need to find a weapon specific to the mobs in those areas.
I know I complained a little about the inventory system in my last post. It was annoying at first, but now that I’ve expanded it to 45 slots, it’s not as bad. And there’s a chance that it can expand even further, I just have to do all the quests in the second play-through: on the second play though, there’s only a chance you’ll get extra inventory space, so far out of 4 quests I’ve received 1 upgrade.
Alas… Borderlands has been pushed to the back burner a bit. Modern Warfare 2 came out. *glee* I have been waiting for this game since the first Modern Warfare came out [not really, but you get the idea]. I borrowed my friend’s MW2 for Xbox 360 for a few days while he was at work, & I waited for it to be released on PC. For some reason, Steam didn’t release it for a few days after it was sold in stores. I played through the campaign on the 360 on Normal, and did a little bit of the Spec Ops missions, but I only did a few, and solo.
I’ve since installed MW2 on my PC and played through the campaign [yes, again] on Hardened. My brother and I are playing Multiplayer pretty much any time we are both on the PCs. We have yet to hit up any Spec Ops, probably sometime this weekend.
One thing that is slightly disappointing is how quickly people are hacking & cheating in the MW2 multiplayer. I’ve run into a few different forms of cheating that’s quite annoying. One of which any time I looked at an enemy [they were near the middle of my sight] my view would spaz out like I was having a seizure just in my arm and swinging the mouse all over [character would look around very fast in random directions until I was killed].
Then on top of that, there’s lag. Now, I know there’s bound to be issues with this due to playing online. But it pisses me off when I’m behind someone and toss a grenade at their feet, then unload a full clip into them because they didn’t die [grenade and every shot registers as a hit], only to have them turn around, sprint tot me, and knife me dead. Then when I watch the kill cam, from their view, stand there like a complete idiot staring at them. That’s just stupid.
One thing I’ve determined… I need to get a new mouse. My gaming mouse broke about a month ago, I’ve been using some shitty Microsoft mouse for the past while. I also need to find some sort of desk-like surface for my keyboard & mouse. My PC is hooked up to my TV, I don’t have a monitor, I sit on my futon when playing games, it’s quite a hassle when trying to play fast paced games, such as MW2. Sitting with the keyboard on my lap & mouse on the futon next to me sucks. Haha, my own fault I guess. I decided to ditch the monitor & desk for the TV setup.
I let my World of Warcraft account expire again. I’ll return eventually.. I’m sure. I just don’t see the point in paying for WoW when I’m not really playing it. I logged for a few hours a day or two before it expired and managed to get Deathengine to level 71. I’d like to be able to hit up some gaming with my other brother, but with the lack of desire to play WoW it kinda makes that difficult… he’s not going to be getting MW2 until sometime after the holidays.