Jaws Dolly Zoom

Within numerous films, camera techniques are used to denote a change in tone or focus the attention on a character or scene. However, there are some movements of the camera that not only make an entire scene memorable but cause the audience to question how that clip was shot. Enter the dolly zoom. One of the best examples of a dolly zoom can be found within Jaws. Before the shot is introduced, the audience is introduced to police chief Martin Brody. In a scene at the beach, it seems to be an average day, but Brody is on edge. On cue, the iconic underwater shark camera lurks towards a pair of feet in the water. We see quick jerky camera movements in the water as if we were there. Shots of the crowd reacting to this terrifying experience. Then the camera pans back to Brody.

To understand how we interpret a dolly zoom, we first need to learn how it works behind the camera. This effect is done by the lens of the camera zooming in or out and the camera dollies (moves) backwards or forwards generally the opposite way of the zoom. This creates the illusion that the background changes its size relative to the subject in focus.

When the camera gets to Brody, a few things are very noticeable at first. He’s centered on screen making him the obvious center of attention. More specifically, his face is at the center. It isn’t directly centered, but it is apparent that this is our focal point. Besides, his navy-blue shirt can easily fall out of focus since it is only one color and doesn’t have any outgoing designs. The camera starts to pan forward. The dolly zoom is in full effect.

The background starts creeping forward as we get a wider shot of the horizon. When the camera is first on Brody, it is a nice sunny day and we can see that with the beach and sand behind him. Yet, when the camera moves closer, a shed or shack on the left of Brody comes into view and it seemingly casts a shadow over him. At the same time, the sand that was directly behind him upon first notice appears to go much further back. This seems to baffle the audience because it goes too far back at the speed the camera is panning towards Brody. However, the movement of the sand causes us to look directly where intended: Brody’s face.

Still in the middle of the screen is Brody’s face. Once the dolly zoom starts, we see his facial expressions warp from a look that’s both reluctant and deep in thought, to shock and realization, and finally to concern and panic. There is even a subtle blink in there, which is literally his eyes trying to process what they just saw. It seems to be a completely natural response as expected by audiences after seeing a shark attack. We can even see him start to move forward in his chair as a call to immediate action (probably from him being the police chief). With both the movement of the camera and the concentration on his face, this three second clip is able to convey how natural our reactions really can be.

This dolly zoom was not only able to completely make history when it comes to camera direction, but it captures human nature and character development in a mere three seconds. Without the dolly zoom effect being present in this scene, there would be no sense of primal fear and urgency. Instead it would look unprofessional if the camera was to move closer to his face or just zoom in. Ultimately, the use of both of these elements adds for an unforgettable movie scene.


Wittiness for our Well-being

In the medicinal world, top researchers are always trying to find new ways to cure diseases. Whether it’s more cost-effective or time-sensitive, there is always research being done to improve or create medicine all over the world. Yet, what if there was a way to cure both physical and mental conditions that didn’t require any money and everyone could get access too? Well, there already is; laughter. The age-old saying “laughter is the best medicine” is, in fact, true to its word.

To identify if laughter truly is the best medicine, we must get an idea of what happens to our bodies when we laugh. Luckily, Rod Martin goes over this extensively in his journal article Is Laughter the Best Medicine? Humor, Laughter, and Physical Health. His first example reveals that “laughter might produce physiological changes in various systems of the body, which may have beneficial effects on health.” This includes how it “relaxes muscles, improves respiration, stimulates circulation, increases the production of pain-killing endorphins, decreases the production of stress-related hormones, and enhances immunity.” If these are just some of the physiological changes, one can only imagine how many other influences it has without us knowing.

 Humor can be used to diffuse a situation and turn it from negative to positive. When the embarrassing action or traumatizing event becomes the focal point of a joke, it creates a better sense of understanding and moving on from these experiences. Todd McGowan reiterates this in Only a Joke Can Save Us, explaining “In order to experience comedy even in trauma, we must experience the trauma from a distance and simultaneously identify ourselves with the traumatized subject.” If we don’t look at things through a positive lens, it can have a long-term effect on our mental health. With this mental block of negativity holding us back, it prevents us from really getting the most out of life. For students especially, negativity would limit them from doing their best in school and maybe even having a social life. Yet, humor helps in that sense too. We fuel each other’s humor by making one another laugh. Rod Martin explains that “humor may indirectly benefit health by increasing one’s level of social support. Individuals with a good sense of humor may be more socially competent and better able to reduce tensions and conflicts in relationships” A positive outlook accompanied by a good sense of humor can allow us to flourish in society. We are already very social animals so adding laughter to the equation will only increase our compatibility and decrease our negativism.

Laughter can even reach lengths that are very unexpected. Take Bryanne Patail as a prime example of this. As a medical technology professional, he actively “deals with patient deaths and injuries caused by medical error or device malfunction.” Yet, he still finds a way to incorporate humor into his seemingly mundane job. This emphasis on humor in the workplace is able to set a great standard for positive mental health. Bob Stiefel, the director of a clinical engineering department, agrees “adding that humor can also be used to reinvigorate people trying to resolve a knotty issue.” With too much seriousness among companies, it can cause these workers to lose interest in their job and potentially not perform as well. There needs to be a sense of lightheartedness among coworkers to establish better connections and this can easily be done through inside jokes or funny moments. Stiefel also puts out there that “You definitely don’t want to be joking around in front of patients and visitors. They need to know you take your work seriously.” Although this puts some restraints on the lengths that humor is able to go, it is for the best because if there is excessive joking around, then nothing would get done. Like medicine, you don’t want to be laughing too much. But using it to get some work done in the workplace is generally a morale booster. Humor in appropriate doses allows us to turn mundane experiences into uplifting and less forgettable ones. This, in turn, can keep us focused on tasks at hand by joking about them or even giving us a quick break after working on it too much. This is why humor in our workplaces is crucial and has more impact than most people generally think.

With the various examples listed above, it can be proven now that the saying “laughter is the best medicine” can truthfully be applied within our society. No longer is it just a saying that conveys that we should stay positive during times where we need medicine. Now, not only is there plenty of proof researched on this topic, but those who might have doubted this information or not known it can put it into use. Whenever someone is physically or mentally ill, someone who knows this information is now more likely to use laughter to aid them in the recovery process. People can even use the information found throughout this paper to use in their day to day lives. When unwanted stress forms or when something small but negative happens, if people remember to either make a joke out of their situation or find something to laugh at, they’re more likely to overcome that negativity, leaving us healthier and happier in the process.

Space Colonization for a Human Future

The proposition of space colonization brings forth new ideas that could make the human civilization last longer. The ideal outcome would be to find a place/places where humans can prosper indefinitely while collecting resources to allow us to do this. Scientists have determined that we can’t live on Earth forever and we are slowly killing the Earth with overpopulation. According to the Wikipedia article, even renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has come out and supported our need for space colonization, or else it could bring forth “the prospect of long-term extinction.” In order to prevent this thought from even crossing our minds, we should start colonizing space. With technology advancing every day, if the U.N. works together to fund and support this, we could be habituating space within the next quarter-century. Additionally, this could help us deal with issues we are currently having on Earth like climate change. If we can discover planets or other places to live, we can learn to adapt and survive with new terrains and climates. Plus, it could teach us how to utilize our technology better to not harm Earth any further. With Elon Musk and NASA currently working on such devices to aid us in space colonization, this will certainly be a heavily discussed issue in the coming future.

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism Short Analysis

In Marina Smolens’ The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism, the aspect of photojournalism as art is heavily implied as to the main thesis throughout. Smolens’ argues that the “line between photojournalism and photographic art is sometimes hard to locate” and is able to prove this with evidence throughout the history of the topic at hand.

She gathers countless information, such as quotes from photojournalists and pictures that can be considered art, to start piecing together a definitive answer to her query. From journalists at the New York Times to the photographers who took the pictures themselves, Smolens’ deciphers how ethical of a decision it is to choose which photos are proper to show the public. One point she brings forth to the audience is how “a huge motivation for producing photographs is to initiate conversation, and if not conversation, at least spark compassion.” This helps strengthen her argument towards the influence that photography has had thus far and sets up for her next example as to its reputation.

Overall, this essay on The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism was able to do its job by analyzing how much significance the reader has in the photograph. One thing that was made clear constantly throughout this was that photography needs both the ethics of the photographer and the ethics of the viewer to line up so that the photo can be deemed appropriate.

Analysis of The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism


  • Photojournalism has become an ethical way of portraying humans
  • It also compares photojournalism with art

Target Audience:

  • The general public
  • Anyone interested in the topic
  • Wants to not only educate the audience but inform them of her opinion on photojournalism


  • The quotes cited throughout the passage from
    • NPAA
    • David Finklestein
    • Chris Vogner
    • Michael Kimmelman
    • Paolo Pellegrin
    • Tim O’Brien
  • The pictures added to the passage
  •  “Before there was language, there were drawings on cave walls. Then came written word, and eventually, we arrived at photography. Photography has revolutionized communication and the means by which we convey and share information.”


  • Assertive in her use of evidence
  • Diction used throughout the passage
  • “Again, there is an emphasis on revealing truths about humanity but no mention on the role of art and aesthetics within these photographs. Informing the public seems to be the main purpose of photojournalism, but at what point does it become a form of art”


  • Keeps reader invested with strongly worded views
  • Can be see especially towards the end
  • “There will be endless debate about the morality of photojournalism, but one thing is clear: no matter the manipulation, aestheticism, and exploitation, it is an image of real people and their realities, and viewers must always be mindful of that.”

Leaving My Mark in High School

At the start of senior year, I had one goal for myself: do something you can be remembered for. This is when an idea hit me. My freshman year, our school had made a lip dub, and, in all honesty, it wasn’t all too good. Not only had they decided to only use television theme songs, but it was also filmed after school on a half-day causing fewer people to show up. I knew that I could put together such a feat that would ultimately be better, but it would take a lot. When the video was complete, I knew that I would have left my mark.

First, I had to talk to some higher powers of authority to have any sort of chance to get this pulled off. I went to the teacher last responsible for the previous lip dub: the journalism teacher, Mr. Ringel. Luckily, I had him as a teacher that year. When I approached him with the idea, he said “Yeah, I think that’d be a great idea. We just have to talk to Principal Manka before we start making any progress, so it doesn’t get shut down”.

Starting with only four people, we put down some songs that would presumably energize people as they heard it played throughout the halls. Narrowing it down to six, we next remixed the songs into one seven-minute track and chose a route through the school to walk that would not only be able to show off our school but would take the same amount of time as the track.

In early November, I met with Principal Manka to discuss our plans. As I explained what we were going to do, he seemed to be weighing out the pros and cons in his head. It appeared every suggestion I was proposing would have gotten the response “Well…” or “Yes but…”. After my explanation, he asked questions that only applied to explanations I hadn’t brought up. I took a deep breath and managed to answer his follow-ups while reiterating the information I previously told him. Finally, with a big smile on his face, he said: “I love it, let’s get started as soon as we can!”

November was a bit slow because it was mostly seniors and we all had to work on our college applications. Come mid-December, things kicked into full gear. The most important thing we needed to do was find a cameraman. Luckily one day the perfect one stumbled into Mr. Ringel’s room.

“Hi, I’m looking for the lip-dub thing or someone to contact about it” he confidently said walking in with a handheld tripod. Ringel and I turned our heads in unison. “Well, that’s reassuring that you’re holding a camera” I mentioned. His name was Will Bloom and he had taken photography for all high school. After a brief explanation of what we’d need him to do, it was clear he was the perfect person for the job. We worked as a trifecta from then on.

I handled the seniors who wanted to physically be in front of the camera. I took the songs and divided them into 34 roughly equal parts meant for two people to lip-sync at once. Then people had a first-come-first-serve opportunity to select which part they wanted. Once selected, Will had hand-drawn a map of the route we were taking, and we had to place where everyone would go. Simultaneously, Ringel was sending emails to all the staff to see who wanted their clubs promoted and if so, how many people would be there so we could control hallway space. Yet again, we found ourselves back on the map all working diligently to make sure every possible space was taken up and not too claustrophobic.

Finally, the day had come. Time to put all that hard work planning this event into a mere half-hour of actual production. It all went by so quickly. When I got to the where the video had ended and everyone was cheering at the top of their lungs, I was filled with excitement and content. Stamford High had redeemed itself from its previous, inferior lip dub. And my impact was able to impact my classmates with school spirit and unforgettable memories as well.

I ran out of good titles

Hi everyone. My name is Jacob Herz and I’m from Stamford, CT. Right now, I am undeclared so technically a University Studies major. The last book I read on my own time was Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. On my free time, I enjoy ultimate frisbee, listening to all types of music, and watching movies (my favorites being The Big Lebowski and Inglorious Basterds). Can’t wait for the first semester!