Week 5 – Digital Photography

A lightning bolt strikes behind a combine trying to finish wheat harvest

This week we are going to explore digital photography using whatever digital camera you have available. Hopefully, you at least have a phone equipped with a camera which will do just fine, but if you have something nicer you may also use that. AsK-State students, you have aI also want you to do some reading and reflection on digital photography.

  1. (Just for fun) Experiment with this online DSLR simulator to see what the controls are like on a digital SLR camera.
  2. Reading Assignments:
    • : The Death of Photography via The Guardian
      • Have you ever been busy photographing or video recording an event and then later don’t remember the experience of being there? Do you stop and really think about what will make a good photograph before you make a photograph, or do you just take a bunch and pick through to find a good one? Reflect on the Guardian article, and write a post about your approach to digital photography as well as where you think the art of photography is heading. Are we better or worse off, with the changes to the process that digital photography brings? Is the career of photography coming to an end, or is it just being reinvented? Why? Share your post with others & discuss.
    • Read the Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition.
    • Check out some of National Geographic’s photography tips, especially the tips on iPhone photography if you are planning to use a smartphone.
  3. Look at some great photographs: Spotlight on Jim Richardson
    • Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic who lives in Lindsborg, Kansas. Use your internet skills to search for more examples of Jim’s work (hint: he has a business called Small World Gallery, and he posts work on Instagram & Flickr). Write about what you saw of Jim’s work in a blog post. Be sure to embed examples of his work in your blog with commentary. Referring back to the reading on better photographic composition, describe the compositional elements such as color, line, balance, etc. used in Jim’s photographs.  For super-duper, extra-extra credit, I dare you to mosey on down to Lindsborg and visit the Small World Gallery in person. If you’re lucky, you might actually meet Jim.
  4. Make some photographs and reflect
    • Make several photographs using some of the photography tips you have been reading about.
    • After spending time reading about photography and experimenting with some of the techniques you have learned about. Write a blog post that summarizes the experience. What techniques did you do? Did it work out well or not? Why or why not?
  5. Familiarize yourself with photo editing software such as Photoshop, Pixlr or Gimp.
    • You might have to watch some online videos or read some articles that are beginner tutorials for digital photo editing software. If you don’t have access to Photoshop, you will need another digital photo editor. Two popular ones that are free are Gimp and Pixlr. Gimp is widely used but it has a steep learning curve. Pixlr is like a no-frills Photoshop, but it is free and works in most web browsers so you don’t even have to download anything to use it.
    • There is no requirement to use any particular type of software, only that you begin manipulating digital images outside of the camera.
  6. Read at least two of the below articles that tell stories about using photo editing software for various purposes. You can also do your own searching on this topic.
  7. Watch at least one of these two videos about women’s experience with editing photos of their bodies.
  8. Write a reflective blog post about how the widespread access to photo manipulation tools is impacting our view of the world around us. Share link & discuss.
  9.  Assignment Bank Assignments
    • Do 8 stars worth of visual assignments, and include our Surviving the Pandemic theme in one assignment in some way.
    • At least one of the assignments must involve a photo manipulation with photo editing software.
    • Be sure to write a post for each assignment completed, describing your thinking, your process, and evaluating the results, and be sure to include a link to the assignment being completed.
  10. Complete a minimum of 3 Daily Creates this week.
  11. Comment on the work of other students doing these assignments. Focus both on K-State students and everyone else doing DS106. Tag your tweets with #digme256 and #ds106 as appropriate, and reply to tweets you see with these tags. This online conversation is part of online community citizenship and is required for the course. Don’t be shy about this, it feels good to get feedback from others and to give feedback as well. Be sure to discuss these interactions with other students in the weekly summary.
  12. Write a weekly summary post of the week’s activities and submit the link to the assignment on Canvas. Be sure to include in it links to the various other posts you have made during the week, your daily creates, and include a discussion of the online conversations you have been having with others online. What work of the others did you see that caught your eye? Did anyone mention any work of yours that they appreciated? How did these interactions proceed? Be sure to make your summary post interesting by including some relevant photos and graphics to supplement what you have written. Submit it to Canvas by next Monday at 11:59pm.

 

Week 4 – Digital Audio

Sound is so very critical to the creative process of making digital media. It plays a role in audio productions, but also an important but often unnoticed part of making videos and films as well. Watch the following short documentary on the art of foley, that is the art of creating sound effects.

Watch: The Magic of Making Sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO3N_PRIgX0

Try it: 

There are numerous ways to make digital audio recordings, but by far the simplest is to find a mobile app for your phone to do the job. My favorite mobile app that I use for audio-only recording is Voice Record Pro but unfortunately, it only works reliably on Apple iOS devices. The Android version is buggy, according to the reviews and should be avoided. Perhaps you could try EZ Voice Recorder or another recommended app.

Using a digital recording application, record several (5-7) sound effects from nature or sounds from your environment that are artificially created by you.

Combine these files into one recording using an audio editor such as Audacity or Adobe Audition. Publish your sound effects work online on Soundcloud. (Create a free account if you do not have one.) Write a blog post on your WordPress website about the audio editing experience. Embed your Soundcloud recording in your post using the embed code for the recording. Share your work on Twitter.

Complete 3 Daily Creates: Complete and correctly tag at least three daily creates this week. Make sure you also include these in your weekly summary.

Assignment Bank – 10 Stars of Audio Assignments: Complete 10 additional Stars of Assignments from the Audio Assignments category. In your work, complete one of these two assignments: The sound effects story (4 stars) or The contest that nobody could win (3 stars) as part of your 10 stars this week. For the sound effects assignment, it can be a lot of fun creating your own sound effects, but you may also use http://freesound.org to find free sound effects for this project.

Please be sure to create a separate blog post for each of the Assignment Bank assignments you complete. Make sure all your completed assignments are uploaded to SoundCloud, and write up a post for each assignment in which you embed that audio from SoundCloud. You need to tag each assignment separately and correctly, so it refers back to the assignment page as a past example.

Radio Show Ideas: Soon, we will be creating a radio show to air on the internet radio station. Ideally, this program will incorporate in some way, our theme of Surviving and Thriving in Times of Trouble. Brainstorm some story ideas, then write a blog post discussing these ideas you think would be good for a radio program to be created by our class. Read this Austin Kleon article for some more thoughts on where to find good ideas.

Commenting: Comment, comment, and comment some more. You should all be looking at each others’ work and giving feedback. Share your best work on Twitter, and leave feedback on a few posts of others as well. That’s the main way we do class participation in this course.

Weekly Summary: Write a weekly summary of this week’s activities. The summary should refer to all of the other blog posts created throughout the week, and should discuss any online activities such as tweeting and commenting on other blogs. Be sure to also mention the Daily Creates you completed. Submit your weekly summary to canvas by next Monday evening at 11:59 pm.