Dragon’s Eye Exhibition

Title of Photo: Flood Line

Name of photographer: Gilbert Choy

Where you saw it: Outside of the cafeteria in the Dragon’s Eye Exhibition

Connection to me: The photo connects to me from the objects and setting, in which the man, the bike, and the flood line give a clear and vivid background of Beijing.  The color yellow, red, and orange represents China and the Chinese culture, strongly connecting to my personal life.  In addition, the wall behind has withered vines in black and white color with the wall, displaying an old Beijing life and appealing to the audience with normal people’s life in China.

Technical skills & Artistic skills: The composition of the three main objects: the bike, the man, and the flood line create juxtaposition in the photo, simple but meaningful.  Furthermore, the color of the photo is in the color scheme of red, providing the Chinese cultural context behind the photo.  In addition, the whole picture is almost symmetrical with respect to the “flood line” Chinese characters, dragging the audience’s interest.  The pattern and texture of the wall behind are presented through the vines, pulling the audience inside the photo.

 

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Street Photographer: Saul Leiter

Photographer: Saul Leiter

Style: Saul Leiter’s photography style is not notable, but still gives the viewer a feeling of a certain mood the photograph tries to convey.  Although street photography mostly consists of black and white photos, Leiter’s applied color photography in his photography career and become a pioneer in color photography; thus, vivid street color is a major feature in his style.  Another interesting characteristic of Leiter’s photography is his use of composition, in which in most of his photographs, he would place an object that represents or symbolizes a certain meaning in the front of the photo, and would structure the main/dominant element of the photo in the back.

Photo #1:

In this photo, the style of Leiter’s photography is clearly shown.  First, the color red on the “Haircut” sign and the color red on the “Coke Cola” sign behind creates a strong connection.  Second, the composition of the “Haircut” post and the “Coke Cola” sign behind illustrates a contrast with the man facing rightwards, symbolizing the man’s confusion and hesitation when he’s standing in front of the counter.  In addition, the mirror that reflects the sign and the man also gives uniqueness to the photo, the reflection represents the two-sidedness, further developing the man’s feelings and demonstrating the meaning of choice.

Photo #2:

In this photo, the unique style of Leiter’s photography is represented detailed.  Firstly, the color orange and the color scheme related to orange in the photo is displayed completely, where the banner, the window, the reflection on the car, and the person walking beside all contain the element of the color orange.  Secondly, the composition of a black car in the front also reveals style, in which although the main focus is on the person and the bar beside, the car is placed in the front stage of the photo, telling the audience the relationship between the car and person or the store behind.  Furthermore, the reflection on the car is placed in the photo that consists almost half of the photo, unfolding not only the photographer’s intention of showing two-sidedness, but also engenders a sharp-feeling atmosphere.

Links to Online Work:

https://www.leitercatalog.com/leiter-photography.html

https://www.jamesmaherphotography.com/street_photography/saul-leiter/

https://www.wallpaper.com/art/saul-leiter-street-photography

Citation:

Admin. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE WORLD, www.streetphotographyintheworld.com/masters-of-street-photography-by-carlo-traina/masters-street-photography-saul-leiter/.

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Street Photography Day #1

On this day in class, we went out and took street photos in the park across the street from the school (April 12th).  We spent about 45 min and were free to wander around the park in an effort to capture candid “day to day life” in China/at the park.

Photo #1:

Description of the photo:

This is a photo of two old ladies having a conversation, one lady is on a wheelchair, the other is on a bench.

Why did you choose this one?

I chose this photo because I really like the atmosphere of relaxation and how the two ladies are speaking energetically towards each other.  The two ladies drag my interest because although they look elderly but they still have a lot of energy when having their conversation.

How did you get this photo?

I got this photo when I walk by a small family market where the two ladies were sitting beside.  The appearance of them seems old but their active talk between them made me stop by and took this shot.

Photo highlights?

The two ladies (object), the composition of the two, the soft sunlight (light), the elders sitting beside them on the same bench looking away…

What did you learn from this photo?

I learned that I still need to adjust the lighting to make the photo has not too much highlights of white.

Photo #2:

Description of the photo:

This is a photo of a tricycle and a few elders sitting beside watching something on the right of the photo.

Why did you choose this one?

I chose this photo because I like how the composition of the tricycle is in the front while the people are in the back, it reflects their daily life through the tricycle.  The lighting from the right also creates shadows to the left, creating an interesting setting.

How did you get this photo?

I got this photo when I was standing aside from the road to get a perfect angle.  Because the square dancers are dancing, the objects of this photo (the four people) turn their heads to the same direction to watch the performance; therefore, creating this unique photo.

Photo highlights?

The lightings and shadow, the composition of tricycle in the front, casual atmosphere…

What did you learn from this photo?

The focus of this photo is on the tricycle not on the people behind, so I need to adjust the focus to make it focus on the objects behind.

Photo #3:

Description of the photo:

This is a photo of a man waking a dog along the road towards forward.

Why did you choose this one?

I chose this photo because I really like the objects of a man and a dog and the light is from the back so the shadows are facing forwards, making the man and the dog walking towards their shadow.  In addition, the man in front of the main objects is position right on the leash, making a unique photograph.

How did you get this photo?

I got this photo when I was walking behind the two finding new objects.  I noticed there’s not a lot of people on the road and the man and the dog will create an interesting photo.

Photo highlights?

Objects (man and dog), shadow and lighting, composition (objects in middle)…

What did you learn from this photo?

I didn’t have enough shots to choose from therefore I had a limited angle of shots.

Photo #4:

Description of the photo:

This is a photo of a woman, who’s facing sideways, and a kid, who’s holding a blue ball and facing forward.

Why did you choose this one?

I chose this photo because I really like the cuteness on the kid and how the woman’s protecting the kid while also wanting to get shot by us photographers.  As the photo shows, the main objects are the two people, which means it’s very clear for the audience/viewers to see.  Furthermore, the blue ball the kid’s holding also creates visual weight that drags the viewer’s attention.

How did you get this photo?

I got this photo when I was standing to wait for the perfect shot along the side of the street.

Photo highlights?

Ball, kid, woman, light from right and shadows…

What did you learn from this photo?

I didn’t have enough shots to choose from therefore I had a limited angle of shots.

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A Guiding Booklet about Sheila Birling

For the literary element project, I focused on the element of characterization, in particular, the character Sheila Birling in J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls.  I have chosen to produce a booklet as a guiding path of Sheila Birling’s characteristics as it brings forth the idea that a person’s dynamic characteristics can be explored through outside pressure.

The first quote on P2 is from the exposition part of the play, Priestley describes Sheila contradictorily: “serious” because she suspects Gerald, “playful” because she sees her female role in marriage.  The second quote informs the reader her protest for feminism, where she learns that labor women are cheated less than people.  The second set of quotes are from the beginning, middle, and near-end, demonstrating Sheila’s most emotional person among her family.  Every time she hears something remarkable, her reaction contains strong emotional language.  Third, her maturity in conscience is also meaningful. The third set of quotes accentuates her maturity on conscience where she accepts the inspector’s message.

The outside pressure Sheila experienced is from the inspector, and it had developed Sheila as a complex character.  As the first set of quotes on P3 exhibits, Sheila appears as a typical privileged upper-class woman.  Her behaviors show no sympathy and regret.  But her change started on the second set of quotes, where she found out the results from her immortal actions, manifesting her honesty on her behaviors and her rejection of social hypocrisy.  The last set of quotes directly reinforces Sheila’s opposition on capitalism, where she disputes with the importance of the inspector’s lesson, underscoring her consciousness and representing her as a new age of socialism.

Thus, through analysis of characterization, in particular on Sheila Birling, it revealed a person’s dynamic characteristic can be expressed through outside pressure.

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Behind the Bike

Do you think parents are destined to help their children?  Is there a definite bond between a parent and their child?  In my personal narrative, I explored the idea of home with an experience of my younger self.  From the first sight of seeing my first bike to eventually learning to bike, this narrative not only engenders a feeling of family to my younger self, but also can relate to the reader’s childhood.

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Behind the Bike

Okay, so this is the story I’m going to tell.  It wasn’t complicated, just a some stuff about me, my dad, and the whole thing about biking.  Almost ten years ago, we moved to downtown.  With all the groups of buildings, sounds of traffics, crowds of people in the massive city, our family found an ideal place to move on.  It was of course not big, only a few extra spaces left for storing.

Anyway, one day, my dad came home with a bike, not just a normal bike, but a brand new one.  It was not too tall and not too short, just the perfect height but still enormous comparing to me.  If you got something new, what would you do?  For me, for my curiosity, of course I would want to know more, so yeah, I trotted right over there, as you would expect, to get a better view.  Peering through the details, the sky blue color seemed just right with a girl who just decided to change her favorite color.  I have to admit, I liked the color blue, even now.  I ran my small fingers down the large lever, all the way to the huge head of the bulky bike, the smooth and even material of aluminum alloy calmed my excited heart down a little, but still dragging me over.  Excluding the color blue, there’re also some orange cartoons near the back wheel, pulling me nearer to the bike.  The dancing cartoons appeared simple but exquisite, fitting my interest immediately.  So the first moment I saw that bike, I recognized “my style”.

To cut the long story short, I’ll stop being wordy, so here the story goes.  I started learning right at the next morning.  I chose a blue shirt, trying to match the bike’s color.  Before leaving home, I found my cherished helmet and put it on my head towards a mirror.  In retrospect, the girl in the mirror was thrilled.  Literally, thrilled.  Her cheeks were glowing red, her jet-black hair were tied up in a pony tail neatly by her mom, and most importantly, her eyes were kindling on fire.  Surprisingly, the black straps of the helmet were untangled with the just-right length.  Clip!  The two side of the buckles joined, my petite hands joined the bike’s pitch-black handle.

With my dad’s companion, we reached the road to start.  It was this road in the compound, a white paved road that had accompanied me throughout the next few years.  On top of the ruler-straight road, street lamps lined up beside the massy erect apartment buildings, creating a faultless practice track for a little kid learning to bike.  I stopped there, kept still, waiting, but he continued walking.  I scampered up to him, hobbling along with the bike.

“Gam ma bu deng wo?*1” I wondered.

“You shi zhe fu mo yang.  Gai kai shi le, shang qu ba!*2” He instructed.

Although that look only flashed through my face, but he still caught it.  It was a strange and puzzled look I didn’t know how it started but it just appeared.  Anyway, so then, I steadied myself at the left side of the bike and gradually transformed my weight on it…

The bike’s trembling.

“Kuai lai bang wo!*3” I shouted, I certainly didn’t sound like a childish kid.

All my nerves are on, the feeling of anxiety flowed through my whole body, causing an awful shiver.  My mind was blank, the ghostly-pale road making it even worse.  White, white, every where’s white.  Without noticing myself, my right foot’s already on the paddle, the familiar figure of him suddenly entered my blank eye sight at the back of the bike.  “Zhao hao ping heng ran hou ba ling yi zhi jiao fang shang qu, wo hui bang ni na wen che.*4”  As the strong and patient voice streamed through my ear, it pushed the hanging rock in my heart down.  Comfort, right, there was comfort.

Using this slight comfort, I tried steadying the bike as best as I could, and pushed it forward using my shaky left leg.  One rotation, two, three…  I can still remember clearly, the only thing I was thinking on the bike was counting how many rotations the paddles had gotten through.  Yet, the more I was counting, the slower I was.  I felt a powerful gust of wind blowing directly towards me, towards the tiny girl on the big bike.  The head of the bike started to swing uncontrollably, the body of the bike following the head unmanageably, the tail of the bike trying to chase the body but failing; all the parts in an unruly mess.  I wasn’t trying to be embarrassing, but still…  Soon, the kid on the bike almost lost all her confidence, the inevitable event finally happened, the bike went to a massive shake that almost threw me out and abruptly stopped.  I turned back realizing he’s still holding on, the small beads of sweat on his face were joining together, forming a larger bead, dripping from his forehead to his chin.  The perspiration stayed on his chin for a while and then fell, landing on the ground with a small mist.

“Mei shi, zai lai yi ci, zhe ci ken ding xing!*5” The words suddenly awoke me from my attention on him, I turned the bike towards the road and calmed myself down.  Well, maybe just trying to calm myself down cause I didn’t know how.   My right foot on top, then with a push from my left foot, the bike galloped straightly towards the endless road.  Now then, the second time on the bike was much easier, I felt myself much lighter.  “Lighter” in a sense of being more comfortable with adapting the bike.  Left, right, left, right…  The bike’s moving faster and faster each time.  I biked around and around the shining and glistening angel-white road, didn’t care of the time,  didn’t care of anything.  The feeling was neither excitement nor comfort, but a rather refreshing sense of awakening from something deep inside my body.  The bike seemed steady as if the two protection wheels were still on.  I thought myself as someone riding a flying horse above a fantasy world, at least a good imagination for a five-year-old right?  Anyway, in my eyes, I felt like everything around me was dark, the only thing I could see was a strand of light coming from somewhere high above, shining the road displayed in from of me, like a stage or something.  The road’s brightness dazzling, but my unyielding mind still hold my eye lids wide open.  I couldn’t feel anything below my neck.  Repeat.  Repeat again.  My machine-like legs kept pushing the paddles every time the paddle’s on top, no end.

Tic, tok.  Tic, tok.

Until then, when I was beginning to feel the soreness in my legs, my eyes abruptly caught someone.  I saw him.  His back was hunched, his face in pain but still forcing himself a smile at me.   Around his feet, the tar paved white road was stained with his sweat, everything except him seemed blurred, maybe it’s because of the sweat on my face were dripping through my eyes, I didn’t know.  “Cheng gong le!*6” He gasped, trying to catch his breath.  I dropped the bike and ran to him, you might think I will hug him or something, but I didn’t.  “Ni mei zhua zhe wo?*7” the words went out of my throat involuntary.  He nodded his head, a few more drops of sweat fell from his chin.

Since then, every time I think of this moment, I always thought why didn’t I do anything like just a hug or something.  Something need to be done, something need to be done promptly, or maybe not, I didn’t know, and I still don’t know now.  Thinking on the other hand, maybe that’s just what parents are destined to do, maybe it’s something what all the sons and daughters need to learn at, or, maybe because I thought I was mature enough that I didn’t need to do it.  Something need to mention is that, at that time, I was struggling to adapt the new environment in the new house.  To say it more specifically, I didn’t really know how to view this house as something called “home”.  But this idea never lasted longer after this bike entered my life.  The experience seemed not only helped me learn something physically, but also developed an invisible bond between him and I.  With all these thoughts, the only thing I can conclude is that, there’s nothing that can stop a parent to devote all their strengths for their child.  There’s only one word for doing this: something called “home” for me, or maybe “family” for others.

Just a few years ago, my dad started going to all these long business trips where he needs to fly to places on the other end of the earth, yeah, literally the opposite side.  We rarely have time to even contact each other due to time zone and other factors; however, he would always remind me of a men who doesn’t talk much but cares much more for his little girl, maybe not a little girl anymore.  But I know, in his heart, I am.

I could almost see the days of yore at my old house immerse in the obscurity memories in my mind, where the white road always lays quietly out there; meanwhile, the bike stands on top of it, creating a perfect image.

 

  • *1: Why don’t you wait for me?
  • *2: It’s this confusing look again.  Time for you to start, hop on!
  • *3: Come help me!
  • *4: Find the balance and put the other foot on the paddle, I’ll help you to hold the bike.
  • *5: Come on, let’s try it again, I’m sure you’ll succeed this time!
  • *6: You made it!
  • *7: You didn’t hold me?
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Unearthing China Travel Magazine

 
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The Legend of Red Fern

[spoiler alert!]

“I know it is still there, hiding its secret beneath those long, red leaves, but it wouldn’t be hidden from me for part of my life is buried there, too.  Yes, I know it is still there, for in my heart I believe the legend of the sacred red fern” (Rawls 282) This is a beloved classic about a boy who lives in the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma, the story gives an incredible adventure which revealed the whole life of Billy’s, the protagonist’s, finest hunting hounds.

The book unfolded with Billy, dreaming of having two hounds every day, he decided to save money himself in order to full fill his dream.  Working hard for two whole years, Billy finally got his dogs through a journey to the town —- Tahlequah.  He named his dogs Little Ann and Old Dan from a special bark and began to train them.  To achieve Billy’s dream, he even won the championship of a professional competition which allows him to get an education in the future for his parents.  Until one day the happiness finally ended, he went hunting like a normal day.  But then he heard the scream of a mountain lion, he started to run but it was already late.  Old Dan howls defiantly and fights against the giant cat with Little Ann.  Eventually, the dogs defeated the mountain lion, but Old Dan was badly wounded and died in the next day.  Inconsolably heart-broke and grieved, like a knife piercing his heart, God still didn’t get softhearted to this pitiful boy.  Little Ann, the best friend of Old Dan’s, lost the will to live and ultimately passed away right on top of Old Dan’s grave.  “I called her name.  She made no movement.  With the last ounce of strength in her body, she had dragged herself to the grave of Old Dan” (269).  During the next following spring, the family left Ozarks with a final glimpse for Billy to say goodbye to his dogs.  At the time he arrived at the grave, an unbelievable miracle appeared —- “There between the graves, a beautiful red fern had sprung up from the rich mountains soil.  It was fully two feet tall and its long red leaves had reached out in rainbow arches curved over the graves of my dogs” (278).

“With a heavy heart, I turned and walked away. I knew that as long as I lived I’d never forget the the two little graves and the sacred red fern” (275)

This sorrowful but warm story captures the reader’s attention when it revealed the most powerful relationship between a boy and his dogs.  There’s always an invisible bond that demonstrates the tale of unconditional love. This continues through their adventures together and it ends in the ultimate account of unconditional love.  Billy never leaves his dogs behind, he chops down the biggest tree in the woods for them, and he even swears to lay down his life for them.  Though, the dogs still ended up laying down their lives for him at the end of the book.  Billy’s hounds seem to have more than just loyalty to their owner; they also love him deeply.  This love affirmed throughout in the novel and contributes to the mournful ending.  Throughout the adventure, we can see how love enables the man and man’s best friend to survive and succeed.  Deep love, strong will power, and their sacrificial intimacy that the dogs and Billy illustrated the mystical qualities of the red fern. In the events that happened in the last few chapters, the author —- Wilson Rawls land a poignancy that becomes unbearable to the protagonist, as well as the reader in the penultimate chapter as Little Ann’s loyalty to Old Dan, leads to her losing the will to live.  Even the title of the book, Where the Red Fern Growscan tell and symbolize the sacred love and loyalty of the characters and also suspended interests to the reader.

In conclusion, I believe the love and loyalty power bond between the story’s protagonist, Billy, and his dogs, Little Ann and Old Dan, can touch every reader’s heart deeply with grief and happiness at the same time.

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A Dream Adventure of a Boy

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It was in the setting of Ozark Mountains on Cherokee land in the northeastern Oklahoma in a novel called Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.  Billy, a 10-year-old “hillbilly” who lives in the countryside and blessed with coonhound puppy love.  Losing weight, dreaming dogs, lying on the bed for hours just thinking about dogs, the food didn’t taste good anymore, these are all very normal for Billy who’s eager to have two coonhounds.  However, God seems unfair to him, Billy’s family don’t have enough money to buy him two hounds, so he decides to save the money himself.  In order to earn all the money, he tried all different jobs including dairyman, fishing man, helping in the barn and finally, he earned all the money.  Eventually, he got his dogs in town and went through an unbelievable hunting journey with his dogs until the end of the book.

To unfold the rising action plainly, I decided to make a trivia quiz to show my understanding of the develop path to the climax point of the book.  I made this trivia quiz using Playbuzz, the creating part is challenging due to the facts of how the story had pushed into its climax.

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Good Always Defeats Evil

[spoiler alert!]

How would you feel if you were involved in a contest of good and evil?  This splendid book is called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by author C. S. Lewis.  The author weaves various themes throughout the characters’ adventures in Narnia; one of the most remarkable themes that unfolded in my mind is the right of good and the power of evil.  When the children discovered a wardrobe that could enter another world called Narnia, the third child in the family, Edmund, who had been misled by the white witch, wonders how they can decide whom to trust.  At this point, it’s clear that the white witch is evil enough through her actions of turning others into stone and even kidnapping Edmund through a deceitful promise of Turkish Delight.  The white witch has taken control of Narnia, only until Aslan, the symbol, and power of good, comes back to fight against her, gain it back, and bring Narnia from the cruel, dreadful, and stark white winter back to spring. “Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was written” (Lewis 176).

Good and evil are unequivocal and undisguised.  The resolution is obvious that the good side had won, but they truly did accomplish a victorious and glorious achievement through a numerous of difficulties.  Evil is a very necessary content in a story and in the world, but good is permanently more powerful than evil.  The truth is, the good side always enjoys a happy forever ending; nonetheless, people who are good may still have to suffer and make difficult choices.  Even people who make serious mistakes can be redeemed and rejoin the side of good.  If a person is destined to be on the side of good, even he/she can make a serious and huge mistake; he or she can be redeemed and rejoin, just like the Pevensie children.  Creatures who are truly evil–for example, the white witch–who are surely evil will eventually be vanquished and destroyed in the end.  In the book, both good and evil are limited by certain constraints on the ways the universe and morality work.  Although Aslan is good, he’s still fearsome and unpredictable; nobody can know what he wants to do in the next second, and nobody can know how he could manage and arrange dozens of business and matters in just a few minutes.  “As soon as the Witch had gone, Aslan said ‘We must move from this place at one, it will be wanted for other purposes.  We shall encamp tonight at the Fords of Beruna.’  Of course, everyone was dying to ask him how he had arranged matters with the witch” (198).  Through this quote, it showed that the good is not always doing the things that people had expected.  However, as the story moves towards the end, which is the resolution, the white witch died in the battle of good and evil; she intended to demolish the goods completely and make the whole world to a frightening hell that no life can live through. Nevertheless, she didn’t achieve her well-planned goal; instead, she lost her hope entirely and all of her life.

To sum up, good always beats evil; sometimes evil seems to be right at the moment of time.  People who are good ultimately will win evil, even though they have to make complicated and difficult choices and get through different obstacles on the path of achievement.

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