Portfolio Design

For our final project in Digital Comm we have to design a website to show case our abilities as a student to employers. We have gained some valuable tools that employers are looking for. This portfolio is a great way to bring together our resumes along with photos and videos we have edited.

Design

I am planning to use the website imcreator.com to make my website. It seemed like a very simple interface to use and they have some great templates. Here are three examples of what I want my website to look. 

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I like these three websites a lot because of the amount of pictures that they use. I think it draws the reader in and keeps  them in. It is a perfect way to showcase the photos that I have edited. 

Scope

I am hoping to get a job after I graduate. I would love to stay in baseball because it is my passion in life. Since both of my projects have been about baseball it should be easy to show that is my main interest in life. I plan to include my video, photoshopped pictures, my resume and a contact page. Other than that I am not sure what else to include. I do not feel comfortable putting my tests or essays online for employers to see. 

I was not able to travel abroad during my college experience but I did play baseball in hawaii two summers ago. I could potentially talk about my experience there. In high school I participated in a lot of community service or school. I received the presidential service award for completing 75 hours in one year. 

Finally I would like to put some of my broadcast communication projects on my website as well. 

Usability

I think my website should be very simple. Home page will include my mission statement and a brief bio. I will have a few pictures that I have edited on the homepage. I will have a bio page with more information about be. Another tab dedicated to my resume, class projects, and I need MORE!!!

 

User Experience and Why It Matters

In our world today technology is getting more and more advanced. But wasn’t technology supposed to make our lives easier? The author Jesse James Garrett believes that most of our bad days start with a simple lapse in technology. If the alarm clock doesn’t go off, if your coffee maker doesn’t make coffee he believes it is a fault in the design of the product.

This article reminded me of the Samsung Galaxy commercial when one of the characters was afraid of change.

Not matter what we design it is so important that we design it thinking about the people that will be using it. We need to tailor what we create to the users. If they can not figure out how to use it then the designers have failed at their job. The user should never feel stupid or incapable because they can not figure out how to use the product or service.

Now that we are transitioning to building websites it is important to focus on user experiences. It is important that the user never feels lost or confused in a website. The user always needs a way to get back to the home page quickly and easily. It is also important to design the webpage to be aesthetically pleasing. If the user is lost or doesn’t find the page appealing then they have no reason to come back.

Discusion Question:

Is it ok to sacrifice some aesthetic looks to make the website simpler to use?

“Point of View” John Douglass & Glenn Harnden

For days class we read a chapter out of John Douglass and Glenn Harndens book The Art of Technique. This chapter discussed the filming technique of Point of View (POV) shooting. There are multiple definitions of POV shooting but the most basic definition is a “camera shot taken as if seen through the eyes of a character” (31).

POV shots have been used in many different films through history but as the author says they are very effective in horror movies. One example I thought of was in the movie Psycho. One of the most famous scenes in horror movie history is when Norman Bates attacks Lila in the shower. In this particular scene we see a POV from Lila when Norman is stabbing her in the shower. We also see another POV of Norman watching her gasp for air after being stabbed. 

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The other forms of POV shots which include second and third person were a little more difficult for me to follow. Second person POV is addressing “you” (34). Many productions use the second person as a way for someone not involved in the screenplay to relay information to the audience. Commercials use this technique quite often. The narrator will provide information for you to help you lose weight or buy something you probably don’t need. 

Most productions are created in third person. The actions of characters and people on the screen are rendered from observers point of view (35). 

To be honest I need some help with these. I do not totally understand what they mean and hopefully they will be cleared up in class.

 

Discussion Question:

POV shots are obviously effective in many situations, what situations might they not be effective?

Osgood & Hinshaw: “The Aesthetics of Editing”

The process of editing is not only difficult but it is in art. Osgood and Hinshaw talk about many different aspects of the editing process but over the semester of editing video I have found that there are two main aspects that are extremely important: continuity and sequencing. 

Continuity

Continuity refers to maintaing the story consistency from shot to shot and within scenes. I only have personal experience from brief news stories so I only have to worry about one scene and that is hard enough. 

There are two main types of continuity: physical and technical. Physical continuity relates to all the items used in the production. This includes everything from what the anchor is wearing to the physical characteristics of each shot. If there is a clock in the background one day and not in the next day that takes away from the continuity of the shot. Technical continuity refers to problems such as lighting, audio, and quality of images. The biggest issue I have run into while filming is the lighting. Your eyes and the camera lens are completely different and take in light differently. 

The final issue that comes up with continuity are jump cuts. Jump cuts are two shots that lack continuity. They can be very distracting. Jump cuts usually occur when there are two different shots that have very similar images. 

Sequencing

A sequence is a series of shots that relate to the same activity. From my experiences this semester sequencing can be very difficult. You can have the entire package laid out in your head but when you get to editing you don’t have all of the shots you need and you run into problems. Sequences at interest into better understand the scene that the editor is trying to make. It is important to have many different shots in your sequence because it keeps interest for the viewer. 

No one wants to look at the same image for a long period of time. There is no set time for an image to be on the screen but many say 10 seconds is too long but it truly depends on what your trying to accomplish with the shot. 

I have found editing video this semester to be very rewarding but very time consuming. There are many aspects of my life that I am not nit picky but when it comes to video editing it drives me nuts when things do not line up or sync correctly. 

Examples

I found this gem on youtube. It is from a movie called Boardinghouse from the early 80s. It is quite possibly the worse three minutes of video I have ever watched. EnJoy. 

 

Discussion Question:

Can good editing make up for bad video clips?

 

Zettl “The Two-Dimensional Field: Forces Within the Screen”

In Zettl’s chapter on dimension she introduces us to six field forces:

  1. Main Direction
  2. Magnetism of frame and attraction of mass
  3. Asymmetry of the frame
  4. Figure and ground
  5. Psychological closure
  6. Vectors

Main Direction

Zettl tells us that there are two types of direction: vertical and horizontal. He makes the claim that we are most comfortable with horizontal direction because we spend a lot of time sleeping in that position. Horizontal position gives us the feeling of calmness, tranquility, and rest. 

Vertical direction on the other hand is more powerful, exciting, and dynamic. Zettl gives us many examples of how vertical direction is used in society. His main example is of a Gothic cathedral. Zettl says that it was build in a vertical direction to reflect the human upright orientation, towards heaven and God (101). 

Image Zettl discusses a couple subtopics about direction and the one I found the most interesting was Tilting the Horizontal Plane. This combines both the vertical and horizontal plane. Our sense of vertical and horizontal is so acurate that we have the ability to walk into a room and judge whether a picture is hanging level or not. Zettl claims that our secure upright position on a level horizontal plane is threatened by what we perceive. 

 

I am currently taking Broadcast Communication with Dr. Armstrong and we have been reading Zettls book on production all semester. One of the most important parts of the production is the camera and the level, angle, and closeness or farness of the camera. I learned very quickly that when you are looking through the camera lens that your perception of the vertical horizon can be skewed.

For example, I shot a video of the lake and swans and what I perceived to be a level horizontal direction turned out to be very off and made the shot look very disoriented. 

Vectors

Vectors are strong forces operating within the screen that lead your eyes from one point to another within, or outside, of the picture field. Vectors in my opinion from broadcast communication are one of the most powerful tools a cameraman can use. There are a couple types of vectors: graphic, index and motion. 

ImageGraphic vectors are those that are naturally created by stationary objects that lead the eyes in a certain direction. Index vectors are created by someone or something that points in a particular direction. Motion vectors are created by an object that is moving on screen. 

 

 

Virilio Open Sky Part 3

“We are about to lose our statuses as eyewitnesses of tangible reality once and for all, to the benefit for technical substitutes… which will make us of the visually challenged.’” 

I find this quote to be very interesting because I tend to agree with Virilio on this topic. What he is saying is that we are very close to losing all of our tangible reality. Very soon we could be engaging in everyday life through a computer screen or some sort of eyewear the displays the world around us.

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As we talked about last class there are these online worlds that allow you to escape from whatever life you live now and start over. Last class I thought that sounded like such a ridiculous topic. I said to my self who would ever want to do that. But after I came back from Fall Break my two roommates picked up the game Grand Theft Auto 5. 

GTA 5 is slightly different from the virtual world we spoke of last class but in many ways it has similar features. GTA allows you to play with three different characters and you have to complete missions and all sorts of moral wrong but extremely fun tasks. 

My two roommates has been completely engulfed with this game, it seems as if every time I get home they are playing and this is what Virilio is concerned about. He doesn’t want society to get to the point where we no longer need to leave our beds or our living rooms to take in life. 

Another example I thought was interesting was about Google Maps. We are able to drop a point on almost any street in the entire world and see exactly what this street or house looks like. 

DQ:

Do you ever think people will stop wanting to see places in real life?

Open Sky Part II

As we continue to part two of Virilio’s book my confusing is still there. Virilio believes technology has a much deeper meaning in our society today. The first way Virilio talks about is how technology has and will continue to affect our bodies. Image

Scientist have come up with a sort of microbot that will be able to be injected into our blood stream to help destroy disease and potentially control every action in our body. This part of the chapter reminded me of the movie Ratatouille. Although the rat doesn’t directly control his brain he is the driving force behind the wonderful food the cook makes. Once the rat is out of the cooks hat he is completely useless at cooking. This is Virilio’s main fear is that society will be useless with technology controlling our bodies. 

Virilio’s other main topic is the three definitions of acting at a distance. Space which is directly related with innovations such as a car, or horse. Time which is the control of the physical environment, such as letters, telephone, and email. Finally light which technology such as computers heavily rely upon. 

As society has progressed the human race has become pretty adept with these three intervals of technology. We are traveling further, communicating quicker, and experiences light quicker. Virilio is concerned that as a society we are well on our way to becoming completely automated society to where we don’t need to move to change the channel, open the door, and even get exercise. 

DIscussion Questions:

Do you feel like you are over using technology currently in your life?