Sunday, May 30, 2021

Feedback From My Fully Online Class

My first fully online class wrapped up a few months ago, and it went well. I posted about recording lectures back in January, and I had a little update in February. I recieved good feedback all semester, and I wanted to share 3 bits of that here.

First was a note I got from a student as we were working our way through the "nerdy" lectures early in the semetser:

Maybe she was sucking up, or maybe she was sincere.

Second is a note I got from an advisor about a different student:

I really tried to give a LOT of feedback as they weren't getting any peer feedback.

And finally, here's a note after the semester was over from an advisor and program director. As I already mentioned, I really pushed out the feedback, and I also utilized one of the features of the class to give "kudos" when someone does something well, or to raise "flags" for specific academic issues. And I used those each week of class for students excelling or having issues:

I'll be teaching this same class in the fall, and now that I've done a LOT of the groundwork, it should be easier (and more fun) this time around!

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Should I Make Art?

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Catalog from the "Making Strange" Exhibition

Here are some images from the "Making Strange" catalog from the Praxis Photo Arts Center last fall:

An example of a spread in the catalog.

Here are some images of the exhibition, and here's when I appeared on their Facebook page (had I known that was going to happen, I would have dressed up a LITTLE).

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Art Teachers in May

Friday, May 07, 2021

iPhone Photos from a North Shore Trip

I shared some photos last month shot with my Holga from my North Shore trip in late March. Here are a few (shown chronologically) shot with my iPhone 12 and the "silvertone" filter.

[click each image to enlarge]

A beach in Two Harbors

Two Harbors

Just below Gooseberry Falls

Black Beach

Black Beach

Sugarloaf Cove

Sugarloaf Cove

Sugarloaf Cove

Near Artist's Point in Grand Marais

Grand Marais

Grand Marais

Grand Marais

Back at Sugarloaf Cove (the back side)

The back side of Sugarloaf Cove

The back side of Sugarloaf Cove

A gale warning in Grand Marais

Hwy 61 from the Cascade River

Cascade Falls

Pools of water below Cascade Falls

Related: check out my first test of the "silvertone" filter and the wide angle lens along the Mississippi River from just after I got my new phone 2 months ago. And here are more North Shore photos that I shot with my Holga.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

An Instagram Experiment

I started my Instagram account about 4 years ago. About 2 years ago, I had 400 followers. And as of a few months ago, I had 800 followers. (So it's grown pretty linearly long-term over these last 4 years.) I mainly used it as a place to dump images, and I wasn't really active at all on Instagram. Around March 20th, I thought I'd try to be a bit more engaging and see "where that got me." So I started clicking on hashtags randomly and would "like" many photos from strangers (not people I had already followed).

Doing that just off-and-on for a bit gained me 100 followers in 20 days.

And then another 100 followers in the next 20 days.

So I was up to 1,000 followers on May 1st. Throughout this process, I would "like" more than I would comment (by FAR), but if I liked a photo enough to want to leave a comment, I made sure the comments were specific enough to not seem like a copy/pasted comment that I could be leaving on hundreds of photos. I found myself following more local people who made interesting photos. And I enjoyed tunneling through all kinds of hashtags and following them down random rabbit holes - especially locally based hashtags.

After posting something specific, I made sure to interact with similarly tagged images over the next few days. So that meant a lot of "North Shore"-based hashtags after have 3 posts about Lake Superior. And then a lot of Minneapolis-based hashtags after posting some images from downtown. That way, people who I were interacting with who were curious about my page would come see things that might be interesting to them.

I discovered something everyone knows: smaller/local hashtags appear more infrequently, but might get you to something more interesting to you. And larger hashtags are so broad and so very commonly used that you might be seeing everything.

But I've noticed that I've gained more followers while interacting with "bigger" hashtags, like #photography #photographer #nightphotography and #longexposure for example.

However, I ENJOY looking at work with "smaller/local" hashtags, like #minnesotaphotographer #minnesotaartist #northshoremn #captureminnesota etc.

Just for fun (and because I had a number of car appointments, vet appointments, and lots of extra time spent waiting around), I hit Instagram extra hard over the last few days. So hard that Instagram "stopped" me 2 times for a bit thinking I was maybe a bot:

I think that just happens when you hit up ONE hashtag too much. If you keep looking through (and liking) different hashtags, it doesn't seem to happen. I could still use the app normally during that time, but I just couldn't keep liking images. I was good to go again after an hour or two.

After being much more active, I was up to 1,138 followers as of last night:

I gained 138 followers in less than 4 days by just being active on Instagram. (Overall, that's nearly 250 followers gained in less than 2 months of this down-time experiment.) There's no secret. Comment on images you like, "like" posts with hashtags that interest you, and people might come see what your page is all about.

The PRO of these last 6 weeks are that I've stumbled across more local photographers that I've followed. (I wish I knew how many people I followed before starting this, because I wonder how much that has risen... maybe by 20-30 people?)

The CON of doing this over the last 6 weeks is that Instagram has started to feel like a bad moblie game. It has the feel of a game where you don't really get anywhere, but you're still spending time to get there. Like a game where you keep playing to keep upgrading so you can keep playing. And there's a percentage of people who only follow you with the hopes that you will follow them back - if I'm off Instagram for a few days, my follower count will drop a bit as those people have given up on me.

So, if you're interested in gaining more followers on Instagram, just be active. After searching for a topic, refresh the "recent" tab of hashtags to see brand new images waiting for likes and comments. And then interact! Happy scrolling!

Oh yeah, and follow me on Instagram at photostenzel.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Virtual Exhibition Closing Party

A few weeks ago, I posted about the juried exhibtion I was a part of at North Central University. Recently, they held a "closing reception" for the artists. Being they are still only letting faculty, staff, and students in to see the work, they hosted a virtual closing reception.

Here's a photo of me attending from my dining room as Elizabeth was showing the work to everyone watching:

Yep that's one of my pieces.

It was great talking to the other artists! Honestly, this virtual closing reception was more fun than I thought it would be! Thanks Elizabeth, Judy, and North Central!

Again, if you missed it, here's the post showing the work.

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