Thursday, May 5, 2011

EPJ Final Project

I also worked with Brandy Atwood for my final project in EPJ. In this project, Brandy talks about her homeschooling beliefs and there is another audio slideshow in which she talks about how her life has changed from two years ago.

Here is a link to the project:


Monday, May 2, 2011

Capstone 30-Day Project: Choosing to be Single

For my 30-day project, I worked with Brandy Atwood, a thirty-three-year-old single mother of four children under the age of 12. The children's fathers don't play a large role in their lives, and Brandy feels that it's important for her to stay single and raise her children on her own. This family holds a special place in my heart as I have worked with them previously for a photo project and developed a close relationship with them. I'm so thankful to have had the chance to work with them again, and I hope everyone enjoys the project.

Click here to watch the project bigger on Vimeo.

Friday, April 22, 2011

EPJ Final Project Update

Things with my final project have been going okay. I conducted an interview with Brandy, which went really well. I also photographed her during her job as a bus driver but that was really difficult. I wasn't allowed to photograph any of the kids on the bus--just Brandy and her kids and I had to get off at the first stop when the first child got on (district policy). Not very much time to make any pictures! I'm planning on going back at least one more time to try again though. I'm also bummed because I was planning on getting some pictures of Brandy taking Trevor and Nikki, her two youngest, to their dads house for the weekend but that ended up falling through. I plan on spending most of this week working on the project.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Capstone 2nd 30-Day WiP: Images and Work Report

Since our last works in progress, I have only had the chance to photograph Brandy and her family one additional time. I was supposed to meet with her and photograph on Friday but she had an issue that came up so we had to cancel. I was also supposed to do an audio interview with her Sunday night but when it came time to use the equipment that I checked out from the locker, I realized that the headphone jack was broken so I had to push the interview back to Monday night.

I've also had another setback: I am not allowed to photograph any of the children on Brandy's bus routes nor am I even allowed to ride with her during her routes. So, the only pictures I will be able to take of Brandy doing her job would be when she and her kids get on the bus. Not much to work with there...

On a positive note, I think I have a better focus for the story. I'm thinking in terms of a headline that reads: "Surviving the Chaos" or "Losing Solitude." The more time I spend with Brandy and her family, the clearer it has become that her life is extremely hectic and she rarely ever gets time to herself. Most of my photos document how stressful her life is, trying to raise four young children all by herself. They also show that it is pretty rare that Brandy is seen without at least one of her children around. I'm eager to show some more images to the class and see what everyone thinks about this new possible focus.

Here are some of my selects for this works in progress:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EPJ Final Project Update

So I have been totally forgetting to post updates on how my final project is going! Things are going pretty well, I have photographed Brandy and her family a few times now and am looking to set up an audio interview as well as photograph her during her job as a bus driver really soon. I'm thinking my theme for the story is going to change though, for I think the story is about the children's education and the family's religious practices. I want to know the reasoning behind Brandy's choice to homeschool three of her children but send one to a public school. The family is also very religious, as they attend church every Sunday and their homeschooling is based off a religious curriculum. I think my first step is to conduct an audio interview to get a better idea of where my story is heading.

More updates to come soon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

EPJ Multimedia Critique 2

For our critique of a multimedia presentation on a photographer’s web site, I chose to look at Erin Schwartz’ “Of House and Home.” The content of the project was definitely appropriate for multimedia and I think the project should have been done this way, for I don’t think it would be as strong of a story without the audio. For me, the audio really made this story work.

The interactivity of the project is also well done, with the project not automatically playing on the page and viewers having control over playing/pausing the project, as well as adjusting the volume and whether or not they would like to view it in full screen mode. The navigation is clear and easy to understand.

The design is just okay—a little too plain and simple for me. I don't like the fonts used in the project but the layout, color scheme, and overall presentation fits with the overall site it’s part of.

The technical quality of the site is good, as the images are clear and the audio is understandable. If I could change something about the project it would be to put the slide with the title and brief description of the project as the very first part, the first thing viewers see. For this particular project, I’m not a big fan of first seeing a picture, hearing some audio, and then seeing the black slide. Other than that, I am really impressed with Erin’s work and the way she presented it.

Here is a link to the project:

Monday, April 4, 2011

EPJ Multimedia Critique 1

I looked at the multimedia presentation, “Choosing to Stay, Fighting to Rebuild” by the New York Times for this critique. I definitely think the content of the project is appropriate for multimedia, for I don’t think it would have been as strong just presented as still images. I think the audio was a necessary component to the story, as it allowed viewers to hear the people tell their stories about how they were affected by the earthquake in Haiti. I liked how the creators used a combination of the people speaking in their native language as well as the voices of translators so the viewers could understand what was being said. I also thought that the use of natural sound was very effective in the story and used appropriately.

Overall, the interactivity of the project is pretty good, except for the fact that it starts playing automatically when viewers first view it on the page. The user has control over when they want to pause the project and if they wan to view it full screen. The navigation is somewhat unclear though, for viewers have to press the back button in order to get back to the gallery featuring other multimedia projects. The design of the project is simple and laid out in a way that is pleasing to users. The layout, color scheme and overall presentation fit very well with the theme of the project. I think the creators chose to go with a design theme of simplicity so the project could speak for itself and viewers wouldn’t be distracted by other elements when watching it.

The project is also high in technical quality, with clear images and audio that is easy for viewers to understand. One thing I would change about the project though, is how long the images stay on the screen for. I think right now they aren’t up there long enough, there were times when things felt a little rushed and I wanted to look at some of the pictures longer. It also would have been nice to have seen the creators use text in the lower thirds of photos that briefly stated who was speaking throughout the project. Instead, the creators put a slide at the end where they listed the voices and translators in the project but it was unclear who was speaking when.

Here is a link to the project: