Bubble Map Formula

There has been a great deal of protest activity surrounding the recent approval of a massive hydroelectric project in Patagonia. Hearing the crowd size numbers made me wonder how these protests compared with other massive worldwide manifestations. The largest of the protests was predicted to have 50,000 attendees. The number I had remembered reading for Tienanamen Square was 100,000 camped out in the square for more than a month. This map provides a quick way to visually compare the world’s protests.

It was suprisingly difficult to find crowd counts for the different manifestations. There were some I thought of including – the LA Riots, all of the other protests in the middle east, which I could not include because I did not have authoritative numbers. I only relyed on legacy media outlets for numbers and when there was a conflict between the organizers numbers and that of the police, I always deferred to the police.

The map itself was built by Jesús Pérez in the infographic department. Vital in the building of the map was the use of the formula put forth by Alberto Cairo in some of the sample pages of his unpublished book. It is vital to remember when using shapes to convey proportions, that it is not just the diameter that must be altered (duplicated, multiplied by 200% or something of the such), but the whole area of the item.

He gives a wonderfully useful formula for calculating the radius of a new circle based on the maximum circle size and the quantitiy it represents.

Rm is the lenth of the radius of the largest circle you want to have on the map. This will represent the largest number/quantity/value you want to express. R2 is the new radius length. The new value is the number you want to make a bubble for in relation to the largest bubble. This is all based on circle area caculations, but in a reduced, more straightforward formula. Alberto’s page has wonderful explanations with illustrations, if this was not sufficiently clear.

Audio setups and traveling light

My La Tercera gear is a Canon Rebel 2ti with a kit lens (28-70 f3.5-5.6) with one battery and a 4gb normal speed memory card. I purchased for myself an 8gb 30mb/s card, because the video needs memory and quick memory at that. I have access to a Sony HDR-SR7 avchd (a camera available in 2007-2008).

I also have access to great Sony lav mics and not so great for what I do omnidirectional mikes, courtesy of La Tercera’s video department, 3tv. Too, from time to time, I provide my Rode mic, the one that mounts to the hot shoe discussed in an earlier post.

I’ve been experimenting with different gear set-ups and recording systems. With the barest of materials, I’ve done some day projects in the past couple of weeks.

Overtime, one finds that batteries hold less and less charge. A reason for this is that the battery has a kind of a charge memory, and if one charges it when it is not completely empty or very, very empty, over time the battery will hold less and less charge (Battery technology is way better, and most people say there’s no memory, the problem is that the battery capacity diminishes over time). I’m trying to avoid this, so I run my batteries down to their barest. My battery has a great deal of life. I’m able to go out shooting 3 or 4 times, taking video, with a single charge but that last shoot runs a risk.

Iphone Voice Memo Audio: Miley’s fanatics

My last shoot of four on the charge that fed all of the videos in this post was the fans of Miley Cyrus waiting outside of her hotel for the tiniest glimpse of their idol. About 8 broll video clips and 2 short interviews into the shoot, my battery started flashing. I turned off the the video (live view devours battery) and went to pure stills. I used my Iphone for recording audio interviews for the first time ever. The crispness and clarity of the audio is outstanding. NOTE: Iphone explorer is a great tool that allows you to navigate and extract –among other things- voice memos or photos from your Iphone in a computer where your phone is not synced, allowing you to override this problem.

The challenges to this method were twofold. First, I had difficulty of transferring the clips to my computer. My iphone is not synced to my work computer because my music is on my home computer. I didn’t know what syncing it at that point would do to the day’s recordings, so I had to, instead, email the clips to myself. Although, advised by Nacho, I started this process while still in the field, the transferring of clips took forever over 3g and I was limited to an audio length of 2 minutes, which meant I needed to cut many before sending. Messy. I had a mass of 2 minute clips, many of which were repeats because it took so long for the clips to send, I would resend them thinking I hadn’t sent them.

This contributed to the second problem, sorting out who said what, because I did not have a visual of each subject speaking. In the future, if would be wise to snap a photo of each interviewee with iphone, to have an image with an iphone time linked or write down a frame number with the name.

In camera Canon Rebel Mic: Student protesters

This project documents a student march in pursuit of greater resources for public universities and better scholarships, we have an example of straight, off the camera audio. I put the camera as close as I could to the people I was interviewing. When background noise was subtle, the results were great. When there was a heap of noise, I worked to make the source of the noise clear (protestors).

You’ll notice that the background noise increases through the video as the excitement of the protest grows. I think it works, and it was more comfortable than fumbling with the rode mic doing interviews with the camera bobbling and me trying to make eye contact and encourage responses.

Sony Lav Mic’s on Sony HDR-SR7: Law for seatbelts on intercity buses

In this project/story about a change to the law requiring intercity bus passengers to wear seatbelts or face fines, I brought both cameras, a tripod and used the sony lavs to record sound. As with every city’s bus station I’ve ever visited, the bus station in Santiago is on the dodgier side and I had to be cautious. I kept the lav in my pocket, set the camera on a tripod next to me and sent only the microphone to the user. Bus stations can be very noisy. Certainly there is background noise, but I am not unhappy with the outcome.

Shotgun Rode mic on Canon Rebel: Problems with Santiago bus service

The final day project example I have is a video about problems with bus service in Santiago (the group of bus service providers known as Transantiago.) Here I did the Rode mic juggling, trying to get the mic as close to the mouth as possible while holding the camera, or alternately, with the microphone mounted on the hot shoe.

Neither holding the Rode in hand or mounting it gave outstanding results when the unavoidable street noise was present (I was conducting interviews at bus stops). I find the example of the student protests with the in-camera mic preferable. There, I was working next to one of the largest traffic circles in Santiago (Plaza Italia) and it sounds better than the more minor streets where I spoke to bus users. This is probably because I am able to hold the camera closer than I am the mic while also holding the camera, but the clarity stands.

NOTE from Nacho
Since this post I’ve been working with a couple of Newspapers on implementing a workflow for quick coverage on the field.
The most successful has been by using Evernote. It’s a simple app, available for Iphone, Android, Blackberry, Mac and PC. Evernote allows you to take notes, audio and photos and sync them online with the tap of a button. Just have your reporters in the field share a folder with you and then make them write, take photos or audio with it, hit sync and it’ll magically be in your desktop, thus allowing the editor to combine all the elements into a story.

The limit on the files is 25mb I think, much better than native Iphone recorder. Best of all, the content lives in the cloud and any desktop where that folder has been shared.

Tension in the Middle East: Interactive

middle east interactive

This project was a heap of documents 2 inches high. Each piece of paper was a report – one article about something that had happened in these waves of protests/revolutions in different countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In most circumstances, I only used the articles that were published in the print edition of La Tercera. To me, this signified that it was of higher importance (that someone would take an initially published internet report and put it in print), as well, it gave the story time to develop over the course of the day before it was published.


A limitation to this kind of filtering was that, in the early days of the revolution, no one knew how important someone immolating himself, and the subsequent demonstrations in a small North African country, thus there was little coverage in the print edition. Likewise, toward the most recent events, I would find that I was aware of the happens, perhaps more in depth, than what was necessary to the Chilean audience, thus I used outside sources, like Al Jazeera or the New York Times to research. I would write a Spanish description, which Patricia would rewrite into better Spanish.


All of the important events were entered into an excel spreadsheet, with the date, title of the article, a description, the reporter’s name, and a link to the original reporting. Patricia Alejandra Morales Toro then created clearer summaries of the events. Although it created an additional step from directing imputing facts into Flash, it allowed us to edit it separately, and, when things like the links failed on two occasions, I was easily able to find them again the in the spreadsheets.


As is immediately apparent, the idea for this type of presentation came from a Guardian multimedia project, The Path of Protest, which divided events by country and date and allows one to navigate from the first events in Tunisia to the present. I do like, that in my project one can easily flow through events in one country, but the use of depth in the Path of Protest is a fantastic means to manage space constraints and still be able to show a tremendous amount of information.


I am not awesome in Flash. I can do amazing things with button states and gotoandPlay, but I get lost in movie clips and var’s have always escaped me. For this project, I utilized a timeline I had utilized for my project about the Chilean show Los 80’s which originally had been built by Vicky Martinez for a timeline showing the events in Chile over the past 200 years. Both Vicky and I had assistance from Paula Tala to make everything work. I did lots of duplicating of movie clips. The coding, at sight, made sense, so I was able to make things to my liking. When it didn’t, Paula was always nice enough to show me.


Whenever I build anything in Flash, I feel guilty. I know it is not device accessible. I think of all the restaurants whose addresses I have not been able to find with my iphone because their sites are built in flash. I’ve tested Wallaby – it does not read actionscript. It is made for banner ads. Thus one has the problem of how to deal with those devices. On the other hand, according to huge sampling of a recent project, mobile devices, including Ipad, represent less than 1.6% of all traffic. 1.51%, to be exact, and that includes some devices that do have flash. Maybe I shouldn’t feel so guilty. Or, maybe this is what all those publishers said, when the internet came. It’s only 1%. We’ll just throw the pdf’s up and give away the ads.

Thoughts on video, its future and my teaching

nacho corbella

This was a great exercise. To look back and analyze what you’re doing should be a requirement of every journalist, especially the educators. I invite you to do the same, it will take you just a bit of time. It’ll be worth it, believe me.

Everyday and at every moment we are exposed – either by choice or not – to visuals on television, cinema, billboards and daily life itself. We are, in our core, audiovisual beings. Most of the information we get is through our eyes and ears, hence, it is essential for communicators to learn the audiovisual language.

It is important to remember that video, in its essence, is storytelling. While using video in storytelling in print and radio media outlets is still relatively young, there is a huge tradition of storytelling with audio and images from which we will increasingly draw. The video we see in journalistic outlets will continue to develop, becoming more vivid, complex and compelling as we look to influences outside the world of journalism.

Video storytelling is imperative to the journalism of the future because we remember 25% of what we see, 50% of what he hear, but 100% of what we feel. It is the feeling that will deepen the attention span and help media organizations define themselves as industry leaders. The greatest strength of video storytelling is its ability to give a voice to our subjects so they can tell their stories. It is our role as communicators to shape those in a manner that conveys the emotion of the story and the subject to our viewers with the least amount of intervention. Our job is to channel these experiences and not insert ourselves into them.

It is not necessary that the stories we seek be exotic or in the midst of tumultuous world events. In Tolstoi’s words “paint your village and you shall paint the world”. By that, I believe that constant documentation of people in surrounding areas reflects on major topics. Reporting on common people, but doing so in a compelling matter, will cause audience to flock to see the stories.

Obviously, there is a television tradition of journalism, with a presenter, some clips, a few images. I think that we will see less and less of this type of storytelling as the media shift to a younger audience less accustomed to this type of programming, and more accustomed to seeing raw video and hearing from those involved in the conflicts and other news events. There are broadcast outlets who already are experimenting with this by removing anchors and letting the stories present themselves. I think more immediate contact and no anchors will continue to be the most common video form on the internet. I suspect there will be a shift of this sort in broadcast in the coming years. The importance of immediacy is something that needs to be imparted on students, because they are often inclined to copy the model they see on television.

Another use of video we will increasingly see is better incorporation throughout media online. There is no need to segregate material. Increased awareness and knowledge of tablets raises expectations of immediately accessible video in reports. Html5 (when it is ready) will allow for simpler integration of video in online media presentations. We need to think of the possibilities of video beyond a neatly packaged, self standing piece and think about how we can break out these elements to allow written reporting, infographics and video reporting to compliment each other. As well, motion graphics will become more ubiquitous – as infographics have in print media– as great alternatives to traditional storytelling and will be heavily integrated to the point where people won’t notice them as a different format, but will expect them as part of the media palette.

Our duty as journalism educators is to educate our students in these new forms. Then, we must allow them and encourage to innovate. In video, we must first bring them back to the essentials, using sequences and subjects to tell stories. From this point, we can encourage the students to incorporate video in the multitude of modes the interactive world permits.

Meeting your editor half way 

I’ve gotten this question over and over by different journalists all around the globe.

How do I make my editor understand I want and NEED more time to cover deeper subjects?

Whether you are a writer, photojournalist or videographer, I am certain, you’ve had conflicts with your editor when trying to pursue a bigger story or at least one that takes a longer time to produce. The problem is time. You need time to tell the perfect story but there’s a huge lack of time in newsrooms. 

What do you do?

Meet half way. Work on daily projects or smaller projects and fulfill your goal of daily (or semi-daily) content production. The projects might not sound that exciting for you, but take it as practice and the opportunity to better perfect content creation. You will shoot better and more efficiently. By the time you get to the editing station, you’ll knock the project out in short time having shot with the final product in mind. As a consequence, you’ll please your editor with a great product and he or she will be more inclined to trust your instincts when you say you need more time to work on long term projects.

Produced by Eileen Mignoni as a another way of seeing the Chilean Inauguration. This story was shot and edited within a 24 hour period. (Click on the image, it will take you to La Tercera's Website)

Produced by Eileen Mignoni as a another way of seeing the Chilean Inauguration. This story was shot and edited within a 24 hour period.

Doing this, will give you time to work on those long term projects on which you firmly believe are worth telling, not to mention, you’ll be better prepared to cover those important, more profound stories.

Produced by a team of UNC students during the Powering a Nation 2010 project. Thanks to the generosity of the Carnegie and Knight Foundations, and the determination of the journalists, the reporters on this project were able to spend more than 10 weeks shooting and editing this project regarding the oil spill. 

Just remember, there’s always a space for both long term projects and short and sweet pieces. Just try to innovate when doing them, you’ll have a new set of tools you can use on them repeatedly.

Short, sweet and innovative project produced by Eileen Mignoni

Short, sweet and innovative project produced by Eileen Mignoni

Teaching Multimedia all over Latin America

I have begun working with SIP – IAPA (the Interamerican Press Association), producing intensive multimedia (audiovisual storytelling) workshops throughout Latin America. The first one was in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The next one will be in March in Lima, Perú.

The workshop in Guayaquil was hosted by El Universo, one of the largest daily newspapers in Ecuador.  22 students attended – a mix of reporters and editors from 10 different newspapers in Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico. They had very different levels of understanding regarding visual narratives which made it complex to convey all the new ideas they needed to be thinking about when approaching a visual project.

The main concepts I covered were the hook (the importance of the first seconds of your video), sequencing (the key of a good video production), the importance of audio (without it, there’s no story – although, you can have an exclusive visually driven story), pacing (it’s all about the rhythm), ethics and how to please both your editor and your creative needs.

We spent the first day reviewing theory, and the second day reporting and editing. After seeing some of their work, I’m confident that I was able to take them from 0-60mph (or at least 40) in just 20 hours.

I wish I would have had more time, but I’m confident I gave them a set of tools and skills that will allow them to get better.

I invite you to enjoy Eduardo Adams’ work. We tried a different narrative structure. While watching, keep in mind that this was all shot and produced in 1 day.  It’s about the October revolt in Ecuador that almost over threw the presidency of Rafael Correa, seen through the eyes of an artist who was in the streets when this happened. He felt expressing with a picture would be easier than words.

While I was there, Álvaro Torrelli a videographer from El Comercio -also keep an eye on this guy- interviewed me and here’s the result.

Ethics in Multimedia

futbol5_blog
Not long ago, Nacho and I were asked to work with a woman from a television station. The individuals involved were looking to try out this new media, multimedia thing. We agreed. The problem was, she kept wanting to set up shots, scenes, give directions to the participants. She took audio from the projects of others and used it as her own – different location, different day. We weren’t with her on the shooting, but she would bring back shots that were questionable or clearly set up.

Nacho laid into her. “Do you want to be a director or a journalist? Tell me, are you a director or a journalist? It’s lying. You’re lying. You’re making things up. This is serious.”

She was unrepentant. “We do this all the time in the station.”

We produced a video. We removed the images and audio that we knew she had altered. I’m still unsure whether the work as a whole is true or not. And I’m certain she hasn’t changed.

Now, every time I see that channel’s news, I doubt every shot. Things they couldn’t have staged, like the miners leaving the rescue capsule, I still doubt. And I’m deeply suspicious of all the other news channels here.

This is why ethics are important. Our job is to report the truth. If we’re manipulating the scene, it’s not the truth. It’s a convenient fabrication designed to convey some previously determined idea. When we do this in the field, the subjects know. They then have the doubt. Today, this doubt can fly through the myriad social media channels and all of the faith one has in a channel can be shattered, particularly when it is a prevalent practice, not the isolated work of one renegade career builder.

I hate discussions about ethics. They are constant in certain trade publications. They bore me. Before this experience, I thought ethics were a given. Because it seems they are not, I will list them.

You cannot tell anyone to do anything. You are there to document.

Yes, it’s difficult to capture people moving. You have to learn to anticipate. Think about where they will be before they go there and get your camera ready to capture it.

You cannot change the scene in anyway. No moving annoying coke bottles, potato chip bags, cats. You are there to document.

You cannot use audio that was recorded in other places. You must use audio recorded in the same place ideally on the same day.

If you miss something, you missed it. You can’t recreate it. (For instance, you can’t drop a stone into a swimming pool because the audio of a splash was bad.) You can’t ask someone to repeat an action. You can’t use audio soundbanks.

No flopping images. That too is a lie. Plus, you’ll probably mess it up eventually and have a word backwards and get caught.

Obviously, in an interview you have control over the shoot. You decide the light, framing, setting, background. You cannot, however, ask someone to say something particular, feed them lines to give back.

Interesting final note that seems to contradict the importance of ethics of non-manipulation in news is that, according to a recent poll of feelings of insecurity in Latin American countries, is that television news is the institution in which the population has the most faith.

Does this mean that they trust them to tell them the truth, although they are aware of the manipulations, because surely the people directed have talked about it? Or does this mean that the manipulations are unknown?

The photo of Nikita and the soccer ball, as shot by Nacho, was captured through the use of anticipation. Nacho knew where Nikita would approximately be going, and he got in position to capture the image he was seeking.

Examples of video principles

Nacho and I have been doing a fair amount of teaching/coaching over the past few months. We spent the summer coaching UNC’s News21 contribution, Powering a Nation. Upon return to Chile, I accompanied and assisted Nacho teaching multimedia (audiovisual) techniques to the faculty of the Department of Communications, Universidad de Montevideo. The first week of October, I coached a group of 15 students from the Universidad Desarrollo of Concepción and Santiago in Concepción, Chile to tell the stories of people recovering from or leaving with the aftermath of the Feb. 27 mega-earthquake in Chile. (See the project blog.) Next month, I will be giving my first webinar for the Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa.

When teaching, it is vital to have videos and presentations that show the concepts you want to convey or bear similarities to the projects the students are trying to create. This was particularly true of the students in Universidad Desarrollo. While they knew the basics of editing and camera operation, the storytelling format was completely new to them. They came into the week expecting to use voiceovers and music. We used neither and they succeeded brilliantly.

I prefer to use videos/presentations in the native language of the group. It’s easier to comprehend what is happening technically in the video when you can understand or don’t have to think about the language. This can present a challenge because the multimedia format is newer in Latin America (with the exception of join UAndes/UNC projects, like South of Here) and I’m less aware of those making multimedia in Spain or Latin America. Suggestions welcome.

Here are some of the videos I used to illustrate concepts or served as inspiration.

Ambient audio

One of the reasons I didn’t want my students from Universidad Desarrollo to use music is I wanted them to work with and understand the importance ambient audio. (The other reason being it’s still controversial nature and the potential to editorialize.)

I used Radio Lab’s Words to demonstrate the idea of ambient audio to the students of Universidad Desarrollo and Nacho used it to explain the same to the professors of Universidad de Montevideo. Although it has music, it conveys perfectly the idea that every action has its sound, and good video uses it.

Pacing

The idea of pacing can be hard to understand or implement. It’s allowing your piece to breath. It’s giving the viewer a moment to absorb and contemplate what has happened or has been said. We don’t speak in huge chunks of text. We pause, breath, recap and interact. A way to begin thinking about it is to look at your own script. If you left a space between sentences, that likely means you need to put a pause in the interview and put in some ambient audio. Nacho is a master of pacing and taught me the concept.

I used many videos to demonstrate this idea. Most prominently, I used Taken by the Ocean by Nacho and myself, and The Lost Generation by Nacho and Nick Scott.


last generation

Movement

To me, video is about movement. If nothing is moving, then you should be shooting stills. (Aside, more than stillness, to me photos are about capturing moments. That’s what they do best.) A number of my students had stories where much of the material was static. One team was focusing on the destruction the earthquake caused to the historic architecture of Concepción. Lots of monuments and graves, little activity.

Another group was telling the story of a elderly man who had to move out of his apartment although it was structurally sound to another because a skyscraper in the same block was badly damaged and could fall at any moment. In the second instance, the elderly man did not want them to record him at any point except when he was in the apartment or just leaving. They could not show the social circle he missed nor his wife in their new, rented home who was deeply saddened by the move. Too, they needed to show area and the buildings.

In instances like this, one has to seek out the movement, and always something is moving. The first example I showed was Last of the Yagánes, by Courtney Potter. Courtney essencially denied access to photograph the last wholly Yagán person in the world and the last person speaking the Yagán language. The family charged for accessed to the woman, and as it is unethical to pay subjects for access, Courtney could not do this. So she snuck portraits of the woman when the family wasn’t looking or around, and she focused on the things outside the house the symbolized what was going on, grasses blowing, clouds moving, and used timelapses to capture this moment.

The story is in the origins section of South of Here.
last of the yaganes

We used the Big Vinny story in every teaching situation to explain the use of movement and how to shoot in constricted areas where nothing seems to be happening. Everything is shot in almost exactly the same place – a big empty lot. The film makers manage to find every single thing that moved to create a compelling, visually interesting video.

bigvinny

Sequences

I find this the toughest to explain. I tried to explain it as shooting whatever is happening from at least the three different shots (wide, medium & tight) from three different positions – although one should shoot more – and then cutting it together. I urge people to pay more attention to the television programs they watch. They cut just about every two seconds to a new angle. I have screen shots from Glee that I will be using in my webinar. Nacho explains it as showing the progress of the action.

Nacho likes to use video from Snatch, specifically how it explains a flight to London in roughly 5 seconds.

He also likes to use this stock shot of coffee being made.
Screen shot 2010-10-20 at 11.15.42 AM

To me, these don’t quite capture what you are doing to create a sequence for a news video/multimedia piece. Plus there are not enough humans. I remember Nacho once praising Nick Scott, of the above Last Generation for being a master of sequencing. You can watch the video again. In particular, look for the scene of the sheep leaving the truck or the man lighting the stove and making mate.

If you have any good sequencing examples, please do send them along.

Naturally, we showed more videos.

Preparing your images for the Web – quick and dirty

saturation_toning_specialolympics

Toning

All images need to have a true black and a true white. If printing in a dark room, this is one of the first elements you will be searching for. All digital images require toning. A big reason for this is the digital photography does not have the tonal range of film. Until we have digital cameras with true 64mega pixels (Although, I’ve heard it said that megapixels are a lie. I don’t know. This is the quick guide.)

raw_processing

Basic toning then, is giving a true black and a true white. I start this process by increasing the brightness and the blacks in my Raw Processing stage, but when I look again, I never find what I have done sufficient. So I go into my curves. And increase the blacks and the whites. I tend to do far more with the blacks than the whites. The curves themselves tell you where to go.

curves adjusted so

See where the curve starts on the left hand side? That’s the beginning of the blacks. You have to move your tonal marker here. See where the curve ends. That’s where the whites end. Thus, to have a true black and a true white, you need to have the photo’s curve begin at the beginning of the whites, and end at the end of the whites. I do like to crush the blacks a bit – go a little further, to make the image even richer and counteract the washing out effect of the web. I also tend to pull down at the center point a little to give a bit more contrast as well.

bus_example

Saturation

The web desaturates your images and videos. To counter this, it’s a good idea to boost the saturation of your images. Many of the best photographers do this regularly, and even to extreme. It’s a common contest related complaint that all the images are oversaturated. Those who win, however, tend to be oversaturated. I don’t know what to do with that. I’m noting it here but not worrying about it. Maybe it’s just the same as using Velvia. I say do what you think is right and don’t ever forget about your subject.

Regardless of the controversy, you, with your images and video on the web, will need saturation to even make things look right.

saturation
hue saturation dialogue slider

Images in Final Cut and the Web

Color profiles are incredibly important. You need to use the correct one for the color space in which you are going to be in, or you will lose all the beautiful adjustments you have made. When printing, nearly every paper type for each different printer has it’s own specific profile. That’s how important profiles are. There can be slight shifts in color and toning (very minor) when you make the transition, so if your image has only one destination, you should change the profile before making toning and saturation adjustments.

For Final Cut, you need to be in Apple RGB.

For the web, sRGB.

You can change the color profile by going to Edit > convert to Profile. Then you must select the appropriate profile.

convert to profile menu
convert to profile dialogue

You can also set the profile as you are Raw processing in Photoshop. The option is located at the bottom of the Raw dialogue box, where one is able to set the image size settings. Apple RGB is not an available choice here so you will have to convert later or investigate as to whether there is a way to add that to the options. (I’m guessing there is, but have never attempted).

Color profile and image size options in Raw processing dialogue
Color Profile dialogue in Raw processing menu

Mac vs. PC

Mac’s have lighter screens than PC’s. This means your work will be lighter on a Mac than a PC. Thus, for a Mac, you’ll have to do more saturation and have more contrast (contrast is what you create with toning.) I would hazard to say the majority of people in this industry use Mac’s. The overwhelming majority of the users in the world, however, use PC’s. I’ve never seen anyone do cross platform testing with their videos or photos. I guess the question is, are you creating for the general public, or the multimedia/photographic community?

Another photo that I would like to share

The below was the first example I worked on. To be fair, the Canon 5d MKII, in good light, has incredible tone and saturation, especially coupled with a polarizing filter, which means this made a poor example to try to explain a fault of tone and saturation. I would still do all of the steps noted, but to a novice, it would be hard to understand why. This was taken on the now closed train route between Mendoza, Argentina and Los Andes, Chile. Nacho and I played a lot of pass the camera that day, so neither of us can say definitively who took it. It is undeniably beautiful.

saturation_toning_train

Final Note – Expect More

There will be a part two to this post in the coming weeks. It will feature video color correcting screen shots from Final Cut, save for web and other instructional elements.

Here is a link to a very long discussion talking about tonal ranges with lots of graphs and charts comparing film to the now ancient 10D (my first camera.) It makes me feel guilty for crushing blacks, but Ansel Adams made huge prints for galleries and walls in homes, not the World Wide Web.

Teamwork in Multimedia Production – AARP Bike Path Video

bike_path1
In June, Nacho was asked to shoot a story about a bike path in a charming town in Maine called Brunswick. The purpose of the video piece was to show people enjoying the bike path. The written piece talked about the 89 year old woman who spearheaded the initiative to bring the bike path to fruition. Note – different types of media using to tell different parts of the story creates a fuller, richer storytelling experience.

Wednesday, as Nacho was preparing to go, he asked me to accompany him. His flight was on Friday. He had been mulling it over, and came to the conclusion that he could produce a far better package with the help of someone else.

Working together, we were able to shoot twice as much. We were able to capture two different angles at the same time. At one point I was standing on a highway overpass waiting for a group of serious bikers to pass. It took 20 minutes to get there walking with gear from the parking lot. Nacho was able to meet the group of riders at the beginning, mount a camera and then return to the end of the path, to capture them finishing, while I was able to catch them passing from above. An impossible sequence to shoot alone.

We were able to alternate our approach. I could ask people to sign the release forms while Nacho prepared the camera for the video portraits. We see differently. We noticed things the other didn’t. We kept each other motivated and looking.

Point: two people working together creates a better package in a shorter time.

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Another great example of this, of course, Powering a Nation video, but, particularly, Spilling Over, the profound, mini documentary about the emotional impact on the residents of Venice, Louisiana. There were no fewer than 4 videographers/photographer’s working on this.

In the scene where Kindra was sending her children to away for fear of toxins from the spill, Jessey Dearing was documenting the tearful experience of Kindra’s husband preparing the children to leave, while Lauren Frohne filmed an impassioned Kindra, making telephone calls and angrily urging her husband to send the children off. Obviously, this would have been impossible without 2 people.

It is unfortunate, then, that the typical model is to have only one person working at a time. It’s a decision largely made in the interest of cost, but it arguably creates a lesser project that requires a greater time investment. Further supporting the one person style, as pointed out by Chad Stevens, is the fact that many of the awards, a way by which journalists can get work, are specifically for single authors/creators.
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One other note on the AARP project. Supported by AARP, we got a fun new mounted camera called a GoPro. Nacho bought the HD Hero Naked with the Handlebar Seatpost Mount. We mounted it every which way on the bikes and it produced some sharp, engaging footage.