All semester I had been looking forward to going to Ohiopyle State Park with the class, since people have been telling to go there for years, saying that I would love it. But, about a month or so before the trip was to occur, I realized that my goal of going to Ohiopyle would not be achieved because I had the greater opportunity of being my friend Margaret Wells's maid of honor in her wedding on the same day as the trip - which was also her 21st birthday and St. Patrick's day. But, the fun doesn't stop there. In addition to being there by the bride's side the whole time for assistance and support, I was also the official wedding photographer (yes, it was quite interesting, as one can imagine). Since I was supposed to be taking photographs for my nature photography class and had to have my camera with me for the wedding, I decided to take pictures for my assignment directly before and after the ceremony, which was held on the frisbee golf course at Moraine State Park. Here, I saw the reoccurring garbage thrown into the nearby brush, being consumed by the sticks and weeds. But I also observed the litter of the wedding guests - instead of just seeing the aftermath of an ignorant humanity, I witnessed it as it happened. Yes, most of the garbage was taken with the guests before leaving for the reception, but there was still an abuse to nature to be noted.
Planet Earth is an astounding documentation of the diverse beauty and lifestyles in the world that are hidden away, still around, and dying out. The entire film crew witnessed and filmed history and life in a way that the world has never seen it before, proving how little we still know about the planet that the human race is taking over.
Being a member of a film crew myself, I realize the kind of effort the Planet Earth film crew had to put into their work. Such devotion is clearly displayed in the extras clips, as well as through the wonderful final product. The CineFlex high definition camera, used while flying over locations to document landscapes and the animals’ interactions within those areas, was quite impressive. Technology and equipment has become so advanced in today’s world, allowing us to bear witness to some of the most remarkable places and occurrences on the planet. The equipment has redefined what is considered exotic and rare, as it gives us first glimpses into a world we either didn’t know existed or had no prior method for viewing it.
But the fancy new equipment is useless without the dedication of every single member of the film crew. Each team of the crew devoted five years of their lives just to filming – I cannot even imagine going through all of the footage in postproduction – in 400 of the most extreme places on Earth. They put their lives in danger at great heights, in extreme temperatures and conditions, at risky distances to animals, and through other life threatening situations to bring back documentation of things that even shocked scientists, along with the rest of the world. I am deeply appreciative of their tiring efforts so that I may experience up close the mysteries that exist in the same world that I do.
I have been going to my township's park since I was a baby. I used to practically live over there, as it is only about a two minute drive from my house. Many great memories of baseball, swimming, recreation, tennis, graduation parties, holidays, family and friends have been formed at this place, but as the park undergoes continuous change I fear I will not be creating such wonderful memories much longer. I visited the park less than two months ago, and the area has endured a major, extremely unfortunate change since then. When I went with my mother over spring break to take pictures for my trashed nature project, I discovered that the added garbage was not as appalling as the insane amount of removed foliage. We harm Earth with our waste, but removal of nature all together is even more harmful to the dying planet. The useless stage (the newest construction project done in the once wooded area) looks wonderful, aside from the graffiti, but the handful of young evergreens planted around it are dying. This makes me wonder what is going to be different about the couple of twigs recently planted down by the baseball fields that seem to be the excuse that made it okay to cut down half of the healthy trees in the entire park. Add what you want to the space - new basketball courts, a stage, some more cement - but you cannot have a park without a park. A parking lot does not count. And the graffiti on the stage reveals what the once beautiful, natural space is today - disrespected rubble. There is no sign of future intentions with the recently cleared space, and, judging by the few stumps left that have not yet been turned into a pile of wood shavings, the trees were in great shape and ready to live decades to a century more. The trail that I was hoping to go on for my photographs didn't appear to exist anymore (which is a shame, especially because I liked seeing the bridge along it that a good friend built as a project before reaching eagle scout status), so I settled for trekking through some nearby brush on the hillside behind the park, took my photographs, collected some of the subject matter, listened to the sound of a woodpecker, and headed back to the car. Before leaving, I could hear the cry of a lone hawk, emulating the park's weary call for help. (The last photograph of this blog post is an establishing shot of my dismay).