Category Archives: lifestyle

Huiping Tina Zhong: Remebering Iceland in the Time of Pandemic

 

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Photography and Text by Huiping Tina Zhong, Copyright 2020

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Remembering Iceland in the Time of Pandemic

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At the beginning of 2020, no one could have foretold what happened in the past several months. The COVID-19 has become a global pandemic, and as a result I am trapped in my apartment, not being able to go anywhere outside these enclosed white walls. After a 14-day self-quarantine in my room because I show some symptoms of a cold, I begin to yearn for the grand exterior, the vast, open world that is behind my 1 m2 window. I recall that I have a ton of  left over photos I took when I visited Iceland two years ago, and I’ve been procrastinating over editing them. I pull them out, and once more, I’m fascinated by the beauty of that experience. The icy mountain peaks, the blue water, the hazy steam of the blue lagoon, the ashy color palette of white snow, pale yellow grass, cyan sky and light gray tarmac road. Going through these pictures, it pulls me back to that dreamlike land—the land of ice and fire.

Iceland has been my dream destination since my middle school years. I’ve seen countless dramatic photos of the grandiose landscape and colorful sky of Iceland. However, when I arrived at Iceland together with my long-time friend from middle school, the Iceland that I imagined was not exactly the same as what I saw. Because it was winter when I visited, the days are short (from 11am-3pm) and daylight is quite dim. Wintertime is not a popular tourism time for Iceland, hence for most of the time, our tiny bus of 10 people was the only vehicle traveling in the grand color field of light gray, icy-blue, pale yellow, and white. Standing in front of the silent snow mountains and the roaring waterfalls, I felt incredibly small and insignificant. However, at the same time, I felt an incredible connection with nature, therefore I hope my lens can capture the misty, brisk and quiet air of Iceland. In some of the shots, there is my friend facing away from the camera. In some of the shots, there are no people, or there is only a person in the distance. The reason for this choice is that I wanted the camera to be simply an observer of a traveler, of a land, or of a distant memory.

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About The Author:  Huiping Tina Zhong is a senior majoring in Art History at Bryn Mawr College. To access additional articles by Huiping Tina Zhong, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/stories/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Cindy Ji: Visiting the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show

 

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Photography and Text by Cindy Ji, Copyright 2020

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Visiting the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show

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The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society featuring stunning displays by the world’s floral and landscape designers. This year, the PHS Philadelphia Flower show had multiple elegant displays and floral demonstrations from all over the world, as well as interactive and educational activities for children and families. Even though the weather was chilly and cloudy outside, the vibrant lights and colorful flowers welcomed the visitors.

I have been scrolling through photographs of flower installations and extravagant arrangements of flowers and have been waiting to go to the show since last March. I was excited to see installations and flower gardens in real life. When I walked into the flower show, I was surprised by the amount of people inside the show. Everyone was holding a phone or a camera taking photographs of the displays or taking pictures of themselves in front of the flowers. People were in lines to take photographs and people were mindful of not getting into each other’s frame as if there was silent agreement that everyone helping each other to take a good picture. Because of this, while beautiful flower displays allured my eyes, I wanted to capture the moment in the flower show and document the people around me. The experience of flower show would not be complete without taking photographs of flowers surrounded by a large group of people.

My photographs document and capture that moment during the flower show. They are a photographic survey of the people visiting the flower show. They visually communicate what people are doing in the show, and the usage of photography in people’s life. The purpose of photographing flowers for most visitors is to document their experience of the show and to remember how beautiful the flowers and displays were. When I was taking photograph of the people, they were so focused on photographing their own picture that they didn’t even recognize my presence. I was almost invisible, and a lot of people assumed that I was taking photograph of plants as well. Everyone was a photographer and tried their best to create beautiful photographs. My long-awaited trip to the flower show was different than I thought but seeing so many different people enjoying flower displays in various ways turned out to be a memorable experience for me.

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About the Author: Cindy Ji is a Junior at Bryn Mawr College. Class of 2021.

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, News, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Joy Bao: Imagine a Summer’s Day

Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

 

Photography and Text by Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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Imagine a Summer’s Day

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“Back and back we are drawn to steep ourselves in what, perhaps, is only an image of the reality, not the reality itself, a summer’s day imagined in the heart of a northern winter.”

Don DeLillo, White Noise

Funny enough, I never finish reading White Noise. It was one of the books I shoved in my suitcase before going on this trip on the last days of 2018, and traveled with me to the Caribbean sea. I did not plan for the trip at all. In fact, I was originally planning to spend a quiet domestic Christmas in Long Island with my uncle’s family, and maybe also go to Manhattan to see the Rockefeller tree. It turned out that they were going on a cruise trip with a few other families, and I just joined them, kind of at last minute.

We first went to Puerto Rico, and then got on board, stopping at different islands for the next week.  San Juan is a colorful city, but once we were on the cruise ship the color scheme was lowered to mostly green and blue—the ocean, and trees on islands when we pulled in to shore.  Traveling with several families is not my favorite thing, especially when I do not know most of the people and do not have any internet connection. I remember a lot of not-really-mean-it conversations and awkward laughs. It was particularly easy to get tired of socializing, and maybe just people in general.

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Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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Looking back, I think that is why most of my photos shot during this trip focused on nature and architecture, instead of people.

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Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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The summery Caribbean weather was everything that a New York winter was not. I tried to capture that by showing these wide, open, and quiet places. 

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Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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The trip started and ended in Puerto Rico. After getting off the cruise ship, we spent another two days in San Juan. It was a popular winter getaway destination so the atmosphere was quite tourist-y, but there were always some quiet and peaceful corners besides all the noise and colors.

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Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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We went to the seaside one day, and I realized I could never get tired of the ocean—people, highly possible and already happened; ocean, never. It is mysterious and calm, unpredictable but inclusive. I looked at the sea. I looked at the sun shinning on the water’s surface at the end of a narrow tunnel. I looked at lovers, families, friends who were looking at the sea just like I was.

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Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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I looked at the sea. It was the last days of 2018. I was wearing a t-shirt and flip flops, and could feel the warm breeze on my skin. I looked at the sea and I thought, this must be a summer’s day imagined in the heart of a northern winter.

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Photo: Joy Bao, Copyright 2020

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About The Author: Joy Bao is a senior enrolled at Bryn Mawr College. Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Joy Bao, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/habitat/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Tatiana Lathion: Uncertianty/New Beginnings

Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

 

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Photography and Text by Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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Uncertainty/New Beginnings

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This spring break has been unlike any I have experienced in the past. It was full of uncertainty and memories that I will not easily forget. The images that I have selected for this travel project display these moments sequentially.

In the beginning of my spring break I was on a lacrosse trip with my team to Virginia Beach. Little did I know, but this would be the last trip I was to have with these women. Due to the on going Covid-19 pandemic, our coach canceled all outings. However, we were able to enjoy a couple sunny beach days while we were all together.

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Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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In these images, you can see the decline in emotions as we found out our games had been canceled and this was to be our last time together, as we were being sent home to complete the rest of the semester to our designated places of origin.

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Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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I ended the series with two images. The first, the light of the sunset as it entered the house we were staying in on our last night in Virginia Beach. The second is an image of the sunset as it entered into the hallway of my apartment as I left for the airport. It is in this hallway that connected my room to my roommate’s, as has been the meeting place for our weekly laughs and story times. It is here that I leave the laughs, tears, and memories from these past two semesters. Saying goodbye is never easy especially as this image signifies the end of my on campus college experience. 

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Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

I arrived back to my hometown of Ponte Vedra, FL, that Monday with tears in my eyes as my new reality began to hit me. And as the sadness subsided, I went to visit my friend, Brookie. She has been my dearest confidant since I first moved to Florida in the second grade and as we had both been sent home from college, we took this sad moment to celebrate our accomplishments.

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Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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While our college experience has taken a sharp turn, it has gifted us with an opportunity to see each other again and allowed us the chance to acknowledge our accomplishments thus far as we enter into this new phase in our lives.

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Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

The next image is the road home. The journey back home has been hard, but it is always nice to back where it all started. This road has been there for me since I first moved here when I was 7, to when I first started to learn how to drive to now. The last image depicts my new study space, or what my mom likes to call our porch. This is one of her pride and joys of our house and her sanctuary of greenery. In these days, I have adopted it as my own quiet space to catch up on work. My favorite aspect of this area is the old trunk my mom has converted into a shelf for her plants. Its old exterior is contrasted by the new growth that is placed upon it. While my travel plans, might not have necessarily gone as planned, I think it has opened up an opportunity for self-growth and reflection in these uncertain times.

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Photo: Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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About The Author: Tatiana Lathion is a senior enrolled at Haverford College majoring Political Science and Government. To access additional articles by Tatiana Lathion, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/the-man_the-basement/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Athena Intanate: One Day at a Time

Photo: Athena Intanate

 

 

Photography and Text by Athena Intanate, Copyright 2020

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One Day at a Time

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Too often when we think of travel, we reminisce of far-flung, exotic places, worthy of bragging about and pulling up photos of at the next family gathering. Having come from a country where people normally vacation in, I’ve gotten used to the exoticisation of holidays, and while find joy in them, don’t hold them to as much significance. The role of Instagram and Facebook, and the pursuit of the perfect ‘insta-worthy’ shot has manufactured this ceaseless image of what a ‘perfect’ vacation looks like, and sometimes it just couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Photo: Athena Intanate

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We seem to forget that sometimes holidays are nestled between the quiet moments. They’re nestled in between the seats of your friend’s car, when you’re driving down tree-lined roads to Future’s bass-heavy music; they’re folded into the tentative mumble of half-formed plans; they’re wrapped in the traipses through touristy sites, even though you’re with locals. Lately it seems as though it’s been harder and harder to enjoy the little things – nothing ever seems grandiose or spectacular enough to participate in, let alone share.

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Photo: Athena Intanate

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This weekend trip to DC and Maryland was anything but exotic; we drove down to Bethesda, a small suburb just outside of DC, on Friday and I was back on campus by Sunday afternoon. And yet, it was perhaps one of the most contentful trips I’ve taken in a very long time. My heart came back incredibly full, as did my camera roll. The weather’s growing tentatively warmer, and even when the wind requires zipped-up jackets and hoodies to be reluctantly pulled on, there exists an ecstatic happiness within the sunlight. We couldn’t do much within less than 36 hours, so we did the best that we could, spending the sun-swept day in each other’s company, driving between houses, and making new friends over plastic bags of Trader Joe’s peanut-filled pretzel bites.

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Photo: Athena Intanate

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Sometimes, we just need to take things one day at a time. The best moments are inlaid in the quietest ones, just waiting for our hands to reach out and grab them by their ubiquitous centres. Urgency can be the killer of joy, and travel wasn’t made for it. It was made for us to fully absorb and comprehend all that is going on around us, and for us to learn from and appreciate what we see.

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Photo: Athena Intanate

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Photo: Athena Intanate

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This weekend trip to DC brought me back that sense of wholly contentful peace, and I am so glad that I got to share it with some of my best friends before we descended into the current climate of chaos.

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Photo: Athena Intanate

Declan and Andrew, it was a pleasure meeting you.

Solomon, Maya and Charlie, I’m so thankful I have you in my life.

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Photo: Athena Intanate

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About the Author: Athena Intanate is a freshman enrolled at Haverford College, Class of 2023. To access additional articles by Athena Intanate, click herehttps://tonyward.com/love/

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women