Thanksgiving Break 2013

Two Saturdays ago, 5 SAC members and our advisor helped the Lion’s Club put up holiday decorations in Glenwood Springs for a couple of hours in the morning.  You can see pictures from events like this by visiting Colorado Mountain College- Spring Valley on Facebook.  SAC is gearing up for a couple more fun events to round out the semester with our 2nd Annual Snow Ball Winter Formal this week and free hot springs next week.

Now that it’s December, registration is open to everyone for Spring 2014 classes, so sign up fast before you risk your class being full!

Last week I only had class on Monday due to Thanksgiving Break (there were also Tuesday classes- I just don’t have any of those).  In Digital Capture Processing we went over how different processing of an image can create a different mood and how not all images look good with all processes.  Then in the afternoon in Image Capture we went over our images for our action assignment and did a little review for our final which is coming up next week.  This week my Monday classes were similar- in the morning we reviewed for our final and then had open lab time to work and in the afternoon we went over the images for our “Sense of Place” assignment and reviewed more for our final.  I expect tomorrow will be similar- going over our photo story images in Perception in the morning, watching our final videos in the afternoon in Computer O, and spending the remaining time in both classes reviewing for finals next week.  It’s so hard to believe the semester is so close to being over!

Sunlight Ski Area in Glenwood Springs also opened this past weekend and Vail also recently opened.  Aspen Mountain is also open.  Resorts such as Breck, Keystone, A*Basin, and Copper opened earlier this season and Steamboat Springs is also open I believe, so it’s time to ride if you’re within the CMC service district 🙂

I’ll end this post with telling you that CMC’s production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” opens this weekend and is also playing next weekend.  You should check it out- I know I will be!


Steamboat Days 2 & 3

This past weekend I had my Intro to Digital Editing class in Steamboat Springs.  Last Friday night I posted about my first day of class along with my hike I did on Thursday at Fish Creek Falls.  Well, Saturday we spent a majority of the day out filming, and then came back to the school to load our footage into Final Cut.  Then Sunday it was editing, editing, and more editing until we had each completed our own video and then we watched everyone’s videos in class.

It was so snowy in Steamboat Springs on Saturday- it was amazing!

It was so snowy in Steamboat Springs on Saturday- it was amazing!

Monday morning it was back to the usual routine of classes- everyone is starting to get really excited about Thanksgiving break and then winter break 2 weeks after that.  I just realized I never really wrote about my classes last week, so you’ll get a double dose today.

In Digital Capture Processing last week we reviewed a couple of things we had learned earlier in the semester and then moved onto split-toning.  In split-toning, you convert an image to black and white and then you can apply a color tint to the shadows, highlights, or both.  We also covered RGB (red, green, blue; white in the middle where the 3 colors meet) and CMY/CMYK (cyan, yellow, magenta; black in the middle where the 3 colors meet).  RGB is also referred to as the “additive” colors and CMYK is called “subtractive” colors.  We also went over how HSL (hue, saturation, luminance) are ways to describe color and that to desaturate a color you add gray.  Now that we’re photo students, we get to think of colors in numbers instead of the color itself- might take some time to wrap my mind around that one- but, in my understanding, the basic concept is that if all 3 colors have the same numeric value in an image, the image doesn’t have a tint.  Images can also have 2 tints just to spice things up.  To counter-act a tint you have to add the color opposite to it, so you add cyan to equalize out red, and magenta to cancel out green.  Now that I’ve probably written this whole paragraph wrong, I just got to the part of my notes that reminded me that a tint exists when white is added and a shade exists when black is added.  We also covered white balancing.

Fun fact of last week: “Drops of water make a prism of color into a rainbow”.

This week we sort of did a review of everything we covered last week and then we ended up having open lab for the rest of the class period because so many of us had questions on our toning assignments that were due the next day that Derek decided to hold off on continuing his lecture, which was good in my case because I thought I had an excellent example of a warm tone image and an excellent example of a cool tone, and then Derek told me that they were actually both cool toned, so I was back to square one on the warm image.  You can see my two new images on my Flickr page– they’re of the woods with the pink background (warm) and the school which has more subtle toning (cool).  The image after that of Sopris that is purple toned is the image I was going to use as my warm image until I was informed that it actually was cool.

In Image Capture we’ve been going over action photography the past couple of weeks in preparation for turning our next assignment in on Monday.

As I mentioned in my last post, last week Andrew Braun, a graduate of CMC’s Pro Photo program, came to talk to us about a trip he took to Africa to teach children about photography.  This Wednesday morning in Perception we went over camera flashes since Christmas is coming up.  The flashes we were talking about weren’t the little on-camera flashes that a lot of cameras have- we were talking about external flashes, although they can be mounted on your camera in the “shoe”.  I already had one of these flashes, but I learned more about my flash, including how to under/over power the flash and “dragging”.  Then we looked at examples of the work of James Nachtwey, Tim Flach, and Nick Brandt.  We turn our final assignment, a photo essay, in in 2 weeks and then the next class period is our final!

Our focus in Photo and Computer O lately has been the videos we created in Adobe Premeire Pro.  Yesterday we showed our videos about ourselves and so now we are just working on either improving those videos or making a new video about a topic of our choosing.

Last night CMC held a mixer for the Isaacson School for New Media students, which includes the Pro Photo, Graphic Design, and New Media programs.

Pre-registration for next semester continues until Tuesday for current students and registration for new students opens on Monday, December 2nd.

Colorado Mountain College offers study abroad programs in both the Spring and Summer semesters.  Spring semester features trips to Granada, Spain and Guatemala and these courses must be registered and paid for by December 13th!  This summer semester the study abroad program is going to South Africa.

One final note- Epic Local passes are only available until November 24th!!  You can find out more by visiting my 2013/14 Ski Passes page.

Steamboat Springs: Day 1

On Wednesday in my Perception class we had a guest speaker who, like our last guest speaker, is a graduate of the Colorado Mountain College Professional Photography program.  This young man’s photography took him to Nakuru, Kenya where he taught children photography as part of a project titled “The Child’s Eye”.  Andrew Braun hopes “to one day travel the world and work for such magazines as National Geographic, Time, Outdoor Magazine, and Smithsonian.”.

Then Wednesday afternoon we did more work on our videos in my Photo & Computer O class.

Yesterday I got to Steamboat early enough to hike part of the Fish Creek Falls trail but between the snow being slippery and my not starting until almost 3PM, I was only able to make it part way, which meant I could only photograph the falls from the overlook and the bridge.  I also ended up with a several sunset images that I really liked, which you can view on my Flickr page.

It snowed today in Steamboat, which is super exciting because I love the snow.  It was also a good day because my video class is really interesting.  For the past several weeks in my Computer O class we’ve worked in Adobe Premier and today’s video class used Final Cut, which seems a lot easier to me than Premier does.  Good news is, I have 2 tools to work with now!  Tomorrow we’re filming so that we can put a video together on Sunday for our final in the class.  With any luck, my video will not be too horribly boring and I’ll be able to find a way to upload it here for your viewing pleasure.

Our instructor is actually a CMC blogger / former student and you can check out his work by visiting his blog site.  Just maybe don’t expect my videos to be quite that spectacular yet.  We also spent the morning analyzing videos, like this one about snowmaking at Steamboat Resort, to learn what makes a good video.  Maybe I’m just being pessimistic, but I’m going to say you maybe shouldn’t trust my videos to be that awesome either.  I’ve only recorded a video with my Nikon once before- it was 3 minutes long, took forever to email to my boss because it was a gigantic file, and was definitely not the smoothest quality ever- so I think I’ll settle for just getting something uploaded that doesn’t make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster.

A few weeks ago I came across the “Steamboat Springs Visitors’ Guide” and in it are 6 of “Steamboat’s Best-Loved Places for Photography”.  One involves being on Steamboat Resort and two others involve hiking what sounds like a ways, but hopefully I can make it to at least 1 of the remaining 3 places to get some good shots while I am up here.  For now though, it’s off to bed for me, otherwise I know I’ll never talk myself into getting up early to photograph before class.

My Spring 2014 Classes

Yesterday was the first day of pre-registration.  Pre-registration allows current, degree-seeking students to sign up for classes before registration opens for everyone else, and defer payment until early January.  Pre-registration goes until November 26th.  Open registration is from December 2nd thru January 12th.

Find out more about attending CMC by visiting the Admissions Checklist.  Once you are registered for classes, find out about payment and being ready for your first day of class.  As of November 12th, books for Spring semester are not yet available from the CMC Online Bookstore, but you can add your name to an email notification list for when they do become available.  You can also sell your old textbooks back to the CMC Online bookstore.

Next semester I’m taking a mix of photography, ski business, and management classes that I’m very excited for.  But first I want to tell you a bit about the class I am taking this weekend in Steamboat.

The class is called Intro to Digital Video and the Colorado Mountain College course catalog describes it as “Students learn how to use digital video editing software to create, edit, and save movies. Students create movies using digital video clips, digital photos, and music. The basics of shooting good video, capturing video from a camera to a computer, creating movies for the web, and burning finished DVD’s will be covered.”.
The class is part of the Ski & Snowboard Marketing Media Manager certificate.

Video actually has a lot more to do with photography than you might think- the Professional Photography program requires that your camera be capable of recording video and right now in my Photo & Computer Orientation class we are working on creating 2 videos in Adobe Premeire Pro using still photos, audio from an interview, sound effects from the internet, PhotoShop, and (if we choose) video that we have recorded.

Plus, instead of leaving my house on Friday before the sun comes up, I’m going up on Thursday, which gives me the opportunity to hike to Fish Creek Falls.  While it’s possible to limit your hike to a 1/2 mile roundtrip and only see the falls from the overlook, I’m hoping to hike the 4 miles round-trip to the falls, which are 283-feet high!  It is also possible to hike to Uranium mines.  I’m also excited for my weekend in Steamboat because of the change of scenery and having some new things to photograph.

3 of the classes I am taking next semester are required Pro Photo classes and the film class is an elective.

Ski and Snowboard Marketing and Media is one of the classes which is part of the Marketing Media certificate. “Presents the analysis of theoretical marketing processes and the strategies of product development, pricing, promotion and distribution and their applications to the snow sport business and the individual consumer.”

The last 2 classes I am taking are for personal interest.

Snowsports Promotions is part of the Ski and Snowboard Business program and is described as “The different roles and techniques used to develop, produce, and progress snowsport events will be explored. The course examines the needs of promotional representatives who act on behalf of manufacturing, retail, and ski area operations. Students will gain knowledge of management in the areas of facilites, professional organizations, and promotions as well as the different managerial styles that can be applied. This course will also provide the student with individual topics such as quality control, leadership, and strategic planning. Students will also demonstrate the role of management in producing events for the snowsports industry from a financial and legal standpoint.”

Small Business Management is described as “Examines the elements necessary for the successful formation of a new small business. It is also designed to enhance the skills of those already involved in the operation of a small business. The course includes the development of a complete small business plan.”.  As I mentioned last week, I’m excited for this class because at the end of the semester, I’ll have a business plan- something I’ve yet to accomplish in over 2 years of trying to create one on my own.

Last Thursday evening I took a couple of pictures of Sopris.  The following 2 images are the same image processed and cropped 2 different ways.  I left the first image in color, cropped out “unnecessary” details on the bottom along with some on the top, and posted it to the CMC Facebook app.  The 2nd image I maintained at a 2:3 crop so that it would print at the correct proportions and I split-toned it for an assignment due on Monday in Digital Capture Processing.  To split-tone it, I converted the image to black and white in Lightroom and then used a red hue on the highlights and cyan on the shadows and then brought the saturations down so they weren’t too much.  I picked those colors because they are considered complementary colors, which is something we learned about in class yesterday.

MtSopris WarmToneSoprisLook for another post later this week with more about this week’s classes and maybe even a report on my hike to Fish Creek Falls and the start of my video class in Steamboat.


Ski Fever

We’ve gotten some snow in Glenwood Springs lately, although it hasn’t stuck for more than a couple of hours yet.  Hopefully it will soon though!

On Monday, we looked at black-and-white toning in Image Capture Processing.  The idea behind the assignment is to shoot “subject matter and content that will have greater impact printed with a black and white split tone.”.  Then, that afternoon, in Image Capture, we looked at our bracketing images, and turns out I was ahead of myself if you read my post last week and saw my picture of the Maroon Bells.  What I did for that image is called High Dynamic Range and it turns out we were only working on learning how our camera’s sensor is tricked by images with lots of dark or light tones because they get averaged to “middle” (18%) gray and then they don’t look how we want them to.

Wednesday in my Perception 1 class we discussed how the sequencing of images makes a difference and then we watched a movie about Annie Leibovitz.  Then in the afternoon in Photo & Computer Orientation we had a guest speaker and after that we spent time working on our autobiographical videos.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m ready for ski season to start.  Unfortunately it’s a month before I start working at Vail again, so until then I am left living vicariously through others.  Vail’s Facebook page has some great pictures and videos of them getting ready for the 2013/14 season.

I forget who originally posted it, but this past week I came across a video about Vail’s avalanche dogs.  While I like sticking to groomed terrain, which has less avalanche danger than backcountry terrain, if I’m ever buried in an avalanche, I’d love for an avy dog to come find me because 1) dogs are a last faster than people and 2) I love dogs.  It also always made my day when I was working at Vail and got to see the dogs at the top of the lift in the morning.  The video is a little long, but it’s definitely worth watching.

A couple of winters I ago I wrote an entry titled “How To Make A Life On the Slopes” which included a link to a video titled “Why We Do It” which was produced by the Beaver Creek Ski Patrol.

I also made another post awhile back titled “Ski Career Videos“, featuring links to videos produced by: the Breckenridge snowmaking team, Vail ski patrol/avalanche techs, Beaver Creek winch operators, Beaver Creek Ski Patrol, Kicking Horse Ski Patrol in British Columbia, and the Ski Area Ops (SAO) program at Colorado Mountain College (CMC).

If those videos caught your attention, I recommend you look into the SAO program at CMC.  The college also offers 2 certificates in Ski Patrol Ops and a certificate in Ropeway Maintenance.  Click here to find out more information about Ski & Snowboard Industry programs and certificates.