The “Fab” Five

When asked to present five photos using the “creative devices” we learned in this class, I was a little discouraged. I have an account on Instagram and Twitter but those spontaneous acts of my artistic side are few and far in between.

So when thinking about what five photographs I could take and use and what creative devices I could classify them under, I decided I’d take pictures of my five favorite recent memories… Hope you enjoy! If not… please lie and say you did!

Life is too short for bad wine!

Life is too short for bad wine!

For this first photograph I chose to capture wine and use the creative device of “focus” to draw in the attention of my audience. I believe by using focus, the viewers eyes look directly at the wine glass which is the focal point. The use of blurred background I feel creates more appeal but doesn’t take away the attention of the glass itself. I think the glass had such a powerful statement in this picture because of its color and because of its placement. It’s aesthetically pleasing because of its appealing elements and contrast of colors. I also think that because of the background elements that highlight the “focal point” because they relate to the main subject.

And now unveiling photograph #2!

Concert in Denver!

Concert in Denver!

For the second photograph I captured I felt it could be classified  under the creative device of “framing” because it highlights the stage and the performer who was hosting the event. Although the heart that was created by my friend’s hand and mine is a bit of distraction to what’s going on, it also emphasizes the performance that is going on and the crowd that is partaking in the event behind. It captures the reader’s attention because it is framing an important event which obviously exhibits an exciting an event of some kind (an awesome concert). It’s also pleasant for the eye because it has colors that create appeal as well as the excitement taking place at the festival.

Hello number 3.

Driving in good ol' Colorado!

Driving in good ol’ Colorado!

This picture was taken during my little adventure to Colorado. I felt once taken it fit the category of “depth” best. For me, I felt the focal point was the car that was closest in the image followed by other traffic then by the mountain range in the distance. It captures the reader’s attention because of how the gloomy haze highlighted the accents of the different cars and scenery and also because a majority of the picture is in focus. All the above reasons show why people would choose to view the image. Plus it’s Colorado, how could you not love it?


Enjoying the nice weather!

Enjoying the nice weather!

For this fourth photograph I used the creative device of “Rule of Thirds” because, well, it fits the category (plus, the shoes are cute and the weather was so nice!). The shoes I’m wearing in this picture draw the viewer’s attention because they are the main subject that is upfront and center. But the blue chairs and the stage in the background also create good scenery which makes the nude color of the shoes more interesting. If I were someone who just happened to come across this picture, I would like it for its different use of placing the main subject and because of its simplicity (and because of the fact they were new shoes).


Poke Pride!

Poke Pride!

And last but not least we see the photograph in this “Fab Five” selection in which chose to incorporate a little bit of my school pride. The creative device in this piece is “contrast” because the contrast around the subject are what makes it pop. It captures the reader’s attention because the focal point is very obvious and because the main subject is intriguing. For fellow Poke fans it’s aesthetically please because is does represent the Wyoming Cowboys, for other viewers, well it’s intriguing because of its lighting around the subject.

From this assignment I learned… well… I need to take better photographs. Just kidding! I did learn that all of the important composition tips suggested do improve photos so much more. As someone who takes interest in photography I felt this assignment also helped me learn the importance of taking good photos if Photoshop was not an option.

I was surprised by this assignments difficulty because the less I had to worry about Photoshoppimg, the more I had to worry about focusing on good and original photographs.

As for things I could change, there are a lot of things. I wish I could have had more time to travel and take a more wide-range of pictures and think of more creative ways to incorporate different elements. I also wish I could have taken more advantage of lighting and of different subjects.

Overall though, I’m not unsatisfied with what I composed, I hope you all aren’t either!


Starved for Competition

An Original Investigative Report by Ashlee Williams

Photo Courtesy of the Wyoming Athletic Department

Photo Courtesy of the Wyoming Athletic Department

Where the problem begins…

When it comes to competition, an athlete’s physical condition is essential. Players here on campus spend hours conditioning themselves to be at their top performing shape at all times.

But as much as good nutrition and safe training are encouraged, especially among collegiate and professional athletes, one sport has a reputation as being unhealthy for its athletes.

The name of the game is wrestling, and the price to participate was once notoriously unhealthy, and, in extreme cases, deadly.

Andy McCulley, a well-respected wrestler at the University of Wyoming, shares his knowledge about what it takes to make it in wrestling.

“Wrestling has been a major part of my life since I was old enough to wear a singlet,” said McCulley. “There were a lot of times when I wondered if it was the best sport for my body. My dad was always encouraging me to pursue it but my mom was always a little more leery about it just because of the health concerns it created. But it’s what I loved and it was what I wanted to do. So ever since it has been about all about pushing myself and my body so that I can achieve the goals needed to do well in my wrestling career.”

Weight Issues Concerning Wrestlers

In wrestling it’s obvious size matters. In the past, before rules were established for safe weight management, on average most members found themselves trying to fit in a weight class that was two groups down from what was considered healthy for their body type. That statistic comes from the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), an organization that was created in 1997 when three collegiate wrestlers died because of unhealthy weight loss activities. It is the association’s mission to stop such tragedies which still happen today, although not as frequently.

In the past, one of the most common methods for athletes to lose weight was starving themselves. Anorexia was a common term thrown around in the wrestling realm 15 to 20 years ago. Often wrestlers who were trying to achieve their desired weight-class would push themselves past their breaking points, creating voracious appetites and hunger pains that consumed athletes.

“There were a couple of incidents during my high school career where I would find myself going without meals,” shared McCulley. “Skipping out on meals and working out were the two sure-fire ways to lose weight. But eventually it got to a point where I learned I just needed to maintain a proper diet and a proper exercise plan to be where I wanted to be. I realized my health wasn’t something I wanted to chance, no matter how much I loved the sport.”

Crash Diets and Workout Plans

It also was not uncommon to see competitors doing whatever they could to sweat as much as possible during their workouts. Wrestlers reported that they would put on trash bags saran-wrapped to their bodies, followed by layers of sweatshirts and sweaters to sweat off any excess weight. Though they were losing water weight, athletes would become extremely dehydrated creating alarming health issues.

“When I wrestled in college, it was back before the NCAA established the rules they have in place today,” UW Wrestling Head Coach Mark Branch said. “I remember being on the team with a guy who would lose so many pounds in the matter of a couple of hours. It wasn’t uncommon for guys to lose 10 pounds or more in just a day. It wasn’t healthy and something surely needed to be changed, especially because of all the health concerns that happened during that time.”

New Rules and Regulations

Since then, the NCAA has created strict regulations that wrestlers today have to follow in order to compete. Wrestlers are no longer allowed to jump up and down from different weight classes. When the season begins, they are given a plan according to what’s best suited to their bodies after performing tests for body fat, hydration, etc. They are also no longer allowed to cut large amounts of weight in a few days. Generally, they are allowed to cut two pounds max per week.

Wrestlers from the University of Wyoming have reported that their weight loss methods include extra workouts and watching what they eat while still getting the nutrition they need.

“My biggest concern for my team is to make sure that they stay hydrated and follow healthy diets,” said Branch. “At the beginning of each season we set reasonable goals for each athlete. We also have a team nutritionist that keeps track of our athletes and makes sure they are maintaining good health.”

Photo Courtesy of the Wyoming Athletic Department

For more information on the regulations and guidelines created, take a look at the Optimal Performance Calculator posted by the NWCA.