May Term – Day 3 – Montezuma

Day two at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was even better than the first day. We went earlier in the morning, leaving Rochester around 8:30. The animals seemed more active in the morning, and this allowed for some great shots.

Mrs. Lisi and Mrs. Wun have been awesome. They have arranged these amazing field trips and experiences to allow for us to do this work. I cannot wait for tomorrow.

Home Sweet Home
On the Waters Edge
Busy in Montezuma
Winged Reflection

National Geographic Your Shot Community

National Geographic has a great community site for sharing photography. I know there are many of these sites out there, but Nat Geo Your Shot by far has been the most influential to me. I have used the site for the past 2 1/2 years, and in that time and gotten great feedback from other photographers on my work. My favorite part about National Geo Your Shot are the assignments. I think it’s very easy for me to get caught up in taking only wildlife photography, which is a passion of mine. The assignments and stories part of the site let the editors give an assignment for photographers like myself to submit photographs to that fit a particular theme.  I have enjoyed challenging myself on themes just as “The Gift of Life”, “Invisible Worlds” and “Facing your Fears”, After the editors close the entry period, they craft a story that is then published. I love reading these stories and seeing which photographs made the final cut. I haven’t earned this yet, but I hope to keep submitting my photographs, as my goal is to someday be part of a published story.

What has been really wonderful for me is to be selected as an “editor favorite”. These are special shout-outs from the editors for liking my submission, and some of these shots may have been at least considered for a published piece. The fact that a few of my photos were liked have kept me excited about trying to become better at my work. An even bigger plus is when an editor leaves a comment. For me, that is the best thing that can happen, as I know that a professional who liked my work took the time to let me know that.

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National Geographic Your Shot also just added a “follow” feature, which allows a photographer to follow another photographer’s work. I do not have a large following at all, but the fact that 8 people decided to keep track of my work is a great start and something I think I hope to improve on.  There’s no catch. It’s free, and for a high school student like me, the feedback is priceless.

One Cubic Foot

In May, I’ll be leaving with 14 other students from Allendale Columbia School to go to Madagascar for a few weeks to study in Ranomanfana National Park. We will be studying at the Centre ValBio.  The trip will mostly revolve around a project led by the Seneca Park Zoo, scientists from the Smithsonian, and National Geographic Photographer, David Liittschwager.   The project is called One Cubic Foot. The goal of the project is to see the amount of biodiversity in a cubic foot in any given location. Today, we placed the cube on our school campus in a nearby creek. After about an hour of waiting, we took any organisms we found in the cube and photographed them. This was good practice for what we would be doing in Madagascar.

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Getting dirt from where the cube was resting
The cubic foot resting in Allens Creek
An unidentified creature
Allens Creek Inhabitant

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