Major Project: Moving the Finish Line

Throughout my learning project there were many different emotions and feelings towards the process!


Excited and eager to learn! I found a YouTube channel by Mike Browne to follow, started a Pinterest board, read many articles and started taking some pictures.

Middle 1:

Nervous but learning and motivated by the growth. Felt a little like I didn’t know what I ws doing but there were articles I read to help me take it one step at a time and I continued to take pictures. Signed up for a Coursera class!

Middle 2:

Frustrated with not knowing what to do or if I am on the “right” track. Turns out, there is no right track! I realized that I really enjoy watching videos and then trying to emulate the lesson from the video. I learn by being hands on and talking with someone who knows about what I am learning about. Also learned that the Coursera course wasn’t for me! I think it had great potential but that one I signed up for just wasn’t want I needed or wanted as part of my learning process.

End: Back to being excited and feeling like I have more tools to move forward! I am no where near done but am excited about using what I have learned to continue learning.

A collection of the good, the bad and the ugly photos from my learning throughout the semester can be found in the video below! Some were taken with my iPhone with a few Instragam filters added and the rest were taken with my Canon Power Shot SX20 IS.





No More Manual Mode!

Going to rewind a little for you and head back to the week off I had over Easter. I was excited to have some time to sit down with my camera and try to sort out some of my issues. I thought I had so I set out on a little bit of a back road adventure in search of some old farm buildings. Here’s what I ended up with:

Yes you are seeing that right, I went from orange picture problems to white pictures!

I had the chance last week to sit down with the janitor at my school who also works as a photographer and finally got my camera troubles sorted out! You can check out his work on his website: Larry Burkowsky Photography

Breaking news: It wasn’t a camera problem, it was a user problem!

When I started my project I really wanted to learn how to use my camera in the manual setting. This goal of mine is part of what created most of my frustration with my camera. Through my conversation with Larry I learned a few important things:

  1. My camera is best suited for outdoor photography, especially if I am planning to shoot manually. If I am wanting to shoot inside I need to set my camera to auto and let it do the work, as suggested by Larry.
  2. I need to switch from using Manual more to Av (Aperture Priority) and this is going to take some time. I am still not sure I have it fully sorted but The Difference Between Manual and Aperture Priority has me on the right track. Still lots to learn!

Larry showed me how to look at my shutter speed and focal length together and that there needs to be a balance between the two. That’s my next step, figure out how to do that in the right way. Thus, my project is done for now but not forever!

A few snaps that he took while showing me how to adjust shutter speed and focal length:

Top 5 Take Away Moments from #eci831 and a Little More

Is this semester really over already? I feel like we were just at week one and getting started. I have learned, questioned and engaged in so many different things this semester that I find it hard to say I am done. I feel that this is going to be a class that continues to help me learn, grow and question my online experiences.

Creating a summary of learning was something that I struggled with most this semester because I couldn’t figure out how to take everything that I learned and put into 5-7 minutes! I think that’s the sign of a great class and I want to thank all of you for providing a learning environment that allowed for conversations and growth.

I look forward to hopefully learning with you again, should that be the case!

Finding a tool to create and share my thoughts from the semester was one of my biggest challenges but I settled on the TouchCast app and I certainly learned a lot! There are some parts in the TouchCast that lag a little and I am not sure why so please forgive me with that. I will definitely be giving the app another try as I think the possibilities it provides are pretty awesome and I know I have more to learn about how to make the presentations a little smoother but I love the idea of it being interactive. It’s an interactive presentation so you can click on most things and it will take you to that space!

Summary of Learning

#eci831 – What Do I Know Now? 

Thank you to everyone for tuning in to my writing throughout the semester and sharing in the learning process!


I decided to take a different route with my blog post this week and try a ‘podcast’! Now I use that term a little loosely because the recording didn’t work so great and the app I chose also wanted me to pay for the recording once I was done. I should have done a little more research prior to downloading and paying my $3.99 for the app, rookie mistakes! So I turned the recording into an iMovie and will share it below. You’ll have to excuse the sound of my dog running around in the background!

My thoughts on the conversations and articles around Slacktivism:


To feed or not to feed internet trolls – what’s the right plan?

I’ve had the hardest time putting this post into words. So many thoughts floating around from the readings and class and I am  just unsure if I want to share about this topic. I think my uncertainty comes from not being able to understand why an internet troll  would feel the need to degrade and/or berate someone else.  Don’t get me wrong, I also don’t understand how or why someone would do this off the internet as well but it happens. So what should we do about it? Or should we do anything?

I am all for everyone having an opinion and good conversation around differences in an opinion. However, I do feel that such a conversation needs to remain neutral and about the facts. Leave the personal out of it, walk away from the conversation with a mutual respect of each other’s opinions.  This certainly isn’t always easy but it’s a choice when someone decides to get personal and attack someone else. I am sure we’ve all been on both sides of this situation, myself included and have learned a lesson or two from the experience.

The internet provides us with online spaces to join communities and conversations around pretty much any topic we could dream up. We can connect with someone from across the world in a matter of seconds. We can also choose to disconnect from someone that quickly as well. Or can we?

Did you know there is a map online titled Geography of Hate ? This map tracks hateful tweets across the United States. You can decide if you want see where homophobic, racist or tweets about disabilities are made. I was just floored that this was actually a thing. Naive you might say? Yes probably, but why does this even need to exist?


I am torn between two sides of connecting online. On one hand we can gain knowledge, ask questions, build communities of support and create change.

Then there is the other side…

We can choose to join a community perhaps because we want to learn something, are needing support, have something to share or wanting to feel connected but sometimes the opinions one might have or choices made could give members of that community a reason (that they feel is warranted) to turn on you very quickly and you might never be able to stop or walk away. Lives have been changed and some ended because of online trolling. Take for example Amanda Todd . Before this week I knew the name but none of the details. If you haven’t heard her story you need to.

This week I lost track of how many stories around experiences with internet trolls I have read. So many of the stories were filled with language and content that I don’t know I feel comfortable sharing in this space but a quick google search and you’ll be sure to find more than you could imagine. Each time I read of someones experience I 25525022044_7431cb8e5f.jpgcouldn’t help but think about why the troll would want to do such a thing? I wondered about what was so terrible in their own lives that would make them want to hurt and harass others.? Are they running from something or are they simply a dark, mean person?

Photo Credit: marcin baran via Compfight cc

The wide variety or trolls, bullies, racists and misogynists online is endless. It would be easy to say “stop feeding the trolls” and move on but I don’t think that’s going to stop anything. It took me thinking about each side of the situation and trying to gain an understanding of the victim and the troll. In my search to gain a better understanding of online trolling I can across of an account with an online troll written by Lindy West – What happened when I confronted my cruelest troll. In this post she shares about her experience with a troll who decided to get back at her by creating a twitter account for her deceased father. How she handled this was interesting. There are parts to each side that I don’t understand but I don’t think adding to the conversation and fueling it makes anything better. Perhaps by having conversations, trying to understand and sharing with one another we might begin to change the nature of Online Harassment.

Confession:  I had originally titled this post Stop Feeding the Trolls…






Equitable Access for All

“Without net neutrality rules providers are free to discriminate.” – Johannes Steiling

I had heard of the term Net neutrality prior to this weeks class but really had no frame of understanding or idea of how it applied to my use of the internet. From what I have been able to discern this week, the reason so many are fighting for Net neutrality relates to what we see in business around the world, internet related or not. Those with money have control and want to use their money to have even more control. I appreciated Johannes Steiling’s explanation in his TedX talk, shared above. He creates a metaphor between the idea of large automotive companies eventually having the ability to determine who gets prioritized use of highways with that of the conversation around Net neutrality.

I understand that in business numbers drive decisions and this often leads to customers being the last concern. Leading with a strong business mind is why the large companies have the control and reach that they do. My question though is, why should they be able to tell me what I can and can’t see and how fast I can see it on the internet? Through my readings this week it was clear that it isn’t just big business that has the ability to impact who gets to see what on the internet but that we also need to consider the reach of the law.


Photo Credit: Public Knowledge: What is Net Neutrality Again?

After watching John Oliver’s episode about Encryption I couldn’t help but wonder, where does the laws reach end? I don’t know that I agree with law enforcement asking Apple too create a backdoor into their phones that would allow them to solve crimes. However at the same time, I think about if it was me who had been the victim of a crime. If there was a code or backdoor that could help provide the law with the information they need to solve whatever the crime may have been, I feel like I would want them to be able to have access to that. Sure this would help me at the time and undoubtedly my others who actually are living in such a situation but where does that end? What happens when the reach goes too far? Who will be impacted in the end and when does it stop? What happens if the wrong person has been accused and their personal information is accessed through this backdoor?

I feel as though I haven’t provided any answers or solutions in this post because I don’t think that I have them. What I do have is a voice and have started to use it to share how I feel about Net neutrality. In case I wasn’t clear… it’s important!  As Clive Thompson put it: Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter. I certainly hope that I am not falling into the “worst” category but as many in our class have written, having a voice is where we need to start. Perhaps my small voice might one day help to create a positive turn in the push for Net Neutrality.

Rule of Thirds

As much as I am a bit of a perfectionist and like things to be organized in order, I also like odd numbers and sets of three, five and seven when it comes to things like hanging pictures, decorating my house and the volume on my radio/tv. I think this is why I have always been interested in pictures that fall under the idea of the Rule of Thirds in photography. Prior to this project I had never taken time to sit down and learn about the rule but just pieced together parts I have read, seen or heard and tried to apply it to pictures I have taken.

I have continued to view different videos on the Mike Browne’s YouTube channel to help me build my photography knowledge. This week I watched his video around the Rule of Thirds.

Prior to watching this I had always thought about thirds in terms of horizontal thirds and never made the connection between the horizontal and vertical as was mentioned in the video.

Some other Rule of Thirds resources I have checked out:

I am still having some Orange Picture Problems with my camera but with some time off this week I am going to go sit down with my manual and see if I can get that sorted so that I can get back to taking some pictures. In the mean time I will continue feeding my Pinterest addiction and learning new ways to use my camera!

I also started my online course this week so will share about that experience later on in the week!