Highlighted in this video is artist Ryan Crawford. You may recognize the name from my Top 5 Climbing Areas post, as Ryan contributed a quote and a photo for the post. Aside from his pottery, Ryan boasts many talents, including his climbing.
I decided to highlight his incredible work and tell the story of his process, inspirations, and goals as an artist. Being a student, he studies ceramics at the University of Wyoming, and by surrounding himself with the vast amount of talent found at the art department, he is increasingly producing higher quality works. To see some of these excellent pieces on display, check out Ryan’s art Instagram account as he posts some of his more intricate pieces.
As far as my experience making this film, I tried to take a lot of my inspiration from VICE videos and their profiles on interesting people. Those films are really well done, and the stories are always great. So for my own video, I put the story first, I had a great subject, so it was relatively easy to put forward the story to the clips. Art is always an interesting thing to look at, so the shots in the film were easy to obtain as I filmed what I would’ve looked at had the cameras not been a factor.
With that being said, the part I did not enjoy was the editing and combing of these clips. It was tedious to make sure the progression of the process of him creating was in order so one shot was the beginning of the process and the next was the final piece. Also, I had a LOT of footage, and it was tough to condense it down into the required 4 minutes.
What I wish I would have done a little differently was create a better plan for the shots. I had what I thought was a thorough plan, however, Ryan’s process was very quick and I had to take what I could get. I didn’t get to utilize all of the tools in my arsenal that I brought that day, and I think I could’ve done a lot better if I had another shot, but the clay was gone, and the art had been created. It was a one and done type deal.
I’ve always had an affinity for the art of filming and videography, and I could really see myself utilizing it within a journalistic career as a supplemental to written stories, similar to my inspiration of VICE. However, I could also see myself creating stand alone video content with the skill I have learned and developed in and out of this course.
Instagram can be a fantastic way for journalists to promote their stories, get their name out there, and interact directly with readers. However, with this being said, there is definitely a right and wrong way to do things when it comes to Instagram.
Previously, my experience with Instagram was very limited, and my knowledge of Canva was even less.
However, when I created posts for my new Instagram page, I very deliberately made the choice for the design of each post to be the same. First, all the colors, fonts, and layouts matched each other. But most importantly, all the fonts, colors, and layouts matched that of my blog website, giving the reader continuity when they found the Instagram and and followed the link provided there.
Challenges of this assignment included things like, how difficult and how many hoops you have to jump through just to create and Instagram account. Verifying email addresses, confirming passwords, it’s all a little too excessive.
During this project, I was very surprised by the engagement I received on the posts. I expected to have the posts “liked” by my girlfriend when I shared the account with her, however, I didn’t not expect several others to be liking, commenting and interacting with my posts. Checking the stats on this blog, the link in my Instagram bio was used 4 times today, all from individuals that I didn’t know. The power of a hashtag goes a long way.
Throughout a professional career, utilizing things like Instagram will be a large part of my personal career. I plan to do things exactly like this assignment, promotion of work that I’ve done. Also, if it calls for it, a career in new and social media might be on my plate. I’m prepared to operate any social media for companies as that time comes.
The digital age is in full force, and in order for journalists to not be left in the dust of computers and cell phones, they must adapt and learn to conquer the digital world just the way they conquered the print world.
If you’re a climber from Wyoming, you have definitely heard of a little town called Lander. If you’re not a climber from Wyoming, the fact that a small town of 7,000 people has some of the best climbing in the world may be elusive to you.
Whether you’re a seasoned climber, or a newbie trying to stumble across some cool spots, these are 5 of my favorite locales for doing all sorts of climbing from bouldering to sport climbing in or near Lander, Wyoming.
This is a list for everyone. A list for the best climbers. A list for the novice climber. A list for the person who likes to enjoy everything this area has to offer.
1. The Cabin Boulders
The cabin boulders are very accessible and very secluded in the same vein. Located at the base of the loop road in Sinks Canyon state park, you will find yourself immersed in a boulder field less than 50 yards from the banks of the mighty Popo Agie river.
The cabin boulders are an excellent spot to begin climbing, or hone the craft as it offers bouldering problems ranging in difficulty. They are also one of the best kept secrets on this list, so you will rarely run into fellow climbers if you prefer to be alone with a friend or two.
“It’s a gorgeous little spot at the top of Sinks Canyon. Perfect for staying out of the sun while getting some good routes in.” said avid Cabin Boulders visitor Ryan Crawford (pictured below).
2. Wild Iris
Simply put, Wild Iris is what put Lander on the map in the climbing world. There is even an outdoor store named after this legendary spot. A short 20 minute drive from the town of Lander will present you with the 283 different routes Wild Iris has to offer. While the vast majority of these routes are sport routes, (rope, harness, and belayer for the uninitiated) you will also find an array of boulder problems to try your luck on. If you are so inclined, the dirt capped parking lot at the base of all of it offers free overnight camping for the climbers who need more than a day to enjoy all that this gorgeous location has to offer.
“Wild Iris has some of the best limestone, and is perfect for climbers of all abilities. Home of the country’s first 5.14, the crag attracts climbers from around the world”, said local climbing enthusiast, Hannah Skinner.
3. The Dolomite Band
The dolomite band is the most difficult spot to get to on this list. A hike up from the parking lot off the main road in the state park traverses a very steep hillside. Once you reach the top, near the top of the canyon wall, you will find a pristine ring of dolomite smudged with chalk from past conquerers of the routes it offers.
A top the hillside, you will see the road winding its way down the rest of the canyon, parallel to the Popo Agie river. There is also a wonderful view of the south face of the canyon, lined with Douglas fir and lodgepole pine trees.
“Because of the vegetation shift from summer to winter, and the canyon walls getting direct sunlight, climbers are able to enjoy what Sinks Canyon has to offer all year round” said Lander native and climber Nesto Lowham.
4. Elemental Climbing Gym
The Elemental Climbing Gym located on Lincoln street in the town of Lander offers a perfect opportunity for beginners and experts alike. Small in area, the creators of this gym keep it jam packed with fresh routes, and training. Warm your fingers up on the various hang boards located around the gym before trying the problem you’ve been eyeing all week while the snow quietly falls outside.
For the beginners, Elemental offers climbing instruction by experienced, talented climbers and all gear you need to get started available for rent. For the advanced climber, there are a multitude of challenging routes, some even impossible, for you to hop on and really work on your climbing form before it’s time to go out and find some nice granite.
5. Falls Trail Boulders
The falls trail offer the least intensive climbing experience on this list, however, I included it simply because of the hike itself. While on the approach to the small number of climbable boulders on this trail, you will run across some breathtaking views. The likes of which include a swimming hole with a natural waterslide near the top of the hike.
This, of course, is not a comprehensive list of all the climbing around the beautiful city of Lander, Wyoming, however it is an introduction to 5 of my favorite places to go when I need a fix of climbing.
Lander has much to offer in the outdoor scene, but most of all, it offers climbing areas that are the envy of the world.
Today, we will take a listen to Payton Thomas as he recounts memories from his favorite vacation. Payton has been a good friend of mine for a few years now, and has always had a knack for telling stories and speaking comfortably. When I needed someone to tell an interesting tale, I knew just who to call.
Throughout this interview I felt very comfortable. I felt this way for a couple reasons, first, because Payton is a good friend of mine, so talking with him was not an awkward experience at all, and second, I’ve interviewed some higher profile individuals before with an audio recorder, so this was nothing out of the ordinary to me.
Again, taking the portrait was an easy part of this assignment as Payton is a close friend so asking or the act itself did not pose any problems.
The most difficult part of this assignment however, was the editing portion. Taking a 5 minute clip and trimming it down to 2 minutes was very tough. I went through and did a rough edit, only taking out my voice and some blank spaces, and I thought that would be enough. Turns out that only took about a minute off the total length. I did not enjoy editing it further, because I felt as though some of the story was lost. This was the only real surprise of this assignment because when it was first given to me, I thought the editing part would be a quick cut job, but as it turns out, it took quite a lot of effort and meticulous work.
Utilizing audio interviews in the future is something I am very interested in and anticipate in my career. Wanting to become a journalist, this is sort of an expectation as it is the most efficient way to garner quotes for stories, and make sure as a writer you don’t miss anything the subject has to say. Aside from my career, I am interested in the idea of creating and maintaining a podcast. Actually, after I did this profile with Payton, we discussed creating our own.
Overall, this was a good assignment as it opened my eyes to the possibilities that audio can bring. From basic interview formats, to edited down stories, there are many things someone can do with an audio file.
Atmosphere Mountainworks is a fixture in the Laramie downtown shopping scene. Appealing to outdoors centric people as well as consumers interested in handmade fashion, Atmosphere proves to be a well rounded shop.
Nestled in a glowing downtown, Atmosphere is a quaint little store, with many surprises that lie inside.
“Atmosphere is a good place to find outdoor gear that is sustainably made and local. Both of which are important to me.” said a customer entering the store on a rainy Tuesday.
While there, inside, you will find an amazing atmosphere (pun intended), and shelves filled to the brim of any and all outdoor gear, cut and sew custom clothing.
Atmosphere’s flagship product is known as “The Climber Bag”. This is a vibrantly bright colored backpack, handmade in house, just upstairs. In addition to this bag, they make fanny packs, jackets, and fleece lined pants. There is also a large selection of hand done screen printed merchandise with the Atmosphere logo branded on.
If you’re lucky, you might also encounter one of the shop dogs that hangout with the sewing team.
Cut and Sew
The cut and sew aspect of the business is the main claim to fame. They take what are known as remnant rolls, (which are extra material purchased by larger conglomerates) and create vibrant patterns on bags, pants, coats, and other outdoor gear.
“If some name brand orders 4000 yards of Polartek fleece…Polartek might make 4040 yards of fabric, and so they’ll have a bolt of 40 yards that’s extra and we buy that at a big discount.” said owner Lindsay Olson.
They use these remnant rolls to not only save money from a business perspective, thus lowering prices, Atmosphere is also very conscientious of the waste they produce, even going as far as reusing shipping bags as bags for the consumer to take their new purchase home in.
Atmosphere has been around for a very long time, previously known as Bradley Mountainwear, and changing hands a few times and transitioning into Atmosphere. Just recently, ownership changed hands once again to Lindsay Olson and her husband. Lindsay had previously worked at Atmosphere during the previous ownership, so the transition was an easy and obvious one.
“We’re familiar with the business, we’ve been involved in the business, and I have a passion for designing gear and the creative aspect of it.” said Lindsay Olson.
Although ownership has changed, Atmosphere strives to provide the quality goods customers had grown accustomed to.
The business goals of Atmosphere are remaining largely the same under the new management, to provide the same quality product and service.
Atmosphere Mountainworks is a glowing business in downtown Laramie. Atmosphere has created a rapport with the local community as being a trustworthy business that creates a good quality product.
“The people who own the place are very helpful with anything. They also make some really great products.” another customer said.
Atmosphere appeals too many different people within the community of Laramie. Ranging anywhere from the weathered outdoorsman looking for gear for the next expedition, to the new college student looking for a cool new sweatshirt, they have something for everyone.
Photojournalism has always been a subject that has piqued my interest. I have never fully understood the nuances of it (I still am not fully educated) but after discussing it for a while in class, I’ve realized it’s a lot more work than I had originally thought.
One such thing is there are different categories of photojournalism such as sports action, feature photos, spot news photos and even a series of photos that tell a larger story. For this piece I’ve decided to highlight a couple sports action photos, and concluding with a small collection of photos to create a domestic photo story.
Regarding the sports photos at the beginning, I decided to take myself to the Half Acre Gym and try to catch an Intramural game. I showed up just as the game was beginning, so I was able to capture much of the game. Capturing sports action proved to be very difficult. Getting something interesting to happen in front of your lens is a matter of luck and positioning yourself beforehand attempting to judge what will happen. Even then, if you have the perfect angle of the perfect shot, you only have a split second to capture it, and if the settings on your camera are not perfect, you have to move on to the next shot. As far as creative devices go for these shots, I attempted to utilize the full frame by using tools like cropping.
Now, to discuss the domestic photo story about the artwork in downtown Laramie. I decided to immerse myself as best I could, by just walking around the area for a while, shooting everything I could see that I thought would help me tell the story. The shots with the people were by far the most difficult to capture because, as is with the sports shots, you only have a certain window of time before you miss the opportunity for a good shot. I attempted to utilize as many creative devices as I could such as rule of thirds, color and balancing elements in order to find the best possible photo I could. However, despite all of this, the most difficult part was coming up with a story and telling that story through a short series of photos.
Photojournalism is a difficult, rewarding topic to study and to partake in. Photography in and of itself is a difficult craft, now add the element of storytelling with those photos, it becomes a whole different animal with new difficulties and challenges.
Just like any art, photography can be looked at subjectively and seen as “good” by any one person. However, there are a few things, devices, and techniques that can be looked for that make an objectively “good” photo.
Some of these devices we see that make a good photo include things like; leading lines (something to draw your eye around the frame), the rule of thirds (the positioning of main subjects on a grid in the frame), texture, use of focus to draw attention specifically, etc. etc.
For this post, I’ve attempted to capture five images that represent these devices and utilize them to make the best photos I can.
This first image, Standing Alone was captured near Centennial Wyoming on a chilly, sunny February Saturday. A basic image at first glance, as we look closer there are a couple of creative devices of photography at play here. The dominant in this photo is most clearly the use of focus. The close focus on the lone branch extending provides an ambiguous background than makes the subject stand out. With the combination of the rule-of-thirds device, this image creates depth and forces the viewer to see the main subject of the frame.
This shot Word of Warning, has a few simple devices at play. The most dominant is the rule of thirds, with the right third including the sign, and the left fading into the mountain creating a sense of depth at the same time. Some other factors that are not as obvious are the use of leading lines, with the barbed wire leading out of the sign and drawing attention to the mountains.
This photo, Abandoned, was tough to not only capture, but also to identify the use of creative devices. I saw this barn while driving, and pulled over at the next closest available spot, about a half a mile down the road. I then had to walk up the icy highway, camera in tow, to capture this. By then, my mind was focused on getting out of the stiff wind, and I wasn’t able to fully think through the devices. However, after looking, I realized there are naturally a few at play here. The most dominant being contrast. The contrast between the dark green in the trees, and the bight white in the fresh, untouched snow. Another device that really adds to the image are the leading lines on the right side of the frame, the highway specifically. It leads your eye to the barn and then mysteriously vanishes around a steep, snow covered hill.
This is a curious shot. Entitled, Jungle in a Room, because of it’s capture location. The UW conservatory provides a home to many plant life, including the feature draping across some freshly soaked rocks. Creative devices at play here are the rule of thirds, and some slight framing with the green plants surrounding the deep blacks of the rocks. That contrast is the most dominant element in this photo. The light green colors are accentuated by the shimmering blacks nearby. It provides the eye with an easy subject to focus on.
The device at play in Prickly Pines should be an obvious one. Texture is at the forefront of this image. As mentioned before the UW Conservatory offers a home to many varieties of floral life. This little guy was planted, and forgotten at the base of a much larger cactus. The close focus of this image does not provide much detail to its surroundings creating an element of mystery and keeping viewers interested in a seemingly basic image.
This assignment was challenging in the way that it is very difficult for me to write about a particular photo. This was surprising after taking photography classes in the past, and learning early in this semester the specific creative devices to look out for.
3 months ago I was sitting on my couch at home, browsing the course registry, looking for classes to take this semester, and I stumble upon one entitled “Multimedia Production” offered in the spring. The title itself was enough to draw me in and intrigue me. After I read the course description however, I knew this was the one I needed to take. I registered immediately.
Now, even though I knew this was the class I needed to take, and knew a little of what would be done, I had no idea what to expect. So, I took a look back at past students work to really get an idea of what was ahead of me. What I found intrigued me.
I looked through the multitude of blogs from previous years on the class website. I quickly browsed a few, and became excited for a few things. What I noticed first was how the writing skill of these individuals dramatically increased, something I would very much like to see in my own writing. The next thing I noticed was the photo assignments. Recently, I’ve taken a photography course, and developed an affliction for the craft. A way to showcase photography and write about it is exactly what I want.
After reading through the syllabus, it seems as though the assignments have changed since the 2014 blogs I glossed through. For instance, the syllabus mentions a video assignment, the likes of which I did not see on the previous blogs. However, this interests me even more, because of my love for photos, what can be better than that? Moving pictures! I’ve always had an interest in video production but never had the gumption to do anything about it.
As far as what is on the docket for my own personal production this semester, I haven’t looked deep into events this semester, however, being a college town, I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for report-worthy events that I will surely attend to get the most out of this class, honing not only reporting skill, but journalistic skill as well.
I am slightly nervous about a few things leading into this course. Firstly is the amount of content that will seemingly be produced. Just by sheer amount, it seems like each week will be a heavy load with a lot of pressure. This is something that is a catch-22, being I am both nervous and ecstatic about. Another thing I am nervous about is breaking out of my comfort zone to find good quality things to report on. What I mean by this is, as a naturally introverted individual, it can prove difficult, personally, to interact with people at events, and get the best possible result. This is also another thing I am very excited for because I feel as though this course is the push I need to break free from the shackles of my own mind.