Weekly Summary (Week 5)

As this course comes to a close, I am here to do a little reflection. This course was rather difficult for me as I don’t classify myself as an overly creative person. However, this class did push me to get those creative juices flowing and put out some great content. I would say, for sure, the most difficult week for me was the audio week. I really had not done much storytelling before then, especially audio storytelling so that was rather challenging. My favorite week was definitely the photography week because I love photography. I think the most important skill I learned was all the programs that we used. Before this class, I only really used Photoshop, but after this class I have many new tools that I can add to my arsenal. If I had to take this class over, I would definitely focus more on the daily creates. I just kinda went through each week, completing the daily creates, but not really thinking about it as I did it. It was almost involuntary, but as I look back, I see that some of them had great themes that could have been applied to my work or even every day life. Overall, this class was a challenge for me but a challenge that was graciously accepted. It helped me to grow as an artist and as a person. It gave me a deeper appreciation for many forms of media, especially radio and the impact they can have on other people. I had a great time and can’t wait to check out what people did for their final assignments!

As for my final assignment, you can check that out here.

And here is my tutorial for how I made that assignment.

Weekly Summary (Week 4)

This week was all about video. How to make video, how to watch video, anything you could imagine. So I started this week by learning all about video. First I looked at Roger Ebert’s “How to read a movie”. This was a very interesting article on how to look at movies and really break down why the scene is shot that way and why the director chose to do that. You can check that out here.

Next I looked at popular movie scenes to continue applying these ideas to film. I chose to look at one of my favorite movies of all time, The Pursuit of Happyness. This was so fun to do because I love this movie to begin with, but adding this level of analysis really deepened a lot of the scene for me. You can check out that breakdown here.

Next was 2 assignments that were very fun to do. The first I did while I was down in the Outer Banks this past week. I decided to make a time lapse of a view over the sound. This was a very fun assignment to do for the simple fact that it makes an amazing outcome. Check out that here.

The second assignment I did was to make an instant replay of a video clip. For this assignment I chose to take one of my favorite teams, the Yankees, and one of the best players in the league right now, Aaron Judge, and make a slow motion video of one of his swings. This was pretty tough because he swings pretty damn fast! Check it out here.

Here are my comments on other peoples blogs from this week:

Here are my daily creates from this week:

Looking at peoples blogs this week gave me a different reaction than last week. Last week I saw more things about the process of making things on other people’s blogs, but this week was different. This week gave me an appreciation for peoples’ lives. Sure, I learned some things about how to cut and rearrange video, but watching peoples 60 second days or where my feet take me gave me a peek into other peoples’ lives and I thought that was awesome. Another invaluable thing I learned this week was how to read a movie. This was something I really had not thought about before, but after reading about it, it was really crazy how much of it is used in movies. You could really see many styles that directors have and use on a regular basis. It gives you something to look at when watching films and really helps you to analyze them. Overall, these assignments were rather difficult because I really hadn’t used any video editing software before and getting used to it was kind of difficult. The feedback I got back was also very valuable. Some people brought up many things that I had not thought of to do in the original assignment. Something I will need to change in the future! Overall this was a good week. The challenges of the software was outweighed by the reward of watching my own and everyone else’s amazing videos. Onward towards the last week!


Weekly Summary (Week 3)

This week was aimed at learning all about audio. From audio design to podcasts and radio we covered it all. To start this week off we looked at two of the greatest radio broadcasters to ever do it: Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad. Both of these men gave great tips on how to tell stories successfully and gave their opinion on why radio will never go away. You can check out my more in depth summary and analysis here.

Next we looked at a clip from the very popular TED Radio Hour. It was a segment on Sherry Turkle(a robotics expert), and the effects of introducing robots into society. I also checked out some episodes from Scott Lo’s Summer ds106 Zone class of 2013. Scott was a participant of DS106 and is a great radio presence who made daily episodes. You can check out my summary and analysis of both of those here.

Next, and maybe one of my highlights from this week, I listened to Moon Graffiti. This is a podcast episode from the Truth Podcast. It was an amazing example of how using background tracks in radio or storytelling can make it that much more effective. By using your voice to steer the listeners image in their head, it creates an experience. But when you add background tracks to this, it is that much more effective for creating suspense or happiness or fear. Check out that analysis here.

The first audio assignment I did this week was to take a song and make it 800% slower. This was a SUPER interesting assignment because I really didn’t have any thoughts going into it. I was just kinda doing it. But when I heard the result it had a profound impact on me. The strength and power of the orchestra was amazing. Check that out here.

The next assignment I did was to take a song, reverse it, and see if anyone could guess it. This was a fun assignment to do because after I reversed it, if I didn’t know what the original was, I probably could not have guessed! Listen here.

The third assignment for the week was the required one. I had to choose multiple sound effects and make them in to a story. For this one, I chose to recreate a childhood memory that I cherish. Read about that and listen here.

The final assignment I did this week was to make a mix tape. The day I made it, it was rather gloomy and I was kinda down so I made a mix tape to reflect that mood. Listen here and enjoy!

Here are my 4 daily creates from this week:

As I was browsing around on other peoples’ blogs this week I found a lot of us had the same ideas. But a couple people brought up interesting perspectives that I had not seen. These posts helped me to rethink some of the stuff I was talking about and change things up. In addition, I saw that a lot of people had not used screenshots in their posts and from personal use, audacity is a lot easier with screenshots so I proposed that maybe they include those. One super useful comment that someone left me this week came from Leni W. She told me that I should include a track list for my mix tape assignment so I changed my post to have a track list!

Although this week was my least favorite so far, I still learned so much. At the beginning of the week I learned all about storytelling and radio and what kind of experience it creates with the listener. It creates something that is intangible and that is why radio will be around for a while. I also learned a lot about audio production and using tools like Audacity. There is an endless amount of features in that program and I just scratched the surface. I feel like I completed my assignments very well, however they were quite challenging. Not in the technical sense but the storytelling sense. I really could not decide what story I wanted to tell with each assignment. But in the end I think it ended up working out. One thing I would definitely do differently is make a couple mix tapes. Although they are long, after a couple listen-throughs they get repetitive. If I had a couple to listen to they would be much more enjoyable. With that said, I really didn’t run into a lot of issues with Audacity. It is a very large program with tons of features but the basic functions are very easy to use. I think this week was the least interesting to me just out of its nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love music and podcasts, but I love photos and video that much more. Taking photos and making videos is so much more interesting to me than making a podcast. With that said, I learned so many vitals skills this week that will definitely be used moving forward. Can’t wait for next week!

Weekly Summary (Week 2)

This week (week 2) was all about design. We were still focused on photography more or less but this week was all about setting up the pictures/looking at the design side of things. This week started out with a quick read: The Vignelli Canon. This was a great way to start the week as it laid out a groundwork for design and what to look for. It explored so many aspects and really taught me a lot about what to look for because to be honest I knew very little about design. You can see my post about the Canon here.

Next we will look at the assignments I had for this week. The first of which was an assignment where I had to design a tattoo that described my personality. This was a very fun assignment as I love tattoos. I designed the tattoo off of a quote that I like to live by: “Day By Day”, and then I use a couple different backgrounds for that assignment. You can check that out here.

Next I moved onto the required assignment for the week which was to take a pre-existing image and change the setting that it is happening in. This assignment was funny because you can really change the feeling of the image by changing the background. My friends thought they were posing for a picture, but instead found a visitor in the background! Link to the assignment here.

The next assignment was a funny idea to me. We had to pick some background and put text on top of it that was basically the opposite of the image. So in this case, I took a picture of a calming beach and put text on top of it that makes you stressed. Link to that here.

This next assignment was probably my favorite from the whole week. For this assignment we needed to choose a movie and a scene and put a quote from the movie over this. One of my favorite movies ever is Blues Brothers so naturally I chose this movie and one of the most famous quotes form that movie. My thought process for this assignment was to make a kind of wallpaper that could be used later on (it is now the wallpaper on my computer!). You can check out how I did that here.

This final assignment was my second favorite to do. In this assignment we had to make a wallpaper and incorporate DS 106 in there. I made 3 wallpapers for this post and designed them to be very minimalist. I didn’t want the DS 106 to be distracting, nor did I want the background to be. I think they are a great balance of both. Check them out here.

Next came my two GIF assignments. For the first I chose to do my favorite band, X Ambassadors, and turn a video of them in concert into a GIF. You can see that process here. The other GIF assignment was to take a GIF and reverse it. I thought it would be super funny to do something eating and I ended up finding this perfect GIF of a hamster stuffing carrots into his mouth. I reversed it and the outcome was great. Check that out here.

The final assignment I did this week was the design blitz. This was a very fun assignment for many reasons and I actually preferred it over last weeks photo safari. You can read my reaction to the design blitz here. After that you can check out my breakdown of the design blitz and my analysis of it here.

Throughout the week I did four Daily Creates:

This one was designed to make our own time magazine cover. I was recently in New Jersey when the government was shut down so I decided to make mine about the man himself, Chris Christie.

The next one was to use a PNG of a cracked screen phone and put something in the background to show what cracked it. I thought it would be cool to show the last picture you took, which in this case was the view from the top of a skyscraper. Before your phone plummeted to the ground.

The next was to take a picture of something familiar from a new perspective. I thought about it and decided that very rarely do I see my car from the passenger side. So I decided to do mine about that.

My final daily create was to create a motivational poster. I couldn’t figure out if this was supposed to be funny or actually inspirational so I just went with inspirational. I chose one of my favorite inspirational quotes which is “Do what you can’t”. I tried to make the text look like it was floating in the clouds above the Golden Gate Bridge.

All in all, this week was a huge learning experience. I got to use Photoshop a ton more. I got to read and learn about many aspects of design. I got to try out new editing styles and techniques. It was very fun. I definitely feel that I completed assignments this week much better than last week. I now understand more how this class rolls and how assignments should be completed. I tried to put a lot more instruction and background thought in my posts. The design blitz was both the most rewarding and most challenging assignment this week. At first, when I was walking around with my camera, I couldn’t really find many examples of the design aspects (probably because I was missing them). But after I came back and read more about what they were and what to look for, they were much easier to spot. Plus, through that reading I got to learn much more about design and the aspects of it. The most fun assignment this week was the movie assignment. Making a wallpaper based off of one of my favorite movies and movie quotes was so fun. If I were to do anything differently it would be the Are we there yet assignment. It was my first time really using the background eraser and the magic eraser. I used the magic eraser a little too much and kinda got into trouble. I would only use it a little next time and use more of the regular eraser. I really try to stay away from politics in a lot of my work. I let it creep through a little bit with one of my daily creates, but the situation was so funny I just had to! All together, this week was very fun and definitely to most I have learned so far in the class. Looking forward to next week!

Weekly Summary (Week 1)

This week was quite an eye opener when it came to digital storytelling. It was amazing to me how many outlets there were for telling stories and how great they all are.

  1. Setting up my domain and social media was one of the more fun parts of the week. I love getting new things so getting all these new accounts for us to use was very fun. The website made it very easy to select a domain and tie WordPress to it.
  2. Here is a link to my multimodal introduction post: http://wp.me/p8Stil-1f
  3. Customizing my blog was definitely one of the bigger highlights. Building a website and tailoring it to my interests was very fun to me. I got full control over how I want it to look and what will be where. Plus, it is always a work in progress so it will be ever-changing.
  4. Here is a link to my reflection about all of the photography material: http://wp.me/p8Stil-p
  5. Here is a link to my photo safari: http://wp.me/p8Stil-1j
  6. My photo reflection is tied in to my reflection about the photography material. See the link from #4.
  7. My reflection to the safari is in with the safari gallery. See the link from #5.
  8. Here is a link to my daily create page which has the 3 ones I did this week: http://smcsally.com/category/daily-create/
  9. Here is the link to my visual assignments page: http://smcsally.com/category/assignments/visual/
  10. I am kinda sad that this was the first topic of our session. As I said in my introduction, I love photography so this week was very fun for me. Taking pictures and sharing them was amazing. The weeks assignments were not difficult from a computational stand point but they definitely challenged me along with the quick pace. I learned some things through the articles that we had to look at so that was nice. The setup of all of this was very seamless. All of the websites we used made it very easy to get through everything. The only thing I really struggled with was making a youtube introduction, because I have never done any video related things before. But I’m guessing that will change as we move forward! I’m excited to see what is in store for next week but it will be hard to top this week!