Weekly Blog Post – Week 4

It is hard to believe that we are already at week 4 of this semester. Time really flies by. This week was by far my most enjoyable week in this class. I truly love photography but have never spent the time learning the proper techniques. I take advantage of the technology that we have available in our phones and just assume those pictures work just fine. When looking at them closer, I can see where an improvement can be made in my technique. The information provided this week by the helpful hints and the Photoblitz exercise really improved my photo taking technique. Just in time because my daughters birthday was this past weekend and I needed to capture that perfect moment!

My least favorite part of this week was watching La Jetee. The use of still frame pictures made the film impossible for me to follow. I had to watch the film twice just to gather a complete understanding. The 4k technology and HD cameras have really spoiled me I guess. The storyline was great but I wish that presented in a more effective way On the flipside, I truly enjoyed watching The Road. Before seeing this film on the assignment list, I had never heard of it.  This film fits into the type of post-apocalyptic genre I like. The storyline of personal survival and devastation pulled me right into the film. This film took me to a place where I imagined going through a similar situation. Would I be able to survive on my own with my child? Could I fight through pain and suffering to try and survive.

Now to get to the question of the week…. Can a GIF be considered a story…. My thought about this is no, It can’t be considered a story. It can be something to support a story, but not just on it own.  Here is an example:

Here is a GIF from Lady and Tramp. Does this GIF tell a story? No, it just shows two dogs kissing. Does it help support the movie itself? Yes it does.

I hope everyone is having as much fun in this class than I am!

Reach out to me if anybody would like to chat or share ideas on anything!

-Geoff

Assignment: Movie Reflection and GIF

Reflection : Le Jetee

I have to admit that I had to re-watch this short film multiple times to really understand the plot. It was very hard for my to understand the film due to its use of still frames. I felt like the constant changing of photos and misused soundtrack made it nearly impossible to understand the story line. Once I final got a handle on what was happening, I very much enjoyed the film, but mostly only from a story line perspective. I believe that I would truly enjoy a current remake of this movie utilizing the same storyline. This film appeals to me post-apocalyptic genre of real life scenario’s (Nuclear Holocaust / Natural Disaster) I also very much liked the concept of using time travel to try and solve current living conditions.  This film’s storyline creates a lot of imagery in your head, which helps support the still frames.

Reflection: The Road

After watching this movie, I immediately added to one of my top movies of all time. I really enjoyed the story line of this movie. The struggles of the father and son really sunk deep into me. My immediate thought after watching this movie was “what would I do if I was stuck with my daughter tryin to survive on our own in the wild” I immediately started to play all of those scenario’s in my head. I chose the scene where they find the individual who stole their cart as my GIF because that was my favorite part of the movie. The pain and anxiety both parties have during that exchange feels so real. The end of this film in heartbreaking. I could feel myself get choked up as the boy stood over his dead father. I am so glad that this film was part of this class. I am happy to make a new discovery of post-apocalyptic film.

Assignment: Thinking about Photos

Before I start this blog post, I have to admit that I am a terrible photo taker. To explain, one time I was at a Formula One race in Montreal and a couple asked me to take a photo of them. I took the picture and handed it over like I took at great picture. I turn around and 2 minutes later I see the same couple asking someone else to take the exact picture…. Ouch.

My issue is I just feel like the technology that we have just on our phones allows anybody to take any good picture. I have taken what I thought were such great pictures and looked at them later and discovered how bad they are.

This weeks assignments have proven to be very helpful to me. There are so many things that don’t take a lot of effort that can play a huge part in producing a special photo. One of the best tips that came from “Tips For Better Photography” was anticipation. There are so many times when I travel that I just pull out my phone, snap a picture, and put it back in my pocket. I need to work on being in the moment and watching what is happening.  That I know will make me a better photographer along with learning how to use aperture, shutter speed, iso to control the image. The next best tip that I picked up on was paying attention to light. I struggle with this most at night time. I have missed so many great picture opportunities at night by not paying attention to how artificial light effects a picture.

For my Photoblitz assignment, I took what hints where given to me and created some awesome photos. I used layers to create an awesome background for a photo of my daughter. I took a picture of a wheel and moon like object. I also took two picture to show the usage of vertical and horizontal lines. The last phot I took was to so contrast between two like objects, but extremely different in size.

Here a link to my Instagram Post

Apart from reading and learning some useful tips about photography, I great enjoyed flipping through the photos on Abandon America. This pictures both made my skin crawl and make me feel sad. The reason for sadness is because I see so much waste in these photos. Here are once flourishing buildings or areas that are absolutely no more. I wish our country would restore and reuse space rather than just leave it behind. With that being said, I could stare at this photos for house. I look at these photos and wonder about the story behind them. From a post-apocalyptic perspective, these photos look like something like an apocalypse happened.  When I imagine a post-apocalyptic scenery, these photos create exactly what I see in my head.

 

Visual Assignments – Places of Peace

Here are my places of peace.  Top Right is at ATT Park in San Francisco. Top Left is at the beach. Bottom Left is any pool on vacation. Bottom right is laying in bed with my daughter.

 

Visual Assignment – Before and After The End

For this assignment, I wanted to use photos of my own but once I started to search the internet, I knew I had nothing that matched up to what I discovered. I chose two photos from a website called Amsterdam Redlight District Tours. These pictures were taken at a popular spot which shows a before and after of the site if an apocalyptic scenario  were to play out.

Weekly Blog Post: Week 3

This past week was absolutely crazy!!! None of it had anything to do with this class. To be honest, the school work was a good break from reality.

This past Wednesday, my dad was struck by a car while walking to the train. The guy that hit my dad immediately left the scene of the accident. My dad immediately called my mom and I left my house to pick him up and take him to the ER. After running test, everything came back negative and my dad was left just sore from the collision. Lucky, my dad caught the guys plate and the police were able to track him down. This has proven to be useless and it seems the guy is going to benefit from leaving the scene. Its my dad’s word against his and we now turn the page in another sad book about criminal justice in the United States.

After reading all of that, I am sure you can image that doing school work would be a nice break! I really enjoyed this weeks assignments. My favorite part was reading the short stories, especially A Boy and his dog. My expectations for that story were so different than the actual content. I was picturing a someone normal relationship between the dog and boy and man was I proven wrong. This is the great thing about fiction that i have truly missed. I can feel my mind expanding as I continue to read newly discovered fiction. I also enjoyed writing an alternate ending to the story. I think I still like the original one better since it is very unexpected but I think mine was very creative as well.

My second favorite assignment of the week was posting a review on amazon about a apocalyptic item purchased. The best part of the assignment was looking through what my fellow classmates posted. I particularly liked the post about the nerf gun and the crayons.

My final thought revolves around the question of the week. If I was with my family in a post apocalyptic world, I would definitely be a hoarder of our supplies. I would look to protect my family the best way that I could. If my neighbor comes knocking on the door, he is shit out of luck. He better run because if he stands there too long, he might start to look tasty.

I hope everyone had a great week!

-Geoff

Up-Goer Five Your Writing

Hello Everyone.

This past week was crazy! My dad was walking to the train and got hit by a car. The guy in the car did not stop and kept driving away. My dad called me and I picked him up and went to the hospital. He was checked over and everything was good. We called the police and they found the guy who hit my dad. I am sad that the guy would do this to my dad. I am happy that he is well.

Alternative Ending: A Boy and His Dog

I truly enjoyed reading A Boy and His Dog. This short story created very strong imagery in my head. I have missed this part that fictional stories can create in the imagination. Here below I will list the original ending of the story, followed by the alternative ending that I create. Please Let me know what you guys think!

Original ending

“She got a pouty look on her face, “if you love me, you’ll come on!” I couldn’t make it alone out there without him. I knew it. If i loved her, She asked me, in the boiler, do you know what love is……”

My alternative ending

“She got a pouty look on her face, “if you love me, you’ll come on!” I couldn’t make it alone out there without him. I knew it. If i loved her, She asked me, in the boiler, do you know what love is.?

As I turned to face her, she put a knife right against my neck. I was in complete shock. “I will murder us both” she said to me with a craze look in her eye. “We either move on together or we both leave this planet” As I felt the knife digging deeper into my neck, I saw out of the corner of my eye that blood has stood up and leaned down in attack position. I moved my body so her back faced blood and within a second, blood pounced on back and dug his teeth into her neck. As she released me, I turned to see her legs kicking in the air as Blood used every ounce of his strength to end her life. Her leg movement came to a sudden stop as blood worked his way to heart.

Never in my life have I seen such an event of loyalty. I was never going to leave Blood behind. Nothing could get between my relationship with my dog.

Short Story Readings

For our short story assignment this week, I chose to read “A Boy and his Dog” by Harlan Ellison and “The Screwfly Solution” by Alice Sheldon. Here below is a review of both stories

A Boy and His Dog

When I picked this story to read, the first thought that came into my head was this story had to be about a loyal dog that helped his owner survived a post-apocalyptic environment. My assumption was correct, but I was not prepared for the dark and twisted plot of this story. The imagery that Ellison creates within his story is very strong. As he describes the setting that Vic and Blood are walking through, I can feel myself walking there right beside them. I especially loved the imagery Ellison creates when they are both sitting in the move theater and as Vic walks through the YMCA. This story is very hard to read given the type of actions that are occurring in the story (Raping of Woman). I do have to give major credit to Ellison for the ending of this story. The ending is very unpredictable and does a great job tying back into the title. Their truly is no way to get between the relationship between a man and his dog…..

The Screwfly Solution.

This story follows the same ideas of Ellison’s story. Both stories revolve around the relationship that men have with women in a apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic world.  The Screwfly Solution is my favorite story amongst the two. This story appeal to me is two ways. The first reason is because when it comes to apocalyptic events, I believe that a viral pandemic is the most likely scenario to play out in killing off the human race. The second reason is because I hate religion and I feel like it is a mental illness, but I can see where a bunch of idiots could become brainwashed by a idiotic idea. Both of these elements play a huge part in my opinion of this story. Just as in A Boy and His Dog, the ending of this story is very unpredictable. The author does a great job bring the story to a pleasing end.

Both of these stories were fun to read.  I struggle sometimes reading fiction but am starting to like it as I read more and more for this class.