Bought a new Canon camera on Black Friday. So the logical action was to get out there and use it as soon as possible. Being the dead of winter, it is harder to get out and photograph, especially if you live in a place where the air hurts your face. But I did go. First I went to an indoor butterfly garden in Ames, Iowa. The second place I drove to is called "The Ledges." It is a fantastic place to see carved out rocks and large ledges filled with trees and walking paths. Unfortunately it was closed when I got there. This often happens when the area fills with water after a rain or if the roads are icy. Sadly, I was forced to turn around, but I had the opportunity to photography the horses living around the area, and my favorite silo.
All in all, I don't think it was a bad day for photography. I do however want to go and buy new lens for my new camera now. A wide angle and a macro. Mmmmm.....how delicious would that be?
Still waiting on word about the smaller grant I applied for. In the meantime, I have been super busy. A week and a half ago, I gave a talk in front of all my faculty peers at LSUS about my research. I was among a few others that spoke as well. The cool thing about the talk was that we only had 5 minutes to discuss our research and only three slides.
I was originally going to talk about my thesis research and its new developments but instead, I decided to talk about my photography research. I met a lot of new faculty on campus I hadn't had a chance to work with yet. One in particular had a huge impact on me. Dr. Emmanuel Clottey. I found a cool link about him (link here). Feel free to check it out. Dr. Clottey is a fantastic person and a wonder to talk to and learn from. He inspires those around him and builds people up.
After I gave my talk Dr. Clottey reached out to me and complimented my work and suggested we talk about how it could go even further. I am proud to say that he has given my work new direction and I look forward to sharing that research and development with you here.
Keep checking in to see the progress. I am so excited, it is all I have been thinking about. Dr. Clottey mentioned he hoped that I would succeed and do great things. He hoped that by talking to me that I would find peace as well as excitement each morning I wake up with this new direction for my research and so far his hopes are coming true. I feel rejuvenated and excited to begin a new research project that is paired with my love of photography.
The last week in October was a exciting one for me. I wrote and developed to grants and submitted them. I am so very happy to have been given the chance to do this while at LSU Shreveport. I developed one grant that is part of BoRSF. Below is the link. My grant was a department enhancement grant for $31,000. The grant would benefit the department of Arts and Media here at LSUS. It focuses on bringing in more equipment to replace the broken photography equipment and to help develop a photography studio so that students are able to photograph, packaging, portfolio and work on projects.
I also developed another grant that is based on helping show my work at the Bossier Arts Council next year and to help in the publication of my book, "Louisiana Forgotten." It is my goal to move that book from self publishing to being done by a actual publisher to cut down on costs and allow for hopefully the expansion of the book to hold more images and ramblings.
I will keep everyone updated on where the grants are throughout the semester. Hopefully fingers crossed it will all be good news. If it isn't, I won't give up. I love writing grants and I love making a difference.
Till next time!
I had the pleasure of speaking in front of so many talented faculty members and students today as part of the LSUS Faculty Showcase. I presented my work on my research, "Louisiana Forgotten." I had such a great experience with this showcase. It has already led to a collaboration between myself and another faculty member here at LSU Shreveport. I am looking forward greatly to working with Dr. Emmanuel Clottey. I also learned so much about the people who teach here at LSU Shreveport and their impact on their fields of study and their students.
Hey all! I recently decided to create a Patreon account for talking about photography. On the account I will discuss different camera models, how to shoot, how to use your digital camera. I will also show my images that you will see no where else except for on the Patreon account. You can purchase prints or my book as well. As I reach more followers, I will begin to do interviews with fans and followers. Answer questions and give shout outs to people who either pay for the highest Tier or get drawn out of hat for special events! Here is a link to the page! Or you can click it on the right hand side of this page where it says "Become a Patron!"
I am really excited about this and can't wait to have this become more than what it is right now. Below is a video created for the page as a welcome. :) Hope to see some of you there!
In my second year of teaching at LSUS I had the chance to work on another fun project. The project involved taking a large room and turning it into a dynamic lab that is better suited to student's learning and appeal to incoming students. The project began in Bronson Hall's 111 room and is the room where a lot of the basic design courses are offered. This room is large and had a wonderful chance to become a very engaging room. When I first started at LSUS the room was dark, the organization could have been better, and the equipment was becoming a little haggard. The tables were a mix match of old brown wooden desks that had been passed on from one department to the other over the years. The computers had been running for many many years and were on their last life.
One week a few weeks into the semester while I was teaching class in that room, three different computers went down. One had completely killed its own hard-drive, while the others were having graphic card type issues and wouldn't update the adobe programs.
It was also the same day as the computers going down that I heard about a grant that was due at the end of the day by chance. I sat down and promptly wrote a grant letter/application requesting $44,000 for new computers, internet drops, and magnetic white boards whiteboards. The grant was with the Noel Foundation. The Noel Foundation, Inc. supports the community by funding select projects that benefit the community, that provide opportunities for individuals, and that generate positive recognition for the Foundation. Priorities for civic projects include education, social services and community development.
A few weeks later Dr. Leitz who worked with the Noel Library came to my officeand said, "You got your money for your money." I stood there for just a moment and took it in. I couldn't believe it! My first response to him was "Can I give you a hug? You just made my semester." He said later, if we need money for programs too to just let him know. How cool was that? I was beyond disbelief. Still at time can't believe it happened.
The semester before the grant, I had an idea to try to make the room seem more appealing by having the walls carry some color. It was then I put out a call to current and past students to submit ideas for a mural to cover three of the walls in this long dark room. I wanted the space to be engaging. When a room is painted black with no windows, it tends to feel very sobering. Designer shouldn't have to work in sobering conditions. Over the course of time the room began to perk up. We found money for new tables and chairs and that is when the room began to transform. Check out the pictures below to see the transition of the dark bat cave that just needed a little love and time.
I am very proud of this room. Proud of all the effort put into it, by the grants, the competitions for a mural, work by the students and in the well thought-out setup. I am proud to teach in this room I helped develop from a room with stains on the floor and cobwebs on the ceiling. It is my hope that this room will run for many years and only continue to become more grand.