A Wellesley student, last week, submitted a picture to the official Wellesley Instagram account of a never-before-seen angle of the Galen Stone Tower, an iconic landmark of Wellesley campus. The Instagram account had been considering rejecting more posts of the tower because they were worried that repeating generic pictures of the tower would dissuade prospective students from choosing to apply to the college.
Maria Blair ’19 was the student who discovered this new way to portray the tower. Blair chose to come to campus not only because of the academics and the prestige of the college, but because she believed that a beautiful campus would contribute to her learning abilities, not to mention her social media presence. This is the reason she had been studying the tower in order to promote the beauty of campus and show a side of Wellesley that no one had ever captured.
“That tower is iconic. I climb up there every single open tower held by the Guild of the Carillonneurs to access the incredible view of campus. My goal was that one day I would be featured on the Wellesley College Instagram and now that I have reached this goal I will continue to strive to capture new angles of Wellesley that will prove to other people the beauty that we are surrounded by,” Blair said.
Blair was nervous about submitting this photograph and had to make sure that it was unique enough to grab the attention of viewers. It was difficult for her to find such a unique angle because the photograph had been taken so many times before. One well-known example is the photograph on the I.D. card issued to new first-years.
“I always stop to take a picture of the tower whenever I’m walking from Dower to the Ville,” Layla Hanes ’18 admitted. “I also usually run into multiple other students who ar standing in the same spot to capture the same picture. This is especially true at sunset. Or when it snows. Or when it’s a beautiful day. Students will stand there for hours trying to get the perfect picture to post as their cover photo on Facebook.”
However, Blair found that the angle from the east side of campus had already been reproduced so many times. She could not find a new take on the tower from that part of campus, especially with the patch of dead shrubbery between the new dorms and the Science Center. She figured that the newest approach would be to take a photo from the space between Green Hall and the parking lot.
“No one’s done it before,” Blair explained. The most difficult decision Blair had to make before sending in the photograph to the Wellesley College Instagram was what filter she would use. It had to work with the angle and the amount of natural light in the photograph. She attempted to use sepia and black and white, but found that she really wanted more of the natural colors of the scenery to shine in the final product. She ended up choosing Kelvin Instagram filter.
Another student, Gwen Lange ’17, analyzed the photograph for her art course and was able to explain some of the techniques that Blair used while preparing the photograph for submission.
“Maria really took advantage of the light,” Lange said. ”It is probably around 5pm and the sun was setting because it was strategically taken before Daylight Savings, which meant that the sun was setting a little bit earlier, giving the photograph a melancholy yet beautiful tone. The angle forces the viewer to acknowledge the towering height and adds to the air of prominence that the tower has on campus. But I have to critique the fact that she only got eight likes. Everyone knows that you delete if you get less than 11.”
Photo courtesy of wellesley.edu