Welcome to my reflections website! As our first unit back at Freestyle, we hit the ground running. In this website you’ll find my personal essay and lyrical essay which we wrote in English. In Digital Media we created a perspective video and in design a diptych. My overall goal was to build on the skills that I had honed the year before. I was especially furthering my photography skills.

Now that I’m a senior, college applications are a constant pressure. Luckily, in English our first project was to write a personal essay similar to ones we’d use in our applications. I had a really hard time figuring out what I wanted to write for my essay, but brainstorming with other really helped me pick a topic. In Digital Media we were asked to write a two minute essay about anything we wanted. I wrote about something that I have noticed reaccuringly throughout my life. The essay details the corruption of the holiday season.

nativity scene

Another project that we did in Digital Media was our "Things I've Learned So Far" video. We were asked in English to think of words of wisdom that spoke to us. In AfterEffects we then made a video with music, audio that we had recorded, and text of these phrases. The end product is something like a slideshow of the greatest advice I've received.

Lyrical Essay

For my lyrical essay, I wrote about the experience of being the first person in your family to go to college. We had just finished reading the book Citizen and were asking to write about another person who had one defining trait that was completely different from you. I chose this topic because that experience is no where near my personal experience. By hearing her talking about her experience and then writing about it from her perspective I was able to more deeply understand what life through her lens looks like, and also appreciate my own experiences.


The steering wheeling is cold on your hands.

Your breath forms an icy cloud in front of you.

You’re breaking the cycle. The first in your family to push for something more.

A career.


He doesn’t understand why this is important to you. You can’t work in a factory, you’ve watched what that does to him. You want to be fulfilled.

You don’t want to be taken care of for the rest of your life.

You want to be able to take care of yourself.

Failure is not an option, it would just prove him right.

Study. Work. Study. Work. That’s all that matters right now.

Study hard, get the diploma, make mom proud.

Time to go to class.

Black and White HDR

In Design, we had a photo assignment. We were supposed to take the themes from our personal essay that we had written in English and photograph objects that represented them. My essay touched on themes of doubt and strength. I ended up taking pictures of a light bulb and a wrist watch. The method in which we used to take said pictures is HDR photography or High Dynamic Range photography meaning that I would take 5 pictures of the same image at all different exposures to get a more varied light. I then went into Photoshop and turned them black and white and adjusted the darks and lights.


In my Diptych I have two images juxtaposed together. On the left there is a light bulb. The bulb is clear and bright, the background is out of focus to ensure that it is the main focus. I wanted this photo to have a darker busier background so the clarity of the light bulb stood out. The image on the right is a photo of a wristwatch. While the background is also out of focus, it is less cluttered to give a sense of clarity not represented in the first photo. Also the focus of this photo is completely the shadow and highlights of the watch. I took photos at different exposure levels to create the final High Dynamic Range photos. Once the different photos were merged I change them to be black and white. This combined with the HDR added contrast and interest to the photos.

When choosing the images I wanted to use to represent my personal essay, used a process similar to when I created conceptual image. In my essay I highlighted the two main feelings that I have experienced through my faith. Those feeling were doubt and strength. When photographing the idea shifted more toward fragility and confusion, and growth and clarity. The light bulb represents fragility, while the cluttered background portrays confusion. Growth is represented through the passage of time symbolized by the watch, and the clarity is shown in the unpolluted background. I am very pleased with how my diptych turned out, a large part of which is because it represents something important in my life.

Perspective Video

In Digital Media we then had our perspective video. This was created in AfterEffects basing it off of our short two minute essay. I had written mine about the commercialization of the holiday season and the stress it induces, and used various images and my recording of the essay to further display my message. A crucial aspect of this project was using 3D aspects, something that proved to be pretty difficult for me. This main project suffered because of distractions in my life. I fell behind in work because I chose to prioritize other areas in my life including work for other classes. Fortunately, I was able to push myself to finish even though the end result wasn't something I was completely happy with. I think this project will stick with me because I had to overcome my own challenges to finish it.