Sorry, No Sympathy

Now, for this assignment we were told to creat a video story. We had to pick an event or a feature story to attend and make a video story. We had to put together our audio skills and camera skills in order to put the video together. In our story we had to interview at least two people who were related to the story.

In my group, Kashia and I chose to do a promotional video for a local band here in Laramie called, Sorry, No Sympathy. We were fortunate enough to get invited to a private band practice where we were able to get all of the video recording done along with the interviews. We were also very lucky to have gotten a CD from them where we were able to take some music from that and apply it to our video.

There wasn’t anything that I didn’t enjoy about this experience. It was fun because we got to learn how to work a new software and we got to interact with artist who were nice enough to share their passion and their work with us. We even created a longer version of our video for them to use for promotional purposes.

What surprised me the most about this project was that some camera angles that I thought would be useless were actually really good once we saw them on video. We didn’t just have to shoot them from the front the whole time but we had to get them from different sides in order to make the video more interesting. That is also one of the things that I learned the most while working on this project.

There were a couple of things that I wish we would have done differently while shooting our video. I wish we would have had more light because the place that we were at was very dark. I also wish we would have gotten individual videos of every band member instead of a view.

In the future I hope to work for TV networks and I hope that I can apply my video making skills to that somehow. It will also look good on my resume when I apply for jobs.

Live Tweeting

For this assignment we had to creat a twitter account, if we didn’t have one already. With our twitter account we had to attend an event of some sort and live tweet about it. We had to get the who, what, where, when and why about the event. Our tweets had to be in third person and written in a journalistic style.

The event that I chose to attend was the University of Wyoming wrestling match against the Air Force Academy. I chose this event because I had never been to a wrestling match and thought it would be a good experience to watch and ask questions about it.

I enjoyed this experience very much because I felt like I was participating in the event. I was learning so much about the sport and made a lot of friends by asking questions and really getting into the wrestling matches. I enjoyed to tweeting part because I felt like I was sharing my experience with a lot of people along with informing them about the match.

What I mostly learned was that I had to ask a lot of questions in order to get what was going on. I had to go up and introduce myself to the fans and get their input on the match. I had to participate in the cheering in order to really get a good tweet out. I learned that I had to make sure that I got all of the facts right before I tweeted anything out. What surprised me was that the wrestlers were willing to be interviewed by a stranger after their match. I was also surprised on how fast I had to keep my twitter updated in order to keep up with what was going on.

There were a couple of things that I wish I could have done differently. I wish I would have gotten more than 10 tweets because I felt like there was so much that I left out. I also wish I would have gotten a video or better pictures because I felt like my pictures were not very interesting. Overall though I thought I did well and got as much as I could.

After doing this assignment I think I will use social media a little different in the future. In the past I only used social media to keep in touch with others but now I think I will start using it to promote events and encourage others to come and participate in things. I will use it to keep others updated on sporting events and other types of things I think people will be interested in. It has inspired me to use social media in a way that keeps people interested in the outside world.

 

There Is No I In Team

At this point in class we had a good grasp on how to take photos, edit photos, interview people, and audio editing. The purpose of this assignment was to apply all of the skills that we have learned thus far together to create a soundslide. For the soundslide we needed to put together a news story with pictures and audio.

For this assignment my partner Kaisha and I chose to do a story on Aaron Johnson who is the founder/owner of In To The Wind Outdoors Production Company. We talked to Aaron and went around interviewing some of Aaron’s employees and friends. Most of our questions in the interview were centered on Aaron and is passion he has for his work.

Working with a partner was very interesting and also very helpful at times. It allowed us to express our creative sides more and to be more vocal on our opinions. We gave each other a lot of feedback and encouraged one another to do our best.

The interviews went really well, we were able to contact every person we needed and managed to get some good feedback from them. The photos that were taken were done in a professional way and were done with permission. We were also lucky enough to get music that was produced from Aaron’s Production Company to use on our soundslide.

Our soundslide experience was a little difficult when we first started using it. We were unsure how to open it at first and we didn’t know how to add photos but we asked around and got some help. The real trouble came when we were working with audacity. We had trouble converting our audio into a WAV file. We were able to go back and save it as a WAV after we emailed it to ourselves.

Overall we had a fun time working on this project and learned a lot. There is nothing we would want to change about our project because we thought it was an interesting topic where we shared Aaron’s passion and artistic view on life. Kaisha was even offered a job at the end of it all.

Edited Audio Profile

Edited Audio of Katie Higgins

The editing process was quick and easy for me. During the interview I asked  the questions in a way that would tell a story from

beginning to end. Doing that made my editing process easy because I didn’t have to cut and change a whole lot. Although, I did have some trouble with the volume. At the beginning of the interview the volume is low but during the end it gets louder and I had some trouble putting that together.

I enjoyed every minute of this experience because it allowed me to be creative in my own way. I created my own story and put it together the way I wanted to. I couldn’t say that there was anything that I didn’t enjoy because it was all a learning experience.

What surprised me most about this assignment was that you could cut pieces of the audio and place them somewhere else in the story and it still made sense. For example, you could place the very beginning of the audio and place it at the end. It wouldn’t add or take away from the story.

Also, the fact that you could take two phrases that the person did not say together and edit them together to make sense was surprising. I also realized that with all of the editing, you have the power to make someone sound really nice or make them sound like a terrible person. Working on this assignment made me understand that I need to be very careful on what I am doing.

There are many things that I wish I could have done differently. Like I said before I was having trouble with the volume and it was due to the way I held the microphone when I was conducting the interview. I wish I could have gone back and did the interview over again so the volume was even throughout the whole thing.

Finally, I wish I would have spent more time figuring out audacity. I am sure that there is a way that you can adjust the volume but I did not spend enough time working with the program to figure that out.

 

Raw Audio

Interview with Katie Higgins

I interviewed Katie Higgins for this assignment. The interview took place in a conference room on the top floor of Coe Library. We sat at the end of the conference table and faced each other.

When I first started the recording I didn’t know where to go with the questions. It felt like an unnatural conversation and it felt very forced at the beginning. I found myself focused more on where to place the microphone than on the questions I was asking. As the conversation went on it started to feel more natural and ended up going well. I ended up not even looking at the questions I had written down.

Being the interviewer was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I had to make sure to keep the conversation going and make sure not to interrupt the person I was interviewing. During the interview I realized I had to ask the questions in a way that told a story. I knew I had to start with one thing and end it just right.

When it came to me being interviewed, I found that to be a lot easier. I was lucky enough to be working with Katie because she is a very talkative person so she had lots of questions for me. I found it easy to talk about things that I really enjoy and know a lot about.

What I enjoyed most about this assignment was the fact that it was just a casual conversation. When the questions came out natural and the conversation just started to flow, that’s when I got the most information out of Katie.

The only thing that I didn’t enjoy was the fact that there was no given topic of conversation. It just made it a lot harder to come up with questions and start the interview.

I am not very good at wording questions so that would have to be the thing that I wish I could have done better. Sometimes I ask questions in a way that are hard to understand or I mumble a lot. So, the way I worded my questions and my mumbling are two things I wish went a little smoother.

Over all I really enjoyed this assignment and hope to do something like this again someday.

Photo Journalism

Passing  The Time

IMG_2962
Triston Berger, a student at UW, talks to his friend while waiting for his class to start Tuesday morning at the University of Wyoming.

During this time I wasn’t really looking to take any pictures, mostly because I was waiting for my class to start. Also, it was very crowded and people were moving very quickly. As soon as these two friends started talking I noticed the contrast between them and the light in the window, which made for a great creative device. They were both very nice boys and didn’t seem to mind too much about me taking a photo of them. When I asked for one of their names they did not seem to mind telling me.

Soccer Practice

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Jordan Smith, passes the ball to his teammate while practicing soccer at the Junior High School Tuesday afternoon.

This is my sports-related photo. I stumbled upon this soccer practice by accident. I was on a walk with my brother when I noticed these young boys practicing soccer and thought it would be a good opportunity to take a photo of them. I was a little hesitant to take this picture because I didn’t think it would be appropriate, so I asked the coach and she said it was alright. It was difficult to get a good picture of them in action but with patience, I was able to get a great action shot of one of the players. View-point was the creative device used for this photo because I took this picture while laying on the ground. I was eye level with the ball, but still focused on the boy kicking it.

Climbing Around

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Paul Mathew, a Laramie resident, takes advantage of the nice weather Wednesday afternoon with his uncle at LaBonte park.

This photo, which is a non-sports feature, utilizes the use of contrast and viewpoint. I took this photo while looking up straight into the sun and got a different view-point than most of my other photos. What makes it interesting is how the little boy brings out the brightness of the sky behind him. I came across this little boy when I was walking around the park and saw how energetic he was. I asked his uncle if I could take a picture of him playing and he was all for it. After he said that I immediately jumped under the bars to catch the kid off guard and snapped this picture. I was very excited to take this picture because I knew it would be very different then the rest of my photos.

Just Riding Along

A man enjoys the nice weather while riding his bike down 22nd street Wednesday afternoon.

This was by far the hardest picture I took. I was on a walk seeking out photos to take and saw this man riding his bike. I waited with my camera in hand until he got close enough for me to photograph him. I was scared to take this photo because he didn’t seem to like the fact that I was pointing a camera at him. When I asked for his name he didn’t want to give it to me, but said I could use this photo for my blog. I would have to say contrast would be a creative device used in this photo. I like the contrast between the man and the trees behind him. The white in his jacket makes you focus more on him then anything else in the background.

Mans Bestfriend

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Riley runs atop the hill behind Indian Paintbrush Elementry School while playing catch with his owner Wednesday afternoon.

It was a beautiful day Wednesday afternoon and I decided to walk up behind Indian Paint Brush for fun. As I was walking I noticed this woman and her dog playing catch. I was too far from the woman to take a picture of her throwing the ball to her dog. I could hear her scream the name Riley so I assumed that that was its name. I used focus as a creative device while taking this picture. You can see the background is a little out of focus which brings more focus onto the dog.

I learned a lot during this assignment and really enjoyed it. I was surprised at first how difficult it was to take pictures of complete strangers. What I learned most from this assignment was to just get pictures that are natural and in the moment. Also, if I could change anything that I did about this assignment it would be to be more creative and try to use more creative devices.

Creative Devices

Long walk home.

distance
A long side-walk in a neighborhood near the University of Wyoming campus.

This photo demonstrates leading lines because when you look at the photo the viewers eyes are automatically drawn to the path of the sidewalk. The sidewalk is in the center of the photo and makes your eyes focus on how far it goes. Also the trees follow the path of the sidewalk an adds to the photo to make it that much more interesting to look at. As for other creative devices, I do not see any that would apply to this photo.

Just Laying Around.

finger
My finger as I lay on the floor in my living room.

I was laying on my floor and realized that this is a good angle to take a picture. This picture demonstrates focus as its dominate creative devices. As you can see in the photo all of the focus is on my finger and the pumpkin is blurred out in the back. It makes the picture interesting to look at because you can see the detail in the finger but still notice the objects in the back. Cropping could also apply to this photo as well. If you look at the photo you can see that I cropped out the background by focusing on the finger, which allowed the figure to get the viewers undivided attention.

Caught In Between. 

frame
A college student on campus at the University of Wyoming  walking to his car.

As I was walking to my car from class I noticed these two trees lined perfectly next to each other. So I decided to sit there and wait until this guy walked in between. This picture demonstrates framing as its dominate creative device. It draws the viewer’s attention because the two trees are framing the guy who is standing in the middle which allows the viewer to focus on him. While looking at the photo I  noticed that focus could also be another creative device. The trees are a little more in focus which allows the framing to stand out that much more for the view to catch the attention of the guy in between.

Standing In The Light.

Brother
Rey Coca walking into his home on a Sunday afternoon.

This picture was also taken while I was laying on my living room floor. I had told my brother to walk outside to get a picture of him being framed by the door, instead I snipped a quick picture of him walking in and ended up with this picture. This photo demonstrates contrast as its dominate creative device. The picture is takin into the light and creates interesting contrast of color and texture when you look at it. It brightens up the blue sky in the back but also allows you to focus on the guy in the center. As for other creative devices, I think color would go with this photo because of how colorful the sky and trees look in the background.

Too Much To Drink.

Jeffrey and drink
Jeffrey Gottula pretending to drink a glass of ice water in the comfort of his home.

This photo was taken of my nephew who desperately wanted to be included in my blog. This photo demonstrates establishing size as its dominate creative device. It draws the views attention because it creates an illusion by making the glass look larger than it really is. Balancing elements could also be a creative device in this photo. The main subject, being the glass, is off centered which then gets balanced by the child in the photo making it more interesting to look at.

What surprised me most about this assignment was how fun it was. Playing with different angles and different settings was exciting to do. I thought my pictures turned out great but I wish I could have used a real camera instead of my cell phone.

 

 

 

Real Greek Life

Stereotypes

When you hear the phrase “Greek life,” movies like “Animal House,” “House Bunny” and “Neighbors” typically come to mind.  You hear things like party animals, superficial and hazing.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon member here at the University of Wyoming, Tim Perez, has heard these stereotypes and does not seem to be affected by them too much.

“I like to find the humor in that kind of stuff, but there are some people who take it more personally than I think it needs to be,” said Perez. “I think it’s all in good fun most of the time.”

Perez feels that even though this gives them a bad reputation they are still able to overcome it, through service and charity work.

Sororities also feel the same way. Ana Villasenor is the vice president of recruitment of all chapters at the University of Wyoming, as well as a member of Tri Delta.

“My chapter was founded on women who want a group of women who won’t judge them for their looks, that will want them for who they are,” Villasenor said about Tri Delta’s values.

As for hazing, according to The National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention at the University of Maine, nearly half of students have experienced hazing prior to coming to college. Even though Wyoming is without anti-hazing laws, it’s still not tolerated at the University of Wyoming. This fact was taken from stophazing.org.

Photo Courtesy of the University of Wyoming Website

Why most people join.

With all of the stereotypes and stories about hazing, it may be difficult to imagine why people would want to join a sorority.

So what really drives a student to pledge into a sorority or fraternity?

Perez and fellow Sigma Alpha Epsilon member Chris Ellbogen  share their reasons why they chose to pledge.

“It was my freshman year and one of my good friends was in the fraternity, so I just started hanging out there and they kind of just let me join, said Perez. “I didn’t go through formal recruitment or anything like that.”

Ellbogen, had a different reason as to why he chose to join a fraternity.

“I just really wanted a home away from home.”

Ellbogen does not mean that in a sense of having an actually home. What he means is, he wanted to be surrounded by people who share the same interests and attitude as him. That is what was offered to him when he joined Greek life.

Learning that a former Greek member has become successful after college may also drive students to join. For instance, Villasenor heard that a former Miss Wyoming had been a member of Tri Delta. That was the first thing that attracted Villasenor to Greek life.

Joining Greek life may also be something that runs in the family for some students. It may be a family tradition to join a  particular chapter while attending college. According to Greek life this is refered to as a legacy.

What it has to offer.

While on the outside of Greek life, students may not see some of the benefits it has to offer.

One benefit Greek life has to offer is the motivation to have a good academic standing. Greek chapters offer study hours to help its members keep their GPA up. For instance, at the University of Wyoming, Tri Delta requires each member to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. The GPA  requirement also varies within the other chapters.

They are also provided with easy access to information about college life, when they first enter as a freshman.  Villasenors chapter provides its  new members with, what they call, bigs. A big is a current member in the chapter, they are expected to act as an older sister to the new pledges and answer any questions they might have about college life.

University of Wyoming’s Program Coordinator, Tristan Hilpert, shares some other benefits Greek life has to offer students.

“Greek life allows students to get an education outside of the classroom, said Hilpert. “It allows them to network and gain skills that can help them in their future careers beyond college.”

Things like philanthropy, which is their main asset, allows them to network because they work with different people and organizations on and off campus. Even though each chapter has their own charity that they contribute to, they still get to seek out other opportunities to work with other organizations.

“Over all, the main goal is to provide our members with the ability to grow as people, succeed academically, build life long friendships and apply what they have learned here to their everyday lives.”

Photo Courtesy of the University of Wyoming Website

Multimedia Usability Analysis

The story that I was assigned to look at was “Coal: A Love Story” poweringanation.org/coal/#. The first thing I clicked on was the start your experience video. From then on I made my way down the web page and kept clicking on all of the videos. When I got to the bottom of the page I clicked on “About Coal: A Love Story,” “Energy viewpoints” and “Powering A Nation.” They all took me to another page. I viewed the web page in this order because it seemed like it was the only way to go. The pictures and the videos caught my attention, sometimes I didn’t even read the captions because the website was so visually interesting.

I did not seem to have many navigation problems with this website. I thought it followed the tips listed in the course blog uwyojournalism.com very well with the exception of some.  For example, it kept its navigation simple because it didn’t have very many drop-down menus. Although it had about three different layers of navigation, it was still easy to find your way back to the home page. Also, the navigation buttons were large enough to know where to go, and there was no change of position and location of links. For example, if you clicked on a video, it didn’t take you to another webpage, you stayed where you were. The web page did a very good job of using a clean, simple design because it was very visual with high definition pictures and videos. The font was large enough to catch your attention, which made it easy to read and view the content. I can only point out one tip the website did not follow and that was that it did not integrate multimedia into text. All of the stories were shown through videos and pictures, so if you got tired of watching videos and just wanted to read the story, that was not an option on the website.

When I found out how to contact the creators of the website it was merely by accident. I stumbled upon it when I clicked on the “About” page and all of the information was there. If it were to have been my intention to seek it out it probably would have taken me a while because there was not a clear label. That was the only labeling on the website that was confusing.

I conducted a usability test on my sister with this website and she had a slightly similar experience. My sister said the website was very easy to navigate. She started in the same place I did and watched all of the videos. She’s not much of a visual person so she did not like the fact that the website didn’t have much text. She didn’t click on the web pages within the website because it wasn’t clear to her that you could click on them. For example when I asked her to locate where you could contact the creators of the website, she had no idea where to go simply because the “About” page didn’t look like a link she could click on.

My sister and I’s usability tests were pretty much the same. The only differences were, I found where to contact the creators of the website and she didn’t, even though it was by accident. My sister thought it would be a better idea if the website put the “About” page at the very top.  Also, it was difficult for my sister to differentiate which text was a link and which one was not because of the font it was in. We both navigated through the website in the same order by going from top to bottom and watched every video because we were interested in every story. Both of us could watch a video and know exactly how to get back to the home page without difficulty. Although my sister said she liked the website, I think I enjoyed going through the website more than she did.

The three things that should not change about the website are: its simplicity, it’s videos and how easy it is for users to return to the previous content. These three things are good for the website because everyone enjoys a website that is easy to navigate through. The videos are always the first thing that users click on so that will keep users interested in the website when they first view it. Also, it’s always helpful when it’s easy for the users to return to the previous content because it just makes things a little less confusing.

There are three things that I do think should be changed about this website. The first thing is that the website needs to integrate media into text. It needs to do this with its videos because as I was watching the videos I kind of got bored and just wanted to read the story instead of having to watch and listen to the music. The website is pretty much just full of videos and very little text. Also the second thing that needs to change about the website is the the placement of the “About” page. Like I said before it was difficult for my sister to locate where to contact the creators and that’s something that needs to be clear for the user. Finally the last thing that needs to be changed is the clarity of the labels because although it was easy to access the other webpages and videos within the sites, sometimes it was unclear which label went with which video.

 

My News Diet

First off, I have to say that my news diet needs to improve most definitely. However, I do try to stay as updated as I possibly can. My favorite newspapers are the New York Times and sense I still live at home and my parents pay for it, the Laramie Boomerang. I also get a lot of news from social media sites and talking with my friends.

I love entertainment news and recently I have found it to be very informative. E! News, eonline.com, and  ESPN.com are just a few of the places I get my entertainment news from. They may not talk about regular news as much as Fox news, NBC or other main news channels do but they seem to  talk about the most popular current events.  My favorite would have to be E! News because it has always been a dream of mine to work for them. I mean who wouldn’t want to be a correspondent on the red carpet and interview celebrities!

The only time I really talk about the news is when something big is going on or if I am with my family. For the most part I tend to agree with what they have to say, but when I don’t it’s usually because I have no clue what is going on. When I am with my friends I don’t usually talk about the news. I find it that most teenagers and young adults don’t have the confidence to express their opinions unless they are on social media. I find that to be very unfortunate.

I have made it my goal to improve my news diet this year. I am trying to stay off social media as much as possible to force myself to read and watch more reliable news sources. Although it may be very difficult to do that because in today’s society our smart phones are practically part of our bodies now, but I think I can do it!