Video Assignment

Clinton Boutelle and Alex Barrett Video:

The purpose of this assignment was to take video at an event, and then turn the raw footage into an actual video. Just like for the social media assignment, I took video at the Inflatable Fire Education House booth at the Denver Boy Scout Show at the National Western Complex in Denver. This is an annual event put on boy scouts and their supporters in the Denver area. The Inflatable Fire Education House is used as a tool to teach kids about fire safety. Chris Barrett, the creator of the Inflatable Fire Education House, his assistants and Denver Firefighters were all at the event to help with the kids’ education.

Like I said in the last post, I really enjoyed the experience. I liked taking video even more than I liked tweeting. It was fun to video kids getting excited and learning about fire safety. One thing that was hard was getting good camera shots in the Inflatable Fire Education House itself because it is fairly small and has separate rooms. I tried my best to give a good idea of what the rooms look like, but it was harder to do on video than I expected. Another thing that was challenging about video recording at this event was that the compressor that keeps the house inflated is very loud and it was hard to hear what people on the footage were saying in some of the clips. In order to get away from the sound I conducted my interviews down the hall from the booth. This worked out well because it is easier to hear what the interviewees are saying, but having them against a white wall isn’t very interesting. If I did it again I would have taken them outside or to a different place for interviews.

Clinton and I  learned a lot about how to work Adobe Premiere Pro, but it surprised me how complicated we found the program to be. It took Clinton and I a long time to get the program to do what we wanted. I didn’t enjoy the editing portion of the project as much as I expected, but I think now that I know how to work the program better a future project could be more fun.

I could see myself using video in my career someday, but I hope that if  I do have to make a video I can sit down with someone and learn a lot more about putting quality video together first.

Social Media Assignment

The purpose of our social media assignment was to get experience tweeting an event. . The event I covered was the Inflatable Fire Education House booth at the Denver Boy Scout Show at the National Western Complex in Denver. This is an annual event put on boy scouts and their supporters in the Denver area. The Inflatable Fire Education House is used as a tool to teach kids about fire safety. Chris Barrett, the creator of the Inflatable Fire Education House, his assistants and Denver Firefighters were all at the event to help with the kids’ education.

I really enjoyed this event. I had fun tweeting and taking video. It was cool to be able to share pictures and comments with the audience so quickly. One thing that was hard was helping with the event and also trying to take video and tweet. I learned that it is better to write down tweets at the event and then walk away and edit them before you post. Posting on the fly at the event can be hectic and it is easy to make grammatical errors. Once you tweet something  you can’t edit it without deleting it and re-tweeting it. It surprised me that it was harder to think of tweets than I expected. I wish I would have had more time to ask questions of different people at the event, but since I was volunteering as well as trying to media report it was hard to coordinate.

I see myself using social media in my future career so I am glad that I got a taste of what it would be like to tweet an event. This assignment taught me that if I was going to use social media to talk about an event, I would want to have enough other volunteers so that I could focus just on the media aspect.

SoundSlides Project

Intramural Dodge Ball SoundSlides Project

The purpose of this assignment is to learn how to use SoundSlides and to put together an audio and photo slide show. My experience working with my partner was good. It was challenging at first to decide what topic to select. We wanted something that would be interesting to hear about but also lend itself well to good photos. Once we decided on intramural dodge ball the assignment went well. The first interview with Josh Kingston was a lot easier than we anticipated; he was very knowledgeable about the game, and very easy to talk to. He gave good answers to our questions. Our interview with Johnathon Fischer was harder. He didn’t have very good answers to the questions, and didn’t seem all that outgoing or excited to be getting interview, but overall the interviews were fine. We used the Iphone app “Fast Camera” to capture the pictures and it worked great to get action shots other than that some of them still look blurry.

At first we couldn’t get SoundSlides to work, but once I found out that we had to save it to a temp file on the computers it was easy to use. We had the photos and audio completely edited before we inserted them into SoundSlides so it was just a matter of rearranging the photos and adding the captions.

We didn’t get the names of the players on the dodge ball teams, other than the guy we interviewed, so that made the captions a struggle. We used the captions to narrate the game for the viewer which I thought was cool, but it would have been better if we had the names of the players. Another struggle we had with this project was that the “Fast Camera” app doesn’t have a zoom so we couldn’t zoom in on any shots, and had to crop them in Photoshop instead.

If I could change something about this project I would have had us get the names of all the players so that we could give the photos better captions. For my individual SoundSlides project I would advise myself to pick a topic carefully to make sure it is easy to get good audio and photos.

Edited Audio Interview

Below is the edited audio from the interview I did with Clinton Boutelle.

  1. I had a good overall audio editing experience. When I first started working on editing this audio the copy and paste actions weren’t working and I couldn’t figure out why, but then I realized that you cannot edit the audio while it is playing or even when it is paused. When using Audacity the audio must be stopped in order to be edited. Once I figured that out the editing went well.
  2. I learned  a lot about audio editing, but I also learned that it is really important for the person answering the questions to include the first part of the question, and to speak clearly the whole time. It is hard to make those edits after the fact.
  3. I didn’t enjoy editing the audio when I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working, but once I figured it out I enjoyed editing. I also enjoyed choosing the questions and answers to use and which ones not to use.
  4. I was surprised at how short two minutes seemed. I thought we would have to use all the answers to reach that but it turned out I had to leave some answers out. I was also surprised by how long it took to edit the audio. I thought it would be really quick but it definitely took longer than I expected.
  5. I wish I could have collected some ambient noise that related well. It would have been cool to fade out to the sound of a gold ball being hit or something. I also think that is Clinton and I were both to conduct our interviews again we would be better about repeating the questions and talking clearly as well as not laughing in our answers. I think par of that just comes from having experienced editing the audio and knowing what it needs to sound like.

Raw Audio Interview

The link to the raw audio for my interview with Clinton Boutelle is posted below

1. The interviews were harder to conduct than we expected. We kept forgetting to repeat the question with our answer. We wrote out questions and decided what we were each going to talk about, but we should have written out more questions because there are a few silent parts where I didn’t know what else to ask, or to say when I was being interviewed.

2. I learned to have more questions than you think you need written out when you are doing the interview, and to be careful to repeat the questions when being interviewed. I also learned a lot about uploading media through this project. I figured out how to convert MP4 files to WAV files in itunes. This enabled me to record on my iphone, and still be able to get the files in Audacity.

3. I enjoyed answering some of the questions. It is pretty easy for me to talk about my sorority for a long time. I didn’t enjoy not having as many questions to ask and trying to improvise and make the interview last longer.

4. I wish the interviews would have gone more smoothly for both of us. I think since it was the first time, and we didn’t have a lot of questions for each other they were a little rough, but I think  for editing, the audio we have will work fine. A few times one of  us would remind the other to repeat the question and we would say the whole thing again. It sounds weird in this raw audio but should be helpful when we get to editing. If I were to do it again I would have had more questions written down to ask, and been more prepared for what I was going to say.

Audio Recording Assignment 1

For this assignment I practiced taking ambient noise. Below is a link to the track of ambient noise soundbites I took.

Ambient Noise Soundbites

The titles and descriptions of the tracks are listed below:

1. Walking Outside: This is me walking to class. I was wearing boots so the clicking sound of my boots is mostly what you hear. I took it just as I was leaving my house and on my way to the first stop light. This could be good audio for any story that involved people walking. A story about a walk-a-thon would be good for example.

2. Mouse Clicking: This soundbite is of my mouse clicking at work. I was at my desk at work clicking and double clicking on random pages. This could be good for a story about computers, or even a photo that shows someone using a computer.

3.  Cereal: This one is my boyfriend eating Reese Puffs. We were eating breakfast on Saturday when I took this recording.  It almost sounds gross because he was really emphasizing slurping the milk. This would be for a story about cereal, but could also be used more broadly for stories about food in general. Maybe a story about how important eating breakfast is could go well with this soundbite.

4. Typing at Work: In this recording I was typing on my computer at work. I actually opened a word document and started typing real sentences so that it sounded real, and not just like someone was banging the keyboard. I was at my computer at work when I took this recording. This would go well with stories about office work. One example would be a story about someone getting promoted.

5. Running Faucet: This is the sound of water running in the sink. I took it in the bathroom at my house. This one could go well with a story about how much water people should drink everyday.

6. Clicking Fingernails on Desk: This is my clicking my fingernails on the desk. I was at my desk when I took this recording. This one could go well with a story about how people fig-it when they are nervous.

In addition to practicing taking ambient noise, I also practiced audio editing in this assignment. To do that I counted to ten out of order, and then edited the audio so that I was counting in order after I finished.

Counting Audio

This is my first experience with sound editing, and I think it was a good assignment to learn how to use the sound editing program. I really liked that the program was simple and used regular copy and paste commands. I didn’t think this assignment was very hard, but I am worried that other assignments when I am working with more complex audio could get harder.

Photojournalism

J.D. Wagner held a sign to brighten the day of students walking on campus today.

J.D. Wagner holds a sign to brighten the day of students walking on the UW campus today.

Students walk to class on the south west side of campus on a snowy Tuesday morning.

Students walk to class on the south west side of  the UW campus on a snowy Tuesday morning.

Kayla Woodward, a sophomore at UW, takes a shot in the basketball game against San Diego State. The UW women’s basketball team was defeated by San Diego State in their game last Wednesday in Laramie

Kayla Woodward, a sophomore at UW, takes a shot in the basketball game against San Diego State. The UW women’s basketball team was defeated by San Diego State in their game last Wednesday in Laramie.

Baby number 2 takes off at the championship baby race during half time. The UW Women's Basketball team defeated CSU in the game on Feb. 2 in Laramie.

Baby number 2 takes off at the championship baby race during half time of  the UW women’s basketball game.  The team defeated Colorado State University in the game on Feb. 2 in Laramie.

Kaitlyn Mileto

Kaitlyn Mileto, a sophormore at UW, shoots a three pointer in the basketball game against San Diego State. The UW women’s basketball team was defeated by San Diego State in their game last Wednesday in Laramie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The title of  the first feature photo is  “Happy Friday” and the caption is,  “J.D. Wagner holds a sign to brighten the day of students walking on the UW campus today”.   I was walking to class today when I stumbled across this photo.  The shot was pretty easy to take because he was easy to photograph. I felt a little awkward taking this photo, but J.D. was really cool about it. He didn’t seem all that surprised that someone was taking his picture. I used the rule of thirds as a creative device in this photo. This photo also has some depth with the building behind him, and the trees frame the picture nicely.

2. The second feature photo is titled “Snow Day” and the caption is, “Students walk to class on the south west side of  the UW campus on a snowy Tuesday morning”. I like this photo because it shows an everyday event (students walking to class) in a different way. I was walking to class thinking about how pretty everything looked in the snow when I decided to start taking pictures. I really like this one because the trees almost look like a tunnel. This shot was hard to take because I had to keep backing up in order to be able to see enough of the trees, but I had fun taking it. I used framing as a creative device in this photo.

3. The first sports-action photo is titled “Woodward Attempts a Basket” and the caption is, “Kayla Woodward, a sophomore at UW, takes a shot in the basketball game against San Diego State. The UW women’s basketball team was defeated by San Diego State in their game last Wednesday in Laramie”. I found out about this event through friends. The atmosphere was fun and upbeat. I went down to the first couple of rows of the student section to take these pictures. It was a little weird sitting by myself and taking pictures, but not as weird as I expected. I actually enjoyed it once I got started. It was really hard to get this shot. I was taking pictures constantly to get a few good action shots. I used cropping a lot in these photos in order to get one action and not the movement of the whole team.

4. The sports-feature photo is titled “Baby Crawl” and the caption is, “Baby number 2 takes off at the championship baby race during half time of  the UW women’s basketball game.  The team defeated Colorado State University in the game on Feb. 2 in Laramie”.  I took this picture when I was working at the women’s basketball game on Feb. 2″. It was cool because I got to watch the baby crawl from the tunnel at half time. I was really close so the shot was easy to take. I wish I would have taken more pictures of the baby crawl, but I felt a little weird about it because I was in a very professional setting.  I used cropping in this photo. Point of view could be a creative device as well because I am looking down at them slightly.

5. The second sports-action photo is titled “Mileto Shoots a Three Pointer” and the caption is, “Kaitlyn Mileto, a sophormore at UW, shoots a three pointer in the basketball game against San Diego State. The UW women’s basketball team was defeated by San Diego State in their game last Wednesday in Laramie”.  The atmosphere of this photo was more exciting than photo three because it was later in the game, and since it was a close game the crowd was more excited and cheering more. This photo was still really hard to take since it’s an action photo, but I was getting better at it by this point. I felt good about taking this photo. I was over the awkwardness and starting to get the hang of taking action shots. I used cropping to zoom in and get this photo.

This assignment gave me good experience taking pictures of strangers, and made me a little more comfortable with it. I learned that you have to be on the lookout all the times for great photos. At first it surprised me how hard it was to find feature photos. I was in Denver last weekend and thought I would see something there but I didn’t. Toward the end of this week I realized I just wasn’t looking hard enough or really thinking about how to make something interesting out of what I was seeing. I also learned that if you see something interesting you have to take the photo right then because it might not be there later, and then you missed the opportunity. I mentioned that I wish I could have taken more pictures of the baby crawl. In addition to that I wish I would have taken more photos of other things, in Denver for example. I also wish I would have been able to take a general or spot news photo. It would be cool to come across something newsworthy and practice that.

Photography Devices

Danny Hellrung at the Tree in the Rock tourist site in Buford, WY

Danny Hellrung at the Tree in the Rock tourist site in Buford, WY

1. The dominant creative device in this photo is balance. I took the photo so that Danny is the focal point in the photo, but is balanced by the tree. The balance draws the viewer’s attention to the focal point in the photo because no matter which element the viewer sees first, Danny or the tree,  the tree is leaning toward Danny which will lead the viewers eye to him. The balance captures the viewers attention because the two large elements in the photo are eye catching. It is aesthetically pleasing because you can see that Danny is very interested in the tree, but it isn’t the typical tourist photo of someone standing directly in front of the tree.

2. Color is the dominant creative device used in this photo. It draws attention to the focal point because there is a wide

Paint Colors at Graffito Paint Your Own Pottery in Cheyenne, WY

Paint Colors at Graffito Paint Your Own Pottery in Cheyenne, WY

variety of colors in the middle of the photo, and many 0f them stand out. That variety of colors also helps to capture the viewer’s attention. The colors in this photo are aesthetically pleasing because they are mostly grouped together by color category, and lined up so that they are pleasing to they eye.

3. Depth is the main creative device used in this photo. There are objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background.

The Wind Turbine's off the side of Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, WY

The Wind Turbines off the side of Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie, WY

The focal point in the photo is the wind turbine, but the fence and the hills add depth to the photo, and carry the eye toward the turbines. The depth draws attention to the photo because it shows more than one object and makes the photo look less two dimensional. The depth is aesthetically pleasing because the sky and the hills add beauty and interest to the photo.

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Alison Donelan and Anna Smith before their sorority chapter birthday party. The UW chapter of Tri Delta turned 100 this year.

4. The  main creative device used in this photo is framing. The door frame and the porch frame work nicely to frame the girls. The frame draws focus to the girls because the green directly behind them contrasts with the glass windows and the white of the porch, and draw in the eye. The frame catches attention and makes the photo aesthetically pleasing because it adds more interest to the photo than just the girls. I wish I would have moved the red shovel, but I didn’t see it until now.

5. Contrast  is the main creative device used in this photo.  The bright sun is a contrast to the dark sky,

The Tree in the Rock in Buford, WY just before sunset

The Tree in the Rock in Buford, WY just before sunset

tree and ground, which makes it is instantly the focal point. The tree to the side helps balance the photo.  Because the sunlight is so bright in the middle of the photo it catches the viewer’s attention. The contrast of elements makes the photo aesthetically pleasing because the dark and light go well together in the photo.

Prior to this assignment I didn’t know much about creative photography devices. I had heard people talk about the rule of thirds, but I had never seen an explanation of it. I had a lot of fun trying to learn to use the creative devices myself. It surprised me how awkward I felt about taking the pictures for this assignment. I take pictures a lot without really thinking about it, but when I had to stop and think about the kind of photos I wanted to take, and move around to get different angles, it was more awkward. If I could have done somethings differently I would have taken more time to shoot the different photos and I would have made a list of the creative devices to carry with me so I could have used more of them.

University of Wyoming Study Abroad Program

What is Study Abroad?

Florence, Italy (Photo Courtesy of University of Wyoming Study Abroad Program)

Florence, Italy (Photo Courtesy of University of Wyoming Study Abroad Program)

It is exactly what it sounds like. Students have the opportunity to go explore and study in new places all over the world. While it may sound simple, it can have a big impact on the lives of those who experience it. Students grow a lot from study abroad after they return to and readjust to life in the U.S. Ruth A. Shepherd, the International Exchange/Study Abroad Coordinator at UW said.

“We all see that there is a greater maturity level, a real high level of focus and interest, much greater awareness. So in that respect yes, that student has really fine tunes them self,” Shepherd said.

Why Study Abroad?

Erin Jarnagin, a senior at UW, is an International Studies in the Middle East and Africa major who studied abroad in Qatar for a year. She said that it was one of the greatest decisions she has ever made.

“Being over there and being in the center of everything was great. Getting to go to Istambul was the coolest thing ever, and I went to Dubai twice. Dubai is awesome. Traveling while I was there was really amazing,”  Jarnagin said.

Erin Jarnagin in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Photo Courtesy of Erin Jarnagin)

Shepherd agreed with Jarnagin that studying abroad is a great thing for students to do.

“I am passionate about being out in the world, but I stay here because if I am gone than students don’t get to go. I really really believe that we need more people out in the world. People need to know more Americans, they need to begin to see what a huge and diverse nation we are, and we need to learn about other nations as well,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd gave a great example of a student who traveled to Israel, and saw the Israeli Palestinian conflict firsthand. The student had only learned about the war from the news and because of that had a skewed perception until he went and spent time there and had friends that were Palestinian and Israeli. She mentioned that it will help future leaders of out county to make better decisions if they better understand the world as a whole and have friends in other places.

Jarnagin also talked about the “cultural village” that Qatar University hosted. Students go to Qatar University from all over the world and on a specific day they all set up booths for “cultural village”. The booths were very elaborate and were made to make someone feel as though they were entering that country. She loved that experience, and learned so much about all of those countries from the people she met.

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Erin Jarnagin at the U.S.A Booth at Qatar University’s “Cultural Village” (Photo Coutresy of Erin Jarnagin)

“We did a booth for the U.S.A because a lot of people think that they know a lot about the U.S. but its only because of things like ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ and all that kind of stuff, and that truly is what they think we do, which is really sad,” Jarnagin said. “So that was really frustrating to me, but it was really nice to be able to talk to people, dispell those stereotypes, and teach people about the  U.S. One day we taught them the electric slide, and it was great. A whole big room full of women were doing the electric slide along with us. That was one of the coolest days ever.”

 Where can students study abroad?

There are four main ways to study abroad. Students can go on a “student exchange”, which means they go to a school that UW has set partnerships with and pay UW tuition at that school. Then there is study abroad where a third party corporation has a relationship with a school and can help students with study abroad. The third option is just plain study abroad where a student finds that school or program them self, and arranges the trip. Finally students can go on faculty lead trips.

Shepherd said the most common places to study abroad are still in Europe, but she would like to see students expand upon that.

“I don’t think undergraduates look enough at why they maybe need to spend time in Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Southeast Asia because those are going to be the areas of the up and coming growth,” Shepherd said

What should students expect being abroad?

Obviously the social and cultural elements are different abroad. But in addittion, the academic culture abroad is very different from the academic culture here in the U.S.

Shepherd said that students should prepare for a very different study environment.

“Overseas the culture is that the professor comes in, delivers the lecture and has no interaction with those people. They are not even sure what to do with a student that might show up at their office, and so if you want to know more about that topic you seek out the graduate student,” Shepherd said.

In general, Shepherd said that there are no assignment in the classes. Students go through the whole semester, do the readings, and go to lecture, but their grade is solely based on their score on the final at the end of the semester.

More information about what to expect socially and culturally on study abroad trips varies based on country. For Jarnagin, she had some great cultural experiences that she wished she could bring home.

“I really loved how it was always, the more the merrier, it didn’t matter what kind of gathering, or what kind of thing you planned, it was always ‘bring everybody’. Everyone is always welcome,” Jarnagin said.

Many students have blogs about their study abroad trips and love to share their experiences and stories.

Is Study Abroad Practical for Students?

Yes! Shepherd said that over 400 students study abroad every semester. There are lots of study abroad programs and scholarships available to over 50 different countries.

 

“Coal: A Love Story” Usability Test

I began my usability test by exploring the “Coal A Love Story” webpage myself for ten minutes. Initially I scrolled all the way down on the page and looked at all of the images.  I scrolled down to see what all of my navigation options were because I wasn’t sure if when I clicked on one it would take me to a different page. Then I scrolled back up clicked on “start your experience” under the title image above.

It took me to a video about the U.S. energy usage. After I watched the video. I clicked “Next” at the bottom of the video screen. This just scrolled me down to the next video. I liked how you could click on the side of the video screen and it would take you back to the main page.

I think the navigation is fairly simple so the first tip of usability is followed. The navigation buttons are large enough for a finger instead of just a mouse so that is good too. The controls and navigation are easy to find, but the position of the links bounce around a lot. It might be better for usability if all of the navigation links were on the same side of the page.

This webpage did not do a good job with nonlinearity. There is hardly any text on the pages, and it makes the website hard to understand. . I think some text incorporated with the multimedia could really help the audience follow the producer’s train of thought.

This webpage had 11 options for primary navigation, and I found this overwhelming. There is almost no way that I would watch all 11 videos or click on all of the links. I think if they narrowed this to a more reasonably number I may be more likely to explore the whole site.

Instead of “Start Your Navigation” it may be helpful for this website to tell the viewer where the link will take them, like “Watch a Video about Coal Usage” or something a little more descriptive.

It took me five minutes to find the contact information for someone involved in the creation of this website, and the best information I could find is for  Associate Dean Kristin Gilger, who is more in charge of applications for the program than the posted news. This information should be put in a place that is much easier to locate.

Next I conducted a usability test on someone else. He narrated to me what he was doing while he explored the website for ten minutes.  First he scrolled all the way down and looked at the whole thing. Then he went back to the top and then he scrolled down again and read all the stuff on the page. He stopped and clicked on the coal calculator and followed the steps to calculate his coal usage.  Then he went back to reading the rest of the stuff on the main page.

He watched the “Connection between Wyoming and Chicago” graphic. Then he clicked next and it closed it. This was the only part of the navigation that caused problems for him. He thought next would take him to another thing based on that topic, not take him back to the main page. It took him three minutes to find the contact information, but he could also only find the same contact information I found.

Our experiences in the usability test were pretty similar, we both scrolled all the way down except we stopped in different places and watched different things. He read all the stuff on the page, whereas I just looked at the images and headlines when I scrolled.

One thing that should be changed about the website is the organization, they should put all the links and navigation icons on one side of the page so that it is easier to follow, and the organizations is clear. The next thing they should change is  add more description for the videos, and graphics. This would help the viewer know more about where they are going and what to expect. The last thing is to put the contact information in a better place.

One thing I really liked about the website is that when you click on video or graphic or activity you can click on the side and it takes you back to the main page, so they should keep that. Another thing I liked was the visual appeal of the main page. The last thing I think they should keep is hat they have very a lot of multimedia like videos, graphics and activities. This makes the page exciting and interesting to explore.