Digital Storytelling Uncategorized

Visualize With Me (Week 4 Summary)

Me analyzing pictures all week

Daily Creates: Week 4

Welcome back to this week’s edition of Weekly Summary! Starting off our show tonight are the one and only Daily Creates. In accordance with this unit, all of the Daily Creates this week were very focused on visual experiences. This weeks daily creates included kaleidoscope drawings, caption contests, and inserting ourselves (or our pets) into famous works of art. The kaleidoscope drawing create introduced me to a new website where all you do is draw funky patterns. It was interesting learning how moving the mouse in different ways allowed you to create new lines, shapes, and patterns. There was a bit of a learning curve as far as the mouse movements, but the assignment was so free flowing in both its creative process and final outcome. No matter how you chose to move your mouse, your kaleidoscope drawing was perfect as long as you did it! I found that I cleared my page over and over until it “looked right” to me, and once I had that I was ready to submit. That is one great aspect to art – its beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It was a very soothing exercise that produced many variations of digital, artistic expression.

The caption contest daily create was overall simple to produce. I screenshotted the image given to us on twitter, then uploaded it into instagram where I was able to type and overlay my desired text onto the image. I then fit the test inside the caption bubble and saved the updated image. I had to rotate the picture from portrait to landscape for the final product, then I uploaded the image to Twitter. I liked this create because we as the caption creator had to interpret the visual image and come up with a caption that would fit the scenario, adding wit or sarcasm at our leisure. I truly enjoyed reading the other submissions and found it unsurprising that several of the captions (mine included) referenced the chicken who crossed the road.

Finally, my absolute favorite create of the whole semester – life imitates art! Putting myself into a famous painting was something I had never thought of doing, but once I saw the create I was so excited. To accomplish this, first I screenshotted an image from Google of the famous painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer. Then, I opened my snapchat app and tried to angle my face the same way the girl was in the original painting, and took a picture. Snapchat has a feature where you can outline anything in a photo and create a sticker out of it, so I outlined my face and created my desired sticker. I then uploaded the image of the original painting into snapchat, and edited it by adding the sticker of my face onto the original girl. I had to touch the image up a bit with some drawing in snapchat, smoothing out edges and color correcting. Although the finished product wasn’t perfect, I loved my spoof image and thought it was very humorous. It’s probably going on my ds106 instagram.

*Yeah, I just uploaded it there. Here’s the link:

All Daily Creates completed by me this week are embedded below for your viewing pleasure 🙂


Week 3: Assignments and Reflections

Assignment #1: Doggos in Paris – (original assignment post)

This assignment was interesting and piggybacked off of one of my daily creates this week. I know I could’ve and probably should’ve used photoshop or something with this assignment but I thought it was fine for my purposes to use stickers again to incorporate landmarks in this basic photo of my dog. I think it adds a comical sense to the picture and it is obviously unbelievable because the structures look out of place. I don’t know, I probably didn’t do this assignment right but I liked it enough to go forward with it. I liked the cartoon-ish aspect to the photo. I searched up a Paris location filter to add to the effect, and added a yellowish tint to try and emulate and older photo.

Assignment #2: Art Comes to Life – (original assignment post)

This assignment popped out at me because I had already done a daily create with a similar prompt! The assignment was to try and recreate a famous painting or print. Above you can see the barely discernible difference between these two paintings of “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. I think added the original image as comparison actually changes the assignment a bit when you are comparing a reflecting. You can more clearly see the difference between the facial expressions, even though I tried my best to recreate it accurately you really think it looks close when you don’t have the original image pulled up right next to it. I think overall though I tried my best to twist and change the size of the sticker of my face to fit the shape of the girl in the painting’s face. I had to shade the image in places to further shape it and overall I think it is a good/funny attempt at recreation because these assignments give you the opportunity to discover/refine your editing abilities.

Assignment #3: Who Me? Yeah, Me! – (original assignment post)

This picture was fun to make, but it required a partner. Up until today I didn’t have another person to do this assignment with. I had tried to do it weeks ago but I couldn’t, so I was really glad that I finally got to try it. The provided tutorial in the assignment made it very easy to recreate. What you do is start on one side of a panorama photo, then run behind your photographer and get on the other end of the picture before the camera swivels there. This random dog was also featured and it was funny because he also followed the rules of the assignment just by trailing behind me. This assignment only took me one try and I really like the end result. Anyone with a phone that has panoramic capabilities can do this assignment quickly and produce a cool result seeing yourself (and maybe your dog) twice in one picture!

Assignment #4: Creature of the Night – (original assignment post)

For this post, I knew I already had a blurry picture that would be funny for this assignment. It was blurred to begin with, but it wasn’t quite obscure enough yet. I put the photo into the facetune app and played with the background. I used a tool to blur the background more as well as the edges of the figure (me running outside in the rain in socks). I also applied filters to try and blur my face more so it would be more ambiguous and featureless. Is that the flash? It could be, she’s going fast. Facetune is a good app usually used for editing photos to give them more clarity or hide imperfections, however through this assignment I found that it could also be used to make the photo quality worse if that is the desired effect.

Check out my other blog posts from this week!

As always, thanks for tuning it. More next week.

Digital Storytelling Uncategorized

Becoming a Photographer in 20 Minutes

Photoblitz!!! & Utilizing the Techniques Within Becoming a Better Photographer

Listed below is the unique list of photographs I had to take in 20 minutes during the Photoblitz:

  • Two contrasting things, e.g. light & darkness, life & death, cats & dogs.
  • Smooth, rough, dirty, or wrinkled. Make a photo of hands that tell a story.
  • Make a picture of death (but don’t kill anything in doing so).
  • Make a photograph that features vertical lines today.
  • Find a pool, puddle, or other body of still water.A photo of a reflected subject.
  • Take a picture featuring rope or knots.
  • No ocean, surely you can find some water around you to take a photo of.

When approaching this assignment, I first knew I had to plan some rough ideas of the subject matter of each picture before I started that 20 minute clock. That is exactly what I had as the timer started – rough ideas. Most of my original ideas came to fruition, but there were a few that required adjustment on the fly that really made this challenge more difficult (but also more fun!) I also happened to get lucky that the day I did this assignment was a rainy one, because a few of my photo prompts required water and reflection in water. I am also fortunate to live 2 minutes away from the James River, and to have an old plant that was literally dying to be photographed (haha). This assignment, and this unit as a whole, has been the greatest challenge for me thus far in this class. After reading Becoming a Better Photographer, I realized that I am one of those people who really doesn’t take much into consideration when snapping a pic. So I had to change my mindset into one that was considering the artistic choices I was making while taking these photos. Additionally, I found that the use of filters/quick editing can really elevate an image, and add to the emotion you are hoping to evoke through the image. To capture all of these images, I used an iPhone camera. I had to use self timers, flash, take pictures laying on my back, kneeling in rainwater, and use various different light sources. I definitely feel like I ran the gamut of beginner photography skills. Below, I will include each image that I took for this assignment and explain which of these points – (1) selection, (2) contrast, (3) perspective, (4) depth, (5) balance, (6) moment, (7) lighting, (8) foreground/background – I focused on in capturing each picture.

#1 – Two contrasting things

Of course, this picture focuses on the elements of contrast and lighting. But it also uses elements of balance and perspective. In taking this picture, I was laying on my back atop my bathroom counter in order to get this perspective of looking up at the light fixture. This picture conveys a contrast between dark and light, between power and the absence of it. The lighting of this photo is affected by the subject matter itself: the lightbulbs. They are sources of light themselves, and one bulb being out of power greatly affects the light allowed into the picture. I think that this image also demonstrates balance in its very contrast. The photo is split down the middle displaying the left half as light and the right half as dark, opposite states portrayed in balance to one another.

#2 – Hands that tell a story

I was really focused on the elements of balance, contrast, selection, and lighting in this picture. However, it is another instance of an image that captures a particular moment. I arranged the hands (of me, my mom and my dad) in this triangular way to create balance in the photo. We are all close, just barely touching and spaced in a way that I found pleasing to the eye. The contrast is found in the details. These are hands from different generations: you notice life, hard work, and the passage time etched into each line of textured skin. There is also contrast between the skin color and the couch beneath it, helping the hands to stand out as the focal point. The lighting was critical to being able to see the details within each hand, as these details tell the story of the photograph to the viewer. I don’t think this photo would be as effective if all the hands were selected from people the same age, because the same progression and comparison would not be present.

#3 – A picture of death

This picture additionally encapsulates several photographic elements. The foremost in my mind when framing this picture was depth, selection, and foreground versus background. I continually made sure to focus the camera on the dead flowers and leaves in front, causing the rest of the plant to be slightly out of focus. I moved the detached parts of the plant closer to the lens so that they would be in the forefront, and therefore hopefully the first thing your eyes go to when viewing this image. I selected this subject for the photo as it represented exactly what I was tasked to capture: death. As a plant dies it changes slowly, and by capturing this exact moment in its deterioration this image become unique. Perspective came into play in that I put the camera down to view the plant from the level of the dresser it sat on, and I darkened the background lighting to exude the ominous mood of the flower’s slow departure.

#4 – A photograph that features vertical lines

With this photo, perspective and foreground versus background really came into play. This image can be so easily changed through focus, and how close the camera was. By focusing in on the screen, the background is an obscured blur. This allows the vertical lines of the screens to pop out to the viewer’s eye and become the dominant subject of the image. By placing the lens right up against the screen, the picture no longer becomes a simple image of trees and houses but rather a harsh focus on the screen. There is noticeable contrast found between the crispness of the item in focus and the background – hard versus soft, focused versus unfocused. The lighting in this image was all up to mother nature, changing the image from perhaps one of suburban delight to a more somber, constricted view of the neighborhood.

#5 – A photo of a reflected subject

The main elements focused on in this image are selection, contrast, depth, and perspective. I selected this clementine to be the subject of this image because I knew its bright orange color would provide stark contrast against the overall grayness of the background. The sky was gray, the table was gray, the air even seemed to be gray… then bam! Bright orange. There was a thin layer of water lying still at the top of this concrete table, and if you put your eye level at the same level as the table’s surface, you were able to capture the round reflection of the clementine. The clementine’s reflection is the one in focus, creating depth between itself and the surrounded objects in the image. The railing and brick in the background are reflected atop the table as well, however in a softer and more distant manner.

#6 – A picture featuring rope or knots

Now bear with me, I may have implemented some poetic license with this image. The first thing that came to my mind with the word “knot” was my hair, because it is constantly tangling and knotting, feeling impossible to undo like a tight knot in a rope. That is why I selected it as the subject for this photo. Lighting was very important in this image to make sure I could show the texture of the hair, right down to the flyaways and pieces that constantly tangle themselves. The flash was not necessarily critical in bringing more light to the image, but it was so to highlight the small details within the hair to show its frazzled and static quality in this particular moment. The perspective was important in that I can never see the back of my head where all the problem areas lie. It allowed me to see a part of myself that I usually can’t. This perspective offers those viewing the image a viewpoint backwards to the one they would usually expect.

#7 – Some Water

This isn’t the ocean, it’s actually the James River, and that guy in the photo is my brother. This photo is a moment. A moment frozen in time. The water that constantly waves is immobile because I made it so. Time has stopped because of my camera. Depth is established through the focal subject (my brother), the railings of the dock, and the immense body of water surrounding everything. The ships in the background are miniscule and blurry compared to the smiling boy in front. They are a mere strip of dots and lines because of the position of the camera. Distance and shape are created through the eye-level position in which I captured the photo. The perspective here is mine, and it allows me as the photographer to control what I see and how to share exactly what I’m seeing with anyone else looking at the image.

If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ve learned something – I sure did! I learned about new techniques to utilize and consider from Becoming A Better Photographer, as well as what goes into the process of planning, executing, and analyzing images to ensure that they tell a story.