Friday, December 01, 2006

Reflecting on the Blogging Experience

The blogging experience was, admittedly, an extremely foreign one for me. In the beginning, I was apprehensive about the medium and worried that the content of my writing would suffer because learning the technology would consume a great deal of time. But, it was a challenge and a fantastic learning experience. I feel compelled to continue updating the blog beyond the length of this course and on into my professional life. I decided to focus on the world of wildlife/adventure filmmaking and photography because of my passion for travel and my education in film. Ideally, I would like to use this blog as a corpus of material to present to employers in the field.

The first several posts encourage ethical discussions about the treatment of wildlife by photographers and filmmakers. Before delving into the practice of the profession, I found it essential to recognize the spectrum of ethical codes that exist when your job is to infiltrate the lives of wild creatures. There is a necessary level of sensitivity and knowledge that a photographer must have about their subject if they are to work ethically. Also, the controversy of digital manipulation is a crucial topic that is the most current debate in the field.

As I said before, I would like to use the blog to help begin my own career. For that reason, I decided to analyze the website for the National Geographic Society, a company for which I aspire to write and work as a photographer in the future. My navigation of their site was extremely enlightening and I have since begun to pursue an exploration grant that I discovered while researching the essay. I now visit their website on a regular basis constantly scouring for opportunities to get my foot in the door. For the final post I decided to suggest Art Wolfe for an honorary degree from the University of Southern California. It was a unique experience researching the life of someone who has followed a career arc that I am striving to acheive. It was encouraging to recognize that a person can build a comfortable and profitable life in an alternative career such as photography. It was also valuable to learn about an individual who is so dedicated to conservation and who realizes that his career depends on the natural balance without taking anything for granted.

Truthfully, there is a lot I would have liked to add to the blog but did not based on my own distaste for technology. I attempted to create my own gallery of photography which failed for unknown reasons. I also could have had more sidebar links for readers to explore. In the future I plan to include travelogue posts that are less academic in nature because I think my material is rather dry for a field that is so rich with life. I am, however, pleased at my trajectory from a broad discussion of ethics to more narrow research oriented pieces. I also feel like I was successful at acheiving an apropriate tone in my posts. That mood is supported by the imagery of the posts as well. All in all, I enjoyed the experience very much and hope to continue posting for years to come.