Welcome to my site! I'm an undergraduate students graduate from University of Washington Bothell - class of 19. Major in Media and Communications Studies, mainly focused in photography and video production work.
I am from Macao, a special administrative region, located in Southern China. I have a bilingual background and speak fluent English and Chinese (Both Mandarin and Cantonese).
As my undergraduate life eventually comes to an end, which makes me bring up all the things that I’ve been through within the last 4 years as college student. In the first two years in community college, I was majoring in psychology, I found out I am sensitive towards people’s behaviors, emotions and I would like to further develop my compassion towards the individuals who are emotionally and psychologically in need. After I was admitted into the community psychology major in UWB, I realized that there are different ways to develop compassions while taking the elective classes, and I talked to my advisor and come up to an idea of changing my major from community psychology to Media and Communications Studies. Surprisingly, I wasn’t that difficult as I expected with changing my major, since I have taken different cultural classes and psychology courses, the skills I learned could still apply to the new majoring I was studying. Furthermore, I discovered myself that I am very interested in film studies, I started to take different classes based on that – Documentary of American History, Introduction to film studies and Topics in Culture – Japanese anime, which gave me a humongous insight into how filming and production work as well as the technique to advance my skills for storytelling.
Being an MCS student allows me to do develop my photography skills and having that turning from a hobby to be part of my further education. By taking the course of BIS 343 – Documentary photography, I was introduced to a new world of photography, I gained so many new insights and develop new photography skills through capturing societal issues and problems. The most important skills I learned is about capturing human interactions and emotions by focusing on their eye contacts (both looking into/ not into the camera), I learned about how eyes are good channels to tell stories, which greatly affect my photographing skills by including eye contacts in my photos. All of the project I accomplished in this class push myself way forward than I expected, from shooting candid shot, using a variation of distance of shots to introduce a city, environmental landscape, conceptual project – scene recreation to following an individual and reveal their unique stories, these assignments strengthened my photography skills and change my perspective to see the world. Which triggers me further on developing my passion in street photography, because I believed in the most authentic moments are the ones that are captured on the street, the depressed, joyful look that wasn’t staged are the most compelling and powerful ones to tell a story.
In pursuing my degree in media and communication studies, I learned most about critical thinking. In most of the core course, we have to deal with a huge amount of media sources – newspaper, video, news report etc… some of them could contain a certain level of biases and didn’t reveal the truth of an incidence or event. Developing the skills of critical thinking, gives me the ability to run a logistic check on the news that I’ve read, examining the reliability and validity of the sources that we consume. The development of the critical thinking skills was introduced from the course of BIS 333 – Media and Communications, in the class, we are given different media sources – news, video, report, magazine and we were required to identify – the protagonist, people that could be potential impact, reliability, support of evidence. Then we list our founding under these categories and thus we can have the whole picture of the story and see if the news article match with the decoded story itself, to determine whether the new is trustful or not. I also learned about how to decode the messages that are delivered from news, mainly through looking at the sources itself from a holistic approach, showing all sides of perspective and analysis them one by one.
Throughout the courses I have taken under the IAS division, I was exposed to a great amount of opportunities to collaborative with different people. Group work is substantial almost in every course, and it’s exceptionally important when it comes to media production work, since the power of one person is limited and gathering strengths from different people would definitely make the production of a media work smoother and more effective. In the course of BIS 472 - advanced media production workshop, I learned how to communicate and collaborate effective with people from all different backgrounds. In this class every student got to choose their own roles to contribute in the video production work, we choose from the position of producer, director, camera crew, lighting crew, sound crew and art department. In most of the video production work, I was either a director or a camera crew, and in which I have to discuss the ideas with the students from the other department. It’s my responsibility to establish successful communications with the lighting crew and art department, so that I could make sure the content I am filming is nicely in focus and can be clearly shown on the screen, as well as the art department people, that I have to let them know about whether the whole setting of the studio is ideal for shooting. I am also responsible to report back to the director about any problems occurs in the studio and see if there’s any other improvement that I could further work on. The fun part is about getting our idea pitched by the professor, and everybody had their own vision towards the project, and we made a final idea by gathering all the good part of our suggestions. Overall, we comply with each other and make the whole production goes fine. Establishing the communication skills allowed me to get used to the collaboration work in my job after graduated, in terms of how we respect other’s ideas and suggestions and resolve conflicts between people in the group. The experience in this class was substantial to me, since it’s mimicing how media or film production could be in real life and I have to stay committed to my position and yet be responsible to the team.
Creative & Reflective Thinking
If I were told to share one thing that I learned most throughout my school life at University of Washington Bothell, I would say that is creative and reflective thinking. It’s more than just having ideas that could blast people’s mind, but as well as applying those creative thinking skills to advance my own life and have it to leave positive influences to people surrounding by. Thinking creatively on how to use limited sources to create a bigger outcome and result, how to keep my life plans together while life was overwhelmed, all has to be done with creativity and self-reflection. Always stay reflected on myself like looking at the mirror, and keep my myself on track and move on with anything happens in life. Maximizing my own advantages as being a UW student to establish connections with people from different field, applying the skills that I gained to inspire the others who are in need, and striving for knowledge for the rest of my life even I’ve put an end to my academic life. Stay motivated to explore new things, hobbies and meet new people, learning is not only limited through textbooks and in school, but every single bit in life.
Critical and Creative thinking skill is a vital skill for Media and Communications Studies. Throughout the whole college career, having critical and creative thinking skills help me to identity and decode media themselves, confirming their validity, reliability and originality, it is a skill that we need to develop to advance our academic career in this field. From my perspective, critical and creative thinking skills means engaging in deep and thorough understandings of the subject that I am studying and researching for, and being able to valid the logistic of the subject based on the given information, and having the ability to think outside of the box. Critical and creative thinking skills enable me to look into the topic of my work from a different perspective and triggers me to combine the logistic and intuitive way of thinking into my future career. The two artifacts I included in this essay reveal my ability of applying critical and creative skills in my college work.
The first artifact is a conceptual project – “substance abuse in college students at the age of 18 - 25” from the course of BIS 343, documentary photography. The project consists of a total of 5 photographs to recreate the idea of the effect of substance abuse in college, in which my main focus is on alcohol and cocaine. The project aims in presenting the negative consequences of the usage of substances and their effects on young college generation. In applying critical and creative thinking skills in this project, several measurements are included, research process, recreation of scenes, presenting statistic and raising social awareness. Research process, collecting logical reasons behind substance use to understand the factors that triggers, and the results show that stress, curiosity, school life, assignment, and job are the main triggers. After acknowledging the factors, I started to stretch the scene, and collect subjects that should be included into recreating the scenes. Recreation of scenes, in the three scenes that I have presented, I mainly used school works to frame my image, such as books, assignments, pens, laptop, warm color tone and darker background to create a scene that would be similar to a college students’ room, the color tone set the mood and tone of documentary photography and the arrangement of the subjects and applying close-up shots to help in building up the stress and tension of the scene. Presenting statistic, since this is a photo-series, I’m aiming in presenting the statistic in imagery and creative forms, in presenting the statistic of alcoholic abuse in college students of 30%, I placed 10 shots cups, seven of them are left empty and three of them are filled with red liquid to express the idea of 30%. There are two reason of using red liquid, first, red is sharp to the eyes thus draw more attention and the audience will be able to distinguish the color better; secondly, the color implies the idea of danger. Raising social awareness, providing rational drawbacks and alternative ways to the audience and give them a space to think whether using substance abuse or other healthy alternatives to cope with their stress from college is appropriate.
The second artifact is “Discovering Seattle” also from the course of BIS 343 documentary photography, which consists of a total of 3 photographs introducing the city of Seattle. This project aims in producing a condense set of photos by using three range of shots, close, medium and wide. I came up with the three components that could sum up the city of Seattle – tourists, travelling spots and its commercial development, which are accordingly a couple taking photos in front of the pike place market neon sign, the gum wall and the avenue of commercial building. To me, Seattle is known for its sightseeing side for tourist, but at the same time, it’s also well-known for business that many big firms are located at downtown Seattle area. The set of three photographs will sum up Seattle as a whole, by revealing the commercial side and traveling side.
In media and communication studies, aiming in delivering the intended and appropriate message is the first priority. We as students are learning to deliver and present our project in effective ways, we have to make sure the target audience could receive the message as intended. Having writing and communication abilities means to be capable of delivering the message of the author accurately through written skills, verbal skills and other forms of media, with considering on the audience’s needs, we will be needed to present the materials in various and appropriate forms. Forms of media presentation are not fixed, often times we would use videos, audio, graphics and backing up with both qualitative and quantitative evidence to strengthen the claims. The two of the selected artifacts will be demonstrating my applications of writing and communication skills throughout my college career.
The first artifact is a group research paper from the core course of Media and Communication Studies, BIS 333 – Media and Communications, the research paper focuses on the how social media effects on marketing decisions on businesses. We obtained both qualitative and quantitative methods to conduct the research paper, for qualitative research, we decided to conduct interviews on two marketing managers via phone-call, in which the interviewees are respectively from Microsoft and a Seattle-based boutique called Prism, we collected the results by asking the same set of questions, and compare the similarities of the results that to indicate the effects on business through social media. For quantitative research, we referenced to 10 scholarly articles to supports our claims and helped us with the direction of how the interview questions should be asked as well as backing up our claims with scholarly knowledge. After collecting the result from the interviews, we combined them into a research paper, which comprises of a total of 23 pages of work. Since we are required to present this research paper in media form and to reach out to a specific group of audience, we decided to conduct a discussion with our group members to answer the research questions with the collected results and researches, the target audience are mainly college students and the mass public. The recorded discussion provides an audio form of presentation of the results collected from the research paper both qualitatively and quantitively from our group. We used group discussion to make our sharing less formal, so that students to understand even though they don’t have a deep understanding of how media and marketing work, therefore being able to reach out to a larger scale of audience. The paper is backed with strong evidence and conducted in a holistic approach to present the topic which strengthens our result in a more persuasive way.
The second artifact is a documentary film proposal from the course of BIS 347 – History of American Documentary Film, the project required myself to be a filmmaker and to write a documentary film proposal with the given prompt of being offered $500,000 for this film of documentary. This proposal aims in learning about speaking and writing historical American documentary to deliver a message to the public. The story is not a real-life example but a make-up story. The documentary film is called “From China to Chinatown.”, which mainly talks about the problems that Chinese immigrants faced in the US during the 1900s, the film is about the protagonist – Chan, who immigrated from China with his wife and child and opened a restaurant in San Francisco in the 19s and his confrontations– culture shock, racist situations etc. The film aimed in promoting Chinese-American communities, raising social awareness and serves as educational purposes towards Chinese-American stereotypes. The idea behind the film is referenced from another documentary film – “Becoming American – The Chinese Experience”. The research method in this project being used is qualitative method, in which using research to use as a reference of the creation of the project. The target audience of this project would be students throughout high school to college. The form of the presentation is in written form. Since this is a film proposal project, so thorough written form of the film is required to give the producer a clear understanding of how my film will be presented and filmed.
In media and communication studies courses, there are usually projects that cannot be done by just one or two persons but required a team. While working at media project or studio production projects, it’s important to have different people who have their own specific skills sets to finish the whole work, therefore have the vision and skills of collaboration and shared learning will be beneficial and effective in finishing those projects. Collaboration and shared learning abilities are particularly crucial when working in a large project that requires more than more than two people, acknowledging and having the abilities can maximize the efficacy and efficiency in producing the project, and the group members are required to have a clear understanding of their abilities and therefore being able to work in the appropriate position to contribute adequately to the project. The two artifacts are a demonstration of how I apply these abilities into my learning.
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The second artifact is a media production work from the course of BIS 472 – Advanced Media Workshop. In this production work, we work as a whole class to collaborate with a local performance artist – Dakota Camacho of his indigenous performance dance piece. As a class, we have to film his dance performance piece and turn it into a video to spread out the massage he wanted to tell the public. In this whole class production work, each student chose a role to participate in, ranging from producer, director, camera crew, lighting crew, sound crew and art department. I was in the position of lighting crew and I’m responsible to keep communicate with the camera crew and art department, since we have to make sure that the light is setting the right mood and tone to the scene and it’s sufficient enough for the camera to film the scene. During the filming session both in-studio and out-studio, me as being part of the lighting department have to be aware of the consistency of the lighting condition and the duration of the batteries. In this production I learned about the importance of communications while collaborating with a huge amount of people, which there was a situation when we were shooting outside with the artist but there’s blockage of light upon his head and cause a shadow on his face. We as lighting crew member had to talk to the department head immediately and discuss with the head of photography and director immediate and see if there’s any alternatives to work on, whether ending up picking a different location or utilize a reflect to bound the light back on the face. In this project, I understand more about how communication works and the appropriate process of it.
The second artifact is from the LP project form the course of BIS 313 Games Studies. This is a group project that requires a long process of work throughout the whole quarter and the aim is to produce a 10-15 minutes of streaming video to introduce a game. In my group, there are four group members, Kevin – who is an all-time gamer, Christina – who’s good at graphics and analysis emotions, Ken – who is a video editor, and me, Long – a video editor and audio recorder. Apparently, each of us have a different skill set, which really helped us save a lot time while finishing the preparation work and finalizing the streaming video. For the game play part, we left it to Kevin, since he knew more about how games work and he was actually very good at decoding the clue and moving forward in the game, so we could know about the storyline and the character’s personality. After that, we are required to apply theory to explain the context, implications and its relatedness to the real world, we brainstormed together as a group to get as much ideas as possible and narrow them down into a few. For the audio recording part, since me and Ken have previous experience for audio recording, so we did also tackle it down quickly without any technical problems. In the discussion part, Christina contributed her understanding of the character and partner up with Kevin to work out the underlying facts and the emotional state of the character and the implications of the game. Lastly – editing and finalizing the video, me and Ken work together since both of us had experience using the Final Cut Pro, in which save us a lot of time from gathering the footage and combine them together to the final version.
As being a part of the IAS school, we should be taking advantage under the system through learning different knowledge from different majors and combine them towards our academics. To me, Interdisciplinary research and inquiry can be broken down into two parts – 1. Interdisciplinary, 2. Research and inquiry, Being interdisciplinary means that while we are conducting the research question towards a topic, we should able about to think through knowledge from different fields of studies and looking at it through different perspectives; Research and inquiry means that we should be applying the appropriate methods to gather evidence for the topic and present the results in the most suitable way to the intended audience. Throughout my college career, I have selected two artifacts of my collections as a demonstration of my application towards this learning objective.
The first artifact is the creative project – “Capitol Hill – LGBTQ Community” from the course of BIS 221 Gender and Sexuality. This project aims to use creative ways to criticize and comment on gender and sexuality issues in the contemporary society and lead the audience to a further discussion. The specific location that I’ve chosen to focus on is Capitol Hill, a historically controversial district in the Seattle metropolitan area during the 90s, I used visual presentations – photography, to introduce how the former LGBTQ gathering location has been transform in nowadays society. I applied the quantitative method to collect evidence based to introduce and conduct the project, I used sources such as: on scholarly articles, online newspaper and encyclopedia entries. This project post a position of discussing a contemporary social issue – the LGBTQ individual, since the capitol used to be the prominent LGBTQ individuals inhabiting spot and nowadays after the legislation of the same-sex marriage it’s been changing much more and being a place where people are enable to travel freely within this space. This project is also used as a tool to convey the idea of supporting LGBTQ individuals in this community, even though in the last 10 years that LGBTQ is being increasingly accepted by the mass public and people started to spread out into different cities, but still the memories and history embedded in this space is never wiped out. This project combines two field of studies to complete, gender studies and media and communication studies, by using media based presentation – photography to express the idea of gender equity.
The second artifact is the research paper – “Social Media, and How It Affects the Marketing Decisions of Businesses” from the course of BIS 333 – Media and Communications. In the brainstorming process of conducting the research paper, all of our members had posed different ideas from marketing, businesses, social media and identity, psychological influences of social media. We narrowed it down to marketing since we think media will be a more influential topic to discuss with under this modern digital world. By approaching this project, we chosen to apply both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect evidence to support the research paper. We used phone call interviews with two different marketing managers, they are employees relatively from Microsoft and a Seattle based boutique called Prism. We then transcribed the conversation into words as evidence. Also, we backed up our research questions by using 10 scholarly sources. Since we decided our intended audience to be the mass public, so we used broadcast from all of our group members to discuss our findings and result to make the information become easily accessible. In this project, two field of studies of marketing and media is contributed to present the whole idea.
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