P6 – Big Problem, Tiny Solutions

 

The most difficult part of this project for me, was putting all of the pieces together after getting all of my footage and photos. I had about 30 minutes of interviews, and getting that down into a 3 minute video that conveyed the message that I wanted it to was definitely difficult, as I had never worked with video before this class. I also had about 75 photos of the tiny home villages that I never ended up using due to time constraints. I have gotten a lot better at interviewing people since taking a newswriting class last year, but I have to say, that it was definitely harder to make a short video with the interviews than it was to write a short article.

Altogether, parts of this project were fun, but it did not inspire me in any way to get into video editing as part of my career. It was like putting together a giant puzzle, and I am not a fan of puzzles, so I think I will stick with photography and design. I’m still glad that I got this experience using Premiere Pro and Audition, as I have heard from many Multimedia Design professionals that it is important to be as well-rounded and have as many skills as possible so that you are more valuable in a super competitive field.

I was also interested in learning about the tiny house villages, and how they are combating skyrocketing rent rates and lack of available affordable housing. I was lucky enough when I moved to my own place in Eugene, to find a really nice affordable loft (mostly because I was looking for a place in December, when many out-of-town U of O students were leaving), but it did take many months of searching and many dead ends, so I have had some personal experience with the affordable housing crisis in Eugene.

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P5 – Wu Xing – “The five types of chi dominating at different times”

 

I do realize that I should have been shooting my own video, and intended to, but couldn’t think of a topic, procrastinated, and then got sick. I wanted to go out and get photos or videos of a flowing creek, trees, I was thinking some kind of rock formation for earth, but there was no way I could go out and shoot photos of videos in this condition, and I couldn’t think of anything that I could do in my house. (It took me long enough to figure out what I wanted to do in the first place.) Vague and ‘open to interpretation’ assignments are always the hardest for me. That being said, all of the videos I used are Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licensed (reuse and modification OK with no attribute required), I wrote down all of my attributions anyway. If anyone wants to see them, CLICK HERE . I did spend a LOT of time editing this video, I knew nothing about Premiere before, and am actually really glad I got this little taste of it.

I chose my subject after days of thinking about it (to no avail), by Google searching ‘5’. I searched around the web for a while, and found a blog that lead me to a Wikipedia page about all kinds of things related to ‘5’ in some way. When I came across Wu Xing, I was immediately interested and decided to make a kind of informational video about it. I found it appealing because I’d never thought about the elements or seasons that way (there is a TON of information about it that I couldn’t fit into a two minute video.) I also already had the format and substance of the video mapped out in my mind just after reading the Wiki article. This was amazing because I had been putting a lot of thought into it and striking out for quite a few days. I wish I would have gotten this idea a few days sooner, so I could have taken my own photos or videos, because, while it would look less professional, I would get a better grade. The most difficult part about this assignment I think was getting the video to stay at 2 minutes (even though I went a little over), because it made the text seem too rushed for slower readers.

Informational Interview with Amy Sideon

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A DVD cover that Amy designed while working as a graphic designer.

For this assignment I interviewed Amy Sideon, a friend of a friend’s that worked in graphic design for 20 years. She now works as a claims adjuster. The first question I asked was why she chose Graphic Design as a career path. She responded “I was enrolled in an architecture program at La Tech [Louisiana Tech] University and took some Photoshop classes. They were interesting to me, so I expanded into Illustrator. I changed my degree when I moved to Oregon and complete my bachelors in Art, with a graphic design emphasis.” She said the most fun and informational class she took in college was an Illustrator class, because she enjoyed manipulating images to create digital art.

When I asked Amy what advice she would give a new Media Arts student, she replied “Take a wide variety of classes, give yourself the largest pallet of tools possible. The more knowledge you have in many different areas, the more hirable you become.” She really emphasized being as “well rounded as possible”. She also mentioned needing to have good time management and organizational skills, as well as always improving grammar and writing skills.

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Amy designed this catalog cover for the Engineering Education Service Center

Amy worked as a landscape laborer while in school to pay for her degree. A few months after graduating from college at the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in Art, she got a job at SafetyCal, a company that produces safety stickers and signs. After that, she did both freelancing and was employed at various design companies. When I asked her if finding a job in the graphic design field was difficult, she said “I was lucky in that I applied to a random employment agency that happened to know a friend who needed an artist.” She said she enjoyed freelancing because she could set her own schedule, but said that the hardest part about it was getting jobs, “There is a LOT of competition out there. This competition drives down the amount of money you can ask for when doing work.” Amy also emphasized that customer contact could be difficult and “can lead to non-payment if you don’t have a contract in place!” She said that freelancing has never been her primary source of income. When asked, she said that her most successful form of advertising herself has been word of mouth.

My takeaway from this interview (and also from the speakers that we have had in class) is that Graphic Design can be fun and interesting, as well as fast-paced and competitive. It seems like many of the people that I meet that work in the design field (as well as instructors) say much of the same and give a lot of the same advice. I guess this shows that it is all relevant. I have always wanted to primarily freelance with my photography and design, but most of the people that I’ve talked to that freelance, also have regular jobs on the side. I guess it does make sense to have a regular stream of income in case the economy tanks and it becomes harder to find clients. I still want to start my own business and freelance with my skills, but I’m figuring out that I will likely have to work for a company as well, at least in the beginning stages of my business.

The Ass and the Load of Salt from Aesop’s Fables

For my audio project, I chose to read ‘The Ass and the Load of Salt’ from Aesop’s Fables. I chose this story because it was kind of funny, and I thought that would make the project more enjoyable. I have to say, that I did not enjoy this assignment. I have never liked audio, because you have to listen to the same sounds over and over again, and it drives me a little crazy.

That being said, what I did first, was find the story that I wanted to read. Then I searched the internet for free sounds that I thought would go along with the story. After finding the sounds, I recorded my voice. I ended up using my phone to record it because it has a much higher quality microphone than my laptop. At first, I tried to record the whole thing at one time, but I kept messing up on words halfway through, so I decided to record the story one sentence at a time, then string them all together in Audacity. Although that made the recording process easier, I think it made working in Audacity a little harder, because I had so many different voice channels.

I did not get this project perfect, but honestly I just couldn’t listen to my voice tell that same story one more time. That being said, here is ‘The Ass and the Load of Salt’, as told by Johnny:

 

Vandelay Design

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https://www.vandelaydesign.com/ 

I chose this blog because it posts about multiple categories relevant to Media Arts, and a large majority of the posts are intriguing and incredibly informative. After I found the website (by searching for ‘Best photography and Photoshop blogs’, and browsing through the results) I was immediately drawn in by the content of the posts. I just got into photography about a year ago, and I have become really interested in photo-manipulation as a means of making art. I am not particularly talented at drawing, painting, or any of those things, but through photography and Photoshop, I have found an outlet for my artistic tendencies. It also includes many posts about WordPress which I

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The WordPress Section of the blog

thought was particularly relevant to this class considering we use WordPress to post our assignments. It also has posts about web design trends, which we are studying in my Intro to Web Design online class.

 

 

 

I think the website/blog was designed incredibly well. I like that you can view blogs by category via the navigation menu, and I think that is incredibly easy to navigate. The layout is very clean and simple and that really helps the user focus on the content. All of the images are also very crisp and I think that enhances the user experience. All of the articles are also very informative and most are relevant to all Media Arts students and professionals. I particularly liked the article ‘Personal Branding for Designers: How to Sell Yourself and Your Design Work’, because this is something I’ve thought might be particularly difficult after graduating from school and entering the professional world. It also gives examples of portfolio sites and professional communities to join.

In short, I think this site is very well designed, relevant, and informative for both current professional designers, and students looking to get into the field. I personally will be visiting it often from now on, mostly to check out the Adobe tips, tricks, styles, etc. of which there are many.

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Media Arts Resources at Lane Community College

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1. Equipment Checkout

As this is my first year technically in the Media Arts program (I have previously taken some Media Arts classes, but was a Journalism major) I have not had the opportunity to utilize this resource yet. I am looking forward to it.


 

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2. Blue ‘Cyc’ Wall

I had several opportunities to use this wall in the Lighting for Photography class that I took last winter, but I did not end up needing to use it for any of my projects. I will be shooting self-portraits in front of it this week though, for my Digital Imaging class. The blue should make it a lot easier to cut myself out for a composite image. The lighting in there is pretty fantastic too.


 

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2. Center for Student Engagement

I had actually never heard of this place, but it came at the perfect time of my journey, I was starving but trying to hurry and catch the next bus. The woman in there was very nice and pointed me toward a beautiful vase. I feel like I was not the only one who she pointed toward that vase and I think it was in an effort to avoid photographs taken of her. I respect that.


 

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3. Main Art Gallery on Campus

I was in this building for both Newswriting and Photography class during my first term at Lane. I always liked checking out the new exhibits, and still do when I’m in the area.


 

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5. Art-O-Mat

This thing is very cool, I cannot personally afford $5 for a small piece of art, but I really like the concept. I think these things should be in malls instead of (or at least along with) food/drink vending machines.


 

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6. Library

One of the most important and useful resources at on any college campus, I have probably under-utilized this library since I started at Lane. I don’t read many paper-books anymore; Most of my life has become digitized like so many other peoples. I do appreciate that this library that has Mac’s that dual-boot Windows for PC users. When I first started at Lane I was pretty new to Macintosh, it took some getting used to and I still prefer my PC for most things.


 

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7. Silver Sculpture

I tried this sculpture from many different angles. When I first tried to shoot it, there was a guy raking leaves right in my desired shot. I ended up leaving and coming back, taking many shots from above and below, but this ended up being my favorite shot from inside.


 

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8. Ingram’s office

Ingram seems like a very nice and easy-going guy. This clearly was not his first visit from an Intro to Media Arts student. The girl in front of him ended up way out of focus, but I didn’t want to bug him any more by trying to get a better shot.


 

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9. Media Creation Lab

This is another place on this scavenger hunt that I did not know existed! Seems like a nice, quiet space to work on projects if needed, at least maybe a little quieter than out in the library. The outside of this room does not have the best lighting for taking photographs, and there were people working inside that I didn’t want to disturb. I did my best with what I had.


 

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10. Judy Gates’ office

I don’t know Ms. Gates but it looks like she is super helpful. This photo is not posed at all. I think it turned out really good and showed her helping a student navigate Moodle.


 

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11. Teresa’s office

Hands down, the worst lighting of any location on the scavenger hunt. The natural light coming in from the window in back is much brighter than the fluorescent lighting in the hallway. This was the only angle I could even pull a shot off from without the sunlight destroying it. In retrospect, I wish I would have gone back on a cloudier day.


 

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12. Students First Building

I have to say, if the ‘flags’ part weren’t in the instructions. I would have had no idea where this was, I have never heard of it referred to as the ‘Students First Building’. I guess now I know. The sheer amount of flags in here is pretty amazing.


 

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13. Construction Shot

This is a quick shot of the sculpture in front of the school. This was taken with my phone, because I forgot my camera this day. I may try to get another one with my Nikon in the morning on the way to class and update it. I really like this sculpture, because supposedly there is no concrete or glue or anything holding those stones together (according to my Photo 1 teacher), they just used a crane and wedged all the pieces together. That had to be very cool to watch.

 

Project 1 ‘About Me’

My name is Johnny, I am originally from North Carolina. After dropping out of high school at 16 years old, I  spent many years traveling the U.S., mostly hitchhiking until I got my license and first car at 19. I have been to every state south of West Virginia and west of Illinois. During these years, I would sporadically find work on small farms where

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Best crew of people I ever traveled with. Ocala, FL 2012

I would get a break from the road. I also really loved volunteering at music festivals in Oregon and in Northern California. My favorite festival was Earthdance before it got moved from the hog farm in Laytonville to the fairgrounds in Vallejo, Ca. Over time, I  grew really tired of traveling and not having a place to call home, and decided to settle down in Eugene and get back into school. I chose Eugene because I really like the community and have a few close friends here that I met while on the road.

This is my first year officially in the Media Arts program. I started school last year in pursuit of a degree in Journalism, took a couple of photography/photojournalism classes, and fell in love with my camera. I am still currently a Journalism major, but am double-majoring in Media Arts because Photography really fits into both. I am also interested in furthering the web design skills I developed in high school, and learning the basics of graphic design. I intend to one day start my own online business, although I do not yet know what that business will be, but I will need web/graphic design skills in any case.

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The main greenhouse range at Oregon Aquatics

When I’m not at school, I work seasonally at Oregon Aquatics, a wholesale aquatic plant, fish, and pond supply distributor. I have been working there for 2 years now and really love the job. One of my jobs there is to take photographs of all the plants that we have and making ‘Signage’ for those plants (Signs with photos and details of every plant) and also uploading those photos, and photos of happenings around the nursery, to our Facebook. It’s great, because I get paid to practice my photography.

While taking photos and learning about all of the plants I have really gotten into water-gardening. I have a 30 gallon planted aquarium and a 55 gallon pre-formed pond basin at home full of plants, koi, and goldfish. Even though keeping up with maintenance on both is a lot of work, I have found it to be an extremely calm and relaxing hobby.

 

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