Alachua Fall Harvest Festival

I was very nervous walking into my first photojournalism project. My photography skills are something that I am particularly self-conscious about, but the techniques that I have learned in visual journalism gave me the proper mindset while doing this project.

I choose to cover the Alachua Fall Festival because it gave many local artists the opportunity to showcase their work. Also because over the summer I worked as the public relations intern for UF’s College of the Arts, I felt thought that I would be more comfortable covering this event due to my experience interviewing artists. This way the photography element of this project would be the only thing that was out of my element per-se.

I had a note in my notepad with some of the key elements that we learned about to review as I took photos, so I could better evaluate my photos and give me ideas for my next photographs.

The note said:


1. Simplicity

2. Rule of Thirds

3. Balance

4.  Framing

5. Leading lines

6. Avoid mergers

7. Take a scene setter / medium shot / portrait / detail shot / action shots”

I kept reminding myself of the goals of this project, so that I could achieve better results with my photographs.

One of the particularly difficult aspects of this experience was that I was unable to ask my subjects to move. As a journalist, it is unethical to stage photos, which would have made capturing particular moments that I wanted much easier. Although I didn’t capture some of the photos that I had in my head, I like the results that I had better because they were not staged. It caught people being their true selves. It was not my rendition of them as a model, but a more accurate project of what they were doing in the moment.

If I could do one thing over again, it would be take more photos. Although I took over 90 photos at the event, some turned out blurry, and some had merging. I tried to always look back at my photos and analyze what I was doing wrong and what I could do better, but I found out that I didn’t see most of my mistakes until I had got home and uploaded the photos to my computer. Next time, I will make sure to zoom in on my photos to get a better idea of the quality of my photographs. I perhaps overestimated my subpar photography skills or the small screen on my DSLR made the photos look a lot better than they really were.

Overall I really enjoyed this experience, and I hope to being doing more photo stories in the future. This experience has definitely helped me gain a deeper appreciation for photojournalism and the effort that goes along into capturing moments that help advance the story.

You can click the read more button below the photo gallery to read my story.

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Political Polarization and Media Habits in the United States

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The information from this infographic was derived from a study, Political Polarization and Media Habits, done by Pew Research Center in October 2014. The graphics of the elephant, “Republican,” and the donkey, “Democrat,” were created by Yi Chen from the Noun Project.

I chose to focus on this particular information for my infographic because it demonstrates how Americans’ perception of politics and government has been polarized due to trust or distrust of information presented by different news outlets.

The two outlets which people said they relied on most often for news were Fox News with 14 percent and CNN with 16 percent. The trust levels of CNN and Fox News were polarized based on people’s political ideology.

This study found that the 88 percent of conservatives trust Fox News, and that 47 percent of consistent conservatives rely on Fox News as their main source of news. Consistent conservatives’ other main source of news were local radio with 11 percent and local TV with five percent.

Eighty-one percent of consistent liberals distrusted Fox News, and 54 percent of mostly liberals were distrusted Fox News.

This study found that no news outlet dominates liberals’ choice of news outlet like how Fox News dominates for the conservatives. Fifteen percent of consistent liberals use CNN for their main source of news. NPR with thirteen percent and MSNBC with twelve percent are the other main news outlets that liberals turn to. Liberals rely on very many different news outlets for their news.

Seventy-five percent of consistent conservatives distrusted MSNBC, and 61 percent of consistent conservatives distrusted CNN.

This study found a correlation between the trust level an individual had for a news organization and the frequency that an individual relied on a news organization for news. This infographic emphasizes how different news outlets have created a divide in political ideologies’ trust of the information they present. This affects the perception of the public on government and politics.

I chose the design that I did to make the two main sources of  news for Americans easily comparable. I showed in a series of pie graphs that decreased in size as the percentage decreased to make the frequency of what different political ideologies watched CNN or Fox News in the past week seen easily. I also showed in horizontal bar graphs the main sources of news that different political ideologies rely on to show that Fox News dominates as the conservative news outlet, while there is no dominating news outlet for liberals.

Illustrator Project

Stories about mountain climbing are some of the most compelling stories ever written. They mimic the human experience in a tangible, intense struggle that ultimately brings some sort of liberation, but it often comes at a cost.  From Denali to the notorious Mt. Everest, alpinists risk their lives for the sense of truly being on top of the world.

Climbers who have experienced tragedy on top of a mountain often try to turn away from their passion and live a normal life, so they don’t harm themselves and in turn harm the ones that they love. This rarely works out. Passion is not something that can be ignored, but some view mountain climbing as an addiction.

This would be a good photo to run alongside a story about mountain climbing in a magazine like Outdoors. This quote helps explain the motives of the people who many people view as rash and irresponsible because of their risky hobby.

Reading about people climbing the Seven Summits is an exhilarating experience due to the danger and the beauty of nature.

I choose the design of this photo because it is clean. I choose the photo that I did because it has dull colors and the typography still commands the attention of the viewer. I wrote the text on the right side because I thought that an article running alongside it on the left would keep the viewer’s focus within the page.

The author of the quote is Jon Krakauer. He is a famous journalist and mountaineer. His name is really recognizable outside of the climbing ability. (He wrote Into the Wild). I figured this would add to my design because of his recognizable name.

Here is a link to my design.