Guess What?

So for this assignment, I decided to take a close up picture of something Marlene would keep in the saloon. It’s something that almost everyone coming in would use. I took the picture on a surface similar to one you would find in a saloon and tried to darken the lighting as it would be in a saloon. I think it turned out pretty well! I’m a little concerned no one will guess what it is, but I’m hoping it won’t be too hard! I really like the way the lighting changed the picture and I’m glad I took the picture in a saloon type setting.

So does anyone know this item Marlene keeps in the saloon?


I Danced With the Wolves and it Was Pretty Cool

So I’ve seen Dances With Wolves before and decided why not watch it again for this assignment. As I was watching and looking for different cinematic aspects, I noticed a few things. The beginning half or so of the movie does not have a ton of dialogue or anything which I think adds a lot to the film. Throughout the beginning, we see everything as Dunbar sees it, which links our emotions with his. For example, in the picture below, we see through the telescope as Dunbar sees, which brings us closer to him and makes it feel more like we are there. This is also a great example of using different lenses (in this case a fisheye-like lens) which Becoming Better Photographers suggests doing.

cinemat3Another scene that I believe brought a lot of emotion to the movie is one of the very first scenes of Dunbar on the table being taken care of. This  scene is great because you are seeing it from right behind Dunbar, which I think makes the audience feel even more like they are there and going through this with Dunbar. Being better photographers comes in again here with the moment and perspective; the point of view taken in the shot, coupled with the sight line given make it feel as though the audience is kneeling behind Dunbar, watching everything happen.

cinemat2The cinematography, from landscapes, close-ups, and point of view shots help evoke emotion in the audience throughout the movie.

It’s All About Us


Meet Sara and Jacob, a beautiful couple who are happily married. Sara and Jacob went to middle school together and quickly became best friends. In high school, Jacob asked her out and you know the rest (hint: they fall in love). They attended college in different states and while it was hard, they made it work. They got married about a month after graduation, having planned the wedding throughout the last 2 years of college. This picture was taken the summer after they both graduated. Jacob just told Sara that he bought the house of their dreams and they can move in at the end of the month.


**I found the photo on Google by typing couples in love and choosing one**

Definitely Not A Pro Photographer

Happy 4th week everyone!

So I’m thinking back on all the photographs I’ve ever taken (and there are TONS) and realizing how much I am not a photographer. I generally take pictures on vacation and, if I think about it, on birthdays or special occasions with friends. I actually wish I took more photos just to remember different occasions.

Based on Becoming Better Photographers, I only pay attention to the moment when I take photos. I sometimes look for better lighting or try to make the picture look “better” but usually I just see something I like and take a picture. After reading about becoming a better photographer, I don’t know how much I’ll really change to be honest. Mostly because I take the pictures for myself, to capture moments I want to remember – I don’t take them for other people. That being said, I may start playing with contrast and using a better lens just to make the pictures prettier/look better. I suppose i inadvertently pay attention to the light but only to the extent that I would move around until the light wasn’t messing with my picture. I think it could be cool to play around with light and see how it changes the picture itself. Storytelling and Visual Literacy had some similar ideas to becoming a better photographer but presented them differently. Eskenazi was definitely more about telling a story through photographs. While he made a lot of compelling points, I think I’ll try them out for the class but I’m not entirely sure I’ll use them in the future.

The Making of a Western Genre Expert

So this week was pretty fun, I thought! I enjoyed watching and listening to more westerns. As mentioned in my post, So You Think You Understand Westerns I have definitely learned a lot about the western genre already. I really enjoyed reading Crane’s short story The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky; I thought it was very well written and I liked the slight suspense aspect of not knowing what would happen once they got to town. I used some of my knowledge to create my character, Marlene! I had a lot of fun creating her character and deciding what her background would be. I even included a little cliffhanger since I know we are using them in the future!

The writing assignments this week were pretty fun also! I enjoyed writing a letter to myself as a child (even though I chose to write to me at 16) and writing about what my future could be like. I also created a story using articles from The Onion which was really fun! I thought my story was pretty well put together considering I tried to use article titles only and not a lot of filler.

Here are my daily creates for the week:


I had the most fun with putting a western background into my window. I used gimp and had a hard time getting it to work, but I think it turned out pretty well. I found the background through google and went from there. The other two were pretty straightforward in terms of what I had to do.


I started organizing my blog last week, so I didn’t make too many changes this week because I like the simple layout I have going. I have a feeling I may need to switch it up eventually and add some more categories or sub-pages but I think for now, I like the overall structure.

Hope you guys had a good week too!

Shape of The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky

I decided to apply Vonnegut’s Shape of Stories to The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky by Stephen Crane. The beginning of the story starts off a little above the ‘B’ axis, because clearly the couple is newly married and seems to have just come in to some money (based on the brides excitement and concern over the cost of dinner). Their story curve moves upwards some and then begins moving downward as they approach Yellow Sky and Jack worries more and more about the town’s reaction to his marriage. The curve is also moving downward because Scratchy Wilson is looking for a fight around town and Jack is the only one who can stop him, but the townspeople think he is still gone. The line plateaus for a bit because it’s “exciting” that we know Wilson and Jack are both going to Jack’s place but do not know what will happen. The shape quickly moves down when Jack and his bride arrive at Jack’s home and have guns pointed at them and then jumps back up when Wilson leaves.


Today, In America…

Iowa is preparing for presidential candidates to pass through the state and has decided the overcrowded GOP field forces them to create massive town hall stadium. Clinton’s campaign is the first to pass through the state, followed by Jeb, Sanders and Trump. The retreating Clinton campaign torched Iowa town to slow advance of Sanders volunteers. Meanwhile, across town, the Jeb Bush campaign kicks off a 3-state farewell tour with an Iowa town hall meeting. During the meeting, the Governor demands to know which star on American flag is Iowa’s, which results in an Iowan comforting sobbing Jeb Bush at town hall after the meeting. Shortly after Bush and Sanders leave Iowa, Trump’s campaign arrives. At a meeting, Trump tells Iowa dairy farmers he has cows 500 times bigger than theirs. Clearly upset by his comments, the dairy farmers leave and decide not to vote for Trump. After all the campaigns have gone through town, reporters are speaking to residents about their experience. An Iowa restaurant patron can remember every breakfast ruined by presidential candidates.



So this clearly isn’t the best story, but I tried to use exclusively article titles and as little filler as I could. I think it turned out pretty interesting! Links to articles are in the post instead of down here clumped together! I used articles from The Onion, because it is the best source for ridiculous news 🙂

Bakery Owner

Kelly Hendricks is a world famous bakery owner. She attended University of Mary Washington from 2012 to 2016 and went on to become a financial analyst. During her time at UMW, Kelly was a part of Sigma Beta Delta and Omicron Epsilon, the business and economics honor societies. She was also the Game Night committee chair for the campus programming club. After about 10 years, she decided to pursue her dream of owning a bakery.  She opened her store front in Quincy, Massachusetts with the name Muffin Top. Muffin Top quickly became one of the most popular bakeries in Quincy and even won an award for best bakery. Over the next few years, her bakery continued to grow and she had two children with her husband. After a few years, Kelly opened another shop in her hometown, Fairfax, Virginia. Now, Kelly runs her bakery in Quincy while raising her kids and occasionally does some consulting on the side.

Hey You, It’s Me in 6 Years

Hello 16 year old self!

So we are 22 now and about to graduate from the University of Mary Washington! I have some things I want to tell you about high school: don’t stress out so much! You spent a lot of time studying and stressing about classes and getting into a good school. Guess what? You did it! However, you also missed out on a lot of stuff, so I propose you relax. Go out and enjoy yourself a little more! I also want you to know that boys are not that important (and you found a pretty great one in college anyway). It’s also important that you spend time with the family, even though they drive you crazy.

So enjoy the rest of high school while you can and make sure you enjoy college too (you meet some pretty great people)!



(assignment here)

Meet Marlene!

Marlene owns a saloon in Puggville, a small town in Texas that has been mostly deserted until recently. She inherited The White Mule from her parents, who died in a tragic horse carriage accident. Now that the railroad is finished, all sorts of new folks have been showing up in her bar along with her few regulars. Business has been booming, especially since she was given a large sum of money from a young entrepreneur to expand her saloon. She is not quite sure why this man chose to help her expand but she is becoming suspicious of him, especially since he started a gambling ring in her back room. Since the construction of the railroad, the town is growing rapidly and its citizens are worried it will be taken over by its many new, often morally dubious, members.