Saturday, April 15, 2017

Becoming Professional Photographers

I don't think today was too great of a start for anyone, I arrived slightly late to De Anza High School, yet the tutorial hadn't really picked up yet. Don was struggling to connect his laptop to the projector and make it work, which means we couldn't really get any of the visuals. There was no service in the room, and the wifi was iffy. Nevertheless, we decided to start talking about things that didn't need visuals. 

Don told us the basic rules and regulations about responding to e-mails and communicating with him. Then we got to the blogging business, which is a huge part of even being an ILCer. Many people see our blogs, so it's important that we're descriptive and share what we genuinely think. Personally, having the blogs available last year helped me decide what and how much to pack. We didn't get to practice blogging with ease, though. Many of the desktop computers wouldn't connect to the internet, so that took a while as well.

A cool picture of Evan and me ft. the Brown cohort 
Almost two hours in we got to the best part of the tutorial, taking pictures! Don gave us a few cameras to share so most of us got into groups. I took pictures with my cohort member, Evan. He took a picture of Don specifically for his practice blog, then took pictures of well, everything. This part of the tutorial is honestly one of the best bonding experiences before we get to our schools. We took a cohort photo in front of the banner along with some other silly photos of each other. 

Once back inside, we had another little road bump: the USB ports didn't work in over half of the desktops. After a few minutes, all of the photos were up on MediaFire, though, and we were all able to add them to our practice blogs. Around that time, Don gave us a quick photoshop lesson and recommended that we try to mess with photo editing apps to make our pictures look nicer. 

Unfortunately, I had to leave a little early, before loaner items were discussed. Luckily, I already have the gist of how loaner items work and know not to pack over 40 lbs in my luggage. It was a pretty good tutorial after overcoming all the small issues, and I'm really excited to see more of my cohort and the other cohorts. 
Cammie and me doing a cheesy prom pose with the thoughtful Maddie and Evan

Technology is Great...When it Works.

Today I pulled myself up at 5 AM to go to this tutorial. Or rather, I laid in bed until 6 trying to meditate on what was to come, and then finally got up. Once I got ready and had my bag packed at 7, I was out the door and walking to De Anza. I got there way earlier than I anticipated, but I got into a good conversation with the man letting us into the building and whatnot. I never got his name, but he’s cool and he loves soccer.

I'm hiding from Don. :)
Cutting to the start of the tutorial, I sat next to two girls named Amelia and Linsday, we were handed large instructional packets, and we got to work. Or should I say, we tried to. The reason can be summed up in one phrase: “Technology is great when it works.” Every time a problem was solved, a new one would come up. At one point, we were essentially throwing darts at a map because a good third of the computers weren’t working properly. We probably spent a good thirty to forty minutes just trying to get ourselves situated.

Once we were situated, we began listening to what was essentially a long lecture. It would have probably been very boring, but luckily Don’s not one to be boring. He seemed to know when people were getting bored and could either wake them up or make them laugh.

Noor is the most photogenic person I've ever met.
Our first assignment was to write four paragraphs on any topic. I chose the silly little mobile rhythm game I play (and frankly probably spend too much of my spare time playing.) Once we posted on the practice blog and all that, Don checked through to make sure we all had it right and we understood the formatting.

After a while, we were given our second assignment. We pulled out the cameras and began walking around the front of the campus and taking pictures. We took some serious photos, cohort group photos, and some silly photos. Probably the most photogenic person in the whole group was Noor. She killed it with every shot I took of her, and every shot everyone else took of her for that matter.

This tutorial was overall kept me hyped for the trip, but I’m still sort of nervous. I’ve never been too far away from home and my parents or some other family or close friend have always been with me when I am farther away. I’m sure I’ll be able to handle this though.
The Vandy cohort doing some (silly) poses in front of the banner.

Tech Problems at the Tutorial

I woke up at 6:15 this morning, which is how I love to start my Saturdays. After getting myself ready I picked up Evan and we headed to the tutorial at De Anza High School. I hadn't been to De Anza before so I was a bit worried about not being able to find where to go, but, just as Don had promised there was an ILC banner waiting for us when we got there. Well, the banner was being put up by Maddie and Don but nonetheless it enabled us to find our way. 

Once we actually got to the tutorial we helped to set up, two others and I struggled to put together two fold up tables but eventually we figured it out. We then waited for others to arrive and got situated with snacks, for me that was Red Vines and a cookie which I was very happy with. 

Once everyone else arrived we picked computers and started logging on, but unfortunately a decent amount of the computers either wouldn't load or couldn't connect to the internet. After some shuffling around everyone had working computers, only for us to find out that the USB ports in most of them were disabled. We decided to set aside this issue and instead continue with the tutorial as well as possible. 

Don passed out some massive packets with instructions and examples, I was amazed he was able to staple all 50 pages together. While we paged through our packets and familiarized ourselves with the material Don dealt with some more tech issues, he couldn't get the projector to work. Don continued to trouble shoot while we read though the packets, eventually, after resulting to another computer, he got the projector to work. 

We went over some tips about blogging and then got our first assignment, writing a blog with four paragraphs of for sentences or more each about anything we desired. I, naturally, wrote about my pets. I finished formatting my blog and published it to Don's Practice Blog, then I read through some of my fellow ILCers blogs. I enjoyed seeing what they wrote about, it ranged from describing Don's shirt to repeatedly saying "I am Cold." 

After these blog posts we moved on to picture taking, we learnt about how to take good photos and the value that real cameras have over cell phone cameras. Soon enough, we took a break to practice our new skills and take some pictures outside. I really enjoyed this part of the day, we got some fun pictures out of it and I got to know some other ILCers I hadn't met before better. 

The Vanderbilt cohort posing for a silly photo during our picture taking outing 
Once we were done taking pictures we went back inside and downloaded them, then picked our favorites to add to our earlier blog posts. I liked playing around with centering photos and their sizes and getting more familiar with blogger overall. 

We moved on to discussing this and that, details about out trips and how to behave along with what to expect. Unfortunately, I had to leave a bit early for an appointment, but I'll get to make up what I missed later. I had a really fun time overall at the tutorial, I liked learning more about blogger and gaining more insight about what my trip will be like. I can't wait for my time in Tennessee this summer!

A Tremendous Tutorial with Don

A nice picture of Don, taken by me
Today, all of the ILC cohorts got together for a group tutorial led by Don. The tutorial was a few hours long, we got to De Anza High School between 7:30 and 8 AM and left after noon. We learned a lot in the space of those few hours. Don gave us a huge packet (over 50 pages, all told) and taught us how to take pictures, correct email etiquette, good blogging, and other miscellaneous important items that all comes with being a part of the Ivy League Connection. We sat down sat down in one of De Anza's computer labs, and got to work.

At first we were preoccupied with some technical difficulties. Some of us had to move around the room in search of a computer that would work, many of the computers wouldn't let us use the internet. The next problem we had was with the projector. It wouldn't connect with Don's computer! Thankfully, it didn't take us too long before we were able to resolve our problems and focus on the blogging. 

By mid-morning (about 11 AM) we took a short break to take some pictures. This was my favorite part of the day. We all went out into the sunshine and had fun with the cameras. I even got a nice picture of Don, and he usually gets nice pictures of me! I enjoy taking pictures, and Don's advice really helped in improving the quality of my images. 

The one thing that I would have wanted different were the snacks. Don had supplied some snacks, but I was really hungry by the end of the session and couldn't wait for lunch. Madison was nice enough to give me a tangerine to hold me over until I could get some lunch. Thanks again, Madison! It was delicious. All food aside, this tutorial was a great milestone along the path to Vanderbilt in the summer.

This tutorial was really helpful for me, and I had a lot of fun meeting all of the other ILC members outside of my own cohort. Thanks Don!