INTE 5340: Week Seven

Daily Create: Rest Days in Iceland

TDC 1651: Introduce Yourself in a Language You Do Not Speak. Dedicated to my upcoming trip to Iceland, I present to you my introduction in native Icelandic.

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TDC 1655: Contrasting Emotions. Every day is rest day, unless you’re a gym cat.

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DS106 Visual: Simplicité

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Welcome to my third and final DS106 visual assignment, Back to Basics.

“Choose a photo of anything that you want to make a stencil out of using Photoshop or some other editing software. Using your software, remove the color and make the image appear to be a stencil instead of an actual photo. Take notice of how this changes the focus of the image.”

The Process 

Step 1: Go to Paris.

Step 2: Go to Eiffel Tower.

Step 3: Take picture of Eiffel Tower.

Step 4: Edit picture of Eiffel Tower using PicMonkey. Today, I used a posterize effect, bringing the colors of my image down to just eight shades of grey (not a far cry from fifty, now, is it?!!?!) and quite a lot less detail than the original.

The Story

So you’ve probably heard it from everyone who has visited the city, now including myself. Paris is really, really gross. But the architecture is stunning, and somehow, this watercolor-style rendition of the Eiffel Tower reminds me of an older, simpler Paris. Actually, I’ve heard that Paris has always been gross, but whatever, it doesn’t look like it here. You can’t see any of the trash on the lawn, or smell the sewage from the street, or hear the famous French sirens as they change pitch with the Doppler effect. No, this picture in greyscale looks almost like a newspaper, or like those paperback books I used to read all the time as a kid before the famous Kindle for iPad app came out. And you have to admit, those books are like the rain—you won’t find a person who doesn’t like the smell of them. Now if only Paris could smell like that too!

Reading Response: The World, Individualized

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For the last six weeks, we’ve been focusing on new literacies and how they change our world. Blogging, remixing, DIY media, and all forms of digital storytelling help us connect with each other. But what does that mean for the individual? How do we represent ourselves with our own digital stories?

The key is finding individual voice. Embrace the idea that everyone is an individual, and that we all have our own identities. Developing Voice in Digital Storytelling Through Creativity, Narrative and Multimodality encourages finding your own voice when telling stories (Nilsson, 2010). Nilsson encourages the importance of being yourself, and not aspiring to be someone else, or adhere to some sort of rules to sound a certain way (sound a lot like Remi’s open letter, anyone?).

It’s not just for writing. It’s for photography too! In Photography Style: 5 Tips to Find Your Style, finding your voice in photography means breaking free of all those other photographers you want to be like. It means getting out there and finding what works for you, because only then can you truly express yourself. Trying to live vicariously through other people won’t help you represent anyone else except them. So get out there and sing, write, take pictures, or do whatever it is you do. Find yourself. Be an individual! Some other inspirational message here. It’s time.

Digital Story Critique: The Power of iPhoneography, Part Two

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This week, I’m double-tapping on the whole iPhoneography craze and sharing 10 iPhone Photography Tips to Improve Your Photos Today. Currently, I’m in Paris, France, and it’s really, really hot. I do a lot of walking around, and sometimes I just really don’t feel like reaching into my backpack, swapping my prime lens for my wide-angle lens, replacing caps and covers, and readjusting my camera’s settings only to take a photo that looks so much better when I just pull out my iPhone and do it. This week, pretty much all of my wide-angle shots, including panos, have been with my iPhone, and I haven’t been disappointed.

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Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
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Château de Fontainebleau, Avon, France

Damn, iPhoneography works! Just check out what the author has to say.

What types of author “involvement” are apparent in this story? Author Emil Pakarklis writes this article to express artistic or photographic identity. His article serves to educate users on how to capture amazing shots with an iPhone, with no shortage of stunning example shots.

How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story? Pakarklis encourages being able to create a meaningful juxtaposition of images. Most of the pointers he gives are related to composition, which you can hone by practicing your photographic eye. It has nothing to do with fancy features or fancy technology. Just how things are arranged in your photos, or what’s in them. That is how iPhones can surpass DSLR cameras in picture quality if shooting under the right conditions.

What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story? Well, I’d say Google is the main mode of transport that brought me here. While researching iPhoneography, this was one of the first things I came across, which goes to show just how far you can go with a single search engine. The world is literally your oyster.

Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications might improve this digital story? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the article itself. It’s beautiful, it’s simple, and it flows well, which is ironic because the surrounding blog itself is very blocky and in-your-face. Everywhere you look, you’ll find social media sharing buttons, sidebar links to different articles, videos, or ads, plus a giant banner that moves with you as you scroll, always reminding you that there’s more to the iPhone Photography School than just this article. And that was before an offer popped up in my face to watch a video about iPhone night photography! I guess I’d appreciate it if this article took it back a notch and kept things as minimalistic as the simple art of iPhoneography. Other than that, it was brilliant. I’m sorry, wide-angle lens, but I think it’s time to say goodbye for now. But don’t worry. You’ll come in handy again soon.

Week Seven Reflection: Globetrotter

There are some places in the world that are just too magnificent for words. One of them is Iceland. Nobody ever really thinks to go there for a vacation, but it’s an entirely new world out there. In Iceland, I’ve seen things I’ve only ever seen in pictures, except I’m seeing them for real. Never have I ever witnessed such natural beauty, substantial and simple. Like Alaska and Hawaii put together, but ten times better than both. Every few minutes, it’s a new landscape, from grassland to farms to tiny towns to moss-covered boulders and towering rock cliffs to geothermal vents, from black sand beaches to majestic lakes to clear rivers and waterfalls. And then there are the glaciers. So many glaciers. Like nothing you’ve ever seen.

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Glacier Lagoon, Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Oh, right! I’m taking an online class! Now for the fun part…

How well do you feel you completed the requirements of the week’s assignments? With all the distractions that were going on, I’d say I did this week’s assignments pretty well. Although I front-loaded everything in preparation for my travels to Iceland, I feel like I had a really good last run on this assignment groove by letting the voices in my hea—I mean my voice truly shine. I’m especially really happy that I explored the art of iPhoneography a little bit before my travels began, because now I have hundreds of beautiful photos from France and Iceland, all taken with either my iPhone 6s or my Canon 50mm prime lens. I think I’ve found the balance I’d been looking for last week. Different cameras have different strengths!

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Jökulsárlón, Iceland (Taken with Canon Rebel T3i with 50mm STM prime lens)
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Jökulsárlón, Iceland (Taken with iPhone 6s)

Provide a self assessment of your work quality and effort on a “exceeding expectations,” “meeting expectations,” and “below expectations” scale. So it’s officially the end of Week Seven. I’m exhausted from running around, and from constantly trying to keep up on the class and on social media all summer long, but we’re almost done, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished for the week. It’s a solid meeting of the expectations. It’s almost midnight here in Reykjavik, and we have another big day tomorrow, so I’m pushing myself basically to the limit trying to get everything done. One more week to go!

© Emily Joan Wu

Teacher Candidate | Math
University of Colorado Denver
INTE 5340 | Summer 2016

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