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Senior’s graduation project a chance to learn, grow


Editor’s note:For his senior project, required for graduation, Hickory Ridge High School senior Albert Chang is studying photojournalism and working with Harrisburg Horizons editor Jonathan E. Coleman to improve his skills as a photographer and learn about the history of photography. Throughout the remainder of the year, some of his photos, and self-reflections about his project will be published and shared with our readers. Below is his first self-reflection.
By Albert Chang
Special to Harrisburg Horizons
What are your initial thoughts about the Graduation Project?
I find this project to be somewhat irritating at first, which leads me to being very ambivalent towards this project. I personally find it to be a complete distraction from real English class as a whole and this leads me to be distracted from more worthwhile pursuits. The work isn’t necessarily hard or demanding, but I don’t like how the due dates are so squished among each other. I guess that being busy with many pursuits and coupling that with this project takes away from my precious free time, but that is the price I pay to become someone big in life. I feel that this project is only there for me to just keep busy and prevent senioritis.

What goals and objectives do you hope to achieve with your specific research topic and product?
I want to be able to pursue and develop the artistic and linguistic parts of myself through this project and research. I find that this project will let me pursue something of interest, and also possibly discover another passion I want to explore as a whole and become wholeheartedly into it. From these discoveries of my passion and development of my artistic and linguistic parts, I can possibly develop lifelong hobbies and thoroughly enrich myself as an individual.

Now that you have started the research process, describe an interesting fact or idea that you have discovered about your topic.
Since I started researching this process of photojournalism, I learned that photojournalism is extremely involved. When one takes a picture, one often encounters several questions that stem from the law and ethics. What rights do I have to represent this subject of my photograph? How will I portray this subject in my story? Will I stay with the truth? A perfect example of how this can possibly come into play was the photographs of the explosion of the Maine before the Spanish-American War. We often credit William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer for starting “yellow journalism”, which incited the start of that very war. That “yellow journalism” stated the Spanish attacked us, but it distorted the truth in that we did not know what truly caused the Maine to explode.

Evaluate the work you have completed to this point and discuss the challenges you are facing.
I am very pleased with the progress I have made so far. I have finished the research process for the required research paper. I shall be starting that very soon. I have already begun completing the required product. This requires 15 hours worth of work, and for my product, I will be covering several events for the Harrisburg Horizons and possibly, the Independent Tribune. I will collect the papers that feature my pictures to present to the committee along with a videotape of me in action. The challenges I have to face are simply managing how I use my time, finding events to cover, and bringing the equipment of camera and camcorder around. Don’t forget to remember my press badge on top of that! 

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