Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Looking back on Photo Essay

First of all, I want to say how much I truly enjoyed composing a photo essay. I have never done anything like this before and hope I get to do something like this again. I'm extremely proud of what I was able to accomplish. Could I have done better? Absolutely. Am I still pleased with what I put forward? 100%. But, I know that there are always things to be improved. One thing I know for sure that I am going to go back over before our final submission of our portfolio is my sentence structure. When we did the advanced editing in class it said I wrote my introduction at a 7th grade level; although I was aiming for a younger audience I definitely was not aiming that young, so I know that I can maybe make my sentences and word choices a little more advanced. As far as my design plan goes, I think I stuck to what I was going for, for the most part. For my strategy I stated that I wanted to try and be as captivating as possible so people do not get bored and I think I did a pretty good job of that. I personally love the pictures I chose to use (obviously) and I think that narrative does nothing but enhance the photos. I definitely enjoyed using PowerPoint as the medium, and it was just as I said in my design plan: very easy to use and manipulate. I honestly didn't even try using Word because PowerPoint was such an enticing option and it really made it fun and easy to manipulate the photos and texts. I'm very glad that I made the text and photos coexist as I said for arrangement. When I typed out the design plan I still had no idea where I wanted to go with the order of the pictures, but I'm still pleased with what I ended up doing. I tried to start on a lighter note and ease into more serious notions with the tone of the pictures and I think I did that relatively successfully. And, as far as ethos, pathos, and logos go I think I tried my best to stick with what I laid out for myself in the design plan. Obviously I used language anyone could understand if I wrote at a 7th grade level (I'm not dwelling I swear). I also think that I stood by my emotional attachment to the subject and tried to convey as much emotion as possible. I think I tried my best to be logical as well. I didn't try and cover anything that would be beyond a younger person's dimension, but I still don't think I dumbed anything down too much. Again, I really enjoyed composing the photo essay, and overall I think I was pretty successful. That is to be determined though. I'm getting the anxious feeling that before we submit our final portfolio there will be a decent amount I want to change.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"The Beauty of Earth" Photo Essay

“Peace on Earth” 2013. Starved Rock State Park.
“Crawling Towards the Sun” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Reminder” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“The Wild Life” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“The Caged” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“The Free” 2014. Warren Dunes State Park.
“The Rift” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Balancing Act” 2014. Warren Dunes State Park.
“Cartoons Come to Life” 2013. Joliet, IL.
“Nature Expressway” 2013. Chicago, IL.
“Zoom Zoom” 2013. Tinley Park, IL.
“Out of Place” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“In Need” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Unrequited Love” 2014. Joliet, IL.
“Pitching In” 2014. Joliet, IL.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Design Plan for photo essay

 The Beauty of Earth
Strategies: My strategy should come from where I started with the statement of purpose, in which I decided that I want my photo essay to be about the beauty of nature that a lot of us forget about sometimes and how even the little things are worth preserving. Also in my statement of purpose I decided that the group of people that I am targeting is young adults in my age group and even high school aged teenagers. So I would need make sure that I strategize to meet their interests. If I know anything about young adults, which I think I do, it’s that we grew up with distractions (TV, video games, the internet, etc.) and it is really hard to keep our attention. So, the main part of my strategy will be to format my photo essay in a way that captivates the readers eye and makes them want to read through the whole thing without moving on to the next new and exciting thing.                                                              
Ethos: I will play to reader’s ethos by using a language that is familiar to them, without dumbing anything down. I will also need to be explicit with my stance and how much this really does mean to me, if people don’t think I care about the subject than I am giving them absolutely no reason to care themselves.
Pathos: I will appeal to readers’ emotions by putting as much of my own into it. The environment is something that is vitally important and I think that people should have a myriad of emotions concerning it. The emotion that I want to appeal to the most would be empathy.
Logos: I will appeal to logos by being as logical as possible. Basically “We live on the earth. We need the earth. Help maintain the earth for the sake of our lives.”

Medium: As far as mediums for our photo essay go I could either use Word or PowerPoint only because I’m not skilled in any other medium that is comparable to those two. Just from experience I can imagine that using word would make it hard to format the photos and text the way I would want to so I’m automatically leaning towards using PP. I think that PowerPoint would be the best use of my time and energy and I would be able to format everything the way I would want. I would still have to include my narrative so there might be a part that I would type in Word, but I think for the actual photographic part of the photo essay I will use PowerPoint because I will be able to manipulate photos and texts much easier and with more purpose than I would be able to in Word.

Arrangement: Well I know that I will have multiple pictures and a narrative. I definitely want the narrative to be spread out with the pictures if possible to do that in PowerPoint, just because I would prefer for the two to coexist rather than be two separate entities. As far as the arrangement of the pictures I am not so sure. I could either do a season kind of arrangement where I bring the reader through the different seasons and showcase all the different types of beauty in the different seasons or I could do close up and landscape pictures, growing bigger and bigger as the essay goes on. So as far as arrangement there’s a lot that still needs to be determined. It ultimately depends on what pictures I decide to do, which I should do post-haste.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Purpose Statement for photo essay

The Beauty of Earth

Purpose: My motivation for this photo essay is to highlight the unreal magnificence of our planet that a lot of people (myself included sometimes) take for granted. There are things about our planet that most people consider beautiful like a colorful sunset or a full moon, but there are many things that people do not notice. I want to find as many beautiful objects of our planet and put them on display. In the end my motivation is also to show that there is so much beauty with preserving and most people don’t even consider it. I hope that after seeing my photo essay people realize that there is so much amazing stuff around us all the time and you don’t even have to pay anything to enjoy the majority of it. There are a lot of things that contributed to me picking this as my topic, I’ve always had a love of nature and animals but I’ve never taken it much past appreciation. My freshman common reader was garbage land and ever since then I’ve always had something gnawing at me to try my hardest to make a difference and I think it is finally about time I start. The best possible outcome of people seeing my essay would be that they take more time to enjoy the little things that the planet has to offer us: the way a breeze makes the tree blow or how impossibly still water can be if there is not current or disruption. In all honesty I don’t really foresee a “worst possible outcome.” I suppose the absolute worst thing would be that other people find the subject matter boring, which would almost defeat the purpose of this being done in the first place because I want to educate people. I suppose that along with people thinking that it is boring, I could not catch people’s interest which is the opposite of what I want. I guess that this could change the situation by maybe changing people’s outlook on our environment, maybe people would take more steps to reduce their flow of garbage to landfills or maybe reduce their carbon footprint just a little bit.

Audience: On a small scale my audience is my peers in class, who will have to help edit and will see my topic from start to finish. On a larger scale my audience would be anyone who uses the internet and reads blogs and happens upon my blog. So as far as planning my photo essay according to who my audience is I think that I need to make sure that I’m most concerned about piquing the interest of people in my age group, because most of us disregard nature and the beauty of earth and learning more about what makes it worth preserving. Along with people in my age group I should target high school aged students because they can also help work towards a change in attitude that could eventually lead to more of a concrete change in the way things are.

Context: Our class meets later in the afternoon, so it is after everyone has had lunch and maybe a few classes and they are starting to get burned out for the day. In order to keep people engaged and interested in my photo essay I will have to work to make sure that I am going as deep into my photo essay subject as possible. As for it being posted on my blog that makes things a little more interesting because the time of day that anyone chooses to view it wholly depends on that persons schedule and even what time zone they are in. I would think that someone looking at my photo essay online would find it interesting to them no matter what the time of day because it was something they chose to click on, but the same things that applied to my classmates would apply to anyone on the internet: making sure that my topic is interesting and thoughtful enough to keep people interested and perhaps even wanting to know more about what I have to say further down the line.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Communication resposibilities

What are our responsibilities to each other when we blog?
I think the number one responsibility that we have to each other when blogging is complete honesty. If you are going to blog than you may as well put it all out there because that is kind of the point, is it not? If I was going to start a blog about my life, for example, I wouldn't go on about how much fun I have bowing my copious amounts of money because that just isn't true. I would talk about my family and my dog and my school and the myriad of emotions I go through every single day. The only other responsibility I can honestly think of when blogging would be to take it seriously. I have never started blogging because I have always found other ways to vent or communicate my feelings, and in all reality I just never saw the purpose of it. This class has already started to put in perspective for me how truly amazing blogging can be so I am excited to see how this goes. And, above all I will keep my personal responsibilities in mind: to be honest and to take it seriously.
Do we have responsibilities to others when we communicate? 
This question was on the trickier side for me to answer. I do think we have responsibilities to each other when we communicate but I cannot quite put my finger on what exactly they are. I think the first ones that come to mind are the two I said for the previous question, to take it seriously and be honest. If you aren't taking the communication seriously than either party is bound to walk away with nothing, and if you aren't honest you aren't putting your true self out there for people to get to know. I guess to answer this question as in depth as possible I would have to imagine a specific communication situation. So, for example, I will say that the situation is a lecture hall full of students listening to one very boring teacher. In this instance I would think that I would want to focus on the responsibilities of the student: they would need to listen, be attentive and focused, participate when necessary, and take notes. Now other than the note taking I think that listening, being attentive, and participating are all responsibilities we have to others when we communicate. See, all I needed to do was put it in perspective for myself and I was able to come up with a clear cut answer.

(You would think that after typing it all those times I would have spelled responsibility right at least once, but every time I had to use the auto-correct function, who knew that word was so tricky to get right on a keyboard?)

First ever sincere blog post

Questions asked in class:
What do you want to learn?
Well since I am still trying to decide what I want my major to be I suppose this is as good of a time as any to actually learn and research animal and planet conservationism. Mainly what I would like to learn about is whether or not that is the path I want to take. That path being dedicated to helping animals and conserving the environment we do have so that people after us can experience the beauty of earth the same way that we have been able to. I want to be one person that helps make a difference and it is about time I start acting like it. So I guess the long and short of this broad question would be I want to learn what I want to do for the rest of my life on earth.
On a smaller scale, if asked this about this class, I am excited to learn how people in the year 2014 can put together projects and essays. Technology has come a long way and I am excited to learn how to make a presence on the internet with a blog.
What is your motivation in the communication situation?
I have no idea how to answer this... What is my motivation? I guess it would be to get as much of my opinion or knowledge out into the communication situation as possible, try and make my point as understood as possible.