What’s up! My name is Demisha Ramirez. I introduce myself as Demi like Demi Lovato; it just helps people remember it. I have been studying Broadcast Journalism for the past 2 semesters and I absolutely love it. I really haven’t used a camera ever before (except selfies, but that doesn’t count). Whenever someone would ask them to take a picture I would just say no because I thought I was a horrible photographer. So actually having a camera and having to go out and take pictures and video is completely out of my comfort zone!
Assignment one was easier than what I hyped it up to be. I just wanted my shots to be clear and straight, because I do not have a steady hand. I went out and started walking around campus on one of the most beautiful days. The sun was out and I felt like an actual photographer.
I took photos of everything on campus. I even brought along one of best friends, Quan Trimble, and started taking pictures of him until he got annoyed with me and I had to stop. I started taking pictures at the Ike, but wasn’t getting any shots so then went to the Quad. I figured there is always something happening on the quad so I would have plenty of inspiration. I got some pretty nice shots of the quad (see one below).
I felt like I could do better, so I decided to go inside the Illini Union. Lucky for me, there was an event called “Festival of Maidens, Daughter of the Dragon.” Think ‘Game of Thrones,’ but without the blood and death. There were no real swords, so they fought with a stick wrapped in a silver, shiny material that mirrored a sword. I got some great shots of all the matches and also some medieval merchandise the sponsored organization was selling.
Next, I just decided to practice my shooting inside my room with some items I had laying around. I live in Bousfield and the rooms are pretty big for being a dorm room, but still. I had a limited space to shoot in. I shot some stuffed animals I had so I can practice my close-ups. I also practiced on some old flowers I saved and I was extremely happy with how they came out. I was excited for class so I can do the next step.
Next step was editing and putting my pictures into a video. I have never used Adobe anything in my life, but I have used I-Movie to edit 2 videos. I figured it couldn’t be that complicated. Man, was I wrong! I don’t mean complicated in a bad way, but it was a little overwhelming seeing and trying to use all the effects and buttons correctly. I got the hang of the program after a few minutes of playing around with it. I also kept asking my classmate sitting next to me for help. It was also hard to decide the order of the pictures in the video and deciding what pictures to actually use. I am happy with my final project, but I am more excited for more projects to come. Then I will actually have some experience and hopefully they will be better.
Check out the video of the fun I had all over campus here!
The second assignment of our semester was another challenge. I am still getting to know my camera. I do have plenty of story ideas. “Tea Enthusiast’s Bedroom,” came from a tip from a friend. Ariel Fang is an MBA student at UIUC who aspires to one day open a tea shop. Her website is called Ariel Drinks Tea. She recently spent time studying ceramics in Taiwan. Although Ariel did not want to be photographed herself, she agreed to let me photograph her bedroom which is still quite personal.
This was my first real experience with photojournalism outside of food blogging and instagram. Even though I talked to Ariel and had her permission, I felt like I was intruding. I sent her the photos afterward and asked for permission again. It makes me think about what a journalist covering a live event must think. The commitment to reporting truth, getting voices heard, and keeping audiences informed is central to a career in this field.
I was more excited then I thought I would be about this project, because I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I chose to take pictures of graffiti/ writing on the walls of the bathrooms at the Espresso Royale on 6th and Daniel, because I’ve always been intrigued by bathroom art.
If you take a moment to look at some of the things scrawled on the walls, you’ll find there’s a beautiful blend of inspiration, imagination, humor and interaction that is so much more than the word ‘vandalism’ allows for. But how does it happen? What inspires someone to pick up a pen or marker and write sometimes paragraphs of content, or share a personal thought? What moves someone to respond or react to what’s been written? I had originally intended to use photos from multiple locations on campus, such as the other Espresso Royale, Cafe Paradiso, the English Building and the Foreign Language Building, however, it ended up being too much content for this one minute photo essay.
While I enjoyed taking the photos and recording the natural sound, I continually found myself wishing I had more knowledge of the camera I was using and, later, the editing software. I had a lot of ideas and visions for how I wanted my photos and project as a whole to look, but felt limited by my lack of experience in the multimedia domain. I think my photos could have been taken better. I tried to google how to use the camera and what the different settings mean, but still wish I had some previous knowledge.
I also felt a little lost when adding sound, but ultimately am proud of my project. I put a lot of hours in and felt a little stressed while editing, but enjoyed the challenge.
My video without sound can be found here. My video with sound can be found here.
For this photo essay I shot the quad on Labor Day. This is a story about students enjoying the weather outside on their day off of classes. There were people hanging out, juggling, using hammocks and many of them had brought their dogs. While taking pictures, I gathered audio near each shot so that I could get sound of each activity. I think that the essay with sound had a greater impact than the one without sound because each activity with sound was different. Although some of the sounds were more quiet in certain segments, there were also certain parts where this made a big difference. For example, you can hear the dog I shot breathing, as well as music playing in the hammock segment. You were also able to hear the water fountain in that shot, and the bells ringing in my shot of Altgeld.
For my second assignment, I knew I wanted to take photos of a story that meant something to me.
If we have to take photos for class, why not take photos of something I’d like to remember?
The first thing I thought of was the one thing I love most: live music. I knew of a few singer-songwriters touring around the Midwest who were stopping through Champaign-Urbana over the weekend. I had my project.