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

VSCO Made Me Think I was a Photographer

My previous experience with photography is probably pretty typical of other young people growing up in this generation inundated with technology. That being said, my skills and knowledge with photography definitely lean more towards the side of basic proficiency, and principally consist of pictures taken on my phone. Growing up during the era in which Apps such as Instagram and VSCO were growing in popularity influenced my interaction with photography. Personal photo taking and sharing was becoming not only trendy and popular, but the norm. And these applications have grown alongside improving technologies in cell phones, especially their cameras. These innovations have allowed the everyday user, perhaps without any photography experience, to have the access and ability to become photographers (to a degree). Today, most of my experience with photography still consists of taking pictures with my phone, however my skills have grown in the arena of editing photos. I mainly take pictures of my friends, pets, vacations, or aesthetic scenery. Like I said, pretty basic stuff. I used to think that I was really good at taking pictures, especially when I had the opportunity to travel to some incredible destinations like France, Italy, Costa Rica, and St. Maarten. But through the readings this week and reflection about photography as a whole, my perspective changed. I realized that I thought the pictures were great pictures because my subject matter was great – The Coliseum, The Eiffel Tower, tropical beaches and oceans – subjects that are inherently photogenic. My pictures of them didn’t become good just because I was taking a picture of something important or pretty. In my opinion, those pictures could have become great if I had put some more thought behind them.

My approach to taking photos is that I don’t have one. I have never been the kind of person to plan out a photo, to critically think about the composition, or to wonder about incorporating stylistic elements (except to a very minimal degree). I usually see a moment I want to remember or think is beautiful, and then just take out my phone and capture it. Of course, I try to make it look good in the best way I can, but that is usually confined to making sure the subject is in focus, the picture isn’t crooked, and that it if is dark outside – use flash. As I said, I don’t usually go into taking a photo with the mindset of capturing an emotion or story within it, but rather my mind makes that part up after the fact. When I see a photo, I attribute emotion and a story to it based on the way it makes me feel. At the time a photo was taken, there could be a completely different feeling attached to it compared to when I look at it weeks or months later. That’s why I found the article Becoming a Better Photographer: Telling Stories in Photos eye-opening and insightful.

As I mentioned previously, I think that the way I grew up with Instagram and phone technology maybe distracted me from how special creating a picture could be. Because it was always at my fingertips, maybe I didn’t consider it to be as special as it can be with some thinking behind it. I knew the difference between my amateur, personal photos and actual good pictures, but ultimately I never thought about how pictures go from okay to memorable. I think that the general guidance offered in the above article provides a great place to start. Paying attention to elements such as:

  • selection
  • contrast
  • perspective
  • depth
  • balance
  • moment
  • lighting
  • foreground/background

can really help elevate a photo. Ultimately, good photography requires a bit of thought and planning behind it. Sometimes, you are just in the right place at the right time, but more often I feel that you need to consider elements such as these in order for a photo be more impactful and successful in telling its intended story.

***Thankfully, through the Photoblitz exercise I completed this week, I got the opportunity to try and apply these principles to some of my own photos. I definitely feel like I have a deeper understanding of photography and its role in storytelling.

Photo Dump!

Even though I just criticized my photography skills, I’m still going to include some pictures I have taken just to show my style of photography. It’ll be nice to look back and see how my style has evolved at a later date!