Photography 4.1

Today, we will recap on the fundamentals of working on our exposure with an SLR including selecting appropriate shutter speeds, apertures and selecting an appropriate ISO.

This is very similar to my previous post on Aperture and DoF.

The image on the left has higher F number. Whereas, on the right has lower F number as it pinpoint the focus level. This allows the viewer to focus a specific part of an image. The blurry part could either be an enigma for the audience to guess or for the audience to ignore.

Adjusting shutter speed can make you feel differently. For example:

It can show you a time-lapse of an image, to understand the movement of its subject(s)

Or it can completely stop time and allow you to see things, that normal eyes can’t see.

3 things to consider, whilst using a shutter speed:

  1. Hold the camera steady
  2. Use a tripod
  3. Think about camera shake

The reciprocal relationship between aperture and shutter speed:

Picture7

Remember: Light + Time = EXPOSURE!

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 21.28.39

This is the exposure triangle. You can control this through digital camera and can use hand held light meter to measure it.

 

Audio 4.2

Our task last week was to listen a podcast on Sonar Radio:

4 elements that I think were successful:

  • Speaks really smoothly (got that flow in it!)
  • Pronouncing words really clearly
  • Communication skills were very acceptable for the target audience, whom is the students
  • Fading of the music was really good.

3  things that it could have been improved:

  • They could greet the audience
  • Introduce themselves
  • There was slight overlapping and cutting each other from time to time.

 

In this week, we have to pick our group. Majority of people just go with the people who are on their table. I am in a group with Ali, James and Matas. Our group name is “Back & Forth.”

This week is about researching and finding sources. Distinguishing between sources (what is most useful for us?). Using sources in our work referencing. Most importantly, refining our ideas and making plans for our pitch next week.

 

Research:

Succeed at Solent gives you a quick tip on how to get the best out of your research.

Sources that would be useful:

  • Library catalogue
  • BBC Sounds
  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Google Scholar

Top tip: when read through Wikipedia click on the reference to check if the source is reliable.

Group Work:

We shared our ideas about how to make a good show based on listening to Radio Sonar:

  • good interaction with presenters
  • ice breaker
  • jingles
  • sound effects
  • sound scape + textile
  • audience involvement – social media interaction live
  • avoid silence
  • avoid talking over each other
  • open ended questions
  • listen & respond

 

Next week we will be pitching our ideas for our podcast and get feedback from our tutor and peers. We need to do:

  1. identify our chosen SU society and have made contact with them
  2. identify three key facts/points of interest about our chosen society
  3. identify 3 sources of research that we can draw on.
  4. group contracts and participation logs – how to make them work for us
  5. finding fitting roles for all group members
  6. agree a plan of action for the coming week.

For our pitch, we need to produce something that have:

  • a sense of our chosen society (why are they interesting, who is involved, what do they do etc.)
  • who we are planning to include in our show (main interviewee and ideas for vox pops)
  • what thoughts do we have about the creative direction of our show.

 

Reflection time:

I feel pretty confident of what I will be doing, as I can transfer my skills from last year to this year. I am happily to take in any role but from observation of my group personality it seems like being a presenter would be the most suitable thing for me and the group because I am the most talkative person in the group and I have the qualities of a presenter already. Least suitable role for me would be a producer because organisation skill is not my strongest point but I am happy to take the role and improve my weakness for the best of the team. My plan of action this week is to get in contact with the society and try move things forward as much as possible.

 

 

Audio 4.1

Today, we were doing multi-track editing on Adobe Audition. Again, same as last week I already have an experience of doing this before. Therefore, it was a quick recap for me. All I need to worry about is thinking about which WAV file should go where, in their best particular orders. The only time consuming thing about this is I have to experiment with it to make it sounds acceptable but it will be worth it. Add a melody music in the background to prevent boredom for the audience. Do a fadeaway at the end to finish it off. If you have to cut some of the file then do it, as long it sounds professional.

Top tip: play around with the volume at the start, to catch your audience attention.

Then remember to save it and export it as WAV.

I was one hour late today. Therefore, next time I need to make sure I get a good night sleep and take care of myself better try not to miss or be late to a lecture because it’s very crucial to the degree. Maybe I can look up for a Time Management book in the library to improve my future action(s).

Producing 4.1

This week with Roy is about roles of producers and professional practice.

According to Prospect website, responsibilities of a TV/film/video producers, I’ll need:

  1. read, research and assess ideas and finished scripts
  2. secure the finance for a new production
  3. commission writers or secure the rights to novels, plays or screenplays
  4. hire key staff, including a director and a crew to shoot programmes, films or videos
  5. pull together all the strands of creative and practical talent involved in the project to create a team
  6. liaise and discuss projects with financial backer(s) – projects can range from a small, corporate video costing £500, to a multimillion-pound-budget Hollywood feature film
  7. control the production’s budget and allocate resources
  8. organise shooting schedules – dependent on the type of producer role and availability of support staff
  9. hold regular meetings with the director to discuss characters and scenes
  10. act as a sounding board for the director
  11. troubleshoot problems that arise during production
  12. ensure compliance with relevant regulations, codes of practice and health and safety laws
  13. supervise the progress of the project from production through to post-production
  14. deliver the finished production on time and to budget.

Skills that I’ll need to have:

  1. confidence in my ability
  2. strong communication and people skills
  3. editorial judgement
  4. presentation and pitching skills
  5. negotiation skills
  6. strong time and resource management skills
  7. organisation and planning skills
  8. creative ability
  9. the ability to cope well under pressure
  10. commercial awareness and a good head for figures
  11. self-motivation and the ability to motivate others
  12. leadership skills.

Most importantly, I need to be aware of health and safety issues in the workplace and understand the industry regulations and codes of practice.

 

SCREENSKILLS works with the UK’s screen-based creative industries to develop skills and talent, from classroom to boardroom.

They are the UK-wide strategic skills body that works with employers, individuals, trade associations, unions, learning and training providers, Government and its public agencies and other key organisations to ensure that the UK’s Creative Industries have continued access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent the require.

They support skills and training for people and businesses to ensure the UK Creative Industries maintain their world class position. We do this by influencing and shaping policy, ensuring quality and by securing the vital investment for individuals to become the best in their field and for businesses to grow.

 

A producer I really admire is Charlie Brooker. He is the creator, writer and producer of Emmy Award Winner Black Mirror. Prior, he took the same role for Dead Set, it was nominated for the Best Drama Serial in 2009 BAFTA. Later, he received many awards for his comedy show Newswipe from 2009 to 2012. Another show of his, Wipe (2016) won a BAFTA in 2017. Last but not least, he won the Columnist of the Year award at the British Press Award in 2009. He was also a radio presenter at BBC Radio 4. One of the reasons why I appreciate this man is because he wasn’t always perfect as he states on the Guardian (2011) “I took media studies. And I failed to graduate, thanks entirely to my decision to write a 15,000-word dissertation on the subject of videogames, without bothering to check whether that was a valid topic, which it wasn’t. Forward planning isn’t my strong point.” this signifies his organisation skills was his weakness. However, he does have a potential of being a good producer as he later cites “the most valuable thing you get from education is a space in which you can make friends, gain experience, and figure a few things out.” these are the signs of a good producer as he has good creative and people skills at an early stage of his career. He also have that good confidence in his ability and great self-motivation, as he mentions “even so, success is always possible if you forget about “success” as a concept – it’s hopelessly amorphous anyway – and focus instead on doing what satisfies you, as well as you can.” He didn’t just motivated himself to become a better person, he also motivated me, and hopefully you! Nobody is perfect in this world but it’s good to try your best to be one because that’s what make you perfect.

 

References:

BROOKER, C. 2011. Poor A-levels? Don’t despair. Just lie on job application forms. The Guardian [viewed date: 05/11/2019]. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/21/charlie-brooker-a-level-results

 

 

Photography 3.2 (formally 3.1)

Today, it is about aperture & lenses: controlling depth of field and field of view.

Aperture controls depth of field (DoF):

Depth of field is amount of stuffs that is in focus, at the front and behind the subject you’re focusing on.

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 21.48.01

Portrait should be focusing on the subject, therefore, the background should be blurred. Small DoF for this. To allow that 3D perspective (i.e. picture on the right).

Contrast to that, in a landscape. You should have a big DoF. Especially, when you want the viewer to see everything in frame (i.e. picture on the left).

screen-shot-2019-10-24-at-20.48.48.png

As you can see, larger the aperture, smaller the F number (and vice versa). Another way to learn this is smaller F number, create small DoF (less things are in focus). Equally, Large F number, create large DoF (more things are in focus).

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 21.12.50

Portrait mode will automate the camera to have small DoF = small F number.

Landscape mode will automate the camera to have large DoF = large F number.

However, as a photographer is better to use AV or A (aperture priority mode), to allow you to have more control and enable to exaggerate what you want. This is where you pick the F number, and camera picks shutter speed for you. This is very useful when your main priority is the DoF (portrait or landscape).

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 21.18.20

In addition, your camera isn’t focus on the middle of your DoF. It should be focusing on a subject that’s 1/3 at the front and 2/3 behind of your DoF.

Screen Shot 2019-10-24 at 21.28.39

Hopefully, the diagram above is allowing you to understand on how to control the outcome of your photograph a bit more. For AV mode, if you want the photo to be brighter the camera will choose a longer shutter speeds. Whereas, for darker photo the camera will choose a faster shutter speeds.

Therefore, large F number can result in slow shutter speeds. It would be good, if you can use a tripod for this to avoid camera shake or use something to lean on (if you forgot or too lazy to bring one). On another hand, small F number can result in faster shutter speeds.

Quick tip: don’t look through the view finder to work out DoF. It’s better to take a picture and look at it after!

In addition, understand the limitation of your camera. Even if you have an expensive brand new camera. When the camera is flashing the F number or shutter speed on your screen depending what camera you have, it’s warning you the photo you about to take might be too dark or too bright. A simple way to solve this problem, it’s to adjust the F number or change your ISO.

Lenses:

Focal length: the distance between the centre of the lens and the sensor. Also, Choice of lens will affect depth of field and field of view and perspective.

lense

lense2

lense3

Standard / prime / fixed lenses: same as human eye. Let in more light than zoom lenses often down to f/2.8 (very small depth of field). Therefore, as it has wider aperture which means I can achieve a very shallow depth of field (only a small selected area in focus). Usually a 50mm. They tend to be expensive because it is designed to do one job and enable to do it perfectly.

Wide angle lenses: get a wider view (good for landscape or taking picture in tight area). Can be a 10mm or anything < 50mm.

widevsultrawide2-800x450

Telephoto lenses: are like telescope, it let you zoom right in. Good for sport as well. Larger the focal length the larger the magnification. Can be a 400mm or anything > 50mm. It will compress the distance between object making things look flatter (more flattering for portraits).

70mm-400mm-FoV.jpg

Macro lens: let you focus on small things and still look pretty big. Also excellent for portrait.

Fisheye lens: give you an aesthetic of 180 degree view.

Zoom lens: different focal lengths, larger minimum aperture, less light. You can adjust the lens from 24mm to 105mm or 70mm to 300mm (depending on the brand and the model). Weirdly, it is cheaper than fixed lens because when you zoom in and out it create problems but it is very handy when you’re able to stand on a stable ground. However, when you’re in a car or dealing with an earthquake, then you increase it to 300mm (zooming into your focal subject) the image can be very shaky!

Vari-vs-Parf-wide1.jpg

Affect of zoom:

  1. aperture change
  2. foreshortening
  3. shutter speed
  4. motion shake

To avoid shaky picture set your shutter speed no more slower than 1/focal length. For example, 50mm use 1/50 or 500mm use 1/500. In addition, stabiliser nowadays are very good it can help you get that sharp picture.

Shout out to Chris Bray (he has a really good YouTube channel)

 

Photography 3.1 (formally 3.2)

Same as audio sessions, 0.1 is now 0.2 and vice versa. I still have Matt and Frankie as my lecturer. In Matt’s seminar today, we will be looking at photographic composition and how to improve upon the design elements of my photography. We will look at the following:

  • composition
  • subject placement
  • the rule of thirds
  • leading lines (lines and paths)
  • balance
  • creative focus
  • framing

Things that makes a successful photograph:

  • simplicity
  • composition
  • lighting
  • PRATICE!!

To compose a photograph, I need to focus on:

  • subject
  • context
  • subject placement

Composition: the rules of third

Picture1

Lines and paths (visible lines):

  • create impact by using lines to lead the viewers eyes around the picture.
  • lines have subtle effects but can make a dramatic impact.

Picture2

Your eyes should naturally follow the stairs handrail.

Lines and Paths: implied lines

Picture3

Balance:

  • By balancing our images we can create a visually pleasing result.
  • This should help the view’s eyes move freely around the image.

Type 1: symmetrical balance

Picture4.jpg

Type 2: asymmetrical balance

Picture5.png

Selective focus:

Picture6

Framing: a frame within a frame

Picture7

Avoid distraction:

Can you spot the differences between those two images above?

Choose a format (for Matt):

Which one is better?

Consider variety:

Having more is better than none.

Audio 3.2 (formally 3.1)

For this week we went through assessment brief again. I am not going to repeat myself so go have a look in my Audio 1.1.

What do I know about Radio Sonar? It’s our university radio society. Where student gets to practice and run a show for 1 hour. Guess who is running a show every Wednesday at 7pm. That’s right, you know who it is… Me!

Next week, I am going to listen to a radio sonar show. Write down at least 4 elements that I think were successful and 3 things that it could have been improved.

We then have to interview each other on our table:

  • What societies have you joined?
  • What society surprised you?
  • Why do you think it is important that universities have societies?
  • What society would you start?

James said he joined tennis society and the other two still haven’t join any society. UFO society was the most surprising one. However, little bird told me that this society has been folded (wonder why?). We all came up with a conclusion, societies were created to build up networking with people who has the same interests, socialising, and to get better at something. Last but not least, I’d love to create an Asian society because I do feel like I am the only Asian guy in the university even though there are plenty of us.

For group Dynamics:

Few issues that might arise:

  • Poor discipline.
  • Uneven workload.
  • Conflict with each other opinions.

Few benefits of  working in a group:

  • Prepare for the real world teamworking.
  • Shared workload.
  • Adaptability.

Scenario 1:

A few group members seem to be doing a lot of the same kind of activities and you are worried the outcome is going to sound repetitive.

Solution: have a group meeting and go through it together. Make sure it doesn’t sound repetitive. Next time, set up a clear direction on who is doing what.

Scenario 2:

Someone else in your group has done an interview but it’s not very good. The sound quality is poor and they haven’t used the questions that you wrote together.

Solution: Make sure there is a sound engineer to listen to the zoom recorder whilst interviewing, set the recorder at a mature volume. After interview listen through it. Repeat the interview (if needed). Also, write down a quick note for the interviewer and sound engineer to remind themselves not to miss a question.

Scenario 3:

The leader in the group is not attending sessions and is not responding to messages on the group chat.

Solution: Try get in contact with the leader via phone. If that person is not responding, then elect a temporary leader or a new one (depending on the situation).

Scenario 4:

There are loads of great ideas but the group can’t come to any decision.

Solution: Everyone move to a corner of the room not allow to see each other paper. Write down who has the best idea. Also, their name on it to make sure they’re not voting for themselves. If the results are very even get an alternative vote from your big boss or lecturer (in our case).

We need to complete our group contract on roles, attitudes, behaviour and communication.

So I will be taking part in producing, presenter and sound engineer. Attitude? Obviously 110%. Behaviour, c’mon we’re adults here. Communication? Facebook group created and everyone has my phone number so it’s cool beans.

Reflection time:

To be honest, I don’t really know about the threats within our group because I just got move to this class. Positively, there is Ali who was foundation student from last year and we have experience on this. I believe doing this assignment would help me improve my radio and presenter skills, which is one of the things I want to get into after graduation. Let’s think about it! How cool would it be to get paid for interviewing interesting people.

 

 

 

 

 

Audio 3.1 (formally 3.2)

So this is kind of confusing because 0.2 Audio session with Steve/Paul is now 0.1, and Audio with Frankie is now with Ani and it is 0.2. Get it? It’s cool you don’t have to get it. But at least my time table is sorted though!

In this session, we get to do a linear editing using Adobe Audition. For me, I am quite lucky because last year I have already done this but it’s good to do a quick recap. All we have to do was make sure the volume from each tape is similar to each other (should have the consistency in the orange area), as they all have different volume. This is also an opportunity to work out which is tape should stay and which one should be deleted. Also, we can crop out the silent, “um” and “errr”. Then we need to save it as WAV. and there you go! Kaboom!

 

Production 3.1

Last week I’ve been given a task of finding a story and turn it into a programme idea. Give it a read and tell me what you think.

This week is about content research and understanding the needs of your target commissioner, platform or channel. Our target commissioner is BBC THREE.

According to Kathryn Ballard, whom is our information librarian for Media and Culture. She advises us to use Solent Portal page > Library > LibGuide by subject > Media and Culture. We can get access to useful resources like:

  • C21 (subscribe only)
  • Statista
  • Mintel

I have partnered up with our student rep (as I have now step down from being one of them because we only need one not two) Andrew Menhennet. He interests in doing a documentary, whilst drama is my personal interest.

BBC Three commissioning:

  • Target audience 16-34 year-olds.
  • Tackling subject that matter to them.
  • They back original voices and unique ideas.
  • To provoke reaction and stimulate emotion.
  • ‘Make me laugh’ and ‘make me think.’
  • Recently, expanded they remit to factual entertainment and entertainment formats.

As I wanted to Drama:

Now we can take advantage of BBC Three digital platform, we can be flexible in terms of form, content and tone by commissioning shows with shorter episode lengths, or even episodes of varying lengths with a series (i.e. Overshadows).

The show should speak directly to younger audiences and representing what it means to be young person in Britain today (i.e. Normal People).

BBC Three will likely to publish the short-from on BBC Three, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat and other (where audiences are more likely to interact with). They will commission:

  • one-offs that compliment seasons or long-form programmes.
  • pilots with a view to a longer run.
  • strands exclusively for social media.
  • compelling series of multi-platform shorts that can be stripped or serialised across platforms with clever scheduling and activation strategies around them.
  • Also, they are open to discussing form and volume and looking for the most innovative ideas with fresh and distinctive execution.

In pairs, we have to select a programming strand for analysis. We could either go to BBC THREE website or to its iPlayer. So we choose https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree (23/10/2019), as it has clear link to social media than iPlayer.

Then we had to make a index for channel content in strand. So, we decided I will research the top part and Andrew do the bottom half of Editor’s pick.

We should be considering:

  1. Key features: content, structure and narrative.
  2. How is the show presented by the channel?
  3. How is social media used to enhance the digital offer?
  4. Who is the target audience for the programmes?
  5. What are the typical characteristics?
  6. What does BBC 3 brand look like?
  7. What does it feel like?
  8. Market characteristics?
  9. Audience demographics?
  10. Viewing figures?

We should summarise BBC 3 programme style in a few sentences.

In conclusion section we need to focus on BBC 3’s gap in the market. What new ideas could we come up with?

Hopefully, I can answer all these questions in week 7.

Thank you.

Photography 2.2

As I was saying in my previous blog post, I couldn’t attend today’s lecture because I went to the one that I meant to be going to. However, now that we have had a session on digital workflow, we are going to look at the different file formats that are used including JPGs, TIFFs and shooting in RAW.

Check out this website for a better understanding on JPGs, TIFFs and RAW.

In summary, JPGs is better to use when you want to publish on social media or print it out. Whereas, TIFFs and RAW is better for editing on various photo editing programmes (e.g. Bridge or Photoshop).

Geoff Petty’s creative process (ICEDIP):

  • Inspiration
  • Clarification
  • Distillation
  • Perspiration
  • Evaluation
  • Incubation

My creative process is “f*** it, just go out there and start shooting!” Then, I’d look through the images and I will pick the one that I like and just need to give good reasons why I want to develop this, and move it forward, and why I’ve chosen this above everything else. From there, I would just go with the flow but with good intentions and reasons. In addition, getting feedbacks from your lecturer(s), colleagues and friends is a great way to develop your work because it’s allowing you to see other people’s perspectives. Coming to a dead end? Just go with your second best option. Again, give a good reason why. One of the beautiful thing about being a creative student, there is never a dead end, if there is you’re not being creative enough!

I have been thinking of doing a collaboration with either a film or a fashion student. Positively, I have been working with fashion students before last year. So, I have the experience of knowing what they want. However, it would be good as well to go for a film student, as I have basic understanding of film because I am a media student. Also, it’s good to start working on different type of project. Therefore, I can show my potential clients that I am specialised on various fields. However, I can’t put any words around my final products because I am getting mark on the photography only. Therefore, I can go for an alternative route like architecture photography (discovering the unknown) or working for a client (modelling). These two are something that I need to consider for the future.

To be continue…

Thank you.

Producing 2.1

Finally, my timetable is fixed! However, as I don’t want my attendance to look bad I went to the one I meant to go to. Whereas, if I just keep intruding lectures like in the past two weeks and wait for the week to end, I believe my knowledge and understanding would be better. Nevertheless, this is something for me to look into and be more careful of my decision-making later in life. Luckily enough, I was born in a good generation, as I can get access to my lecture online and catch up on the things I’ve missed.

Today’s lecture is about ‘intro to story.’ As I remember we meant to be giving a pitch. Then we meant to be receiving a feedback. This is Trouble. See more. Do more! Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend this class.

What is a story anyway?

A great journalist once said “IF HISTORY WERE TAUGHT IN THE FORM OF STORIES, IT WOULD NEVER BE FORGETTEN.” – Rudyard Kipling.

On the dictionary, it says…story meaning.png

What is the difference between story and plot?

[Check out this video]

PLOT = what happened?

  • e.g. getting Marline closer to Nemo and Nemo closer to escaping Darla.

STORY = how it happened?  why should I care?

  • e.g. helping them both get past their own flaws and better understanding on each other.

[Check this: plot vs story] for a better understanding.

What drive a good stories?

elementsofagoodstory

 

Audio 2.2

In this session, it is about studio operation and recording: “driving the desk”, hosting, presenting, and contributing.

d&amp;rbroadcastmixer

Okay this is the most similar mixing board I can find on google images.

  1. Open Adobe Audition > File > New.
  2. Test the sound on each (microphone) channel.
  3. It should be around the -6 to -12 (orange area).
  4. Click record when you’re ready.
  5. Pause to take break, stop to stop recording.
  6. Give it a listen (repeat the process for improvement).

In this session, we recorded our voice and we’re going to input this just before our quick vox-pox from previous session. One thing Paul told us to be aware of is the “p” and “b” sounds, as it usually will up the volume to the red zone.

I didn’t stay much longer in this session because Paul (my lecturer) want me to get my timetable sorted first before it gets out of hand. Also, I’ve already done this last year.