Photos from My Phone (V.)

It’s been months since my last update – the semester came and went, and is nearly over. And though I’ve done some light traveling in the past month, I must admit that I am starting to get rusty with both my blog-writing and photography skills!

I’ve sat down a few times to write an update, but each time I do so, I don’t seem to be into the subject I was writing about. I had some photos from Kansas City, MO that I was going to make into a post, but I just didn’t know what to write and how to approach the subject. I will probably write a photo-dump post soon to reflect on my (hopefully) growth as a photographer in the past year.

For the first few months of moving back to school, I had left my charger for my camera at home. I procrastinated on buying a replacement charger (which literally only costs $7 on Amazon), and instead used my phone’s camera a bunch. With the new camera software updates from Android, I’ve been able to experiment with some new camera modes (i.e. the selective focus mode – which is akin to iPhone’s Portrait mode).

I didn’t think much of these photos until I saw Camila Cabello’s Havana music video in vertical mode, directed by Sam Lecca. (I actually love this video so much more than the original music video, which I thought was kind of boring and forgettable.) I was really inspired by the unconventional use of a vertical filming and it made me realize the potential we each hold in our compact cell phones!

So I selected some of my favorite photos and I played around in VSCO with some new filter packs that I purchased (Vibrant Classics and the Aesthetic series). I’ve been able to snap some pretty cool pictures with my phone, since it’s always on hand and I never miss a beat! While Marcus (my Pentax KS-2) delivers superior quality, I find that, in general, people tend to be more receptive to the camera on a phone than the lens of a heavy-duty camera. Some of my favorite portraits have been from my phone. (Plus, a phone is generally more inconspicuous than a camera, so it makes taking sneaky candids way easier.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this set of photos – and don’t forget to let me know what you think!

Fin.

Writer’s notes: 
1. Curious about the specs of the photos? Or want to see them in greater detail — click on the photos to enlarge and learn more technical information about them.
2. Triva: the cats in the last set of phots are actually two different cats!
3. I’ve been playing around with the theme of the blog — let me know if you have any thoughts about the dark background. I think it helps to make the photos pop, but I’m worried that it will compromise readability. LMK what you think!

Advertisements

Oh, the places I’ll go?

As a second-semester junior, I am expected to have the next part of my life charted out. Some of my peers have the rest of their lives planned: where they want to go to graduate school, and to study what, and in which area they envision themselves settling down.

I can’t say the same. Up until three months ago, I didn’t even know if I wanted to go to medical school. I have no immediate plans to take the MCAT, still have two remaining pre-med classes to take, and have no dream medical school.

I knew I wanted to take a gap year after graduating, but I didn’t know to do what or to go where.

Trying to map my future feels like trying to complete a 9×9 Sudoku puzzle with only 3 clues. The possibilities are endless, and anything can be an answer.

Most of the time, I am pretty good at taking life one step at a time. But some days, I am overwhelmed by the thoughts of the future – immediate and distant. These last three weeks have been especially difficult.

As the semester begins to wrap up, I am confronted with a mountain of schoolwork and exams, as well as extracurricular commitments that have built up. This is the immediate hurdle I must overcome.

At the same time, this is no regular semester – it is my third to last semester as an undergraduate. At the conclusion of next semester, some of my peers will know where they will be spending their next four years as a graduate student. In the semester after that, we will be graduating college, and heading off to another bigger, and hopefully better, chapter of our lives.

Much of the planning, then, takes place this semester. Much of this planning, though, feels like grasping for air – much time wasted, but very little gained, if at all.

Fortunately, I am now at a much better place than I was three months ago.

In the upcoming year, I will be working to attain a Master’s degree in Bioethics. In my near future, I see a career as an ethicist, which lines up neatly with the bulk of the research I have been doing in the last three years.

And hopefully, one day not too far away, I will attend medical school and ultimately become a neurosurgeon or neurologist.

As the dust settles, I am starting to see a path.

I am reminded of a Chinese idiom, “车到山前必有路,船到桥头自然直。” The literal translation is, “When the train gets to the mountain, there will be a way; when the boat gets to the pier-head, it will go straight with the current.”

Things are finally starting to fall into place. I am beginning to have a direction in life, and can rest easy that I have an ultimate goal I’d like to achieve.

But very little of this was planned. I ended up in Cleveland for college because all of my other plans fell through. I joined a sorority on a hunch. I applied for the Bioethics program on a whim.

Still, the old Chinese idiom was right – when you get to the mountain, there will be a path.

For some people, this path is planned. But for me, it is forged, one step at a time.

Fin.

Writer’s Note:
Some translators equate the Chinese idiom with the English saying, “We’ll cross the bridge when we get to it.” I personally think that these two sayings convey slightly different messages.