#storyf17 objects photography assignment

Objects Overview

As the years went by, and I made myself into an architect and urbanist, I began to understand that objects, narratives, memories, and space are woven into a complex expanding web—each fragment of which gives meaning to all the others.
–J.T. Mitchell

It is we who put the humanity, the vision, and the poetry into our photographs. . . . When we look at our photographs and find not the slightest reflection of ourselves, it’s a good sign that our images have lost their souls.
–David duChemin

In this assignment we are going to combine ideas on evocative objects with duChemin’s discussions of what gives images souls by using the techniques honed by completing the lessons in duChemin’s book, The Visual Toolbox.

The assignment is informed by the following course objectives:

Objective 1: Storytelling
Students will understand the principles and practices of effective storytelling and be able to create media objects which effectively apply storytelling principles and techniques for desired rhetorical and communication goals.

Objective 2: Research
Students will understand the critical role of research in storytelling, including but not limited to texts and techniques associated with interviewing, observing, and photographing.

Objective 3: Communication Design
Students will be able to identify and employ a range of effective communication strategies to navigate audience, purpose, and context and will understand and apply human centered design approaches to communicating through digital media.

Objective 4: Risk-taking
Students will know what it feels like to step out of their comfort zones and take risks with their approaches to and understanding of investigation, design, and digital storytelling.

Assignment Specifics

This assignment is more nuanced than it seems, so please take great care when conceiving and including photos and captions:

  • create a slideshow of 8 – 10 photographs of evocative objects that are related to your investigation; the objects should be evocative to the people with whom you talk
  • the photographs should be informed by David duChemin’s lessons (one lesson can result in up to three photos)
  • the photographs must maintain a consistent vision, must be created the intentionally, and must contain a reflection of yourself, as described in the duChemin reading
  • the photographs must be made using one of the following:
    • Canon EOS 6D with tripod when appropriate (Basic 6D Manual [.pdf]; Full 6D Manual [.pdf])
    • Canon EOS Rebel T5i or T6i (in video kit 1) with tripod when appropriate (Full T6i Manual [.pdf])
    • your own DSLR
    • I suggest renting one of the new Canon 50mm prime lenses, which will allow you to have stunning depth of field when using manual focus setting
  • each photograph should be accompanied by a 100-word caption that illuminates why/how it is evocative in relation to your investigation
  • embed the slideshow in your transmedia story using one of WordPress’s many responsive sliders (such as the Camera slider, which I have used, though there are many to choose from)
  • the slideshow must extend your transmedia story in interesting ways

The most important thing when approaching this assignment is to be deliberate, curious, and intentional when creating your photos. Don’t just take snapshots to things you see using the auto settings. Use manual focus and the aperture setting so you can control the f-stop. Talk with the people who you meet and interview. See what objects they have around them and talk with them about their meaning(s). Consider beforehand how you want the image to appear, using duChemin’s lessons as a guide to your approach. Don’t just photograph whole scenes; get close in or crop photos to reveal the object in new ways. If needed, apply filters while editing that help reveal your own personal approach or interpretation of the image. If the objects are outdoors, consider the time of day.

Objects Draft Specifics

Rough Draft 1

Since we are using the Himilayas theme, I suggest you use the HUGE-IT slider. It is very easy to use and you can install it anywhere you want on your page. You can make it as large as you’d like and text will wrap around it if necessary.

For your slider rough draft, install the HUGE-IT slider on the transmedia story page we created during week 12. If you need help finding, installing, and using the slider, see the Transmedia Story Layout Tutorial.

Create a slideshow of 4 – 5 images including 100-word captions that illuminate why/how each image is evocative for or according to your research subject

Rough Draft 2

Rough Draft 2 should contain your full slideshow and descriptions.

Assignment Due Dates

The due dates are:

  • 11/27: Photo slideshow draft draft 1 due online
  • 12/4: Photo slideshow rough draft 2 due as part of completed transmediated story draft

To Go Significantly Beyond the Required Coursework

As part of the Grading Criteria, to obtain an A in the course, you must “demonstrate activity that goes significantly beyond the required course work in one or more course objectives.”

Here are a few ways you might be able to demonstrate going beyond the required coursework through the use of video work in addition to the main video assignment:

  • create a slideshow of 20 photographs instead of 10
  • create audio captions instead of written captions (as in Foot Soldiers)
  • something else you come up with :-)

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