Tag Archives: Photography

The Lake Project: Calling an Audible – Dex

From the beginning, the plan for my project has been to create a catalog of species that I photograph from around the lake. The idea was simple: take a photo, figure out what species it is, give it a page in the book. However, if things go well, I might be making a bit of a change to the finished product. I might have to call an audible, a term used in football to describe a play a quarterback decides on after everyone is ready to go.

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The Lake Project: Using Lightroom – Dex

When in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for my Senior Project, I learned a lot about how to better use my equipment simply by taking thousands of pictures over the course of two short weeks. However, what I learned the most about was my photo-editing software: Lightroom. For this week’s blog post, I wanted to discuss how incredible and helpful Lightroom is as probably the best tool I currently possess, perhaps even better than my camera.

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Welcome to the Lake!



Photo of Westtown Lake credited to Pamela Cloud

Good morning and welcome!

My name is Dexter Coen Gilbert, and as a current senior and Lifer at Westtown, I have always been drawn to the beauty of the Westtown Lake. That is why I decided to pursue an independent project where I would photograph and catalog as many species as I could (when I proposed the project I said I would catalog “all” the species, which I quickly realized would be impossible). Continue reading


This blog will be my last post and the probably the shortest one. With AP exams, service day, and a field trip, I didn’t get to shoot any sequences this week. However, I did solve the technological issues and put together my final video as the presentation date has been moved to this Friday, May 15th. I will post the link to the video here after Friday because I don’t want to spoil it.  😛

(Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFMksZ3IzYQ)

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Week 11

This week has been quite stressful for me with crazy workload: all the senior work (reflection paper, senior essay, senior play rehearsal), schoolwork, and AP exams to study for. Fortunately I still managed to shoot a few sequences earlier in the week. This week I did sunrise at boys end, Lower School drop-off in the morning, and Middle School Recess.

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Both the Lower School one and the Middle School turned out fine, but the sunrise sequence was overexposed. I have shot sunrise sequences before and the same thing has happened. I learned to fix it by setting the exposure lower on manual mode, such as -2/3 or -1, when the sky is still dark so that the photo won’t be overexposed after the sun rises. When shooting sunrise or sunset, I usually put on manual mode instead of aperture priority mode to avoid flicker. However, I read something online that says the opposite. On learntimelapse.com, an article tells me that if the light changes, consider shooting in aperture priority mode, which is the mode I used to use to shoot sunrise or sunset. Does that mean I was right in the beginning and switched to the wrong mode? The article also mentions the flicker problem and offers some ways to solve it. (http://www.learntimelapse.com/time-lapse-photography-how-to-guide/) So I think I will try the AV mode again and see if it works better than manual.

This coming week is going to be another crazy week with rehearsals everyday and AP exams, but I’ll try my best to keep shooting!

Until next week,


Week 10

Thanks to the weather this past weekend, I made a lot of progress this week. Since I don’t have much time on the weekdays, I usually shoot my sequences on the weekends. And this week I shot seven in just two days. On Sunday especially, the clouds were white, clear, and in perfect shapes, floating in chunks. I originally planned to study for my AP exam on Sunday, but when I looked outside, I couldn’t think of anything better to do than to take photos. Continue reading

New Discovery

Although it had been cloudy and rainy during the weekdays, fortunately the sky cleared up on the weekend with some nice clouds, which gave me plenty opportunities to shoot. I shot three sequences over the weekend, in which I learned something new.

If you have read my previous blogs or seen my photos of Westtown, you might notice that all of them, except for the ones of people, were shot from a wider angle and from a distance. I have two lenses, but I usually use the wide-angle one so that more can fit into the frame and the photos look fuller and more dramatic. However, on Saturday, I discovered a different angle from which I can photograph the main building. Unlike what I usually do, which is to shoot from either boys end or girls end to include the whole building or most parts of it, I positioned a very small section of the building on the bottom of the frame and left the rest 2/3 for the sky. I thought it would be cool to try this new angle because the clouds were moving fast in different shapes and directions and the simple horizontal composition gave a sharp contrast between the red bricks and the blue sky.

Here is what it looks like:


The sequence turned out really well, so I might do a couple more close-ups like this one, especially with rooftops.

Here are the other two I shot on the South Lawn:

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This week I’m planning to work on the boys end, lower school and middle school.


Until next week,


Week 8

Unfortunately it was rainy and cloudy for most of this week, so there weren’t many opportunities to shoot on weekdays. However, the weather did get a lot nicer on the weekend. I shot two sequences this week, both of the main building but from different angles (see below). I also went down to the lake on Saturday trying to shoot since my last sequence of the lake didn’t turn out very well. Continue reading

Senior Project and updates

It has been a long time since my last blog post. I had a long and fun spring break, and I hope you all did too! For my two-week-long senior project, I continued to do time-lapse photography. I went to Seoul, Korea the first week and my hometown, Shanghai, China the second week with my roommate, who also did a photography project. Continue reading