Week Four: Photo Bomb

This was a great week. I managed my time well and generally just felt more comfortable approaching the visual assignments. I compared my experience with photography to the readings and realized that, while I incorporate a lot of elements in my photos, there are plenty of things I should work on, like creating more of a story and utilizing the best lens for each case.

I chose Sailor Moon for my Life of a Superhero assignment. While I probably could have found a photo of her standing, I love that she looks like she’s hovering over the dumpster as she takes her trash out. It’s so dramatic.

I geared my Color Changer assignment toward illustrating Ceto’s prologue from last week. It was really satisfying to transform a description I had in mind into something I could actually look at, and I was amazed at how drastic the mood and tone of the photo changed just by adjusting the lighting and colors. It reinforces a lot of the points made by the readings.

I decided to do some serious experimenting for my other visual assignment, called Averaged Portrait. I had a mini selfie shoot then combined all of the photos I’d taken. This encouraged me to use Photoshop features that I’d never used before to create a unique self portrait.

The 20-minute photoblitz was an adventure around my house that resulted in some interesting angles. My daily creates featured shadows, dirty dishes, and unraveled paper clips.

Overall, this week was a blast (which is why I’ve titled this summary ‘Photo Bomb’)! I was able to develop concepts that were formed last week, I got extra practice with Photoshop, and I took plenty of pictures. I feel like I’m expanding my skill set and improving my creative thinking, which is really exciting.

Week Three: Words Emerge

Man, this week was tough. There is nothing I hate more than the intimidation I feel while staring at a blank page.

I’ll start with TDC. This week’s daily creates featured a haiku, animorphing, and International Dot Day.

Because I hadn’t really incorporated the superhero concept into my work for this course, writing a reflection on what defines a superhero definitely worked well for me. The First Ever Superman Cartoon shed light on the basic, most notable qualities of superhero narratives, while the excerpt from Ink-stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors explained how superhero qualities include more than just Superman’s abilities. This was a necessary lesson for me.

Next, I watched Vonnegut’s Shape of Stories video. I applied the method to The First Ever Superman Cartoon in this blog post.

Creating my character dossier and introduction for Ceto was difficult. Since this assignment sets the foundation for a character we’ll work with throughout the semester, I couldn’t help but fear committing to certain traits too soon. I didn’t want to box myself in. I am extremely thrilled about what I have so far though, and I’m confident that more interesting details will grow through the work. Ceto is like a plant… I’m gonna have to give her some sunlight and water to thrive.

While I relied on phrase generators to gather ideas for my character dossier, I used them yet again to place myself in a superhero role in the SuperStory assignment. One of the first phrases I generated was Trustworthy Forehead. It struck me as odd, but I just decided to roll with it since there were no strings attached. I used words from other phrases that came up to develop random details of the story.

My “free” writing assignment was Explaining Ceto, which was worth 3 stars. I was inspired by Alaina’s take on Explaining the Spy. I loved learning more about the thought that went into her character, and since my dossier & intro didn’t give too much away, this seemed like a great way to share more on how much thought went into Ceto.

Overall, the writing week was a massive challenge for me. I hope to handle next week a little better.

Week Two: College Course or Fun House?

This week, I fell in love with the Assignment Bank. There are endless opportunities to make something unique. The three assignments I tackled were from the visual, audio and animated gif categories. My work not only reflected my interests, but encouraged me to use my experience with certain programs towards a new goal. One assignment, for example, led me to create an audio advertisement. I’d used Audacity for music in the past, but I had never written an advertising script or tried to stitch different voices together. I enjoyed working on assignments from multiple categories.

My Daily Creates featured small animals, redundancies, and Radiohead. I didn’t expect to rely on Microsoft Word to create any work for this class, but that’s what happened for two out of the three TDCs. Throughout college, I’ve really only used Word to write and format papers. This week’s prompts let me play more with the design features!

I also found myself placed in the writing group, which meant I had to contribute ideas for things we could incorporate in the writing portion of the course. I browsed the Assignment Bank for inspiration and came across Changing Fortunes. Since I’m still struggling with the superhero theme, this assignment seemed like a great way to develop some concrete ideas. I found quite a few phrase generators online and submitted the SuperStory Generator assignment in hopes that it would help anyone else having a difficult time. I feel slightly better about diving into the theme after this week. Leaving my superpowers to chance makes the task seem less daunting.

Week One: A Mess, But Success.

Last Friday, I read the syllabus and thought that since I’d already had many things set up, this week would be a piece of cake. But getting all of my accounts prepared for the semester ended up requiring more time and effort than I’d anticipated.

I’ve created many social media accounts over the years and forgot that as people change, login information changes, too. Once I was finally able to access my accounts, I noticed I used many different profile pictures/avatars and themes so I knew it was time to update. I’m the type of person who loves organization, so I thought it would be best to create a sense of uniformity across all of the social platforms I’d planned to use for this course. It feels good.

I’ve had my domain for about two years now. It was created once I began taking digital studies courses, and I’ve been happy to add content to it for any course that’s required blogging activity thus far. I don’t really blog about my personal life or hobbies too much, but I do get the urge to update and maintain my blog even while I’m not in school. This course provides a wonderful opportunity to continue posting meaningful content to my blog.

And then it came time to post content to the other Internet places…a slightly awkward experience for me. I don’t talk at a camera very often, but here’s my YouTube introduction.

I wasn’t sure what else there was to say on my other platforms. My first tweet was just me griping about losing my login info, and my Soundcloud intro became a proclamation. My Flickr account was originally created to house pictures for a crafting blog I started (and dropped) a while ago. Basically, it feels like this week has just consisted of me Frankenstein-ing my digital identity.

As for the superhero theme, I have to be honest… not too thrilled. I’ve never had a good answer for what my superpower would be when asked. I’ve also never really been invested in the superhero comics or movies. I don’t really know how to participate with this theme just yet. I am certainly optimistic, though. I realize that the possibilities are endless here, and I’m ready to be challenged to think outside of the box.