After working on this song for about three weeks, I have completed my cover of River Flows in You by Yiruma. I decided to change up the beginning to make it more of an original cover. Playing the piano has helped me in school, because I am able to transfer my music skills when playing another instrument. In instrumental band during elementary school, I used all the theory I had learned from OAOM and applied it to the clarinet. At OAOM I am taught by Anderson Chau, who helped me create sheets for the introduction I wanted to make. To visit Anderson’s website, just click on his name. My cover of River Flows in You can be seen below.
As an assignment in grade eight, I had to take pictures that seem like optical illusions. I am very proud of the photos I took and would like to share them. I used depth of field to my advantage, making the lights bulbs look like little light balls. Using Christmas lights I was able to create the effect you see below.
As I developed my interest in photography, I slowly learned how to take photos in manual mode, with the help of the YouTubers mentioned at the bottom. The three main variables to worry about when taking photos manually are exposure, aperture, and ISO.
Exposure: This is how long your camera’s shutter stays open to let in light. Exposure is measured in seconds. With a fast shutter speed, such as 1/500 s, less light is allowed to enter your camera’s sensor, making the image darker. Although, with a slow shutter speed, such as 2 s, taking pictures without a tripod may be difficult, because the sensor will detect even the slightest movement of your hands making the image blurry. Be careful with exposure because over-exposure can lead to losing details in objects such as clouds.
Aperture: This is how wide the opening for light on your lens is. Aperture is what gives a depth of field effect, also known as bokeh, which is often seen in portraits. Aperture is measured with a f/ number. The lower the f/ number the wider the opening. A low f/ number is used to create the depth of field effect, which is the blurring of the background, keeping a sharp focus on near objects. With a higher f/ number more objects in the scene are in focus. It may seem logical to use a low f/ number in any scenario because it allows more light to enter, but a high f/ number is often used to take landscape photos.
ISO: This is the amplification of light in the image. When taking photos in the dark, a high ISO is often used to bring light to the image. ISO is commonly used when photos are being taken in dark conditions and there is not anything to keep the camera stable while the shutter is open. ISO can be very helpful in providing a little more light to your scene without having to increase exposure or lower the f/ number, but can create noise/grain.
When I take my photos, the order I like to adjust these settings in are aperture, exposure and then ISO. I often take photos with only my hands holding the camera, which requires a fast exposure to avoid blur, therefore I try to keep my f/ number low to let more light in. I adjust exposure before ISO because I want to avoid noise in my image at all costs, but if I do need the light in my shot amplified, I adjust my ISO.
Last weekend, I went to watch the private screening of Vietnamerica, at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Prior to watching this documentary, I knew that many Vietnamese people fled from Vietnam after the communist won the Vietnam War. However, this film taught me much more about the refugees, and helped me understand the struggle my parents went through to start a new life in Canada. Vietnamerica is a follow up to award-winning short documentary, ‘Master Hoa’s Requiem.’ Master Hoa was imprisoned for three years and went through depression, losing his entire family when escaping Vietnam on a boat. Master Hoa’s wife was raped by pirates, and all he could do was watch because he was tied up. The boats they traveled on were small and were not meant to go over seas, but it was the only hope for some Vietnamese people. This film is heart wrenching because the stories that were told could have or have happened to my family. My dad escaped on a boat, and was able to reach a refugee camp in Malaysia. My grandfather was imprisoned because he fought for South Vietnam. Even though the film is directed more to the Vietnamese Americans, the story is the same for Vietnamese Canadians. The trailer for this film can be seen below.