Dr. Rob Peaslee & Dr. Jerod Foster: Media Tourism, Culture and Travel Photography

Dr. Rob Peaslee &  Dr. Jerod Foster: Media Tourism, Culture and Travel Photography

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Hi. Welcome the life of the brand I'm Tyler McKnight, we. Have a very special show for everybody. Today we have some some, faculty and students from Texas Tech University here. To talk about a. Study. Abroad program with, media, tourism and photography, that, is also gonna. Be coming up very soon so they want to inform some people and tell some stories and really good as involved so first. I wanna introduce Jared Foster, Jared, Foster is an associate professor of practice and assistant, dean in, the College of media and communication, at Texas Tech University where, he teaches courses in photography, visual. Storytelling, and immersive. Media production. He's also an editorial and commercial photographer, and works with organizations such as the Nature, Conservancy, Texas. Highways magazine Texas. Parks and Wildlife and of course the New York Times so. Next. We got Rob, Rob. Paisley is associate, professor and chair in the Department of journalism and electronic media Texas Tech where. He studies relationships, between pop culture fandom, and tourism, so he's gonna have a lot to talk about that and, then Sakura Sakura, Austin she is a senior, at Tech she's. Also pursuing a degree in electronic, media and communication, and she. Is an alumni of the study, abroad program, so. Basically. How we want to start is I just let Robb go and tell us a little bit about the, program and what your background is in it how long it's been around you know some little fun facts about it and we'll go from there sure so the, program really, kind of came out of initially, out of my dissertation research. Which. Took, place in New Zealand in. About 2005. And six and the. Reason I did it in New Zealand is I was interested in tourism related to the lore of the Rings films so. I spent about two months in, a little town called Matamata, in New Zealand which is where they built the hobbits in village, and. And did field work there and. About. Probably, two years after I arrived, here in 2008. People. In the college approached. Me and said you know you should develop a study abroad program about, that and, eventually. I was convinced, that they, would say yes if I did so. So. I started working. With Jared because I thought there'd be some value added in, not. Only taking students down to news and to think about things like tourism, and. And nation branding and so forth but to actually also incorporate, a practical, element into the course, so, we developed a program where, essentially. I do a lot of the the, conceptual, teaching about some of the terminology and, some of the ideas behind. You. Know tourism, and and and tourism related to media and. Then Jarrod's course, can I take some more portfolio. Practical, approach where students are while, they're learning about these things and while we're kind of going through this tourism, itinerary, they're, also shooting and. Being, treated essentially like you. Know professional photographers, on assignment, yeah yeah, yeah. And I taught, a couple, classes like, it before I teach one here in the States that's a 15 day field intensive, courses mostly. About portfolio, building and building, visual, acuity while we travel across, Texas, and, I'd taught a travel, photography. Course in Spain in 2011. And so when did we start doing these this summer of 14 was the first yeah so so just a few years before I taught. A similar course in Spain and the, last thing about the photography courses that you can put. It anywhere, and. We. Just we've. Frequently. Stated that these two classes are a perfect, wedding together. Because, of again. That front-loading. Conceptual, content. And then, this, this, practical. Professional charge, that the students get one of their own assignment, yeah that tension between theory, and practice is constant. In a lot of fields but in our field in particular yeah, so it's really nice to be able to put them into that, kind of close proximity and have them really work. Well together so yeah we started out in New Zealand we did two years in New Zealand mm-hmm. And then we imported, the program for the first time to another context, in 2016. Which was Scotland and Northern Ireland we, went back to New Zealand last, summer and we're headed to Scotland and Northern Ireland again, this summer what was the reason behind switching, it over to Northern. Ireland and Scotland I, think. Some of it was just to change. It up share a little bit and, offer another opportunity and. Experience for the students we I'd. We'd both spent some time to UK and in 2011 never got to teach in Spain. I went over to Scotland mostly. Because I was always interested familial. Reasons but I. Also spent some time there riding and I. Always.

Thought I was neat and we just kind of tossed around the idea of taking the program to a different country and I think we we always do talk. About that and so. Scotland, we, started kind of conceptualizing what, media is really popular in, Scotland, or, in the area and of course at, the time Game of Thrones is starting. To burn it up so, yeah. So we initially. We said Scotland, and and you, know a lot of that came out of his trip you know where he said you know I had this this, experience, there and there's, a lot of things we could do there that we do in New Zealand and I hadn't been to Scotland for about. 20 years at that point so I was I was kind of on board and a. Lot, of stuff has been shot in Scotland, and, for a long time. The. Most famous thing was Braveheart, and there was an there was a huge tourism. Industry. Around Braveheart. For a long time and, then a couple, you I guess maybe three years ago now they started shooting a program, there called Outlander. Which. Appears, on Starz and, which, sort, of takes place at least in the initial seasons, during. Sort of the, the. Height. Of the highlander era in in scotland so. Those were two kind. Of core texts, that we looked at as possible, anchors. For scotland and then as we looked at it, we. Sort, of our eyes drifted, west over to northern ireland, and we're like you know we could get over to belfast easy and, spend, a week or so there where, Game of Thrones was really just starting to at that point just starting to kind of blow up and the tourism that. Resulted, from Game of Thrones is really starting to ramp up as well so as, far as the tourism goes I mean how, much how much of the, the. Pop culture goes behind the. Reason being out there and I know you're from a photography, standpoint you're, very, much into the sociological viewpoint. Of fandom, and cult followings. Um how. Do you how do you put, those together and still offer a very unique trip. And a very authentic trip because you know this, is something that people see on, TV every day and they obviously, if they see it all time they're gonna find some relatability to it and, you know once they're out there I'm sure it looks very different I mean I've been to Estes Park and I've seen Stanley. Hotel and there's a chick-fil-a right outside of it you don't get that same feel that you get in the shining so yeah you, share a little bit about that well. I think you know you used a word authenticity I think, that word is right there at the center of the course every time we teach it and, both.

Courses Really I mean I think, it's something that you're that. You're aiming for is a photographer, I'm. Sure it's elusive from. From a practitioners, point of view it's, as elusive. Theoretically. It's as elusive from, a branding point of view to. Try to capture that who can define authenticity. It's. It's different from every. Individuals. Point of view some. Defined, authenticity in, terms of it someplace looking, like they thought it should look right, others. Define, it as. Being sort, of free from. Tourist. Trappings, you know it's sort of mm-hmm, it's. Real which. Is as we, talked about in the course a very, difficult thing to pin down well, let's let's, go ahead and talk about the course a little bit in your experience, in there and and you know you and you Robin Gerry can talk about all. The cool things you did but go, and share a little bit about your experience, and kind. Of touch on a little bit with Dave discuss a little bit yeah, so the first I think we had a few classroom sessions and we did a few readings on this idea. Of authenticity and, I. Think that's kind of what staged. I guess or started, the whole, the. Whole trip kind of set the tone and we started learning about staging, and is. It really authentic, or was it just staged to. Really. Look like what, tourists. Want to see and. So the whole time you're, doing this you're thinking okay is it authentic and, and even applies I think to the photography, side of it a, viewer, and when they're looking at a picture they want to know like have, the feeling that it's authentic it's in the moment and so. While, you're going through you're also thinking. About all these things and about. Get. Capturing, a shot that has what you want in it and when, we're at these tourist destinations, there's. Just a thousand, tourists, but you want the. That everyone is there for they don't want meters yeah yeah you don't want the tourists in the in the shot that all the tourists went to go see so, anyway. It was really interesting the whole time you're kind of second-guessing, what you thought about Scotland. Beforehand. And peasley, the way he set up the reading is in all the things we did it. Really. Really. Set us up to kind, of see Scotland with a new view and and. Even just - I feel like with a photography, side of it I had. Just had the question the whole time Who am I as a photographer. And. So the whole anyway it was just like you saw Scotland, with a whole new, look. At it because I. Don't. Know you're trying to develop your creative, eye or going on walks to, see is that where is the best you know the best authentic, place and also how, am I going to capture that as a photographer, well and I. Was just think about this is you were talking and a lot of things that are Americanized, because we are the ones that the majority of media is targeted towards and, I may be a little biased and that because I live here but, you. Know when I think of Chinese food it's it's, Americanized, and then you talk to you that I've been to China they said it's the worst they've ever had and yeah it's one of my favourite cuisines. And you, can kind of relate that to your viewpoint of Scotland, or Ireland maybe, of, you. Go in there with this Americanized, thought of what those countries are and then you get there and it's nothing, what you expect I mean did you go in there with an expectation of this, is what I'm gonna see this is what it's gonna be like and then come back with a completely different point, of view on it um. I'm. Not sure I had spent two weeks prior. In London, and so, when, I got to school and I had already kind of I had taken two courses with another study abroad group and. So by the time I got to Scotland, I was, just excited really. And then when. We started visiting all these places. I. Guess. I was surprised I knew, there was castles everywhere in the first time we went to was Edinburgh and there was a castle in the middle of the city so, everywhere you were you would look up to the mountain and there would be the castle like in the in anyway is so interesting.

But. You could be standing there King. Yeah. The. Lives in that castle nobody would there. You, think that's fair to to. Exclude those things it's almost like you're brushing a model on the cover of a magazine you you I mean, how do you see that is it's not really exclusion. Or omission. But selections. Yeah right yeah I'd be like at National Geographic you could see a snow leopard but it turns out that snow leopards eaten food off the picnic table too you know rest, stop but yeah. Yeah. I think there's a there's always attention, in tourism and travel between, you. Know what what's real and what's imagined. What's packaged, and what's sort. Of raw. You. Know I think most, students who go to New Zealander go to Scotland do get some version, of what they imagined in their head right and we want them to have that because it, would be really disappointing. To not get, that I mean that's part of what tourism, is is fulfilling a desire that. Is created. Through media, right. How, else do we know about these places in order to visit them right through through media. But. Our goal I think is to also, give students the tools and and. The terminology. To kind, of peel. That curtain back a little bit and be, critical yeah, participants, in that right on because we think that's gonna make them better image. Producers, as well because, they can they, can maybe tell a story that isn't the same old story right in you, know from your step on I know you're the photographer how do you how do you encourage students. To go out there and try something bold and different you. Know because everybody's there to see the same thing and it's art to put your own little spin. On something, that is unique but at the same time it's not because that's what everybody won so what, I think one of the things that that I don't know if I stress it so much literally but hopefully I stress in. Example. And practices, you, know imagine what it's like to actually be living there yeah, I think one of the things that's really attractive about a lot of tourism and travel photography. Is, this sense of authenticity of what it's like well what it's like is. Authentically. Really what it's like for somebody that does actually live there and what. That does it doesn't discourage, the student from getting the, great. Whiz-bang. Wow the sexy, shot that you know you need of the castle, in, your portfolio, but also to, turn that lens away from the castle so much and maybe focus on life there.

And, I. Think, it encourages, us to is to appreciate something different but. Also for them in. Training their perspective, and training, basically. What they actually see, and what they value is, interesting, it, can be something completely different than just the. Castle or just the highlander at all or something like that yeah yeah, no. I'll say that's something. Because, I also lived I lived in Hawaii for a brief amount of time and you get, used to it you get so used to where you are and, there's these tourists, that are so, amazed by all they're seeing so, I did my photo essay while we were there on the. Locals, really, and capturing them in this environment that we think is so amazing and, they're just going about their daily lives this is how they they walk down past, that a mirror castle every day to go to work you know and so and what, he also stresses, is what. People enjoy, seeing, in a photo is people, it brings you into the picture and, so. Anyway. So that the, whole all of us were looking we want pictures of people the whole time we're there were kind of people watching you're trying to capture, an authentic, moment and that's how I think. Everything. Ended up being so um how. I felt I captured, authenticity and also how I felt. Scotland. Is the people in it you know so then where's the authenticity it's, the locals the, locals is where hopefully. It's authentic, and so, I think that's where I kind of focused my, my. Photo essay and then also your final project was. There a lot of interaction, with the locals there I know. From being you, know some has lived in some metropolitan, cities and there's tourists, everywhere and I, avoid oh my man lived in New York City and went to Times Square wants, never, went back again, is. Is there some disdain from the from the locals with all those tourists there because really the you, know there's a castle that is the drawing point to that ending when people aren't at the castle it's you know it's almost abandoned. And mmm what did the locals how did they interact you guys are they welcoming, where they yeah. I think the the scots-irish, are, great. People and they're welcoming hospitable, in their own way but I would say I mean it's, probably, more, obvious, that that. They're a, little. Over the tourist thing and then maybe New Zealand. And, and. That may just be because early in Scotland, yes yeah it's got because of the longevity of, tourism, to that one place yeah they're just almost. Complacent. About the, fact that there's a tourist there and they in like, you said they'd probably rather avoid. That. Million of then. Then be there yeah and it's not even so much that they don't like tourists it's like everything, that tourism. Does. To interfere with their regular, day you know it's traffic its price, is being more expensive near tourist locations, it's you know all the stuff that you know I'm sure you're thinking, about when you're in New York City yeah. That, you're trying to avoid I mean there there is that's another central tension of this whole industry, of, tourism, is we, want to attract people to come here it's good for the economy we want to treat them well but, we are also kind. Of tired of them and, or, you. Know eventually, there's gonna be, you. Know some there's, gonna be some some. Blowback from. Your local population. Oh and something we can actually look at is how how.

Many People have the idea of what tourism, actually the commercial life view of tourism I know in my head you, know growing up you picture somebody in flip-flops, and socks fanny pack and sunscreen. On the nose yeah and you, know they call I don't even get her the shirt rocket power they call them shoe bees all, these kids that walked on the beach with their shoes and they weren't locals. No. I don't, know if that's really what Torah it has so many negative connotations, to it and I've kind of grown up to where when I go to a place I don't want to appear as if I'm a tourist I want to feel like I'm a local oh that's that's tourism, for me is I go and I rent a house I'm going standard I go, and do, all the things that the levels do I don't go to the big hotspot so I don't go see the Mona Lisa maybe. That's just me trying to be a hipster and not mainstream, but I feel like that's the way tourism is kind of gone is that people are looking more for these all vintage feels and because, of people like you guys you can go out there and shoot it and show them what the real off the tech part is it's not just you. Know the you know the the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace or you know things that people know were there I am yeah I think the self awareness is a big deal especially. Now, in this kind of era of tourism, especially American tourism but. You. Know I think, it goes both ways to those a lot of tourists. May. Not necessarily feel that they can engage the, locals sure and that's probably the hardest thing to do, especially, for students, and especially for students that it's, their first time out of the country a first time to a truly. Foreign, place right, even, though everybody speaks the same language we, all say. The same words yeah yeah maybe, articulate, similarly differently but, I. Think. There's a I mean that, social, barriers, rough, anyways, anywhere but when you go to a different country it's like I'm. Now the foreigner, in this country I'm it's. Awesome being here but. You, know if I if you, came back and I asked you how was it how were the people you may. Not have much to say about them cuz I didn't engage them they were there yeah. Very. Cool so. I just kinda wanna take a light-hearted look at it now if you guys want to share some favorite stories and you, know some cool happenings, that happen up there and you can get away, from the philosophical, stuff for a little bit and talk. About you know the experiences, you. And starting support okay. I've. Been. I. Really. I, there's. So many things that happened, I mean we're there for a month so there's it's, so it's so awesome all the things all the experiences, we get to experience um I really. Enjoyed what. Foster. Told us kind, of at the beginning he challenged, us to. Kind of go on a walkabout like on our own or, at least like take a partner with us and kind of figure out yeah buddy Oh, figure, out like your, own. Your. Own creative eye and like your own pace of photography, so a few, times I feel like those were the most memorable moments, and that was when I felt, my favorite, photographer. Too graphic pieces were taken. And. Inverness. We were somewhere, in Scotland near inverness and I had like mapped out where the, water would because I figured that would be really pretty and just went like we walked, around and, it was so awesome I got to go through this wildlife. Preserve, and, there was swans in this lake and anyway, it was just like it was actually being there and kind of being away from the crowd of 20, peers where, everyone's, just staring at you because there's like 20. Tourists, walking by I. Think, those are the most memorable moments, was kind, of taking. It in in. A small setting and, just. Finding, your creative I was my one, of my favorite points ya. Know. And we pushed, that part I mean we realized. We.

Have The group we love the group we love being with the group and going to these places but but, we really, stress breaking. Away from, the group like, set as pairs or as smaller groups because I mean that's just when things start to really open up for you right you, don't get the same shot that everybody kind, you. Know and you're not almost. In trance to point your camera the same way at that one when you're just on walkabout. Anything. Goes and I, think. I'm, I can't, speak for Rob but I think my favorite, moments. Are. Very similar, now Rob and I approach. You know traveling, to these places and a little bit different way because we know we'll probably be back with. Another group and so we're. Actually exploring. Any time they have time away, from the group what, we do to it so we're always exploring, with we this. Nice little restaurant in Dundee. Which. Is not a hot. Tourist spot at. All in Scotland, but it's, a university town and, right across the this, rather, long bridge on camera here the name of the river the River Tay the River Tate it it crosses right. Before it opens out into the to, the ocean, there or, the channel there's. A little restaurant the other side and you know that was we, went there twice we walked that bridge twice. Pretty. Expensive really yeah, but. Just, getting there you know those little neat, finds that we make together. Hiking, the Quran it, influences. What we're gonna do next time right over there and sometimes next, time with the students like we're gonna hike the Kerrang with the students this year the. Crane was by far you know my favorite part of the. Trip and it was just me and Rob it wasn't wind. With the whole group but there are great I mean that's really valuable it's not only valuable to the students but for us as well yeah. Yeah, I think one. Of the things that I really like about the program in addition to you, know sort of the academic, side of it is that and this is true of a lot of the stuff that Jared does domestically. It. A lot of the things we do also push students to, to get beyond their their boundaries in a number of ways and I think that's one of the most valuable things that education.

Can Do certainly that study abroad can, do and some. Of that is about like fighting what-what Jared calls nature deficit disorder and, and. Getting people outside and getting people active right, so we've done mountain biking with students we've done a lot of hikes with students. And. The, last time we did this trip one of the things that we're going to do again this year is. Do. A summit hike of Ben Nevis which is the highest, peak in the United Kingdom well, and. We. Did that the, last time we were there one. Of the students on our trip. Let's. Just say that hiking, a mountain was probably not like yeah. In her wheelhouse yeah and. But. She was committed to doing it and it's, a substantial hike I mean it's all day up and down yeah. And seeing, her hit the top of that mountain. Was, was pretty great and, in moments like that or what I think for both of us it's, really all about is like putting putting, students in places where they. Don't necessarily feel, 100%. Comfortable right, but, recognizing. That that's productive and that's where real transformative. Experiences. Come from oh yeah as I listen you guys talk you know somebody, popped in my head of it do you ever find yourselves, being a student to your own cause I mean you go out there I'm sure you guys learned a time you, know I know you're there for the kids but I mean I'm sure you guys are learning just as much as they are and I'm, sure you have this yeah found experiences, and we have a saying that you're always gonna learn more than right the students because you're having to teach. And yeah consultant, guide at the same time so yeah yeah I, mean it's it's almost exhausting. I think how tuned in, everybody. Is but maybe more so for us because right we just it's almost like we're always on alert. Yeah. It's hard I mean you know it's, easy to get caught up in like the fun and the romance of international. Travel, and all the things that we do but at the end of the day we're also in a foreign country with 20 or 22 or 24, you know you know undergrad, students, right and we're. Responsible. For that and. So we can't you know we can never lose, sight of that and we've, been really fortunate you, know 99.9. Percent of the time that we. Great, students on the trip and basically. No issues so one. Of my favorite moments from the, last iteration, that. Went to Scotland Northern Ireland was, when we were in Belfast, Belfast is an amazing, city I think all of us would say that's it, it's, it's, pretty. Rich. It's awesome yeah. Yeah. When. We went when, we took that short, walk to. The Falls the roads. That basically. Iconically. Defined. The. The terroristic, activity, that happened in that particular area not too long ago, this. This fight, for for, freedom of choice. Basically on who you belong to Ireland. Or Northern or the, UK. That. Was pretty eye-opening I, think in and again, it, wasn't like climbing a mountain but. It was still kind of uncomfortable yeah, in very, real ways as, we're walking through this neighborhood and these murals are depicting, these. You. Know depending. On what side you write, on atrocities. That happened in that particular area again. Not too not too long ago when you made an initial comment about that the other day which which side is the right side I mean right you find yourself thinking am, I on the bad side or the good side or you matter because you know you're an American you. You're. On the maracle's to have an opinion, especially. When you're on the ground right well it's and it's really unusual to. Be in a touristic, or, a tourism, you know sort of scenario, and to, be made to feel at all uncomfortable, mm-hmm. I mean that's one of the that's I mean tourism, in some ways is about putting. People in in situations, that are perfectly safe but. Feel out. Of the ordinary, or some a little bit risky just, enough to take them out of their comfort zone, but. It's very rare that your act you actually suddenly, have this awareness that you're in a place where like maybe. You ought to be a little uncomfortable like, things, aren't 100%, under control here yeah, and I think students you know and we sort, of you know that, way I don't think we were ever in any kind of danger or anything like that but it was young. As you've seen on TV in the news and it's hard, to shake that feeling you've been inundated with so much I'd like to take the group this year pest.

That You rub the hotel just, so they see in. Its we didn't we didn't intentionally walk by the, last time we were there I got on a bus right, outside that you were a bit of good on Dublin after our program ended and I realized at that moment that that was the Europa that was the most bombed hotel in Europe, it. Is still there you know it's still operating as a hot you know high-end, hotel and it'd be neat to walk to students by just to. Soak. In that fact yeah let's. See what happens as we talk about the history of Northern. Ireland and in the strike they went through how, how has the new media and I believe, you mentioned Game of Thrones the majority of its film Norman Northern Ireland how. Is tourism media, and pop culture interacts. With that country to rebrand it so to speak and and turn, it into a, place. Of fun, and joy and not fear. You know yeah it's. It's interesting, you. Know they are very much. Figuring. That out yeah right now so. One of the things we do on this, in this program is we always set up a meeting with. The, look what it would you know whether it's New Zealand or Scotland or Northern Ireland, with the sort. Of state organization, that oversees tourism. National, branding, you know basically, getting people to, come there and. When. We met the, last time with tourism Northern, Ireland it was it. Was rich you. Know in terms of the the complexity, of the thing that they're trying to pull off there right now, you. Know New, Zealand did this you know coming, on 20 years ago now with the Lord of the Rings but you, know New Zealand didn't have any real image, problems you know at that point I mean they were known for ecotourism and, and and probably, the Maori the indigenous, culture but they're also a newer country. In. Terms of infrastructure, too so all these facets, right, yeah like they were primed they you know and that's one of the reasons why they're the most you, know sort of viable case study on earth of film, tourism, but Northern, Ireland you know they get some baggage and. And, you. Know and and recent baggage, and baggage, that's very familiar to North. American, audiences. Right, so. Yeah, they've got a they've, got a pickle. Yeah about 80%, of Game of Thrones is made in Northern Ireland and. And. There's. An enormous demand, for for. For, touristic. Activities. And and and and, so forth there on the part mostly of American. Or North American tourists, who. Want to see these locations, who want to you know sort of immerse themselves in, the, land of Westeros. And. So. There's a lot of there's a lot of stakeholders kind of jockeying. For position, there and and trying. To make the most of that and it's kind of a Gold Rush mentality. Right now, so. We're I think we're all interested to you know two years later how, much of that is settled down how much of that has been you. Know kind of standardized, how much of that is still in flux, how, is it matured essentially.

And We're scheduling a bit more time this year in Northern Ireland largely. In part because of that kind. Of take a better longer. Peek at it yeah. Cool. Um I just wanna talk a little bit about the unique opportunity, that this program can provide to people I know we touched on a little bit but give. You some final thoughts on on what. This experience will really bring to you and how it's unique to any. Other study. Abroad programs that Tech may offer other universities. Well. I came. In as a freshman so, I was pretty much a blank, slate like I hadn't taken very many higher. Level classes, and, I was just kind of learning photography at that point I had I knew how to use a camera but to really figure out who you are as your person. Was. So interesting, and I feel like everything I learned on the trip, applies. Even. Though I'm not going into photography I'm looking into web design and print. Design but everything, you're learning like I said about seeing a person in a photo changes, how. You feel about the photo it makes you more interactive. With it so when I'm picking stock photos for a website I know what to choose from I know what's gonna be and. Like, a, photo. That will make someone feel something or make them feel associated. With this brand. And. I yeah I think and just the realization, of authenticity. Just thinking, of that throughout your whole work, has. Definitely shaped the, last few years of my learning experience, and knowing. Composition. At that point this is some. Of the first creative work I had learned, and/or, had, started, doing and I, everything. All his critiques was okay your composition, is good it's kind of out of focus could. Be a little bit more underexposed. Or out it out anyway and so my photographic. Skills were, amazing. Compared to all the other students, we were wanting to go in not all of them want to go into photography, but, some, of them were really good photographers, and. Learning what my strengths were versus my weaknesses. Really. Led me down the road okay I like composition. I'm. Not, entirely. In love with photography I like it and it's amazing, I appreciate, it so much but I'm learning. Okay I'm gonna take this to print design and I think everyone gets something. Out of that you know you find yourself you find your strengths and weaknesses when. You're on this trip for a month you're, finding out a lot so. I really think that no matter what major or, whatever you really figure, it out kind. Of who you want to be in who where, you're going yeah you know something that I you know I didn't really know much about this program and my initial thought was this is only for. Photography. And video students but I mean it's for anybody who wants to experience the country and and take. That experience into your career and yeah that was a really cool message. To tag. Along with it with mmm-hmm yeah yeah. We don't, there. There are some very simple prereqs. Neither of which have anything to do with your photograph except I mean. Yeah. And. That's good I mean we want students come in at a variety of ability, levels and I think Jared's philosophy, is to take. Them where they are when they come in and move them forward in, some significant, way yeah I I think that I'll. Let Jared speak to the photographic, elements.

Of This but I'm watching. Him work with students, in the field is a great thing you, know watching students learn by. Watching him by doing what he does by getting up at 5:00 in the morning to catch the sunrise staying. Up a bit ready yeah kids staying up till midnight to shoot this, guy, you. Know that's. That, you just can do in the classroom you just can't I mean so. Being, able to get, that kind of hands-on. Example. Driven kind of learning is I think paramount. In this program I think for, me there's, also a you, know maybe, as, profound, or maybe a little more long-term, you, know you don't necessarily realize, right away that you're getting this benefit. But I think, the the benefit, of just you know study abroad generally, is. Being. In an unfamiliar place in. A way sort of conquering, in that you, know having, had that experience of being in a place that's unfamiliar becoming. Familiar learning, about it. Gaining, confidence about, operating. In a familiar context, is really important, and then there's the stuff that we don't even you. Know plan that happens that that, helps. Students. Really. You know sort of dial, in to a bigger world the last time we did this program it just so happened that right smack dab in the middle of our time there the, Briggs it happens, Wow okay yeah and so we were there for two weeks leading up to it and for, two weeks after, it very cool and I, think. For a lot of our students that was that. Yeah I mean there was like a living history lesson, and you, know I'd love to say that we kind of planned that but right. Yeah well. It was really encouraging the, the morning after the vote happened. Yeah. We'd all been tuned into it you. Saw. Banners. And stuff and supporter against, it but, the. Next morning early the next morning every. Student was, down in the in, the lobby eating breakfast, and just glued to the TV watching. And. Learning because it, it, affected, their lives too, and and. In. A different way but. It still affected them and they were really interested because it. Related, to all these other things we were talking about in, some form or fashion I think that's that's, really cool I think that's maybe the value in that, maybe unique, to our program, or. At least hopefully. We can say that is the, inner relatability, of what, we do with. The academics, and the places that we that, we visit, you. Know our classes, but inform, each other and. I think what. That does it helps, people see a different place a new, place in a different way it, gives them that confidence, particularly. Whenever you know maybe their first experience, in, a different country is, with hopefully. Two people that can clarify, confusion. Or challenges, or something like that you. Know I think from a alone. Long-term, outcome. That's that's what's really nice about study, abroad for, me and in this program, in particular in, Decorah i'm. Sakura, mentioned. Too, that something. I mentioned, in classes in EdTech. You. Know you may not want to go into photography but. The. Clad both classes are designed this way to. See. How to apply these these. Concepts, and even these specific, techniques abstractly, across your professional, career I. Often. Talk about how you, know a lot. Of people to actually go on this trip they, don't see themselves as full-time photographers.

Post. College. But. They. See. Themselves as people that probably need to be able to speak that language so. They can work effectively with, photographers. And other visual creatives, whether they be print designers, or web designers or whatever it may be I think. There's a lot of value in having that, message driven home out. Of the classroom when you're in a, new place and you, know you're more alert at that point so yeah well. I got a final, question for you guys it's, kind of a fun one, so. What countries do you think are on the short list for the future do you plan on going anywhere else do you know. We talked about it alaya we talked about Iceland, I said. Excite a bit and. You. Know that's gameofthrones driven, but there's also other popular, media, shot. There as well it's also. It's. It's also facing, a tourism. Issue. Much, like Northern Ireland and how do we how. Do we cope with this influx of, tourism. Traffic, but in. Photographically. It's it's pretty hot too right now we talk about arson yeah yeah, they, they're. Drinking from a firehose right, now because they they, had more American tourists last year than they have ice lenders hmm, and, that's just American tourists, right and part of that is. Some of the media stuff like Game of Thrones but they've, also been really aggressive about courting, it they Icelandair. Was offering free. Overnights, on inner, cross. Atlantic flights to, Europe for, American, tourists. And you. Know they they host a lot like Amazon, does a annual, its, annual meeting and rec yevette cuz it's kind, of east meets west right, there so you, know they've they've, been pretty aggressive about trying, to, entice people there but now it's worked yeah. And, you know there's it's a small country there's not that many people there there's not a lot of infrastructure, right, the, transatlantic flight it's pretty inexpensive to, get there mm-hmm, yes so. We're we're, hoping to scout that if, not on this trip you know soon and. Maybe make that another. Sort. Of country in the rotation. There. You know there are others that we could certainly look at but that one just, based on kind of the proximity and, you know both in terms of the kind, of content we're looking at and also geographic. Proximity, is, probably the, most most likely next, target so it may depend on what. The next big media. Franchise is yeah, you know what is, the next big Westworld, see, you guys on the moon yeah. I. Just want to thank you guys for coming and it's been it's been really eye-opening dancing, to succour, speak about the program and to, people, that are so passionate about it and you know it goes it goes beyond education, it's it's it's a life experience so I'm something you guys for being here and this. Sounds amazing I highly recommend it I haven't been but I would go if I could and. And. Again, just thanks for coming in and see. You guys in the next semester right. Thank you.

2018-02-02 15:43

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Great conversation with some experts!

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