In a Creative Rut

Uncategorized

I’m still trying to find my place as student and independent creative, sometimes neglecting the value in participating in and sharing my art for the love it as well! After I finish a project, I’m very hypercritical of my work and know this stops me from advancing forward. I get wrapped up in who I want to be in the future, what I want my style to look like, and what I’d like to be working on that I place less value on where I’m at now. I’m realizing more and more that my improvement will only come from continued practice and reflection, collaboration with other creative thinkers, and critique of my current work.

This summer, I challenged myself in a way that I haven’t before. I decided to take on a couple of small wedding shoots and one engagement shoot. I’m so glad to have explored a different realm of the business and without a doubt can say I’d love to incorporate working with couples as I move forward in my endeavors!

Long story short, I want to share the images/projects that I’ve been the most proud of the past couple of months. I’m releasing myself of the hypercritical eye and sharing what I love because I love it. I’m hoping to get myself out of this creative rut embrace the freedom to make “mistakes” as I look forward to working on future projects!

Top 4 Hiking Trails in Colorado

Lifestyle

Growing up in Colorado, outdoor activities and adventures have been a large part of my life. I had been on many hikes growing up, but last summer, I reignited my passion for exploring the outdoors and challenged myself to re-explore my beautiful home state.

I scoured the app Alltrails, reading reviews and receiving advice from seasoned hikers. I purchased a pair of quality hiking boots and found an adventure buddy. We averaged going on 1-3 hikes a week and compiled a list of must-see locations. From my hiking tour last summer, I’ve narrowed down this list to my four hiking trails (as of now!)

#1: Dream Lake

Ranked from easiest to most difficult, first on the list is Dream Lake located in the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, this trail is recommended for any trail goer with varying experience levels.

Dream Lake | RMNP

With popularity among families and beginner adventures because of the short distance, stable incline, yet incredibly rewarding view. I completed this hike in January of this year. While the winter weather brought about a difference with the addition of snow equipment and caution to slippery terrain creating a new challenge, the view was incredibly breathtaking. I look forward to returning this summer and witnessing the beauty of the scene in the summer months.

#2: Chicago Lakes

The next up on the list is the Chicago Lakes Trail located in Idaho Springs. The out and back trail begins from the Echo Lake loop trail (as pictured below) and quickly descends into a variety of steep declines, massive cliff walls, and meadow areas.

Chicago Lakes Trail | Idaho Springs

Along the way, you can stop at the three lakes located along with different points of the trail which all add a variety of lengths to your trek. The variety in terrain is absolutely stunning and the location is perfect being close to one of Colorado’s most popular fourteeners, Mt.Evans.

For a post hike treat, I recommend stopping at Beau Jo’s pizza to celebrate your day long trek and try dipping your pizza crust in honey! I promise it’s delicious!

#3: Herman Gulch

Located in Georgetown, Colorado, the next hike is Herman Gulch Trail. Rated as moderate-hard on difficulty level, the steep incline and elevation gain leads to Herman Lake.

Herman Gulch | Georgetown, CO

A After the initial steep ascent from the parking lot, the trail weaves in and out of trees, into small meadows with Herman Creek and mini rivers cascading across the landscape. The final segment of the path leading toward the lake is incredibly steep, but not impossible with encouragement from other hikers passing by saying “you’re so close, keep going” to “the view is worth it.”

Their sentiments are 100% accurate. The view of the lake is one of the most serene sights I’ve witnessed and brought about several moments of reflection. I encourage anyone up for the challenge to attempt this hike and gain the peaceful reward from the journey.

#4: Sky Pond

Sky Pond, located in Rocky Mountain National Park, is the final hike on my list of favorites! The 9.4 mile out and back trail, rated hard in difficulty offers stunning views through several switchbacks, multiple lake stopping points, wildflower meadows and ultimately a climb up and through a waterfall to reach the final portion of the hike.

Sky Pond | RMNP

The journey to Sky Pond tested my mental and physical limits. Climbing up a waterfall brought about a huge sense of accomplishment that confronted my fear of falling. Fellow trail goers were encouraging and friendly, willing to help one another when the climbs became difficult. The beauty of the landscape was so surreal making the long trek worth it. My advice: pack extra water and snacks, go at your own pace and enjoy every second of the journey!

This summer’s hiking season is already in full swing and I can’t wait to add to this ever-growing list of my recommended hikes and sites to see in Colorado!

Getting Started with Film Photography

Photography

The rise in film photography popularity has gained traction over the past couple of years. A trend that is aimed to be enjoyed by amateurs and experts alike. The younger generations gravitate towards the “vintage” style. Whereas the generation that grew up on this form of photography views the growing trend as a nostalgic look to the past. I purchased my first film camera two years ago and have had so much fun using it since! In my experience with learning the ins and outs of film photography, I’ve acquired valuable insight to share with others who may have a similar interest in getting started!

The Camera

The first and most important step is deciding on and purchasing the camera you will use. This medium can be fairly accessible, and depending on your level of interest changes the monetary commitment.  If you’re on a budget and not sure you want to commit the money to the hobby yet, disposable cameras are a great stepping stone! You can get a feel for the picture and winding mechanism at its simplest form while still producing some lifelong memories in the pictures you take!

Start by asking friends and family if they may have a camera tucked away somewhere that you can borrow. For a more long-term piece of equipment, I’d recommend doing a little bit of research before you invest. B&H Photo buys and sells used camera equipment. Their site is a great resource to find high-quality equipment in good and working condition.

I’d also recommend looking at marketplace sites such as Facebook Marketplace or even Depop. Some camera enthusiasts are selling their old gear on those sites. Others have listed refurbished cameras they find from a second-hand shop. Check your local thrift store (Goodwill, Salvation Army, or local second-hand shop for their selection. While this is one of the more cost-effective options, you will not be able to guarantee the camera is in working condition until you purchase it.

Regardless of the camera you choose, most will that you require to become familiar with the fundamentals of photography. Including but not limited to ISO Level, determining the depth of field, and care of equipment.

Trial and Error

In a digital age where information is available to us within seconds, patience has not always been a priority. Patience and care are essential to the art of taking photos with your new film camera. With your camera and film roll in hand, it’s time to get started taking pictures! Take pictures of anything and everything. The possibilities are endless. An adjustment period is normal when you first get started. Not being able to adore your photos and post them to social media immediately is one of the downfalls. While this is not always ideal, it’s equally exciting in the anticipation you’ll have when you develop your film, making the images even more special.

A couple of the many takeaways I’ve gained from film photography are the importance of patience and the art of letting go. Although you can manipulate settings on your camera prior to taking the shot, you do not get immediate validation that the image looks the way you intended it to. You never know the masterpiece you may create when you release a little bit of control. I recommend embracing this aspect of the art form and look forward to the uncertainty of it all!

Navigating Theatre In a Pandemic 101

Theatre

As COVID-19 has brought about many challenges for students and educators across the nation, one of the unlikely tasks the Drake Theatre Department faced was adapting to a semi-virtual format for theatre productions. With the essence of connection being a vital part of live theatre, students and faculty were encouraged to re-create this relationship between the actors and audience despite the social gathering restrictions.

Expect the Unexpected

In the fall semester, I directed the one-act show the Bling Ring as a part of the Student-Playwrighting Showcase. The show was recorded, edited, and available for streaming for a period of time following the run of the show that friends and family could view from anywhere because live audiences were restricted. With the addition of masks, the actors had to work even harder on conveying vocal inflection and body expression for their character choices to be understood on camera.

While the entire production team was grateful for the ability to still be producing theatre in a somewhat live format, the shows the Drake Theatre Department produced in the first semester were a definite learning experience for everyone involved, especially with the addition of camera usage.

Get Creative & Learn To Adapt

In preparation for the second semester, the department was able to purchase four camera lenses to use for the productions, Into the Woods and Spunk. The addition of this technology could enhance the audience’s viewing experience by being able to witness closer camera shots of the actors, and on the other hand, changing the approach to the rehearsal and technical rehearsal process. Every design department also had to think about how they may need to change their design element based on the new factor: cameras.

I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to take on the role of Assistant Director for Into The Woods. Throughout the rehearsal process, there was an emphasis on specific blocking and movement to prepare for the addition of multiple camera angles. The actors had to readjust some of their thinking, and learn to let go of “playing out to an audience.” In the end, the show was live-streamed from one theatre to another with a limited capacity of friends and family in attendance.

“I believe theatre will come back stronger than ever, and when that happens, our students will be ready to go. Theatre bonds us as a society. I tell the students every day we are so lucky to be working on a show right now and learning in classrooms.”

Erin Horst, Director

In conjunction with my love of film, I was overjoyed to have been given the opportunity to work as the director during the actual run of the show by calling the camera cues. Without the need for adaptation to a new “type” of theatre, I along with some of my other peers with an interest in film, wouldn’t have the ability to gain knowledge on filming aspects and video production.