Final Exam

Hello, all. Welcome to the final week of the semester. Please note that extreme studying, last minute cramming, and binge reading everything from the semester may take place during these times. Now if you’ll just sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight!


Okay, on a serious note, it’s the final week of the semester, and it’s time to put all this hard work to use. This page is to give a look into a few pieces of knowledge I’ve gained this semester, along with a bit of humor because, let’s be honest, school isn’t ALL boring, right?


Section 1: Name Editing

Photoshop name copy

Image: Cochran, B. (2016, April 26). Background of image retrieved from



Because who doesn’t want their name in lights? Photoshop has a ton of handy dandy tools to alter and recreate just about any photo you want. I decided to take my last name and make it a bit more attractive. If you want me to do yours, feel free to get ahold of me. I’ve got a bit more playing around to do with Photoshop, but I feel the gist of it is fairly simple.


Section 2: Digital Photograph Manipulation


Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University.            The first photo was originally taken of myself in front of the library on GVSU’s Allendale campus, in front of the L. William “Bill” Seidman statue. This statue represents a man who put his heart and soul into this place, and dedicated everything he had to ensuring that my education would be worth while. So how do I repay him?



I blurred the hell out of it. Ta-daaaaaaa!

Wait, there’s more…


Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University         Here, we have the Cook Carilon Clock Tower on Allendale campus. Upon entering GVSU from the golf course entrance on 48th Ave., the viewpoint is heavy set on the clock tower, and is an easy reference point for anyone on campus to find out how to get back to where they need to be (and for time, I suppose).


The photo started to tilt, so I brought these guys in to make it steady. Thanks to their help, the image is here to stay.


Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University        The Transitions Link is more of a superstitious icon. Rumor is that if you walk through it from complete end to unfinished end, you will forever have bad luck at Grand Valley and will not graduate. Needless, to say, I’ve never walked through it at all…


…but for some reason, there were a lot of people walking under the link that day… interesting to say the least.


Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University          I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure what this is called, but it’s located in the center of the Lakes’ Halls on campus. I’ve always admired it because it was so abstract. I’m not entirely sure of it’s purpose, either. So, I took a photo with it.


Aaaaaaaand then Hulk smash…

Section 3: Internet Culture

Meme’s are all the rage now a days. It’s what all the cool kids are doin’. Do you even meme, bro? At Grand Valley, there’s memes galore.


Cochran, B. (Photographer) (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University.        Bad Luck Brian

This has not happened to me, but now that I say it, I likely just jinxed myself, and I will be up bright and early on a Saturday rushing to class.


Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University        First World

Sometimes, you just want a burrito. Sometimes, you just want it on the weekends. Sometimes, you just want it from Zoca. Every time, that’s not possible. Are there hungry people in the world? Yes. Thanks to Zoca, there’s one more on the weekends.


Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University        Haters Gunna Hate

You have a lot of studying to do? You can only use programs on a Mac computer? You have to use multiple programs only available on Macs on campus during finals week and there aren’t any available? As I type this from the Mac computer on the first floor of the library during finals, I can’t seem to imagine that feeling. My condolences.

Section 4: Final Cut Pro

Video editing is something I’ve always been fascinated with. Being a professional movie editor I’ve always thought would be a never ending job. Well, I’m not exactly a professional, but I gave it a shot nonetheless. For this section, Final Cut Pro had to be used to describe my favorite place on campus. What better place to choose than likely the most frequented place on campus: the library!


Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 12.12.56 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 12.21.23 AM


Section 5: Photoshop


Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University



A photo in front of my favorite work of art at Grand Valley is worth a thousand words. Well, normally it is. This art speaks to me on a whole other level. It’s unique, it’s out in the open, it doesn’t even have a title. Therefore, I will give it a title. I shall call it…Zumberge Donkey. It’s a work in progress. As are my photography skills. However, this is what Photoshop is for. Time to spice things up a bit.


That’s much better. Still basically the same, right? Just a little had to be a little “flexible” so the marathon runners could get by me. I swear I didn’t add a filter or add runners to the background. I wouldn’t do that. I’m also known for not always telling the full truth on filters or marathon runners.


Section 7: InDesign

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.04.07 PM

If it has gone unnoticed, the theme across most of my works has been what it has been for most of the semester: professional, with a comical twist. For this section, I redesigned my Twitter cover photo using InDesign. Is it neat and organized? Sure is! Is it well pieced together? Sort of. Is it comical? I thought so. Is it a nice change of pace? Absolutely. I admit, I have struggled a bit with InDesign, but practice makes perfect and I know I will get there in due time. Also, don’t pay any attention to the tabs. I’m not afraid to Google a question if it gives me a reliable answer (hint: I also need practice using Mac computers).


Section 8: GVSU Culture



Cochran, B. (Photographer). (2016, April 23). Allendale, MI: Grand Valley State University


Ahh, yes. The wrecking ball. Once, just a pendulum swaying on Grand Valley’s Allendale campus, nothing special to anyone. Then, in 2013,  Miley Cyrus released her song “Wrecking Ball” and it was all downhill from there. Soon, the wrecking ball became the center of attention for any and all GV students. If you didn’t have your picture taken while swaying on the wrecking ball (usually intoxicated and sometimes naked), did they really even go to Grand Valley?

I had friends from across the country texting me about this. A friend in Maryland asked if this was my school because he heard it on the nightly news. My aunt in Kansas sent me a picture of her television with my school and the wrecking ball splattered all over it. Was the publicity negative? At times. It did make our school look somewhat trashy. Did it get Grand Valley’s name out there and make us more recognizable than we already were? Absolutely. If anything, the wrecking ball gave all of us students something to have in common that we could laugh about to all of our friends all over the country. Even though the wrecking ball is now protected, it’s still a significant part of the GV culture. In 20 years, we can all look back and say, “Remember when we all got drunk and rode the wrecking ball?”

I got on to Google AdWords to see if they had any suggestions for finding stories about the wrecking ball, and they seemed to come back fairly usual:


The most popular alternate words that came up were: Miley Cyrus, wrecking ball, Miley Cyrus wrecking ball, controversy, and GVSU. To make it fun, here’s a few was to incorporate these into this page:

-Miley Cyrus is known for being a bit wild.

-She wrote a song and caused a big stir about a wrecking ball.

-Because of her ensuing music video, students at Grand Valley fell under fire for copying the stint in Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”

-There was much controversy over students drunkenly riding a wrecking ball that was on campus.

-The wrecking ball will forever be a part of the culture here at GVSU.



Well ladies and gents, it’s been a fun ride. This concludes the Final Exam portion of the CAP 105 class. I would like to thank my professor, Angela Peavey, for giving me this opportunity to better my technological skills in my studying and I hope that she may not be the only person who ends up reading this! Maybe one day, I’ll look back and see this page and wonder “wow, this is where it all began.” Who knows what the future holds. I suppose it’s time to find out. Anddddddd…go.


-Ben Cochran