Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Half Way There

I'm not even sure what to say. It's already mid-terms; I can not even begin to believe how fast time is passing. I'm not going to go too far into detail about it, but you probably can't even imagine how fast it's going. It really is amazing. Quite bittersweet as well.

Regardless, time is probably passing as fast as it is because of how busy we've been. Monday was my Renaissance Art History exam. As the compulsive studier that I am, I had to study approximately 85 pieces of renaissance art, memorizing the date, artist, location, and various facts about it. Here's the catch. I had to memorize it in ONE day, Sunday. However, just as always, I managed to pull through and left the exam feeling quite confident. The reason I had only one day? I completely forgot that I had a field trip to Torino on Saturday.

Now that it's all said and done with and I believe I did well on the exam, I'm glad that I sacrificed a day of studying to visit Torino. After all, a big part of the experience here is learning how to juggle your time spent on culture/traveling and on the classes. We took a 4 hour bus ride to Torino and eventually stopped for a bathroom and snack break:

Going north in Italy was quite an experience. The mountains become more prominent, the language changes, the temperature decreases, and not to mention, the towns look completely different. Also, on a side note, I finally bought one of the Nutella & Go! snacks. Wow. We need these at home. It's a container split into three sections. One of nutella, one with little breadsticks, and the last with a delicious lemon tea juice of some sort. Such an excellent snack.

Once we got to Torino, we quickly headed over to the Museo Nazionale del Cinema (for those of you not well versed in Italian, National Museum of Cinema). I've never seen a museum like this. The best way I could describe it would be this: 19th Century synagogue + Universal Studios + photography/cinematography history + interactive displays = Museo Nazionale del Cinema. Not to mention, its the tallest museum in the world. It's amazing inside out, literally:

After spending a good two or so hours looking around the museum, we rode the glass elevator up to the panoramic view part way up the tower. 59 seconds and 75 meters (246 ft.). Pretty neat. The view up there was just amazing:

If you can, check out the high-resolution panoramic here. Click on the photo, View All Sizes on the top right, then Original size.

That was about it for our Torino trip. My photo teachers and the other two kids in my class went out to get some food and then we were on our way back home. Even on a train, I still manage to entertain myself:

What a pain though... Right after I took this picture, I noticed one of the buttons on my camera was stuck. It wouldn't budge. The button that just so happens to initiate video recording was stuck. Meaning: every time I turned my camera on it would start recording.... I just bought the camera three months ago. Even though it was only a button that was stuck, knowing how much I spent on my beloved camera and how new it was, I got sick to my stomach. No Canon repair center around either. I fiddled with the button for a good 10 minutes and it FINALLY popped back up. Luckily, it's been good since. Hopefully that's the only camera issue I have here, I can deal with that.

Fast forwarding to the present, I have only one exam left, then one week until my fall break! My roommate Colin and I are going to be staying in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland for 4 days then I'm either touring northern Italy or visiting Sicily. Not sure yet. I won't have my laptop with me, so it will be awhile until those photos or relevant blog posts come up. Though, I can not wait until I get to Switzerland. Our little town is in the valley between two GORGEOUS mountains. It's going to be such an amazing trip. I am so excited! The next two weeks are looking quite amazing.

I have some fantastic photo opportunities ahead of me. Not to mention, a LOT of editing to do afterwards. But that's half the fun to me! There are a few more photos up on my flickr, so be sure to check them out!

Have a great day!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Making Progress

Hello all! It's been awhile... as you've probably noticed, the blog posts are certainly less frequent lately. I try to get to them as much as I can, but it's not generally the first thing on my to-do list.

Regardless, I'm back to give an update in regards to one of my older posts, The Journey to Find Firenze's Voice. Last night, after spending most of the day writing my 5 page art history paper, I figured it would be a good time to go out and take pictures. After all, it's a great way to temporarily escape from all of the life's little troubles and stress. Rather than shooting tourist type photos, I wanted to continue my search to find the "voice", via my photos of course. I can honestly say that I do feel as if I've certainly taken a step in the right direction. My photos definitely convey the message that I've been wanting to, at least some do (which I'll point out).

On a whim, I bugged my friend Danielle to go on a photo-walk with me through town. I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to shoot, but I just knew that I was sticking with one lens (my 85mm, for those photogs out there who might be reading this) and one goal; to capture more of the nightlife rather than the conventional beauty.  To start with, here's one shot of Danielle in an intense photo moment. Following it are just a few of my favorite shots from the night.

And here's something a bit different... a "self-portrait". It's not often a picture of me will pop up in any of my photostreams....

It was really great to go out and shoot. I feel terribly neglecting photography as much as I have been, but I've had other things to be doing in the meantime, that it ends up getting pushed to the side. However, I'm really glad I did get to go shoot. Very pleased with the results and it was a good time!

Exams are next week, plenty of papers due this week, I probably won't be shooting for awhile. So, in the mean time, feel free to admire the rest of my photos over at my flickr.

In a few weeks will be my fall break. Not exactly sure where we are going, but on the list of possible places are Spain, Portugal, England, Amsterdam, and Switzerland. Regardless, any of them will be excellent for photos! Thanks for reading!


Monday, October 3, 2011

1,000 Views and Growing!


Well, my blog is certainly getting more hits than I expected. Since my first post on August 23, I've accumulated a bit over 1,000 views. Thank you to everyone who is taking their time to take a look and be sure to share the blog with all of your friends and family! Also, make sure to check out my flickr for additional photos and to like my facebook page if your are on facebook!

I've also been here for over a month at this point. Time is passing at a faster and faster rate. Each day is busier than the last, and one seems to blend into the next. So much has happened, but I'll just pay extra attention to the more prominent things in my mind.

This past Saturday, Afrojack (a relatively well-known DJ here in Europe and throughout the world) was playing in Rome. Of course I wasn't going to miss the opportunity. After a three hour bus ride, we had arrived. I've heard that pick pocketing was bad in Rome, but I didn't know it was that bad. As I was walking towards the guard to give him my ticket, I reached into my pocket to pull my ticket out. Literally, as soon as I had taken it out of my pocket I felt it slip out of my hand. I turned and saw three kids looking suspicious as ever. I confronted them, but I wasn't feeling exactly safe, so to speak. I turned around to see if any of my friends were with me and as soon as I turned around, no one was to be seen. Well... lesson certainly learned. Dumb move on my part, but the scalpers were more than happy to offer me another ticket.

Eventually, after all of the drama, I made it into the club. Afrojack played an AMAZING show. Really. I've never been into dancing or any of that, but it was pretty fun to just let go for the night. It was pretty crazy, to say the least. By the end of the night, my shirt was literally soaked and my hair was dripping; I looked like I just swam in a pool with all of my clothes on. Sadly, we had to say goodbye and head back to firenze (though, admittedly, it isn't very sad to leave Rome and head back to our Villa in firenze).

Eventually, we made it back - just in time for sun rise. I probably left that tiny detail out. We got on the bus at 7PM. We arrived back in firenze at 8am. Thankfully I had the rest of the day to sleep in and I managed to do most of my homework before we left.

That was my weekend, for the most part. Exams are coming up in 2 weeks, not to mention the essays and homework are building up, or at least, multiplying. I was out shooting today, but I only got one shot. The rest of the time was spent taking some video for my video, which I plan to make one of these days. Regardless, here's one more for the archives:

I've had some ideas for new pictures. I have quite a few locations that I feel would be amazing for some portrait shoots. I haven't done any portraits, definitely miss doing them. That is next on my list to do, as well as some traveling to some new photo spots. Lots to do and time is certainly dwindling at a frightening rate. I was concerned about the trip lasting too long, now I'm concerned about it not lasting long enough. Oh well, such is life. Regardless, I can already see that this is an experience of a lifetime. I know that it is certainly changing who I am, for the better. I'm pretty excited to see how I evolve by the time the semester abroad ends.

Well, hope you enjoyed reading and thank you all for taking a look at my blog! It's you, the readers, who keep me writing. Just like a band is nothing without it's fans, my blog is nothing without you readers.