I chose the website http://www.greenforest.com.mx because of the overall feel, as well as the photography/cinematography throughout the whole website. When you first come to the website’s homepage, you see the above image, but the entire background of the webpage is a montage of videos from some of the places that the tours take place. The ease of navigation is also a bonus. The user has two main options from the homepage which are to look at the different tour/activity options, or to book said tours and activities right from the website. The only downside of this website is that it initially all in Spanish, but with Google Chrome, I was prompted to have the website translated which made everything easier, but potentially slower because of the constant translation process.
When you click on the “Explore” button, you’re taken to this screen which allows you to choose which path you want to learn more about. The first is the basic tours that are offered, the second is to take tours on horseback, and the third are options to go zip-lining and walking across hanging bridges through the forests.
I chose to look at the zip-lining option, which then takes you to the above screen. Again, like the homepage, each screen you go to have a montage of videos as they relate to the section that you’ve clicked on. When you click on the individual options that you can click on have dotted circles with larger circles around them. When you hover over top of the larger circles, images appear in the middle and describe options within the section you’re in (ex: group tours, discounts, booking online). From this website you can also book the activities you would like to do, making the process smooth and easy, while also providing the user and engaging and beautiful website to navigate.
Step 1.) Start out with a spectacular image.
Step 2.) Go to the left of the window to the tool that looks like a sewed on patch. Click on the patch and select the option for “Patch Tool.”
Step 3.) Once you have selected the “Patch Tool,” begin to draw with your mouse, the shape and size of the section you want to clone. Seeing as how I have selected the area around the dog’s nose, that will be the area, not cloned, but replaced by the area you want to clone.
Step 4.) After choosing the shape that you want to have it’s place taken by the cloned area of your picture, click on the shape and drag it to wherever it is you want to clone. I took the area around the dog’s nose and moved it over his left (our right) eye, so now he has a third eye.
Step 5.) Now that you’ve created one clone, you can go on to create many more if your heart so desires. When cloning with the “Patch Tool,” you can also change the opacity and hardness of the patch/clone you have created.
This picture was the thirty-third of thirty-six pictures in the essay. After seeing all the pictures of children ages four to fifteen years old, their rooms full of toys or barren due to poverty, this image is extremely striking. In a photo essay about children and the places that they sleep, the reader is struck with this fourteen-year-old girl with short jean shorts, a strapless tank-top with a heavily pregnant belly coming out of the bottom of her shirt, and a young, innocent face.
There were other pictures that stood out, like the four-year-old beauty pageant girl, six-year-old Bilal, the couch of nine-year-old Alex, Joey from Kentucky, and Lamine from Senegal. These pictures all stood out in different ways, like what a child should, or is typically exposed to, what living conditions they are growing up in, and how their rooms reflect other aspects of their personalities that come out of their portraits. What makes Erlen’s portrait different is that this is a series about children, and yet she stands there pregnant, with a bedroom that seems to be pieced together as best that they can.
Seeing her stand there with her belly poking out of her tank-top, and the expression on her face, makes the viewer wonder why? How? Is she okay? This is not to say that the viewer wouldn’t or isn’t concerned about the well-being of some of the other children in the essay, but my heart aches thinking that her pregnancy might be the result of rape, being that she is so young. It is also troubling to think about whether or not her pregnancy is even seen as being as “normal” or if she is in a marriage as a child.
The contrasts between the clean white/grey background of the portraits of Erlen and the other children and their rooms, illuminate the pieces of their rooms that reflect their lives and their personalities too. The size of the children next to their rooms make them seem larger than life because they are smaller than their rooms, but they balance each other very well, while being unbalanced. Looking at all the other children in comparison to Erlen, it is interesting and in some cases sad to see the stark differences between how they live and the position they are in within their lives. These images all make you wonder about what is going on outside of the small snapshot and blurb about whole they are.
In Derrida’s Archive Fever, he discusses what exactly an archive is and where the word originally came from. The Greeks used the work arkhe and he goes on to discuss the word’s “two principles” according to “nature or history… but also the principle according to the law” (9). This calls into question whether we can ever truly have the perfect archive because the archive itself is conflicted between what has naturally happening and what is being commanded by law to “happen.” Taking into consideration that law and those in charge play a role in what gets archived and how lets us as an audience to these archives see that what we are presented with may not be the true and natural record of what happened. Controlling what is being archived allows for whoever is in charge to shape the reality of the past that they are preserving for the future. In the ancient Greek times, this may have been what the leaders of the country wanted to be remembered, leaving out any sordid details and damage that their rule left for the country.
This practice continues today, on large and individual scales. Derrida discusses how technology progresses and continuously shapes how we archive and the impacts that both have on our world. He talked about the importance of emails, but now we have so much more to record things. We are able to see when a text message was sent and even read, when we posted the picture of our dog on Instagram (my last dog picture was just yesterday), and when a current president tweeted two years ago about whether or not we as citizens could “impeach a president for gross incompetence.” With all of these advances in technology, we are seemingly able to have the most accurate records and most accurate archives to date, but do we? In the age of social media, we have learned to construct our realities for others. We tweet about the funniest things that happened to us today, or tweak our stories so we can get more likes or retweets. We don’t tweet about how the small mundane things that help shape our lives because no one wants to hear about that! We use Instagram to show our followers the highlights of our lives. These highlights and bent truths present a distorted and ultimately untrue archive of who we are. Social media has made us individual masters of our own archives and what we choose to present and ultimately forget because archives allow us to rely less on our memory and more on the physical or digital proof that means more.
This brings me to my final point. If we as preteens, teenagers, millennials, and all kinds of individuals, the “little guys,” can perfect these illusions within our archives, what are the “big guys” creating? Have we questioned our governments, leaders, or even our idols? Do we have in our presence the most perfect archives? And if the answer is yes, then how much of these perfect archives are true and are true archives perfect, or imperfect?