Ocean Plastic Pollution’s Effect on Marine Ecosystems

Since plastic was first introduced to humans as a synthetic resource, it has been developed to the point where almost anything can be made out of plastics. The material was strong, long-lasting, cheap, and sterile. Because of its versatility and cheapness, plastic began to be used to create disposable products that required mass production. We humans did not control the flow of the plastic waste well and it has thus spilled over into the oceans. It was nigh indestructible, and because of their small size, marine animals commonly get tangled within it or consume the plastics. This situation is what has lead to the current issues affecting marine biodiversity in the oceans.

What is Ocean Plastic Pollution?

When referring to ocean plastic pollution, oftentimes people mean the proliferation of plastics within the ocean that directly affect marine ecosystems. This sort of pollution has become a significant issue that will severely hamper the marine ecosystems’ ability to maintain equilibrium. In a few years, this will result in the extinction of multiple species unable to adapt to the thoroughly polluted oceans.

However, there are people who do not believe in ocean plastic pollution’s extreme effects. In order to prove these predicted effects, graphical data will be exhibited alongside an explanation describing the relationship between the data, pollution, and marine life.

Ocean Plastic Pollution Data

Looking at Graph 1 and 2 on the infographic, it can be observed that global plastic production has been increasing over the course of multiple decades while the percentage of global plastic waste discarded is decreasing. By crunching the numbers, the data will show that despite the decrease in the percentage of discarded waste, the amount of waste is still increasing. In 2010, 250 million tons of plastics were produced and 60% was discarded, equating 150 million tons of discarded trash. In 2015, 325 million tons of plastic were produced and 55% was discarded, therefore 179 million tons of trash was discarded. This does not bode well for the ocean, as discarded plastic is often dumped into the ocean.

Interestingly, by looking at Graph 3, the numbers show that many species have already had documented records of plastic ingestion. The small plastics are often mistaken by marine life as food, which results in the continuous consumption of plastics. Because plastic cannot be digested by their stomachs, the aquatic creatures that swallow them end up with plastic stuck in their guts forever. This results in smaller stomach sizes and the ability to absorb nutrients. Additionally, the extra weight of the plastics will weigh down fish and hamper seabirds’ ability to fly. These symptoms will ultimately result in premature death. The number of affected animals and species who experience this will only increase as time goes by.

This leads to the final graph, Graph 4, which projects the mass of plastic waste within the ocean until 2025. It shows three different predictions, a low estimate, a middle estimate, and a high estimate. Each of these forecasts, however, all predict that the mass of plastic in the ocean will be significantly larger than what it currently is. As seen in Graph 1 and 2, more trash is being discarded every year, and much of that trash ends up in the ocean. If trends continue, Graph 4’s predictions will likely come to fruition.


This issue has multiple causes that can be prevented by each person’s everyday actions. The most impactful issue, however, is the mass production, usage, and disposal of plastics. In order to minimize the impact of plastics, the solution below can help:

  • Recycling plastics that would otherwise be thrown away
  • Reduce your waste and plastic use
  • Utilize reusable packaging, bags, cup, etcetera whenever you can
  • Use biodegradable materials

Element Assessment – Leighton DuYang

Leighton DuYang

Mr. Herzberg

English 10

February 24, 2019

Element Assessment Rationale – “An Inspector Calls”

            Complex characters are people whose character change because of their experiences. In “An Inspector Calls,” Sheila is one such complex character. At the beginning of the play, her behavior is vain and prideful. However, as she experiences conflict, she reforms herself to become humble. Her change is associated with interactions between the inspector, leading towards self-reflection. Through the use of a graphic, paired with quotes, Sheila’s change in character clearly shown.

In the beginning, on page 23, Sheila states, “When I was looking at myself in the mirror I caught sight of her smiling at the assistant, and I was furious with her.” When the prideful Sheila, felt threatened, she lashed out towards the threat, Eva Smith, and had her fired. Later, on page 24, she says, “I’ll never, never do it again to anybody.” Trying to cut off the past, Sheila then swears to discontinue her demeaning actions. Lastly, on page 70, where others are forgetting their misdeeds and ignoring their wrongs, Sheila stands and contrarily declares that she has changed, “But you’re forgetting one thing I still can’t forget. Everything that we said had happened really had happened… it didn’t end tragically… But it might have done.” This solidifies Sheila’s change as a character and her standing as a complex character.

The graphic is meant to support this message. The mirror symbolizes many things, but it commonly expresses vanity and pride and self-reflection. Sheila’s conflict began through her vanity reflected by the mirror. Later, she then realizes her mistake., and to maintain her pride, she vows off future demeaning behavior. Lastly, through self-reflection, Sheila has found that she needs to improve herself. The mirror that Sheila looks through represents all these symbols, and together with the quotes, they characterize Sheila and her path of changes throughout the play.

Portraits – 10 Techniques

The photo, 2342, was taken from a birds-eye-view perspective which helps to add interest to the subject and to alter the perspective.

The photo, 2202, plays with eye contact so that there is a sense of connection between the subject and viewer.

The photo, 2228, breaks the rules of composition, specifically, the rule of odds. There are two people and two hands creating a binocular-shaped form. There is nothing between each of the two sets of two, but it still attracts your eye to the main subject nonetheless.

The photo, 2159, plays with the lighting by having one side of the subject’s face illuminated and the other in the shadows. This creates a vivid image for the viewer to look at.

The photo, 2338, was a result of the subject moving out of their comfort zone. The position he got into and the expression he had was extremely uncomfortable for him, but it produced good results.

The photo, 2353, was a candid shot of my subject’s hand when they were watching a tense moment in a movie. After they discovered they were being photographed they reacted negatively, but at that moment, they were in their own state of mind.

The photo, 2293, focused on the subject’s hand in particular. By focusing on the hand you can see wrinkles and other signs of aging. Without seeing the face, you can paint a picture of the person.

The photo, 2318, shows the subject obscuring their own face with their hands. Whatever it means is up to the viewer’s interpretation of the image, but it does help to focus the image’s subject.

The photo, 2211, is a photo with a wide angle, but it is so empty and that helps to reflect upon the subject themselves.

The photo, 2197, shows the subject in a tense mood, or perhaps talkitive, depending on your interpretation. This expression is what makes the image.

Cyanotype Reflection

Before this class, I had never heard of the term cyanotype, but I had encountered it occasionally in school. I had never really wondered how they were created, thinking that a fully colored photo would always be better, but after learning about the process and going through the said process, I can definitely admit that my interest was piqued.

My first cyanotype was a photo of my father’s hand. It had turned out surprisingly well with the image being extremely clear and the colors turning out very sharp. The colors of blue and white really did have their own type of charm.

My second cyanotype was a photo of my family when I was extremely small. We were visiting New York during the winter that year. With the many lessons learned by the entire class from our first cyanotype, we prepared to do better this time. And indeed the results turned out better, more people ended up with good results from their second cyanotype. Mine was definitely better as the people in my cyanotype were extremely clear and sharp.

Cyanotype is a process of copying photos dating all the way back to 1842. “The English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered the procedure in 1842. Though the process was developed by Herschel, he considered it as mainly a means of reproducing notes and diagrams, as in blueprints.” (Wikipedia) The process was developed as a photographic printing process that was commonly used until the 20th century.

There are many steps to take in order to complete a cyanotype. The first step is to mix ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide together in equal amounts in order to create the mixture that will be spread onto a thick sheet of paper that can withstand water. Before moving on, make sure that the chemicals on the paper dry in a dark environment for about 2 minutes, or until it’s dry. The second step would be to place a transparency with an inverted black-and-white image printed upon it on top of the side of the paper that had chemicals spread over it. It should be made sure that the transparency is touching the paper in that the two have little to no space between. The third step would be to place the transparency and paper outside in bright sunlight for 1 hour. After that, the fourth step would be to rinse the paper, after the transparency is taken off, for about 2 minutes; make sure that all the chemicals are rinsed off. After this process is completed pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the paper and then repeat the rinsing process for 1 minute. The fifth step is to take that rinsed paper and dry it with a wire making sure that the paper stays relatively flat.

HuTong Field Trip Reflection

The field trip to the HuTongs in Beijing was extremely fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but most importantly, I took many amazing photos. During my time there, I tried to follow as many compositional rules as I could, and I believe I succeeded with that. Prime examples of this are the two photos showcased above.

The first one is panning shot that blurred out everything except for my subject. This photo was completely accidental as I didn’t have much time to get ready when I saw the photo. However, despite that, there are still a few guidelines that I believe have appeared in the photo, particularly the rule of odds. This is quite an uncommon guideline to see, but my subject is indeed surrounded by two other people (or cars). This photo also breaks the rules of composition with the subject on the left (imaginary) vertical line instead of on the right one, like how the rule of thirds operates.

The second photo is a shot that was made with the guidelines in mind. The stone fence on the right and the stone floor (in the middle, to the left to the stone fence) all are leading lines which are leading to the image in the middle where a man is fishing. The tree on the top of the photo is hanging over the lake which creates a beautiful reflection that also naturally helps to frame the fisherman. In addition, I also believe that the balance of the shot helps make the photo more aesthetically appealing since the juxtaposition of the lake and the land completes the image.

Aperture Collage


The hole in which light comes through into a camera is the aperture. The aperture can be adjusted on the camera lens or in the camera settings, and as the aperture decreases, a less amount of light will come into the camera. In the Exposure Triangle, it changes the depth of field, or just the depth, of the photo.

You would use a lower aperture when you want a photo to focus on a deep depth of field, and you would use a larger aperture when you want a photo with a shallow depth of field.

When the aperture is too high, the lighting may be too bright, and when the aperture is too low, the lighting may be too dark. One way to solve this problem is to change the ISO accordingly, and another way to solve this problem would be to adjust the shutter speed accordingly.

By understanding aperture and its role, it is possible to better adjust the settings on Manual Mode to create better photos.

ISO Collage

What is ISO? Well, ISO is what affects how sensitive the sensor in a camera is which in turn affects the exposure of photos so that they will not have to be exposed for so long. When the lighting is brighter you would typically use a lower ISO where-as when the lighting is darker, you would typically use a higher ISO. A negative side effect of using ISO is the grainy pictures that will appear if the ISO is too high because of the absence of strong lighting. Understanding ISO can help you to take many marvelous photos under conditions where the lighting is not satisfactory.

1 Object/ 30 Photos

In this assignment, we were to take 30 photos showcasing the compositional guidelines with one repeating object in them. The purpose of this assignment was to familiarize us with the the compositional guidelines. It is important to remember the compositional guidelines because they help to define the photos that we take in the future. The most challenging part about this assignment was trying not to repeat any photos photos because I took most of my photos in my house and it was pretty small. The big takeaway from this assignment was to pay attention to my surroundings because you never know what could be there.

Principles of Design

There are many principles of design which all help to make a photo look better. Principles are helpful because they make a photo ‘pop’. I learned that the many elements help make a photo more pleasing and more attractive. This was my favorite photo because it really captured the stillness of the environment and the contrast between the spoon and the forks, knifes, and chopsticks in the background.

Elements of Art

This element of art is shape.

While this element is quite simple and basic, it helps viewers to see objects and visualize them in a different way with layers on top or next to each other instead of 3D objects that are side by side.

When taking this photo, I learned that the ambiguity of the mountains makes it more intriguing as it only shows the outline and not any irrelevant details.

This photo exemplifies the element of shape. In the background, the mountains’ silhouettes represent shape. It displays the shape of the mountains and the relief of said mountains. If you look at the photo, you can clearly see all the mountain peaks and the rough slopes on the mountain.