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Photo Essay Reflection

Check out the photo essay here!

Although this project did not come out exactly as I had expected, I am still very proud of the work I have produced. It is short, however, by framing things with purpose I was able to tell the story I was trying to tell. Mostly everything, from the angles, to how the pictures are laid out on the website is deliberate.

The Story

The story I am trying to convey with this is obviously the relationship between humans and technology but more importantly how that relationship is an everyday thing and how it affects our real relationships. The story starts in the girls room, she wakes up like any other day with the TV on, filling the silence in the room at night. The TV is to show how constant technology is in our lives, even while we sleep. You then see the girl holding what seems to be a baby. However in the next shot there is a close up on the baby, revealing it is actually a phone. I know this part is a bit cheesy but I didn’t want my story to be so straight forward and expected. The purpose of the “baby phone” is not just to be a twist but a;so to illustrate that humans treat their phones like their baby. Keeping it safe, giving it a lot of attention, being anxious without it. After this, there is a sequence of her going about her day but constantly on her phone, taken out of the real world. None of these three pictures are necessarily significant on their own however, together it shows how she is always disconnected. After that I put a stock image of a family to show a comparison of people who are happy together and truly connected, this reminds the girl of her own family. The two pictures of the phone and the “daughter” calling her mom are supposed to bring the story full circle. The girl is finally brought back into reality and wants to use technology for a good thing, to connect with others. However, just like how she was once distracted so are the people she is trying to connect with which results in a missed connection. The phone represents how you can connect with technology and the TV in the background shows how constantly distracted we are.

Captions

I chose to do a photo essay about human interaction with technology because I wanted to do something creative, while also telling a story at the same time. The story is told through a series of pictures and captions to help move it along. When I initially planned what I was going to do for this photo essay I did not really plan out the captions to go along with the pictures, they were mostly an afterthought. To me the most important part of this was being able to tell a story even if the captions weren’t there, which I think there is still a clear linear story without captions. However, looking at the end result and even while I was writing I wish I had planned them out more. I kind of just assumed “how hard can it be to write a narrative caption based on photos and a story that is already there”. I really overlooked the power captions can hold and because of that my project is not as effective as it could have been.

Length

It is fair to say my photo essay is definitely on the shorter side. While writing out my plan I kept trying to add more frames because I wanted this to be at least 15 pictures. However, when I read through the plan a lot of the extra things I added did not really bring anything to the story, just made it longer. I always say quality over quantity so it did not feel right just to add things to the story to add things. I kind of like how it is short, its straight forward but still makes you think about the message. I could definitely drag out the parts of her in nature not paying attention, but I like how it is short and sweet. Despite being short I still was able to tell the story I wanted to. Part of what makes it the story I wanted is there is not a bunch of extra stuff to distract from the actual message.

Photo Technique

All the pictures for this project are my own except the one picture of the family in the field. 

My establishing shot takes place in the main characters bed room just as shes waking up. The story starts at the start of her day which is why I choose to use this as the establishing shot. When framing each photo I was very deliberate with what I put in the frame especially in the first couple and last couple pictures. In the establishing shot she is in bed with her laptop, the edge of the TV in the foreground of the frame radiating light onto her. In the next shot you can see the same TV lit up in the background to really drive in that technology is so constant everywhere. In some shots like when she is brushing her teeth it is not as clear what I wanted the focus to be. It was much harder for me to frame this shot with the space I had and still have the phone be the focus which is why I made sure you could see she is looking at the phone through the mirror. For the last two pictures I framed them just as I planned. The phone as the main focus but still see people in the background distracted by the TV. Something I would change is having an extra picture of a close up on the phone screen so you can really tell what happening and why its relevant. A close up on the phone would be a good clincher to end it.

In order to show the importance of certain photos I laid out the page with the photos a specific way. Pictures that I think drive the story forward are alone. Less “important” pictures are in sequences. By putting them some pictures in the same row they kind of flow off one another instead of the ones that are alone which are specific parts I want the viewer to think about.

 

I really enjoyed this project, it let me be more creative then most class projects allow. I’m proud of what my photo essay looks like and although now I know a lot of things I could do to improve it, I think it is still and effective story.

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