Learning through the Lens

I love the Ragtag Cinema. Every movie I have seen at that theater has left me either in deep thought or conversation. What I usually notice in a film that I see at the Ragtag is its unique narrative features or excellent acting. Tonight, I finally saw the much-discussed film Bully.
As I was watching the movie, I noticed the usual elements, but this time I picked up on things we have been discussing in Multimedia Journalism class. I noticed the angles of shots and how they worked with particular subjects or themes of the story. I noticed the emotions that the camera facilitates in an interview. When Tyler Long’s father spoke about his son’s suicide as a result of being bullied, the tight shot of the camera zoned in on everything that man was feeling in the moment and communicated his grief. Just as we looked at tighter photos in class today, the images in the film told so much within a few moments.
I realized this instant communication of emotion is what I need to capture in my project. I want to allow my camera to guide me to what lies behind the broad topic of what it means to be a runner. I want to capture the passion, the pride and the confidence that lie within a runner’s soul. To me, the most important element of this project is to communicate the emotions from which the big picture unfolds.
Most likely, I won’t make anything worthy of being screened at the Ragtag. Maybe what I produce will look mediocre compared to that of my classmates who have more experience with multimedia stories. I’ve decided not to worry about comparing my work to others’ or to busy myself with negative thoughts along the process. This project, I have decided, will be an experience of learning through my lens. This new knowledge coupled with my best effort is certainly enough for me.

Hilary Weaver


Final Project

After mulling over several options, I have chosen to feature my final project on the Columbia Track Club. I plan to follow the runners on several runs and understand tell the story of what makes people fall in love with running.
This project immediately presents several challenges. The first and most obvious to come to mind is the challenge of sports photography. I have taken photos of moving subjects in the past, but I fear that I lack the skill at this point to acquire quality photos.
Another challenge that presents itself is finding a story to tell about the track team. It would be easy to follow the team and tell the story of running, but that’s boring. I want to be able to dig deeper, and find something unique within such a broad subject.
Taking the photos at sunset or sunrise will help to enhance the quality of the photos. The team goes on long runs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 5:30 am. While this time my not be ideal for my sleeping patterns, it will be wonderful for my photos. I don’t have to worry about battling harsh sunlight while trying to take photos of moving subjects. I plan to become acquainted with members of the team in order to get to know my subjects and produce quality work as a result.
I hope that establishing relationships with members of the team will allow me to find deeper stories. I think that if I truly understand the members of the running club, I will find a more complex story.

Hilary Weaver

Blogging Isn’t Scary

     I make lists. Every day, I scrawl out  what seems like a thousand insignificant details mapping out my day.  Eventually, each task is completed,but all of the really important, less significant tasks get exiled to the bottom of my list. In her lecture last Monday, Amy Simmons reminded me of something that I should probably bump to the very top of my “to do” list. It really is time for me to create a brand for myself online. 

     I think I was always daunted by the idea of blogging because I never knew what I could feature in a blog that would be of any interest to anyone. I have this same issue with keeping a regular journal. I can write essays and stories all day, but the minute I write down my personal thoughts I have no desire to share them. 

    I am no longer daunted by blogging.  Simmons suggested that a blog doesn’t have to focus on anything extremely important or poignant. Blogs don’t even have to attract the attention of a diverse audience. Niche blogs, like “Omidog” or “Cooking with Amy” are examples of blogs geared toward specific audiences. A blog about dogs or baking the best brownies might not inspire the cure of cancer, but they can be important to individuals who care deeply about those subjects.

      Coupled with clean organization and a navigable dashboard, simple blogs can receive a lot of attention. The key, Simmons said, is promoting one’s work. I am excited to utilize my Twitter and Facebook accounts to make my personal community aware of my work. Just a month ago I would have been terrified of this thought. After a few weeks of Multimedia Journalism,  I understand that blogging is essential to both my professional and personal life as an aspiring writer. 

Hilary Weaver