Trip to France 2012: REVAMPED

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In 2012, I had the privilege of visiting France during Spring Break of my junior year of high school with my fellow art students. There, we explored all there was to see in Paris, Provence, Arles, Nice, and several random towns along the way that were just breathtaking, all through EF tours. At this point in my life, I had just begun delving into my love for photography and was enrolled in AP Studio 2D Art where I put my passion to the test—and ended up receiving a 5 on my portfolio that included several photos from this trip.

After 6 years, I decided to take look at the several pictures I took and realized that I have grown a lot in my editing skills since then, especially considering I did not even know about the Adobe Lightroom software. On my spare time in the last month I have gone back to the raw photographs, and re-tone them. It’s insane what a fresh pair of eyes can do for a photograph, and how each photograph still holds so many memories from that trip.

Here are some of the shots that I remastered all around France. Several of these photos were taken while wandering the city and rural towns, others were taken at the Louvre, every angle of the Eiffel Tower, and the Pompidou. I included a couple blurbs on some pictures going into details of what I remember or where the picture was taken. Editing these photos definitely sparked my wanderlust and I cannot wait for my next overseas adventure!

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“Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” ~ Artwork by Trevor Hoag, Ph.D.

 

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to photograph the artwork of a former professor who has become a mentor to me, Dr. Trevor Hoag. Over the last few years he has mentioned in several classes that he has been working on Jackson Pollock-esque painting, and I have mentioned my passion for freelance photography, and decided to finally collaborate our talents into one project. We both understand the therapeutic benefits behind creating art, no matter what form and no matter what one is dealing with in life, and it was inspiring to discuss what drove Hoag in his Pollock/Van Gogh/cosmos adaptations, in addition to interesting painting methods he experimented with. To be honest, I don’t think I could do any of his explanations justice on here! While photographing I loved putting a light up to the paintings and revealing some of the acrylic paint that had a shine to it, adding a whole new dimension to his artwork. We even somehow managed to get philosophical and analyzed some of his art as I was taking pictures which added an additional dimension to how I viewed his artwork. All in all, I had a blast (pun somewhat intended) expanding my horizons in this art shoot, as I had never done any type of shoot like that before, as well as helping my dear friend capture his art. If you would like to learn more, visit his site here.

(title quotation by Jackson Pollock)

Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy: A Take on Orthodox Christian Easter 2018

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Every year, a week after passover according to the Julian Calendar, Orthodox Christians from around the world gather to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ during Holy Pascha, or Easter. With that, comes fasting for 40 days, long church services, beautiful hymns and liturgies, and after— lots and LOTS of lamb. That’s to put it in a nutshell, if you want a synopsis.

This year was very different from the normal Easters my family and I have celebrated together. Currently our kitchen is being renovated and is thankfully on its last week, but we weren’t able to host our “Big Fat Greek Easter” celebration like we usually do. To top it all off, everyone in the family was super off-kilter this week. Whether it was busy at work, stressed about having to prepare food AND fast during a kitchen remodeling, or in my case just having a mentally off week.

But by some miracle we pulled it altogether and had a modest celebration at my grandma (yiayia)’s house. It was so nice, the food was delicious, we ate the traditional greek bread (tsoureki) cracked the red eggs (I won!), and enjoyed eating lots of lamb, potatoes, veggies, and greek salad. For our family, this is NOTHING like the spread we would usually have!

I’m thankful that despite all the general obstacles we’ve had going on this week we were still all able to celebrate together. Here are some pictures I snapped, including some cute candies my older sister got everyone in the family.

1st Amendment Adventures: My First Rally at March For Our Lives

 

So far, 2018 has been a year of “stepping out of my comfort zone”, and I love it.

I went to my first rally with an acquaintance-turned friend, Sav, and had no idea what I was doing. Ended up having an absolutely incredible time there. I would see people rallying/protesting/marching on tv or in history classes and never really understood how empowered they must have felt… until today. As somebody who is pro-2nd amendment but believes in common sense gun laws, today was INCREDIBLE. This future generation is INCREDIBLE. The signs made by the protesters were INCREDIBLE. Everyone treated  each other respectfully, I even made a friend pictured who wore a button for every protest she’s ever been to to show that she is a strong believer in social justice. We even got to hear speeches from survivors, loved ones of victims, students, Yolanda King who happened to be MLK’s granddaughter, and so many celebrities, and got to hear singers we didn’t even know would show up (and were pleasantly surprised that they did and didn’t make it seem like a concert or that this was the reason we all gathered. A class act, literally and figuratively).

I suggest every American citizen participating in some type of civil disobedience or organized rally such as this. It is incredibly powerful and restores faith in one’s country by so much. I have lately felt hopeless but knowing that other people feel the same way about our state of the Union, makes it a lot easier to cope with, rant about, make jokes of, and help to change.

Here are some photos that I took at the extremely uplifting march. Some of these signs might be vulgar but they are just too hilarious. I kind of wish there was more to take photos of than just people’s heads and signs. but overall I like to think my first pseudo-photojournalism adventure went well.

Puppy-sitting Miss Chloe

For the last couple of weeks, I have had the privilege of acting as doggy-mom to one of my coworker’s 2 year old Miniature Schnauzer, Chloe, while she was on a business trip. She is the most adorable, well-behaved, playful, and cuddly pup ever and super enjoyable to take care of.  She is definitely an oddball sometimes but it has been really fun living with her for 2 weeks. As someone who has never owned a dog before but desperately wants to someday soon, this was really great practice and I mean she’s still happy and well-fed and nothing has gone wrong, so I would say I did alright!

Anyway, today is one of the last days I get to hang out with her, so I chased her around with my camera to get these shots. I used my Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens I just got on my Nikon d90 body, and I am in LOVE with it. I definitely hope to have more photoshoots soon, post grad life has thrown several curveballs and I’ve barely had time to do what I love. Here’s to hoping 2018 is full of adventure through a lens other than my iPhone!