Flickr Blog Post:
The intimate size of Lawrence University fosters a strong sense of trust in our community. We leave our bags containing our valuables unattended outside of Andrew Commons. We prop or tape our doors assuming that it will be more convenient for our friends to enter at their leisure. But what if we trust too easily? Our photo set attempts to convey the dangers of trusting too easily by suggesting that a member of a close friend group has a psychotic and disturbing obsession with Robby. Set in the nighttime to strengthen the eerie and sinister atmosphere of the situation, Jon spies on Robby while he's sleeping and gains access to Robby’s room with ease because it's propped. The final shot shows the friend group studying together in a brightly lit study room.
In preparation for our project, we met as a group to brainstorm a couple compelling storylines. Initially, we decided on “Abduction” and thought it would be realized in eight scenes or photos. Once we met at night to begin taking the photos, we actually ran into some creative challenges. Being in the creative process led us to change the order of the scenes as we felt out the situations and saw which photos adequately conveyed the frightening tone of our plot. The technical component of the project (uploading our content to Flickr, “tagging” people and editing the photos) wasn’t as difficult as we anticipated. Perhaps because we are living in such a media centric world it made it quite easy for us to figure out the new system.
In our reading by Rebecca Blood on “How Flickr Single-Handedly Invented Collaborative Photojournalism” she asserts that Flickr is an effective tool in creating user-generated content. Blood uses the example of the slideshows uploaded to report the happenings of the French employment riots as a means to argue that Flickr is the tool that allows citizen journalism to thrive. Further, Flickr offers a hub for professional and amateur photographers alike to share what they’ve seen. It’s continued success can be attributed to the fact that photos in the photo stream are presented according to their level of interest by the Flickr community and are able to tell stories in pieces. Much like my group’s experience with the storytelling project, telling a visual story and having others see your skills promotes a sense of shared knowledge. Viewing my fellow students’ projects in class and seeing how they all interacted with their spaces in vastly different ways was an eye-opening experience. Rather than telling a story as one would with a video format, we all had to show a story in less than ten slides. Remembering to be concise and selective with which photos would accurately reflect our conception of the story was a challenge at times. Overall, the Flickr project helped me understand the challenges and differences between a text-based and visual-based story.