Monday, September 29, 2014

Darkroom Photography

Happy Monday!

Top: underexposed print
Bottom: slightly less underexposed print
Sometimes it takes a couple of tries!
My Darkroom photography class is quickly becoming a favorite this semester. I took it on a whim, wanting an art class that fit my schedule. I took a digital photography class in high school, but had no idea how to use a 30mm camera. I had never even seen one before class this semester. Luckily, Professor Douglas had us using our cameras proficiently before the end of the second class.

The class meets from 9:45-12:45 on Monday in Sloane Hall on North Campus. I live on North in Purtill Hall this year, so Monday is great because I can wake up at 9:30 if I wanted. Class is just two buildings down for me! In class so far, we have learned the history of photography (so interesting!), how to use a 30mm camera, how to develop film, and we have just started making prints.

Contact sheet of a roll I shot! featuring my sister
This class has been a challenge for me. I am definitely not the most precise person, and working in the darkroom requires a lot of precision. You have to have your water at 68* and a 1:9 ratio of developer to water and agitate at precise intervals. There are many variables at play and at first I found it overwhelming. I can mess it up in so many ways, by creasing the negatives which ruins the image or exposing the paper for too long and it turns black.

Working in the darkroom was also daunting. Everything just seems so much tenser because the lights are off and you're relying on your hands to tell you what needs to be done. However, I have come to really enjoy the rhythm of working in the dark room with the radio on. After awhile, your eyes adjust to the darkness and it is just SO gratifying to see a picture develop when you place it in the chemicals.

My favorite picture so far, a candid of my friend Laura
Developing in the darkroom has also instilled a sense of delayed gratification. I'm used to using my phone to snap quick photos of things I want to remember. I pull my phone out and in an instant I can get a sense of the photo I just took. Is it too light? Too dark? Should I try another angle? Can I put a cool filter on it? Instead of this instant developement, I wind my film into the sprocket holes and go outside to take a picture. I have to make sure the lighting is sufficient and there's a balance of white and black. If not, my meter will suggest I let more or less light in. I have to make sure that my camera is steady if my shutter speed is low. I take the picture, and another, and another with slightly different settings, hoping that one will be good enough for a print. But I am so proud when one comes out that looks okay!

I'm really glad I got the chance to take this class this semester. It's a challenge but I'm coming up with some great art that I can't wait to show off! If you have any questions, please contact me!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eating "Out" on Campus: Sloane

Hi everyone!

I can't believe I'm already a junior. I've been on campus for almost three weeks and have just about settled in to my new routine of classes and work. The first few weeks are always an adjustment period while you wait for activities to start up, but this semester seems to be shaping up to be a good one :)

Last week, my friends Colleen and Erica and I decided we wanted to take a break from eating dinner in Alliot. Luckily, there is another dinner dining option on campus! "Knights at the Round Table" AKA Sloane is located on North Campus. I'm living up North this year, so this is especially convenient for me :) The best part about Sloane is that it doesn't cost anything! It's included in our unlimited swipes to the dining hall.

Sloane is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. To go to Sloane, you have to make a reservation, which you can do by calling 802-654-2253 after 2pm. Last Thursday, I didn't have an afternoon class so I was able to call and make the reservation. I knew that my friends wanted to eat dinner early because we had activities going on later in the evening and I was able to grab a 5pm reservation.

At 5pm, I had the luxury of walking from my dorm (Purtill) to Sloane which is only a two minute endeavor, and met my friends who had taken the shuttle up from Main Campus. The shuttle brings people from campus to campus all day. It's less than a mile and a nice walk when it's nice out too! Sloane is a building that also houses some art classes, but in the back there's kitchen and a large dining room. You check in with Ann who swipes your card and then get to sit at your table. A waitress always brings by fresh rolls and butter... which I forgot to take a picture of because they were gone so quickly.

There's a menu at every table (and you can see the current menu here) which lists four options each for appetizers, entrees, and dessert. There's always a vegetarian option too. My friend Colleen does not eat meat and still finds plenty of stuff to eat at Sloane :) For my appetizer, I picked Pork Pot Stickers which were delicious.

A++ potstickers with Ponzu sauce 

Entrees were next. Colleen got a Caesar salad, Erica got the Chicken Parm (a Sloane specialty) and I got the Flank Steak. This was really good and I loved the Peach Habenero BBQ sauce they drizzled over my steak. The food at Sloane is most definitely restaurant quality. 
Flank steak with Edemame succotash and fries
For dessert, my friends and I all ordered the same thing: apple pie. There's nothing better than apple pie made with fresh Vermont apples... especially when it comes with vanilla ice cream! This was a great way to end our dinner. 
Apple pie with vanilla ice cream
Sloane is an awesome bonus dining area on campus. My friends and I definitely take advantage of it when we want to do something different or hang out away from Alliot and the hubub of Main Campus. We always leave super full of delicious food, and the best part is that it's free! 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!