The Final GoodBye

Today, the final day in London, the final day of the Photo Communication study abroad. It’s very bittersweet for all of us. The day began with critique for our final projects which were very open to whatever we chose to do.

After we had a farewell lunch at Santore Italiano, where we all ate delicious Italian style pizza, then said our farewells to the Bossens family who took care of us for the past 2 weeks.

The Restaurant we ate our farewell lunch at today.

The Restaurant we ate our farewell lunch at today.

The rest of the day, I went with Sarah to see where Harry Potter filmed and then after we went to Primark to do some minor shopping. After doing some shopping, we returned back to the apartments to pack for our early returns home tomorrow. Most of us return home as others continue the journey around Europe, going to Rome and Spain.

London was a very large and beautiful city, the weather, the people and the food was remarkable.

These past 5 weeks have been stored in a special place in my memories, the friendships I’ve made shall continue at MSU, and the next journey will be just as wonderful.

Th group

Th group enjoying Pizza.

A group photo.

A group photo.

My favorite memories from the trip include the times we all enjoyed together going to local restaurants and photo exhibits. I must say, studying abroad has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I am very thankful I came along.

As We Reach the End

Today, a wonderful warm sunny Thursday began with a long photo shoot of myself with a team of Makeup artist, hairstylist, stylist and photographer. We went and shot in Wimbledon Park, a large and vast park filled with exciting views and places to sit and enjoy shade, and a fountain for birds to bathe in.

We bagan hair and makeup at 9 a.m. The stylist arrived at 11am, we took a bus to the park, and began shooting. By 3 p.m., we finished shooting after the photographer Paul Carswell had filled up 3 different memory cards.

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

After leaving the shoot, I headed to class to finish listening to Grace Robinson, 83, and her spectacular journey as a woman photographer in days when women barely had equal rights to get certain jobs, let alone become a photographer. Her stories and her photos reflected on her work and personality incredibly.

Her advise to young photographers was to live our lives when we are young, to do all the things we are determined to do, and to only go into photography if we are truly driven by it, otherwise the work load may be too harsh.

At the end of the day, we all went shooting at different locations to finish any last minute shooting and editing for tomorrow’s final critique of the program. The farewell begins tomorrow.

Adventures in England!

A Bright an early morning at 3:45am loading on the bus to go to Wilshire, England in the Salisbury area to see the historic Stonehenge stones to take photos of them at sunrise. The world heritage stones have been there since approximately 1600BC, when it was considered complete. To this day, many theories exist about how they landed there, but the world may never know the truth.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

After that we headed to the Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury. The cathedral, full of history, was so old and beautiful, there was even service taking place when we entered.

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

A little later, we were then off to see the Lacock Abbey and Fox Talbot Museum. The abbey and manor was so large and beautiful, that even in 2001 and 2002, a few Harry Potter series were recorded there.

 

Lacock Abbey courtyard, where Harry Potter films have been recorded in 2001 and 2002.

Lacock Abbey courtyard, where Harry Potter films have been recorded in 2001 and 2002.

Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey

After spending time talking to volunteers in the abbey and playing dress up with some of the clothes in the home, we were off to enjoy a delicious classic English cuisine in one of the surrounding restaurants. It was my first time eating stuffed crab and roasted pork.

Marisol, Mandy and Kristen in costume inside the Lacock Abbey

Marisol, Mandy and Kristen in costume inside the Lacock Abbey

All in all, the day was wonderful and very memorable!

A London Day to Remember

Today after sleeping in for a while longer than usual, after breakfast and brunch, we decided to take a trip to see Big Ben and the London Eye. Since these iconic sites are located fairly close to each other, we also took a short walk to see the royal palace that houses England’s royal family. There we took numerous photos and enjoyed each other’s company.

We took a few different tube lines and a bus; to be specific, a “double-decker” London bus to do some sight seeing, and enjoy the famous and well-known London bus.

After walking around in sprinkles of rain and being approached by friendly locals, we took pictures and hung out around the fountain that was in front of the palace and also took pictures of the statues that decorate the fountain and attracts tourists from all over. We also took pictures in front of the beautiful gates and the gardens around the street corner.

Will you marry me?

Will you marry me?

Big Ben

Big Ben

Palace Gates.

Palace Gates.

The Royal Palace.

The Royal Palace.

 

The garden.

The garden.

A statue in front of the Palace

A statue in front of the Palace

After seeing pieces of history, we grew hungry and took the tube to get to Regent’s University for some dinner. After entering, we were kindly reminded by a gentleman that the cafeteria closes on Saturdays. From there we turned around and boarded the tube once again, but this time to give a new restaurant in Russell Square, a try.

We arrived at Nando’s Restaurant; a place that is known for serving delicious Portuguese style chicken and delicious spices for it’s chicken.

Finally after dinner, we returned back to do some blogging and Internet surfing then a little sleep as we went to bed in anticipation for tomorrow’s historic trip.

A Busy and Very Memorable Sunday in Paris!

To begin the day, the entire crew went to the Sunday market to have a look at what kinds of things are offered at low prices. The market, located right on the Bastille corner involved many items from clothing and jewelry to French and Lebanese food.

A vendor giving free samples

A vendor giving free samples

 

Vendor selling jewelry for cheap prices

Vendor selling jewelry for cheap prices

Lebanese Food stand

Lebanese Food stand

Fresh Fish ready to go

Fresh Fish ready to go

As the day continued, many of us took time later on to attend the Tour De France race, which has been taking place in France since 1903. We watched the race at a very clear street by France’s The Louvre Museum, where some of the most famous images of the race have been taken from.  There were many people who attended the historic event and took photos of the last remaining races who have been on route for weeks.

Tour De France bikers

Tour De France bikers

Tour De France bikers

Tour De France bikers

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Tour De France bikers

Tour De France bikers

After the race, few more of us attended a concert and watched singer and musician Sophie Hunger perform a number of songs in French and English as well. She is currently on a tour around France, creating a new fan base for herself.

Sophie Hunter

Sophie Hunter

Sophie Hunter doing a duet with her back up singer and other guitarist.

Sophie Hunter doing a duet with her back up singer and other guitarist.

As the night winded down, we finished the night with some photography and editing of our assignments for the critique we have coming up in our last days in Paris.

The most memorable part of the day for me was when a small group of us enjoyed the concert. As for me, it was my first concert, which happened to be in Paris, France. To me, this was a life long memory I will always cherish.

Walking around the hot streets of France, people can never become bored, because the people of France always have numerous events taking place at one time for the pleasure of it’s people and it’s culture.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen: Optic Nerve

Carra Oteto

Arno Rafael Minkkinen: Optic Nerve

Location: Atelier De Mecanique

This exhibit was about how Minkkinen photographed his body for 40 years mixing the beauty of his body with that of different kinds of landscape. He had a seven-room exhibit with images of his legs, full body and even children and women’s bodies interacting with landscape. All of his images were mind blowing, because they really did test your mind. For some of them, I couldn’t even decipher from what was nature and what was a body part.

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His other idea was to use the camera to “spontaneously and uniquely visual impossibilities.” Being that these were all self-portraits, he did a spectacular job at interacting with nature in ways many artists have never done. He used his nude body parts and that of women and kids to illustrate how landscape and the human body share similar beauty.

Minkkinen spoke about how he wanted to explore and learn more ways on how to discover unknown compositions. I learned from him how the human body along with nature in a way that we have never imagined could create art. I also learned that self-portraits could be hard to create, depending on what kind of concept a person might decide to go after.

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One memorable image was that of Minkkinen’s back lined up with mountains in the background. The lines in the image were so powerful and noticeable it amazed me. I also liked the contrast between his skin and the water and mountains behind him. It was so original it made me almost wish I were the one who created the image. This single image basically demonstrated his entire exhibit. Everything about it was pure art.

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This image described the title, an Optic Nerve.

Erik Kessels: Album Beauty And More

Carra Oteto

Erik Kessels: Album Beauty and 24HRS of Photos

Location: Palais del’Archevêché.

During Arles’ Black Festival, as we all went through many exhibitions, I fell in love with the large and beautiful images of thousands of photos collected by the vernacular photography collector who took time to collect family album photos from garage sales and markets in different places around the world. His exhibit included many series of oversized photo albums and frames of photos. His work was very impressive because of the set up and the simplicity of collecting photos, something we all do regularly without thinking much of.

Kessels’ main goal for his work was to tell about the photo album era and how it is now being replaced by digital photography being posted regularly on social networking sites and simply living in hard drives. He also wanted to show how people can find beauty within old and forgotten photos that many families had stored away with nobody to admire.

I learned how scale can make a difference in how a person views an image. Since his gallery involved many enlarged giant photos and photo albums, I felt intimidated by their size. I also kind of felt in place, because I was the size of the item I was photographing. It was very mind blowing.

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He also had another corner to his exhibit that was called, 24Hours of Photography, which was an entire room with a large pile of thousands of photos that are normally uploaded onto social media sites within a 24-hour period of time. His point was to show what we normally do in today’s society and how big of a difference it is to a regular photo album that houses a much smaller amount of photos.

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One image that caught my attention most of all was that of a large frame of a young woman smiling, and a smaller photo of an older woman smirking in a frame in front of her. The image was beautiful to me, because it showed such a contrast in age, size and time. I was also drawn to it, because the young girl was just so beautiful.

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