Week 2

To sum this week up: this was hard.

Working on three assignment bank assignments in different categories, three daily creates, coming up with an assignment in the visual category, and to finish polishing our blogs on top of writing this weekly summary proved to be a pretty hard task to balance with my other classes and personal life. The bright side is that it was fun and different from what I have done in most of my courses.

These are the assignment bank posts I did:

Where in the world is Annabella Smith?

I Spy

Gone Girl

The assignment bank posts proved challenging, but they were my favorite. In some ways, they were more fun than the daily creates, because I actually got to put more work and thought into them, especially as they related to our spy theme. Taking the Digi104 class here at UMW gave me a good basis for doing the visually-based assignments. Being a Studio Art major also helped me be creative even in the assignments that didn’t directly have something to with art. Overall, even though they took some time and energy, this was my favorite part of the work this week.

These are the three daily creates I did this week:

The daily creates so far have been fun and have inspired me when it comes to the assignment bank posts. I also liked the challenge of being creative and coming up with something interesting that addresses the prompt without it being a big assignment.
This is the visual assignment I submitted to the assignment bank:

Shadow of a Doubt:

Take a photograph incorporating shadows as the subject. You don’t have to be a professional photographer, just observe how light and shadow appear in unique and interesting ways. Look at the shadows cast by window blinds on skin or by leaves on a sidewalk or by people. Shadows change in length and darkness depending on the time of day. Shadows can tell you a lot about the actual object being photographed or nothing at all. Tell a story with your picture.

Coming up with an assignment was very challenging. In a way, having a background in photography made it easy to come up with an idea for I would do, but it was hard to give an assignment that fit the theme (which was optional, but I love the theme) for those who aren’t visually-oriented or have experience with taking pictures. I actually started customizing my blog a little early on, because I already had some idea of what I wanted to do. I’m definitely looking forward to doing some of the assignments people created!

 

Gone Girl

I decided to put my Photoshop skills to good use on this assignment. The goal of the assignment is to make a missing person poster for a fictional movie/show/literary character, animal, or real person. Of course for this one, I made a missing person poster for one of my favorite fictional characters, Annabella Smith. Instead of making a typical modern missing person poster, I decided to make it look like it came from a 1930s newspaper. I found a random image of a 1930s newspaper and cleared a space in the middle of the page. I inserted a bordered picture of a still from the movie and adjusted it a little. I pattern stamped the splotchy texture of the newspaper to give the background behind the text a little more realism. After that, I downloaded a license free font from dafont.com in the style of an old newspaper.

I wasn’t able to come up with a highly detailed description and other elements, because Annabella Smith’s character is only in about 1/4 of the film (no spoilers as to why) and it was hard to come up with a description for a character when the film is in black and white.

I Spy

I took this picture for the “That’s Not What I Expected” assignment. The goal of this assignment is to take a macro photograph and to get someone to guess what it is. The picture can be of anything so there is a lot of room for creativity. I really liked the idea of this assignment because I am a photographer and macro photography is my favorite type of photography. Macro photographs can look abstract and mysterious. Good macro photos are actually more complicated than you might think. There’s more to it than taking a close up picture of something random. For example, you could take a close up picture of a wall, but it would be a very boring picture. At the same time you don’t want to give it away. It took me awhile to find a good object to take an interesting picture of for this assignment. Comment with your guesses!

CAR_0637

Where in the world is Annabella Smith?

I chose this assignment because I love using Pinterest, and I want to travel to other countries and experience other places outside the country where I have lived my whole life. I even already had a board on Pinterest dedicated to different places where I want to travel. The UK has been at the top of my list of countries to go because of the beautiful landscape and history. I am also a photographer, and I want to take pictures like the ones that appear on Pinterest (and better ones). In fact, I want to go to graduate school in England to earn my master’s degree in photography. Coincidentally, the movie where I got my secret agent name The 39 Steps is set in the UK.

If I do end up travelling to the UK, I will probably need to spend 2-3 weeks there at minimum. There are more than enough picturesque views, natural sites (forests, cliffs, moors, mountains, rivers, even beaches), medieval-style villages, bed-and-breakfasts, castles, cathedrals, monuments, and Harry Potter filming locations to make for an eventful vacation. In the UK, you can see everything from Stonehenge to the Tower of London to the Isle of Skye. Check out my board to see just some of the places I hope to fit into my dream vacation:

http://pin.it/Fvf_kUB

 
This trip is definitely possible for me, because it is one of my top goals in life, and travel to the UK for US citizens is affordable and easy, especially because the countries share friendly relations and we speak their language. The only things preventing me from going soon would be time, getting time off work, getting a passport, and money for a plane ticket, accommodations, and a rental car. The UK only requires a valid passport and does not require shots or a visa for anyone staying less than 90 days. Doing this assignment wasn’t too much of a challenge since I was already familiar with Pinterest, but I found some really interesting places I had not heard of before, and it gave me a better idea of the cost and time that would have to go into my vacation. While I have wanted to visit some of the more popular places like Glen Coe or Dean Village for a long time, I found out about some more obscure places like library bars and abandoned abbey ruins. Off I go!

Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work

I appreciated Austin Kleon’s advice, especially since it can be applied to almost anything. His tips are especially useful for creative people who are trying to make a living. In my experience, a lot of creative people, whether they’re writers, musicians, or artists avoid self-promotion, which is already difficult. I know I will use Kleon’s advice in the future for my own work.

Obviously, #2 will probably be one of the most applicable tips for this class, since we will be focusing on the processes of digital storytelling across different platforms. As a studio art major, I normally focus on the end product and forget that a lot of people also value the process. Some of my favorite videos I watch are time lapses of people making art or 3D printing a concrete castle. The end products might be awesome, but watching the process is just as interesting. Even as much as I do like the end product of a piece of art and the sort of magic trick feeling that comes with keeping the processes a secret, I do like learning about different process and experimenting with them. Recently I’ve learned to make prints with chemical processes like cyanotypes and van dykes, bind books, use Photoshop to make uncanny images, and work on a potter’s wheel. I think for this class, I will have just as much fun experimenting with different processes in digital storytelling.

Week 1

I learned a lot so far this week. I already had a domain and I’ve had to use WordPress for several classes for the last few years, and I already had accounts set up for most of the other sites we’ve had to use so far, so I was lucky enough to already be familiar with everything. Almost everything was pretty easy but interesting at the same time. The only thing that I didn’t like very much was working with Twitter. I don’t love social media, but Twitter is one of my least favorite platforms. Twitter is built around making everything you do public and trying to get people to care about it, where sites like Facebook give you some control over your privacy and anonymity. Coincidentally, I really love the spy theme.

The name’s Annabella Smith.

Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work