Done With Much More To Come: Semester in Review-Barakat

The U of I Campus


Well, what can I say the semester is now practically over and what a fun journey this has been! I remember sitting here writing my first blog and now this is my last. There was so much we learned and covered over the semester and it was such a great learning experience. I really can’t believe how much has been accomplished over the course of the semester. Check out some of the work I did below, throughout the semester and some of the challenges it brought me. Enjoy!

Assignment 1 (“Know your Camera Element”)

University Bell Tower-Camera Work Assignment

Assignment one was a great start to get used to the camera and practice how to take some good shots. I definitely underestimated this assignment because I thought it wouldn’t be hard to figure out what the camera has to offer and all I was doing was taking pictures. I definitely was mistaken as the camera has a lot of different features that could be used and this assignment took me longer than it really should’ve. Despite this first assignment looking easy, it was still pretty challenging and I learned a lot about the photo composition. I had only used a professional camera like this, a few times before and it was a nice adventure figuring out what I wanted to shoot and what types of photos I wanted to get.

Assignment 2 (Photo Essay)

The Path-Photo Essay

The photo essay was an interesting assignment. I did not believe that it would have much excitement to it going in, but it turned out to be a really cool assignment. I chose to do the photo essay in a specific town that had a unique path/walkway. It was a pretty spooky path, so I decided to make that the premise of my story for the photo essay. We had to include three elements/themes into the photo essay and that made it a bit more challenging, but it was good because it made me think outside the box. For this assignment, I took a lot of photos which was a good and bad thing. It was bad because there was so much to sort through, but it was good because it gave me a lot of different options to choose from to complete my story. I think this assignment posed as a good launching point to continue to get used to the camera, editing , and also the storytelling element that would be needed for the next assignments.

Assignment 3 (Video Essay)

Shish Kabob (

The video essay was one of my favorites to shoot. I did mine in a sort of “how to” format and decided to do it on a barbecue dinner. I enjoyed the video essay because it allowed us to take the next step in shooting. We not only had to have a story element, but we also needed some b-roll footage, good natural sound/audio, and some nice shots of the scene. This was one of the more challenging ones because I wanted to get all the good shots and make sure my shots were not shaky. Editing this assignment took the longest because there were so many different things that needed to be included in this assignment. The video essay was overall a great assignment and taught me a lot. The barbecue tasted good too…

Assignment 4 (Audio Package)

The audio package was extremely fulfilling to produce. This assignment had a unique twist to it, in the fact that it could only be audio. I liked doing this assignment because it allowed the viewer to just focus on what they were hearing only, as opposed to seeing video as well. I did my audio package on the impact the travel ban had on teachers, faculty , and other students at the university. This assignment was touching because so many of the people I interviewed seemed impacted by the situation and had many things going on. This assignment was challenging in the aspect that I really wanted to get good audio and natural sound since the primary focus was on audio. Professor Collins told us to make sure someone can feel the story by just listening when producing the audio package and I think I definitely achieved that with this assingment.

Assignment 5 (Full and Complete Package)

University Alma Mater Statue-Full Package

This full package was one of the hardest I had experienced the whole semester. It had to include all of the elements we had learned throughout the semester and was very challenging. The hardest part for me was coming up with a topic and making sure I could get all of the elements and subjects I wanted to. This assignment definitely required the most shooting for any individual project we had worked on throughout the whole semester. We needed a good amount of sources for this assignment as well. It was nice meeting everybody I included in my full package and I discovered a lot of things about the university in doing this assignment. I did this assignment on the 150th anniversary of the University of Illinois. I learned a lot about the school’s history and even found out we had an archives library, which I was not initially aware of. For this assignment, I would say that it would be a good idea to make sure you have all of what you need planned ahead of time because I had an issue with my video uploading and it took way longer than expected to complete this assignment. The assignment was worth it though!

Assignment 6 (How-To)

Italian Dish- “How to” Assignment.

The How-to was without a doubt one of the funnest and probably the best assignment I made throughout the whole semester. We got to do a How-to on whatever we wanted and I chose to do mine on how to make a nice Italian dinner. This assignment was great because it allowed us to really put everything we learned throughout the whole semester together and show how far we have come. At this point in the semester I felt much more comfortable with working the camera and understanding what I needed to get done. This really was the best way to end our individual assignments as we were able to enjoy ourselves, but also show how hard we have been working the whole semester!

Final Group Project

Belly Dancer-  Group Project

The final group project was one of the coolest and best experiences I’ve had as a student. We got to work in groups and chose a topic where we felt students were marginalized and not included. We chose to do ours on the A-Typical Student. This was one of the best assignments because each of our group members got to work together and collaborate in the best way possible in working on our piece. We learned a lot about each other and a lot about how many students feel on the campus. Despite working in a group, this project included a bunch of work so it is best to get started as soon as you can so you could put forth the best work possible!

Final Class Reflection

This class was one of my favorite classes ever as a college student. I learned a large amount and met some amazing people along the way. I would like to thank my classmates and of course, Professor Collins for pushing us and sharing her professional insight with us. This is a class I will remember for a very long time to come and a class that I can say actually will help me with my future and career. Thank you everybody and it was a blast!



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.