Month: March 2014

A Little Piece of Heaven

We can all agree that vacations bring us all a sense of happiness. It’s a time that could be spent away to travel and explore different parts of the world. It gives us a chance to escape reailty for a little while. Mexico is known for a beautiful vacation spot. Regardless not every part of Mexico looks like paradise, there are certain parts that could be your own little piece of heaven. I chose a series of pictures I took from Quintana Roo, Mexico to represent happiness and to simply answer the question “What does happiness look like?” Although these pictures may not resemble happiness to you, it may help you capture the essence of the photo and create a different meaning to you.

January 5, 2014- Quintana Roo, Mexico- This site is called Tulum, A pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Coba. The ruins are situated on 12-meter tall cliffs, along the East coast of Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.


Two boys play on the sandy beach of Quintana Roo Mexico as the sun sets behind them

January 3, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – As the sun sets, two younger boys play on the sandy beach while the waves of the ocean approach them.

Quintana Roo, Mexico- A group of turtles swim underneath a bridge.

January 3, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – A group of turtles swim underneath a bridge. The reflection of the trees above appear clearly in the water.

January 4, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – An empty scuba diving boat sits on the surface of the ocean at the edge of the beach.

January 5, 2014 - Quintana Roo, Mexico - A  sail boat lingers far in the distance. A boy stands on a platform leading into the ocean.

January 5, 2014 – Quintana Roo, Mexico – A sail boat lingers far in the distance. A young boy walks on a platform leading into the ocean.


TIME tells all

All three photos I chose to be my top three favorite from TIME NewsFeed: Picks the Most Surprising photos of 2013 because I found myself drawn to them at the first glance. They capture the essence of the moment, they speak for themselves. They all fit into the three rules for visual story telling which is fill your frame, control your background and shoot for moments. The photographers made it clear what point they wanted to get across using emotion. These photos provide a feeling to the story and give it context.

The captions I used are from TIME NewsFeed, they provide a clear description of the picture. 

 First photo: June 17, 2013, Pope Francis attends the opening of the Pastoral Convention of the Diocese of Rome at the Vatican. The lighting is the biggest factor that sets a scene for this image. The use of contrast of light and dark help distinguish the focal point. The way that the popes hands are positioned and the way he is seated develops a sense of character. It is also not to close up, the distance is about medium but it still a good enough position for us to feel the emotion happening.  


Second Photo: July 3, 2013. Race leader yellow jersey holder Orica Greenedge team rider Simon Gerrans of Australia cycles past Sisters of the Consolation congregation during the 228.5 km fifth stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Cagnes-Sur-Mer to Marseille.
The angle this is shot from almost makes it look 3D. There are two completely different types of events happening in this pictures and although it may seem cluttered, It fits the frame well with the amount of people and facial expressions. They give off a sense of the people’s excitement when watching these bicyclists pass.  Perfect timing for this picture to be shot, and it is up close. There is no main focus but the background seemed to be controlled, The only thing I would say about this one the colors might be over whelming, and it could be little too much motion. 



Third Photo: Aug. 7, 2013. A general view of the 108-meter-tall 1:3-scale replica of Eiffel Tower built by a real estate developer in the residential block named Tianducheng on in Hangzhou, China.
The angel is everything in this picture. The way the replica of the Eiffel tower is centered along with the building in the background being symmetrical. The grass is looking extra green stick out. The shot looks like it was taken medium, we can only see half of the tower but it still fits the frame perfect.  I would say the focal point is the replica but I want to say it’s the path leading up to it, The way the background is set up with the trees fading in the distance is what turns into my focus, The contrast of light and dark help distinguish that. 



A Potential New Bike Path That Could Be Used For Your Convenience


It is understood many of the students from the College of DuPage bike to and from campus, many people ride their bike, but you can’t get to campus without being on a major road. Luckily, DuPage County is thinking about developing a full east-west trail from the College Of DuPage back to Oak Brook Mall.

They also want to link the North Central DuPage Regional Trail on the North with the Illinois Prairie Path, Great Western Trail, and the Southern DuPage County Regional Trail to the South. Both trail plans would allow the surrounding communities to have easy access to them. I emailed Keith Yearman, Professor of Geography at the College of DuPage about this idea, and he expanded with his own thoughts on the plan. Here is what he said,

If you develop new paths, people will find them.  Also, you have significant development due east of the campus.  You have large single-family subdivisions, town homes and apartment complexes between Roosevelt and Butterfield stretching back to and beyond Yorktown.  There’s a large population that could take advantage of an east-west path. With both new north-south and east-west paths, you would link downtown Wheaton and Glen Ellyn to Morton Arboretum, the College and out to Oak Brook Mall.  That’s a great network developing from an already-great path (Illinois Prairie Path). “

The Prairie Path is very useful to some people depending where you live and can only get you so far. For some students, they can take the Prairie Path directly to campus but for others it is not so easy such as this student at COD, Blake Englesman. He lives in Oak Brook off of York Road and still has to cross a busy road to get to the Prairie Path. When having an interview with him, I asked him if he would find this path beneficial and he said,

“Except for when it’s cold outside, I pretty much bike everywhere because it’s my only way of transportation at times. If there was a safe way of biking to COD for me without being on a dangerous road for bikers, I would definitely take that route.”

DuPage County cannot accommodate everyone by creating bike trails conveniently located for everyone, but this path would be beneficial for multiple purposes for the people in the surroundings areas.

On DuPage County’s website under Bikeways & Trails Regional Trail Development East Branch DuPage River Greenway Trail, It says by using the combination of off-road and on-road bikeways, they will tie together the ten forest preserves including Spring Creek Reservoir, Swift Prairie, East Branch, Churchill Woods, Hidden Lake and Green Valley. Over 420,000 residents in central DuPage County will be available to this trail, 29 local parks, COD and 18 schools and other destinations like Morton Arboretum. The trail also provides non-motorized access to employment centers, downtown areas, train stations, and other commute destinations.

Creating a project like this will need people to become involved and be aware of the issues they could run into. When having a phone interview with the Principal Planner/Trails Coordinator of the DuPage County Bikeways Program Daniel Thomas, I asked him how will they make this happen and what things to they need to do first in order to get started on this project and he said,

“There would need to be a bridge over the DuPage River, It would be part of the land that is owned by the Park District. There needs to be permission from them, ComEd, schools the path would be cross; it needs to become funded.”

Later in the interview I asked Thomas when they plan on putting this project in action and what exactly will it take and he said,

“It is all conceptual right now; it will need people to partner together and make agreements.”

Although this idea will take time to develop and does not have a specific timeline established, this is a great outlook for potential students who are not able to bike to COD as easily.


Blake Englesman-Phone Number: (630) 439-6106 Email:

Daniel Thomas-Phone Number: (630) 407-6883 Email:

Keith Yearman-Phone Number: (630) 942-2765 Email:

DuPage County IL Official Website: Bike & Trails Regional Trail Development East Branch DuPage River Greenway Trail