In Depth 2019 #3


In Depth Blog Post #2 – Making an Interesting Conversation

During this session with my, mentor we focused on posing our models for portraits and choosing the right backgrounds. To help us I brought along one of my very good friends and her dog to model for us. I chose to bring her because I took photos for her a few years ago when I was just learning how to shoot, and it will be nice to compare the photos from then and now to see my progress. This was the most engaging session I had with Kim because we found a lot more things to talk about (that also included my friend, Adina) and we able to relate with what we were talking about without straying off topic. Photography is also a passion of Adina’s so she was also captivated by what Kim had to say and from that we were both able to generate ideas and inquiries from her knowledge. This is a small excerpt from one of our conversations:


Kim: One thing I suggest doing that really helps me when I am doing shoots for people with dogs or just dogs alone is keeping a squeaky toy in my camera bag to get their attention

Adina: Yeah, that really works with Coco

Me: We do that with shoots at the barn actually. We use whistles and clickers or throw sand in the air to get their ears forward

Adina: We should make one big photography backpack that has horse and dog and cat attention-getters and treats and stuff

Me: That would be awesome since I do take pics of a lot of animals

Kim: Don’t forget the cameras and your lenses though!


This conversation represents how we kept the discussion engaging and relatable for all of us while staying on topic to photography. I had a lot of fun this session learning more with Kim and having Adina there made it chill and enjoying for all of us. I worked on my communication skills more (asking questions, clarifying my concerns or confusions, listening and writing things down) and it really helped to keep us talking and circulating our thoughts.

I am looking forward to learning how to edit photos with Adobe next session!



Midsummer Nights Dream – Convincing Theseus

Good evening, great and honourable Duke of Athens


I am writing this letter to persuade you regarding the subject of Hermia and which man should have the right to take her hand in marriage.

I have LAWFUL RIGHT to marry Hermia for Eugeus has given me consent under the Athenian law. The law, however, should be out of question in this situation because I have already been given permission. Lysander is not worthy of taking Hermia from me as I love her greatly and will make sure she is extremely well taken care of. I am worthy of her and Egeus’s love and would do anything to protect dear Hermia from leading a miserable life without me. Under the law, if she refuses my hand in marriage she is sentenced to a loveless life of nunnery or death. Lysander is betraying the notion and putting Hermia in a great deal of danger surrounding Egues and the wedding.


People have called me unloyal for previously loving Helena but I say that I am more worthy of a man to wed Hermia than Lysander ever will be! My love for Helena is in the past and I am dedicated to Hermia now. We will live a long, loving, consensual marriage and right in the name of the law. Lysander should be banished from Athens as he is a pest and tried to win Hermia over with magic! He had bewitch’d the bosom of her and won her over with gifts and songs and tokens of his love. Unacceptable, if you ask me. Lysander and Hermia’s wedding would be frowned upon by Athens and illegal.


Thank you for taking time to read this letter. Best wishes towards your wedding and life with Hippolyta.





In Depth 2019 #2


My first session with my mentor went very well and I am delighted with the amount of knowledge I gathered about my topic in such a short time. Kim had so much to share with me on her opinions about lenses, camera bodies, budgeting for cameras, use of models vs objects, photography during different parts of the day, etc. I soaked up all of this information like a sponge. During my session, I agreed with Kim on aspects of these topics because she provided me with a knowledgable and professional insight regarding her opinions. An example of something I agreed on throughout the session was when she talked about the treatment of second-hand lenses and how one would go about buying a new one. On this topic, Kim also explained how beginner photographers and those wanting to build a name for themselves should look at lenses rental stores are selling because these lenses have been kept up to maintenance and properly cared for. I acknowledged what she had to say about the questions I asked and built on what she had to say by creating new inquiries on the spot.

Something I really took away from Edward de Bono’s book How to have a Beautiful Mind was regarding the disagreeing and differing section. Specifically, don’t disagree for the sake of making your ego larger and making yourself look clever as well as challenging certainty vs possibility of a statement. My main goal throughout this project is to take away as much new knowledge as I can as I am a beginner and am just absorbing as much as my mentor can teach me. Inevitably there will be differing (there wasn’t much in this session, however) but instead of blatantly and flat out agreeing with what has been said I will offer my own opinions and beliefs. I believe it is important to differ with someone because it shows how you are able to speak your opinions which leads to seeking out the nature of the difference and reconciliation. By this I don’t mean disagreeing with them constantly, but just having the ability to speak up and express yourself on the topics of what the other person has to say that isn’t necessarily agreeing with it.


ZIP 2019 Final Reflection


  1. What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change over time? Why?

What is the most important aspect of the process of publishing a book?

I was initially drawn to this question because I have been heavily interested in writing books for as long as I can remember. I used to sit at my desk for hours writing stories about my friends and animals and nature. Through ZIP I was given the chance to expand on this and actually publish a short book about photography and a collection of some of my favorite images ever (taken by my friends). My question stayed the same throughout my inquiry.


  1. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?

Some skills I have expanded on throughout this project include (most to least) time management (because I had to do my entire project in less than 2 weeks), problem solving (because I had to reconfigure all my dimensions by an inch and a half on every page in one night which proved itself incredibly difficult), and patience. These skills are important and applicable to myself as a student because each one of them is necessary in order for me to feel confident and proud of the work I produce as well as succeed in my academic career. As I grow upon these skills they will also help me in my extracurricular activities and overall everything I do in life.

  1. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.

The most important aspect in the process of publishing a book is editing and revising. Yes, the overall appeal and look of the book is important because it is what draws the reader in and keeps them engaged, but if the content is very unprofessional, boring and poorly constructed, the reader will lose interest quickly. Editing of the design and entirety of the book is also important to make sure it is consistent and flows nicely from page to page and word to word. When I was editing I realized I should have budgeted my time better and put more of my effort towards editing because I felt very time-crunched towards the end. An example of this from my project is how I overlooked the specifications of the dimensions of the book that will be printed and ended up doing the whole thing in the wrong size paper. I fixed it in one night (because the book had to be shipped that night or it would come very late) but I felt very stressed. I learned that I should have specified this with myself and understand the dimensions before I started instead of at the very end of the process.

  1. In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning/answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.

My final artifact to demonstrate my learning is a published book focusing around one of my other passions, photography. This demonstrated my inquiry question because throughout the creation of the artifact I was able to learn how to publish a book, what to do and not do, who to go to for help and reliable resources to use. I discovered the answer to my inquiry question throughout the process of actually making the book. The focus of my competencies was to (as a whole and in general) create meaningful literary and text and incorporating personal beliefs in critical and creative ways. The book connects to this concept because it uses design, images, and thought-provoking text to give the reader feeling through different aspects of a book. The “mood” of the book corresponds with the text and can be understood by a reader of any age who is interested in the topic.

  1. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four sources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 25-50 word response as to was important to your learning).

Griffiths, Annie (2014). Stunning Photographs. National Geographic.

Sala, Enric (2015). Pristine Seas. National Geographic.

These books helped me for more of the appeal and final product of my book because they followed a similar template of how I wanted my book to look and come out in the end.  They also showed me how important it was to pay attention to final details and editing to make the book look clean and professional.

Simmons, Jerry (Sept 22, 2009). Publishing 101: What You Need To Know.  Retrieved from

This article helped me because it gave me an insight into how publishing a book can be and tips on how to make my published book better.

Bolt, Chandler (Jan 7 2019). How To Publish a Book in 2019. Retrieved from

This was very helpful because the author of the article was very experienced in writing and publishing books as a self-made writer who had to learn the process of writing a book from the very start and was sharing his opinions with the world.

Stone, George (Feb 24, 2014). Secrets of a Travel Writer. Retrieved from

This is definitely one of my FAVORITE articles I think I have ever read. I reverted to this article and a few more from this author when I was writing this book because George Stone offers such raw insight on what it is like to be nonfiction (specifically travel) writer and how to document your journeys with meaning and emotion.

  1. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?
  • How long does the average author spend on editing and revising their work compared to writing and drafting?
  • How much does it cost to publish and prepare a book to be mass printed and sold in bookstores?
  • What courses would an aspiring author take in high school and uni if they were interested in becoming an author? (fiction and nonfiction)
  • In what ways does nonfiction writing differ from the writing of a journalist or photojournalist in the field?

These questions are interesting to me because writing and journalism is something I am passionate about and I would be motivated to learn more about the different writing fields as I look to pursue a career for my future. I also believe these are essential questions for me to be pondering about and looking further into if journalism is the route I choose to take education-wise.


ZIP 2019 #4

Related to your learning evidence, what have you done to make retrieving information easier and more effective?

To make my research and retrieving information more effective I have tried to stick to a strict, regimented routine for using resources and writing drafts. For each day I did a different aspect of my book (for example, one day I would write the history of the camera). I would take notes and write down my thinking, then I would transfer that to a draft format and further edit it into a good copy. Once all the writing and content was done for the book I formatted the design and gathered the images. I had to split and crop the images properly so they bled onto the pages in a nice flow. After I was happy with the design I made different settings for captions, subtitles, titles, body, etc. After that I put in the writing in and edited all the design aspects, made sure the page count was right, and perfected the margins (each page will be cut off .12 of an inch all around the 8×10 landscape).


In-Depth Check-In 2019 #1

For my Independent Project this year I will be exploring the topic of photography (specifically landscape, though I am also interested in portrait, macro, and editing). My goal for this project is to expand what I already know about the basics of photography and how to incorporate more emotion and feeling into what I create. I will be presenting this through a photography blog where I will be writing blog posts for what I learn after each session with my mentor. Additionally, on the blog, there will be portfolios for the different pictures I take where one will be able to see the progress of my images from the beginning of this project to the end and how much more knowledge I will have gained. This website will also be a place aspiring/beginning photographers can go to gain some of my wisdom and use it to help themselves throughout their photographer journey. I am hoping to get out to a hotspot around the city once a week to practice what I have learned at each session. This will include photo shoots with my friends and for events.

My main mentor will be Kim Culbert who will show me the foundations of portrait, landscape photography, and editing software. I will also be using Cassidy Penney and Jeff Yang who are experts in street and sports photography. I will be meeting with Kim twice a month and we will be taking photos along the Coquitlam River trail (where she took my family’s photos 6 years ago)!

I will be presenting my end project through my blog, my ZIP project (a photo-collection and a nonfiction book about the Impact and Origin of Photography), a powerpoint portfolio and possibly a poster board for display.

I am looking forward to this project and I cannot wait to see how much I have improved throughout this process!


ZIP 2019 #3

Describe the ups and downs you have encountered in your inquiry so far. Specifically, when were you frustrated or struggling and what did you do to address this?

Some moments throughout my inquiry where I felt frustrated or unmotivated was during the editing phase. I was very headstrong in completing the design and  most of the writing aspect of it, but the entire process seemed to slow down during the editing phase. This is banal and tedious for me to work through (and I am still currently working through it) because I am not able to showcase any of my interests, hobbies or passions during this phase. Despite this drawback throughout this phase of my project, I work through it because I know this is a very essential part of the final piece. I am learning many aspects of my inquiry question throughout this phase and why editing/drafting/revising is so important.