Golden Spruce Photo Project

The Golden Spruce

The goal I had in mind during the photographing process was to reflect how far Vancouver has come since the 1800s and to capture some historic. I visited Ridge Park in my neighborhood as well as Rocky point park to fully immerse myself and to get to see everything first hand.

In Ridge Park, I wanted to capture how a logger might have felt when being out there in the wild, completely vulnerable. By unfocusing on the farther trees, I created a sense of discomfort and doubt, which is how one might feel if they were stranded out there. The second picture is one capturing the distant Sun piercing through the branches of the spruce and fir. Finally, the third picture is of me standing in the center of the trail, but even though that patch of ground might look stable,

At Rocky Point Park, I took advantage of the good weather to capture a series of shots on the trail and of the distant coast to reflect on how much it has changed since the logging era in the 1800s. One of my favourite is slide 7 on my power point, as it showcases the new-growth trees in the area and the sun shining in the back gives the picture a natural and warm feel.  My two primary locations to capture were the Shoreline trail and the dock at the end of the parking lot. From there I got a great view of the entire water body and forests surrounding the park. My trip to Rocky Point was quite fruitful. I even learned that about a severe windstorm that blew down many mature trees in 1933, making openings for younger saplings to then have a chance to flourish.

After completing this project, I realised how fortunate I am to live somewhere with so much green space, and how important it is for us Vancouverites to not take it for granted.

The pictures I took for the project are in this Google Slide presentation. Please check the captions as they include info as well as what ideas I wanted to convey.

 slide1

slide2
This photograph is to give a sense of how insignificant one is in the woods. As we look up, we realise how much we are dwarfed by the giants of the forest. Taken at Ridge park.
slide3
Recreating a logger’s perspective: a seemingly untameable, humongous forest with nothing but light coming through.
slide4
Standing on not so firm ground. As you look closer you will notice that the ground is very slippery and muddy.
slide5
Good weather for a stroll along the Shoreline Trail at Rocky Point. Learning a lot about the history of Port Moody.
slide6
Trees taking off right where the ocean left off, good representation of John Vaillant’s description in the book of The Golden Spruce.
slide7
The Sun gleams through the thin branches of these new-growth trees on the Shoreline trail.
slide8
The remains of a recently cut tree, likely just to make room for other vegetation.
slide9
A muddy area where there used to be water. New mud tolerant plants are already growing in this section.
slide10
Getting deeper into the forest.
slide11
Where there used to be water is only a large swamp now. The tree line makes it obvious where the water previously was present.
slide12
Standing on the dock looking East, I realised how precious our parks were and how we need to maintain them for the future.
slide13
This picture contrasts the previous picture, as this one shows a lot more man-made objects and shows how intertwined the two worlds are.
slide14
Glancing West from the dock, everything in sight has been clear-cut at least once. I really enjoyed the sight from here as it reflects what Vancouver is known for: water, trees and boats.
slide15
A nice little rest area where you can enjoy the view of good ol’ Port Moody.
slide16
Top Left: the trail information as well as a bit of history on it. Bottom Right: history of Port Moody.

The Golden Spruce was a great novel to study and I thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures for this project.

Blackout Poem

 

blackout-poem
My Blackout Poem Book: The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant, pg. 18
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Accompanying image – source: www.muralsdepot.com

I picked page 18 in The Golden Spruce because the page had very rich and descriptive words that I wanted to work with. I wanted to describe something abstract, and this page offered a wide variety of words to select.

Chemistry 11 Independent Project – Gas Station Visit

This is my chemistry 11 project, and the topic that I chose to study in-depth is to learn about how gas station manage their flammable materials as well as the safety rules and regulations that are put into place.  After learning about this topic for over a month, I am very proud of the knowledge that I have obtained through the process.

I want to thank Shell for providing their time to teach me all we needed to know and Mr. Cober for volunteering a lot of his time to help us get in touch with Petro-Canada.

I filmed this vlog and I summarize my project in this video below:

Franny and I on our reconnaissance trip around Coquitlam.  Shell helped us well!
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The electrical room inside the Shell building.

Emergency spill kit below counter

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Notes Gathered at Shell
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Notes from Shell pt. 2
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Online research notes
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Notes gathered on reconnaissance trip

As for visiting Petro Canada, they have finally gotten back to us, and they are unfortunately unable to let us go for a visit.

I really enjoyed working on this project even though it could have went smoother. Looking into this topic is worthwhile because a gas station is a very common stop for drivers and we should all be fairly familiar with the safety rules and regulations to keep ourselves and others safe. I will definitely share the knowledge that I have recently learned.

6th In-depth post – Navigating

Here we go again! I have been spending quite a bit of time working on my animation, and I just realized that animating characters is a lot more challenging than I predicted. On the brighter side, I am getting the hang of tweening and moving my character around the scene. I have made good progress on my short animation that I am working on. I also stay true to my word: ever since my very first blog post, I have been aiming for quality and precision.

I polish every transition, adjust every limb of the character until it looks just right and add fine details around the scene. Here are some pictures of the various expressions and angles I have drawn of my character.

rabbit-2 rabbit-3 rabbit

When I will have finished drawing the character in every angle, movement and facial expression I need (which is soon, I promise), I will put it all together for the final animation (that includes transitions, character, colour, and a lot and a lot of work).

For meeting with my mentor, we had an online discussion over a chat instead of meeting this time around as it was Easter and my mentor was quite busy. The discussion went very well and I asked some questions about tweening that were soon resolved. My mentor redirected me to only tutorials that answered my questions well. Now I know how to create a motion path to guide my rabbit instead of having him walk in a straight line.

Some concept that were recently discussed were tweening, because they are so vital in animation. We talked about creating tweens for body parts, for motion paths and the difference between classic tweens and motion tweens.

The alternatives I have are to complete my animation frame by frame, which does make it look more natural but takes a lot more effort. Alternatives for my animation style include: traditional animation (hand-drawn), 3D animation, motion graphics and stop motion. I am currently working on 2D animation and it’s the method I prefer.

I’m going to keep on animating now, and I look forward to showcasing my final product at in-depth night!

Confederation Doc of Learning

Upon reading articles and websites about the Canadian confederation, I am quite impressed by how smoothly the process went. I decided to some further research about his topic. My guiding question will be: What caused the Canadians to take on confederation so efficiently and peacefully?

This has interested me ever since I started learning about confederation, because the formation of the country is a unique one in history. The uniting of the country did not involve any violence, and was wrapped up in a matter of three years. What I want to learn from this research are the factors and motives that pushed the colonies to become one country.

Canada is known to solve problems peacefully, and the formation of the country itself reflected that reputation. One main factor that makes this so different from countries like America is that Britain was supporting the idea instead of opposing it. The following quote explains the difference.

“The Dominion of Canada wasn’t born out of revolution, or a sweeping outburst of nationalism. Rather, it was created in a series of conferences and orderly negotiations, culminating in the terms of Confederation on 1 July 1867.” -P.B. Waite

There were many factors that pushed the British North American colonies to unite. The colonies would be physically stronger, and since there are now more people to trade with, the economy would flourish. In addition, Canada knew that Britain was getting more and more reluctant to defend the colonies against US aggressions, so they needed a self-governing nation that could protect themselves.

During the American revolution, there was not much external pressure as there was not another country around that would possibly invade them. Their intentions were mainly fueled by the fact that they seek independence, whereas Canada was looking for strength and unity.

Furthermore, Canada’s politicians at the time were quite educated and they have a good plan put forward for confederation. Canada’s intentions are also not to push Britain aside, but only protection, governance and economical reasons. For these reasons, Canada did not resort to violence to get their point across. The delegates also proposed many points to Britain in return for the British North America Act. The quote below summarizes those points.

“The main points of the Canadian proposal were continued loyalty to Britain; a strong federal government, but provincial control over local affairs; representation in the Lower House or Assembly based on population; and an Upper House or Senate to provide regional representation.” -Canada History Project

After delving into this research, I made several findings. The formation of a colonial country not only takes a lot of effort; the outcome strongly depends on what the country is seeking. What I still would like to know are the creation of other countries that did not involve colonizing, and I plan on researching that on my own time.

This subject is important, because understanding the consequence of actions can help guide a nation down the path they want to take, and studying the factors that make a country peacefully is vital for any nation.

Sources:

http://www.canadahistoryproject.ca/1867

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Confederation

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/confederation/

http://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/american-revolution-history

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution

 

5th In-Depth Post – Mid flight

I have been working hard on my animation for the past few weeks, and I made a few changes to the short that I am currently working on. I decided to draw in black and white, with a few highlights of colors to bring out important objects in the animation. I have also broken down my character more, and his movement is a lot smoother now compared to before.

I was not able to meet with my mentor over spring break because I was away for most of the time, but I did work on my animation throughout. Here is part of the animation that I am doing, and it shows my character walking in a field of grass. I applied the skills that Jeremy taught me, which were to set pivot points at limb junctions and to change my character symbol into a graphic instead of a movie clip. —-> Character Walking

This conversation that I decided to record is with my mentor before leaving during the spring break. We were discussing technical components of flash as well as how he animated in his studio. We also must add the six hats to the conversation to identify what role each statement and phrase played.

The six hats are:

  • Red hat is emotions and intuition, which is the primary feeling we have.
  • Blue hat to organize other hats
  • Green hat for creativity and productiveness
  • Black hat for identifying faults, pointing out incorrect or weak points
  • White hat for hard facts and information
  • Yellow hat for benefits and values in a conversation

The conversation went a little bit like this:


 

Jeremy (mentor): So, do you have any specific questions you would like to ask me this time? (Green)

Me: Yep, I came with a few written-down questions. (Green-Yellow-Blue)

Jeremy: Great, let’s hear some of them (Red)

Me: How do we have a symbol play on the general timeline if the symbol has its own timeline? (Green-Blue)

Jeremy: If its some technical stuff, why don’t you come in my office? I’ll show you. (Green-Red-Yellow)

Me: Sure (Red)

(In the office)

Jeremy: The symbol must be a graphic to have it play its own timeline. You can change that in the properties window if you click on the symbol. (White)

Me: Oh, I see, I think my symbol is a movie clip. (White-Red)

Jeremy: So, what other questions do you have? (Red-Green)

Me: I was wondering how you make your character’s move bend their limbs separately? (Green-Yellow)

Jeremy: You must create individual symbols for each body part, and then set a “pivot point” to where you want the limb to rotate. (White)

Me: Oh, ok, so the pivot points are the white dots? (Green-White)

Jeremy: Correct, and to position them where you want you select the free transform tool. (White)

Me: That’s a nice feature! Thanks for helping me with this (Red-Yellow)

Jeremy: You’re welcome. Glad to help! (Yellow-Red)


 

Now that the break is well over I will work harder than ever to finish my current animation and to maybe start working on another one. I’m wishing everyone luck on their in-depth as well!

November 1st 1864 – A few steps closer

I just arrived home from a three-week trip and it feels great to take a break from all this confederation talk.

Oh, yes I forgot you were here. How was the Charlottetown conference you say? The gathering went smoothly, and the delegates were very nice men to discuss with. We discussed mostly the division of powers, and the plans we laid out are concrete. The financial plans, which were covered by me, were also very well thought-out. Moreover, from what I saw, there was a consensus from every province that supported confederation.

The section that I oversaw were the taxes, debts and economic plans for the nation. If confederation was to happen, the taxes charged per capita would be much lower because of the larger population in Canada. In addition, the Canadians would pay part of the taxes to build the railway connecting Canada and the Maritimes, and therefore takes off a lot of the financial pressure off the maritime provinces.

For now, I will continue working away at the final speech to be presented to the British. I must summarize my key points and plans, but I think I’ll be in good shape when the delegates will discuss with Britain.

I have high hopes for the future of our nation and I strongly believe that confederation will profit us all along the way.

I just arrived home from a three-week trip and it feels great to take a break from all this confederation talk.

Oh, yes I forgot you were here. How was the Charlottetown conference you say? The gathering went smoothly, and the delegates were very nice men to discuss with. We discussed mostly the division of powers, and the plans we laid out are concrete. The financial plans, which were covered by me, were also very well thought-out. Moreover, from what I saw, there was a consensus from every province that supported confederation.

The section that I oversaw were the taxes, debts and economic plans for the nation. If confederation was to happen, the taxes charged per capita would be much lower because of the larger population in Canada. In addition, the Canadians would pay part of the taxes to build the railway connecting Canada and the Maritimes, and therefore takes off a lot of the financial pressure off the maritime provinces.

For now, I will continue working away at the final speech to be presented to the British. I must summarize my key points and plans, but I think I’ll be in good shape when the delegates will discuss with Britain.

I have high hopes for the future of our nation and I strongly believe that confederation will profit us all along the way.

4th In-Depth Post – Cruising

I have officially begun working on my animation, and I now have a good grasp of some specific technical skills, thanks to another fruitful meeting with my mentor Jeremy. This time around, we discussed technical stuff that is related to Flash. We went straight in his home office, which is his animation workspace.

Over the meeting, we have gone over a variety of small things, but they were all very useful in helping me achieve what I wanted. We have discussed drawing tools, and the different textures that the program offers. We also talked about the pros and cons of using photoshop to draw, since the drawings are made of individual pixels’ wit drawings on flash are all vector, so they keep their quality when you enlarge, shrink or transform them.

I also developed a new point of view during the meeting. I learned to see an animation as multiple sections instead of one whole. When you think about it, one character needs to have at least six fundamental layers: arms, legs, eyes, mouth, head and body. You can always elaborate from that, but the point is that the artist would not be overwhelmed by animating all the parts if he/she can work from layer to layer.

Nevertheless, animating the body parts were my biggest takeaway from this mentoring session. My mentor taught me that to facilitate this we can create “groups” of the body parts, and after adding a pivot point we can make them move naturally. The pivot points are essentially a point where you can rotate a symbol, and it is very useful any body movements since you won’t have to redraw the limb every time you want to make it move.

Something that was completely new to me were the keyboard shortcuts, which allows you to switch between tools in the blink of an eye. I never thought about using them until I saw Jeremy animate. He explains that they will make you much more efficient and reach your end goal a lot faster.

Here are some questions that I came up with as well as some of the elements that we discussed throughout the meeting. I asked these questions because they came up when I was experiencing with the animation program and they would be directly beneficial for me when I make my animation.

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When it comes to my progress, on my first animation, I picked a story and I have started making my characters move around, such as walking and running. I applied the skills that I learned, such as grouping and pivot points to my animation. My next task would be to draw some backgrounds to go along with the story and to add colour to the animation.

August 3rd, 1858 – Meanwhile in Canada…

I am Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, and I currently live with my family in lower Canada.

I have just accepted the position of finance minister, and I am quite excited to work alongside the John Macdonald – George- Étienne Cartier government. Up to this day, my goal has been to make the country’s economy flourish, and I can say I have come a long way.

I started off as an immigrant from London, moving to British North America when I was only seven years old. From there, I went to school until I turned 18, and then I started working as a bookkeeper for the British American Land Company. I soon started promoting railways that connect major towns. I also partnered with the firm of C.S. Gzowski and Company, which built sections of the Grand Trunk Railway.

It was not until later though, that I started politics, and I am so glad that I did. It was then that I could really contribute to our nation, Canada. Now that I have the title of minister of finance, I can oversee the construction of the railroads and trades that occur between us and the maritime people.

In order to have Canada successfully expand and become a strong nation is to unite the colonies and work together. The trades and commerce are working very well, but the government can still be improved on, perhaps to be unified into one. Even though I support the conservative-liberal type of government that works right now in the province of Canada, I still think that it could be more organised and efficient if the colonies including the Maritimes had a common rule.

Anyway, in little time, we will see Lower Canada grow significantly, both in economy and in people. We are set for a very bright future and I am looking forward to see the progress we will make.

Follow my twitter account @galt_alexander to stay tuned on railroad updates, finance announcement or simply some interesting discussions.

Quebec City Founded

“I arrived there on the 3rd of July, wrote Samuel de Champlain in 1608, “when I searched for a place suitable for our settlement, but I could find none more convenient or better situated than the point of Quebec.”

Quebec City has started from mere trees and rocks. Champlain and his 24 men worked tirelessly to build a three-storied fort, accompanied by a drawbridge a moat around the building for more protection. The construction did not go smoothly as five of Champlain’s men had planned to murder him for not sharing the fur trade profits, but they were soon stopped.

When fall hit the settlers started clearing more land to plant winter wheat and rye for the upcoming spring. However, the first winter was very harsh and hit in the middle of October. It was first frost, and then snow fell during November. A large portion of the men were sick and 16 of them died over the winter.

Samuel de Champlain continued his expansion of Quebec City, all while participating in a war against the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois people.

Source: Marsh, James H. “Champlain and the Founding of Quebec.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

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