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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Multimedia Mindset

So what is multimedia journalism and why is multimedia journalism different from traditional journalism?
Visuals conquer the audience online, we all know that but the marriage of text, audio, still photography and video should equal to exceptional (quality) storytelling. A story can be told different ways and in different mediums. Not all stories fit the multimedia format, therefore selecting the story that fits this platform is a challenge (not all stories have visuals, storyline, compelling sound bites and nat sound). The best multimedia pieces tell a story in a matter of minutes, they are compelling and engage the audience. Multimedia journalism means for me to strive for the best in the visual and textual presentation of the story (quality in writing, audio, photo and video). I agree, this is sometimes hard to achieve because of deadlines and resources. My advice is to reserve your time and energy for THE BEST multimedia stories.
Demorris Lee reporter at the St. Petersburg Times says that "a multimedia journalist is constantly thinking about multiple platforms." He also says that multimedia journalism is a mindset. I so agree with him. I have ALL my equipment with me when I work on stories. I am using an H2 Zoom audio recorder, a shotgun and a regular microphone, tons of rechargeable batteries, a second audio recorder (just in case), my Nikon D300 camera and an old tape based video camera I can digitize on my laptop (you might want to buy the new Flip UltraHD video camera). I am on a budget so I have the most affordable gear that gives me the best quality.
I also constantly think about the visuals!
Take away points that may resonate with you:
- be always ready
- be at the right place at the right time and with the right gear!!!!
- use the skills you have and build on it- use it or loose it
- search for story ideas and YES, do research!!!
- share your knowledge and be ready to learn from critiques
- learn from the BEST. This means that you should pay for workshops and classes and stay on top of the latest technology. Mediastorm has excellent slice-of-life multimedia stories.
- collaborate, collaborate and collaborate- you can't do everything alone. Your peer might see things differently and thus you can produce richer content!
- trust your colleague- even though I am used to work on my stories alone, I can't do everything alone (I can't record an emotional message and shoot a closeup of an emotional subject at the same time. GRAB THE MOMENT- seconds later, the emotions might disappear)
- understand the workflow, consult with your editor BEFORE you leave
- consider deadline, budget, available technology and equipment
- sound is king
- just get out and DO IT
- tell everyday stories in different ways
- please do SHORT stories

Demorris talked about "multimedia journalism" at the Knight Digital Media Center workshops on May 17, 2010.

Demorris Lee: Multimedia Journalism: It's a Mindset from kdmcinfo on Vimeo.

The explore the entire Knight Digital Media Archive.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Super Moon!!!!!

On March 19th, as the moon was in its closest distance to the planet (221,792 Miles),I took these shots in Fort DeSoto East Beach. I wish I had a longer glass!
The album about Super Moon is here.

Heavy Oak, morning mist and sun rays

I happened to pass this cemetery one morning and I saw Heavy Oak, morning mist and sun rays. I had to stop to take this image. The cemetery is on 54th ave N and 19th Street N in St. Pete.

Photos The Original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria - Rehearsal Show -Myakka (Sarasota)

I shot some pictures of the Original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria at their Rehearsal Show in Myakka (Sarasota). I tried different camera angles, slow shutter (to blur the action), fast shutter (to stop the action). Here is one of the better shots:

The album of the Original Lipizzan Stallions is on Flickr, check it out!

Strobist portraits: De'mone Heller

I had the opportunity to shoot De'mone Heller who is an advertising student at USF and a member of the Faces Modeling Troupe. I don't usually shoot male models but I had a lot of fun shooting De'mone. I used one softbox and went for the dramatic light. Thanks, De'mone for the photoshoot!
More pics on Flickr!

FREE Video editing software and Visio style diagrams

A few interesting, simple tools from these sites

Morphing Editor, Screen capture utility, Video editing - free

Visio style diagrams made easy and fun

Beach portraits

I had a great photoshoot last night in Fort DeSoto. I was with a group of my friends, including Brenda Knoll and Mike Mackay to shoot biker Brian. Sun was way to bright and we had to overpower it with 2 alien bees and a reflector. Here is the setup, yes we bounced the light off of the reflector:

Here is another behind the scenes shot, Mike shooting the model:

And some of my images can be seen on Flickr.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ITEACH Workshop

Here is an abstract of the presentation:

Presenter: Dr. Kathleen King
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Location: iteach Lounge, USF

What are easy strategies for re-purposing your instructional content into on-demand learning? How many types of podcasting genres are available for you to select from or combine? What are some different ways to create effective student podcasting assignments? Having launched 7 educational podcast series since 2005, Dr. Kathleen P. King is recognized as an award-winning author, researcher and teacher on the topic. She is a well-known keynoter because of her ability to demystify technical details, application and innovative instructional potential of digital media. In this session, Dr. King shares her model of podcasting for "every teacher." King and Gura's (2007) model is foundational to her approach as she illuminates many effective uses and strategies for using podcasting as learning on demand.

About The Speaker
Dr. Kathleen P. King is a professor of higher education in the ACHE Department, COE, USF Tampa. A popular conference and faculty development keynote speaker as well as editor for several series of academic books with Information Education Publishing, she has authored 19 books and earned over $ 17 million in external funding. Recent books by "Kathy" include Podcasting for Teachers (2nd ed) (2007 with Gura), Professor's Guide to Taming Digital Technology (2011 with Cox), and Handbook of the Evolving Research of Transformative Learning (2009).

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Social Media – Use it or lose it?- Part 5

I do realize that I have to use any new forms of communication to reach a global audience. Educational institutions should generate online content on the website to “keep the conversation” going (content can be a blog about students’ work, a book written by faculty, multimedia project about a student project, etc.). Thanks to technology virtual classes and online collaboration are possible so why wouldn’t we spread the word more?
Businesses should realize that social media is an evolving medium. What is in today (like Instagram, Foursquare) might be out tomorrow. I started the Multimedia Tips on USF’s iTunesU and according to Brad Stager coordinator USF iTunesU, the podcast has become a success. You can read about it on my FB or on my blog :)
I also adopted technology and social media in my photojournalism classes I taught last semester at USF. These methods were not demonstrated in the classes I took at USF. Few of my professors were using technology to interact with students outside classes. Among the various instructional modalities I used in these classes included blog posts, audio and video podcasts, photo competitions on Flickr, and Blackboard, and multimedia projects created in Soundslides or. Those students who were interested in learning multimedia had the opportunity to work with me outside class and learn Soundslides and audio editing in Audacity.
Sources for you:

- A great tutorial on Soundslides
- more tutorial on Soundslides
- Ken Kobre's blogpost about the Soundslides vs. Final Cut debate
- more tutorials from Mindy Mcadams
- Web strategy for higher education

Social Media – How do I use SM? Part 4

How do I use SM?
I have worked with the Web Developers Network at USF to develop my website (the website is a work in progress). Thanks Luqmaan Dawoodje for your hard work!!!!! My focus was to create a website that looks different than the other ones, to showcase my work for employment purposes. After looking at competitive websites, I ended up using a user friendly layout because of the simple navigation and functionality. The content is easy to update in PageLime.
Bottom line, messages have to be relevant and consistent to engage and keep the audience for a long time. It means a lot to me that because of one tweet I had 20 views for my last photo album posted on Flickr in less than two minutes!

How do you measure success in social media?
I measure success in the number of followers and in the business I generate. I use Google Analytics and Klout to measure the effectiveness of my communication and the users’ influence.
I started using social media more than a year ago as a curious media student. I now have 236 followers on Twitter and 440 friends on Facebook. I did not intend to recruit an audience, I just wanted to learn to use social media. However, I realize that numbers don’t mean much, and success in social media is a long-term endeavor. In my case, using web analytics and monetizing my website are secondary because my goal is to showcase my work.

Social Media – 3 Free Tools to Grow Your Business- Part 2

As I promised last week, here are more comments about Alan Brusky's presentation. Alan is the Founder and Creative Director of Fireleaf Design and an excellent speaker on social media and more. Please follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Flickr because you can learn more from this dude who is also a brilliant photographer!
How do I use SM? I am using social media as a student, freelance multimedia journalist, and educator to join professional groups, network, get involved with local organizations and projects, and more. I do believe that all platforms of social media have a different purpose and audience. For instance, I am using Twitter to do research (using keywords) and find experts in a field. I tweet about my work and I also interact with other professionals. I post my own content (and make it more specific by including hastags and links, I ask my audience to retweet it and give me feedback on my content), I try to follow people who interact with my tweets, retweet other people’s content if I find the information is relevant in my field, post polls, and organize contests. I promote professionals, workshops, and businesses so that I can get mentioned in their tweets too. I also focus on branding, I promote my freelance business by posting my work on Facebook and on Flickr. But I do not pay for advertising and I do not post “buy one, get one free” deals.I like Twitter because it is instantaneous and I can reach a lot of people fast.
I am using LinkedIn for networking purposes and I am using Facebook to post my pictures and interact with friends and clients. Since most of my work is media, Facebook is an ideal platform for visual content. My purpose is to get people go to my website, look at my work and then spread the word and recommend me as a journalist or photographer to their audience.
I do believe content is king both in traditional and social media. Multimedia is the essential tool to attract an audience. Telling compelling stories using the cross channel media approach keeps the audience growing and coming back.

Social Media – 3 Free Tools to Grow Your Business- Part 1

As I promised last week, here are my comments about Alan Brusky's presentation about social media. Alan is the Founder and Creative Director of Fireleaf Design and an excellent speaker on social media and more. Please follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Flickr because you can learn more from this dude who is also a brilliant photographer!

The power of social media is unreal. Today social media is part of communication and institutions need to integrate new communication tools into their marketing and recruitment strategy along with online media (web presence through promotional videos/news stories on the institution’s website) and traditional media (including newspapers, TV and radio, direct mailing). The goal is to network, interact, collaborate, and attract a global audience, including a technologically sophisticated audience who uses social media. I noticed most institutions, including USF employ social media tools for marketing and recruitment. USF is also present on iTunesU with a lot of free educational podcasts, including the podcast I created, Multimedia Tips , a podcast pn technology and media, USF students and professors, and local photogs who use technology and media effectively in communication.

Unlike the one way communication in traditional media, social media means interactive communication through multiple channels. The key is to keep interacting, collaborating and networking with other people. Social media if fast and cheap, and it pays off if messages are clear, consistent, and engaging.
This is the basic model some companies are implementing to generate most of their business through social media. Successful businesses are that relies on online advertising and Creativelive. This last one is an online education platform that relies heavily on social media to spread the word about their courses in photography, video and web design. The best photographers and videographers offer workshops and courses online. Workshops are free if the audience watches them online live because the organizers realized the power of tweets. A local example is Rafael Concepcion (RC) from the Kelby Media Group who sold his last book in a couple of days on Amazon thanks to the retweets on Twitter. RC uses his audience on Twitter (he has about 6,300 followers) to branch out to his other businesses (books and workshops). In addition, Columbia Journalism School has built on social media and has created social media courses and workshops. The dean of student affairs at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Sree Sreenivasan’s free panels on new media on BlogTalkRadio circulate the name of this institution to a global audience and impact student recruitment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Social Media – 3 Free Tools to Grow Your Business

What: Social Media – 3 Free Tools to Grow Your Business
When: Tuesday March 15th 2011. 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Where: Fireleaf Design Head Office

2410 Northside Dr Clearwater
Clearwater, FL 33761

Founder and Creative Director of Fireleaf Design, Alan Brusky will be presenting the benefits of three popular social media giants and show you how you can use these tools to grow your business.

The schedule for this meeting is quite simple, but the information you gain will be quite in depth. The event is hosted by Dave from LightroomTampaBay.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Social media revolutionizes education

Brad Stager Coordinator, USF on iTunes U says the Multimedia Tips podcast collection is getting a lot of downloads. The attached graphic is from Apple's main iTunes U site and Multimedia Tips is highlighted as a Noteworthy collection.
I am looking forward to feature photographers, photojournalists, students, and professors who have something to say!

US 441 Venture

Yesterday I had a great day, my camera got a workout. I visited old Florida with my buddies. Check out some of the photos from Micanopy and Paynes Prairie.
Here is the album on Flickr.

I used a filter to bring out the sky and yes, I experimented with HDR. I am still not happy with the results but I am getting there.

My dear friend, Chuck Vosburgh taught me some tips and tricks in HDR. I won't tell you the secret, check out Chuck's website and find out more about his workshops on lighting and HDR.

Friday, March 4, 2011

One of the recent photowalks in St. Pete. It was fun to use the gear I don't even have :) Softbox, flashes, umbrellas- thanks guys for coming out!

Recently, we did a field trip to Citra. I am using a cheap handheld camera and I did minimal edits in Final cut. I am still trying to figure out what has caused the color discoloration but I guess it is just the bad video quality.