Don’t Follow Strange Noises

Exploring Frequnecy 2156  was a unique and fun experience. I really enjoyed its collaborative strategy to creating a digital story. It is intriguing to imagine people from all parts of the world experiencing the end and trying to communicate with one another. This crowd-sourced audio lets the listeners add in to the story and continue the stories of this post-apocalyptic world. This site greatly supports the concept of a co-imagined experience that both the listeners and sharers engage in.

Audio as the medium for this site lets the listeners be more creative when imagining each person’s situation. From my perspective, it also gave a feeling that the people are alone in their unique situations as the listener cannot see them.

For my own contribution to Frequency 2156, I recorded myself on Audacity. I added three sounds from freesound.org.  I used a zombie breathing sound which startles my character and encourages her to go see what was creating the sound.  I used a walking sound to create an image in the listeners mind of her walking towards the noise, and then it ends with an added sound of a zombie attack. When I uploaded my audio to the site, the site added a background that muffled my audio a bit, but I think it added to the effect of a mysterious post-apocalyptic scene. I placed my audio at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, and it is the one labeled: Beware There are Zombies.

How to Take Photos

Reading the Tips for Better Photography helped me grasp the basics of taking pictures. The rule of thirds was probably the most helpful tip as it makes sense to highlight the focus of your picture in the spot that is looked at first. I downloaded the rule of thirds add-on to my chrome browser so I could look at how different photographers use it. I also turned on the grid setting on my iPhone camera to get the same effect when taking my own pictures.

After reading the tips, I looked at Abandoned America’s Greatest Hits gallery, keeping the tips in mind. This photo of a cathedral stood out to me because the rule of thirds brings the attention to the most put together part of the church, but as the eyes wander, the destruction overtakes the beauty of the church.

This next photo that stood out to me related to the tip about creating depth. The observer’s eye is drawn back to the center of the photo at the very end of the narrow hallway. The photographer captures a large portion of the abandoned hallway but makes a clear focus leading to the end of the hall.

The last photo I chose to highlight is of an abandoned clock. It is taken from a unique perspective that makes the observer think about where and why they are placed there. It relates to the confusion of time stopping and malfunctioning after the abandonment.

Moving onto my own photography, I did the 20-minute photoblizt challenge on Saturday and it was pretty exciting to think on my feet about what I could take pictures of and how I could best capture them.

My first challenge was to make a photograph with my camera at floor level. I chose to take a picture of my dog, Shea at floor level to give an interesting perspective and I decided to edit it black and white for dramatic effect.

The second challenge was to take a picture featuring a repeating pattern. I had to run around my house because I could not find a repeating pattern, but finally I reallized that my kitchen wallpaper has a repeating design.

Then I had to make a creative photo with power plugs, so I took two lamps and made their plugs spell out “on”. I retook this photo quite a few times, trying to get the right angle and perspective until I liked it.

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For my closeup picture of an object, I chose a box of Crayola pencils. I do not love the way it turned out because it is a bit blurry, but it was difficult because my iPhone camera did not want to focus so close up.

For my square photo, I took a picture of a Ball jar, mostly because it looked artsy. I made sure to use my grid to line up the photo well for the rule of thirds.

For the picture of a scene looking out a window, I think I was supposed to have someone looking out the window, but I just took a picture of the window. I played off the eerie look outside when I was editing the picture.

For the last photo, I needed one color to dominate it. I chose blue because the color of my walls and a lot of the stuff I own is blue. I really like the aesthetic of this photo, and I againtried to use the rule of thirds to make this photo look good to an observer.

I was able to finish taking all 7 of my photos in the given 20 minutes. I want to take what I learned from the tips, looking at the photographers’ abandoned photos and taking my own photos to continue taking more and better photos in the future.