The Final Project

It’s amazing how much easier technology gets with time and practice.  Earlier this semester, I used this space to talk about how challenging my multimedia class was and how it made me nervous to work with such expensive equipment.  A few months later, my performance is still far from perfect, but everything is a bit smoother and more familiar.  I was able to use the D7000 still camera without having to look anything up when we went in to take photos for our final project.  I also had a really positive audio editing experience (which was incredibly refreshing because the last time I edited audio I almost had a panic attack).  

For the multimedia final project, I had a gift of working with two of my awesome classmates.  We all worked well together with the goal of balancing each others strengths and weaknesses.  I’m very excited about our project and enjoyed the topic we covered (The Stephens College Fashion Program).  If you want to check out our project, you can find it on our WIX site http://group52150.wix.com/fashion-at-stephens .  

All the Stuff We Collect Stories With

The way we as individuals gather stories in interesting.  When we see something that interests us, we whip our phones out and take a picture or a video.  That photo or video gets turned into a vine, an Instagram video, a GIF, and then is occasionally spread all over the internet.  What but can these six seconds of sub-par video do for the good of society?  Honestly, these videos usually bother me.  Quite often it seems like people just trying to get attention and boost “likes” to feel better about their own self-worth.  But yesterday, I came across a BuzzFeed article that changed my mind. Everything You Need To Know About Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Adorable, Crime-Fighting Batkid combines tweets and a number of six second videos to depict a beautiful day in San Francisco.  I know that there is more pristine news coverage of this event, but the number of people this article drew from and the fact that the people who posted the videos were people who had gone out of their way to see the BatKid added a really sweet humanity to the article.  It made me see the event though the eyes of a real person who was there.  There was no story being spun, there was just a short video of the actual event.  It was almost like being part of the crowd. Some of the videos I even watched a second and third time. 

CPOY A Look Through Someone Else’s Lens

Last fall, I attended the College Photographer of the Year competition for the first time.  I spent hours, watching photos in a variety of categories be sorted through, weeded down, judged and verbally critiqued.  The photos and the process were captivating and from them I wrote an article for the campus newspaper, the Maneater (http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2012/11/13/student-photography-showcased-67th-college-photogr/).

This year I was assigned to watch CPOY judging for my multimedia class.  An opportunity that I jumped at.  It amazes me that students who are approximately my age have the talent, resources and vision to create such exemplary work.  And it’s shocking how quickly, precisely, and harshly the photos are judged.  I didn’t get to watch any of the initial rounds this year but they go quickly with the judges just clicking a remote for whether or not they want a photo to move to the next round .  After a few rounds of simple judging, the critiques begin.  This year, I had the opportunity to listen to the critiques for the portfolio category.  A photographer’s portfolio must contain under 50 photos, have a story element and a few individual photos.  The winner of the portfolio category becomes the College Photographer of the Year.  It was interesting to hear the judges debate style while talking about the photos.  Some of the judges liked that the photographers showed a wide variety of styles in their work, while others enjoyed seeing a photographer’s specific style shine through.  This impacted how they judged the cohesiveness of the portfolio.  I didn’t get to see the final round of judging, but I know the judges had a hard decision to make.

I was very impressed by the work I saw at the CPOY judging.  There was one photo story that really captured my attention because it was the most accurate depiction of Parkinson’s disease I had ever seen.  A lot of people have never seen what the disease does but people who know can pick it out relatively quickly.  Photography is such a powerful storytelling tool.  I am glad we have so many new talented photographers rising through the ranks.

Flu Shot Distribution from MU Student Health

As the weather turns cold and flu season approaches, the MU Student Health Center takes action to help students, faculty, and staff reduce their chances of catching the flu this winter. “We did seven flu clinics on campus in places like Ellis [Library] where students were apt to be,” Pam Roe Communications Director for the Student Health Center said. Roe puts hygiene tips and flu shot information on social media, including the Student Health Center’s YouTube channel to remind students of basic ways to prevent the flu. The student Health Center ordered about 38,000 flu vaccines this year and still has approximately 400 available, Roe said. Students can get the flu shot for free in the Student Health Center with a valid Student ID.

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Pam Roe, the MU Student Health Communications Director, talks about the actions MU is taking to help students prevent contracting and passing the flu on Nov. 5, 2013. Roe puts flu tips on the Student Health Center’s social media accounts to remind students of the simple precautions they can take.
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Syringe pens lay on the flu shot check in desk at the MU Student Health Center on Nov. 5, 2013. The Student Health Center is giving away pens to students who come in to get a flu shot.

California is a Place… I miss

I have started exploring, California is a Place, a website that my multimedia instructor recommended.  It’s a really interesting collection of multimedia stories from California.  Tonight I watched this really cool piece about skaters in Fresno- cannonball.  It’s a really interesting video about skateboarders who clean and drain the pools of foreclosed houses so they can use them as bowls to skate in.  I really liked this piece for a few reasons.  First off, it was interesting and not something that happens where I live.  I also love the way the video was shot.  We never saw one of the skater’s faces straight on and the video was shot in a very artistic manner.  I enjoyed the cool lighting and the grey tones as well as the array of creative movement shots.  I thought they used a number of interesting angles, which at times felt representative of what skating in a pool might feel like.  The video’s sound also stood out to me.  It was really interesting the way the viewer hears the sound of skateboards long before an actual skateboarder is ever seen. 

In terms of content- my favorite thing about this video was that they skateboarders were not made out to be bad guys or people committing crimes.  The video almost made it seem like the men were doing something to help out- by cleaning the pools- even if they were having their own fun with them in the mean time.  

Sometimes finding something on accident makes it perfect

This week, I was having trouble finding inspiration for my blog post, so I went back to a link to National Geographic Proof that my multimedia instructor sent out about a month ago.  I have used and posted form National Geographic Proof before and was very impressed by the pictures. During a second visit to the website, I came across an article called, Stories From Rural America: Pictures Making Sense.  As I was reading through the article I found out that the story came from the Missouri Photo Workshop.   As I continued to read, I recognized the name of a University of Missouri professor, David Rees (I actually interviewed Professor Rees last year while covering the College Photographer of the Year competition).  As it turns out, he is the co-director of the Missouri Photo Workshop. Coming across this article was a happy accident and was great to see the connection my school has with a major publication like National Geographic.  

Cross Referencing Classes (For good reason)

On Thursday, I was exposed to this video in my Cross Cultural Journalism Class.  It shocked me and I am very glad I have this outlet to talk about it (even if it is for my Multimedia Journalism Class).  It amazes me how everyone contributes to the portrayal of women in the news media.  It seems like people make jokes and don’t even realize what they are actually saying.  Personally, I think it’s important to be able to laugh at everyone, to a certain extent, but this is just too much.  As women, we’ve made great strides in the past hundred years, but the work isn’t done yet.  As my teacher said, we need to be more aware of it as women, but we also need men to support us too.  It’s a group effort and something we can fix!