Saturday, September 4, 2010


Okay, so this past week I was able to visit my family and some friends back in Utah. It was a much needed break before school starts up. I've just been working over the summer, but after falling into the frantic routine of subway, work, subway, errands, subway, and so on, I just needed a break from the city.

And I had a blast in Utah. I got to see one of my sisters and her kids, and we ended up taking a trip on the Heber Valley Railroad. We went from Heber all the way down through the Provo Canyon until Vivian Park. Along the way, we got to relax and enjoy the sights in the canyon, the Deer Creek Reservoir, and the train also got stopped by horse-riding "outlaws" (ha, one of my nieces even was taken as a "hostage").

I also hung around in Provo for a day, and it was kind of surreal. It made me miss going to school there, and it made me appreciate more the good times I had there. New York is fun and all, but it's different in that everyone is so spread out--you can't just rely on the apartment complex circle-of-friends in Provo. It was fun catching up with some people that I hadn't seen in years, and just walking around the campus and the bookstore.

I'll try and post some more tomorrow, but I'm pretty tired right now--it was a long day rushing home from work just in time to catch the last half of the BYU football game...

Here's a few pictures from the trip (mainly of some of my nieces and nephews)--

Yeah, the framing is just like the famous "American Gothic" painting, but this picture still made me laugh

Julia -- we were in a cemetery so my sister could look up some of her husband's ancestors, and I got to watch the baby. Which meant I just put her on the ground and let her play in the pinecones and dirt
Debbie--she looks really sad in this picture, but she was actually really enjoying the train ride. I think she was a little tired, as this was after being on the train for nearly two hours


Eve being taken "hostage" by the train robbers

And the train itself -- yes, the sky really was that blue, and you can see the mountains and stuff in the background.

I'll keep digging through my pictures and see what else I can post tomorrow--

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Okay, I've had a crazy couple of weeks, but I'm finally getting caught back up with everything. I took the comprehensive exam that is required for my master's program, and that was a bit of a nightmare. I was given one week to write two ten-page papers, but my dad was in town for the first couple of days, and then I had work. I started working on the papers on a Monday evening, and they were due Friday afternoon. Between Monday and Friday, I was getting maybe two hours of sleep a night, and then I pulled an all-nighter from Thursday to Friday to get everything done (don't forget, I still had work while all this was going on). But I was able to get everything turned in on time, and I feel pretty good about it. Ha, and to show you where my priorities are, immediately after turning in my paper, my second thought was that I should go home and sleep. I mean, on the subway ride down, I nodded off three different times for a few brief seconds, but I was paranoid that I was going to miss my stop and end up in Brooklyn. But my FIRST thought after turning in the exam was, "Hey, I'm just a few blocks away from the bookstore."

So I went to the bookstore. It was one of those good idea/bad idea situations. It was good in that I was able to just relax for a bit and not worry about anything, but it was a bad idea because I almost passed out at the bookstore (trust me, I know the feeling---thanks Pere. And for those of you that don't know, the count is currently in double digits for how many times I've been knocked out, with about half of them involving incidents with my brother).

And I had my birthday this past week. It was a lot of fun. Some friends and I went to the Shake Shack, and it was a joint event because another friend was moving to Utah the next day. We ended up having around thirty-five people show up. After ordering all of our food and stuff, we decided to eat outside, and it was one of those perfect evenings: mid-70s, slight breeze, and and we were sitting right next to a fountain just outside of the Museum of Natural History.
This past week, another friend took off, so a group of us went walking around down in the Financial District. I kept getting left behind because I was trying to take pictures. At one point, I saw a giant American flag hung across the front of a building, and I thought that was pretty cool. About an hour or so later, we went walking past the same building and I realized that it was the New York Stock Exchange. I tried not to let everyone know that I was completely clueless about the various historical sites around us, but it was still a lot of fun. Things eventually led to one of those awkward moments. My friend Molly was leaving the city the very next day, so she was trying to finish getting rid of various things. She asked if I wanted some rolling storage drawers, and I figured I could probably use them. So she said, "I guess that means you're going to have to come home with me tonight." .... Yeah, everyone was laughing pretty hard with that one. Oh, and I also I got to try out my birthday present as we were all walking around--it's a tilt-shift lens that I have been having entirely way too much fun with. Some pictures below--

Just outside the Shake Shack

While we were eating dinner -- kind of random, but whatever

Molly --

Neesha -- this lens makes for some interesting portraits because of the way it blurs parts of the image

Also outside of the Shake Shack, waiting for everyone to show up

Anyway, don't forget to leave some comments--

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Piano on the Pier

Things have been going pretty well this past week or so. I started training at my new job, and I'm really enjoying it. Even if I don't know what I'm supposed to do yet, I'm trying to learn as quickly as possible. A large part of my day yesterday involved answering the phones, stating the company name, and then asking the person how I could help them. I just kept writing down everything they talked about, and at a good opportunity I'd politely ask them to wait while I put them on hold. As soon as I put the phone down, I'd just explain to the closest manager what the person needed, and they'd tell me what to do after that. It seemed to work well enough, and the customers didn't seem to know that their customer service rep (me) was completely clueless.

I also found a couple of the pianos for the "Play Me, I'm Yours" art project here in the city. I know I mentioned it in my last post, but I still think it's really interesting. There are around sixty pianos scattered throughout the city in parks and plazas, and me and some of my friends came across one on the pier by 72nd Street (towards the Hudson River). It was a lot of fun just listening to different people play in public. Skill level didn't matter. Several elementary school kids wanted to play Chopsticks and Heart & Soul, while another guy performed a 15 minute jazz improv. And yes, I got to play for a little bit too. It was fun, but I wish I could remember my songs better--I completely forgot the last half of two different songs.

Josh -- you can see how close to the river it is, and how random people just stop and listen

And kind of a funny story. I feel bad about it now, but it was still pretty funny (my sarcastic side came out very unexpectedly...). It was a girl's birthday this past Friday, so a group of us went out to this one restaurant for cheesecake. The girl just turned 27, and all of us hung out and talked for awhile. I got home a little after midnight, and when I got on Facebook, I saw that the birthday girl was online. So just being dumb, I was like, "Do you realize now you're closer to turning 54 than you are to your birth?" Immediately after sending the message, I was like, "WHY did I just say that?"
The next day, I was watching the soccer game at a friend's house when the birthday girl walked in. The very first thing she said was "Jon called me old on my birthday." Of course everyone wanted to know what happened, and I put up a very poor defense ("It wasn't her birthday when I said it..."). We were all laughing about it. Well, a little later, I was trying to tell a story, and this girl just said, "I'm sorry, what?" I started the story again, and she stopped me again, saying, "What'd you say?" I tried telling the story a third time, and she was like, "You'll have to speak up, I'm getting a little hard of hearing." ---Yeah, she got me pretty good with that one, and once again everyone was laughing.
Later that night, I had a group of people over to watch a movie, and she came over as well. At one point she made some comment (I can't remember what it was), and then she said, "Oh, I shouldn't say that--I'm being rude." Without missing a beat (and apparently, without thinking), I said, "That's okay, old people have a right to complain." ....Once again, I was just like, "WHY ON EARTH did I just say that?!"
I think it would only make it worse to mention that this is a girl I took out on a date last week...Anyway, I will really be trying to be careful about making sarcastic comments. Sure, people might laugh about it, and they know you're not being serious, but there's a reason you feel bad after making a comment like that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

End of the job hunt

Just a brief post for now. I got a job! A friend of mine mentioned that his company was hiring, so I figured I better submit an application. I thought the interview went okay, but not great. I left thinking, "Well, maybe something else will come through." So imagine my surprise when I got off the subway a little while later to hear a voicemail extending me the job. And yes, I did call them back, and it wasn't a fluke. I have an orientation meeting tomorrow, and it looks like I'll probably start next week. It's for a company called West Elm, which is part of Williams Sonoma Inc. It should help me get through grad school.

To relax/celebrate, I decided to do a random photo-walk through Riverside Park. I was really wanting to get down to the 140th Street area, because of this: I thought it would make for some fun photo opportunities, and I also thought I might play a song or two. Why not? I almost made it down there, but the walk was a little farther than I was expecting. I wasn't tired or anything, it was more the fact that the sun was going down and it was starting to rain. I'll try again on Thursday. I did manage to find a couple of other things along the way--

I'm still trying to train my eye to look at things tonally. I really love black & white photography, but I'm still trying to get the hang of it. Out of about 30 pictures that were "supposed" to be b&w, only two or three looked right desaturated. And then only one of them felt comfortable as a composition. I need to practice more

It was a pain trying to get this shot. I didn't have a tripod with me, and I was trying to find a happy medium in shutter speeds so that the water had a motion blur while the rest of the image stayed sharp. But it was late in the day and the sky was overcast, which meant that I had to use a slow shutter speed (I think this was around 1/40 or 1/50). Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but I was also shooting at f/2.2. I kept shaking while I took the picture, and the depth of field was so narrow that I kept getting one bad picture after another. This was the best of that set, but it's still a touch soft

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Not too much has really been happening these past couple of weeks. I've been trying to find a job here in the city, which has been interesting to say the least. It's been pretty tough, but something will come through. I had an informal interview on Thursday that I thought went pretty well, and they said they would let me know by Monday or Tuesday. I'll keep applying wherever can though.

Aside from applying for jobs, I've been having fun catching some World Cup games here and there. Some of the games were pretty boring (England-Algeria, 0-0 draw...), while others were really exciting. Of course I'm talking mainly about the USA-Slovenia game. And what a game it was! I almost stopped watching at halftime. The USA played a pretty miserable first half, and found themselves down 2-0. I'm glad I decided to finish watching the game though, because it turned out to be an exciting comeback that ended in a 2-2 draw (and who says draws are boring?!). Sure, everyone still thinks the last goal should have counted (if you've seen any highlights whatsoever, you already know what I'm talking about...the potentially game-winning goal with just four minutes left to play that was disallowed by the ref), but aside from that, it was still a fun game to watch.

And yesterday I went sailing for the first time. A good friend of mine (i.e., my bishop) is part of a sailing club, and he invited several of us to go sailing out in Echo Bay/Long Island Sound. We had a blast. I enjoyed everything about it: the sights along the coastline (the Bayer House, as in Bayer Aspirin; the Gatsby house; Executioner's Rock, etc.), coasting along with just the wind, admiring the multi-million dollar yachts that passed by, and just goofing off with everyone (word of advice: don't tell a group of guys you need to be back by a certain time 'cause you're taking a girl out on a date...a large part of the conversation on the four-hour trip revolved around questions like, "What's her name? Where's she from? What's she doing in the city? Where are you going on your date? Where are you going on your second date? Oh, so you're taking her there? Here's what you do: take her out to eat at restaurant overlooking the river...the sun will be setting over the river about that'll be a great view...after you guys are done eating, sit on a bench overlooking the river, hold her hand and cuddle..." And so on, and so on---good times).

I even got to steer the boat for awhile, even though I gave everyone a good scare several times...I kept getting things mixed up as to how to turn the boat left and right, resulting in some very sharp, unexpected turns which caused everyone on the boat to jump to their feet. I couldn't tell if they were trying to avoid the boom swinging across the deck, or if they were ready to jump out of the boat. One of my friends was commenting that it was just surprising to be coasting along, only to feel the boat start to swerve drastically and his elbow is all of a sudden in the water...But it was a lot of fun (for me anyway. Of course, that does explain why several people were feeling queasy afterwards, while I was feeling just fine).

And they did get me back in time for my date.

Matt -- one of the first comments I made as soon as we started sailing was to bring up the obligatory What About Bob? quote: "I'm sailing!...I sail, I'm a sailor...ahoy!"

Me taking a turn at the till -- with the previously mentioned sharp turns, I'm still surprised my camera didn't end up in the water

Me and Matt

Jordan and Mike

Jordan -- I forget why he had such an intense look on his face


Me goofing off, trying to be artistic -- I was taking more snapshots throughout the day, not worrying about composition and everything. Come to think of it, I only took two or three of the pictures in this post because we just kept passing the camera around

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Okay, so I was out running errands with my dad, and we had just made our last stop. He told me to call mom to see if she wanted us to pick up some lunch on the way home. Well, she had actually just finished making some stuff for us, so we were just going to head home. However, as soon as I hung up, my dad laughs and says, "You still want a cheeseburger, don't you?" This is really his way of saying, "I'm hungry now, so let's get a dollar cheeseburger and if mom asks about anything, I'll just say you were hungry...."

Yeah, we caved in and got two small cheeseburgers on the way home. We pull up into the driveway, and my dad laughs again and says, "Great! Now trash goes in the bag, we hide the evidence, and don't tell Mom!" That got me laughing, because whenever he would say, "Don't tell mom!" growing up, it usually meant we had done something pretty bad (setting something on fire, ruining a meal, someone got hurt, and the list could go on). So I was having a really hard time keeping a straight face walking in the door, and I would have been fine, except the first thing my dad says walking inside was, "Boy, I'm starving!"

I don't know, something about the way he said it, and the sneaky way we were trying to put the trash in the garbage can without making a noise---I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing (I have a terrible poker face...). Even during the prayer over the meal, I could hear my dad laughing silently about the whole thing. Sure, it was just a cheeseburger, but at the time it was the funniest thing to me.

I've been laughing a lot with my parents these past couple of days. I was remembering all of these random events from growing up in Georgia, and I'm just realizing more and more that I didn't have a "normal" childhood (normal maybe for the South, but boy do my friends act surprised that I'm still alive with all the crazy stuff I used to do). Just one story will do for now (and this isn't just siblings and I believe some of my cousins were there for this incident...I think it was the Cutlers, but I'm not sure). My mom was out running some errands, leaving us kids alone in the house. We started playing around with a superball in the living room, just throwing it against the brick fireplace and bouncing it around a little. I can't remember who suggested it, but someone pointed up at the ceiling fan. So we proceeded to throw the ball up into the fan (which was at its highest setting) and laugh hysterically as it ricocheted off the walls. We continued doing this for a little while (15 minutes? 30 minutes?). But then the inevitable happened---the superball shot off and hit a picture hanging on the wall. Of course, this was also the moment that my mom was just pulling into the driveway...Thinking quickly, my older siblings and some of my cousins took the picture off the wall, pulled all of the broken glass out, and then hung it back up.

It was a good three or four years before my mom ever found out. She always had us kids do the dusting in the living room, and it's not like we were going to just outright say, "There ain't any glass in this picture here!"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Summer Vacation

I finally finished all of my papers, and I can now relax for a little bit. This semester actually went a lot better than the last one. I was able to sleep for a few hours here and there as I tried to finish all of my papers, and I'm pleased with the work I did. I'm going to start looking for a job in the next few weeks, which should be a pretty interesting experience here in the city.

And as for other stuff, I had quite a few "not at BYU anymore" moments this past semester, most of which were pretty funny. One week in my Television History class, we watched an episode of the Smothers Brothers. At one point, one of the characters said "s***" which was a big thing that kind of slipped through the censors (ironic, since we were talking about how an entire portion of the episode was cut at the last second because of its anti-Vietnam stance). The following week, we were discussing the episode in class, and one girl asked, "Now, did anyone else hear the word s*** during the episode?" Someone else chimed in, "No, nobody said s***." Even the professor remarked, "Hmm...I'm not sure if someone said s***. That's kind of a big thing to slip by the censors."

Well, I remembered exactly where the word had been said because it was so out of place with the rest of the show. So I called out, "It was during the spoof on Bonanza. The guest star said the 's' word." .....There was an awkward silence in the room. Then the professor said, "Ooh...the 's' word." Everyone started laughing hysterically (myself included), which caused me to call out, "Sorry! I don't swear!" which led to even more fits of laughter from the class. And that's what I call a "not at BYU anymore" moment.

Anyway, here's a few pictures I was able to take before the semester got too crazy. I'll be taking some more now that I have some downtime, but these will have to do for now.

Five minutes away from my house, there's a small trail that walks alongside some railroad tracks. This fence is supposed to keep people out, and I just thought it was interesting

Riverside Park -- I have three different parks within walking distance of my apartment, and they each have their own unique quirks. This park led me right by the Little Red Lighthouse, which is apparently the last remaining lighthouse on Manhattan Island.

Riverside Park -- I was trying to get the bike riders to be just out of focus, but my hand slipped when I was about to take the picture. By the time I re-composed, the bike riders were already almost out of view. Oh well
This piece of grass is about ten square feet, and it is more than a hundred yards from the nearest apartment. Who was raking, and why did they just give up and leave the rake there?

Just some mailboxes across the street from Tisch

I didn't realize until just now that this picture has nausea-inducing saturation--I'll have to dial that down a bit, but I'm not worried about it now

Alex -- this picture was extremely difficult to take, just because he was moving around a lot as he was playing. I kind of like how his fingers are blurred from the motion, and just a tiny part of the strings is in focus

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Inspector 42 -- Emmy Winner

Last night, "Inspector 42" won two College Television Awards (aka, the student Emmys). It won the 1st Place Award for Drama, as well as the Directing award--I believe those went to my friends Lyvia Martinez (the producer) and Nathan Lee (the director). A huge congratulations to both of them! The film also won a Bronze Award for Excellence in the Craft of Filmmaking last year, which was for the outstanding cinematography of Derek Pueblo.

Nathan Lee -- on the set of Inspector 42

And I realized that I should probably talk a little bit more about the actual production. I am even going to post some behind-the-scenes pictures (I uploaded them onto Facebook last year, and I completely forgot to post any here on the blog).

As I said in my previous post, the shoot was extremely ambitious, but it paid off in the end. At the time, I just remember thinking how insane the production was going to be, and being on edge leading up to the shoot, wondering if everything was actually going to come together. And I was just the transportation coordinator--I could only imagine how nervous Nathan, Lyvia, Whitney (the production designer), and the rest of the key personnel must have been.

Just to give you an idea: the film is set in the 1950s, which required a lot of work to make everything feel authentic. The film follows a shirt inspector (hence the title, Inspector 42) who begins to use defective shirts to fill quotas. The shirts then cause havoc in the community, as loose threads get caught in machinery, on window ledges, and so on. This results in some serious repercussions with friendships, a romance, and the lives of the people around Inspector 42. It's a nice metaphor that is played subtly: how often do we have "loose threads" in our lives, little secrets that come back to hurt ourselves and those around us? Things unravel and tear apart, exposing the fragile creatures underneath.

Alexis Wardle - "Seamstress 61"
Notice the colors of the outfits here--the designers had to look at things tonally, trying to determine how things would translate to black and white

The film was shot for black and white. I don't know the exact workflow, but I believe it was shot on color film first and then desaturated in post-production (I think...I know they talked about it during the production meetings, but I wasn't absorbing every detail about the cinematography).
Now for the fun stuff. An entire shirt factory had to be created, involving shirts, sewing machines, workstations, and costumes for everyone (not to mention the background props like chalkboards and signs with the company goals/quotas). The scene also had to be carefully lit, especially since the camera would be moving around at times, weaving in and around the workstations, following the storage bins and racks as they moved around the factory.

One of the extras -- sadly, I can't remember his name

And as I said in my earlier post, an entire city block in downtown Salt Lake City had to be turned into the 1950s, which led to one of the craziest days of filming. The buildings themselves were already period-ready, but then cars needed to be brought in, some stationary, and others moving (that was my job, coordinating the cars). It required dozens and dozens of phone calls to track down classic car owners in the Utah area who would be willing to volunteer their time and vehicles (it was a student project after all--so apart from lunch and gas reimbursement, there wasn't much we could offer). On top of that, schedules had to be coordinated so that the cars showed up at a specific time, and hoping like crazy it didn't rain that day.

One of the classic cars -- a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe

One of the scenes also required a process trailer, where one of the antique cars would be loaded on a trailer, allowing the actor to play his part without having to actually worry about driving. We couldn't afford an actual process trailer, which sits low to the ground (one company had a trailer that came just six inches of the ground, with enough room for the camera to be placed around the vehicle). It would have cost around $700 for a single day, plus insurance, plus a police escort (the companies required a police presence to direct traffic).

Instead, we used a U-Haul trailer. It sat higher off the ground (around 20 inches, I believe), but Derek Pueblo worked some cinematographic magic to create the illusion that it sat lower. I will say too, there was a moment where my heart skipped a beat, when we were loading the antique car onto the trailer. As the car was being loaded onto the trailer, the actor that was driving (I was going to drive it, but I needed to focus on making it secure) accidentally gunned it a little too much. Imagine my sheer terror seeing a 1957 Ford Thunderbird ride up out of the wheel well, mere inches from sailing off the trailer. I don't know how it managed to stay on the trailer, but it did--we nervously laughed, secured the wheels, and kept right on shooting. We tried to get twelve cars, but only ended up with four (a fifth car--an antique police car--was used on a different day). Once again, with some careful placement and rearranging between shots, those few cars seemed to multiply.

Our process trailer -- that's me driving the truck. It was a narrow street, and after each take, we would back the entire rig up the street and do it again...Have you ever driven a trailer in reverse? Yeah, we did that again and again until we got the shot right--

There were actually two camera units filming for awhile on this particular day, because there was so much that needed to be covered. If I'm not mistaken, Nathan acted as both director and director of photography for one of the units, while James Alexander was 2nd unit director, with Derek Pueblo as DP for the 2nd unit (I think that's right...I might be slightly off on that). We even had an RV rented for the day to use as a wardrobe and makeup area, as well as the production office.

That same day, a car wreck needed to be simulated (scary...considering the antique cars we were working with). It required the crew to move to another part of the city, including the transportation of the RV, trucks, generators, and antique cars. I even got to drive the '57 Thunderbird for a couple of takes while the actor was changing wardrobe. Nathan's direction to me for the take: "Go tearing through the scene as fast you can..." Trust me, tearing through on that car was absolutely exhilarating.

After the car accident -- the haze is actually smoke billowing through the scene. I can't remember why fuller's earth wasn't used

Luke Drake - "Inspector 42"

And this is mostly detailing one particular production day. Hopefully that gives you an idea of the scope of this project, and how hard every single person had to work to pull it off. I know I posted it before, but still check out the trailer for the film on Youtube. Don't forget to leave some comments, especially if you happened to be involved in the production (feel free to say what you did, or describe some part of the production!).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Inspector 42

Cool -- so a picture I took last year on the set of "Inspector 42" took seventh place in a weekly photo contest. I don't know how many people entered, but when I looked on Wednesday, there were 900+ entries.

Anyway, the blog was . From their comment, it looks like they thought it was an engagement picture.

And I was really surprised this shot came out the way it did. It was really difficult to focus, because everyone was moving--the actors were moving towards me, while the extras were passing in front of me, and I was shooting wide open at f/1.8.

Anyway, the film was a student project done by several of my friends, but it was one of the most intense shoots I've been on. The film was shot in downtown Salt Lake, but the block we were on couldn't technically be "shut down." So the crew was having to deal with cars passing through the set occasionally, and it was a big shooting area. At one point, there were two camera crews filming different things simultaneously on the same block. The film follows a shirt inspector (aka, Inspector 42), who begins to use defective shirts to meet a quota. But then the defective shirts start wreaking havoc in the community...You can see a trailer for it here.

Like I said, it was a big project, but it was so much fun. I was in charge of transportation, which meant coordinating the vehicles for equipment, the crew, and parts of the cast. It also included driving an RV a couple of times (yes, an RV! It was a really big project), and coordinating all of the antique cars you see in the film.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I just wanted to post this picture I took last night. I came across this ridiculously long subway entrance. The art on the walls may or may not be graffiti--I don't really know. Some parts of the tunnel had actual art sketches on the wall, but it blended in with the walls so well that you could barely see it. Anyway, the picture is slightly off-center. I was standing just left of the middle of the tunnel because there was a swarm of people right behind me and I was trying not to block the tunnel. But the lights weren't flush with the piping either, so it makes it look a little bit "off."

Monday, March 29, 2010


The weather is starting to get a little nicer here in NYC, and I've been itching to take a lot of pictures. So in the past couple of weeks, I've taken somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 pictures. I did get a flickr account ( if you're interested), and I've been having fun uploading. I think I've only been able to get like 25 pictures up (it takes awhile to upload), but I'll be trying to update it frequently.

So these are just a couple of pictures I took earlier today. The subway ran a little faster than normal, so I had half an hour to kill before class. I thought I'd take a stroll through Washington Square Park, since it tends to deserted whenever it rains.

I wanted to take some pictures of the chess tables, but that part of the park is closed due to construction. So I took some pictures of these benches instead. I've really been wanting to take more black & white pictures lately, and I'm trying to "train" my eye to see more tones and textures, and to work a little harder with composition.

So it's kind of random to show a picture of a half-eaten fruit, but I accidentally scared away the squirrel that had been happily feasting away--you can see some of the scraps on the bench from the squirrel had been eating.

Meh, just a bicycle. I was going to play around with composition a little more here, but I was standing in the rain and I was starting to get cold--

Sorry this post is kind of short--I'll be posting more later this week, and hopefully some more pictures. I don't have work for a week and a half because the middle school where I work is on spring break, so I'll have plenty of time to explore different parts of the city.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break

Well, I don't know how much of a coincidence this really is, but I realized that the last time I wrote, BYU had just been beaten by TCU in football. And last night, the men's basketball team lost to Kansas State. I don't even know how the game was--as much of a fan of BYU as I am, I was actually watching Wicked on Broadway, 4th row. But hey, at least they made it past the first round.

I've really been enjoying my classes this semester. I'm still really busy with papers and assignments, but I feel like they're helping get a better grasp of the material. For instance, in Television History and Culture, I had to research a trade journal from 1957. This meant sifting through about 1500 pages worth of material, formulating a narrative based on my research, and then preparing a report on how the research could be helpful to historians. As nerdy as it sounds, I really enjoyed reading about the changes in the television industry during the 1950s, and how it rippled down through the decades to give birth to the cable and satellite broadcasting available today. As far back as the 1950s, people were theorizing about premium movie channels and sports stations that a user could subscribe to. Like I said, it's totally nerdy, but I'm still having a blast with it.

As for more recent stuff, my sister went on a mission to Rancagua Chile, my brother is here in the city visiting for the weekend, and I'm still trying to figure out the dating scene here (I was totally thrown off recently--a girl I had asked out met me at the restaurant, payed for herself, and then just got off the subway when her stop came up...I don't if that's just considered normal for NYC or not, but I feel like I failed with everything I'm used to: picking the girl up, paying for dinner, and then walking her back to her apartment).

On a side note, I finally submitted a story proposal to This American Life. I had made an audio documentary several years ago for a class at BYU (you can listen to it at this link, and I kept meaning to send it in.

And finally, this past week was spring break. I was able to go up to West Point on Thursday with some friends, and we just walked around the campus and enjoyed our time out of the city. My brother came into town yesterday, and we walked around Times Square for several hours and then ended up going to see Wicked (fourth row seats!). Today we walked around the Financial District and took the Staten Island Ferry, and tomorrow we're going to visit the Guggenheim. Here's some pictures from the past week or so--

One of my friends found this nut starting to blossom. It was tricky trying to take this picture because the depth of field was so narrow--

Part of a tree on West Point. We relaxed on the lawn in front of the museum for a little while, and I wanted to play around some more with depth of field.

The Cathedral at West Point

I don't remember what field this was next to, but it was still on West Point

One of the buildings on West Point. It was pretty cool seeing how a lot of the different buildings looked like castles or something--we're going to try and go back during the spring or summer

As we were heading home from West Point, we stopped at this outcropping to take some pictures.

We thought we were getting into a sketchy situation at the outcropping, because it looked like a motorcycle gang was surrounding the place. Of all things, they were trying to throw a paper airplane off the cliff edge and into the river--so yeah, it wasn't a gang at all, just some friends out for a ride. They let me take some pictures--

Just another sunset pic

On the Staten Island Ferry--I tilted the camera on purpose just to play around with perspective a little. This is right as the ferry was getting ready to dock back in Manhattan. Everyone ran to the windows to take pictures of the NYC skyline, so I thought I'd take a picture of them instead

My brother Pere -- Staten Island Ferry

Some random wall in the Financial District -- everything else was sparkling clean, but this one alleyway just didn't match

Anyway, sorry it has been so long since I last updated my blog. I've just been pretty busy with school and everything. Hopefully I can post more pictures soon--