Monday, May 11, 2015


As my last post had stated, I feel that my 20 time was quite the failure. It doesn't hurt me too much to say this because I just don't think I truly committed to this project. I think I was too busy looking for a way to be amazing, that I never actually stopped and asked myself if I liked it.

My commitment to this project was most likely one of my biggest flaws. I always found myself doing the bare minimum for this project because I just wasn't interested enough. I think that when I was looking for a project to do I was always looking for something out of this world. I wanted to change the way people viewed everything but I never took into consideration how much work that'd take. I never really stopped to think if this was going to be something I'd truly commit to. I think that I would have been more content with a simpler project, like bringing in cookies every Friday and handing them out to random people to make their day.

A part of me wishes I would have taken better advantage of this project and the time I was given. I wish I would have tried a little harder. But, even when I think that I wanted to try harder the other part of me says that I would have then needed to give up something. I definitely learned about myself that I have commitment issues. Currently, I try to do everything, but when I'm doing everything I can only do so much in each one. That means that everything is not being done to the fullest. So, I think that I learned that I need to start picking and choosing my battles and stick to them.

This project has helped me learn some things about myself and I have definitely have taken them into consideration. I think I will now continue to do my best and commit more.

Till next time,
Emma Russell

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blog Post #11

Time has certainly flown by with all the ups and downs of this project. I think it's safe to say that I am one of the prime examples of someone who just didn't succeed with this 20 time. But, that is okay. I'm bummed about it, of course, but I am also happy to have been able to just have a little side project throughout the year. Well, now I'm going to step away from trashing myself on this blog post and focus on the upcoming event that I must begin preparing for...the TED TALK.

I have been contemplating many ideas, but the one that stands out the most is this stereotype involving genders. The stereotype being that most all girls are more interested in English type classes, while boys are more into math and science type classes. I'd like to disprove that idea, as well as, raise awareness that these stereotypes might just be affecting others interests. I may change my point later on, but for now I am going to stick with that idea. The topic actually is quite interesting to me and I have already written a big article about it, so I have plenty of statistics already found. That will probably be helpful in allowing me to put more focus onto my speech and just preparing myself in general.

I almost forgot. My announcement about my new idea is still somewhat happening. I have gone into Detroit twice to shoot some pictures. I got a lot of cool things to show that Detroit is indeed alive and well, so I will attach some photos for everyone to see!

Anyways things are pretty good.
Till next time,
Emma Russell

This is a picture of the inside of the Guardian Building. This was one of the places that my dad and I ventured into that day. I edited this picture a little for photo, I thought it looked cool. This building is a beautiful one and I'm in hopes the this will change your view point on idea that Detroit has no beautiful buildings.
These are two very kind men that my dad and I had encountered at the restaurant, The Fountain Bistro. This restaurant is located in the center of everything, this center's name being Campus Martius. This place always has some kind of fun event going on. There's concerts there, they build a beach in the summer, and they have an ice rink in the winter. Anyways, my dad and I were just enjoying a nice lunch when these men had came in and started jamming out. It was such a lovely thing to see and hear, this truly shows Detroit can surprise you with nice things.

The next place that we went to was the Eastern Market. This is my favorite place of all. There are so many people from all over who come to indulge in the simplest joy that comes from food. That is what people mostly sell there, aside from flowers and such. I love this place the most because here is where one can see that Detroit is not dead inside, in fact many are thriving. Just looking around here one can see that all these farmers come here because this place offers some of the most customers. I think this place is a prime example of Detroit's liveliness.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I have post #10

I have noticed that so many people are lost in the idea that Detroit, Michigan is the most awful place. In that idea, the people who are thriving in Detroit are neglected to be seen or heard. They become lost amongst the only things some can see, a gritty, hopeless place. So, what I am going to do is show everyone that Detroit is not the place that gritty, hopeless place.

I am going to incorporate my two favorite things into this project to help change the initial thought of Detroit. My two favorite things being writing and photography. I am going to take a more photojournalistic angle. I am going to attempt to tell a story in every picture that I take. What I imagine currently is a more candid picture, people hard at work.

My mentor for this project is my dad, he is very motivated about this idea so I think that will help me stay on task and motivated. We are going to set up dates to go into Detroit and explore. What I plan to do is get in contact with places that make people see Detroit less like a hopeless city.

One day my art teacher had put up a picture of Detroit and we talked about it. She explained the person who took it as a motivated entrepreneur. And then went on to say that Detroit is one of the best places for entrepreneurs to go. So, my point is that that is what I want people to see. I want them to see a thriving Detroit.

I have couple ideas for where I am going to go, I just need to get in contact with them. There is the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in which I'd like to try to do something with that. I also know of a little coffee house down in Detroit called the Motor City Java House. They are a very good example of how a small company can thrive downtown. The coffee house also invests time in teaching people little tips and tricks about the process of putting themselves in the game. Another place is Bell Isle. The city has been working so hard to fix the island up that I think there'd be some great picture opportunities.

I have a break coming up soon so I will be able to get lots done then. If anyone has ideas of how to change the view of Detroit to a more positive one, comments would be much appreciated!

Till next time,

Emma Russell

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blog Post Number Nine

So, my project wasn't going too bad. But I have recently been feeling dissatisfied with everything that I'm doing. I readjusted my view plenty of times but there was very little passion with every turn. I can give all the excuses in the world and they can be ruled out within seconds, but that's a waste of time. So, I'm moving on and I'm going to chose a new project idea. With this one I plan to work even harder. I'm giving myself a deadline. By Friday I need to have a new idea and be working on it on Friday. I feel bad for dropping this one, like I'm giving up. But I see no point in pursuing something that I feel little love for. Some ideas that I'm considering:

  • One idea that Mr. P had expanded for me was that I do research on the stereotype that all girls take mainly English classes while boys take mostly Science and Math classes. I already have information on it because I've been working on a story about this idea for Tower (our school newspaper). I've found that at my school girls hold the higher number in all of the honors English classes and Honors Science classes except for Honors Physics. So, I've already invested time in this idea and I'm at a point where I want to more and more every time I come across a piece of information. I want to know things like why this occurs or if it's true in other places.
  • Another idea that I had was to make some kind of stop motion movie. Maybe I make one every Friday and then edit it and post it on here. My photo teacher has been always trying to get us to make stop motion movies and I think that she'd be able to give me a lot of ideas for it, as well.
  • I could raise money for the disease Cystic Fibrosis. Two of my cousins have CF and one had a double lung transplant because of it. There's organizations that my Grandma and my cousins would know about so, I 'd be able to talk to them. I don't know how I'd raise money just yet but I know that my Grandma would have good ideas. I'll have to talk to my Grandma and my cousins to see what they think about the idea and if they have any suggestions or ideas of things that I could do.
Well, I'm going to ponder on those ideas for now and see if I can come up with any others.

Till next time,
Emma Russell

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blog post #8

With the project that I chose, there is only so much that I am able to do when not in school. Last week was break and I didn't go to school the Friday before so, I wasn't able to take any pictures. This leaves me with not much to talk about, but I do have a couple ideas that I thought of over my break.

I plan to talk to the swim coach to see if I am able to shoot some pictures of the swimmers during their practice. I will also be staying after school a lot this week so then I will be able to find more pictures. I have to get in order the years that I've looked through and figure out how many pictures I want to take for each year. I am also going to try to get in contact with the head of the Mother's Club to see if they have any pictures or suggestions. I also think I should broaden my horizon more and explore other books that contain photos of the school from the past.

Till next time,
Emma Russell

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Facing the facts…

This process is all easy up until I'm looking at a bunch of blank faces waiting for me to direct them. It's easy up until the time is quickly slipping from my fingers like water in a strainer, there's no way to cover all the holes. And when I start to feel rushed I forget to stop and think. I get lost and stressed and I forget everything I planned the night before. So, I really need to perfect being a director to all these blank faces. I need to because I keep coming home feeling satisfied with the work I had done and then I download the pictures and start scrolling. It's making me frustrated that I can't go back in time and just step over an inch and tilt the camera up more a little more. Cropping can only go so far for these pictures. And after I've done everything I possibly could, my satisfaction rarely ever returns. This aggravates me. I really need to work on paying attention to every little detail. At first you think it's easy, but when you're the only one and every one else is clueless (not literally but partly) it's stressful. Especially with a limited amount of time to direct these blank faces. Hopefully, practice makes perfect in this case.

I've also realized this project isn't really doable outside of school. I mean yes I can do some parts outside of Mr. Provenzano's room but, I really depend on the time we have on Friday to work. So, I must work diligently with the limited time that I'm given.

I've gotten a couple more pictures done. I'm very happy to have completed them, but not so happy with how they look. I'm a perfectionist. I need them to be that exact angle and I can't manage to get it. I also figured out that having an extra person with me to direct all the "models" makes the process much easier on myself. I can focus a little better, but I still do need work on what I explained above.

I also need to keep looking for pictures and figure out my angle in doing this project. When I say my angle I mean that I need to truly figure out what my message is. I'm thinking the message I'm trying to get across is the change in society. The change between students, what they wear, how they act. I also want to show how far this school has come. I want people to see why we are so excellent. But, in order to do this I need to perfect my angle. I need to figure out a way to differentiate these pictures. A way for you to easily see. I want you to say, "Oh wow look at how these kids dress compared to the 1960's!" I don't think I've fully achieved that goal so, there's yet another thing to work on. 

I plan to do research on how people have done this in the past. This is going to get harder. And I'm trying my best to embrace that.

Till next time,
Emma Russell

This picture was taken in 1967

This picture was also taken 1967

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blog Post #6

So, this is blog post number 6. Just to update everyone things are going good. I'm setting everything in motion. I plan to shoot many pictures. I want to try to shoot at least 2-3 pictures a week. I have to talk to some teachers to see if I can do certain things and I have to find more students to take pictures of. I feel very, very motivated to get this project done. I also figured out that 1968 probably took the best pictures of all the years that I have looked through. I must keep searching but I've found a couple fun pictures to do in the mean time. The ones I plan to do are below: