Audio Is the New Video

This week in class I was told that viewers are more likely to watch a low-quality video with high-quality sound versus a high-quality video with low-quality sound. I sat for awhile thinking this concept over. People get so frustrated when watching a YouTube video when the HD option will not load. However, if the viewer cannot understand what the interview of a person is saying, I fully understand the importance of audio.

Two good examples of this are music videos and sit down interviews with people of interest to the public. The main element of a music video is the actual song and if the viewer cannot hear it well, the video behind it loses its significance. A sit down interview is done in one shot. The shot follows the Rule of Thirds and typically is a medium view showing the person from the waist up. Since this one shot is similar to a still photograph in a sense because the view does not drastically change, audio is the main element here as well.

Without the audio component, the interview is useless. The viewer cannot hear the answers to the journalist’s questions and therefore there is no take away for the viewer. Our main goal as a journalist to inform the public is not accomplished with bad audio.

Note taking while in an interview is very difficult to master. It is vital to quote the interviewee correctly and have notes that will guide you in writing a piece later on. I feel as though I am taking away from the interviewee when I look down to write and am no longer making eye contact with him or her. I have to do my job by note taking but while simultaneously giving my full attention to my interviewee.

The video below shows how one journalist has incorporated an audio recorder into her interviewing process.

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Walk and Talk Down the Street: Humans of Columbia Project

Strolling down the sidewalk on an average day would normally mean a few glances to the shop on your left and a look at the passing pedestrian on your right. However, the Humans of Columbia project led me to stare and interpret the conversations people had with one another as I passed them. I looked for interesting clothing, tattoos, large bags carrying books or groceries, and the overall demeanor of the person. A fast pace walk meant he or she was in a rush so it was best not to disrupt them. A smile or laugh was a friendly welcome to start asking questions and approach the project topic in conversation.

What exactly was I judging as I looked at these passing strangers: their appearance. I thought to myself, “oh, I’m sure they have an interesting story,” and, “he or she would look great in a photo.” As kids we are taught to not judge a book by its cover but why do we do it anyway?

The issue of reading the cover and ignoring the pages within about groups of people different than ourselves is nothing new. Some folks are comfortable with what they were taught to believe in and stand for as kids, and are also comfortable flocking to people of the same ethnicity. It is our choice to stay where we are or grow by learning.

We grow into better human beings when we learn about the privileges we have versus what others don’t. We grow when we step outside of our own perspective and look in a 360-degree view. We grow when we realize the struggles people face that are outside of society’s accepted few. It is only then that we can understand a few pages inside a book that is not our own. College is the perfect place to explore that new chapter of your book by reading a chapter of someone else’s.

The appearance of a person we see when looking at a photograph is a construction. Artists and professionals who have a specific vision create it. Think critically about the construction before your eyes the next time you pick up a magazine.

Original Photography Isn’t So Original

Teachers and employers who incorporate graphs, pictures, or videos into their presentations have always been at the top of my list of favorite people. Visuals help me learn by seeing an idea or concept in action versus letting my mind wonder with endless possibilities of what something might look like in real life. Listening to a lecture about cell division without visual aids is similar to putting ear plugs in during class. I can recall a picture and its corresponding step in the cell division process by detailing the shape and position of the organelles in the cell. Without a picture, there is a definite Biology 101 victory lap in my future.

According to Ignite Seattle News in the video shared below, 195,622,560 photos are posted on Facebook each day. This does include the millions posted to Instagram, Snapchat, and blogging sites every day. Today it appears everyone’s a photographer. The introduction of smart phones with a camera has made photographs accessible and easy to capture. However, capturing your Chipotle burrito in a iPhone picture does not have the same quality, character, or professional delivery that a manual camera does (even with just the right filter).

Someone should have captured my face in a photo as we sat in lab discussing IOS, aperture, and shutter speed. Did you know that when aperture is on high, your shutter speed should be low and vice versa? My first non-digital camera photographs were mostly a pick and choose battle between blurry and candid moments because I took the picture too slowly and my subjects (aka family, friends, and my backyard) impatiently moved about.

I am thrilled to learn how to capture a moment through photography when words cannot do it justice. I, as many of my classmates are sure to agree, became a journalist to find a story worth telling. This is a small step in that process and I cannot wait to publish some of those photographs here. Stay tuned…