5 Pictures Featuring Different Creative Devices

I spent a few hours this past week walking around my beautiful college campus and captured some images with my iPhone 5 digital camera. Here are a few of those pictures that involve creative devices to enhance the image:

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Shining Light. This photo was taken outside of the Arts and Sciences building on the UW campus, above a door on the outside of the building.

This image uses the creative device of contrast. The darkness of the building is contrasted by the brightness of the bulb in the center of the photo.  This creates a pleasing image to the eye and a sense of warmth that the bulb creates.

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Made of Stone. This photo was taken outside of Merica Hall on the UW campus around 1:30 p.m.

This photo uses the device of viewpoint. The perspective of this photo is what makes it unique. If I had taken the photo from a normal distance it would be a normal picture of a building. But because I was able to get closer and shoot the shot at an upward angle, it has become much more interesting.

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Off the Wall. Taken at the Biological Science Building at the University of Wyoming.

Leading line is the creative device used in this image. This is appealing to the eye because it creates a vector leading up the building and to the sky. One could also suggest symmetry as a create device with the decretive siding of the building.

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Tick Tock. Living Room decor displayed in an American household.

This image displays cropping and texture. The clock itself is not portrayed as it is in reality due to one side not being visible. This is what is considered cropping, because even though the entire subject is not captured, the viewer still knows it is a clock due to subject clues. The wall upon which the clock rests creates a visual sensor that reminds us what the bumpy texture feels like without even being there.

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Fall into Color. These flowers show that autumn is now among us. The beautiful changes in color sprinkle the UW campus on a brisk Fall day.

Color is very apparent as a creative device in this photo.  The colors are vibrant as they fill the green background in almost a polka-dot design.  The colors of the flowers (red, yellow, and orange) suggest that the flowers have began changing in the fall, giving the photo even more context, like an inferred calendar.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Having taken a photography class at the University of Wyoming, it was very hard for me to not edit the photos. I don’t believe I have a natural, raw talent at capturing photos, so I rely heavily on editing images to create even more creative devices.  Something that surprised me was how different the campus and other places I’ve known my whole life could look so different through the lens of a camera. Simply taking the time to investigate everyday sights at a deeper level really unlocked the true beauty our eyes can often overlook.

In hindsight, I would have tried to hit more notable sights on campus and given them a little different view that people aren’t used to seeing. I would have liked to work with the Rule of Thirds more because I believe it is a really effective device, but with architectural photography and not obvious subject matter, it can be difficult to apply.

Youth Football to Friday Night Lights

Laramie High School football is something rarely celebrated around the southeast corner of the great state of Wyoming.  With a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2000, not much has been worth celebrating the last 15 years. This, however, can all be changing very soon.

Fostering Development

What makes great high school programs? Is it the coaching, the amount of money the school puts into the program or the amount of time and work the team sacrifices?

The answer lies within all of these realms, but great programs do not start developing players in 9th grade.  Channeling youth sports into high school programs is the first step to building long-lasting success, and that is what Laramie Youth Football hopes to accomplish.

Travis Brown, a coach in the Laramie Youth league for the past 3 years, has had much success in developing players from the age of 10 to the time they enter junior high.

“I love that the league is competitive, but also fosters development,” Brown said. “Everyone should be getting better, not only my players, but the other teams in the league. They will all be playing together at the next levels.”

The Plainsmen football win-loss total over the past 15 years is a mere 19-74. This duration of time included many coaching changes and a lack of student population willing to join the team.

“It’s all about continuity,” Brown explained. “When a team has stability over a long period of time, it usually leads to success. Look at teams like the Spurs, Patriots, etc., they find a system and master it instead of constantly changing.”

Brown hopes the Laramie Youth League can begin implementing some concepts they will use at Laramie High School.

Success on the Horizon

Last year, the Laramie Youth Football All-Star team competed in the Snow Range Showdown Football tournament, held at War Memorial Stadium on the University of Wyoming campus. The team went 2-0 with wins over Green River (28-16) and Gillette (26-8), success the city has not been used to in quite some time.

 

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The 2015 Laramie Youth All-Star Team after a victory against Gillette during the Snowy Range Showdown last October. Photo credit to the Laramie Youth Football Facebook page.

“Coaching has made a huge difference in Laramie Youth Football,” Julie Darling, a parent of an All-Star player, said. “They push the kids to have discipline and to do things the right way, almost like they were high school athletes. The kids still have a ton of fun, but it has really changed the culture of youth football here in Laramie.”

Julie also reflected on the Laramie Plainsmen program. “It’s hard to watch the team struggle and player turn-out decrease over the years. I don’t know if it’s because of the white-collar atmosphere Laramie provides, but I believe this upcoming group of athletes can transition the school to a winning program.”

Inside Laramie Youth Football

Nobody has a better look at the league than the players within it. Jaedyn Brown, son of Travis Brown, gave great insight on what his experiences playing in the Laramie Youth league has been like.

“The coaches are all really experienced and I think that’s made us better,” the 12-year-old quarterback explained. “Also, it’s fun to be the older kid now and teach the younger kids what the coaches expect”.

Jaedyn went on to explain some of the reasons he plays the sport.

“I live for the big plays,” he said. “To practice and work really hard all week, and then to make the plays in the game is an awesome feeling.”

Making Laramie High School Football Great Again

It is no question that players play for the love of the game. Why would a child dedicate so much time to something he isn’t passionate about? This continues into the high school levels, but of course, it comes with a much bigger stage.

According to Wyoming-Football.com, the Laramie Plainsmen dominated Wyoming High School football through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, winning a total of 14 state championships during those three decades, under their infamous head coach John Deti, whom their football stadium is named after.

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John E. Deti Sr., arguably the greatest prep coach in Wyoming history. Total Win/Loss over 33 seasons (1944-1976) was 205-87-8 with 14 state championships.  Photo and statistics courtesy WyoSports.net

Travis Brown, who recently was hired as the new Laramie High School boy’s varsity basketball coach, had comments on what he sees in the future for the 4A football program.

“Now that the coaching staff has been there a few years, it’s going to make a positive difference. Like I said, continuity is important. They seem to have implemented more off-season regimens (weightlifting, conditioning, etc.) which makes a team better at the start of official practices,” Brown said.

Rebuilding a Relationship

With youth football on the rise in Laramie, it only makes sense that the high school team will follow suit, right? Wrong. The transition from the two leagues has to have all parties on board, including youth coaches, high school coaches, parents, and athletes.

Coach Brown made his opinion very clear when dealing with the matter.

“Development starts at the youth level, but the leadership starts from the top and works down. There has to be a better communication between our league’s coaches and the high school coaches. Players using the same systems at the youth level that they will use at the high school level will have much more success when they get there, rather than learning from scratch in 9th grade,” Brown explained.

The Laramie Youth League hopes that these bridges can be crossed in order to make Laramie a Wyoming football powerhouse once more.

                    (Left) A Laramie youth football player attempts to break a tackle to reach   the end-zone during a 2015 football game. Photo courtesy bommphotos.com

(Right) A Laramie Plainsmen football player is tripped up by a Sheridan Bronc during a game in 2015. Photo courtesy of WyoSports.net

Laramie Youth Athletics Gaining Notoriety As a Whole

It is safe to say that Travis Brown has solved the equation for youth athletics success, considering he has won a Little League state championship as the head coach of the Laramie Little League All-Stars, coached the Laramie AAU 12-under basketball team to a 97-31 record over a 2 year span while playing in Colorado and Utah and also winning the Laramie Youth Football championship as well as the Snowy Range Showdown.

He hopes to continue this success with the Plainsmen boys basketball team this upcoming fall and also hopes to see his youth success transition to the high school level as well.

For more information on the Laramie Youth Football League, visit LaramieYouthFootball.org.

For more information on Laramie Plainsmen football, click this link: www.acsd1.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecting the Dots: The Rubix Cube That is Politics

In an attempt to understand the complex web of ties and relationships existing in the world of politics, my colleagues and I explored an interesting website called “Connecting the Dots Behind the 2016 Presidential Candidates”.

The website was set up so that the user can scroll down the page to digest all of its information.  Therefore, we studied the site from top to bottom in that order.  Each candidate in the election had a map of the connections with other people and organizations.

In other words, the web of people, organizations, and arrows going a million different directions reminded me of a criminal detective show where the cork board at the station has a thousand pictures with string and tacks supposedly connecting the suspects to the crime.

Although the website was extremely easy to navigate, the actual content on the website was overwhelming. With so many arrows, I couldn’t really wrap my mind around the concepts in front of me.

Even though the navigation included a scroll bar, accessing the information was really convenient.  To read the content all you had to do was put the mouse arrow over the pictures to see the connections between them.

Websites like this should have simple, clean designs for the users. This is where “Connecting the Dots” laid a giant egg. It is one of the most complex designs I have ever encountered on the web for the simple reason that their are a billion arrows going every which way.

THREE THINGS THEY SHOULD NOT CHANGE

I really like how easy it is to scroll through the website. All the information is easily accessible.

I like the picture format with all the politicians faces. All you have to do is scroll over them to see their info.

The tabs above the politicians was a great idea. It really helps to cut through the clutter of the design.

THREE THINGS THEY SHOULD CHANGE

The idea of the web design is to show how interconnected politicians are. One example would be a good way of showing that, but for every politician it was overwhelming. Keeping one example would be a good idea though.

It would have been nice to have some website links that explained what certain bubble meant.

I also noticed that the website has not been updated for a while. Ted Cruz isn’t even a candidate anymore…