Tuesday, October 30, 2012

When Life Gets in the Way

I had almost forgotten about the whole blog thing. You know, editing pictures, writing post, it just had kind of slipped to the far back of my mind.

Life had just gotten in the way. It's not that I don't have anything to post about. Rather it's just impossible to find the time to post about everything that's been going on.

I could write about the small stuff, like how I think I've finally killed all the ants that had set up residency on my desk.

Or I could write about the bigger stuff, like how I just got an A on my second test in my upper level physics class. (yeah I was pumped)

Or I could just post some pictures of my life. On a side note, what started this awful no blogging post was a trip to Pinnacle. I took my camera, excited to take some pictures and write a blog post about it. However, we climbed in the mountain (hill? mountain? come to think of it, I thought Mt. Magazine was the only true mountain in Arkansas......) in the middle of the day. The beauty of the world doesn't also transfer well to photos in the harsh light of midday. So I wasn't very satisfied with any of the photos I ended up with; thus the post was never written.

But I have some photos now!

A typical physics study session.

Just kidding, but this did make for a fun break. ;) 

My music haul! My school was having a huge book sale at unbelievably low prices-- each sheet music book was 10 cents. O.O 10 cents!! It was kind amazing. Not gonna lie. I picked up some things from most of my favorite pianists.

To further solidify just how much of a geek I truly, here is a basset horn (yeah. google it) concert! I also went to the class they had held earlier that afternoon talking about the evolution of the modern clarinet.

So cool!

 On an exciting note, my friends back home came down for the weekend! Just in time for our Halloween party, Ghost Roast.

While the party suckedddd it was so much fun just to hang out with them. 

Witches!....and a guy in a suit.

We really went all out for our costumes.

The party! What you can't tell by this picture is how there was no music-- and when you could actually hear it, it sucked. So no one was dancing. It was just a pit full of half-drunk people just standing there.

Yeah, kind of boring.

Saturday night we headed to Little Rock to see the new movie Cloud Atlas. I won't even attempt to say anything about that movie-- my head is still spinning from it.

In other news, I printed off some of photos to decorate my walls :) I'll take some pictures of the result!

And there it is! I've finally written a blog post! It's been wayyyy too long. I'll try to write another one soon. ;)

Thanks for sticking around!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


More fall break photos!

Last year, my fall break photos were dappled in warm sunlight. This year, the weather was cold and windy, which drastically changed the type of photos I could take.

Not in a bad way, though. I love taking pictures of raindrops.

Another thing I love is editing photos-- I thought I would show you a couple before and afters of my fall break photos.





I've fallen in love with a new set of actions that I use for like, everything ;) I have no clue what they are called-- or where I found them. I have like fifty actions that I downloaded and then never used. Until now.

 In other news, we found a little turtle, burrowed in our back yard, ready to hibernate for winter. Until we woke up it while digging a hole.

And then preceded to ooo and awwww over it for like an hour. :)

So cute! Hopefully it went back to hibernating for the winter.

Football! I was so excited that this year, one of my team's (Red Wolves!) games fell over fall break. I've haven't been able to go to a game in foreeverrrr so it was nice to be back. :) And we won. Which is always good. Also, I was able to hang out with some friends I also haven't seen in foreevvverr.

Football and friends. What more could you ask for?

Anyway, I'm back at Hendrix now, trading in the blissful break for a ton of homework. Which I really should get started on....

Thanks for reading! :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday marked the beginning of Fall Break. Hendrix is awesome in that it breaks up the normally week long break of Thanksgiving into two days now, and then three days later. It's nice to have this little breather, about midway through the semester.

Anyway, I woke up this morning to the sound of crashing thunder-- which is possible the best way to wake up. Well, it's tied to the morning I woke up the sound of birds singing. That was pretty nice.

The pouring down rain dashed my plans of getting some morning pictures. Instead, I watched the rain fall as I sipped my coffee, reveling in just what a drastic change it was, being home. Once the rain stopped I headed outside to get some pictures.

If I were to write a paper on my stance about proper lighting conditions (which I wouldn't, even writing that title I feel a little bored) I would definitely include rainy/cloudy days as unappreciated beauty. I admit, I'm obsessed with light just as much as the next photographer, but don't think that just because you can't see the sun, there is no beautiful light to be found. Mostly I loved shooting this morning because of all the rain drops that clung to the flowers, reluctant to succumb to gravity.

There was a beautiful, blooming rose bush-- one that I've been taking pictures of ever since I began my foray into photography as an art form.

Another rule that I just decided to make up: don't discount flowers just because they are dead. There is beauty in more than just the pretty blooms of life. ((wow I'm starting to sound a little metaphorical here))

I like the harsh black pods of these long dead flowers.

Funny story on the next photo, I had just pulled into the driveway after a two-ish hour drive. I got out of the car and was about to go inside when I caught a glimpse of the flower below, the warm sunlight playing against the velvety purple. I had one shoe on, was cold, and wanted to go see my parents but before any of that I tore through my suitcase to find my camera, certain that the light would die out before I could capture it. Wishing I had left my camera case out, I pulled out my baby and snapped a few shots.

 I kind of love the results. I played around with the editing, trying to bring out the diffused light, and the laid back, purple vibe of the scene.

Anyway, I am off to relax! I'm hanging out with friends today, and then I'm going to a Red Wolves football game this Saturday-- so excited! It's been far too long since I've been to a college football game.

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

500 Miles pt 2

Missed Part one?

Where we last left off, my friends and were taking a jaunt through the woods.

The Lovely Adventuring Group
It was a brisk, early fall morning and we set off down the trail.

Our progress was slowed by the fact that every time my eyes spotted something pretty I had to stop, pause, and take copious amounts of pictures.

My friends were nice enough to wait as I snapped shots of the bridges, the views, and even the pretty leaves.

We took a few detours off the beaten path-- we hung out on this little rocky outcropping for a little bit, gazing into the forest.

We were running off the fuel of a couple of muffins taken from the motel lobby. The beauty of nature, though, distracted me from the fact that I was missing lunch. And I never miss meals.

It was just so nice, to be out in nature. Such a needed change from the stress of daily college life. Instead of worrying about physics; obsessing over differential equations, I was relaxed, just enjoying life.

Look at that view! This was the largest overlook we found-- the view was just amazing. I might post a panoramic later. It was very lord of the rings-esque, with the undulating forest, hidden streams just barely peaking out through the trees.

No one wanted to leave; we lingered even after the rain started to pick up.

We knew we had to leaven soon-- it was late and we didn't really know how to get back to where we parked the car.

Yeah, my friends are kind of crazy. ;) What you don't see is us yelling, before, during and after the picture was taken, at Dave to put her down. Also, you don't see how close we were to the edge.

All for the shot?

It was only after we were fairly soaked that we reluctantly left the quietly peaceful overlook.

After little difficulty, we found our way back to the car. Flipping through the food options on my awesome GPS we settled on a cheap, authentic Chinese restaurant.

Sadly, we couldn't escape the burden of a heavy homework load forever, so we headed to a local Barns and Noble to get some work done.

Once again, thank you Dave and loose Facebook regulations.
After a brief dinner (where every football game on was featured on one of the copious tvs. aka, amazingness), we headed to find the slam poetry finals!

It took a little effort, but we somehow managed to find a place to park, and make our way through the U of A campus to the student union, where the competition was held.

The finals were, in short, kind of amazing. The poems were touching, insightful, and funny. Well not all at once I should say. I should've taped some of them-- they were all so good!

After the finals were over, and a winner declared, we started our late car ride back to the wonderful world of Hendrix.

And that, my dear friends, is how our first ever college road trip of epicness happened.

Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

500 Miles pt 1

Alternative Title: A Weekend With Jane Goodall, Nature, and Liam Neeson.

Second Alternative Title: How we Survived Our First College Road Trip.

I'm so indecisive, I couldn't even decide what my alternative title should be.

Story of my life.

Anyway! I write to you, my dear reader, to (belatedly) talk about my first every college road trip! (cue party music)

It actually started last year, second semester. We had just finished watching my friend (and current roomie!) do amazing at her slam poetry competition. Walking around campus, we mused about the world slam poetry finals-- which were supposed to happen in October, the date fuzzy in the future.

'We should totally gooooo' we said to one another. We could stay in Fayetteville, find a motel or something, and see the competition.

Then, the topic didn't come up again till a couple of weeks ago. We learned that Jane Goodall was giving a speech-- free and open to the public-- up at U of A in Fayetteville.

The best part? It just so happened to occur on the same weekend as the world slam poetry competition. With all of the stars aligned, we eagerly started to make plans. We started off wanting to camp the entire weekend. Homework, and the fact the campsite was completely booked, changed our plans till we were only staying half the weekend, and in a motel. Side note, I actually started to feel like an adult, as I researched our options, booked a motel, got addresses, planned how to get there. It was a lot of planning, but I knew it would be worth it.

So, last Friday, our intrepid group of four hurtled down the rainy highway towards Fayetteville. Due to classes, we couldn't leave till three-- the doors opened at six, and it was a two and a half hour drive.

Enter, horrible driving conditions and construction work. Somehow, we managed to arrive at U of A at a decent time, and piled into to see the fabled Jane Goodall. To be perfectly honest I knew nothing about her, except that she had worked with primates. Still, it was just the idea of hearing someone who has had such a huge impact; I was excited.

Jane Goodall!
She turned out to be a grandmotherly short woman with a delightful gentle British accent. We all left the speech feeling like we had accomplished nothing of worth in our short lives. Which gave us motivation to actually do something; even if it's not traveling to Africa and make huge discoveries on the lives of primates.

After the talk, we found our motel-- sketchy, but cheap.

Photo, thanks to Dave!..and loose facebook regulations that allow me to steal your photos at will. Thanks!
Flipping through the channels on our surprising huge flat screen tv, we settled on watching Taken. Because a scary movie about being kidnapped is exactly what you wanna watch on your first road trip in a motel where the deadlock had been broken off.

Anyway! We survived our stay, and headed out the next morning to the nearby forest, Devil's Den. It was barely fifty degrees, with a threateningly cloudy sky.

It was amazing.

 We stumbled upon a trail, leading off the road, and headed out to see where we would end up. 

The rolling hills were blanketed with trees, and every now and then we caught a glimpse of the entire picture.

The main difficulty was the intermittent rain drops that persistently threw themselves down from the clouds above. My baby (SLR camera) doesn't do well with rain, yet I was surrounded by such beauty; it was a dilemma. What I ended up doing was cowering under any tree to protect my baby from the rain as I snapped photos. 

Our road was so epic (and I took so many pictures!) that I'm going to break this post into two parts.

Stay tuned to see more of the beauty of nature, and hear about the world slam poetry competition!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


And no, I didn't just make up that word. Iphoneography. It's a thing. ;)

You see, iPhones are amazing for a number of reasons. One of them happens to be their ability to be an pretty decent camera.

 I recently took a couple of pictures with my iPhone, and wanted to share some cool tips. You see, there is one area where I reach for my iPhone over my SLR. Which, obviously, is a huge, rare once-in-a-blue-moon event.

You see (wow I say that too much), I'm kind of in love with long-exposure photography. Which, if you don't know, is where you have a really long shutter speed-- anything that moves simply becomes long brush strokes on a canvas of light.

The issue with this is that you need dim lighting to do long exposure. Otherwise, even if you have a really small aperture, your long shutter speed will over-exposure your photo.

Enter, the iPhone. At the very real risk of sounding like a commercial, there's an app for that. What I mean is that there are apps that allow you to manipulate your iPhone into taking long exposure photos. You see, an iPhone doesn't take traditional long exposure photos-- so it doesn't work well in the dim lighting that an SLR needs. Rather, the apps use this dark magic (some sort of algorithm editing deal) that realistically fakes the look of a traditional long exposure.

Example A :) This was actually taken a while ago. What I love, though, is how crisp the tree branches are, while the racing clouds were turned into streaks. This is a long exposure done in the middle of the day-- magic made possible by the iPhone.

Example B-- this is me procrastinating in a practice room. ;) I really liked how the pictured turned out, however. I love how the hands are mere blurs, and I'm only seen in the reflection.

So I'm trying out this new feature (well, new to me) that allows you to write a post, and then schedule when it will be published...*fingers crossed* Let's see what'll happen! Not that you, my dear reader, will know that I wrote this at any other time than it was published. Still, it's a rather convenient function. It allows me to write when I have the time-- which may mean I write two posts on one day-- and then spread out when I publish them.

As always, thanks for reading! Whenever you actually read this, that is ;)