Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Galileo Exhibit and The Ballet 'Firefly'

The Galileo Exhibit
Today I got out of class early so I went to visit an exhibit that was being offered at the Palazzo Strozzi. The year 2009 is the 400th anniversary of Galileo's celestial discoveries, and because of this fact the United Nations have declared this to be the International Year of Astronomy. Because of this Florence has put together an exhibit to honor the history of astronomy and astrology.

Today I saw many original diagrams of the constellations and planetary beings. I saw early telescopes and globes, moon phase charts, astrological charts, and pretty much anything scientifically significant from the Greek, Islamic, and Italian cultures. Before I got yelled at for taking photos (there were no signs... I've learned what 'No Picture' signs look like here), I managed to sneak this one. Let me be honest, I may be geeky, but this was probably one of the coolest exhibits I've ever seen. I had the chance to see on of the two original Galileo telescopes... It magnified up to 20x... it was absolutely magical to see original scientific instruments.

The Firefly Ballet
After finishing my last official day of class (tomorrow I only have finals) Ellis and I headed to the Ballet! This was a contemporary ballet and I really enjoyed it. Kinda makes me wish I was talented and could dance. Below are some photos that Ellis was sneaking during the show... Oh ya... we were center stage 5th row... I bought the tickets earlier today and we got them for a CHEAP price... SCORE!

Myself and Ellis enjoying our 5th row center stage seats!

The start of the show... Firefly, written out on the screen by one of the dancers with the light pens.

They had on black suits that were outlined in the neon lights... It was the sweetest thing EVER!

They would draw with lights on the screen and it would leave a design that would fade away... So cool!

This was a lot cooler in person... they outlined their hands and it looked like cool tree branches!

This was a super cool time! I'm so glad that Ellis and I decided to get tickets. It's definetely one of those things I won't ever forget! I loved it so much! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Digital Photography Class

Awhile ago I said that I would get around to posting some of the photos that I've been working on and taking in my digital photography class. Today I decided that I should post some since I have nothing to do in class until I take photos in my apartment tonight. I've separated each set of photos into the assignments/projects that I used them for. I will also explain what I was trying to do and what not. Some of them aren't that impressive, but they worked for class and I liked some of them. I hope you all enjoy them! I really tried to do some decent work!


This assignment as it sounds was based on taking photo's of others. As a photographer I had to build a connection with those I was photographing... Thank God for roommates!

Here is a beautiful picture of Lauren that I took in the Boboli Gardens.

This is a beautiful picture of Ellis as she posed for me at sunset on our balcony.

This was one of my teachers favorite portrait photos, and the one that I have printed off to hand in for a grade. I liked the balance, color, and emotion that was conveyed in it.
I pretty much just love this photo of Ellis! She's so fun! One of the best model's EVER!

This assignment also doesn't take too much explination. As a photographer I had to become close with the camera and really learn how to manipulate it's settings. I took all of these photo's myself using a self timer, lamps around the house, and outdoor lighting. It was a blast and really helped me gain an understanding of my camera.
I really liked this photo even though it is not one that I turned in for this assignment.

This is a photo that I took of myself on our roof... Yes, yes I know, I'm bad it's dangerous... I've heard it all... But it is a pretty cool photo!

As you can tell these are the same photos... but today in class I was working with the 'Model, High Key' function... I liked the results... granted I still haven't decided which version I like better... Black and white or color... What do you think?
I just really enjoy the technique of making things black and white and leaving certain things colorful... Plus this is a quick glimpse of a dress I bought...

The essence of this assignment was to capture the life of the streets, the emotions on people's faces, the ironic situations life produces, and how we as a community are all collected.

This was a photo I called the sneaky transaction... because right after I caught this photo, the cops showed up... Oh ya... I rocked it!

The Gypsies here in Italy follow you around kissing at you, and she was kissing at this little girl. My teacher loved this photo because of the connection between the pink/red of the little girl and gypsy, as well as the couple in the background that appears to be viewing this situation. Interesting, huh?

Self-explanatory?! Landscapes... Yup!

This is a lighthouse off the Island of Capri. I made the sky more blue and the grass on the cliff more green... Oh photoshop! A sunset from the Piazza del Michelangelo in Florence. You can see the Ponte Vecchio across the river... Beautiful!
Capri's beauty! I pretty much did nothing to fix this photo... My teacher liked it because of the 'S curve' and color contrast.

This photo shoot we were supposed to act like reporters and report thru photos about this garden... we could pick any topic we wanted (I picked people, granted I did both people and flowers when I shot photos). I picked the people because I felt as though you would get a better feel of what the garden was like based on who was there and what they did there. I only posted one photo because it wasn't the most interesting photos I've taken... but still note-worthy.

This little girl was so cute and she played on the jungle gym like an angel. I'm sure her mother thought I was a creeper!

This photography is based on making tiny things look large... Hmmm.. those of you with a dirty mind, clean it up! I actually really enjoyed this because it was something very different for me to do.

These are fresh strawberries from the market. Notice how large the strawberry seeds look as well as the contrasting colors (red and green). I love shooting photos in the market!

This one was really cool and my teacher liked it because he felt as though it told a story. He said his favorite part of this picture were the scratches on my gold ring because you can tell that I wear it all the time and love it dearly. Which is true!

Well there we go. That's what I have so far... I'll post more photos later, but I just wanted to give you all a taste of what I've been doing over here in Italy besides traveling and drinking wine! I actually have worked hard and learned some things! Love you all! Ciao!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi Coast, & Pompei

On Friday we started off on our adventure throughout Sorrento and Capri. We got up super early, took a boat ride from Sorrento to Capri. The we took a boat ride around Capri, visited the Blue Grotto (This cave where to water glows electric blue), and walked down this sloping walkway to the beach. Laid on the beach for about 3 hours, swam in the wonderful water and enjoyed the tastey slushies that they offered (I had lemon mixed with melon... YUMMY)....

The we walked back to the place to pick up the ferry to go back to Sorrento... and that's when my day/weekend got fun... NOT! I tripped on the cement steps and when I landed the tip of my big toe clipped a sharp brick and busted open... Let me tell you, I have never ever EVER seen a toe bleed that bad... plus I still had half the 'mountain/hill' to walk down... so I had a wetwipe and a hair tie tied around my toe to cut off the circulation... when I got to the bottom of the hill I went to this place with a first aid kit and the guy cleaned up my toe, now that hurt A LOT!

After that adventure we took the ferry back to Sorrento where we went back to the Hotel (which progressively started smelling more and more like sewage all weekend, it was so bad I almost vomitted). I ended up spending that night in and relaxing... It was nice... minus the toe injury.

Below are photos from Friday!

Sorrento from the shore

Capri is so beautiful, here we are on our boat (the Ferry) from Sorrento coming into Capri.

The Blue Grotto... Because of the way the light reflects off the water and into the cave it glows neon blue! So pretty!

A pretty lighthouse around the Island of Capri.

Look at how clear the blue water is... It was like that in every direction, you could see straight to the bottom...

The lovers arc. When the boat passes under it you are supposed to kiss your loved one.
Capri from the path down to the beach. So beautiful and breathtaking!

This is another beautiful shot of Capri.

This is a portion of the beach that I laid on for 3 hours on Friday. It was extremely rocky, but wonderful!

So on Saturday I got up and ready with my gimp toe and all and went to Positano (one of the main cities on the Amalfi Coast, also in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun). Needless to say though it was a lot of walking to get there (and my toe hurt after a while... but I was a trooper and refused to let it get me down). So once I climbed probably 30-40 marble/stone flights of stairs with my gimpy toe we made it to the beach. Woot!
We decided to rent a boat and go on a little adventure... there were 6 of us (Me, Ellis, Jess, Darcy, Amber, and Emma).... so with Captain Ellis manning our ship, we started our two hour adventure... well, after an hour of fun boating we decided to stop the boat, anchor it down (that was my job 'cause I was strong enough to pull it out of the ocean), and go for a swim... well that's when the fun began... Between some sea sickness and the boat breaking down we had a heck of an adventure. After 45 minutes and about 15 phone calls, this guy came, messed with the motor and was like 'oh it wasn't in neutral'... BULL CRAP! Still though, it was a lot of fun, I burned while out on the boat, but I look great... (I'm entering the tanning phase... great!)
Well after all of that we stayed in the shade (cuz I was FRIED), ate some lunch and walked around a lil. Took a bus back to our hotel, had a crappy kind of dinner, showered, rebandaged my toe, and slept... I was so tired, just utterly worn out from a great day.
Positano from the top of the hill... we walked a ton to get to the bottom.

Positano from our boat we rented!

A view of part of the city.

A sunny view of Positano. It is so beautiful!

Sunday morning I got up, packed up my room and did a mini tour down to Sorrento to pick up some aloe. Then I hopped on the bus to go to Pompei. It was amazing, Pompei is the city that was buried by Mt. Vesuvius's ash when it errupted and was pretty much preserved, the shops, buildings, sewage systems, roads, and all of the petrified bodies... it was so cool! Since I had learned about it in my archaeology class I've been obsessed with it and it was so cool in person... :)

This was the gladiator training school here in Pompei. This is where the gladiator's would train, live, and go to school.

This is one of the ampitheatre's in Pompei, it housed about 800 people and was used for music productions.

These stones were the sidewalks to cross the streets, because the streets were normally full of trash from the city.

Here is a preserved and original bakery.

This was the medical symbol (Intertwined snakes) that was painted outside of the Redlight/Brothel district. It was painted here to ensure a lack of vanerial diseases, because just as they are a problem now, they were a problem then.

Brothel sex catalog... a way for men to order what they wanted when they arrived, here is one of the many positions they offered... LOL

Here I am posing in a sexy brothel bedroom. They used to lay straw on the stone beds to add some cushion for the pushin'! Ha Ha Ha!
The justice center in the forum of the city. This is the house of the Roman Law center!

Pompei with Mt. Vesuvius in the background.

This was a preserved market and a petrified body just chillin' there. It really is sad.

Here is a woman that is petrified and you can tell that she was pregnant. The people were esphixiated by the ash and poisonous gases from Mt. Vesuvius on Day 2 of the erruption.
Here is an original bathhouse/sauna from the olden days. They had modern steam heating systems... as our tour guide said Romans=Technology, and from what I saw it was true.
An in tact merchant marble counter.
I took so many pictures this weekend that this barely scratched the surface of what I have to show people. I hope that you enjoyed this blog... I really enjoyed this weekend... Gimp toe and all! This is my last week here... I can't believe it! I'll try to update some more this week (with my photography class pictures and what not).
Ciao Bella e Bello!