And Thats a Wrap!

FINALLY!

The class made it to Week 5.  This educational experience has been intense, yet meaningful.  Going into this course, my expectations included being taught the technical aspects behind multiple media formats.  However, I feel I have gained immense knowledge due to the fact the class was forced to reflect on the elements of a good story.  With all of this combined, I feel that my largest takeaway from this class was learning how to work hard to formulate a good story that is intriguing to others.  I found it very rewarding to be able to offer a story that provides fascination, awe, and a unique perspective.

With that being said, here is the link to my final assignment:

Little Legs, Big Dreams!

Because I dedicated my blog to my beloved dachshund, I found it only fitting to come full circle and draft a fictitious adventure that Lenny would appreciate.  The story follows Lenny through the path of deciding, training, and ultimately winning a dachshund race.  Dachshund races are a real thing – devout owners such as myself would convene and subject their low-riding pooches to these controversial sporting events, mostly for the camaraderie and social aspect.  Dachshunds are not typically known as a racing breed, but are rather defiant and stubborn.  When put in a racing situation, some dogs may choose to simply ignore the task at hand, and instead choose to play with other participants.  Others may eventually make it down to the finish line, especially if coaxed with food or squeaky toys.  Lenny has participated in the Georgia Dachshund Racing league, where he was awarded first place in his heat.  However, he seemed to have lost sight of the prize toward the end of the day – he was more interested in following the other dogs during the final championship round.  Nonetheless, the entire experience was a great time for everyone involved, and I would love to revisit another opportunity in the  future.

Screen Shot of dachshund poster

This is a screen shot of how the dachshund race poster was created.  I utilized canva.com, which has become my favorite go-to online design tool.  The layout of a pet adoption poster was selected, however a different image was inserted and the wording was changed to the appropriate subject matter.  Also, the font size was increased by two points to create optimization on the important aspects of the poster.

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This is a screen shot of how Lenny’s training video was created on iMovie.  iMovie is an easy drag and drop system.  You can layer different sound bytes and songs to your project, as well as play around with the transition features and titling options.  For the creation of the movie, several videos of Lenny running around that were filmed on iPhone were uploaded.  The cross-dissolve transition was added in between each clip, to give the effect of continuation.  Because Lenny needed to be prompted in order to move in certain directions, the actual footage was muted, but the song “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor was added.  Also, the speed of some of the clips were slowed down to emphasize athleticism.

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This is a screen shot of the Audacity file used to create the sound byte titled “Dachshund race.”  Most of the material was found on freesound.org.  One track was created with my voice.  In order to create the sound of multiple dogs running, various files were played at the same time.  These files included a single dog running up and down stairs, one running across tile floor, and a file of an actual dog sledding race held in Alaska.

Lenny trophy

This prop was used as the fictitious trophy for the race.  It is a ceramic replica of a dachshund.  This photo was meant to utilize the “Get Balanced” and “Contrast” facet derived from the improving photography skills lesson.  The statue was placed on a dark table against a white wall.  Not only does it create contrast, but it also creates a horizontal line in the background that draws focus into the centered object.

Here is the link to the three Daily Creates required of this week.

Lastly, my favorite picture of this entire project.

Champion

This pose took several takes.  Because I needed to drop down to his eye level, Lenny saw that as an opportunity for play.  Eventually, he held still long enough for this photo.

In conclusion, I feel that the process of creating a digital story is a constantly evolving teaching and learning activity that can be very effective to a vast audience with the use of multiple media outlets.  I feel fortunate to have built a small foundation based on the digital storytelling principles that can be utilized across an expanding outlet of possibilities.

Humpty Dumpty did NOT sit on a wall…

The assignment posted for the end of week four seemed to be a little confusing.  Minimal instruction was provided, unlike in previous weeks.  While the mid-week assignment was filled with various cinematic filming techniques, there was never any direction given on the actual video editing aspect of film.  As a result, all of my video assignments were produced using iMovie either on iPhone or MacBook.  I had never utilized this application before, so I enlisted the aid of various Youtube tutorials and Apple message boards to achieve my desired product.  But the more I worked with iMovie, the more I felt comfortable editing my photos and video clips with it. In the end, I was glad to be forced to open up an application on my phone that I had never worked with before.

The Lenny Movie – worth two stars

This is the first video montage I completed with the use of iMovie on MacBook.  When I read the assignment description, I felt it was a “no brainer” choice.  There’s no question that I own a dog, and already have multiple pictures of him stored in my phone.  However, compiling all the pictures into one cohesive montage took a little bit of effort, and I was happy with the end result.

Lake Views – worth four stars

This time lapse video took an entire day to complete.  Video clips of the neighborhood lake were captured at 8:00am, 10:00am, 12 noon, 6:00pm. 7:00pm, and 8:40pm.  If I did not have a prior engagement, a video would have been shot around 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

I could not figure out how to “blend” the different video clips without adding in a “cross dissolve” transition.  In the end, I decided that the transition worked really well to create a gradual transition from one image to the next.  Without the “cross dissolve,” each clip would just “jump” into the next.

Walking it Out – worth two and a half stars.

This was another video clip taken in my neighborhood.  If this was a three star assignment, this is what I would have utilized as my “alternate nursery rhyme ending” assignment.  I normally take walks around the neighborhood, and as I was filming, I felt myself speeding through my walk so that I would not have such a long, monotonous video.  It was not until I started editing the video, did I realize there was an option to either increase or decrease the rate of speed.

The Making of Humpty Dumpty – worth two stars.

I was glad I was able to tie in my nursery rhyme assignment to this video assignment.  I am not much of a creative person, however I thought that creating a Humpy Dumpty character constitutes as being art.

So Much to Do, So Little Time – worth three stars.

The alternate ending of my chosen nursery rhyme is that if given the option, Humpty Dumpty would not sit on a wall. He would realize that he has responsibilities to attend to, namely in daily chores and housework.  These daily chores including walking the dog, doing laundry, making dinner, and vacuuming.  The vacuuming piece was a little difficult to film, with a hard boiled egg and a heavy vacuum cleaner in the same hand.  The other hand was trying to keep the camera steady.

All in all, I hope I fulfilled all the requirements of week four, since no checklist was provided.  While I enjoyed filming these assignments, editing the video clips was more difficult that I expected.  However, I am thankful I was able to utilize an video editing application at my finger tips.

 

 

Here’s looking at you, kid.

The beginning of this week did not prove to be terribly strenuous, however a great deal of reflection was required.  This week, the class is tackling the topic of film.  Numerous sources of information were provided to us, mostly to educate on various cinematic techniques introduced by various filmmakers that became both trademark and influential to the film community.

One requirement is a reflection post on Roger Ebert’s How to Read a Movie.  I throughly enjoyed reading his essay, and actually read a few more of his blogs to familiarize myself with his work.  RogerEbert.com houses a lot of Mr. Ebert’s reviews and essays, as well as current movie criticisms documented by various contributors.

A second reflection post is on various cinematic techniques and how they changed our view on video production.  These videos were found to be extremely educational due to my limited knowledge of film and filmmaking techniques.  The biggest take away for me is the realization that filmmakers and directors usually have a purpose when they decide to shoot a certain way.  There is usually a larger meaning behind the story than is being portrayed.  It is most likely intentional to have characters or objects placed in certain situations, shot in various angled frames.  This exercise has taught me to open my mind and analyze the seen for more than just face value.

This is a daily create that was posted on June 12. The prompt is to take a picture of any tree and write about it.  I came across this tree as I was running an errand to the bank.  I am not exactly sure if it was injured at one point due to weather, or maybe it was purposely stunted in growth.  Either way, it struck me as having potential.

The Alchemy lab color page was a fun exercise to do.  However, I could not figure out how to save the image onto my desk top.  This is a screen shot of the finished product.

What childhood nursery rhyme would I choose to create an alternate ending?

The nursery rhyme of my choosing is Humpty Dumpty.  My ending would change completely because I would make him realize that he simply does not have the time to spend all day sitting on a wall.  Stay tuned for Mr. Dumpty’s next adventure!

Opening Soon at a Theater Near You

This week, the class was tasked on reading the essay How to Read a Movie, written by American film critic Roger Ebert.  One of the main points that resonated was to look at a still shot of a film, and simply “think about what you see.” Throughout his essay, Mr. Ebert was a firm beliver that analyzing scenes from the movie could influence your understanding of the visual techniques utilized to authenticate the story.  Described as a “shot by shot” technique, by pausing the film to study the approach of how the scene was captured, can affirm the viewer’s emotion or aestheic reaction.

I consider myself to be a very emotional person, especially when it comes to ‘feel-good’ stories.  Often becoming caught up in the moment, perhaps the reason why I tend to react so strongly is because I find the story to be relatable.  For example, storylines that portray characters who “do the right thing,” in my opinion are classified as a ‘feel-good’ movie.  These characters can also be referred to as the protagonist or hero of the story.  In his essay, Mr. Ebert describes that the placement of characters within a scene can support their inclination toward a particular characteristic or type of behavior.  In other words, the person on the right may appear to be more positive, favorable, or dominant over the person situated on the left.  This is an aspect of visual compostition that I have not observed in the past, however, I agree with.  Below is an example where the “positive” character is on the right and the “negative” character is on the left.

angel

Another element of Mr. Ebert’s piece that resonates, is his statement of movement in film as being “dominant over othings that are still.”  I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.  The way that the camera moves across a scene can reiterate the expression that the director is trying to compose.  In the scene below, the character is running up the stairs.  This can be interpreted as him “running towards success” as he continues his training.

rocky_1

All in all, this piece was a great introductory resource leading into the study of film.  Although, I am slightly familiar with who Mr. Ebert was, my exposure to his personality was that he endorsed a “thumbs up, thumbs down” approval meter to movie reviews.  By listing the examples above, his essay helped to provide a better understanding on this topic by clearly laying out definitive examples of visual techniques.  These examples were effective in understanding the relationship between the viewer’s perspective and the delivery of narritive information of the filmmaker.

Directing the Audience Through the Film

In addition to reading Roger Ebert’s essay, the class was also tasked on reviewing various videos highlighting cinematic techniques.  Upon viewing a minimum of four videos, a personal observation on how these techniques may influence our perception of video production is required.

The first video selected is the one titled “Kubrick – one-point perspective.”   One-point perspective exists when the picture plane or image contains only one vanishing point on the horizon line.  It is typically used for images of roads, hallways, or buildings where the lines of the object seem to run parallel with the view.

one shot perspective

This is probably my favorite technique.  The picture shown above is perceived to be very linear and symmetrical.  If you were to fold the image in half, each side would be a mirror-image, respectively.  Also, the entire shot fills the frame with limited space unaccounted for.

This is another example of a one-point perspective of a location that is familiar to the residents of Richmond, VA.  This is a real life image that helps to better understand the topic because of its similarities to the one-point perspective.

Browns Island

It is the underside of Manchester Bridge, which runs across the James River into downtown Richmond.  In this shot, the lines of the bridge run parallel which converge at the vanishing point in the distance.

The second video chosen is titled “The Shining – zooms.”  Zooming is a technique where the camera gives the viewer the illusion of moving through space either toward or away from the object.  This can be accomplished by zooming in, where the lens is adjusted in a way that the focus or object seems to be larger and closer.  Or by zooming out, when the camera widens the view on an object to introduce the overview of the surrounding environment.  I find these two concepts similar to the “fade in/fade out” effect that was utilized when creating a sound clip in Audacity last week.

Dolly-Zoom-Raging-Bull

The third video selected is titled “Tarantino-from below.”  An observation I concluded from this video is that this angle is perceived as the point of view from the victim on the ground looking up.  From the victim’s perspective, the subject or attacker fills the frame, and into a position of dominance and authority. I believe this technique is similar to my observations in the “one-point perspective” technique in that they both fill the frame with either an object, character, or scene.

from below

The fourth video selected is titled “Example of a match cut.”  A match cut is a cut from one shot to another where the two shots are matched by the action or subject matter.

match-cut

The example above was taken from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  Other than this research, match-cut is a technique that I am the least familiar with, however it seems like a fun satire.  Since two images with entirely different backgrounds can be matched to portray a single action, this technique vaguely reminds me of the audio assignments we completed last week, such as the sound effects story.  In this assignment, we were tasked to form a compilation of sounds to tell a story without the narration.  Two images used in a match-cut are essentially doing the same thing – combined in a way to continue a story with or without narration.

After reviewing all of these techniques, most seemed to be familiar, even though I did not know what the specific technique was called.  The knowledge gained from watching all of these cinematic perspectives will enhance my perception of the overall movie by taking into account that these images are most likely to be intentional, and to discover the underlying message.

 

Practice makes Perfect!

Audio – shamaudio.

I dreaded this week with a passion.  Coming into this week, my exposure to audio included listening to various outlets such as broadcast radio.  Nonetheless,  I had no clue how to compile a sound byte or even create an mp3.  I even purposely procrastinated on completing the audio alternative history assignment because I had no earthly clue on where to begin.

However,  in spite of all of my apprehension, I actually enjoyed learning how to navigate through the audio editor Audacity,  and trying my hand at creating something new and entertaining.  A recommendation that really helped was to select a few of the “easy” assignments posted on the Audio Bank, to gain more exposure on editing and layering different sound clips in order to produce a cohesive product.

Watching the video “Layered Audio Editing in Audacity: The Remake” helped tremendously.  It was one of the videos posted in the Audio Resources site, and where I gained the most value.  I resourced freesound.org for all of the sound effects utilized for the audio assignment submissions.  Just like any skill that you encounter, the more you practice the easier it becomes. By the time I was ready to attack the audio alternative history assignment, I completed it in less time than any of the previous assignments due to the fact that I had already been practicing on Audacity.  And I must admit, this has been my most favorite topic so far.

Vamos a Mexico!

This was the first audio assignment that I completed.  It took me almost three hours to compile a ninety second sound byte!  Even now, as I listen to the audio clip that I created, I can pick out different areas where I should have utilized the “Fade In/Fade Out” effects better to maintain fluidity.

The story should portray a person traveling to a Mexican beach.  Sounds of various modes of transportation were utilized, such as a car driving through traffic to get to the airport, and an airplane taking the traveler to their destination.  Music from a mariachi band was downloaded to indicate the destination of Mexico.  In the end, you can hear the waves breaking on the shoreline to help envision a relaxing environment, coupled with a few seagulls squawking in the distance.  My husband and I honeymooned in Isla Mujeres, Mexico in 2015.  The clarity of the water, the smell of the ocean, and the sounds of the beach are ones I will never forget.

A Positive Attitude Changes Everything

This is the second audio assignment that I completed.  Sounds that naturally provide a calming and relaxing atmosphere were chosen.  In addition, I consider myself to be a morning person, and I associate all of these effects as being heard during the morning hours.  The sound of bells were chosen to indicate the start of a religious service.  More beach sounds were selected, along with a person running in the sand, to envision a morning run.  The last sound chosen was thunder and rain, because I personally like waking up to the sound of rain in the morning.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 11.05.39 PM

This is a screen shot of what my Audacity photo editor looked like as I created this sound byte.  In this assignment, I experimented with the volume to create sounds that can be coupled together without overpowering each other.

The Dark Side of the Moon

This is the third assignment that I created and the goal was to put together a compilation of unpleasant sounds to create the worst sound ever.  I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of horror movies.  All these sounds chosen are ones that undoubtedly create an uncomfortable environment.

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The large sound waves are the ominous screeches depicted in the sound byte.  To me, they were the most uncomfortable and unpleasant to listen to.

Freedom Towers – April 4, 2023

This was the dreaded audio alternative history assignment.  While the sound effects story took me three hours to complete, this one only took me about an hour and a half to layer and edit the different sound bytes.  The most time consuming aspect of this assignment was gathering up the facts in order to create the “dedication” speech.  By the way, all the facts of the World Trade Center were taken from the WTC history website.

A few of the sounds that were applied to this assignment included New York City traffic, applause from a telethon, and band music from a Veteran’s Day celebration.  I would image that a dedication ceremony for the World Trade Center would be a very patriotic event to the community of New York, which is why I imagined the towers being dedicated to the NYPD and NYFD.

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I felt very comfortable copying/pasting/deleting various pieces of the sound waves in order to layer a cohesive product.  Also, in Audacity the “silence audio selection” was utilized a great deal because some of these sound waves were very long in length.  The band music for example was 12 minutes long.  However, I trimmed down the area that I needed and pasted it at the end of my clip.

Comments and participation

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This one was on Yousef’s post “Every Horror Movie Ever.”  I told him I thought his sound effects were super scary and I almost did not listen to his created sound byte in its entirety.  It made my skin crawl.

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This comment was made on Abby’s post “What’s your story?”  Although, I appreciated learning something new from her (I had no idea you could add a photo to your SoundCloud,) I really did not get the story she was trying to portray.  The beginning sounded like a beautiful beach with singing birds, but at the end, a large animal growled in my face.  It reminded me of a dinosaur snacking on his lunch.

Daily Creates for the Week

The link above should take you to the two required Daily Create submissions on twitter.

Like I mentioned earlier, I throughly enjoyed this challenging week.  Working with Audacity is not as bad as I expected, however I do feel that I only have  the basic skills mastered.  Any suggestions on an audio editing class to further expand my knowledge base would be greatly appreciated.

Sound the Alarm!

What is audio?  How does audio work for you?

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “audio” as “of or relating to acoustic, mechanical, or electrical frequencies corresponding to normally audible sound waves which are of frequencies approximately from 15 to 20,000 hertz.”  “Sound” is defined as “a particular auditory impression.”  Most of us take sound for granted.  Being able to hear is a sensory developed in utero.  The inner ear is fully developed by approximately within the twentieth week of pregnancy, and babies are born with fully developed hearing.  What would you do if all of a sudden, you could not hear?  What sound would you hate to lose?

This week, the class was asked to reflect on how audio is used to tell stories.  If created effectively, sound can be used to evoke emotion, establish a setting, and emphasize mood to a captive audience.  One example of audio storytelling is the podcast Moon Graffiti created by Jonathan Mitchell.

We were asked to provide an audio reflection of the podcast.  Even though the eerie background music of the story made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, I felt the environment the narrators were trying to create.  It very much sounded like two astronauts conversing in space, and I had to remind myself that this mission in real life, was successful.

I added a sound byte that I discovered while searching for various topics on soundcloud. It is a compilation of halloween sounds meant to generate the same feeling I felt while listening to Moon Graffiti.  I could not get past the first minute of listening to these sound effects.  As I was listening, my mind started to wonder to haunted houses and scary monsters waiting for you in the dark.  I think it is the idea of unseen bumps and audible screams that can make a person uncomfortable by affecting your senses.

 

Another accomplishment for the week – creating my very first GIF!

This statue reminds me of a constipated Buddah, which is another reason why I selected it – because of the humor aspect.  However, even though there is technically no actual “audible sound waves” emitting from this GIF, it actually reminds me of the silent films of the late 1920’s such as those staring Charlie Chaplin.  In his movies, he never spoke a word, but audiences could tell what he was thinking and feeling by looking at his facial expressions and body language.  These movies also employed the use of subtitles.  I think this GIF is a perfect representation of the silent movies of the past.

All in all, I feel that sound is a very important aspect to storytelling.  Proven to intensify the particular circumstance, sound media is like the unspoken hero to an effective story.  It can be the essential component which impacts, creates, and accentuates the desired mood and atmosphere.

 

 

Sound Advice – how to stay connected with your audience

This week, our class has been tasked with learning about audio creation and how this type of media can be utilized to present a story in a very compelling or imaginative way.  Every morning, during my fifty minute commute to work, I listen to the TODAY show talk radio, Channel 108 on SiriusXM.  This is a daily live broadcast that provides current domestic and international news, weather reports, sports updates, and interviews with news-makers from the worlds of politics, business, media, entertainment and sports.  Honestly, if I was at home, I would most likely be watching the TODAY show on NBC, rather than listening to the broadcast.  But at least I have a source of news media available during my morning commute, which is preferred over listening to some of the music channels offered by SiriusXM.

Another personal example of audio exposure is the playing of the national anthem or “Colors,” on the loud speaker each morning at my location of employment.  In accordance with Naval Regulations Chapter 12, Section 1206, all bases are to comply with the playing of Colors each day.  During this time, certain requirements are expected to be observed.  Since my place of employment is on a Naval base, the basis of this practice is to properly honor our country and those that serve our nation.

After viewing the two short videos of Jad Abumrad from RadioLab, a few ideas that resonated:

  • Radio – in the absence of pictures –  enables the commentator to be freely descriptive to invoke the imagination of the audience.
  • By working together, the commentator and the audience can stay connected through the “co-imagination” collaborative efforts of creating ideas, scenarios and concepts.
  • Creating sound is a concept that is actively progressing.  In the late 1920’s, some radio shows began using various props for sound effects such as banging coconut shells together, or crinkling cellophane to recreate the sound of rain.  Currently, sound bytes can be created from a single spoken syllable, synthesized into a variety of different ways.

The audio resources page was a plethora of information and sources on how to edit audio, where to find music and sound effects, and how to develop techniques to aid in creating a competent audio message.  Attempting to “layer sound files” with the use of Audacity proved to be a little difficult.  However, continued practice in the use of Audacity should aid in developing the confidence needed to become more proficient in this skill.

Here is an attempt to create a sound byte with the use of Audacity.  The sound effect of “wahwah” coupled with my own voice saying “hello” repeatedly.

 

And the cow jumped over the moon..

Our class was asked to listen and reflect on Moon Graffiti by The Truth Podcast.  It presents a hypothetical alternative to the historical event of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landing on the moon on July 20, 1969.

I found this podcast to be morbid and a little uncomfortable.  The eerie music playing in the background and the sporadic tidbits of sound effects really emphasized the uncertainty of the situation.  Horror films and mystery are genres that can be uncomfortable for some people, considering that they can evoke fear and suspense by really playing with our emotions.  Horror films especially, seem to capitalize on sound media more than any other film genre.  Proven to intensify the particular circumstance, sound media is like the unspoken hero to an effective story.  It can be the essential component which impacts, creates, and accentuates the desired mood and atmosphere.

Below is a compilation of halloween sounds meant to generate the same feeling I felt while listening to Moon Graffiti.

Houston, we have a problem

This week, I experience a lot of technical difficulties with design.  When I read the prompt describing the assignment for the week, I immediately had a lot of ideas. But I knew it would be a little difficult to execute, since I had no prior experience working with a photo editor such as Adobe Photoshop.  However, I was motivated.  But this was a few days ago and my emotions and motivation has changed since.

Daily Creates

This week our class was tasked on completing two more daily creates posted on twitter:

I had never heard of the NetNarr Alchemy Lab website before this assignment.  After I created this post by using Canva.com, I took the time and explored the page by clicking on the various activities and prompts.  It was actually very enjoying and fun to play around.  A few of the narratives that I participated in were “to choose your own ending” and listening to various soundbites.

For this assignment, I wanted to create a Pop Art adaptation with bright contrasting colors and imagery associated with weddings.  I created this design using Canva.com by utilizing a card template.  I admit, I probably could have enlarged the font a little to make the text easier to read.  But overall, I was happy with the chosen color scheme and minimal design.

Book Cover assignment

Celebrating 50 years of modern design

Page 2

This was the start of the technical difficulties that I experienced this week.  First I created the book cover using the book cover template on Canva.com.  The more I work with it, the more canva.com has become my favorite design generator.  It has large font tabs that are easy to navigate.  The step by step tutorial is outlined on the original post, which is hyperlinked above.

When it came time to write up the post, wordpress was limiting the amount of media that I could upload, and therefore I was having trouble attaching the screen shots I had taken to show how I created the book cover.  Eventually, I created a flickr account and attached links to the photos.  This was not my original plan, however it completed the task at hand.

The main reason behind why I selected this particular topic is because of my husband’s involvement with the military.  As an Army veteran, he served for sixteen years and was part of the regiment deployment to Iraq in 2001 shortly after terrorist attack.  His service to our military is a minor example of America’s involvement in the War on Terror, which resulted in a dramatic change in our nation’s attitudes and concerns about safety, vigilance, and privacy.  My adaptation on the book cover is to provide a sense of peace in an alternate era, as if the tragic events had never occurred.

Alternative History Assignment

Picture1

This photo is not the original idea that I had in mind.  However, I could not fully execute the image that I wanted to create in Adobe Photoshop or in any of the available photo editor tools.  What I had intended was to modernize an image of the World Trade Center and to present an option of what it may look like today.  I felt like I did not have the knowledge to create the building that I had in my head.  Instead, I transposed two images  to depict the World Trade Center in the background of the path of the High Line parkway.    The picture above shows that I tried to maneuver through the photo editor to the best of my ability, even though I failed at creating what I had intended.

Word cloud assignment – worth 2 stars

The online tool wordclouds.com was not as user friendly as initially anticipated.  The entire layout appeared cumbersome with minimual instruction provided.  Although there was a “wizard” tab available for novice users, it was still unclear on how to achieve the desired outcome.

In order to create a word cloud, the designer must exhaust an extended amount of time familiarizing with the tool.  A positive function is that it allows flexibility for the words to be formed into any chosen shape.  Users have the option to upload an image, and the program will form the words into the outline depicted in the picture. A picture of the World Trade Center was uploaded by selecting the “shape” tab, and the inputted text was formed into a columnar shape.  The chosen theme for this assignment is the depiction of the World Trade Center in New York City.  The texts are transposed into a column shape, indicating the high-rise and perpendicular aspects of the twin towers.  In this image, “Tower,” “Manhattan,” and “New York” appear to be larger, indicating the significance of the desired effect.   Altogether, the collection of words chosen for this assignment are ones used to describe the actual structure of the building itself, and not of the tragedy or aftermath that occurred during the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.

Post card assignment – worth 3 stars

The image of the post card is an aerial view of New York City in which the World Trade Center twin towers are prominent.  Since both the North and South towers are intact, this image was taken prior to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. The photographer that took this image is Carol M. Highsmith.

Comments and participation

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All in all, while this week proved to be challenging, this experience in design has open up mind to maybe branching out in another class that could probably teach me the skills that I was trying to achieve.  Any suggestions on what design class to take would be greatly appreciated.