My name is Emily and I am a student at the University of Newcastle. I am studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Linguistics and Sociology. I chose Photomedia as an elective because I have always been interested in photography. I was previously studying a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration. I completed two years of that degree however it wasn’t going in a direction I was happy with. I deferred for two years and after a break I decided I would like to actually finish a degree, so I chose a Bachelor of Arts. To gain entry into UON in the beginning all the way back in 2010, I completed the Linguistics and Visual Arts courses for Open Foundation. I really enjoyed both of those subjects and did well at them so I was a bit torn with choosing what to do for an undergraduate degree. I chose a more “arty” degree because I wanted to do something that I was already doing, but get a degree in it as well. However it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I learnt a lot in the Natural History degree though, and of course my favourite elective within it, and the one I received the best marks for was Field Studies, where we got to go out into nature and take photos and do sketches and collect specimens from our natural world. I purchased my DSLR camera for this purpose. Our lecturers told us it is good to invest in a great camera from the start so I chose a Canon, because I had used one of the ones available to borrow at uni and they are a quality camera. The other elective I excelled at and really enjoyed was DESN 1311 Photo Imaging for Design, in which we learnt the more technical side of things, how to actually use a DSLR camera, with the different controls for exposure, ISO etc. We learnt about the different composition styles, and how to do basic editing and contact sheets. Turns out if you don’t keep using these skills you completely forget how to do them! As in my case, after having to do some of these things for our first assessment in Photomedia, I realised I had subsequently forgotten most of those things after two years of not really doing anything with my camera apart from taking basic point and shoot photos of my pets and toadstools and what not after my extended break from university. However I aim to re-learn these skills and also learn lots more with this elective. Hopefully I will stick with using my DSLR camera a bit more after this. I really do enjoy using it, but I struggle to find time to use it because whenever I do, I start taking photos and just can’t stop and before I know it five hours have passed and I have like 267 new photos. Also I often forget to take it with me, so I leave it right in my doorway so I basically trip over it to remind me to take it. But sometimes it is just so bulky and cumbersome and I can’t be bothered taking it with me, unlike my phone, with which I take photos everyday. I am in my second year of a personal photography project I am doing on Instagram called inskygram2017. It is a pretty simple idea, just a photo of an uninterrupted view of the sky everyday, but it is a great motivator and I would love to do something similar with my DSLR so the photos were a better quality, but again, the convenience of a phone is why I am using it. Maybe when I have retired and have an even better camera and have time to spend on that I will do it, I’ll put it on my ever expanding To Do list! Apart from the sky, I love taking photos of magpies, toad stools, plants, especially weeds (another project I would like to do is taking photos of weeds around suburbia, showing that they can be beautiful even though they are weeds, it’s probably like a super cliche idea but idc), my doggos and the beach. Photography, for me, is a way to relax and “focus” (see what I did there?) on things that I find visually appealing and interesting and also things that I want to remember, which is probably the reason why pretty much any other person takes photographs!