As I have looked over all of the projects that I have submitted this year, I do see a progression in the quality and the care that went in to each of them. I see the strengths in each as my ability to adapt from programs that I am familiar with to programs that I had never worked with before. I see the weaknesses in the safety that was played in the attempt to just get each project done by the due date. However, I do not consider playing it safe to be a bad thing. Sure, taking risks is admirable; that feeling of ‘gut churn’ that we discussed in class is an affirmation that risk is being made. Playing it safe can be a good thing–knowing your strengths, using them to your advantage and doing work on a topic that you care about are all factors that can lead to a stellar project. No, I am no claiming that any of these projects are stellar. I was a beginner on a few of these programs and working with some of these media (audio and film) was a whole new rodeo for me.
In the photo essay, I will admit that I was not taking risks–aside from my decision to choose a web theme that everyone else was steering clear of. As we moved on to other projects and newer programs (for me at least!) I was forced to take more risks and explore various features in the programs; there were plenty of “what does this button do” moments throughout the course of semester. There also plenty of moments in which I was very uncomfortable. I can honestly say that throughout most of the film project making, I absolutely hated my video. I did not like where it was going at all. In the end I threw in a few transitions for the audio and rearranged some clips before I was comfortable enough to submit it as a final cut.
I did have some strengths, I did feel, when it came to using Audacity. Using the program came easily to me once I experimented with the different features on a few sound clips. The audio essay is also the one I am probably the most proud of–not including my final Tumblr project. I had a total vision for it and was incredibly pleased with how it turned out. While some did have different ideas of what certain sounds were, I think they translated well no matter how the listener interpreted them. This is also the project that I am comfortable saying, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” In the feedback, it was noted the the music in the middle was a little long. However, I have my reasons for that–it’s realistic in the coffee making process that I was conveying. It is personal.
This mentality may also be a weakness. My projects were based off of my own interests and the visions that popped into my head upon reading the directions for the projects. The issue came with trying to pose a “big question” with which to address the audience. I’m still not completely sure that I was able to accomplish this–though I certainly did try to justify some questions! I think the common thread between all of these projects, is that they ask the viewer or listener to focus on the subject in a specific way that they may not have before. It’s a simple question, but I did not have the interest (or even the bravery) to pose more complex questions.
Looking at this portfolio I am pleased, because I can see the progression. My capabilities in composing digital media have changed and so have my opinions about digital media. The course has broadened my mind in terms of what is considered digital media and how I interact with them. My final project is a Tumblr page–of which prior to the class I had never considered “media”. The order of photos in it are deliberate so that they form a timeline from the past to the present. It even features a few photos that were Photoshopped by myself!