HSI Reflection

The photography in this class has been particularly interesting. I’ve enjoyed learning how to make my pictures look at least semi-decent. This will be an useful skill in my personal life, now I can take better pictures of the important things in my world. I also enjoyed our conversations about media literacy, this is an extremely relevant topic in our digital world. Keeping a blog was an interesting experience. It was pretty interesting to look at everyone’s blogs and read their thoughts.

In my video design class we learned how to use Adobe Premier. We also questioned the meaning of art by looking at some experimental and mundane material. This class also allowed me to build relationships with some people that I might not have spent time around otherwise. It was fun to see everyone’s unique take on video art.

I really liked the improv seminar. Everyone was absolutely hilarious. The games were fun and I think that everyone really enjoyed themselves.

Hopefully I’ll be able to stay in touch with some of the kids I’ve met here. They’re really neat people.

Living in the dorms was an enlightening experience. I feel like it gave me a pretty good glimpse of what life in college will be like. I liked the food at Washakie, especially the salad bar.

Hopefully I’ll be able to convince some of the upcoming sophomores to apply to HSI next year.


Advertising and Social Media

Social media is a tool that can be used to network, connect, and engage with other people. It’s also an excellent way to advertise. Social media allows me to keep in touch with my family that lives across the country and my friends when they have to move. I participate in social media with the knowledge that I will be targeted with advertisements. I know that when I engage with social media data is being collected about my preferences. I know that this data can and will be used. I know that some people and organizations pan for comments, clicks, and likes because the more of those they get, the more money they make. I’m fully aware that when I engage with most things on social media that I’m helping someone make a living.

Those who are out to make a living through advertisement and marketing on social media post things that they know will get a response. Because of this, I consider my ‘like’ to be a vote. Anytime I choose to engage with something on social media, I am casting a vote to see more things like it. When I choose to scroll past something, I am saying that I do not want that type of thing on my feed. Generally, I choose to disengage.

Although it can be annoying at times, I do not consider this integration of social media and marketing to be a bad thing. I recognize that these companies are just out to make a profit in a monetary society. I think that it’s an excellent marketing strategy to get the consumer to work for you. The video tried to make this appear deceptive, but I don’t think that it is because we all know that it happens.

Snowy Range Photos

Yesterday we spent a few hours at the Snowy Range Mountains, it was a beautiful landscape. I appreciated that there was snow in June. We saw lots of dogs and that was fantastic. It was overall a very pleasant environment.

The texture of the wood against the texture of the bark is very interesting.
This image reminds me of a fairy tale. The trees look like a magical entryway to an enchanted land.
This little bit of moss was very fuzzy, and fuzzy is a good thing.
This picture uses the rule of thirds. The star is unique.
This poor door had fallen off of its hinges.
I like this close up of the rocks because it could be perceived as the side of a mountain.
This image uses framing.
There’s alot of neat texture happening in this picture.
I love the lighting in this picture. The snow reminds me of storm clouds.

Conservatory Photos

We went to the Williams Conservatory on the University of Wyoming’s campus. They have hundreds of brilliant species from all around the world. The plants were absolutely gorgeous and it was interesting to see where the botanists work. My favorite plants were the succulents and the responsive plants.

I like the texture in this picture.
The colors and patterns here are particularly captivating. The light centers in the leaves add an interesting element.
This is a piece of equipment that the botanists were using.
This image is a closeup of a giant cactus.
These succulents reminded me of stepping stones.
I like this picture because it’s drained of all glamour. Raising plants is not an easy task.
The little spikes on this cactus are interesting to me.
There’s alot of pattern in this photo.
The lighting in this picture draws attention to the Venus Fly Trap’s vibrant green.
This unique pattern is from a tabletop.
I like the grating texture of the hairs and how that contrasts the gentle pastel colors.
I think that this photo uses the rule of thirds nicely.
This is a top view of some succulents.

Media Diet

I consume media every day, just like I consume food every day. I generally scroll through social media in the morning and then again before I go to bed. Periodically, I browse Pinterest.  I listen to a lot of music throughout the day. I occasionally read the newspaper. Sometimes I watch a movie at the theater or on Netflix.

When I use social media I’m usually very aware of the ads that pop up and news stories that I see. I know that most of those things are marketed by companies who are trying to make a profit. As someone that enjoys psychology, I can appreciate the ingenuity of their marketing techniques while taking the messages with a grain of salt. In terms of the things that my friends post, I see a lot of variety. I see both very liberal and very conservative ideas. This allows me to consider many sides of an issue when I decide what I believe.

When I use Pinterest I see a whole multitude of things ranging from crafts to quotes to societal commentary. Pinterest is unique because it shows you things that are similar to what you’ve looked at before, this gives me a lot of control over what types of things I see. I generally see a lot of positive things on Pinterest because I only click on positive things. This particular media has been especially useful in helping me to be aware of the media that I consume because there are a lot pins about media literacy.

When I listen to music I usually listen to the songs that I’ve downloaded or Pandora. This gives me control over the music that I listen to. I can hand pick a playlist from my i-tunes music. On Pandora they play songs that are similar to what I’ve liked before and they stop playing things that I’ve disliked in the past. I have a strict policy when it comes to music, I refuse to listen to anything that objectifies people. I like for my music to have a purpose. I don’t enjoy songs about romance or drinking. I fine tune the music media that I consume so that it meets my needs and accommodates my interests.

When it comes to movies I generally watch things with purposeful content. I watch movies that emphasize things like bravery, equality, family, love, diversity, and hope.

I do not regularly use any news services. The news generally focuses on the negative. When I hear about a news event indirectly, if I feel that it is important enough, I look it up and read a variety of articles on the topic from different sources.

When my parents watch the news I might tune in. They use a few different channels, but all of them are very conservative. It would be a good thing for us to look at news events from other perspectives.

Media can serve us in a variety of ways. It can be a tool for us to connect with other people and it can help us to stay in the know. However, it’s important that we are aware of the media that we consume.

WY Tribune Eagle

We had the opportunity to visit and tour the Wyoming Tribune Eagle facility. Our goal was to take fascinating photos that captured the behind the scenes of making a newspaper. We met some of the journalists and the mechanics. We learned about their roles in producing the newspaper.

The journalists asked for our input on how to grab the attention of young people. We recommended that they make use of popular social medias like Snap Chat and Instagram. In our fast-paced lives we don’t want to sit down with a cup of coffee to read the paper. We want portable and easily accessible news.

Afterwards we ate lunch at the depot. This location is an important part of Cheyenne’s history. The railroad allowed Cheyenne’s population to grow in order to become a town.

These notes are from the desk of a busy journalist.
I like this photo because she looks genuinley happy.
The texture of the bricks in this picture capture the viewer’s attention.
In this picture the students are taking a break for lunch.
This bookshelf is in an office just next to the printing press.
This photo uses the rule of thirds nicely.
The elegant red chair contrasts the factory type environment.
This photo uses framing.
In this image we see another happy worker.
The box of donuts humanizes the workers.
A lot of the wiring throughout the printing press was exposed.
This board was splattered with ink.


Vedauwoo Photography Trip

On Wednesday we took pictures in an environment that is controlled by humans, today we took pictures in an atmosphere that has been sculpted by nature. Vedauwoo is gorgeous, my pictures don’t do it justice.

I had an excellent time climbing on the rocks and interacting with the world around me.

This image focuses on the unique texture of the caterpillar to draw the viewer’s attention.
There is contrast between the grey and green in this picture.
The position of the trees in this image adds depth to the photo.
The sun is behind the tree, this creates a sort of silhouette.
There’s definitely a focus on texture and depth here.
The trees in this image become a point of comparison for the mountain.
This image quite literally uses balance.
Texture is the center of attention in this image. The bark and the wood both have very distinct textures.
The crevice in this image is framed by the boulders on either side.
This close-up uses color and texture to hold the viewer’s eye.


The most important thing that I learned about photography today: “slow and steady wins the race.” When we take pictures it’s a good idea to work in slow motion, this gives us enough time to take care of all the small details. A picture is made up of little bits. If we can make the minor pieces work, then we’ll improve the overall quality of the photograph.

There is balance between the cigar and the hole. The deep black of the hole contrasts the trashcan’s light grey.
The lamp and window balance each other. The grain of the wood provides depth.
The spikes in this image lead the viewer’s eyes. The texture is visually engaging.
This picture uses an interesting angle. The pins of different heights provide depth.
This image uses framing to emphasize the ‘K.’ There is also an interesting texture.

The Journey Begins

I chose to apply for the University of Wyoming’s HSI (High School summer Institute) simply because I’ve heard wonderful things about it. I liked the idea of living on campus for a few weeks and taking interesting classes. Additionally, I thought that it sounded like a great opportunity to meet other academically inclined students from around the state.

While I’m here, I’d like to learn about a diverse array of viewpoints. I would like to understand the experiences of people outside of my little Cheyenne-bubble. I want become more appreciative of the rich and complex lives of the people around me.

Up to this point, my HSI experience has been pretty good. I like the people, the food, the seminars, and the folks in charge. I’m looking forward to going more in depth in the classes, and I love that there’s a rock climbing wall. Life’s good!


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