Too Close For Comfort

Take a close up picture of something as see if people can guess what it is. Try doing the skin or outside of something that would make it hard for someone to guess!

The That’s Not What I Expected visual assignment (3 stars) grabbed my attention because of the cover photo it used in the description. I love photos where an ordinary object looks completely different because of an angle or how close or far away it is.



Although my photo isn’t the best quality (my iPhone can only do so much) I have never looked that closely at *SPOILERS AHEAD* whole black pepper kernels. I thought that even though it’s rather obvious what the picture is, it is still a new perspective so I stuck with this. Another part of this assignment is to have classmates guess what the photo is. I decided to post on my twitter asking people to respond, and I included the assignment tag and ds106. When people have responded to my tweet I will update this post linking to responses.


While there aren’t really any difficult instructions here is what I did:

  1. Look around to find something interesting to photograph
  2. Get as close as you can to said something interesting and take a picture of it. I actually ended up cropping my picture to make it appear closer because my phone couldn’t focus up close. Cameras shouldn’t have this problem.
  3. Upload the photo to Twitter and ask the twitterverse to let you know what it thinks!


While taking this picture I was searching my kitchen high and low for something unique that I could also get close to with my phone and have it still be in focus. All the while, my mom is taking a nap in the next room, so I had to be very quiet. I cannot say how many fruits, vegetables, and herbs I picked up and brought close to my lens testing to see if they would focus. None of them focused. I then tried to take an up close picture of a lit candle. Alas, I couldn’t get close enough to the flame for it to be a mystery without burning myself or my phone.

I was about to settle for an onion, when my eyes happened upon the pepper grinder. I thought “perfect!” and proceeded to to empty the whole kernels onto a paper towel. Mind you, my mom is still sleeping (she works very hard and deserves a nap every once in a while so I am trying to be quiet). After taking the picture I then had to return the pepper to its place. This was the hardest part of this assignment.

I am a very clumsy girl. Very. As I was shaping the paper towel into a funnel to expertly guide the pepper back into the grinder, I dropped them. Every last kernel scattered across the counter. I gasped. MOM! Don’t wake up! (Of course she didn’t wake up it was just a few pepper kernels) but to me, in our silent house, it sounded like several bombs had just gone off.


Watch Me Climb This Mountain

Creating a blog is the easy part. Customizing it is a whole other ball game.


I had a blog for another class last semester and we had to blog once a week. For this class I have blogged at least fifteen times this week, probably more. So, when I truly realized how much time would be spent looking at and editing this blog, I really wanted it to look good.


I started with this twenty seventeen theme, but this is the theme of my other blog and I wanted to go a different direction, so I switched to the twenty fifteen theme. I liked the simplicity of it, but as I blogged more and was adding a lot of photos I wanted my posts to be able to spread out more, and the twenty fifteen theme didn’t give me a lot of width. I then switched back to the twenty seventeen theme, and with the help of other people in this class I have successfully created a blog with a nice flow and aesthetic.


I interacted through my twitter with  a few people, but nothing of great importance.


Here are my comments from this week that helped me format my blog:


And a comment on a post I found funny:

Call Me Ansel Adams

My first tip is accredited to the article by Maria Popova. I was inspired by the story she told and how close the world was to not receiving this iconic photo at all. One of the best points I took out of this article is that photography can be used to help others, especially those in less fortunate positions. Applied to today’s world, photography helping others brings to mind pictures taken at rallies and protests, trying to show different points of view and attempting to bring people closer together. I did not have a chance this week to take a photo that could help someone else, but this is a picture I immediately thought of when writing this post. I feel that one day this will be an iconic picture of our time, embodying the essence of today; our society’s flaws, triumphs, and diversity.

Jonathan Bachman/Reuters


While watching the video on visual literacy, I realized that we are not taught enough about it, because I had never even heard of that phrase. I had heard of literacy in general, digital literacy (through intro to digital studies), and math literacy (through my job as a math tutor). The visual elements portion of the video really stood out to me. By using the painting as an example and showing each individual element helped me to understand the concepts better, and they really stuck. Every image shown after that I could see the visual elements, especially line, shape, and color.


While going on my photo safari I focused a lot on the lines of things, which I had never noticed before watching the video and learning about the visual elements. Being able to clearly see lines and shapes made my pictures better composed. One of my favorite photos this week was during my photo safari. I like the color of it and the lines are very interesting to me.

Unusual Angle


The third tip I tried was from the handbook, and I used “pay attention to the moment”. This also helped me capture my favorite photo (above). During my photo safari I was trying to go quickly to capture as many pictures as possible, but when I was attempting to take this picture from an unusual angle I took several quick shots and almost left. I looked back at the photos I had taken and thought “these will do” but I didn’t want my photos to be just fine, I wanted them to be good. So I took the handbook’s advice: I slowed down and waited for the perfect moment of wind to blow the flag just like this. I’m glad I waited.

Through My Eye(s)

For my second visual assignment I chose Can You See What I See, worth 3.5 stars. I followed one of the tutorials already posted on the ds106 site. I used all the steps for, then I used GIMP instead of photoshop for the rest of the process.


I knew when I saw this assignment that I wanted to do it because I knew I had this picture of my eye that was perfect for the job, and I’m not too advanced with photo manipulation yet, so this seemed like a good project to get my feet wet.


Over winter break 2016 I visited the beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia. While my younger sister complained the whole time we were there (and mind you, we were there for her soccer tournament) I had a wonderful time and took so many pictures of the gorgeous scenery and buildings. We walked around town, took a trolley tour, did a ghost walk, met Forrest Gump, and marveled at the old buildings. One of my favorites was the oldest Reform Synagogue (in North America? The east coast? Savannah? I can’t remember which one). It was a very tall building with stately arches and big, heavy doors. It resembled one of the many churches around, save for a Star of David instead of a cross on it’s highest point.


I chose this photo to be the reflection in my eye because it really was the reflection there once, and it was awe inspiring to stand under. I wanted to replicate how I felt in that moment, standing under part of my history, in this picture.

After following the instructions for, open the image in GIMP. Then use the smudge tool to soften the edges of the image within the eye and swipe the cursor around to blend the two layers together.

The top of the image inside the eye overlapped my top eyelid, so I then used the dodge/burn tool and clicked a few times (not swiping like when using the smudge tool) over where the image overlaps the eyelid.

The dodge/burn tool made my eyelid lighter than I had anticipated, so I then used the smudge tool again and swiped over the lighter area to blend it with the rest of the eyelid.

Here are the two separate images that were used to create this assignment

Synagogue in Savannah, GA
Uncropped, unedited photo


Unblended Version

Image Without Blending

Final Version

Image With Blending

Grass Stains on a White Shirt

Grab a picture of yourself in which your body language, actions, gestures, etc. suggest one thing and then play off that using a speech bubble.

I had a photoshoot before I graduated high school, as many teens do. I decided to invite my best friends along because they were such a huge part of my high school experience it would seem wrong to commemorate high school without them included. I knew I would want to choose one of these pictures because they were good quality and we all looked really happy in them, so I thought it would be funny to make captions that made us seem not-so-happy.


We took the photos in Clifton, Va, which is a cute little rustic town not far from where I live. We had hired an up and coming photographer because 1- a friend had recommended her to us, and 2- her prices were low. When we got to Clifton it was a beautiful spring evening, so there was more than one photoshoot going on in town (think three different groups all trying to get the shot in front of one specific church door). So we had to wait. In the meantime we took pictures on the train tracks that run through town and after about half an hour, it still wasn’t our turn in front of the door (don’t worry we eventually got there and it’s a great door so it was worth the wait). The photographer had a few other ideas, one of which was to lay in the grass and take aerial shots. My friends and I all piled up and she directed us where to put our heads and all our overlapping limbs. I’m not going to lie; this picture was not fun to take.


They were all complaining and I was fed up because it was a privilege that they could be a part of my senior photos. I don’t mind smiling for the camera, but the rest of them aren’t as camera comfortable as I am, which made the situation worse. We were also all wearing white (except Lauren), which was a coincidence Lauren wasn’t too happy about, which made laying on the grass an even less pleasant experience. All in all, the pictures turned out great, but it was a real test of our friendships.


I used this website in order to create my “spubble.” It was very straightforward.

Step 1: Select your pictures and upload it

Step 2: Click the stickers button on the top menu

Step 3: Select the signature collection

Step 4: Add thought bubbles to the photo. Resize and move them by using the arrows in the bottom right corner of the image while it is selected. Make sure to click apply after every change that is made!

Step 5: Click the back button to return to the main menu. Toggle to the right and click on text.

Step 6: Add text, just type in the box. Resize and move the text box just like images were moved! Choose a font and color that works for the photo, then move the text over the thought bubbles. Don’t forget to click apply!


Step 7: The apply button will turn to save after it has been clicked. Choose save and then download the picture. That’s it!


Here are the before and after pictures

This assignment is worth two stars and you can find the original post and instructions here.

Don’t Call Me Maybe

For Friday’s daily create – Make a Song Boring – it took me a while to find a song title that I could make boring. I did start working a little earlier than usual this morning, so maybe that’s why my creative juices weren’t flowing. I picked a song (Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson) and then decided I needed to alter the cover art. So, I downloaded GIMP (finally).


The first step was to cross out the “Maybe” with the paintbrush tool, then create a text box to insert “Eh, actually don’t”. Then I tried to change the color of my text to match the existing text, but the tool for that wasn’t working (I was probably doing something wrong) so I just adjusted the color manually until I got it as close as I could to the original color. Then I saved the image and tweeted it! As this course goes along I hope to practice more with GIMP, and I think I will be doing a lot of photo manipulation with it for daily creates and other assignments.

NOT Doing it for the ‘Gram

For my photo safari I just took pictures in my house and some on the front porch. I chose these areas because it was convenient and I figured there would be lots of material to capture. I read the list of photo ideas before starting and immediately thought of a few things that I could photograph that would represent the task. This experience was a little exhilarating once I started. I found that although I kept wanting  to check the clock, I knew it would slow down my picture taking process. I checked the clock twice throughout the fifteen minutes.


I don’t have a camera, so I just took the pictures with my iPhone. I liked taking the more abstract or interestingly angled pictures the best. I found them really fun to take and fascinating to look at. My favorite picture from this safari was the bright light photo. I knew I wanted to point the camera at my kitchen lights (which are very bright) but the end result was not what I had imagined at all. When the camera focused, the filament of the lightbulb came into focus and the background went completely black, except for the two other bulbs in the background of the shot. This took me by surprise and I took the photo without even thinking; I didn’t want the camera to refocus and lose this cool shot!


A few photographs aren’t as self explanatory as the rest, so I wanted to take some time to explain the meaning and process behind those. For my Futuristic photo the subject is the water spout on my fridge. It has an autofill capability where you can just put your cup down, press the button, and walk away while it fills up your cup perfectly. That is by far the most futuristic thing in my house and I am always awed by it. Just don’t put ice in the cup before autofill, or else it will overflow (you only make that mistake once…or twice). For my Joy photo I took a picture of my favorite beach towel. I love the beach and my favorite color is pink, and it just reminds me of happy days. The Through an Opening photo was taken through one of the three holes in a one subject notebook. It actually gave me a nice frame around the otherwise boring photo of my kitchen table that day. In my Converging Lines photo the chair rails in the dining room of my house served a perfect purpose, except I had no other subject for the photo to focus on. I asked my sister to come be in the picture for one second, but she yelled “NO I’M WATCHING NETFLIX!” So I had to settle for a lesser photo.

First Impressions

Week one of DS106 and I am slightly overwhelmed with the amount of work it seems to be. Setting up each account was kind of a pain because I wanted new accounts specifically for this class, and navigating new sites like Flickr and Soundcloud were more time consuming than I thought they would be. Luckily, I already had a domain set up and another blog, so creating my blog was more of a fun pastime than a frustrating endeavor. It seems to me that this week will be more difficult than the rest because of the sheer amount of setting up that is required. At least, that is my hope.


On a more relaxed note, I really enjoy photography so I am excited about week one’s lessons. I can also already tell this class is going to push me outside of my comfort zone in terms of my digital presence, which I am really excited about. I have been wanting to start a blog and Youtube channel for a while, and this class has forced me to make that first jump. I’m very excited to see where this class takes me.

This Post is Busier Than a Bee

For my multimodal introduction I decided to use each platform for the different words of introducing myself. On Twitter I simply searched for a gif using the key word “hi”. Then I went about recording my first audio clip on Soundcloud. I downloaded GarageBand and recored my less-than-one-second clip of me saying “my name” and uploaded it to my Soundcloud account. I knew I wanted to create a video for Youtube of a montage of different fonts of the word “is”. I watch a lot of Youtube, but I have never uploaded or made a video, much less a video that doesn’t even involve a camera. Turns out it is pretty easy to create a video with PowerPoint. All you have to do is create slides with transitions, then save as a movie. I used different colors and slightly different effects on the word for each slide, as well as put in a simple slide transition set to one second. When I saved the movie and uploaded it, it took longer than one second to change slides which looks odd to me, but for a first attempt I’d say it went pretty well. For my final platform, Flickr, I used a photo of my work name tag published to my brand new DS106 album. Altogether here, and posted in order: Hi! My name is Jenna.


Hats off to You

While procrastinating and realizing the week is almost over and I have only completed one daily create *shrieks*  I decided I must complete today’s task… and I had no inspiration. While looking at other people’s replies I realized, I want to crop something out of one picture and paste it onto another, but I don’t know how. So for now, a collage in PowerPoint will suffice. BUT WORRY NOT! I am seeking guidance from those who inspired me on what techniques and applications they used.

Using hats, color, Audrey Hepburn, and the author of this daily create, I present: “One of These Things is Not Like the Others”. Except I spelled it wrong on Twitter. Oops!