21 June 2017

In Which Literary Characters Engage in the Hunger Games

Dun, dun, dun! The bowl of doom.

Hello, everyone! This is the moment of terror where all beloved characters are forced to battle it out in a Hunger Games free for all-- or battle it out in a very calm situation, depending on how it's viewed. Ellie from The Other Side of Reality lightly tagged me for this amazing endeavour, where thirty characters go head to head in a stand off and two are drawn each to answer a question, and whoever suits the question more wins! If you don't understand how it works, just read on. You'll capture the concept soon enough.

// You only have one more spot on your spelling bee team. Who gets it?
Dante Quintana (Artistole & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe) vs. Ron Weasley (Harry Potter)

I would love to say Ron! It’s important to have comedic relief when you’re in an intense competition, and if not available, the pressure cracks people sooner than later. Here’s the catch: I used the word “would,” because competitive streaks need to be backed with people who can keep up with the fast pace. At this point, I’ll have to say Dante-- did you see all the books he’s read? He’d be an asset, for sure.

// Both characters want to kill you. Whom would you kill first to have a better chance of survival?
Piper Mclean (Heroes of Olympus) vs. Cath Avery (Fangirl)

Hands down, Piper. Her charm speak would lure me to do monstrous things like confront a vicious pack of Jelly Baby (according to Riordan’s universe, are a very vicious species indeed). Plus, Cather wouldn’t really do anything harmful except for maybe chuck a book—poor novel! One should not throw books across the room.

// You're on the bachelor/bachelorette and down to two characters. Who gets your rose?
Cinder Linh (The Lunar Chronicles) vs. Teresa (The Maze Runner series)

I had to search this up because I’ve never seen an episode of The Bachelor(ette) nor its sibling spinoffs. For those of you who are as clueless I was, the rose chooses whoever stays on the show or who gets proposed to. If I were a guy, this This may seem rude since I didn’t like her character towards the end of her series, so Teresa would be eliminated, and Cinder would get the final rose.

// You've been chosen for the Hunger Games. Who's most likely to volunteer in your place?
Wesley (The Princess Bride) vs. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices)

Hmm… both men would do anything for those they truly care for and they don’t seek glory. Will Herondale has rune magic, meaning he can manipulate his enemies from a further distance, if placed into the games. Wesley has an incredible amount of stamina and swordsmanship. I feel like Wesley would be easier in giving in to volunteering—Will does care for people, but he imparts the impression of aloofness for those he doesn’t really know a great level.

// You're stranded on an island and must engage in cannibalism to survive. Whom do you eat?
Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) vs. Jude Sweetwine (I'll Give You the Sun)

This question freaks me out because cannibalism is gross? Sorry, Jude. Jude has a fiery streak and determination. I feel like Mr. Darcy has training in hunting and other important gentleman hobbies that don’t appear important at hindsight, but are essential in surviving an island for later.

// You're the next Marvel superhero (with your own TV show, of course). Who's your sidekick?
Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars) vs. Simon Snow (Carry On)

Is implementing the power of metaphors a super power? Because if so, then Augustus Waters. But Simon has wizard powers and is such a small bean—Simon would win, but just barely. Or here’s a better thought: Augustus would impart Simon and I wisdom when we are confused. He’ll practically be the Dumbledore – Gandalf character of the series (NO they are NOT played by the same actor).

// You're a manager of an avocado company. Whom would you fire for poor communication skills?
Hanna Donnelly (The Illuminae Files) vs. Ezra Mason (The Illuminae Files)

OH NO. Two characters from the same series! Ack! As manager, it is my pertinent duty to manage the avocado company in the tidiest way possible. The avocado industry has a high reputation needs to be upheld almost at a life or death stake—why do you think “avocado” and “avada kedevra” have the same two first letters?

Ezra does have a streak for defying conventionality (for the right reasons), and Hanna’s attention and combative skills make her a viable asset in protecting the company from competitors wanting to learn the secret to our success. What if he messes up? Sorry, Ezra, but you’ll have to go.

// You've just finished a book in which your favorite character dies. Which of these two characters is more likely to comfort you?
Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter) vs. Seraphina (Seraphina)

Seraphina… would be busy attending to palace duties. Dumbledore has time to talk to his students—he’d probably comfort me but cringe at the high increasing epidemic of fangirls crying over deceased characters.

// Ugh, it's high school. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?

Kai (The Lunar Chronicles) vs. Eragon With Spoilery Last Name* (The Inheritance Cycle)

Eragon sometimes acts a bit immature and head strong, and sometimes I wonder if he ever smiles. Kai, on the other hand, will do sweet things for his friends like help decorate an impromptu wedding and he already has the entire Republic looking out at him for guidance, so I’ll go for him. 

// The day has arrived; you're finally a year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?
Noah Sweetwine (I'll Give You the Sun) vs. Emily Starr (Emily of New Moon)

Both characters would remember! But I feel like Emily would remember easier, because Noah forget easier if he ended up spending the entire afternoon frolicking with his significant other and running around, laughing despite them being seemingly opposites.

// You've just found an upcoming YouTube star! Whom is it more likely to be?
Tessa Gray (The Infernal Devices) vs. Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials

Tessa Gray would become a YouTube star! Lyra doesn’t seem like the type to have a YouTube channel—she’d rather be off adventuring. Tessa, on the other hand, would pretty much have a book channel, talking about the characters. Because she doesn’t age, no one would suspect a thing when she talks about books from the 1800s; they’d think she has a love for books in the romanticism period, which suits her.

// Sleepover time! Unfortunately, you can only invite one person. Who would it be?
Marie-Laurie Leblanc (All the Light We Cannot See) vs. Cress Darnel (The Lunar Chronicles)

GAHHHHH THESE ARE TWO OF MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME. Marie-Laurie is interesting to listen to—I’d love to hear how she perceived the events during World War II during the war, but the problem presents itself: I wouldn’t know how to talk to her. Cress would be super fun just fangirling, browsing on the ports at aesthetic photos and doing all of this without feeling super awkward.

// Bam, you're pregnant. Who's the father/mother?
Leo Valdez (The Heroes of Olympus) vs. David Charleston (The Reckoners trilogy)

BWAHAHAHA, David, leave! Leo would so be the dad; he’d be such a good parent.

// You've just written a super important text. Who would see it and not reply?
Voldemort (Harry Potter) vs. Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia)

Uh, duh! Voldemort. Lucy would always make sure to respond. To show you Voldemort’s track record on how good he is at replying or listening to text messages, many wizards in the community have tried to stop him from reigning London. Did he ever listen? Of course not. He only wants his messages to get through, and the same concept applies. I’d believe he would be a great YouTuber, though—the credit most recent on his filmography, “Beauty and Voldemort,” is a feat deserving many awards. 

// You've just woken up, and it's time for breakfast. Your mom's been replaced by.....whom?
Summer Dawson (Wonder) vs. June Iparis (The Legend trilogy)

Summer would be the perfect kind and caring mom, but I’d love it even more if it was June Iparis. Here me out: you’d have to consider the potential backstory as to what happened with my dad, too, and more than likely, the disappearance also happened to him, too. Which means more than likely, Day would be my dad and means my ship has sailed the rocky seas and even better, I’d be their kid and honestly road trips and stuff would be awesome! I’m just squealing by how amazing it would all be.

+ you!

18 June 2017

snowy || an poem

Snow to match the poem-- I took this the same day the photo was made.

"It is snowing."

Outside, puffs of white swoon in the air
elegantly in the duration of the waxing snores.
I am snuggled under the safety of warm blankets,
two pillows, sock-free toes.
It must be really beautiful outside. 
Wish I could see it.

"It just is more shoveling for me /
But is beautiful /
Quietly falling all around . . ."

Shoveling? This
leads to recollections of old discussions:
driveways, ice cream, remote start for cars.
None of the above induced a terrifying sensation
so potent as the conversation we are having.

When did you become so poetic,
salvaging every piece of your weary spirit
to produce such words?
This tenderness, the softness of the flake
this is much unlike you.
I am scared of what this may mean,
but I won't tell you this aloud.

This is shoveling:
Shoveling just means a bigger pile 
to get snowballs from and a wall 
to protect yourself.
I wish I could be outside. Agree?

"It's really cold."

In our days as innocent 
as the white Narnian banks,
Frost sat in our hands, humming in
nature's cadence of a man returning home.
You anchored yourself to rationality.
I grasp your hand as I soar in imagination.

Yes, it may be cold, but...
It's worth being here.
And hey, warm evenings just reading late 
(or just talking with you)
into the night as snow falls 
isn't as appreciated without knowing 
how cold it is outside.
Good night, friend.

“Good night.”

Because with you, I am warm.


An old poem from several months ago, for practice and contemplation.

Hello, everyone! Yes, I know it's not winter, but there are reasons for sharing this poem. It's that time of year again-- by the time you've read this, I will have arrived at my vacation destination, and will be gone for some time. I'm going to try my best to keep up with responding to comments, but please do not be shocked if I disappear for a week or so without connecting. I'll be back soon!

13 June 2017

How To Do a Book-To-Movie Adaptation Ft. Anna & Anna!

I'm officially excited to introduce the first of many collaboratives planned over the summer! Anna of annaish and Anna of Lethlogica are two dear blogging friends of mine, where we have had this post in the works for several weeks. Book-to-movie adaptations of beloved middle grade and young adult books have sporadically spurred over the past couple of years. 

One question that jumped out to us (as we're all book lovers) is the question, "How should book to movie adaptations occurs? What works and doesn't work?" Our words and opinions are strict guidelines, but they're some we believe should be kept in mind as an adaptation is within the works. Along side our introductions and explanations, we'll each list an adaptation we're either excited for our we really like. Take it away, Anna!

I thought I could start by introducing my biggest positive concerning a book to movie adaptation.

Personally, I want the movie adaptation to follow the book plot. That’s the key! It will make everything better and (probably) more clear. Now, we all know Hollywood isn’t the most trustworthy with book to movie adaptations. An example: Percy Jackson. *shivers* Still disgusted with that adaptation. But there are much better adaptations. I found The Maze Runner, If I Stay, Insurgent all good adaptations. But wait, Anna? The movie adaptation for Insurgent didn’t follow the book … at all?! Let me explain: I want my favorite book to be the perfect movie adaptation. Because, you know, it’s my favorite book. But books I read and didn’t enjoy (plot wise)? Their movie plot can change and I wouldn’t mind because I didn’t enjoy the book plot in the first place. Does everyone get me? Haha hopefully you did!

We got to use Anna's author picture because EEEP!

The setting, plot intricacy, and character depth make a huge difference in any good story.  Character depth in particular is extremely important, because characters are the life of the tale.  Even though personality, flaws and virtue, and background are most important in a character, it can’t be denied that physical appearance is something we don’t want to leave out.  Being able to picture a character in your mind while reading a story gives you a visual for that character and helps to bring them to life.  That’s why, when adapting a book into a movie, the given descriptions of book characters should always be noted and acted upon.

The “perfect” bad example is The Lightning Thief, a movie based off of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.  Annabeth Chase is our beloved female protagonist, and is described multiple times throughout the books as having blonde hair and grey eyes.  Although the movie was a disaster in every way (as far as a book “adaption”, in any case), the mistake that sticks out the most is the actress chosen to play Annabeth.  Alexandria Daddario was chosen to portray Annabeth as a brunette with bright blue eyes.  Needless to say, the description that Rick Riordan gave Annabeth in the book was ignored entirely.

The way Annabeth is attacking Percy = how we feel about directors not following character descriptions clearly stated.

The movie adaption of Everything, Everything, a novel by Nicola Yoon, is an excellent example of character likeness done right.  Maddy and Olly, our dear protagonists, are both cast nearly perfectly. Each can be recognized for exactly the character they were meant to be.  And although the book is nearly always better, movie Olly and Maddy do their book counterparts a considerable justice.

Directors: Please do not ignore what is sitting right in front of you, written clearly on paper. The physical appearance of a character may not be the most important aspect of who they are, but it does play a part in how we perceive them and how they are portrayed in our minds.  

The reason why book-to-screen adaptations often fall under scrutiny is it suffers under the pressure of Goldilocks syndrome. If too familiar to a reader, the story resurfaces bland in the viewer's mind, but if too different, then readers will cause a havoc over the entire plot line. (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, anyone?) Stories, whatever medium presented, need to engage with the audience. If the text is so familiar, injecting backstory into the characters and other traits of the story not explicitly stated but built on helps keep it engaging.

One example that comes to mind is Anne With an E. To some, the differences are mind boggling and disgrace what the books stood for, and while I agree that some changes are unnerving, for a lack of better words, it must be kept in mind that this is an adaptation.

In the TV series, Gilbert is also given some backstory. For this scene, this makes me squeal it involved a spelling competition and when Gilbert says this, it makes me see die on the inside because he did misspell purposefully for her sake (seeing she's uncomfortable up there for reasons) and also Anne, who's sensitive about the spelling, is spelled with an E. Sorry for this fangirl moment but they are so cute!

In the television series, the eponymous character has a gritty backstory shown while in the series it is only briefly mentioned and it flows into the "present day" of the storyline. Anne suffered from abuse in her previous household, the Hammonds, as well as in the orphanage, when a group of girls cornered and dangled a mouse above her head to tell her to stop talking about Princess Cordelia. This never happened in the books. Jerry, the Cuthberts' farm hand, also plays a more predominant role in the show when in the books he's hardly mentioned at all.

Why make these changes? Why add backstory to the characters that isn't stated in the book? What is the meaning of that? 

Adaptations, while based on a source material, do not have to follow the source dogmatically-- they just need to keep the spirit of the books alive. Take it like melody chords transposed to another key with sharps and flats not initially there before; while it retains the same shape, the dissonance is strikingly intriguing. In the case of Anne: yes, she endured those hardships, and it makes you feel bad. She shouldn't have to suffer through that. But her easy rapport with those closest to her, her never ceasing optimism and imaginative self are still there. The essence of her character is still there, and because she endured through those hardships, it just makes me want to root for her more. Those positive qualities and her flaws (she has bantering moments with Jerry showing the not as pretty side of her) help make her a realistic three-dimension character.

Many more adaptations come to mind: nothing in the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale dictated Belle loved books now, did it? While more uncommon, sometimes drawing in too many plot points from a story can bog the film engagement (but increase the length of the movie) but a ton-- the removal of Peeves and SPEW from the various Harry Potter movies are two notable examples.

Are there any other points to add in regards to book-to-movie adaptations? What's your favorite or least favorite adaptations, and which ones are you looking forward to? Would you like to do a bookish (or non-bookish) collab, too?

09 June 2017

What's Up With Change?

Change terrifies me. We all hold an adversity to change, at varying degrees. Friends move, schedules change, and family members try to grab you for dinner while in the middle of reading a good chapter, bringing feelings of alarm tinged with annoyance and acceptance. It's hard to grapple on with the fast-paced journey of surging into the unknown.

Ah, those dreaded calls while reading about Elizabeth and Darcy. Every time.

Initially I wanted to relay this idea of change in the form of a poem, but some ideas and discussions are so vastly important I don't want them to go unrecognized by a brief glance. This is a topic that needs to be thought about. So please read, and continue on.

Cloistering into the warm circle of comfort is the first response. The closest blanket is snatched, alongside the bag of organic popcorn and the only thing to do with dealing with these changes is to build a blanket fort as a reading nook or a safe haven to bingewatch, and the moment interruption hits, screams of, "SHISH KEBABS I AM TRYING TO READ! SILENCE M'DEAR," ring the household. You are a comfortable turtle. Who can blame the initial reaction? Change is a gamble. What's being transformed now may fail expectations later or place us in an uncomfortable position.

The thing about change is accepting it's happening.
“We all change, when you think about it. We’re all different people all through our lives. And that’s OK, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.” -- Doctor Who
I've changed so much! Seventh grade (left) me writes posts about inspirational music videos and lounged around on the grass as she watched YMCA soccer. Oh, she also liked using the "vibrance" setting on her camera. Then there's eighth grade me on the right who spent time in theatre, singing "I'm Yours" and "Just Give Me A Reason" around the piano who got very little rest but wasn't tired at all because she enjoyed what she did while awake. The fact that this all happened while I blogged and I'm still blogging.. I feel so old.

"Who is this?" Sometimes, I glance in the mirror in the mornings. There are days when I like the person staring back at me. She's more thick-skinned, observant, and matured. Other evenings I'd finish washing my face. My skin turns red from the cold water contact moments before and the occasional pimple omits itself as the center of attention. Yet these do not faze me: I'm at a constant search for other versions of me with traits present yet subdued in my current personality: ten-year-old Abby's ideas of imagination, a thirteen-year-old self talking vibrantly to known strangers in night before heading off to a spontaneous sleepover, my seven-year-old's aspiration of becoming a ballerina sans any formal training prior. Probably a bad idea then, since dance required tons of flexibility while my body hardly coughed up an ounce to suffice splits. I can hardly believe I'm more cynical than I used to, but I am.
"Who can say if I've been changed for the better /
But because I knew you /
I have been changed for good." -- Wicked
Being surrounded by the people and interests I choose to dabble in all affects it. When I was younger, I had an extremely close minded view about makeup-- if you look further into the blog archives, there's a post about it somewhere. But my opinion on the subject has heavily changed; makeup isn't bad. People don't wear makeup always to cover themselves up to be someone they're not. I will be doing a follow-up post about this later, but some people just love wearing it for the sake of accenting their best facial qualities. It makes them feel and look beautiful. Also this past year, keeping away from theatricals was hard, and I do miss it, but not as much as I used to. Theatre is still something I want to partake in my life, but when that connection is severed, it isn't as painful to be away. (Although I do miss saying, "Sorry I can't; I have rehearsal.)

I have a friend where we've tried so hard to communicate with each other despite busy schedules. We talk about moose trying to tackle down apple trees, burning cutting boards while cooking (which we've both done), and awkward original songs and parodies: "Walking, walking and rolling, down to the beach I'm strolling. But the seagulls, poke at my head (not fun)! I said seagulls--mhmm! Stop it now."

While we are still good friends, our interests changed. The cadence once present in our conversations talking face-to-face gets muddled by the awkward pauses between messages and time. I've reverted back to being more mischievous while they reverted to stoicism, when before we used to balance each other out. Distance strained that connection to balance one another. Sometimes friendships like these just... move on. We've gotten to the point where we understand there are other parts of our lives pulling us apart, but we still try. We're both changing. I feel that fear of letting go, which we hardly talk about, binds and could potentially hold us back, but we both want the best for the other and so maybe sometime in the future we will have to be set free which will be hard because we're so used to being in each other's company.

Does that mean after all of this, my past selves and all their qualities have strayed because these people and interests have come and gone? Absolutely not. They're still here, in a tiny corner of my heart and soul, in my memory and the memories of others fortunate enough to interact with her. She is still here, and I'll always remember her because she is me, and I am her. Only age can tell us a part: present me living in the moment, past me breathing affectionately, past self here to guide. She's still here, for the world to see-- just browse through old blog posts of mine from my first year of blogging and you'll see. Just browse along old photographs and perhaps mementos like these to see her ever smiling, perhaps too full of ideas to make any of them a reality, but her mind is in the right place.

Your past selves are still there within you.

I'm still the person I was during my underclassmen years, to a sense: a bit dorky, childish, and took photos of pretty much everything.

Change isn't overtly a negative thing. It gets this bad reputation because it carries the potential to derail us off this paradise we're on since it has everything we need. Seasons change, people change, opinions you once thought true now hold vacant since you've realized more parts of an argument. The cycle perpetuates.

We have the choice of what kind of change impacts our life whether to seize it in the moment or perhaps to wait for something better. That's what goals and resolutions are for, right? We set these to help guide us towards who we want to be, to make an ideal a reality. It may take awhile for us to get there. Some changes may set us back for awhile, but it's okay. The cycle is never ending, and another opportunity may pop up sooner than later.

Junior year: the girl who realized it's okay to struggle with stuff and ask for help, took a break and watched the world go at a fast rate, and also fangirled in a classroom to the point she scared a teacher since she's known for being especially quiet all the time which isn't always true???

A ton more aspects help dictate what changes are made, but I hope if you ever experience or see something inviting you to positively change for the better, go for it.

What's one aspect about yourself you've noticed changed over the years? Are you terrified of change, and if so, how do you cope with it? Any other things to add on to the topic?

p.s. Get ready for my next few weeks of posts where I pretty much rant things with some friends. xD

06 June 2017

Explore The Outdoors: Bird Walk

This bird is adorable and is my bird form because this tree swallow just glances up and contemplates about life, even when people are staring at it.

"Moose, beavers, eagles, oh my! Moose, beavers, eagles, oh my!" 

If the quartet from The Wizard of Oz ever visited the bird boardwalk located a couple of miles outside of town, that's surely what they'd say. This is one of the five places that completes one bullet of my senior bucket list, thus the title.

My family decided to visit the area out on a limb, since it's a place we always pass by but never took a second glance at. After volunteering at a bird sanctuary fundraiser, learning about the Aubudon Society, and the luxury of wondering about their behavior after encountering one so kindly pooping into our yard, I wanted to go.

The post is a compilation of the three times we visited last week-- the first time with impending rainfall bestowed to the land five minutes after arrival, the second time when the sun came out, and the third time during a community event. Pamphlets and map greet newcomers as they enter the grounds. Until that day, I didn't know over fifty varieties of birds can be seen from that one speck of marsh land.

Fifty varieties of birds? Add that on to all of the aquatic life and other animals plus a beautiful sunset, and voilĂ ! A beautiful place to observe wildlife in a habitat, free from restraints. Faint breezes blew, and sun felt warm on our faces. This is a photo dump larger than conventional, but I love and adore my state so much and have to share it; it's pure magnificence worthy of writing about.

 Waiting for the oncoming rain...

 One of the many birdhouses that's on the board walk!

 Literally five minutes after my brother took this photo, the rain poured down super hard.

A ton of running happened on the boardwalk that's a bit more jostling than rollerblades... just saying.

If you're short, it's hard to look through this stationary binoculars and zoom through. All we could see were houses on the mountain side! 

 Another outlook of the marsh.

 Isn't this aesthetically pleasing?

This is such a blurry photo, BUT it's depicting two tree swallows mating, where one of the birds (I think it's the male) flies back and forth towards the other bird just perched sitting. 

 This outlook runs around a half mile, but it took two hours to fully explore.


There were two people (not pictured) that kept scaring away the swallows when people who want to take photos tried to come close to them which is rude on so many levels. Still irks me right now. 

 SO CUTE. The tree swallow's eyes, though!

 A couple of Canadian Geese.

 This place is just wide open with mud, bodies of water, and grasslands-- perfect for wildlife.

 Pretty marsh shadows. Random fact: it's easy to tell a woodpecker flying! Just watch for an undulation pattern back and forth.

 Outlook of the tracks and the road.

 This beaver snacked for ten minutes posing and it's incredibly adorable how they just chew away contently and think, "Oh, hello humans. Watch me pose and eat!"

 Bye, Mr. Beaver! Thank you so much for your hospitality. (Literary reference!)

 I love the pattern the boardwalk makes as the sun is setting.

 The bird walk is near a state highway, thus frequent wind and railroad noise.

 Featuring my brother who took photos via a phone.

Sometimes, there are small fish that swim around the water. It's nice to glance down and see how clear it is with the sediment settled and everything. 

 I couldn't believe how many kids there were visiting the bird boardwalk-- I've ran into roughly thirty kids with kazoos sprinting and trying to either play tag or find birds.

 Thinking maybe to take my senior photos here... yes or no?

This view is so much better if senior photos are going to get taken. 

 This couple was extremely nice as they're frequent bird watchers and helped spot some woodpeckers and eagles that would have gone unnoticed!

 There's an eagle in this photo-- can you find it?

 Some birds eat spiders... no wonder why they were absent from their webs!

 Now, can you spot the eagle's old nest? You'll find it soon.

There are so many bird houses, but capturing the birds as they're flying into them is hard!

 One moose antler is fifteen pounds! I could hardly believe it as I carried this up. It's so heavy!

 The porcupine from the zoo fell asleep shortly after we arrived near the viewing area. The porcupine's so peaceful, wouldn't you say?

Here are the four stages salmon go through as they grow up. Do you pronounce it "sa-mon" or "sal-mon"? 

We saw a mother moose with her two calves and it was the sweetest thing ever! This was the hardest to photograph, because this happened during the Discovery Day and five people crammed next to me to take the photo. I had to climb up the fence to not have shadows greet my photos.