Self portrait project

As a final project for this module, we were asked to create a self portrait of 2-3 minutes. I immediately had loads of ideas, and as I was going to Finland for Easter holidays, I managed to get quite a lot of footage from my home country, which I think makes the clip that extra bit special. Now, I’ll let you watch it first and then comment the result.

Remember to turn the quality to HD!

First of all, I absolutely love the song I found for this. It has such a happy tone, which I think describes my usual mood really well. The song was only a minute long, so I had to add it to the background three times, and at one point you can hear the song finish, so I guess I could have faded it a little bit more but I don’t think it really matters. During the latest lecture I got the idea of using this blog as a way of fitting the narrative in, because we were watching some clips other students made last year, and I realised that I could actually add writing in between the clips. I have a personal blog too, so I thought it would make sense for me to write my thoughts on ‘blog’. I recorded my screen as I typed, and made the writing faster on a movie editor. Basically, I listed down a handful of things I find important in my life, like nail polish and smoothies, and filmed short clips of them, mainly in Finland. One of my favourite parts of the video is me walking from Finland to England. I got the idea on the plane to Finland, and decided I needed to film it. Anything a bit funny is so me. I also had a clip of me eating a carrot and pulling a crazy face but it didn’t unfortunately fit in. 😀 The part where I’m taking a photograph could have been a bit smoother, but because the shot was so long I had to edit it down and it looks a tiny bit clumsy. I think the edit makes it ok, and then again it’s just little things I would change if I did it again. I filmed everything freehand, so if I was to do it again, I’d probably use a tripod. I filmed with my DSLR camera, which I think was quite enough qualitywise. I mean, Youtube always makes the quality a lot worse anyway. Altogether I am super happy with how it turned out, and have been playing it on the background whilst writing this because I like the song that much. To be honest, this project was something I would do just for fun, to then put it on my blog, because I enjoy documenting my life, and I guess I know myself quite well and can describe myself easily.

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Who am I?

We were given the last project before the holidays, which is to film a self portrait. It got me thinking what am I really like, and how can I describe it, most of all, how could I show it on film? I went home during the Easter break and filmed some material, and it was quite good to be back in Finland because that’s where I’m from and that’s what probably describes me the best. We are going to do the editing next week and I still need to film a couple of bits for it but I’m hoping either my boyfriend or one of my mates could film the last shots I need. Planning the project, I thought it would be a good idea to put up photos, which I find describe me well. I found it as a good way to prepare myself for the self portrait, and because it was a good excuse to put up more photos as we only did one photography project, haha. Here are five photos, which I think describe me really well.

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I laugh a lot. And smile a lot. Once my workmate told me she couldn’t see me at uni but could hear me… 😀 I think that tells something about my laugh. And I think I’m just loud and talk a lot in general. I have a really positive outlook to life and I try not to worry about the future (or uni work, teehee). I don’t want to waste a day worrying (even thought sometimes I do find myself stressing and worrying about silly things but then my boyfriend gives me a really tight squeeze and reminds me not to worry). I find running help with stress and this semester I have notices that I’ve been taking it a bit easier and haven’t been stressing loads if I haven’t had time to do something.

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That gets us to the next picture, which is me eating a yogurt pot. I eat really healthily and exercise every week. I don’t particularly like crisps or sweets, and quite a few people find it absurd and weird. I’ve been told I’m the healthiest person on this planet, which obviously isn’t true, but when I’m getting an apple or a sweet pepper out of my bag to have a snack next to people munching on pasties and chocolate bars, it’s not hard to point out the contrast.  I mean, I like a bit of chocolate every once in a while, and at the moment I’m more than addicted to chocolate peanut butter, but I prefer vegetables to potatoes with my chicken and fish, and absolutely love tiring my muscles with squats.

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On the contrary, I love my phone a bit too much sometimes. I can spend hours scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, looking at pictures on Weheartit or Tumblr, and reading either Finnish or English news. I don’t know how I do it and sometimes I wish I could just put my phone down and enjoy the moment. It’s not easy being a media student… 😀 I also text my parents and sister on Whatsapp throughout the day, and we usually skype every Sunday, as they all live in Finland. It’s a bit difficult sometimes when I have something urgent or I’m really excited about something and I don’t get an instant reply. Damn you, two hour time difference. 😀 And part of it might be me being very impatient sometimes.

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But when it comes to painting my nails, I have all the patience in this world! I paint my nails literally every other day. It makes me feel relaxed and I feel such satisfaction when I finish doing my nails and they look pretty. I own probably over 200 nail polishes and gave some old ones away as presents last Christmas, haha. My friends were very thankful. Even though I have so many different colours I still look through new released nail polish collections and build lists in my head of colours I would like. Mainly I wear different shades of red, but occassional blues, purples, and nudes. Now that the summer is coming I’ll have to get my pastel and neon shades out, woohoo!

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But as I said, most of the time I do find it difficult to focus on one thing. I can’t keep my motivation up to read loads of research material – I have to have a break of editing pictures or having a snack in between. Even though, flying to Finland I could focus on my essay for whole two hours, so it might just be that I get easily distracted, haha. But if there is something I’m passionate about, I will get it done. And most of the time I have a really good motivation in doing well with uni stuff and will aim for high marks. I also noticed that if I underline text as I read it, I remember more of it. I can read pages of text but not remember any of it if I don’t think about it, haha! It might have something to do with being bilingual though. I can easily ignore all the English speaking people around me if I want to. 😀 Anyway, that’s what I’m like, and I hope I can get some of it through my video project. I have really enjoyed this course and will obviously carry on my personal blog. I have definitely got more ideas to make my personal blog more versatile. We still have a couple of weeks left and hopefully some more interesting topics to go through. 🙂

Thoughts about photography

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We have been talking about photography in a module called Media Technology, and a couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the same topic on my personal blog. I thought now that we are going through photography in this module it would make sense to put my thoughts about it up on here, too.  Basically, we talked about the meanings of photography, and the reasons why we take pictures (even in situations you maybe shouldn’t). I mean, if something out of ordinary happens, for example somebody gets in a fight, there will always be people taking a video instead of trying to calm the situation. The question we ask is why, why does this happen? Do we have an exceptional need to document everything to have a proof that the exact thing happened? Do we show the video clip of the fight to our mates to prove that we were there? I find the topic so interesting that I’m thinking about answering the essay question about it.

Another thing I found really interesting is the question do we take photographs, or do we make them? During the lecture I thought that professional photo shoots with models and make-up and dressing assistants is what you can call making a photograph because so much effort is put into a single photograph. Later on I had a vision of a photo I wanted for my blog in my mind, so I got my camera out and asked my mate to take a couple of shots. I had to change the idea a little bit because it was raining and I wanted to protect my camera rather than be holding the umbrella in the picture, but I thought the shots turned out pretty good anyway. When I got home I opened them on a photo editor and edited them the way I liked -adding light, contrast, sharpness and saturation, and took a look at the unedited photo. I realised the original was quite different to the edited one, and it hit me – I can also make photographs, not only take them. There is always an idea behind the photos I want to take, which is probably partly because I think of posting photos I take on my blog when I take them. I don’t think I would go taking photos and not think about editing them and putting them up for the world to see because through the five years of blogging it’s become a part of me.

It’s not all so simple though, and there are a lot of different cases out in the oh-so-big world of the internet. I don’t think editing photos is cheating, or tricking the audience. Some people, on the other hand, might say that enhancing images and removing spots or dark circles is alternating the reality. There’s a lot of talk about super-edited photos in magazines and how it affects the self-esteem of teenagers. The phenomenon is quite the same in the world of bloggers, who are often flawlessly beautiful and perceived as perfect role models. The fact is they only post the good few pictures, and you don’t often see the world famous bloggers posing without make-up in their trackies. Then again, on other social media forms, for example on Instagram you might see the most popular bloggers and celebrities show their bare faces or lazy day looks. Even though the internet is leading us into thinking that the most important thing is to look flawless, celebrities and bloggers every now and then write posts to prove they are not perfect and that they too have lazy make up free days. There is a certain reputation and image people try to keep up online. You’re more likely to see a post celebrating a successful application of winged eyeliner than mascara all over the eyelids. I am not quite sure where the phenomenon of wanting to seem perfect online comes from but I shall have to admit to doing it sometimes too. I’m especially careful if I’m posting a picture on Instagram, and a bit of editing always goes to the pictures I post. I wouldn’t say I take it too far though, and there are a lot of accounts on Instagram who only post pictures of cups of tea on white tables, and Victoria’s secret body sprays perfectly lined up.

The rest is free for a debate, I suppose. I don’t think I really have a clear opinion whether people should show their real life more, or just be aware of the things that might not be shown. I mean, everybody has days when they just can’t be asked, and there’s no need to post it on Instagram or on their blog. The angle, lighting and colours of the picture change the atmosphere quite as much as the editing done afterwards. I just wanted to put a couple of thoughts up and maybe provoke some conversation, or at least some thoughts. Next time you see a perfect picture of a bowl of porridge, there’s probably a load of washing up next to it on the kitchen table that’s just been cropped off. One often believes what is shown rather than thinks what is hidden but maybe we should open our eyes and realise that nobody is perfect.

Set networked photography project

Now all the writing projects are finished and next up is networked photography. The first set project was to take 10 to 15 photos, which link together, and to have one graphic match and one colour match. My pair Trisha and I decided to photograph same object around the campus, and because we are in Cambridge there is more than enough of bicycles, so we decided to take photos of them. We went to a few different locations and because we both had cameras we could take similar photos of the same surroundings. Taking pictures I realised that bikes are quite photogenic and they all tell a story in a way. Some were recklessly leaning on walls and fences, whilst others had been protectively chained to lamp posts or bike parks. There were brand new and shiny bikes, and muddy or broken ones. Ones with baskets and some without. I had never thought a bike could tell so much even though it’s such a simple and ordinary item. Here is the series of photos we took…

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We both posted the picture series to our tumblr blogs, which we created for the networked image module. Trisha’s is http://trishanetworked.tumblr.com/networkedphotography, and mine is http://johannanetworked.tumblr.com/. I’m happy with how the project turned out, and even though I didn’t expect Trisha to bring her camera along, it was quite nice to be taking photos of the same things rather than handing the camera back and forth. We didn’t exactly plan what kind of photos we were going to take but took a lot of different ones, and then afterwards picked our favourites for the project. Choosing one object to photograph was quite an easy way to link all of them together. We only chose one picture without a bike in it, which is the picture of a battered sign saying ‘no cycles please’. We chose it because it still relates as the sign forbid all the bikes from that particular spot so we didn’t have a bike to photograph. The fact is that somebody would have locked their bike there if the sign wasn’t there, and probably would nevertheless. We have a graphic match of the bike locked on the lamp post, and the one locked on the fence, because the framing is the same. We managed to get a couple of colour matches – the flowers in the basket match the red brakes, and even the red cover on the children’s safety seat. We also have two different bikes of the same shade of blue, even though we didn’t plan it. My favourite photos are the first one, the chunky lock on the blue bike, and the bike leaning on the blue wall. I think Trisha framed the bike leaning on the blue wall really cleverly, and it is one of the most powerful pictures in the series. I love photographing and have my camera out pretty much every day, so I thoroughly enjoyed doing this project, and am pleased with the outcome.

Original writing project

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As the final networked writing project we were told to come up with an idea and use any social media to write it. My pair and I were thinking about ideas, and as the documents on VLE suggested using a memory, we decided to use probably one of the most significant memory we both shared – the first day of university! We decided to use ask.fm as our social media site, and the limit of 300 characters gave us a bit more room to come up with the story. As ask.fm is a website based on asking questions, we decided to use questions as the main element in our writing project. We didn’t plan how many parts we would use but thought the story would start and end like any day would. I’ll add some comments and evaluation in the end but will let you read through the project first, enjoy!


Terrified? Nervous? Excited? How else am I suppose to describe it? I mean is it weird to be old and mature yet small and naive? Why am I feeling this much emotions at the same time? Especially at 7:30 in the morning? I guess its only natural right? Now, where is that stupid bus? -Are you there yet?

The buses were late, of course. It was the first day of uni and I was feeling excited and scared at the same time. Would I make friends? What kind of people would I spend the next three years with? Would it be a lot of work? Where was the classroom I was supposed to be in?

I shouldn’t have spent so much time choosing my outfit. But I just couldn’t choose between the blue and the red. Well what’s a girl got to do? At least I found the room. Why is everyone staring at me? Should I smile or say hi or something? What time is it? No way! Is it 9:20 already? Can it get worse?

The lecturer seems nice enough, he’s explaining what the course is actually about. But why can’t he tell us that we’re gonna make friends and have lots of fun because I’m not sure about anything at this moment. Who am I going to hang out with when the class finishes?

After the lecture we had another hour of seminar. I really enjoyed getting to know a few people during those two hours. Where did the time go? Now, the only major questions I really want to know are… What the heck are semiotics and why does the lecturer keep mentioning some man called Roland?

After the break I’d have one more lecture and then the first day of university would be over. Luckily I could spend the break with a group of girls from the first lecture, they all seemed really nice. It got me wondering would they be the group I was going to hang out with for the next three years.

I really hoped so. The next lecture was Media, Culture & Society. We had the same lecturer from before so at least there was some sense of familiarity there right? Overall it was a good lecture and I met some more great people to hang out with. Won’t you agree that is a good ending to my first day?

As I walked out of the university building I was gathering my thoughts about the day… So many new faces and things to remember. Hoping it would all make sense at some point. I was already looking forward to the things I’d learn. But where is the class I’d have my seminar in tomorrow morning?


I am really pleased how it turned out. We weren’t really given a lot of guideline as to what we were supposed to do so I hope this is what was expected. It was nice to write with a pair again because the story line is built between the two and everything the other writes affects the decisions I have to make to form a story that would make sense. In a way it’s exciting to find out what the other comes up with, and I really thought it was hilarious when my pair wrote ‘What the heck are semiotics and why does the lecturer keep mentioning some man called Roland?’ because that is exactly how I felt on the first day! 😀 I think we managed to create a nicely flowing story that truthfully describes our first day of university.

Tweet to tweet

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‘Gran, my controller is broken’ said the little boy. BANG! ‘Oh never mind it’s fixed’ he cheered as he left his gran covered in red grunge.

‘What have you done? I can’t believe you have have done this? I’m sorry but you should not have done that to me.’

The old lady was not pleased with her grandson. He had opened the hoover dust bag and scattered it all over the room. It was not acceptable.

‘I will have to take your controller and end the game. Even if your parents don’t set rules for you, there are rules in this house.’

The third part of the networked writing project was to create a link between two tweets, which other students had written. Basically, the first two are the ones I got from my friends, and after changing the wording of the second one from I to you it was quite easy to come up with the explanation to the events. The little boy was visiting his grandmother and had managed to make a mess. Eventually the grandmother got fed up with his impish behavior and decided to put a stop to it. I quite like twitter fiction now, and did not find it hard at all to come up with the links, unlike with the first twitter fiction project. I suppose it makes it easier that two tweets are already there but it does take a little bit of creativity to link them together.

Ten tweet tale

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The second writing project was to pick one of the twitter fictions and make up another 9 tweets in pairs to form a story. I found the exercise really interesting because you couldn’t really guess what  the pair was gonna write to continue the story, and it was exciting to see what was gonna happen next. I was actually more creative than I thought I would because I haven’t written anything like this in years. I’m gonna let you read it through and have some comments below. Enjoy! 🙂


His hands were covered in blood. Where did it all come from? It’s not like he deserved it – he was only there to clean the toilets.

It was his first day on the job as well. A day he can barely remember. Everything was a blur and when he thought about it all he’d see is red.

The blood trail lead to the back door. They had to close down the business. Nobody ever suspected the 17-year-old waitress.

But beyond a pretty face lies a corrupt fakery, an evil mind and the emotional range of a she-devil. Still, she was a good waitress.

If only somebody knew where she was. They called her a psychopath, said she’d feel no remorse. Her parents wanted to deny it all ever happened.

They even fled to Cornwall to get away from her. If only they showed her love and took her as well, they wouldn’t have died in their caravan.

She was completely messed up and would be facing a lifetime in prison. But this wasn’t all about her. It was him who originally started it all.

They shouldn’t have mistaken lust for love- they aren’t the same. Both of them so badly blinded by lust that they used love as their weapon.

Reckless youngsters. They should’ve know love is deadly. The nationwide alerts hadn’t been successful, everybody was afraid they’d get away.

It wasn’t until today that the police found a note that said ‘LOOKIN 2 MURDER’ stuck on the door of HEL330 at Anglia Ruskin University…


My absolute favourite is the fourth tweet my pair made up, I think she’s used really good wording and describes it all so well. I tried to add a bit more criminal detective feel to it by using words like suspected, prison and nationwide alerts. We also played with quite a few characters so I guess it could have gotten confusing where it says ‘it was him who originally started it all’ because somebody could have thought it was the cleaner from the beginning. Then again, it could stay mysterious who is who. I did add ‘reckless youngsters’ just to confirm the waitress and he were a couple. I quite like the ending my pair came up with but I might have kept the location more neutral. Obviously it’s uni work so it’s alright to pin it to our uni but I might have enjoyed a more mysterious look to the whole thing. Then again, I’m really happy with how we did it. 🙂 We basically wrote it all on Facebook messenger copy pasting the new tweet to the whole story so we could keep up with how the story was developing. In the beginning it felt like a marathon and I was a bit overwhelmed how many lines we’d have to come up with but when we had only two left I realised we should probably get some sort of closure. I enjoyed the writing and creating, and am definitely looking forward to the other writing projects!