Some of the best experiences Goucher College made possible for me were ones that happened thousands of miles away. Given Goucher’s international sensibility and study abroad requirement, I had many opportunities for travel, both nationally and internationally.
To fulfill my requirement, I studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina in January 2010 for a four-week intensive Spanish language program. What a trip. Living with a wonderful host family during my stay there, I was immersed in Argentine culture and learned the value of living without some of the luxuries that are easy to take for granted back home. I also left with a group of close friends from around the United States.
In retrospect, I wish I had been able to go abroad for an entire semester. It would have been impossible to do without missing a tennis season, but had I stayed there for three or four months, I’m confident that I would have achieved fluency in Spanish. That still remains a goal of mine.
I also visited a good friend of mine in Germany, traveled to Poland and the Czech Republic, and participated in a Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel this past January.
Finally, tennis team Spring break training trips took me to Virginia, North Carolina, and California, and I had many shorter visits to other parts of the country throughout the past four years.
There’s always lots of discussion about Goucher’s abroad requirements. There are certainly challenges to working around 1,400 plus students’ travel plans. In my view, though, this is one of the best things Goucher has going for it.
My external hard drive fell off a table in the middle of this past semester, causing me to temporarily be without some 49,000 photographs that I had taken over the years. Luckily, a genius at a tiny computer store was able to recover all of them.
Getting all those images back right before the new year, I thought this would be a great opportunity to look back on what I’ve done this past year.
It’s been an amazing year and I’m thankful for everyone who has made it so special.
This slideshow isn’t meant to be a portfolio. Rather, it’s a collection of my favorite images from my most memorable and enjoyable moments this year.
Happy New Year!
The Quindecim published its seventh issue of the year last Friday, completing an unprecedented semester for this publication.
Last week also happened to be the week before finals, so we were all swamped with essays, presentations, projects, and exams to prepare for. I’m not quire sure how we pulled this together by deadline time on top of all that, but we did. What’s more, the content is just as strong as any other issue we’ve put out this semester.
In fact, thinking back, it’s amazing that we got these newspapers out so regularly, given our busy schedules.
Hitting these deadlines cost me lots of lost sleep and added stress, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. The lessons I’ve learned have been incredibly valuable, and it’s exciting to think about continuing next semester.
I took a Video Production class this semester. In light of the huge number of vandalisms and alcohol or drug related incidents on campus this semester, our final project for the class was to create a video public service announcement addressing one issue of the problem.
We decided to shoot a 30 second spot advising people to abstain from drinking Four Loko, the popular alcoholic energy beverage that has recently been banned in several states including Maryland.
We had four people in our group, so we decided to dress as “The Four Lokos” ourselves. We also wanted to mimic the style of John Landis’ 1986 film, “The Three Amigos.”
I think we did a fine job, considering our tight budget which was strictly dedicated to those ridiculous sombreros and mustaches.
I’m told that when I saw New York City for the first time as a little boy, I looked out the window and said something along the lines of, “What is this pile of junk?”
Obviously, my thoughts have changed since then.
Yesterday I was sent to New York City to speak on a panel for Goucher College. The reception was at the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle.
Amidst the crazy schedule I had, I found a few moments to walk through the streets with my camera. I wish I could have stayed out there and shot all night. The city is so alive. It’s got an energy that I sometimes feel Baltimore lacks.
So, I take it back. New York City is definitely not a pile of junk.
I was only able to shoot the first half of this dress rehearsal, which I was pretty upset about because it seemed like the second half was going to make for photographs that were much more visually interesting.
Which is not to say that the first half wasn’t visually interesting. It really was. The costumes were elaborate and the lighting was dramatic. I just couldn’t seem to shoot much that I was that happy with.
It being the end of the semester, I’m working on a lot of things right now. I’ve also been feeling under the weather this week, which hasn’t helped. I don’t think my head was totally into this shoot last night.
I did like this frame, though.
If someone had taken this exact photograph 21 years ago to date, the ground would have been covered in snow and the leaves would have all been gone.
My mom reminded me this year that, on the day after I was born, she could see snow on the ground outside her hospital window as she ate Thanksgiving dinner.
I wanted to snap this photograph so I had a record of what a beautiful day it was on my birthday this year.
It’s been a great 21 years!
In light of the recent increase in alcohol and drug-related incidents on campus at Goucher College this year, there’s been lots of dialogue on how to improve the situation.
One suggestion that I’ve heard many times is to build a better relationship between students and Facilities Management Services (FMS), as they’re the ones cleaning up the messes that are being made so much.
We decided to run a profile in The Quindecim on Mr. Raymond West, the one who is on-call round the clock every weekend. He gets called to campus regularly, at all hours of the night, to come clean up a student’s vomit, repair something that’s been broken, or pick up trash that people have left behind.
My hope is that with this upcoming article and a nice photograph like this one, we as students think about those who are taking care of us a bit more. If we actually know who people like Mr. West are, I think we’d be less likely to commit so many of these senseless acts.
We published another great issue of The Quindecim today. It’s twenty pages of accurate, relevant, and interesting content. We also hit our deadline under immense pressure as the end of the semester rapidly approaches.
For me, this issue was physically and emotionally draining. It took a lot out of me. What matters, though, is that seeing 1,500 copies of the newspaper being delivered to our newsroom today made all the hard work worthwhile.
I’ll write more after we publish our seventh issue, the final one of this incredible semester!
Besides the basics, I don’t understand anything that relates to Science or Mathematics in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I’m so unfamiliar with the Hoffberger Science building at Goucher that it took me nearly ten minutes to find the room to take this photograph.
I was sent to David Blockstein’s presentation to a Biology class as a photographer, but as I was shooting, I found myself genuinely interested in what he was saying. He spoke about environmental issues, a speech I’ve heard time and time again at Goucher. But he was able to talk about the problems we face more effectively, in my opinion, than anyone else I’ve heard.
As this presentation was directed to young people preparing to enter the world that exist beyond Goucher’s campus, one of his main points was that no matter one’s occupation, the skills that come along with that occupation can be used to improve the situation.
So it got me thinking: What is the role of the photojournalist in saving the planet?
The latest issue of The Quindecim has been distributed around campus.
This issue is the best evidence this year of how far we’ve come since last. We’ve established credibility as a source of news through the first four issues, and we’ve now become something that people expect and look forward to every two weeks.
Issue 5 is comprised of 20 pages of well-written, informative articles and beautiful photographs. More importantly, we reported on the biggest stories of the year. These aren’t about famous speakers who visited campus or huge plans for new building renovations. Rather, they’re about issues that directly affect students on a daily basis.
I urge Goucher students to pick up The Quindecim, educate yourselves with the facts, and contribute to the campus conversation.
We worked harder on this issue than on any other this year, and I’m extremely proud of my Editors and staff for producing such a great product. There are some mistakes which some members of my staff have brought to my attention.
As the Editor-In-Chief, I take full responsibility for those mistakes, and I sincerely apologize.
That being said, what’s most important is that the the facts published in this issue are accurate and verified. What matters most is that right now, we as students have some larger, more important problems in our community to fix.
The Quindecim remains dedicated to doing their part in helping to do so.
I decided to post this photograph because it relates to the most pressing issue on Goucher’s campus right now. Through October 24th, 145 alcohol and drug-related incidents were reported by the Office of Public Safety. That’s an increase from 66 through that date last year.
The full story can be read here.
I quickly snapped this photograph while I was talking to some residents of the Tuttle dorm. I’m going to be covering this beat for The Quindecim for the rest of the semester. My goal is to do my part to improve the situation by publicizing the issue as much as possible and providing the campus with consistent and accurate information relevant to these problems.
I’ve developed a nice portfolio of plays, musicals, and theatre productions throughout my time at Goucher, but it hasn’t come easily.
When I first started shooting assignments like this, I failed every time. I had lots of difficulty with lighting, composition, detail, and sharpness. I remember coming out of those events feeling down about my ability as a photographer.
But, as with any hobby or profession, practice makes perfect. Low lighting remains a challenge, but I’ve learned to use it as a tool to make more dramatic photographs. Compositionally, I’ve learned to keep it simple. I often strictly follow the rule of thirds for close-up shots like this one. Most importantly, the action doesn’t seem to happen as quickly to me now. I’ve gotten much better at picking out the most expressive moments in these performances.
Animal Farm was the first performance I’ve shot this semester, and I’m glad to have gotten back into it.
I shot this dress rehearsal on the night of one of the craziest, busiest, most newsworthy days I can remember as a student here. By the time of the rehearsal, I just wanted to go to sleep, but I went and shot anyway. Once the lights went down and I started snapping, I forgot about everything else from the day. It’s fascinating how photography has the power to serve as a complete escape in the midst of craziness.