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Archive for March, 2011

While doing work this past weekend and pondering what  stop motion video I would blog about, fate (and iTunes shuffle) played the amazing video for “Her Morning Elegance” by  Oren Lavie. (Which I happened to snag FREE off iTunes!)

I love this video because it narrates the girl’s life and struggles from a mattress. With clever use of sheets, pillows, socks, and other household items, the viewer gets the feeling of being in her dreams (hence the mattress).

Actress walking down the “stairs”

Actress looking longingly out her window

Actress “swimming” in the ocean

Actress “dancing” with singer Oren Lavie

Stop motion is so cool to me because you can create “imaginary” motion – like riding a bike, dancing, and walking down the stairs – simply by taking thousands of pictures and “animating” them. (If your interested in seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff, follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKptYcQuKxc)

The amount of time, dedication, and planning that it takes to create a stop motion video is astounding and really makes you smile knowing that all artists aren’t using the same formula for their videos, but really are thinking creatively. (As they should.)

Oren Lavie album cover

 

Here’s a link to an eerie yet cool stop motion video by the same co-directors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVAZh8UGbxo#t=3m

and another stop motion-time lapse mash-up by band Guster:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k-VAlIPzKg

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By Addie Haney

More than 100 million college students incorporate Facebook in their daily lives, but one Elon student made the decision to cut it out completely, despite its possible networking opportunities.

Freshman Andrea Schultz, an athlete for Elon University, gave Facebook up for Lent her junior year of high school. Her grades improved so much that she chose to give it up completely for senior year.

“I think it’s a complete waste of time,” Schultz said.

Schultz is a member of the cross-country and track and field as well as several on-campus clubs. Because she cut Facebook out of her routine, Schultz says her day never has any wasted time.

According to Facebook, its 500 million users spend more than 700 billion minutes on the site in a month. That is the equivalent to about 1.33 million years.

Ross Wade, assistant director of career services for the School of Communications, said he understands the benefits Facebook could provide, especially when searching for jobs.

According to Wade, Facebook can be a useful research tool to locate people and places for networking

“[Facebook] could be a good lead for you to connect with them and talk with them about how they got that job,” Wade said.

Wade also said Facebook is a good tool for establishing a credible and marketable online presence.

Even with the benefits in job searching, Schultz said she doesn’t see Facebook returning in her future.

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For our latest project in Digital Media Convergence (DMC), we had to take pictures with a theme.

After waffling around themes from ranging from color to lines to things blowing in the wind, I finally settled on the color red (which was actually my original idea, but I thought it was no good).

So I took the pics, loaded ’em on the computer, and proceeded to Photoshop them, just to make the red pop a little more.

Now, you already know how I feel about Photoshop (if you don’t, refer to the previous post). But because I had only had to focus on bringing out the color red, and I got a lot of practice with just that one skill in class, I was pretty adept. I think I managed to do a decent job?

What do you think?

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Ok, so here’s the deal: I am a communications student, right? Therefore, I should be good at Photoshop, right?

WRONG!

Turns out, I have no CLUE as to how to work this program. The only thing I feel after working in Photoshop CS5 is frustration and a strong desire to hurl the computer screen across the room.

But that wouldn’t get me anywhere, now would it?

Nope. Not at all.

Anyway, our assignment for this week was to watch a few tutorials on Lynda.com (a VERY handy site for learning all kinds of computer software) and apply lessons learned to a photo that we took.

Easier said than done.

I went online to Lynda, watched 5 tutorials of one of the creators of Photoshop magically create a masterpiece out of an ordinary image, and then proceeded to attempt to duplicate the success on my own (all while The Lord of the Rings blasted annoyingly through the wall from next door, I might add). But for whatever reason, I didn’t have much luck.

I followed step-by-step the notes I had written down from the videos, but I still had no success! I guess it’s one thing to have to edit a single aspect of a photo – adding eye lights to the subject or just boosting the makeup – and another to try to do that along with adjusting the contrast, saturation, and hue of the photo (If you didn’t know, Photoshop is very picky about how your layers are organized when applying new filters and such).

After tedious editing and swearing, I managed to take this image of my friend Nicole

Beginning Image

and turn it into this…

Final Image

It’s definitely an improvement, don’t get me wrong. You can see her more clearly because I lightened up the overall picture and added some color to her lips, but it came about more from accidental discovery than really understanding what exactly I did. My next step, if I were more proficient, would have been to lighten the eyes and take down the shadows in her face, but after trying to follow the tutorial’s directions (and failing), I decided it would be best to take a break from photo editing.

Maybe after a few more Lynda tutorials and practice, I’ll take another stab at it…hopefully without the LOTR’s epic soundtrack distracting me in the background.

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It’s that time again. the TED conventions are being held!

You may be asking, “What on earth is TED?” Let’s be real, few people know what it is. (Ok…Well, at least I didn’t know what it was.)

Basically, TED, which stands for Technology Entertainment and Design, is an annual global conference that gives talks centered mostly on science and culture. Every year, speakers gather in either Palm Springs or Long Beach to present their ideas in innovative and engaging ways. In order to help speakers have their “wish” for a global change come true, the TED Prize is awarded to one speaker to put toward that wish.

Johanna Blakley

There are thousands of speakers to hear from on Ted.com (check them out!), but the speaker that I would like to highlight is Johanna Blakley. This year, Blakley spoke about the way social media is changing the perception of gender.

In her speech, Blakley explains how traditional media sources of today, such as magazines and television, target advertisements to certain audiences based on demographics, mainly gender, because they often behave with some predictability. However, according to Blakley, social media is changing the game and making it increasingly difficult to target those audiences based on gender or race or creed anymore. This is because instead of being defined by physical attributes, your online person is better defined by your interests. Advertising companies do this by monitoring your clicks (I know! Creepy, but very true.) on webpages, counting the number of times you visit a cooking or workout site. By studying your Internet habits, advertisers can make educated guesses at best about your age, gender, or race.

This brings up an interesting point for me as a communications student who hopes to become a broadcast journalist.

Most of the money used to run television production studios comes from selling ads during the commercial break. If it becomes increasingly more difficult to target ads to a certain audience during regular airing hours, how will that affect those television companies that I will one day work for? Although social media is good in a sense because it breaks down those old, tired stereotypes, if it grows into the only source of information people access, ads sales can falter and jeopardize my future career! (Yeah, that might be selfish of me to say.)

I guess, then, we must rely on the advertising companies to be inventive and hope for the best.

To hear more of Johanna’s speech, listen and watch below.

Johanna Blakely

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