Hey! My name is Thomas Polcyn, and I am a sophomore in Broadcast Journalism. I actually came into the university planning on going the print route but after taking some of my journalism classes and getting involved on campus I have decided to go the other way. On campus I am one of the assistant sports editors at the Daily Illini, and am also the campus representative for Barstool Sports! With them I have learned a lot about writing, editing, and using social media. I’d consider myself to be pretty strong in the areas I have taken before, but I definitely have a lot of room to improve still and am looking forward to doing just that in this class.
However, despite my previous experience in the field, this assignment was my first time really getting involved in the multimedia aspect of it. I have done plenty of writing, editing, and even taken some lo-level pictures; however, I am very new to editing photo, video, and using a real camera.
Going into the assignment, I was honestly pretty nervous and was somewhat confused as to how I was going to actually get it all done. The whole aspect of how different everything was to me threw me off, but after taking the time to figure everything out I think I took to it somewhat quickly. But, there were still plenty of challenges.
To be completely honest, I had to look up what a lot of the different shots meant online. I had never hear of wide shots versus close ups, or even what a still was. But after some research and watching some videos, it was not as complicated as I had imagined. So, I went on my way and started taking my pictures and videos.
As I said, once I figured out what a still was, I quickly decided to go after those shots first. I took the majority of photos in my house with most of them coming from in my room. The first shots I took were of some friends that were just hanging out and playing video games in my room. It was kind of awkward and funny to take pictures around them — let alone of them — but overall I actually enjoyed the process. I didn’t end up including them in my final cut of pictures, but some of the shots turned out pretty good actually. After taking photos of them I also got some still shots of things such as hats, towels, the TV, and then got some of my shoes and various other decorations in my room as well. At first a lot of them came out kind of shaky but after getting some better positioning and everything they started to result in better shots.
Next, I went to the tripod shots. I found those to actually be a lot easier. Having the steadiness of the tripod definitely had a much better turnout for the shots. For those I also continued to take the majority in my room with some other various shots though-out my house. The added stability made it much easier just because I didn’t have to worry as much about my own positioning. It allowed me to focus solely on the adjustments to the camera and producing the best shot I could. I think that aside from a couple of the videos, these were some of the best pictures I got for this assignment as a whole. I thought that with this stability the texture was more visible in the pictures I got and this definitely added to the overall quality of the assignment.
All in all, I thought that this was a really interesting assignment that allowed me to get much more comfortable taking pictures and videos with high quality equipment. Professor Collins was a huge help in the editing process and using some of the prior experience I had made editing everything relatively easy. There were some complications in adding effects, but once it was all sorted out I think it came out very solid. I am not too familiar with premiere, but with the Barstool Sports stuff I run I have helped my supervisors to produce some videos including a compilation of some of the highlights from the 2005 Illini Basketball Final Four run. I’d definitely say that that helped me, but still professor Collins was a huge help to me and I’m sure the rest of the class today in showing us the necessary steps and tricks to be successful in the assignment.
You can view my final project here. I don’t necessarily love some of the shots that I included in the assignment but there are a few that I really did like. The picture I included above was intended to be a wide shot during the day. I think it shows the colors and overall texture of the shot really well and it came out really steady for a still shot as well. Unfortunately the weather was not great when I took it, so the sun and sky don’t pop as much as I’d like to see but it still ended up pretty cool. The picture was taken in my house’s courtyard.
The other two shots I really liked were the picture and video of my boot on top of my bed. You can see both at the end of my video which is again can be viewed right here. I liked those shots so much because they had a really cool background and showed a ton of texture. Both were intended to be close shots in order to show the texture, and I think that both did so very effectively. I additionally enjoyed these so much because of how clear the shot came out. You could see every last stain and ridge of material on the boot, as well as the american flag in the background, the blanket on the bed and more.
In the end, I really enjoyed this first assignment and am looking forward to getting started on the next one. Can’t wait for the rest of the class!