¡El Final!




Aspiring Photographer
Valencian Roof Views.

How do you make a moment last forever? Some people prefer to write or journal, there’s others who capture their fondest scenes through art such as drawing and painting. More millennials now have gotten creative by developing short music videos through social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. I like to think of myself as “stuck in the middle”. Preferring the easy use of technology, yet not completely allowed the luxury of time to create a music video. I use a 30 megapixel Canon camera to capture all good and bad moments. Fancying myself a new and learning photographer, and Spain provided many opportunities for me to let my photo-freak flag fly to capture an unlimited amount of valued memories.

Valencian Street.

I wanted to be prepared for capturing scenic views and smiling memories during my time in Spain. My camera provided just what I need to quickly snap crystal clear photos of the world around me. However, I will admit that learning about my camera was a little difficult while trying to capture the moment. I had to learn more terms such as IS, or Image Stabilizing, Auto Focus and how to adjust it, and much more. The new technicalities to my small, yet immensely helpful camera was made easier to learn through a fellow peer who specialized in photography. What luck! With his help and better understanding the basic adjustments in camera settings, I was better able to take photos that not only looked clearer, but could seize the personal meanings of my moments. My images are very broad and wide angled, as to capture the whole view of what I saw and lived through. Through the help and better understanding of my Canon camera, I get to look back and relive what made me feel carefree.

Me in Valencia.
Sepia or Amaro?

Of course, the camera did the main job, and that was to capture the moment. However, there’s another crucial part to make the pictures even more appealing: filtering. Adding filters is what I saw as the enjoyable part. Filters help the picture not only look more appealing, but to helps set the mood of what I felt during the moment I took the photo. Different filters give off different “vibes” so to say. Usually I would use a Instagram whenever I uploaded my pictures to social media or just to adjust them to better them. Other times I used photo editing apps like PhotoGrid to apply filters. The right filter provides the right sense of nostalgia whenever I look back at my photos.

MARQ Museum.
Plan B!

In contrast, there were times where my camera wasn’t with me. Cameras after all do need time to recuperate from heavy use and recharge their batteries. My iPhone 6 plus was actually a very helpful and just as effective substitute for my camera, with some minor set backs of course. However, I made good use of my phone to still capture my moments and make memories. You know, especially in this day and age, everyone has their cellular device in their hands. It’s more convenient, highly useful, and powerful enough to perform any task necessary. And that doesn’t change once you get a camera. Well maybe a little because you are working with a device that specializes in photo-taking, but that doesn’t devalue how important our smartphones are. My iPhone 6 plus was incredibly helpful when it came to uploading my new pictures to social media or share them with family and friends. Versus a camera, I had to upload my pictures to my laptop and then edit them or resize them to be able to meet criteria for sharing. Although I love my Canon camera, I still find my iPhone just as helpful and convenient.

Virtual Study Abroad

In the midst of taking pictures of breath-taking views and scenes, I still made time to live in the moment. I never forgot how important it was to actually open my eyes around me to where I was and what I was doing at the very instant. And I think that is why studying abroad virtually is not effective. Through virtual study abroad, the essence of what makes studying abroad worth-while is lost. Here is my list as to why:

  • Don’t get the live-in experience
  • Not fully emerged in the culture
  • Not fully emerged in the language of the host country
  • Most importantly: to be able to meet people in person from other countries that broadens your world view. Being able to hang-out with them, develop real friendships, and share so much information in a close interaction.

Studying abroad virtually may be beneficial, but it can not measure up to the benefits of leaving home. There are no chances to go out and take photographic memories in foreign streets, scenic views, or important landmarks. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience for a student in just about every aspect in terms of education and socializing.