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.

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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.