Rebecca DickinsonMrs. CorbettAP Literature9 April 2012 Senior Project Speech Sophomore year I expressed an interest in photography after I began yearbook. I wasalways borrowing the yearbook camera and taking it around the school to see what I could takepictures of. At home I would ask my parents about the possibility of me getting my own camera.At Target I would spend half an hour looking at and judging the different models. After asemester of this my parents gave me my very own Nikon D3000 for Christmas. My cameraquickly became one of my most prized possessions and to this day I still take it everywhere I go. My research paper was written on photography while also focusing on the career ofphotojournalism. Photojournalists, like journalists, tell a story on something that has a greatimpact on people’s lives, but mostly through pictures instead of words. This is wherephotography comes in. I chose this project because I get bored with things really easily. I try newhobbies but normally they do not fit me. However, I love my camera and I love taking pictures.It is one of the only hobbies I have never become tired of. Pictures mean that someone can relivea great memory or moment over and over, and as long as the photograph survives, the memorywill as well. This is why for my project I chose to create the senior slideshow. I thought it is theperfect way to help seniors remember their final high school year through pictures, just likephotojournalists tell a story through their pictures. My project facilitator and I share a love of photography. Born in India, Kalpana Kuttaiahhas managed to travel all over the world. Mrs. Kuttaiah works with my father at Perkins + Will,
an architectural firm. She compiles pictures of all the buildings they have designed and publishesbooks for the entire company. Like me, Mrs. Kuttaiah always has her camera. She says that aphotograph is “more than a picture of a place.” It “provides a framework and context forpersonal knowledge and inspiration.” Mrs. Kuttaiah’s adventures are all documented in her veryown books of photography, the most recent of which is Photonomad. After showing me some ofher beautifully designed postcards that feature her photographs from different locations, Mrs.Kuttaiah told me that as a photographer I would have to do something to make the slideshowstand out as my own creation. She said that it should have some form of signature that shows itwas created by me. When I first began the project I had no idea how to do this and make thisyear’s slideshow different than the ones from previous years. Creating the slideshow was more difficult than I originally anticipated. I was allowed touse any of my pictures, along with all of yearbook’s pictures. I also wanted to make thisslideshow unique compared to the ones in the past. After meeting with my facilitator and givingit much thought, I decided that to make it stand out the slideshow would portray the yearchronologically. Instead of just putting the pictures into a random order, I was going to recreatethe year starting with Day One. Therefore, the slideshow is broken down into four differentsections; August to October, November to December, January to March, and April to May.Because I wanted to make sure this was a slideshow people would actually enjoy, I createdsurveys for students to complete so I would know what type of music they wanted to hear on theslideshow. Also, for important school events I would get a quote from someone and put it withtheir picture at the event. Before I began the slideshow I asked for a list of all the seniors in the school. This helpedme keep track of who was in the slideshow and how many times they were in it. One of my far-
reaching goals was getting every senior onto the slideshow at least one time. The steps towardscreating the slideshow involved going through all the yearbook pictures and separating them intogroups based on what month they were taken in, and then subgroups of whatever event they weretaken during. For example in the October folder there would be a group of pictures for just theSenior Field Trip. This had to be done over a course of weeks because there were thousands ofyearbook pictures to go through, and because I wanted to improve my photography skills as wellI would look for the best and most creative pictures. As I was doing this I was also going outduring lunches and before and after school so I could take group pictures of seniors. Since theslideshow was going to be in chronological order, picking out pictures was an ongoing processand was done throughout the year, not just in one sitting. The next set of steps involved putting the pictures into Windows Movie Maker, whichwas slightly easier since they were already organized by month so that involved putting theminto the movie and then adding in transitions between the four sections. It was also during thisperiod that I created and distributed the surveys so I would have a better idea of what musicpeople wanted to hear. Also, whenever I would use a really good picture I would go and find thesubject of the picture and ask him for a quote. This way people are not just watching pictures ofthemselves on screen, they are able to read their own thoughts and experiences. The final stepswere putting in the music and burning the slideshow to a DVD. However, there were a fewproblems encountered before the final steps could be taken. At the beginning of the year I was completely inexperienced with Windows MovieMaker, the program the slideshow is created in. To become more familiar with the technology Ibecame the editor of every video project that was assigned throughout the first few months ofschool. The solo editing was a lot of extra work, but it did help prepare me for creating the final
slideshow product because I now knew how to use the program. A second problem I encounteredwas putting every senior in the slideshow. Although I would have loved to do that, many seniorsdid not want their picture taken, and I was unable to find a picture of them in yearbook’s photolibrary. Also, I had problems with placing music into the slideshow. iTunes music would notupload into Movie Maker. I researched the problem online until I figured out how to convert theiTunes songs into a format supported by Movie Maker. Despite these obstacles, I think the seniorslideshow turned out well. Through the course of the project I learned a great deal about myself that helped me makeimprovements that will benefit me in college. Working on the year-long project helped me learnto manage my time well. I was working on the slideshow as well as doing all my otherschoolwork for the year. I can now plan how to use my time on different tasks in a more efficientmanner. During the project I also improved in talking to people I do not know. Normally I amshy around new people, but since my meetings with my project facilitator, talking to otherstudents, and calling the yearbook photographer I think I have improved. Having to meet and askthem questions put me out of my comfort zone. I really enjoyed making the slideshow because ofthe work with photography, but I would rather continue on with photography being a hobbyinstead of a career. I have looked up classes at the college I am attending next year and they havephotography classes and a photography club that I plan on joining. Overall this was goodexperience because I did learn about myself and what it takes to be a photojournalist. Thank youfor your time.