Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Summary Post

CC Guido Sportaal

This week's completed assignments:
  • Read the required readings
  • Blogged about "Albums Without Sound"
  • Blogged about minimalism on the web
  • One, two and three design projects, as well as an original project.

I am still getting used to photoshop and design in general. The in-class photoshop tutorial this week helped me a great deal. When I returned home to do more design creates, I forgot the exacts of what we learned and where to find things on Photoshop, but I knew what generally needed to be done, and I just felt more generally comfortable exploring and using photoshop. For example, I knew I had to invert an image, but I had to figure out how to do that. This means making sure I invert the right layers, and knowing how to do that. Our introduction in class made me feel better about working with photoshop.

I am still not a pro in photoshop and am still learning so much every time I use it, so I think more time in class to do at least one design project would be beneficial. It helped to be in class and able to ask questions on the spot.

I am having a lot of fun with the design section, and I like how much I am learning!

Minimalism on the Web

CC Flickr Spacesick

This poster is compelling because Edward Scissorhands is a weird, underrated film that I thought most people forgot about, so I was happy to see that people are still remembering! I also like that it was so literal, though I probably would have somehow emphasized that his fingers were the scissors by making them sharper. The heart also makes it clear that it is actually a love story.

The poster doesn't really make me think of anything, which is why I like it. It is unique and draws your attention by it's randomness.

Williams' "contrast" concept is most prevelant in this poster through its color constrast (white and bright blue on black), as well as the contrast between a heart signifying love, and the pair of broken, creepy, unlovable hands.

Williams' "repetition" concept is also clear int he way that all images in the poster are broken up into pieces- not just the hands.

Design Create: Minimalist Travel Poster

For this design create, I based it off one of the most boring places in the world: Romeo, Michigan, my hometown. It was someone of a process trying to figure out what image would best represent Romeo in a minimalist way. At first, I was going to create a very minimal image of Romeo from Romeo and Juliet. I then realized that that wouldn't actually represent how much the village sucks, so I instead searched for a relatively boring image of houses. I then added "Romeo, Michigan" at the bottom. I tried to keep everything as plain and minimal as possible. I realized that I prefer cutting off part of the text  on the edge of images. I think it makes it edgier. Maybe?

Design Create: Fantasy Ted Talk

For whatever reason, I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate grumpy cat in this ted talk, so I found a random image of him on the web. I used dragged the cat image to the provided Ted Talk template, and then used the lasso on the sidebar to trace out grumpy cat. The trace isn't perfect, but I still think it turned out well. I then inverted the image, clicked the paintbrush from the sidebar, and then erased the background image of the grumpy cat so just he (or she) could appear on the Ted Talk image. I then undid the inverse, and clicked "free transform" to change the size and location of the cat.

I went through the same process to get the image of earth being destroyed. I thought it would be silly to do something about grumpy cat wanting to destroy the world, since most memes are about how he hates everything. This Ted Talk is a result of that idea.

Design Create: My Own Album Without Sound

This design project was influenced by Albums Without Sound. I simply followed the rules by finding a random article on Wikipedia, which led me to Kim-Young Ran. I then found a random quote, and stole the last five letters, which ended up being "...reveal not every secret." Lastly, I found the image on Flickr after I "explored the last seven days," and used the third photo.

I based everything off the photo, which was incredibly creepy and reminded me of a terrorist group. That is why I chose the more militant song. The quote happened to relate to the picture in a sense that the men have a secret unknown to the public walking around.

Overall, I think my album image turned out cool! It was a fun project!

Original Design Create

For this project, I first googled "most famous paintings in the world," and randomly chose this classic:

I then chose a random cat picture by googling "funny cat face," and found this little creature:

I then dragged it into photoshop and clicked the lasso to trace the cat face. I then inverted the photo, and clicked the paintbrush on the sidebar to erase the background of the cat photo to reveal the painting. I then undid the invert, and clicked "free transform" to make the cat face smaller, tilt it, and then attach it right to the baby's head. After that, it was complete. The cat version of a classic painting!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Favorite "Album Without Sound"

It took me a while to pick one album, because I had so many favorites, but I finally settled on this one. The supposed band is "MFL" and the album title "No one else can see." I was drawn to this album because it is a really interesting image in the way that it plays with light. The block text combined with the image reminds me of a cool electronic band. Also, the blue colors for the band name against the gray image is absolutely perfect, because it makes the text pop out to the viewer.

The composition is perfect because your eyes are drawn to both the interesting image and the bold text. The typeface gives the album an even stronger electronic feel, which I totally dig. I probably keep thinking electronic band because MFL is kind of similar to MGMT. It is also interesting that the album is titled "No one else can see" because the ability to see is directly related to light, and this photograph is using light in an interesting way. Perhaps it means that we are the only ones who can see the hand because there is no one else in the photo, so the flashlight is allowing us see a secret (the hand).

Overall, I enjoyed looking through the website and still think that the album above is still by far one of the coolest.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Summary Post

CC Derek Mueller

What I have done this week:
  • Read excerpts from How Images Think by Ron Burnett and "Images" by Robert Hass
  • Blogged about one of the readings
  • Completed two design projects: here and here
  • Finalized my two audio projects: here and here
This week, I did a lot of radio work and design work. The radio work was definitely a lot more stressful, because of the nature of when it was due (Wednesday opposed to Sunday), and they are worth a higher grade. Overall, I learned a lot about producing a good audio piece, and am also really interested in radio now! I appreciate what radio has to offer, and all of the hard work that goes into a good piece.

The design work for this week wasn't as hard, but it was definitely a new experience. I have just about no experience with design, so messing around with the different effects to create a desired image was fun. I'm excited to learn how to do more advanced design work. Although this will require that I go to the fishbowl every time I do design work, I am still ready and willing to learn.

Design Project: Comic Book Effect

This photo originally began as:

I took it over Spring Break when my boyfriend found a dead horse shoe crab along the coast of the Atlatnic Ocean. I always thought horse shoe crabs were pretty strange looking, so I figured it would be perfect to disguise as an alien for a comic book photo.

I did this photo completely in Word. I pixellated it, posterized the color, and then saturated the photo all at random, until I reached the desired look. I then added text to play off of the alien theme. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Design Project: Bad Photo with Vintage Effect

My first design project! I first started with a pretty bland camera phone picture that I took of my friend playing the ukulele a few weeks ago:

All of the versions of Gimp that I had previously downloaded don't work on my computer, for whatever reason. Even though the application opens, there aren't any options to do anything. I will likely go to the fishbowl for most (or all) of my design projects, but I was too anxious to get started messing around with design, so I started in iphoto. I first blurred the image. I then sent it to a Word document to add the text. I found out that Word also has a ton of special effects for photos, so that is where I was able to change it to a cool purple scale. 

For the words, I googled "inspirational music quotes," and I found one by Maya Angelou that started out as "Music was my refuge," and decided to use that. I then played around with text placement and liked it at the top of the image, so I set it at that. After that, the image was complete!

Response to “Images” by Robert Hass

CC Flickr Brun-o

After reading the article, I am left with a couple questions:

Was the reading supposed to be an introduction to the design section? I don't see how the article related to design at all. Perhaps it's more abstractly related to design? It's hard to say, because almost the entire article explicitly referred to poems, primarily Japanese haikus, and imagery in literature. I know that analyzing images in literature is important, but it seems pretty irrelevant to what we're studying in class now. I am also somewhat critical because I am not interested in poetry at all, so I began the reading hoping it would end with a great conclusion tying design and literature imagery together, but it didn't. 

Was this article trying to teach us the importance of imagery in art? The importance of conveying images in a straightforward manner? Or was it explaining why images are interesting and compelling at all?

I don't have much more to say about the reading because I'm still trying to understand its relevance to our class. If this were a literature class, I would understand completely. But since it is not, I'm left wondering why I read the article at all.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Audio Project 2: Mixed Race in America

I present to you, my second published audio piece! It is my personal narrative about being a person of mixed-race.

I knew I wanted to do an audio piece on being mixed-race because the topic was both personal and compelling for me, but I didn't know exactly how I wanted to go about it. I new I didn't want to do another Voxpop, so I went out and tried interviewing some of my mixed race friends (turns out, I only have two in Ann Arbor). I was only able to meet up with one, my friend Taj. We had a really great interview that lasted for about 20 minutes.

 I was so overwhelmed by the overload of content and experiences he shared that I decided not to use the interview. At the very least, it was a good excuse to catch up with an old friend. Instead, I picked out important themes that he talked about that also relate to my own personal experiences with being mixed. The audio piece would have been extremely great if I did incorporate his interview, but it would have changed from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. I also knew it would take me a really long time to weave through our 20 minute interview to pick out his most compelling statements, so I instead decided to just stick with my narrative.

I used two songs by Rodrigo y Gabriela: "Paris," and "Tamacun." I knew I wanted to use a non-American song, so I figured I would use this music because they are instrumental and phenomenal.

Since this audio piece is much different from my Voxpop piece on feminism, I was worried it would be more boring because the nature of it wasn't as playful and fun. I then added noises and sounds that I thought would enhance the pice.

I also used the Zoom H4N Handy Recorder for this piece. I hope you enjoy!

Audio Project 1: Dating and Feminism

Here is my final draft of my audio piece on dating for our class radio show!

Although I initially wanted to do my dating audio piece on couples fighting, I had difficulty coming up with a compelling idea to structure it around. I then decided to do something that I identify strongly with: feminism. This was inspired by a guy friend who recently told me that his girlfriend recently asked him if he was a feminist, and he had no idea how to respond! So he consulted me about it since I don't show away from claiming the term.

From there, I started to wonder if other guys on campus were still afraid, or confused by the term. I started out just by asking the first people I saw at the library what they would do if the person they just started dating told them they were a feminist. I used neutral terms in case they were gay. I think I interviewed a fairly diverse group of men, but at the same time, Ann Arbor is an extremely liberal city, so I don't think the answers I received on campus accurately represent all college-aged men in the U.S. Nonetheless, I got interesting answers, and I was on my way to editing!

I first searched for a song, because I knew that I wanted something fun and upbeat. I just browsed through my itunes until I found "Gone Daddy Gone" by The Violent Femmes. I didn't have the instrumental version, so I went to SoundCloud and quickly found a homemade version.

I then new I wanted to the piece to have a beginning, middle, and end, so I created a narrative for the beginning. And then had it flow easily to the interview answers, which formed the middle, and ended with a short summary of my findings. I then added extra sounds where deemed fit. The production definitely took me a couple hours, but I had fun playing around with the editing. Garageband isn't completely straight forward so it was a bit hard, but I liked the learning process. I then incorporated the comments I received from the NPR guests, and re-recorded a few sentences to make sure I was using the right word, and BAM! The piece is finished! Please enjoy!

The recording device I used was a Zoom H4N Handy Recorder that I checked out from ISS. Besides having to drag it around everywhere, it was very easy to use and the sound quality was great.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Response to "Sound Reporting"

CC Flickr Cyber-Photography
After reading the few chapters from "Sound Reporting," I feel extremely overwhelmed about our radio shows. Since everything I read about radio shows is almost completely new information, it is hard to keep track of the most important points to remember in order to produce a great radio show. It would be nice to have a page long bullet point list of the most important things to keep in mind when creating a radio show, because it seems almost impossible to remember to do everything at once. For example, it's not only writing the actual report that is hard, but also the editing. I think I have a good handle on the reporting, but the editing seems a bit harder. Unlike the video section, which was pretty much a free for all, because we got to make three videos about literally anything we want without necessarily telling a story in a specific way, radio shows have many more restrictions, and that's what I'm worried about. I wonder how much freedom we have with our radio shows, or if we should follow the rules of our reading as much as possible. I think going over the requirements in detail of our radio show assignments in class would help to clear a lot up.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekly Summary Post

CC Ross Murray

This week's completed assignments:
The most annoying thing about this week is that I've discovered that I can't listen to Soundcloud pieces directly on blogs. The embedded Soundcloud box is unable to load, and it doesn't provide a link where I can go directly to the link to listen to the piece, so it is really hard to listen to other people's work. That means I have to use other peoples computers to listen to radio show's posted on Soundcloud, but that is not too big of a problem. I am used to it now. Otherwise, everything else went well!

"Dating" Radio Show Plans

CC Leigh Myers

For our class radio show, I will interview several couples, or individuals, and ask them about the stupidest fight they got in with their significant other. These will be fights that people genuinely became angry over. Hopefully at this point, people will be able to laugh about their fights because they realize how ridiculous they were looking back. If I don't get enough interesting responses, I will go online and research some stories about stupid fights, and I"ll either talk about them or ask people to act and pretend that these situations happened to them.

Daily Create: Favorite Day Dreaming Window

My new favorite day dreaming window: right outside our cottage in South Carolina on Kiawah Island. 

Audio Create: Interview with a Friend

Vox Pop: What is your irrational fear?