Playing with Media

In a surprising turn of events, I seem to have become the unofficial photographer/videographer for the park. I wasn’t always such a prolific photographer. I remember being interested in it by the time I was about ten years old, collecting National Geographic magazines and photography books. But all I had was a film camera. While shooting film is a great experience, it’s not the best to learn on since you need to wait until you get your film developed to get any kind of feedback. The restriction of film development also made it an expensive hobby for a high school kid with no job. The end result was that I didn’t take many pictures, no matter how much I loved it. The photo game only changed for me very recently when my parents gave me a Canon EOS Rebel as a Christmas/birthday/graduation combo gift this last winter. I essentially haven’t put it down since – not for three months in Mexico, not for my trip to Yellowstone and graduation, and not while I’ve been here. After a few weeks of consistently carrying my camera with me in Capulin, my coworkers started to ask me for pictures. We like to post daily on both Instagram and Facebook at Capulin, and good pictures = higher engagement! So my coworkers began approaching me with questions like “Kelsey, do you have any pictures of blue grama grass? I’m trying to make a post about the ranching history here,” or “Hey Kels, what’s the summeriest picture you’ve got? Making an Instagram for the summer solstice.” If I didn’t already have the picture they wanted, I would go out and take it. Recently I’ve been stepping into experimenting with video for the park. Last week I created a short (and very humble) time lapse demonstrating visitation on a busy morning, but my ultimate goal is to get a time lapse of one of our famous storms rolling in. Right now I’m exploring the best use for our GoPro. It’s a lot more creative freedom than I expected, and I love it. If anyone is looking to get more experience behind a good camera, my single biggest piece of advice is the first advice that was ever given to me: set your camera to “manual” right away and keep it there. There’s no better way to learn how to handle your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for the results you want. And never set the camera down.  

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