This week in NMAC 3145, we had to take photographs of objects all of one shape and the shape I chose was circles.
Taking photos with a cell phone is hard.
The shape photography assignment was an exercise in frustration. We all know how frustrating it can be to take photos of anything, but that was absolutely the worst. Using a cellphone to take photos is going the extra mile of frustration, because it is nearly impossible to take good photos of anything up close with a phone. I have never seen a cellphone camera that offers manual focus in any of the settings, so trying to focus on things up close is practically impossible, meaning that you have to take dozens of photos to find the shot you need. It drove me crazy.
I ended up taking about thirty photos and it was all multiples of the same items. The only thing that I took a photo of that didn’t end up in this set of six photos was a pumpkin, and I decided it wasn’t really a circle. I chose circles at random. I had no long, hard choice in choosing to photograph circles. I like them and I wanted to take a photo of things I had on hand, and my key chain of Captain America’s shield is a circle. I ended up finding plenty of other things that are circular that I just couldn’t get a photo of. Things too far away, for example. Things I couldn’t stop and photograph because I was driving or walking and running late. The things I ended up choosing where my Captain America shield key chain, the top of my vitamin bottle, one of the wheels on my car, the lid on a bottle of lemon soda, a cupcake, and the logo on my purple converses.
Honestly, the choice in which six photos I would choose came down to ‘which is the least blurry’, because after taking photo upon photo, there were some items I just could not get clear. They would focus and then when I tried to snap the picture, it would re-focus and blur. That happened so many times. There is a reason most of the things I take pictures of with my cellphone are full sized things that aren’t close to me. Maybe some people with better phone cameras have less trouble than I did, but I pretty much gave up and chose what was clearest without any further creative side to my choices.
In my Digital Media class this semester, we have just recently had a chapter on Selfies. I find it very intriguing to look at selfies in an academic or intellectual way. Here are a few selfies that I’m examining in the way the chapter on selfies talks about them, to try and contextualize what a selfie really says about me.
I must confess that, while I take loads of pictures to post online, I’m not a big selfie person. Most of my ‘selfies’ are ‘us-fies’ where I take selfies with people. I prefer photos of things, not myself. Not necessarily because I don’t like myself, it’s just that I know the people who follow me know what I look like, what I want to show you is everything else.
Selfie #1: The Stricken Sports Fan
The only sport I really follow is women’s soccer. I love soccer, and I watch men’s soccer, but women’s soccer in America is where it’s at. This was the selfie I took after the US Women’s National Team lost in the quarter finals at the Rio Olympics. I took this photo and posted it because I tend to take selfies when something emotional is going on (something shocking on TV happens, I post an OMG selfie, ect) and I was sitting on my floor staring at the ceiling in shock. The #1 ranked team in the world would leave the Olympics without a medal at all for the first time since Women’s Soccer started to be an Olympic sport. I honestly don’t know why I take ‘reaction’ selfies. I don’t know anybody else that does this, but I like it. This selfie, like most of my selfies, doesn’t ‘stand up to time’. I don’t take aesthetic selfie soften, so this was like a tweet. It was for that moment in time, and later it doesn’t really matter much.
Selfie #2: Voting Day Selfie
This selfie I took, as I do every voting day, after casting my ballot in the presidential primaries. Political involvement is important to me, so all 5 times I’ve been to the polls in my life, I have posted a selfie of it with a caption about “Don’t forget to do your civic duty!” or something similar. I feel like, in the academic and intellectual sense, this selfie does represent something that is very ‘me’. It’s a selfie, but it’s less about my face and more about relating being a voter to myself. I wanted people to see that I’m actively involved in the politics of this country and I wanted to inspire others to get out and vote instead of not bother. It’s not even a very flattering photo, but it was a profile pic for a while because of the meaning behind it.
Selfie #3: Spontaneous Museum Adventure Selfie
When we talk about motivation for selfies, people often cite preserving a memory as the motivation, and in this case, that’s exactly what happened. This was the day I realized First Saturdays at the Macon arts and science museum were free admission, and I love museums, so me and my siblings all decided to go together. The best part of any museum is the planetarium, so in this moment, we were all very excited. The show was starting soon, and we took a selfie of us in our seats and excited so I could post online and show all my friends what a fun thing my siblings and I were doing that day. I had forgotten about that day until this assignment, but when I looked at this selfie, I was reminded of how much fun we had that day learning about the potential for dark matter in outer space.
Selfie #4: The Nerd Side
Another type of selfie is the one where you show off a new thing you have, and that’s exactly what this one was. I had just bought this awesome Kylo Ren Star Wars mug! Since my friends and various other online followers are inevitably on the nerdy side, it was a way to show people “Look at this cool thing I have!” and how better than to take a selfie of me using my cool new thing? This is sort of like how people will take photos posing with their new car, only on a much smaller level. Again, it’s less about me and more about the fact that I now have a cool thing and everybody should be jealous. (Fun fact, I’m currently using that same mug as I write this.)
Selfie #5: Pet Selfies
Anybody with a pet takes pet selfies. I would say that MOST of my photos, not just selfies, but photos in general, are of my cat. This is my baby boy, Tigger, who you already met in the first post on this blog. He’s 6 years old this year, and he is my precious little baby kitten and about the only person who loves him more than me is my daddy. This is the most stereotypical selfie I think I have, honestly. Artful composition (for a selfie), a heavy Instagram filter, the aesthetic posing of kissing the cat while taking a selfie so it doesn’t look so ‘selfie’ like, all of these are very ‘typical selfie’ things. This is one of my favorites, simply because I look alright and my cat looks great and who doesn’t want to show off their cat? (Except you heathen dog people *hisses* lol) This is one of those photos that, like the others, represents me through something I love.
In one way or another, you could say that my entire selfie style is showing things I love in some form or fashion. Selfie #1 was for the purpose of starting a conversation about my favorite sport. Selfie #2 was about energizing the voting base and getting people to remember that it was voting day even though all that we voted for was the primaries that day. Selfie #3 was like a vacation selfie, only we’re poor, so we don’t go on vacations (we spent ONE night away this last fall and it was the only family vacation we’ve ever gone on), in that we went to a fun new place on an adventure and wanted to document that day because I love the planetarium so much. Selfie #4 expresses my love for coffee and nerdy things, which are my two favorite things in the entire world. Selfie #5 was about showing off my cat, which is the closest to having a child I’ll ever get since I hate children and love cats.
Everyone has a different selfie style, and going into this, I didn’t even realize what mine was. But now I know! My selfie style is showing others what I love.
So, now that you’ve seen mine, join in and use a post with 5 selfies chosen at random to analyze YOUR selfie style!
This blog will persist beyond this semester, hopefully, but this blog was created for my NMAC 3145 class with Professor Edwards. (I actually missed class today when we were setting these things up, but hopefully I’m doing this the right way)
My name is Chelsea Williford. The J. in the title is my first name, but I’ve never been called that, so everything I sign is signed as J. Chelsea Williford. So, you guys can call me Chelsea!
I’m a senior at Middle Georgia State University pursuing a Bachelors degree in New Media and Communication. If you’re not a classmate reading this, you may find it a bit amusing to know that, when I enrolled in college in fall of 2009 (yes, I’ve been in college a long time, I know), I enrolled in Middle Georgia College. I received an Associates degree in English under the name Middle Georgia College. The following year, our college had merged with Macon State College to become Middle Georgia State College, and I received an Associates degree in Foreign Language under that name. This following spring, I will receive my Bachelors degree in New Media and Communication under the current name after our school status was elevated full to a university this past year.
It has taken me so long to get my Bachelors degree because I could never settle. I intended to get a Bachelors degree in English, but after taking my first junior level English course, I decided I was tired of literature. I love reading, but when you apply having to take exams based on whether or not you take the same message away from a story as your professor, it takes the joy out of something I have loved for so long. However, that same semester, I took my second communication course and realized that I adore communication. I love the science and psychology behind how we communicate as people. I especially found a great love for film and television (as you will see if you visit my long-running movie review blog or my newly started TV blog) and for how culture and society is influenced by the media they consume and vice versa.
Also, there were a lot more career options to come from a degree in Communication.
As you can tell from how long this has been though it was a required “roughly 200 words”, I love to write. I hope to find a career writing something for somewhere, I’m not particularly picky. My real dream is for my novel to be published and suddenly become wildly popular. Who wouldn’t want to become the next JK Rowling?
In closing, I’d like to introduce you all to my beautiful baby boy, Tigger!