Divorce Mash Up

https://drive.google.com/a/students.rowan.edu/file/d/0B_zx3_WMZ17xSVlURWVWWEpibVU/preview

Initially, when asked to produce a mash up video – I was eager and excited to try something different. The videos we watched over the course of the semester that were considered mash ups were intriguing and creative. I questioned if I was going to be able to produce such a product myself. Thinking about a topic appeared to be harder than expected. I wanted to do something out of the box, not something that has been done before. My initial topic seemed clear cut and doable as I created my storyboard. When I presented my storyboard to the class – I thought I was off to a good start. Having a PC, I was going to use the program recommended, Sony Vegas for Windows users. Trying to download it was another story in itself. I got every error message possible. Therefore, I gave up. With that out the window, I decided to use a friend’s computer to complete my mash up on a Mac with the use of iMovie. This was a first for me but it was easier than expected. I was moving through the project quickly.

The hardest part in my opinion was finding proper YouTube videos. No still images; a sentence that will forever haunt me after this assignment. After finding the YouTube videos, they needed to be converted and downloaded into iMovie. Finding a video converter was also a learning curve. I personally have never worked with anything video related. I just watch them. Finding the proper programs that were free and posed an easier learner curve is exactly what I wanted and needed. After finding that – the saving of files had to be perfect. I was able to convert my videos and finish my three minute video. Done? No. It turns out that my final product wasn’t what I thought it was and I missed the whole idea of the mash up project. I was trying to cover too much of one topic within three minutes of video.

Finding this out was hard and I had no clue where to go. I could revise my initial idea and bring the focus in more or start over. I choose to start over. This time, I did my topic on the effect divorce has on children. Something that has been done before, probably but what I thought would be easier and more clear. I used Adobe Effects with the help of a friend on this one being as I felt like I failed with iMovie since my final product didn’t make the cut. Adobe Effects is very advance for my taste and I am sure my friend is sick of seeing me and all of my questions. It was fun trying to learn all these new programs. I am not a fan of the digital media creating – just watching and enjoying. I would much rather prefer traditional writing or writing and images such as our photo essays. The mash up relates to traditional writing in the sense that it conveys a story without words. The video images and audio create this story that can be interpreted in so many ways by the viewer.

As I stated in my above reflection, I used Adobe Effects for my final product of my mash up video. My overall goal was simply get it done and worry about the fancy stuff later. I wanted to convert the videos, embed them into adobe, and then edit. Cutting the movies was also harder than expected because I found myself watching the same video over and over again until I found the right sections to cut. I choose to cut a lot of longer clips because I felt as though the smaller portions of those did not convey the proper meaning I was aiming for. Although long, I do not believe they are overdone. Finding a vintage clip that met the needs of my video left a challenge. I choose to find a clip of a family eating dinner the traditional way. Families used to make dinner a big deal. Everyone would sit down together; no technology, no arguing and sit down and enjoy a family meal.

The idea of juxtaposition comes to play with the song. The song is perfect by Simple Plan. This concept that a child is saying “I’m sorry I’m not perfect.” Many times with divorce, children take the blame and the wrap for it. They often live with depression and anxiety with the feeling that they are the reason for the divorce. Children feel as though apologizing will make it better but in reality, it is not their fault and they have nothing to say sorry for. I didn’t want to use a song about a break up or family issues because it would be too literal and portray the idea too much. I want the viewer to be able to listen to the song while watching the video and grasp the concept. Without the song, the divorce idea is clear cut but it makes it more realistic when the audio is playing.

When it came to editing, I wasn’t sure what I could do to make the video more powerful or create an impact. I also didn’t know how to do such on Adobe Effects without the help from a friend. My initial idea was to change the whole video into black and white to create the idea of how draining a divorce can be on a child. Children lose their childhood and enthusiasm when going through a divorce.  After speaking with Professor Wolff, I decided to stick to the regular coloring of some of the videos and create some as black and white to create a more dramatic effect. I am not thrilled with the overall product because I believe the black and white looked more appealing and conveyed the meaning better. But in semiotics, meaning is determined by the reader or viewer depending on the gutters he or she may see throughout the video.

As the project comes to an end, I came to the conclusion that video editing is harder than I originally thought and I am not a fan of the process. Watching already done videos is so much easier and makes me wonder how these creates actually do that. I am not a video editor or graphic artist that posed many learning curves and challenges. I believe I now understand the concept of what a video mash up is and how to make one however I still think I have a long way to go when it comes to producing a high quality video.

A Look into the Forgotten

When we hear the word “cemetery” we often relate that to the idea of death. In all cases, this is true unless one is being cremated. However, why has death become something negative? We spend all of this money to picking out the proper headstone for our loved ones graves, we visit multiple times a year with flowers and beautiful accents to remind them we are still here. This isn’t always the case; some that have gone on to pass are exactly that – the past, the forgotten. Families know they have passed and where they are located but simply do not care. We are often too busy with our own lives to take a step back and remind ourselves of what life was once like with our loved ones by our side. Cemeteries are a beautiful thing, especially around the holidays. Granted, I understand it is hard for many people to go visit their loved ones because the idea of death is something not everyone can handle or grasp. The question “why” always seems to appear. Speaking from experience, I feel one of the best ways to cope with that idea is to visit loved ones. This reminds us that they are still with us each and every day. We have not forgotten them as they will never forget us. Let us remember all of the good times and continue to share our love. Berger speaks about the idea of “value” in photographs and what the true meaning behind it can be. Anyone can go to a cemetery and take a photo of a headstone. But, the actual value in that is not the photograph, it is the visit. Walking to the designated plot area to find a beautiful stone picked out by family allowing all memories to arise once again. That is value. Do not forget the forgotten; spend time with them as though they were right by your side. Not everyone gets that privilege of fresh flowers on their grave or Christmas decorations around the holiday. Cherish those beautiful moments and cherish those who do not get those as well. Take a set of extra flowers to the cemetery – give them to someone who was forgotten. The photographs below are a view of the cemetery that most do not initially see when looking at a gravestone or just quickly visiting family and friends. Look into the perspective of the photo and determine if that loved one is someone of a forgotten state or someone truly cherished till this day. The value isn’t the photo – it’s the visit.

– Katie Finnegan


Are we always happy? Where’s the EMOTION!?

This blog post was inspired by Deanna and her Tuesday post of a photo related to her photo essay topic, being human. Scrolling through my news feed on Twitter, I saw many beautiful and creative photos of all different sorts. Most were photos of objects, scenery, etc. There were not many with people in them. I found this rather interesting being as the generation we are in, pictures are always of people whether it be a selfie, group photo, photo bomb, whatever your choice of photo is.

Generally speaking, I think people often see people as “normal” as Deanna is speaking of in her photo essay proposal. People being normal often leads to the question “Why take a picture of them?” We like pictures that get likes, we want pictures people are going to look at and say wow, or I wish I was there. Our selfies have filters and are edited to our liking before anyone else gets to view them.

In her picture above, the concept of emotion in a picture is beautiful. The model in this case is being human, caught off guard doing what she normally does, laughing and smiling. This is not planned or photo-shopped, no filters needed. This is genuine and real. A photograph that shows who the real person is.

emotionally-intelligent

Take the photo above for example, a woman who has multiple faces, all photographed in one picture. Are they all her? Yes of course, does she choose which one she wants to “wear” that day? Maybe, depending on her story. BUT, is she human in all of them? YES! Everyone has these faces, these emotions but do we ever photograph anything other than happy, excited, surprised, etc? Have you ever taken a picture while crying or after crying and someone else saw it?

Photographs as we know and read in class, hold value. Or as Berger says, holds property value depending on certain aspects. The frequency of the photo, the originality of the photo, has it been remade or redone. On Instgram, you can find a million pictures of people in their natural state doing something they love with a smile on their face but what value does that have?

We know at the end of the day, that person, every person has more than one emotion, so how come we never photograph that?

Emoticons

Adding emotion and feelings to your photographs – check it out!!

Photo Essay Proposal – The Forgotten

I want to start off by saying – I hope I do not offend anyone in any way by doing this or freak anyone out, I am not crazy I swear.

For my photo essay, I want to focus on the cemetery setting. Cemeteries are seen as morbid and forbidden in a sense that people only visit them to see past relatives that left us too soon. But, if you take the time to look around a cemetery, you would be amazed at the stories being told through minimal objects like flowers and holiday decorations and quote choices.

This hits close to home for me, extremely close but it is something I am comfortable with doing. I want to contrast the effect of those left with no one, plain grave sites just left there because there is no where else for them to go. Where as, the other side shows the beauty behind a grave site covered in fresh roses and Christmas decorations. This shows the idea behind “gone but not forgotten – or gone and forgotten.”

thomb

There are many different composition styles I am sure to find throughout the cemetery, especially lines and patterns being as most are set up a particular way. Some of the most historic sites we often visit are graves or cemeteries based off of their history and stories.

I am excited to take on this weird idea and run with it. I hope you all will see the beauty behind it when my photo essay is finished. This is something that hits close to home for myself as I go visit my relatives once a week. And again, I am sorry if I offend anyone or creep anyone out with this project.

Photography, an art?

This blog post was inspired by Randi’s #wrtuesdays picture titled “The Type.”

Our new tweeting assignment has changed from finding articles related to writing, research and technology to posting pictures we believe are suitable to tell a story or express some sort of meaning. Easy right? Our generation has access to snap a photo with the click of a button. We no longer have to wave a Polaroid around in the air until it dries to see what the picture looks like. Every cell phone on the market now contains a camera, some with lenses better than ever anticipated. Zoom options and filters are at our fingertips. With the constant change in technology, I can search “photo apps” and get over a hundred results. All of these apps contain some sort of technology laced in them to change the original picture at hand. When we had a Polariod’s and film cameras, that was not the case. We had no clue what we took a picture of until it was printed or developed. There was no “I don’t like that, delete it. Let’s take another one.”

shake it like a polaroid

Image our social media world if we had to post pictures in their original state? Most people wouldn’t do that right? Filters are everyone’s best friends! I find it interesting that photography is so easily mistaken for a “hobby” and not an “art.” In Berger’s article, “Understanding a photograph,” he explains how art is valuable and should be treated as such.

Let me pose a question, are the pictures and selfies you take and upload to social media valuable? What do you get out of posting those pictures laced with filters and different effects to enhance the actual object in the image? Berger expresses that photographs have little or no property value due to their rarity.

photos

Paintings and sculptures were often created once and only once by a single artist. This allowed them to produce a higher value and better quality. It was rare for someone to own that particular piece. Do we own our photographs? Essentially, yes but are they rare, no. Anyone can save a picture we have taken and uploaded and claim it as their own unless of course it is a selfie.

Going off of Randi’s image above, a keyboard, something we all use on a daily bases. Is that art? Taking a picture of a keyboard, I can take that exact picture in class, who’s portrays the higher value and which is more rare. These are all questions worth asking when it comes to photography being seen as an art. I enjoy taking pictures, probably too much but I do not consider my pictures an art because I do not view them in that way. Each picture I take often has a meaning behind why I am snapping the shot, and I enjoy going back and reliving those moments caught on camera.

camera quote

I have attached a link I believe expresses the way some photographs – not all can be seen as art or through the artist eye based on the quality and the image at hand. Oh, and they were all taken with a camera phone.

Storyboard – Millennial’s

storyboard

So after posting this – I realize that the picture does not look that great due to the colored paper and pencil so I can re-do my terrible drawings ten times before giving up (tried to spice it up) but I will have my hard copy in class if need be. Millennial’s are seen as the most educated generation but the worst generation. How so? Well, in my storyboard I decided to show the “life” of a millennial. I am also not sure yet how long I want each video clip image to be… to be determined.

My opening clip is centered around an image of the globe with highlighted areas showing the 80-100 million millennial’s this world has to offer. The millennial’s are the most DIVERSE generation therefore I want to show that in the next seconds of the video. Then I would like to go into how millennials are self absorbed but are taught the “promote themselves” to get somewhere in this world. Followed by video clips of graduation, money and student loan debt, empty work desk because millennials are changing the work force and then becoming unemployed. For their generation, they have the highest unemployment rate even though they are the most educated.

Millennials seek to social media and networking because they believe sharing things socially is better when done in some form on online networking, building their network. With all of the technology (the most tech savy generation yet) they find it hard to have a life plan, they are too wrapped up in others lives and take things day by day, step by step. This leads to millennials having a very low rate of marriage because they are too preoccupied or too far in student loan debt to build a family or worry about someone else’s money issues.

Welcome to the world of the millennials – this is it. The path to somewhere or nowhere? That is the question. The thumbs up/thumbs down symbol represents social media “liking” but also symbolizes are the millennial’s a good thing or a bad thing. Who are they really? They are the most connected generation yet.

Audio Track: Green Day – Time of your Life

Let me know what you all think 🙂

– Katie Finnegan

The Millennials Mash Up

For my video mash up, I had a hard time deciding what topic to pick – and I am still unsure that this is the right one, but I am going to go with it. The millennial generation, the future of America and generations to come. But are they really the future? This is my mash up topic. Millennial generation adults tend to be seen as the “worst” generation yet and the generations after them have terrible role models to base themselves off of. Think about it – most of us are considered to be in the millennial generation or the TBD generation. This generation has been taken over by technology, college degrees with no jobs, unemployment, self obsession, and greed.

In my mash up video, I plan to use image searches to get most of my relating topics and ideas. Type millennial generation in to the Google search bar and you will be surprised the amount of information out there on them already, a lot of it is negative or mocking their way of life. Aside from that, technology, college, employment rates, social media and networking are related searches. All these are aspects of life today as a millennial. My song choice is yet to decided but will be from that generation!

Generally speaking, this is not as strong of a topic as animal abuse or gun violence but is it a topic in our society today in which many people look to as a problem. A problem that will continue to grow as generations continue to spread. This is the way of the world today and ask the older generations – they will tell you exactly how doomed they think the world will be in fifteen years, thanks to the millennial generation. The future is bright but are the people?

– Katie Finnegan