If only this week came with 14 days, I would have been better able to space out four incredible digital storytelling assignments with coast-to-coast client travel and managing a parent’s medical care. But I managed to complete the assignments while enjoying them too.
I was in California most of the week and being three hours away seemed like I was submitting blog posts later. However, I would not trade that for the opportunity to take more photos of Joshua Tree National Park. This week, I discovered that however simple and straightforward an assignment seemed, it still took me a couple of hours before I was satisfied with the product to post it to my blog. I also discovered that it was easy for me develop a story with visual prompts.
The first assignment I posted was the Five Card Flickr I was inspired by the first photo dealt, a photo of an aloe vera plant. I found that I was able to easily weave a tale with the four following photos dealt to me. I thought all five photos had a Southwestern theme connecting them. It was only later that I learned that one photo was taken in Iceland. With this foreknowledge, the story spine would have been very different.
I applied tips on how to become a better photographer during a couple of trips to Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP), which fortunately was very close to where I was on business travel. I have always enjoyed photographing JTNP; even more so when I had a checklist of tips to test. Although I only mentioned the tips offered by Rob Wall’s blog, I also perused several other tips, including the list on how to take better travel photos.
The photoblitz safari was fun to do. Although it was one of the assignments I wanted to complete right away, I gave myself a day to scope out where I could conduct the safari and plan out the shoot. I knew fifteen minutes is not a very long time and I wanted to make sure I was able to check off majority of the photo types from the list provided. When I drafted my blog post, I found myself telling the story of Navy Hospital Corpsman Robert Bush‘s heroic acts during WWII.
Stories seemed to come out of nowhere when I completed the two visual assignments as well. When I was writing the blog post for the Return to the Scene of the Crime assignment, I could not help sharing the context behind the photo. By the time I was preparing for the second visual assignment, I was truly inspired and ended up writing a fictional story on Howard Carter’s historical selfie. I initially was going to do a historical selfie on Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the HMS Titanic (she was played by actress Kathy Bates in the 1997 James Cameron movie). However, hubris won out and I wanted to incorporate my own selfie in the historical selfie assignment.
As for my final project, I want to storify the use of a gorilla pod, an ubiquitous accessory I pack on every trip.
I am continuing to enjoy reading classmates’ posts and have ventured beyond the Blue Ninjas to comment on blog posts.
Anyone who knows me well knows I enjoy taking photos, so this week has been incredibly enjoyable for me. It has helped me weather the many personal stressors in life. At a friend’s wedding reception last night, an acquaintance commented that I was “hiding behind the camera.” There may be some element of truth in that, but mostly, I’m laughing, dancing, and enjoying with my camera.