Monday, May 24, 2010

Some of my most favorite books: Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery, Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Defnition of a Name: by UrbanDctionary

a danielle is a girl whos really short.
a danielle loves to slap people
she has an AMAZINGG personatlity.
you'll be lucky to be even her friend
shes very friendly and kind at times
she loves to hug people
she smells really good
she has the best lips ever in a girl
shes a girl who you would want for your whole life
shes beautiful in many ways
shes may have flaws but who doesnt?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OK so I'm really bad at this whole Project 365 thing since either I forget to take pictures that day or I fall asleep before I get to upload my photos so I'm just going to put up a bunch of pictures I've taken throughout the week and I guess that's how I'll do it because I really do suck at this. So here are some photos I've taken that really stood out to me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Project 365: Catching Up!!!

May 14, 2010
After a lovely day of playing hooky, my friend took me to this spot to hang out. It's behind these railroad tracks a little inside of the brush, but if you bring a blanket and just lay it out there, the little hideaway is so quiet and secluded and relaxing. It's officially one of my new favourite places.

May 15, 2010
My brother's girlfriend had an ice skating competition that I decided to go to to start getting some sport photography experience and found out that it is very difficult. I actually did manage to get, what would have been, some nice shots except that I don't have the right size lens for this kind of photography. Out of all the pictures, though, this is my favourite. Even though it is blurry I feel it has the essence of a great picture, and if it doesn't well, oh well, I like it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I just got my new Canon Rebel this week and I've been messing around with it trying to learn how to use it. I figured I'd start my 365 project with a self portrait of myself, even though I look gross after school. Normally I'm more photogenic but still I really liked this photo for some reason. You know how people say that artists paint people the way they see them? Well, I think this photo looks exactly the way I see myself: not ugly necessarily, but not out of this world, beautiful, kinda plain and tired. So it's my painting of myself I guess. I also liked this photo because it reminded me of the head-shots I've seen or the pictures of the authors on the backs of books.

Project 365

Project 365 is a sort of challenge where the photographer is expected to take at least one photo a day. You can take as many as you like, but you post one. Like this, you can view your entire year in pictures as well as make sure you are practicing your photography. The photos can be absolutely anything from a portrait, self-portrait, or a snapshot of you life. As long as the photo is taken by you, it counts.

Why do it?
Taking a photo a day is a big undertaking with big payoffs. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider doing it:

  • Imagine being able to look back at any day of your year and recall what you did, who you met, what you learned… (Often we find it hard to remember what we did just yesterday or even last night, let alone a whole year ago!)
  • Your year-long photo album will be an amazing way to document your travels and accomplishments, your haircuts and relationships. Time moves surprisingly fast.
  • Taking a photo a day will make you a better photographer. Using your camera every day will help you learn its limits. You will get better at composing your shots, you’ll start to care about lighting, and you’ll become more creative with your photography when you’re forced to come up with something new every single day.

Tips on How to Do It

Here are six tips on how to create your own Project 365:

  1. Bring Your Camera Everywhere
    Yes, everywhere. Get in the habit. Grocery stores, restaurants, parties, work, and school. Going to a movie theatre? Snap a pic of the flick with your phone–there are photo-ops everywhere. If you have one of those tiny tiny cameras, you have no excuse not to have it in your pocket all the time. And if you don’t? Camera phones are a great substitute.
  2. Make Posting Easy
    You can install blog software like Movable Type or Wordpress on your own site and create an entry for each photo, but for true ease of use, try a photo sharing site. Flickr will let you post a week’s worth of photos in 2 minutes flat, and fotolog and are geared toward a photo-a-day workflow. Making it fast and easy means you’re much more likely to do it.
  3. Vary Your Themes
    Try to capture the day’s events in a single photo. Perform photographic experiments. Take a photo of someone new you meet, something you ate for the first time, or something you just learned how to do. Take a photo of something that made you smile. And don’t forget to take a photo of yourself at least once a month so you can remember how you’ve changed, too.
  4. Tell a Story
    Use your blog entry, or your photo description, to explain what’s going on in each day’s photograph. How good did that dinner taste? What made you want to take a photo of that stranger? It’ll help you remember down the road, and it gives friends following along a better appreciation of why you took the photo you did. You don’t need to write a lot, just enough to add some color.
  5. Don’t Stop, No Matter What
    This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You will get tired of taking a photo every single day. Some days, you will consider giving up. Don’t. The end result is worth the effort. Remind yourself why you wanted to do it in first place. There will be times you’ll think there’s nothing interesting left to take a photo of, and times you’ll think you didn’t do anything exciting enough to take a photo of. There’s always a great photo to be made.
    Get out of the house and take a walk. Or stay inside and look around. Take a photo of something important to you. Take a photo of the inside of your house so you can see how your taste has changed over the years. Take a photo of anything, just don’t stop.
    N.b. It helps if you’ve told your friends about the project and asked them to follow along. Their encouragement will keep you going!
  6. Post early, post often
    Plan on going through and posting your photos at least once a week so you don’t get backlogged and feel overwhelmed. Ideally, post every day or two. Again, spend the time up front to make sure it’s quick and easy to post. It’ll make all the difference.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Im sitting in class right now totally beyond belief bored witha stomach ache and stuffy nose and a boring book so nothing to do... I hate days like these.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Canon Rebel Tx

It turns out my godmother's fiance had a Canon Rebel lying about that he had only used for about a year before he boxed it up, still in perfect condition. Guess who he sold it to for $200!!!??? M-E spells ME!!!! That's right I finally have a decent camera. Actually it's really nice. I'm beyond excited about it. I can't stop looking at it. Right now, the battery is dead so I can't use it, but I've put it to charge over night and I can not wait to be using that thing. As soon as I can I'll post a picture of the beauty. So SO SOOOOO excited!!!! :)


My brother is a little bit of a pyromaniac and he likes to fire-spin. Yesterday was Mother's Day and he decided to put on a little show for everyone. It was really cool and a great photo op. I can not wait till In have a really good camera and a tripod so I can take them again. It look "sick as fuck" as my brother puts it. Here's the photos after I messed with them a little on Photoshop, just messing with their brightness, contrast, saturation, hue and stuff. I finally learned about ISO and was able to set it at the right level so I could take good photos in the dark. Now I just have need the good camera so that my night photos aren't so grainy and a tripod so that the photos don't come out blurry.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


The fleas are killing me. They're everywhere! And it's like my family doesn't even want to try and get them to go away. Yes, I understand that we love our animals, but they are the reason behind the current infestation in our house. I thought it was agreed that that cat wouldn't be allowed in the house until the flea problem was rid of. Apparently not so. So I have to continue scratching in agony, killing bugs, getting blood on my hands, being irritated and waking up every morning with bug bites all over my legs. Unpleasant!

 A flea is the most disgusting, annoying, repugnant, foul, loathsome creature in the whole planet according to me. For all I care they can rot in hell. I know they say that every creature has a purpose in this Earth, but honestly: What does a flea contribute? Disease? Annoyance? Filth? Craziness?! These are not helpful to society. Harmful! That's all a flea is. Uncontrollable and Ugly.

And then when someone hears you have a flea problem at your house, it's like all of a sudden you've developed a plague. It's not my fault the Earth is retarded and created the little nuisances! I never got a say in it! I feel the nature should be a democracy. All the living creatures should have a vote as to what creatures and living things should exist or be made. I'm positive fleas would not be around today if that were to be so.

I tried to google how fleas possibly contribute to nature and I found absolutely zilch! Heres the best answer I found from

"Fleas have no purpose as we would understand it, they don't create anything, they don't have culture nor civilization, they simply exist. I suppose you could argue from the same premise for humanity, "why do we exist? What purpose do we have?". Fleas are simply creatures that have evolved to fill an ecological niche. If they have any purpose at all that pupose is simply to exist. Just like us.

Fleas are a part of a broader ecological niche, they carry and transmit viruses and diseases, they are also hosts to other even smaller creatures such as mites, and those mites carry around even smaller creatures themselves."

Except I disagree with this person. I think we exist fro more than just existing. We are more than fleas. That's why we can kill them. We're population control and we grow plants that help the environment (or we could), etc.

Either way, I feel it is totally useless for fleas to exist and suggest a genocide on all flea species.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Making a Compost Pile: Essential articles and commentary on compost and the composting process

Making a Compost Pile: Essential articles and commentary on compost and the composting process

Square Foot Gardening

My cousin recently contacted me to let me know that she had some "baby plants" that she had no space for and if I perhaps would like to start a garden and she could donate them to me. This has been a dream of mine for a very long time. I don't know exactly why, but it has been and now it is finally to be fulfilled.

I think everyone should create a garden and I also think everyone is capable of it. Especially with this thing my cousin told me about called square foot gardening, where basically you make a box 4ft x 4ft dived into 1ft x 1ft squares so that each plant is separated. Like this you can grow, tomatoes, herbs, squashes, fruits and beans in an organized fashion and since the garden is small, it is easier to take care of, the plants are easy to water and all you need is a space big enough for a 4x4 box.

There are a lot of really great benefits to growing your own garden, even if you just start with a few plants. The food you buy in markets is highly contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals like preservatives that aren't really that good for you. By growing your own veggies you control what chemicals are going into your body, eat healthier, food tastes better, and gardening is a great form of relaxation and discipline. Also, after your garden is finished, you have something to be proud of, almost like a child. Not to mention, square foot gardens are attempting to stop world hunger which has become a serious problem especially in third world countries where governments do not have enough money to pay for subsidized farming (which should be OK since that's bad for us anyway...)

I am going to be starting my square foot garden very soon. First I have to gather the materials to make the box, the soil, the seeds and germinated plants I will be planting, and then I have to build the box and then I'm set. I guess it could be somewhat of a project for discipline and living a healthier lifestyle.

If you are interested in the benefits and how to start you own square foot garden here are some links to help you get started:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Things to Consider Before You Clicke the Shutter

  1. What mode do I want to shoot in? Manual, AP, SP, Auto or a pre-programed mode?
  2. If I’m using a pre-set, what F-Stop or Shutter Speed am I going to use?
  3. What format do I want to shoot in RAW or jpeg?
  4. What’s my ISO? Is it fast/slow enough?
  5. Too grainy for the shot?
  6. What White Balance am I set on?
  7. Do I need to set custom White Balance?
  8. Did I bring my 18% Grey Card?
  9. What Metering Mode should I be on?
  10. What Colour setting do I need?
  11. Am I going to use Manual or Auto Focus?
  12. Do I want to Bracket the shot?
  13. Am I going to use a Flash?
  14. And how am I going to use it?
  15. What story am I trying to tell?
  16. Do I need to change lenses?
  17. If so, which one?
  18. Am I shooting in Landscape or Portrait perspective, or even a jaunty angle?
  19. Do I need to use a Tripod?
  20. Will I use the Rule of Thirds or break it?
  21. What other rules should I be following?
  22. Are there Leading Lines I can use in the shot?
  23. What about finding an S-curve for the leading line?
  24. Is there any thing I can use to Frame my picture? e.g. Tree branches.
  25. Will I change this to B&W, Sepia or something else post production?
  26. Do I have a Focal Point?
  27. Is my subject Moving or Stationary?
  28. For Moving Subjects, do I want to Pan the shot, Blur the background or Blur the subject?
  29. Is there a Pattern I can pick up on?
  30. How’s the lighting?  Are the shadows strong or weak?
  31. Do I want to emphasize them?
  32. Is the light too strong?
  33. Will it wash out detail?
  34. Is my horizon straight?
  35. Can I get this at a better angle?
  36. Should I wait for better lighting?
  37. What does the light meter read?
  38. Should I increase shutter speed or open up the aperture?
  39. Is it in focus?
  40. Did I just miss a great shot?
*This list was found on Digital Photography School

Monday, May 3, 2010

So Many Choices, Such a Big Decision...Decision Made!

Today I opened my e-mails and found two acceptance letters to both Florida International University (which is very close to my home) and University of Central Florida (four hours away. After believing all this time that I was going to have to attend community college for two years, this is such a relief to me and yet such a mission. Now I have to choose between two excellent schools.

The decision isn't too hard to make once I looked at the pros and cons of attending each school.

Pros for Attending FIU:
  • Do not have to pay extra to rent a room or stay in dorms
  • Do not have to pay for food
  • Staying near friends
  • Great School with good credentials
  • Offers programs I am interested in studying
  • Can save up for study abroad programs
  • Gives me time to save money to buy a car, camera equipment and for living expenses after college
Cons for Attending FIU:
  • Close to home, staying with family, not leaving the nest, etc.
  • In Miami; I hate Miami
  • Not getting the full college experience
Pros for Attending UCF:
  • Great School with great credentials
  • Beautiful campus that I am in love with
  • Has programs that I am interested in pursuing
  • Living on my own, four hours away from home
  • Not too expensive
  • Starting early
Cons for Attending UCF:
  • Must get a job up there.
  • Costs more than FIU, especially because of living expenses.
  • Must have a car for graduation which means waiting on a camera and the start of my photography career.
  • Less friends in Orlando, loneliness can be a bitch.
  • Cannot participate in Study Abroad Programs because of having to pay extra for living expenses
As you can see, the amount of cons for UCF is startling. Honestly, if money wasn't an issue, UCF would be the first and only choice. I absolutely love that school: its location, programs, campus life, dorms, food, entertainment, etc. However, going to UCF would mean taking out a student loan and not being able to go to study abroad and working my butt off on top of school, rather than having work be second fiddle to school. As a result, FIU seems to be the best option for me and if it turns out that by my junior year I can or want to transfer to UCF and I have the means to most of my credits, if not all of them would transfer to other state schools.

So I shall be attending Florida International University for approximately the next four years of my life, presumably attaining a BFA in Visual Arts with a track in Photography and minoring in Entrepeneurship.

Congratulations Danielle Fox. You have been accepted at Florida International University for the Fall Term 2010. FIU, here I come!

Our Hands: Art Project

Since I'm being given a lovely SLR camera for graduation I decided I should start planning a project of some sorts to start getting familiar with it and learn how to use it. I came up with an idea called our hands. A black and white photography piece. In it I will show all the ways we use our hands. I'm not positive yet whether it will be closeups so you can't see the models faces or if its just going to be shots of actions that you do with your hands... Maybe a mixture of both?? Well, anyway, I can sort of see it in my head. I'd want the pictures to either be a little dark or with a very strong contrast. Now I need to start thinking of all the thing we do with our hands.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tips for a Photo Walk (found on Digital Photography School)

1. Pick a Date:
Yes, it sounds presumptive to pick a date, but it really is a good starting place because it makes it easier for people to know if they'll be around. You may want to pick a few dates (different times, days of the week, etc) and figure out which one works the best for the most people. But it's also, as one person in my photo walk group in the past said, a good way to put a stake in the ground and let people know you're planning. It also goes back to the first part of what I said, people know if they're available and can also organise to make themselves available.

2. Pick a Place to Start: It sounds premature to pick a place to start, but selecting a meeting place is also really good. You might want to meet somewhere beforehand for coffee or a light meal to give people time to arrive and get to know each other, and food is a great way to do that. Make sure you pick somewhere close to where you'll be walking and try to select something that isn't cost prohibitive. We've had someone organising walks who kept picking a place that was a little out of budget for most of us, and that definitely kept people away. So knowing that is good. It's also good to pick a place to start where you can mull around a bit to wait for late comers. I suggest waiting about 15-20 minutes from the time set just to make sure everyone who's going to arrive does so.

3. Pick a Place to Walk: I know, you're going to say why should I pick a place when I don't know if there's any interest? But when it comes down to it, people often like something a bit more specific than "Wellington" or "London". It may be because they work in a particular part of town, it may be because they are really fond of the type of subject matter that tends to come up, it may just be because often times it makes us feel a little more sure of what's going on. I'm not suggesting a google map with a specific route laid out, but something more general. You can even suggest the type of photography that's well suited to the area. For example, if you're suggesting a part of town known for interesting people, why not suggest a meet based on street photography.

3a. Pick a Topic: This isn't always necessary, but we've had some great meets that focused almost entirely on one topic where we all learned a bit about it together or all got out of our comfort zone. For example, a model shoot where the leader organises for a model to be present. Or another one I've done is a Portraits for Chocolate shoot where we set up a few colourful backgrounds and offered people chocolate in exchange for taking their photos. Those are the kind of topics where you learn something new and can take away even more than just the fun, social aspect of going out with a group of people.

4. Pick an Ending Location: This doesn't always happen depending on what kind of walk you're going on. Night walks, in my experience, less frequently have an ending location because of time. But it's handy to know if your walk will circle around so people can park their cars closer to the start or if they need to park somewhere between the start and finish. And it's also handy for those people who get rides to and from the location. You might also consider finishing the walk somewhere near public transportation, just in case.

5. Set Up a Place to Share: That can be in a thread on Facebook , that could be a Flickr Group, it could be something else altogether, but it's great to be able to see the various shots that people in your group took, all in one place.

FSPA Journalism Convention in Tampa

So I tried to update this blog while I was away this weekend in Tampa for the state journalism convention, but for some reason, fancy hotels think you should pay for wireless internet on top of the exorbitant prices you are paying for the room when even a crappy Days Inn provides free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Well, anyway, so now is when I can finally update.

So, as I was saying, this past weekend I was in Tampa for FSPA where I learned a lot of journalistic skills, things I can do to help our school publication, visited the University of Tampa, and even visited the city of Downtown Tampa. All in all, it was an amazing trip and I had a blast while learning an awful lot.

At FSPA we took part in these seminars where I learned about the convergence of news media, photoshop skills, getting jobs in journalism and sports photography and how to get the best effects. These seminars gave me an idea of what I would want to do if I were to have a career in journalism.communications.

I definitely am not a news writer. It's not something I really want to do, I'm not passionate bout it, but I really do have a passion for meeting and interviewing people as well as photography. Something that is becoming very important in the new convergence of media. There were all these really cool slide-shows the advisers showed us of picture slideshows with audio behind them of either background noise or interview with the subject. Something I think I would be very capable of doing and actually enjoy doing. So I still think a career in journalism is feasible for me.

I also learned a lot about photography, like what kind of lenses to use for certain things and that shutter speed and ISO need to be controlled for certain photographs and that flash photography is harsh and unnecessary unless you are photographing sports because it stops the action and then it is only  effective if the action is close enough to receive the flash. But that got me into thinking that I need a new camera... a good one. So im going to write up a wish list of things I want for graduation since it seems that I will be living at home for college in any case.

This is the Nikon D300S. $1,699.95 It comes with:

  • EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-18a Quick Charger
  • UC-E4 USB Cable
  • EG-D2 Video Cable
  • AN-DC4 Strap
  • BM-8 LCD monitor cover
  • Body cap
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • DK-23 Rubber Eyecup
  • Software Suite CD-ROM

 The Sony A380. $1050 (two lens kit) Although the A230 and A330 are fine as well and are cheaper.

The Canon EOS50D. $1099.99. It comes with:

EOS 50D Body
Eyecup Eb
Wide Neck Strap EW-EOS 50D
Video Cable VC-100 (D)
USB Interface Cable IFC-200U
Battery Pack BP-511A
Battery Charger CG-580
"Great Photography is Easy" Booklet and "Do More with Macro" Booklet
EOS Digital Solution CD
Software Instruction Manual

Nikon D90. $899. This one was recommended to me by my cousin. I looked up the specs and it seems like more of a possibility than the D300S. Comes with:

  • EN-EL3e Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-18a Quick Charger
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • DK-21 Rubber Eyecup
  • UC-E4 USB Cable
  • EG-D2 Audio Video Cable
  • AN-DC1 Camera Strap
  • BM-10 LCD Monitor Cover
  • Body Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • Software Suite CD-ROM
 The Camera my cousin has is a Nikon D60. $649.95. Comes with:
  • EN-EL9 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-23 Quick Charger
  • UC-E4 USB Cable
  • DK-20 Rubber Eyecup
  • AN-DC1 Camera Strap
  • BF-1A Body Cap
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • Software Suite CD-ROM

Pentax K-x. $599.95 for black, red, navy blue or white camera. $649.95 for the green, blue, purple or orange camera. Comes with:
  • K-x Black
  • DA L 18-55
  • Software CD-ROM S-SW99
  • USB Cable I-USB7
  • Strap O-ST53
  • Hotshoe Cover FK
  • Eyecup FQ
  • Body Mount cover
  • AA lithium batteries (*4) 

The Pentax actually seems to be a really good camera for the best price out there, which means that considering that I payed less for the camera, I would have money to buy a tripod, external flash or extra lenses. 
In any case, I need a good digital SLR camera and these are my options. Taking the advice of one of the speakers at the convention I plan to create business cards and start photographing events for pay during the summer and building a repertoire for myself. I'll start with little things like family parties, but I hope to eventually do maybe bigger weddings or other events like sports games, recitals, Broadway shows, etc. And I think I can do it. Why not? Someone has to. It may as well be me.
At FSPA I also made the decision that I am not going to study journalism necessarily. I don't have to. I can major in something completely opposite and still have a career in photojournalism. So I think I am going to get a degree in business management and minor in photography/photojournalism. But first I am going to go to Miami Dade College. At least for my Associates degree, which I will do in photography. After all, I'm just going to be taking classes that I'll have to take at any other four year university except I'll be paying more for it. And then after my two years are up and I've hopefully made a little money, I'll go to a unversity (not sure which one yet) and I'll make my start there.
All in all, FSPA was an amazing experience for me. I had fun and learned a lot and now I am planning for my future.
 *This is a photo of me and some of my newspaper staff colleagues as we had fun in Downtown Tampa.