Sunday, November 12, 2017

Blending Photos to Create "Green Screen" Gems

A favorite assignment among all of the ones I give at SC State is the "Where I Want To Be" project.  It involves using chromakey (or chroma key), a technology technique also commonly called green screen.  The effect is seen all the time on television weather reports.

Here are my two latest "green screen" photography creations, using Adobe Premiere Pro for the process that is pretty easy to achieve if you follow these steps.  It can also be done with video clips.

This a photo I took a few years ago on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

I chose it, one, because it has space on the lower right side to insert an image of yours truly.

And, two, I really want to go back to Aruba someday!  It's so beautiful there!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Prezi Next Embed Steps

Prezi Next is new and exciting, but is not as easy to embed into a blog as was Prezi Classic.

But there is a way to do it.  This link explains the steps. 

Below is the code that must be copied and pasted into the Blogger post template in the HTML mode, not Compose.

The URL address for the new Prezi is copied then pasted in the code to replace the red writing. Keep the word embed at the end of the code.

<iframe src="your_view_link/embed" width="550" height="400">   </iframe>

This Prezi presentation is unfinished, but I posted it anyway to show my students how embedding is done in the Prezi Next version.  I'm surprised Prezi has made this step, which was so easy to do and demonstrated in Prezi Classic, so much more difficult!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Prezi Presents: The Bulldogs of South Carolina State University!

At South Carolina State University the sports teams are called Bulldogs. But bulldogs are seen all over campus, not just on the playing fields.

You definitely know you are in Bulldog Nation when walking around campus. My Prezi shows 10 bulldogs in a variety places and settings.

I produced this Prezi to show students how they can create a top ten list on just about any subject, and how they can use a photo of their own as the Prezi's background.

Producing Prezi presentations is pretty pleasing and pleasurable!  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Q&A" Interview Report Examples

My broadcast journalism students have an assignment to produce an on-camera report with a newsworthy person of their choosing.

They will arrange the interviews and then work with a classmate who will videotape the interview. The interview will be shot and edited in a certain way utilizing a number of common TV news videography and editing techniques, such as the head shot, listening shot and reverse question.

Here are a couple examples of the finished product from previous semesters. Thanks to Brianna Salem and Mariah Reed for allowing me to share their fine reports.

"Student Sound Off" Commentaries

My Electronic Media Production I students continue to learn about the Adobe Creative Cloud platforms. We are now into Adobe Audition, which is used widely in radio to produce news reports and commercials.  It is also used by podcasters, musicians and other music and audio producers and performers.
To get the students hands on with Audition, I asked them to come up with a 60 second commentary. The topic is of their choosing. They could call it "Student Sound Off" if they choose.

I like the assignment because it gets the students writing and expressing themselves about a subject of which they feel strongly.

In our radio recording suite, the students record themselves using Audition and our Allen & Heath XB 14 consoles.  A photograph is made of them at the controls and then they use Photoshop to put some words on their image, such as you see in these examples.

In Adobe Premiere Pro, the students then combine their photos with the mp3 file that holds their commentaries. Then it is put on YouTube and finally imported into their Blogger blogs.

Thanks to Douglas Fairnot and Ashley Hendricks for allowing me to share their commentary projects here. Click to hear what's on the minds of these fine students!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Adobe Audition Introduction

Audition is another valuable content creation program that is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud our communications students have access to at South Carolina State University.

Adobe Audition is widely used in the radio world to produce news reports and commercials. It is also popular among podcasters.

This week I showed students in one of my classes the basics of Audition importing, trimming and mixing voice with music.

I showed the class how I produced this radio-style news report about the then still under construction Chestnut Street pedestrian bridge linking campus to a pair of apartment complexes popular among our students.

Before posting the mp3 audio file to Blogger, it must first be uploaded to a free site such as WikiUpload.

This tutorial shows how to place an audio clip on Blogger.  

I have assigned the students to write, record and produce a recording that shares their thoughts and views about a topic of interest, such as the upcoming anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, or another subject of their choosing.  
Adobe Audition Logo

Saturday, September 2, 2017

TV Interview Camera Position

When shooting video interviews there's a certain choreography that goes on among the three principle people to ensure that they look and sound right.
Here, Larell Mackey is shooting, Lynn McGrier is the reporter and Candice Mayben is being interviewed.
Larell is positioned right over Lynn's shoulder so that he is seeing and recording Candice so that we see her full face, not a profile shot.
The microphone needs to be within six inches of the interviewee so that high quality sound is recorded.  If the mic is too far away from the subject the recording may be weak and there could be the hiss of "room noise" picked up.

If the interview is correctly choreographed, the end result will be an interview "head shot" that looks like this.

Good job team!

For more tips, check out this short video on framing and composition.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Making Your Pictures Pop With Photoshop

Original photo taken with my iPhone 7
Using my iPhone 7, I took this photograph recently along Interstate 26 while driving home from work.

I was struck by the billowing stack of clouds and how they seemed to have emerged from the trees. The colors stand out: the green of the trees, the white clouds and the touch of blue sky at the top.

As is, this is a pretty fine photo I feel.  It is true to the image I admired from the road.

But I know there are ways to enhance such skyscapes or landscapes.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Solar Eclipse Was Sun-sational!

It was truly an event that lived up to all the hype! Especially in Orangeburg where the weather was ideal for the long-anticipated solar eclipse.

The photo to the right I consider the day's "money" shot because it shows the moment everyone patiently waited to see: totality!

This was the two plus minutes when the moon was completely between the sun and Earth.

This photo I took just moments after totality.  The moon and sun are separating, going in opposite directions.

I captured a bit of the "diamond" that many photographers sought.  That's the sun's bright light looking like the diamond on the ring.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Day Is Finally Here!

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 is finally here!  My special eclipse glasses and I are ready for the very rare astronomical event.

The long anticipated solar eclipse is this afternoon and we are fortunate in America to have the path of the eclipse going through our country from Oregon to South Carolina, ending at Charleston.

SC State is having a big gathering at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium beginning at 11 a.m. I will soon be heading over. What an exciting atmosphere it should be!

"Totality"- when the moon is fully in front of the sun- will be from 2:43:02 until 2:45:24, lasting just more than 2 minutes.  When this occurs, the sun's bright corona will be seen around the moon.  Camera filters are not needed during this brief phase.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Advanced Television Production/Editing Students Take to the Studio!

Below are links to three studio productions my SC State communications students did in our Advanced Television and Production course.

Starting off, Stephen Mason and Marshall Padgett examine the ongoing NBA playoffs in this broadcast recorded in SC State's television studio on April 27, 2017. Alliyah Charles did a great job on the Tricaster, directing the show with assistance from classmate Shay Bowman.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Quick Takes" Report Takes to the Road- Literally!

It's not exactly planes, trains and automobiles, but how about roads, cars and bridges???   These are three topics I address in my latest version of "Quick Takes" picture-in-picture project that I have my video production do at South Carolina State University.  Lead (and teach) by example, I always say!

If anyone is interested in the old Ford Thunderbird I showed in this video, get in touch with me and tell you more.  

Above is an image from Adobe Premiere Pro that shows the blending of the different video and audio channels used in producing this video.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Delighting with Three Point Lighting!

Three point lighting is a production set up used commonly in photography, videography and cinematography. It's important for students interested in these areas to understand the importance of this concept and how to make it happen using three studio or field lights.

I had my TV production and editing students go into our studio and properly execute and photograph three point lighting.

In this photo, Isaiah Hughes (seated left) is being interviewed by Shay Bowman. Wymark Barton is operating the video camera.

The three lights are called the following: key light, side/fill light, and back/hair light.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chestnut Street Pedestrian Bridge Update- Fall 2016

Construction is moving along on- or we should say above- Chestnut Street by the SC State campus.

Some 1,100 students live in the University Village and Campus Corner apartments across Chestnut Street, meaning many of them daily have to walk across the busy highway to get to school. In 2014, SC State students held a rally to call for the over the road span, which has been the scene of at least one injury and many close calls.

The bridge has long been advocated by the SC State community because of the potential hazards students face crossing the high-speed highway.

Here's a video update report I produced:

The bridge should soon be open. Months ago, March was the predicted completion month. It appears today that only final touches need to be done, including placing the SC State logo on the bridge. This rendering shows how the finished project will look. And it sure looks good, right?! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sequence Shooting Project Starring Daniel and Naheka

Here at SC State, this was a project in my TV production and editing class. The task is to shoot and edit a student leaving our classroom building and going outside. The goal is to shoot and direct this so that there are at least 10 sequences.

The purpose of this project is to stress the importance of in-camera editing or sequence shooting in video production and visual storytelling.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Students Weigh In On Trump Presidency and Obama Legacy

SC State communication student Mariah Reed produced this report on the reaction of SC State University students to the new presidency of Donald Trump and the legacy of the man he replaced, Barack Obama.

Donald Trump's election has created big changes in South Carolina's government. Gov. Nikki Haley has stepped down from that office to become the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Her lieutenant governor Henry McMaster was recently sworn in as the Palmetto State's new governor.  

Monday, February 6, 2017

Studio Stand Ups!

Shayauna Bowman
For my Advanced Television Production and Editing students we shot the opening and closing parts for their Trump presidency person-on-the-street reports in our TV studio.

With our Newtek Tricaster "studio in a box" machine we are able to access an array of "virtual" sets.

You see in these photo how Isaiah Hughes is shot against the "green screen" backdrop.  Then you see how he looks amid the virtual set.

Stephen Mason is in the studio control room running the board, making the green screen magic happen. He directs the studio activity from here and records the students on-camera efforts.  That's Shay Bowman in the air monitor to the right.  

Stephen Mason
Shaliyah North 

Jalen Ryant

With the Tricaster and a little training, we can do "virtually" anything in creating professional-looking TV production videos!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Standard Stand Ups

My broadcast journalism students this week are shooting stand ups for their Trump/Obama person on the street (POS) reports.

These photos show the proper positioning of the camera, videographer and reporter for effective, high quality stand ups, in which the reporter is conveying information essential to the story.

We made sure the sun on this bright day is behind the camera and shining in the face of the reporter. You try to avoid having the sun behind the reporter as it will shut down the camera's iris and darken the reporter.

Mufasa Shaw (on camera) and Mariah Reed
Csyabeaw Ford (on camera) and Brianna Sailem

Brianna Sailem (on camera) and Csyabeaw Ford 
Stand ups allow a reporter to shine, they really do!  Here are some more tips for effective, credible and creative report stand ups.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump Presidency/Obama Legacy Campus Interviews

The day before Donald Trump's inauguration as America's new president, my broadcasting students went around campus to ask students their views on Trump's pending presidency.

They also inquired about the legacy of Barack Obama's two terms in the White House.

The students are putting together news reports with the responses they gathered. I look forward to seeing them!