Select Page

Week Four Goals

We’ve done a fair amount of storytelling over the last few weeks just using the written word, and thinking about how different reading spaces demand different kinds of stories from us. This week, we’ll be moving into the visual world and thinking about photography: both how we take pictures and how we tell stories with them. We’ll also be watching some films and making GIFS, and installing plugins.

In this week’s intro, I’m joined by @JillianAviva. Slack me if you’d like to be in one of next week’s videos.

Daily Creates

Assignment: Daily Creates

This week, make sure you complete at least two (you pick).

Improving Your Photography and Visual Storytelling

All of us probably come to this class with different experiences and expertise when it comes to photography. This week, one of our goals is to think more deeply about how we take photographs. To start, you’ll be be reviewing some materials about photography, exploring some photo collections, and taking photos while you think about what you’ve learned.
In this special #end106 video, I’m joined by Nigel Harstaad, of UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies to talk about photography. You can check out the album of his photography that he talks about on Facebook.

After watching the video, review Tips for Better Photography page. In addition to looking at the specific tips and examples, explore some of the additional resources at the bottom.

Then, check out  at leat one gallery  at Abandoned America, and see if you can identify any of the tips/techniques in the photographer’s images. How does he use his photography to capture the a sense of abandoment, loss, or desolation? How does this jive with your own vision of an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic aesthetic?

Next, undertake your own Photoblitz. The Photoblitz site will give you a list of seven prompts; you have 20 minutes to try and capture as many of the ideas as possible. Keep the tips you reviewed in mind as you compose and shoot your pictures. Share your photos on Instagram, using #theend106 #ds106 #photoblitz.

Assignment: Thinking about Photos

Write up a blog post in which you share what you learned (through the Tips page), what you found (on Abandoned America), and what photos you took (during your Photoblitz).

Assignment: Storytelling with Photos

Read David Campbell’s Photography and Narrative and think about how we can tell visual stories. Then complete at least six stars of Visual Assignments, making sure at least four stars of your work ties into an apoc/post-apoc narrative.

Share on Instagram!

Please share any photos you take for your assignments on Instagram using #theend106 and #ds106 and then embed them into the posts you write for your media assignments.

Exploring the Apocalypse and Photography through Film

In a few weeks, we will actually start making our own videos, but we’re going to begin looking at some films now.

This week you’ll be watching two films (one short, one longer) and considering how the framing of specific shots is used to capture and convey the way the apocalpyse feels and looks. As you hone in on specific scenes/shots, consider how they embody the photography tips we’ve been exploring.

Watch La Jetee (available through the UMW library online or on Netflix). This is a 30-minute French film, released in 1962 that tells the story of a group of survivors living beneath Paris after a nuclear holocaust. It is unique because it is made up of a series of photographs rather than moving images. As you watch, consider how Terry Gilliam (the director) frames each shot to convey emotion as effectively as a movie does. Does this work for you as a viewer? Do you feel like something’s missing or something’s gained?

Choose one of the following films to watch, paying close attention to how invidiual scenes are shot to forward the narrative, draw you in as a viewer, create empathy (or disgust) for characters, and convey emotion.

  • Mad Max, George Miller, 1979 ($2.99 rental through Amazon)
  • Twelve Monkeys, Terry Gilliam, 1995 ($3.99 rental through Amazon)
  • The Road, John Hillcoat, 2009 (Netflix)
  • Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016 (Netflix)

Assignment: Films, Reflections, and GIFs

Choose one very short clip from the longer movie you watched that you think worked particularly well and complete this assignment for it.

In the post where you share your GIF for the media assignment, go ahead and also include your reflection to Le Jetee and the other film you watched. Tell us, in particular, about the short clip/scene you chose for your GIF and why you chose it.

I suggest checking out for help with animated GIFs. You will have to get a clip of the video, and YouTube is a great source for this. For downloading short YouTube videos, I recommend the free program, 4K Video Downloader.

Site Work & Participation

WordPress Level Up

This week in WordPress we’ll be focusing on plugins. A few weeks ago you change the theme to your site to alter how it looks. Plugins allow you to alter how your site works. Specifically, this week you’ll be activating  and setting up Akismet and JetPack. Both should be included in your WordPress install already, but you can add them if they’re missing.

Akismet will help protect your site from comment spam. You’ll need to set it up, and the plugin will walk you through the process. It’s  pretty straightforward, but keep in mind that since you’re using it for personal use you don’t have to pay anything! When it asks how much you want to pay, choose the personal account for $0.

Once you’re logged into Akismet, the setup for Jetpack is pretty straightforward.  The plugin has a whole bunch of features. You want to set up two of them this week:  subscribe to comments (so your commenters can follow conversations on your posts) and the publicize module which will automatically tweet your message to your Twitter account for the class.

After you activate the publicize module in JetPack, you’ll see a new setting in the Publish box of the WordPress post editor. Click on Edit Details and you can customize the message that gets sent out in your tweet.  Make sure to edit that message each time you create a post to include #ds106 and #theend106 before you hit Publish.


Assignment: Activating Plugins

Activate and set up both Akismet and JetPack. Make sure you have JetPack set up to allow your users to subscribe to comments and to allow you to automatically send your new blog posts as tweets to your class Twitter account.

Assignment: Participation Points

Keep on commenting on each other’s posts and sharing the work of your classmates that you find most inspiring, impressive, provacative in your own weekly posts.

Did you remember to add an avatar to your Slack account last week??

Question of the Week

Do you think an animated GIF can be considered a story? Why or why not? It would be great to include some examples to illustrate your thoughts.

Weekly Summary

Assignment: Weekly Post

Make sure you’ve completed all the assignments above. Write up your weekly post by Monday at midnight. Remember to refer to The Guide for Writing Blog Posts for tips on how to write our weekly posts!