Don’t carrot all about what they think!

Carrot people! “What would Carrot People look like?”

Not sure if this counts as a collage or not but these are just two different races of the many races of carrot people: purple carrots and orange carrots. Many people may think the purple carrots are weird because they aren’t the stereotypical orange carrot. BUT that doesn’t matter in the carrot world! To them: it’s carrots versus the world!

Week one has been quite the journey

What a crazy week! I have learned so much the past few days my head is spinning. When I read it would be a lot of work I wasn’t sure why but now I really think the effort is all in the reflections. And being a naturally lazy person I thought that reflecting would be a dreadful task but in reality it really makes me open up my mind and think about why I do the things I do and how I feel about my own work.

So the only real trouble I ran into was setting up my website in general and linking it to the media. This took A LOT more time than I anticipated but eventually I got through it using different websites and advice articles from past students (and just studying the website in general). When that was finished I tried out my first daily create with little success. Photoshop wouldn’t download for me so I decided to hand write a quote on paper, which I regret now because my handwriting plus the graininess created a pretty awful photo. I did like the idea of going through different wording because I feel like everyone goes through that trial and error when attempting to be creative.





Then I did a little reflection on my progress.

I did a second daily create where I had the idea to walk with my dog instead of just alone (which I was proud of until I saw others do it on twitter). This was interesting because I never really realized that I rarely record things on my cell phone. Then I found out I could edit the video and post it all on my phone! This daily create was super fun for me and made me realize what a photographers eye I was getting. I say this because I was constantly searching for things to capture or take in a fun lighting or something. Anything. BUT I took the tip of being picky and not taking too many pictures of random things.

Next I did my slightly stressful photo safari . Here I was pretty anxious that I just wasn’t going to have enough time so I ran around like a mad woman. This assignment made me realize how much I freaking love my dog and how much of an influence she has on my world. I have used her for many photos and I am pretty sure it is because she is always by my side, has a range of emotions nearly equivalent to a humans’, and is honestly just always in my way. I wish I could go back and try a little harder for this assignment but I am pretty content with it, for I show all my friends and family what techniques I tried.

I tried my first visual assignment and was surprised at how easy the effect was to create on my little green pond. I think because of this I started to LOVE editing things. I think I even did an extra visual assignment just because I wanted to manipulate an image and practice my editing skills. I also got a few compliments on this one which gave me the confidence that I can actually use technology! Yay!

I immediately tried a second visual assignment involving cats because they are extremely interesting creatures. I was a little disappointed in how the text showed up because of the app but you live and you learn. I learned to NOT use that app again for text! BUT I did like how fast it was to find a Shakespearean quote for my cat picture. I also liked trying to make a story out of a picture.

My third visual assignment was probably my favorite visual assignment. I feel like I did a pretty good job and I got to study Photoshop a bit more, which I needed to do. What I wish I did differently here was try out the different colors and fonts more. This assignment is really what made me excited about using Photoshop (which I thought was going to be impossible to work with). I also realized I actually remember some of my computer art class from high school which I believe will help me in the future.

Next was the famous spubble ! I actually had a LOT of trouble finding an app with a good looking thought bubble. This is the assignment that made me get a bunch of photoshop apps and such on both my laptop and my phone. Then once I found a decent app I had trouble thinking of something clever (which never happens). This made me have to take a break because I knew I couldn’t force sassiness. When I came back to it I had something but it wasn’t as great as I wanted it.

I did this visual assignment for fun because, for the hundredth time, I love my dog. I think this was the first assignment that I was really able to come up with a good story for. Which I am very proud of though it is really short. But honestly I just wanted to use this cute picture of her and then practice my editing skills along with story skills. I think it’s pretty A-OK.

My third daily create was one that was very simple because it was already so beautiful. All I had to do was sharpen it a little because my phone has such awful quality at times. I also got a lot of compliments on how this really followed the guidelines/storyline for the daily create. I was nervous I would forget to take a picture at sunset so I used an old one, which by old is really like a few weeks old.

For my photo reflection I decided to go outside because the pictures in my house weren’t quite what I wanted. I was able to use all my favorite techniques based on tips I found, which was really fun. I even stepped out of my comfort zone by taking pictures in weird positions and probably looking like a complete creep/weirdo in my yard. The next few days I went out to an arcade and a zoo (for my birthday) and probably annoyed the crap out of my boyfriend because I kept stopping to take pictures every five minutes. And then trying out different angles and lighting and focuses. What has this class done to me?? I see art everywhere! IT’S AMAZING.

I really really had trouble coming up with stories for my visual assignments. This is where I felt I lacked in my assignments. When looking at art I usually like pictures that make me wonder what the story is, not tell it’s own story. I mean yeah, I want my photos to make sense but I want the viewer to wonder so instead of telling a direct story I like to give questions as prompts. BUT seeing as this is something needed for the assignment (and the class is Digital Storytelling), next week I will need to create my pictures in a way that I know I can come up with a story for them. That way I can be sure to do my best in this class!

I also really really enjoy the process of editing pictures on the different apps. I feel I am strongest at this, but hopefully will become stronger at taking pictures. I even practice taking pictures every where I go now (I’m always ready for a photoshoot, yet another tip). I have yet to memorize which app has what but expect to figure this all out by doing more visual assignments. FUN! Also by doing more I hope to get tons better at reflecting and therefore better at analyzing in general for a life skill.

What I learned: how to make a website, how to use different media, I really like the more difficult editing assignments, I love my dog, that lighting is extremely important, that there is always an opportunity to take pictures, BE PATIENT, I like changing perspective/emotional pictures/taking pictures of items that have their own mystical story. I also learned that I don’t like to take pictures of things that can move or blur! UGH! I can be patient but humans/animals/anything that moves really tests my patience.

What I would do differently is try to take pictures of things I can easily give a story instead of making the viewer wonder it. I would also ask to have less hours at the beginning of the week because working 12 hours three days in a row really took a toll on my blog this week, which really sucks, but I guess it was a learning opportunity for me to really understand the time it takes for this class. I would also try to comment more and post more because looking back I am not sure I did as much as I felt I did.

Questions: do I need to tag my comments with something so they are noted? How in depth do my stories need to be?

I think the biggest societal issue I found was the human impact on the environment. The cones and machines near the plants held a plethora of emotion: pity, disappointment, sadness. It is just a huge symbol for how much destruction humans cause our ecosystem.

Some summarized pics: use of blur, selective focus, change of perspective, contrast of colors, converging lines, foreground/background, geometrical scenes, and finally an in the moment photo.




My own photo adventure ft. my sister Loren

So at the end of all my assignments I decided to go out (literally) and attempt to use a combination of all my newly acquired skills without looking at my references (but oh did I study them). I watched the Jason Eskenazi ( video at least twice and what is forever imprinted on my brain are the tips to use geometry and emotion. THEREFORE I challenged myself to use inanimate objects to convey emotion along with finding geometry in nature (which unfortunately ended up being man made objects). But I mostly studied these tips ( ) and ended up trying Pattern, Low Angle, Selective Focus and Foreground/Background.

The first picture I tried the blurring/motion-like effect. I had a tumblr for a long time and saw a lot of grunge-y photos with the blurring of flowers so when I saw these clovers I thought, why not try it? It took me 3 tries because at first you couldn’t even tell what I took a picture of until I finally got this picture where it is super blurred on the edges but only slightly blurred in the middle so you can tell they are flowers. I really enjoyed the trippy effect of the blurred clovers. I think I will try this effect on something more random one day to see if there is a different conclusion (for example, a sign or mailbox or something).

The second picture is probably one of my favorites. It is a mixture of things that do not belong together plus some inanimate object emotion. To me I saw this in my backyard and felt sadness. Why is this here? And why does it look so sad? And then I got the idea that it does not belong here amidst the plants and flowers. This is just a symbol for how much humans interfere with nature. This is also emotional because the cone looks so dejected like it knows what it stands for and doesn’t want to be there. I personally love this photo. I also wanted to brighten the colors at first (it was cloudy out/sprinkling = awful lighting) but then decided that the grayish hue fits the scene.

The third picture was quite a surprise for me, which is awesome considering I was horizontal on previously rained on grass. I saw the tip about changing perspective and just decided to take a near vertical picture of the bottom of my shed. The focus was so great and the image nearly abstract that when I showed this to my father he couldn’t even tell me what it was but said it looked cool. Not only did I change perspective but I chose a Low Angle like on the robwall slideshow. Being a selfie queen I know all about the positive effects of a high angle but knew virtually nothing about the effects of a low angle so I decided to try it out. The effects are actually pretty neat! My perspective was that of a bunny and I never would have seen this or tried this if not for this assignment.

The fourth picture I originally tried to focus on the vine/plant tunnel and this little vine kept swinging in the wind and hitting me in the face. It was almost tapping my shoulder and asking me to focus on it so I did. I tried a little Foreground/Background action along with selective focus also suggested by robwall. It is great because the background is just as important/beautiful as the foreground. I also had a lot of trouble focusing on such a small vine so I had to move around A LOT. I learned that it takes some serious patience to take pictures in nature or of things that move.

The fifth picture is a pattern picture, from both robwall and our photo safari. It is a picture of the siding of my house on a dreary day, which because it was so dreary, actually made my house look as gray as the sky. I honestly would not have noticed this until I started seeing everything as a potential picture. I also took a picture of my neighbors fence (picture 8- hopefully they didn’t see me) which was probably my favorite pattern. To me this represents a typical white picket fence scenario with the typical parents with two kids and two cars and two dogs. Or even a suburb, with the houses that all look similar with the same trees and mowed grass.

The sixth picture is my adorable 11 year old sister Loren who is upset at me for posting so many pictures of my dog before her. This picture is completely candid, which to me shows the typical emotion of a preteen (“ugh” and “blah”). But still beautiful. And those curls! I also adopted the reverse of picture 3, the high angle. It of course looks good but with my phone quality plus the awful lighting it just looks blurry. I also love the fact that I can make fancy comments about lighting now. Lighting really is an important aspect.

The seventh picture is my other favorite, a lone daisy by our mailbox that Loren planted. I used selective focus (thanks robwall) which has always been one of my favorite techniques. I was so thrilled that I was able to pull this off and in one try!

The ninth picture was similar to picture two, where you look at this and feel a little sad because they are taking down trees. The lighting was actually key in this because if it was a beautiful sunny day then the emotion would be more muffled and confused. In addition, this is a Pay Attention To The Moment kind of thing. There isn’t actually any action going on but you can tell the past and future of the story without it. (Just waiting for the Lorax to pop out and sing about how important trees are to the environment). I also like the fact the machine is in the far back, so as not the focus so much as the broken down path.But the machine is still key to the photo’s story. Without the machine, all there would be is a mystical path in my backyard.


A sunset is twice as romantic in Paris

“Make a dramatic photo at sunrise or sunset.”

I was going to use a picture I took at sunset by my house, but I think the view here (the top of Paris’ largest building) is much more appealing. I took this a few weeks ago on my Europe trip and just had to use it. Seems pretty dramatic to me. Could be from some chick flick/ romance movie about a group of girls traveling to Paris to find the love of their lives on the top of this tall building and holding champagne. Of course there has to be a happy ending and they all get married and have babies and live in Paris the rest of their lives. All I really did to this image was sharpen it a little so the buildings below weren’t so blurry and instead were part of the whole image instead of just a focus on the Eiffel Tower. I like this effect because it isn’t SUPER obvious where I was at first (the Tower is the focus but there’s more going on than just the tower).

Hola, me llamo Bella. Soy una perra bonita. (It’s been awhile since Spanish, okay?)


Dog it Out – Take a picture of your Dog, or any animal that you have. Then upload the picture to a any desired editor. Edit the picture to make it something unique and interesting.

So as you all probably know by now, I adore my dog Bella and love to use her as my muse. I actually took this photo on our walk earlier for the Daily Create and just had to put it on my blog. What better way than to do a simple edit so she looks graciosa? This is a mix of digital and storytelling. She is obviously edited through an app, but also makes the viewer wonder where she is going and why the sombrero? Is she heading out for tacos? Is she really a “she” with that mustache goin’ on? If so, then why the disguise? Stay tuned for more of “The Bella and the Beautiful”.

“Hi hi hi hi my name is Bella and I have too many boyfriends in my neighborhood. SO in order to get some peace on my walks I dress up as a man. Crazy right? SQUIRREL. Anyways, the dog next door is my number one but the new pup down the street is too cute so in order to keep them off my tail I have to wear this dumb disguise.”

Lost in London


Your very own Spubble – Learn to love yourself, grab a picture of yourself in which your body language, actions, gestures, etc. suggest one thing and then play off that using a speech bubble.

I wanted to use this picture because I knew the only recent pictures of me that weren’t selfies would be of me on my Psych in Europe trip. Personally, I found this pretty easy to create but the whole making it funny part threw me for a loop. This is because, to me, this is hilarious for it was exactly what I was thinking when my group handed me the map and asked me to translate the directions. This is extra hilarious to anyone that actually knows me and that I am terrible at two things: technology and directions. Luckily we got to where we were going! This is great storytelling wise because there is even a story in of itself along with people wondering, “Did they make it?” “Where were they going?” “Is this their first day?” “Is Ciera really that bad with directions?”

Here I just used an editing app, stretched a thought bubble up over my head, and added text into it.

My new band: Psychotria Pseudoplatyphylla


An Album Cover – Manipulate the picture, resize it, add some other color, whatever. Do the same with the band name and album title, put them over top. However you wanna do it. Make it look cool.

I love music, so picking this assignment was a no brainer.  So this assignment was cool for me because there is some digital learning here, with all the different methods used to create this work, and there is also storytelling here. I see this and the first thing I see is this ripply wave picture that’s covered with a shroud of mysticism. Then I see this super long band name that looks like a mental disorder but is in fact a plant. Lastly I see this super mysterious and slightly paradoxical album name of “Know What Can’t Be Done”. Like wow. Let me go buy this immediately and listen to what they have to say. There’s also a part of it that makes me wonder, what kind of music is it? Is it a boy or a girl band or both? This was also easier to create than I thought AND it was fun to see what I randomly got assigned by the random selector thingy. Luckily for me, each piece came together to fit into one large puzzle.

What I did here was take the image I was randomly given and use the Ripply filter. Then I added the title of the band in a big metal looking font in bright red. Lastly I put the album name on it in a color similar to the water and also in a slight wave because why not keep up the theme?


meOW! Love bites


“The course of true love never did run smooth”

Shakespearean LOLcat – Combine a cat pic with an appropriate Shakespearean quotation.

I honestly just wanted to do this one because the example Shakespearean cat made me laugh so hard I wanted to try it! I think this is more digitally related than storytelling related, seeing as memes are all the rage right now. So I guess by making this, I am one step closer to making a funny meme. Media point one, me zero. Cats are also heavily used because let’s be real: cats are hilarious. I knew I wanted a love quote by Shakespeare, considering they are usually either deep or ironic. I also know that cats tend to fight or do weird things so finding a picture would be easy. The quality isn’t the best so I have learned which Photoshop apps to use and which ones to avoid. This is also the picture that has made me discover many different apps and their usages.

All I really did was add text onto a photo. But the story here is hilarious. “Fight like a married couple” is the first thing that popped into my head when I saw this picture. That saying, I decided to use a bittersweet quote to convey that meaning. Here one cat is obviously nipping at the other, maybe over some catnip or for being woken up from their nap. I can just hear the narrator saying the Shakespearean quote right now.


A Green Portal


Splash the Color- Color splash is a technique to emphasize details- you remove all color from a photo, and then restore original color to a single object, e.g. a green apple on a table. Think of the Girl in the red dress from Schindler’s List.

So I chose this for my first visual assignment because I have seen other people do this effect and have always wanted a reason to try it for myself. I also chose this picture because it looks like something from a fairy-tale: little houses surrounded by a little lake. I wait for the mini gnomes to come outside. Or even a bird to peep out. I also wanted to keep the houses original color and instead accidentally chose the water. However, I was actually very pleased with this for two reasons: the green is actually a reflection of the canopy of trees around the pond, not the water itself, and two, if I only left the original color on the houses then most of the picture would be a melancholy black and white. The green adds the spunk and breaks up the gray. I personally love Miyazaki films and this looks like an image you could find in one of his beautiful movies (with more color of course).

All I really did for this is use an app that selected a color to keep and make the rest of the picture  black and white. I also just recently watched Schindler’s List and felt pretty cool creating that famous red coat scene effect with my pond.



My house in mostly black and white in 17 pictures.

So I really enjoyed running around looking for things to take pictures of! Of course using a phone as a camera always makes the pictures look less defined and more a blurry chaos so I had to try to find a way around that (good lighting is key here!). Anyways, I picked my house ( downstairs specifically) for my pictures because the lighting is better and every room has different things so I knew I would have variety. It was actually a lot easier than I thought to find what I needed, but was still tough because I was running around thinking about how I would run out of time and my dog kept getting all excited and blocking my way. I originally wanted to take pictures outside but I wasn’t quite sure what all was out there plus it was super sunny that morning and I wasn’t sure how to handle the brightness. Since I am not a huge photography person, some of my pictures (abstract, converging lines, etc.) sort of felt like improv. Which made me realize I should probably research some common photography terms. I think the pictures with the white walls as a background made really nice pictures while the pictures with my dog are messy and complex. Which is annoying because the pics with my dog are the hardest to take. I was really only proud of finding a cool ceiling picture. If I didn’t want to take a picture of my chandelier then I probably wouldn’t have even realized there was a beautiful spiral in the ceiling! In addition, it was disappointing to take a picture where it looks like my dog is moving, considering she moves for about 80% of my pictures. Overall this was a really cool experience!

What I learned about this is how my own personal experiences have influenced how I see the world. For example, I LOVE my dog so I add her into many pictures I take, whereas if a random person wanted to do this same assignment in my house they may not use her at all. I also noted that when I saw the word “complex” for the last photo I immediately thought of all the technology we own because to me technology is a giant symbol of complexity. Then when I saw these chaotic cords behind my TV it was like double the complexity because cords ARE complex (ever try untangling them?). Through taking these photos and searching for things to photograph, I also realized just how many objects are in one room and how different they look in a variety of lighting and their different shadows. I also noticed the shape of each room and the walls themselves. My eyes were drawn to more detail than to just barely grazing the surface.

Another thing I learned is that I like a complex photo. I liked the 20 attempts to take pictures of my dog with other objects and framing the hummingbird with the leaves to try to make it look more realistic. I liked the effort it takes to take a good photo compared to just taking a picture of a pattern. The difficult pictures are the ones that make me use my brain a little.