Slide.com

September 17, 2010

Newspaper readership has found a new home on the net and as a consequence, more papers are focusing their efforts on making the move from paper to multimedia.

Taking example from this national online migration, many school publications have started to transition as well, forming their own blogs; however, many of those starting out are conflicted with using the blogging sites such as WordPress, Blogger, and Xanga to their full potential. Having only known the basics of posting articles, it is usually hard to make multimedia more interesting and user friendly. 

For those of you facing the same problem, Slide, easily helps incorporate costumizable shows to WordPress, Blogspot and xanga blogs. You can use it to cover sports, plays and other events through pictures with text or alone. The process of creating those like the one above is just as easy if not identical to uploading pictures on Facebook. Not only is this perfect and understandable for high school staffers but also great for those on the go who can get the story after minutes of picture viewing.

Many people say ‘I Do’ to Denis Reggie. When considering a wedding photographer, who better to ask than the founder of wedding photojournalism himself? 

Reggie’s photography career kick started in high school when an injury prevented him from playing on the football team. Consequently, he took up sports photography to maintain a relationship with his teammates . From there he developed an appreciation of spontaneous candids which he later found to be lacking in the wedding photography industry. Unable to take the, Say Cheese’s and Look Here’s, at an ex-grilriend’s wedding, he decided to apply his sideline knowledge to develop a new medium: wedding photojournalism.

 As a former photographer teacher described to me, the difference between the normal wedding photographers and the wedding photojournalists is that the photojournalist let’s the event fall at its own seams. They let things happen. Whereas traditional wedding photographers adusts peoples’ placements, posing group shots and the cut of a cake, wedding photojournalists place themselves in the chaos of what is going on, allowing the camera to document and observe the events of the day.

As a relatively new branch in the photography industry, wedding photojournalism has has opened new creative oulets for photographers to explore and in turn, has changed their approach to other related facets of th industry including engagement photography and family portraiture. Clearly, this nondominant approach of allowing the subject to be candid – honest and true to life – is not only important to journalism but to the mode of photography itself.

I highly recommend these outsanding wedding photographers for your viewing and learning pleasure:

Alison Yin

photo credit to Alison Yin

 Sergio Mottola

photo credit to Sergio Mottola

 Amelia Lyon

photo credit to Amelia Lyon

Make Your own iPad apps

August 10, 2010

photo credit to Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr

The new Adobe InDesign CS5 promotes the use of more interactivity with your documents. Together, the new components within the software together with other Adobe products such as Illustrator, Flash and Fireworks allows users to easily create their own iPad applications and interactive magazines. Slideshows, video and audio can be created and added with ease. Check it out!

The Triangle of Exposure: With computers, its the blue screen of death and with cameras, its the purely black or purely white screen of death. What’s the medicine to this madness? Triple checking your elements of exposure of course. Accordingly, figure out what ISO, aperature and shutter speed will work best for your situation. 

Picture Quality: Usually, setting your camera to RAW rather than JPEG will yield the best results. Not only does this setting produce a higher quality image but also enables you to be more creative during post processing without being too destrimental.

Lens: To avoid blurry pictures, make it a habit to clean your lens before a shoot and most importantly, check if the autofocus is on.

White Balance: Although it is easy to set the white balance to auto, to be more creative then reveal the Goldilocks in you. Do you want the picture to seem more cold, warm or just right? Also, have a meter handy because your camera’s lcd screen can lie. 

Remaining Shots: Especially if you’re shooting on RAW, have extra memory cards handy. Sure, if you’re in a desperate situation you can change the quality setting to JPeG;however, the best remedy to this problem without compromising picture quality, is uploading all your pictures immediatly after every shoot.

Battery Power: Check your battery power beforehand and always bring extras. You’ll never know when your battery will start to die. Also, note that your flash drains the battery so use it sparingly. 

Editting & Piecing the Story Together.

Now, let’s fast forward: you’ve interviewed, shot footage and photographed your subject matter. You are ready to create!

 Review what you have collected and edit accordingly.

  • As with news stories and Youtube clips, videos should be short, varied and concise (around 1-3 minutes). NewsU recommends to ,whenever possible, switch to “B-roll” mode which covers the subject and his/her environment when you haven’t interviewed them. What Does Justice Meanto You? doesn’t use B-roll. See the difference?
  • Choose your photographs. You may want to combine them into a slideshow and create other interactive features using Adobe Flash; however, most importantly, to maintain photojournalistic integrity of your subject, you should always avoid using Photoshop.
  • Text should be used sparingly and only when necessary (headlines, complex explanations, etc.). Think as if your advertising your story to the world. In magazines, people go straight to the pictures not the type. They like things quick, concise and simple. Thus, it is better to implement your other media and use text as your last resort.
  • Audio (see  the Audio-Visual series)

If you’re creating stories for online, create templates for your stories with ease of use in mind. There isn’t anything more aggravating than a webpage that is impossible to navigate or has font impossible to read. Also, you’ll want to vary up your design and widgets on ech page. Mix it up with a little video here and a slide show there, but don’t go overboard.

When you go out to do your fieldwork, be just as cautious as you would on a vacation. Plan where you will go and what you will do in each place. Be flexible. Anything can happen and everything can go wrong so have a back up plan handy. If you’re shooting video or pictures, see what the weather is like earlier on. Most importantly remember to pack your essentials when on the field! Keep in mind, on this trip, your camera is your toothbrush. Here are other things you might want to bring as well:

  • Laptop loaded with software such as Photoshop,iMovie and Word to keep your stories timely. 
  • Camera, Video camera and their accessories (lenses, filters, microphones, headphones, batteries, tripod)
  • Lens cleaners such as brush, towels and solution. 
  • Extra batteries
  • Plastic bags to keep cameras safe in weather 
  • Pen and paper to write down details as you’re shooting and interviewing. If all your video and audio suddenly gets deleted, this’ll be handy.
  •  

    Research Early. Become familiar with the information that is already out there. Don’t waste your time extracting information from an interview that you could get online or from a pamphlet. Instead, research ahead of time. Look online at old articles, interviews, video and pictures. Conduct preliminary interviews from your subject or people associated with him or her. This will help to provide topics to ellaborate on later on.  

    The information you extract will not only help to provide possible story ideas but also help you create a storyboard. A story board organizes the story in a way that helps to identify the story’s focus, the media involved in each aspect of the story and the resources you will need (people, microphones, videocamera, etc.).

    When developing your storyboard:

    First, as they say at NewsU and Knight Digital Media Center , “divide the story into its logical, nonlinear parts”. This involves brainstorming and piecing together the pros and cons, character profiles, main events, the lead, and background for different angles and perspectives to approach the story from.

    Secondly, assign types of media that works best with each part.

    • Video: Conveys a visual of the action going on, allowing the audience to hear and see the central subject at a central place in the story. 
    • Graphics: Help to quickly and candidly instill a strong emotion within the audience. Paired with audio, they can also help to place the audience within the story, putting them in the subjects shoes. 
    • Audio: Creates ambience and concrete voice to the piece.
    • Text: Explains details within the complex story that other media cannot. This includes the background information, different processes, and convoluted ideas that are hard to explain. 

    Third, with the information organized, you will be able to sketch out how to display your information on paper, online, etc.

    Who Are You Talking To?

    August 4, 2010

    “And I was going to….

    but there was something stuck in my….

    however, when you look at it, this way…

    Hello? Hello? Are you even listening to me?

    Have you ever been in a situation where you found out you were talking to yourself the whole time? Well, unfortunately, it is a frequent mishap that plagues many journalists: although you may think that a reader, viewer or listener is paying attention, they may as well be turning the other way from boredom and disinterest. Thus, it is important to know your audience. Beforehand, know who you’re intending to write, shoot, or talk with and use an approach that will get your audience to listen. Especially with news briefs, this may mean that you will have to be concise and to the point; however, a story that is more of a feature piece will need more than just the factual substance. Try varying your story with quotes from different sources. Be playful with your style.  Most importantly, make the story relevant to your audience and hit home to them. Try localizing international and national news headlines and finding the angle that effects them. Make the story matter.

    Writing Your Lead

    August 1, 2010

    Use Allusions. Picture an ad lib of a well known speech or quotation: MLK’s “I have a Dream Speech, Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or even a well known song. Now give your own twist by making it relevant to your story.

    WWEDD: What would Emily Dickinson Do? The key to Emily Dickinson’s success was her ability to draw metaphors and similes to describe the world arround her. Similarly, compare and contrast your story to other situations that your reader can identify with and recognize. Maybe you could draw the parrallel between the behavior of the incoming freshmen class and their fear of the seniors to the Greek laborynth and the fear of the the minotaur or contrast a teacher’s spat of anger to a bubble gum balloon waiting to burst. Be creative, playful and clever.

    “Set the Mood” You are the narrator to someonelse’s story so paint the scene. Describe a location, what happneed before, or a character. Make sure to keep tone in mind!

    Question Marks, Exclamation Marks, & Quotations: Some of the most common ways of writing eads starts off with these three grammatical punctuations. Introduce your subjects with a rhetorical question, an interjection, a shocking statistic or a quote.

    Learn from the Movies. Approach a lead for your article as if you’re developing a trailer to your own movie.  What makes your story hilarious, shocking and suspensful? Describe them in a short paragraph or blurb. Experiencing writer’s block? Watch the trailers to your favorite movies. Pay attention to how the trailers begin whether it be a scene or quote or question and how, as whole, the trailer paints the story of the characters in the movie. Here are trailers from movies in theaters now: Inception, Eat Pray Love, and Dispicable Me.

    Issuu: For those of you who create zines and newsletters, Issuu allows you to publish them online for free. Just save your document as a PDF and Issuu will upload it as a digital edition that actually opens up like a real magazine. This site is also nice to check out how others are using design elements in their work. You are sure to be inspired.

    Wix: Looking to make a website for your photojournalist portfolio? Wix makes creating a sleek flash website easy and for free. You can choose from different templates or compile widgets and slideshow styles yourself.  

    WordPress: Yes, there’s blogger & tumblr, but let’s face it: Wordpress is the bogger’s choice. Here, there’s more memory and more theme choices that get update once in a while. The dashboard makes it easier to organize your media and track the stats of your blog.  

    Vimeo: Although Youtube has more users, Vimeo has better video quality and less inappropriate content to traffic your feeds. The types of videos here are more creative and aren’t flooded with too many amateur vloggers.

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