Lights, Camera, Action!

It struck me while writing my proposal for my remediation project, which initially was going to be doing a TED Talk-style piece, that I miss my camera. I dabbled in photography a little bit in high school but since coming to college, I haven’t taken any real pictures–unless Game Day pictures or embarrassing pictures of my roommate on my iPhone 5 count. This remediation project seemed like the perfect way to get back into photography and push my creative limits.

Girl Behind Camera

My goal is to take photographs of students on the Michigan campus, in all black and white, and create a website around the photos. It’s sort of like Humans of New York meets art gallery meets blog. As you can see, I’m having a difficult time actually categorizing my project, since it is such a hodgepodge of so many different forms.

What I do know is that I will need to become very familiar with operating my new camera (shout out to my mom for letting me use hers!) as well as Photoshop and Squarespace (the platform I will be using to create my website). I know how to handle a Canon camera on a pretty basic level, so the hardware of actually operating the camera and creating photographs that are up to my perfectionist standards may pose the largest problem throughout this process. I also have very limited knowledge of how to use Squarespace from my job and absolutely no knowledge of how to use Photoshop except for the one time I attempted for a high school project and absolutely failed. However, over the last few days I’ve been spending a lot of time tinkering with photos I’ve taken previously just to see how they turn out. So far, I’m liking the direction that I’m taking but I have a feeling that it is going to get a lot harder when I actually start taking the photos and compiling them in a meaningful way.

Speaking of difficulty, creating my website for this project is something that I am looking forward to the most but am most afraid to begin the process of creating it. Even as I have begun to do my mock-up, there are so many templates to choose from and adjust to fit my needs that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I guess it’s better to have too many options than not enough? Also, I’m starting to discover certain things about websites, like getting a domain name and inserting alt code, which are things that I am not familiar with but will become more familiar as I work with the platform *she said with unwavering hope*.

If you can’t already tell by my rambling and delirious organization of this blog post, I’m both terrified and thrilled with the prospect of creating a collage/gallery/website/blog/thingy for my remediation project. Stay tuned for an update on my mental state as I attempt to edit yet another photo on Photoshop (this one is of my dog…yes, I’ve hit a new low).

Jimmy Fallon Puppy

#techchallenge

I somehow missed the first challenge, so in this blog I’m going to talk about a few of the new technologies I used in order to complete my ReMediation project.

The first new technology I used for my project was Prezi.  Originally, I had planned to use PowerPoint to create a presentation for a guerilla marketing plan for my fictitious waffle house business; however, I had used PowerPoint countless times before, and I wanted to try something new and more challenging.  I had seen a few Prezi presentations before and I really liked the smooth, fluid transitions.  It was definitely something different when comparing it to all the PowerPoint presentations I had created and seen.  The only issue was that I had no idea how to use Prezi and put my vision on the screen.  At first, I decided to go it on my own.  I chose a rather appealing template and began adding my information.  The template was definitely nice, but it just wasn’t what I had envisioned for my ideal marketing plan presentation.  Luckily, Lynda.com was filled with a bunch of easy to follow videos ranging from how to get your Prezi started to how to customize it and make it your own.  That, coupled with the workshops we did in class, helped me to figure out Prezi and become more comfortable operating it.  As I kept working, I became more and more familiar with the ins and outs of my presentation.  I was able to create my own frames, make smooth transitions, and inset media into my presentation.  All in all, I am really happy with the way my project came out, and I think I definitely made the right decision to switch from PowerPoint to Prezi early on.  I will definitely use Prezi in the future when I need to present something.

Another form of technology I used for the first time for this project was the ScreenCast-O-Matic software Naomi used to record our meetings about our Re-Mediation.  I was unsure if I was even going to present my marketing plan, in part because I didn’t know how I was going to record it; however, Naomi suggested ScreenCast-O-Matic, ensuring me that it was easy to use.  She was right!  Besides the fact that I hate hearing my own voice, the whole process was extremely easy.  All I had to do was make the recording box wide enough to fit my whole presentation, press record, and pause it when I was finished.  Then, I just saved it as a video file and it was ready to be submitted.  I had to print out a transcript so that I could read along as I clicked through my Prezi, but luckily I didn’t have to memorize anything which made the process much easier.

Finally, I also used Photoshop to create a logo and T-shirt for my fake waffle house.  I have played around with Photoshop before, but I ‘m not that familiar with it.  I’m a little embarrassed at how long it took me to make something so simple.  My brother is a graphic design major and Queens College back in New York.  When I told him how I ended up with my final result, he explained to me how I could’ve done the same thing in a matter of two minutes.  Either way, my logo and T-shirt came out the way I wanted them too and I was still able to learn a little bit about Photoshop.

Tech Challenge – Photoshop Animation

For my Re-Mediation project I will be making a Buzzfeed-type list using animated GIFs (the looping images or video clips that are popular all over the internet), so as a technology challenge this week I wanted to experiment with creating animation in Photoshop.

I’ve used Photoshop in the past for basic editing, so I’m familiar with some of the tools and the concept of layers, but I’ve never tried to animate anything.

I started by looking up a lot of online tutorials (I liked the ones here and here) and trying them out to learn different ways to create animation.

It turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be! I’m getting really excited that I can now create my own GIFs out of photos or drawings (using video clips may take another tech challenge).

Anyway, check out my first GIF:

MarleyK GIF

#techchallenge

Photoshop is a place where brain cells go to die.

meltdown

My #techchallenge experience with photoshop was initially terrifying. The only kind of layers I like are in cake form. The only channels I enjoy are E! and TLC. And the only paths I appreciate are the hypotenuses in the Diag.

After the most strenuous thirty minutes of my entire life, my understanding of the software grew enough to where I was able to upload a photo and crop and combine to my somewhat liking.

(The entire time this was happening I was reminiscing on my elementary days of easy and fun MS Paint creations).

modernart

I also now realize that this portion of the gamefied points system is called tech challenge for a reason, because it is challenging. I’m not sure if photoshop is the platform I will use for editing the photos required for my remediation project, but I am happy that I got a glance into the world of the technologically savvy and hope to one day be able to make new creations as beautiful as my MS Paint masterpieces.

Technology Challenge: Exploring Lynda.com

I really enjoyed my experience on Lynda.com. From my perspective, tutorial videos have always been an interesting and fun way of learning. As a Communications Studies major, my coursework often requires I watch “TedTalks,” or videos that consist of a researcher or knowledgeable person giving an informed speech on a particular topic to an actual audience. The tutorials I watched on Lynda.com reminded me of my experiences watching these “TedTalks,” in terms of the interactivity, images, charts, and voiceovers included in them. One thing I particularly liked about Lynda.com was how it was broken up into different video categories, including Business, 3D, Design, Photography, etc. This made the website easy to surf through and figure out, being that it was my first time on it. Additionally, each tutorial was broken up into sections, almost like chapters. The video would start out with an introductory clip/voiceover, and transition into its subsequent sections.

One particular tutorial that struck me was called “Photoshop Color Correction: Dark Color Cast” with Taz Tally. Photoshop is a technological application that I have always been interested in learning how to use. In fact, there have been times in my life where I wished I knew how to use it, for project or other academic purposes. That being said, this tutorial taught me more information in a short period of time than I ever thought I could learn from an online video. Particularly, the video featured a behind-the-scenes user navigating and working on Photoshop. You can see the mouse controlling different features of the program, such as shifting and creating color schemes through histograms, contrast and brightness buttons, and color tone removal scales. Personally, I am a visual person, and this was an easy way for me to learn about a very complicated program.

Another tutorial that stuck out to me was called “Google+ For Musicians and Bands” with Bobby Owsinski. This video was of particular interest to me because I love listening to and sharing music with others- it is a hobby of mine. The video outlines the ways in which Google+ is the “rising kid on the block” in terms of a social platform for up and coming musicians. It acts as a brief marketing tutorial for those who wish to grow their fan base online and connect with other musicians. Although I am in no way, shape, or form a skilled or talented musician, let alone part of a band, I do use the Internet for musical purposes. I am an avid user of various websites that connect me with those who listen to similar music to me. In the same way, I felt this tutorial gave me great insight into a Google platform that connects music-lovers across the world. It included images, brief, visual outlines, and a model, interactive computer screen that enabled me to learn about Google+ from the perspective of the music industry.