Tag Archives: reflection

Final Reflection Blog

We finally made it to the end of the semester, and it’s time for the final reflection blog we knew we would be doing since the first day of class. I’m going to go in chronological order, and write up a trip down memory lane.

Our first assignment was to simply getting to know our cameras. Mine can be found here, and it’s simply just me moving the camera around and taking a few pictures. If I was given this assignment again, I wouldn’t think twice about it, having used it throughout the semester. But at the time, I was still figuring out how to shoot video, and how to go through the pictures and video you have already taken. I also had no experience using a memory card and a memory card reader. So I had to teach myself how to use them. It turned out to be pretty intuitive to use these things though.

Our next assignment was a photo essay, produced with and without natural sound. We got to be really creative for this assignment. And it made us think about the pros and cons to using the nat sound. I remember walking around campus and thinking about what I would do for the assignment. For just about the whole week, whenever I was outside, I was thinking in the back of my head about what I wanted to take pictures of that could make a good photo essay. While walking around I noticed just how many signs told people what not to do, and thought about a commentary on how instructed our lives are. I thought it would look better with a darker tone, so I decided to take the pictures at night. It was during this assignment that I felt for the first time, like you said in class, that we would be the producers making the technical decisions for what to shoot and how. Since this assignment involved sound though, I had to teach myself to use the recording device. I spent about an hour or so with it figuring out how to turn it on and get it to record. Once I figured it out, It was an easily accessible tool for the rest of the semester. But it required that initial bit of effort to get it to work.

Our third assignment was a video. I called mine Traffic and Nature and tried to be creative like the previous assignment. Thanks to the first assignment, I already knew how to use the video on the camera. And I used the sound from the camera since the video automatically records the sound. But different from the first assignment, I was trying to create something instead of just testing the different mechanics of the camera. I had to think about what I wanted in the video, and how it would look to the audience. I took the assignment in a bit of a different direction than I think we were supposed as it didn’t quite have a beginning, middle, and end. I tried to make something like a scene in the movie. And more than anything else, I was just trying to test my ability to create something I was thinking of. Given how I wanted to make a lot of attempts shooting the scene to make it look how I wanted, I didn’t really want to involve other people in it. I just wanted to practice making what I imagined be in the video.

For assignment four, we had to create an audio piece. Thanks to the second assignment, I just grabbed my recorder when I was ready to go. I knew how to use it, and it felt natural to me. I was proud of this piece because I covered an actual event–the shooting that happened on Green Street. I was shocked when I first got the Iliini alert, but then I knew I had to go over there and see what was happening. It was the first time I covered something live instead of making an appointment or going to a scheduled event. But in editing the audio and presenting it, I realized that I still had a lot to learn about editing. And I realized there was a lot of room for improvement in my narration.

Our fifth assignment was, in my opinion, the hardest individual assignment. It was the video package, and I went to a scheduled event on tai chi and qigong. After the event, I conducted interviews with the instructors. However, upon editing, I found that the audio for the interviews wasn’t working. The assignment was not even close to being complete without the interviews. So that night, I looked for another source, and contacted the Kung Fu academy. I was able to meet with them that night, and got more interviews. The project actually turned out better than I think it would of been originally with the original videos. I had multiple sources in the video to get different perspectives on it. The editing was also harder than it was for the audio since I had to edit it for the video as well as the audio.

The sixth assignment was my favorite, as well as the favorite for most of us I think. It was the how-to video, and I decided to demonstrate how to shoot a free throw. I went out to the basketball court near my dorm to film it. The difficulty in terms of editing was about the same as the last project, but we didn’t have to find sources. Instead, we got to be creative and make it fun deciding what the steps should be. I added music to it for the first time, using royalty-free music clips.

Our final assignment was our group project on colorism. We wanted to teach people about colorism, and discuss what we should be doing about. We worked together throughout the semester, and I received tons of help from my classmates after class in editing the projects. A lot of us would be there at night finishing editing, and we worked together a lot. But this was the first time we worked together in groups for the same grade. It was by far our largest assignment, combining each of the elements we did during the semester along with a website. And it was cool seeing all of the different mediums coming together to focus on one topic.

Empowerment in Multimedia Reporting

headshotOn the first day of multimedia reporting, Professor Collins went around the room and asked everyone to introduce themselves. From the back row, I told the class that I was a junior majoring in agricultural communications with an emphasis on journalism. Professor Collins’ response was, “So you have no experience with this?” It was true that I had very little experience with photo, video, and audio even though I had completed the prerequisite courses. I felt I had to prove myself, so from the start, I took this course seriously.

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“Not My University” – Hilton Final Reflection

The Final Project for J215 was clearly the toughest one. It was a true test of applying everything we learned this semester while trying to collaborate with our classmates. Finding a way to communicate with each other while completing our assigned roles was definitely a challenge. We worked down to last minute to get this piece finished, but it was all worth it in the end.

My main focus was on the News Package, How-To Package and putting together the website. At first I wasn’t sure what I would focus my news package on because all the protests I tried to attend never turned out that well. Luckily, by the last week there was a “Freedom Forum” which was an open conversation between the university administration and the black community. I was able to get some good b-roll and sound bites. Originally I had three interviews, but I ended up only using two of them because the quotes fit better with my story with just two of my interviewees. I realize now I should have used all of my interviews. I also had a lot of fun putting together the how-to package. I put together a bunch of my video footage around Anatta’s script and narration, and I thought the end result was great!

I am really proud of how my group came together at the end. At the beginning I wasn’t truly confident with what our end result would look like, but everyone came through with their parts and I think we are all happy with the result! I definitely learned a lot from this project!

Final Reflection – Goethals

My favorite still shot for the first assignment – textured shot.

When I started this semester, I was very nervous about this class. I had never used a nice camera before and have no background knowledge about editing, photography, or making videos. Writing is really more of my forté, so this class sounded like a challenge. I think all of that is pretty evident in my first project, when we were supposed to get to know our camera. I had no idea what to shoot, and it didn’t even occur to me to make my videos of things that were actually moving (something, in hindsight I probably should have figured out, but I was already feeling like a fish out of water). I remember taking a 5 second video of the wall and thinking to myself “I’m not sure what purpose this is serving? But I’m pretty sure this is what Professor Collins said to do? Must be something about video that I don’t know about?” But I did, however, end up getting a couple still shots that I liked out of the project, which took me by surprise. Continue reading

40 Under 40 Reflection

While I am proud of the content in my video project, I found due to my lack of work time I was unable to submit my best work. For my reflection, I am going to discuss parts of my video I could improve upon.

-I used a pan shot that I would have changed if time permitted. I now understand that the pan shot did not clearly show the building I was filming.

-Also, my interview with student Drucker, I was not videoing at eye level. I would change this if I could go back and re shoot.

-In addition, I in future projects I want to shoot more interesting scenes.

I find this project to be informative. I now understand what I need to do to improve my work. I am excited for the next project!

The Adventures of a Multimedia Student

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Photo of me

The first day of class was the most intimidating day of all. Professor Collins made sure we knew what we were getting into, telling us about how we always need a plan A, B, C, D… and so on. As scared as I was to start learning the basics, I knew I was in good hands with Professor Collins and was grateful for all that I knew she was going to teach us. Once we were all assigned cameras, our first task was to go out and take pictures using different angles. I was so nervous because I had NO idea what a “pan” meant or a “wide, medium, tight” shot. Yes, I was pretty clueless and ended up having to do some research just to figure out how to turn on the camera. I remember sitting on the quad pretending to act like I knew how to work my camera and taking random pictures of Foellinger Auditorium while someone came up to me asking what type of camera I had. I tried to play it off like I knew but he clearly could tell I had no idea. I eventually ended up learning so much and gaining so many new skills that I will continue to use throughout my Journalism career.

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Flowers on campus

Assignment 1 was supposed to be the easiest and at the time I thought it was impossible. Looking back on it now, I laugh at how stressed I was about getting the “right shot.” I spent about 3 hours of my day just walking around campus trying to find pretty places to take pictures at. People probably thought I was a professional but in reality I had no idea what I was doing. It also took my twenty minutes just to figure out how to turn the camera to the video setting. Oh, and getting the tripod out was even more difficult because I couldn’t figure out how to attach the camera on to the top, but that’s besides the point. In all honesty, this was probably one of my favorite assignments because I encountered so many new places on campus that I had no idea even existed. I took one of my favorite shots of flowers on here too that today I am still very proud of.

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Baseball jersey

The next assignment was a photo essay with sound and a photo essay without sound. This was probably my least favorite assignment to do because I had no idea what to take pictures of that would have sound. Thinking back on it now I could have done so many other options but at the time I overthought the assignment which is something that I advise the next multimedia class not to do. I wanted to take pictures of something that expressed a lot about a person and the first thing that came into my mind was clothing. I took a lot of pictures of different clothes I have trying to add in a wide array of patterns and textures. One thing I didn’t really include was a lot of variety. Most of my photos were of the same angle/shot and it was all kind of the same. This assignment made me realize that next time I should step out of my comfort zone because playing it safe isn’t always the best work.

Netflix_Web_Logo

Netflix logo

Assignment 3 was next and that was my video essay. This was definitely one of my favorite assignments! I really felt like I started to get to know my camera and was learning all the different settings to use as well as getting better at using transitions with editing. Although, I did take forever to come up with an idea for this… I really enjoyed my end result. I kept putting this assignment off until the last minute (bad idea) and would get easily distracted my other things like social media and Netflix. I realized that that would be a perfect idea for my video essay! I came up with a couple different scenes of a student getting easily distracted when doing their homework and deciding that Netflix was a better option. I had so much fun with this because my roommate and best friend got to star in my video, which made it much more enjoyable to film. I definitely suggest getting your friends involved in your videos if it’s relevant because it definitely makes it a fun assignment!

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Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) photo. Credit to BodyWork Associates at University of Illinois

I started to get really stressed once assignment 4 rolled around, also known as the audio package. Each week was getting harder and required a lot more time to complete all of your work on time. I was worried I wasn’t going to finish this assignment because I could not find anyone that wanted to talk to me. I asked about 10 people at the ARC if they would take ten minutes of their time for me to ask them a few questions, but no one wanted to do that. At that point I was about to quit or just decide to do a different topic but I didn’t want to give up completely. Finally, after countless hours just sitting at the ARC, two people were more than willing to talk with me and I got my interviews finished! This was the biggest relief ever and I felt so accomplished at the end of the day. The next part was almost just as difficult when I realized I wasn’t finished at all and still had to go through all the editing and voiceovers. Figuring out which soundbites to use for my audio package was even worse. I honestly didn’t really have a “story line” for my package yet and didn’t really think anything out before I went on my interviews. This is not something I would recommend doing next time and I definitely learned from it. Overall, I think my audio package turned out alright but next time I would approach it in a different way.

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Credit to history.com

Next was the video package and I can tell you right now that this was the hardest assignment of all. I literally had no idea what to write a story on and thought of an idea completely last minute, although it was pretty timely, which is always a good thing. I was on the verge of tears during this whole assignment and even my friends could tell I was super stressed about getting all the interviews and footage I needed on time. Luckily, my friends decided to come with me on my interviews because they knew how much anxiety I had about this assignment and wanted to make sure I was doing well! I also continued to call my mom everyday that week and tell her that I couldn’t do it but she convinced me that I was overreacting… she was right. This assignment taught me a lot about making sure to never procrastinate on your work, especially in the journalism field. Editing this assignment was fun and I really enjoyed getting to see how my work came together. That was the most rewarding part about this class, getting to see how all my hard work paid off.

McCormick Guacamole

Courtesy to McCormick

The How-To was the next and it was definitely the most fun of all! I’m not generally good at cooking so I decided that I would try for this assignment. College students are always looking for an easy meal and I thought that doing a How-To on How-To make Guacamole would be a great hit. It was super fun because I convinced my friends to help me in exchange for having some of the guacamole once I was all finished. This was a totally stress free assignment and I had fun doing the entire video, from filming to editing.

The last assignment was the group project and this was by far the best experience I have had in any journalism class. In the real world you’re going to be working in teams and having people that you must rely on to finish their work on time. That is exactly what this project was all about, being able to work as a team and put all your work together into something that is truly amazing. Of course this was during a time where I had a million other group projects to complete and I was totally stressed about getting everything done. I started my part of this project a little late and wish I had more time to make it into a piece that I could call amazing. Our topic for this group assignment was disabilities on and around the UIUC campus, which was really neat. We all were so into talking with people who have disabilities and telling their story in the best light possible. I did the How-To portion of the project and couldn’t quite figure out how to link it to disabilities, which was my major issue for the whole assignment. My teammates were really great in helping me decide what to do and in the end I think that our whole project turned out to be really neat. Creating the website was one of the best parts because we got to see what it would really look like if the story was actually published. All of our stories were posted and it was such a fantastic feeling to see that all of our effort and hard work turned into creating something really great.

Finishing up the semester I feel like I am way more experience in the multimedia field. I would highly recommend this class to anyone, especially Journalism students, because it definitely prepares you for the real world. The skills that I have acquired in this class are going to help me throughout my career and I can’t express how thankful I am that I took this course. I know I will achieve great things in the future with broadcast journalism because of the new concepts I have learned throughout the semester in Professor Collins course.

Finding a different way of success

On the first day of class back in August, I was terrified. As a broadcast major, I had been in front of the camera a countless number of times. I love taking photos and have put together high quality videos for both of my brothers’ weddings. But I had never produced work from behind the camera for a grade. Of course, my family and friends praised my work, but it’s very unlikely that they would have say something negative about my work even if I asked them too.

Me!

Me!

Though I was nervous, I looked forward to the class. Taking a multimedia class provided me with the opportunity to critique the skills I already possessed and learn new skills. It challenged me to come up with story ideas that were not just interesting to read about but also provided visual and audio aspects.

When our first assignment was given to us, I all but forgot how to take a picture on a camera, which was not great considering it was a photo essay. Our photo essays were really for us to get familiar with our equipment.  Looking back, my stress level was much too high for such a simple assignment. If I was to be given this assignment today, I could do it without any hesitation.

Newman Hall

Newman Hall

I decided to make Newman Hall the topic of my photo essay. We were required to take photos and videos of wide, medium and tight shots from different angles and different light settings. I live at Newman Hall this year, and I lived there last year. I’ve always thought it was a nice place to live, but I never fully appreciated the building itself from the outside. This assignment forced me to view this building from a different perspective. It made me more aware of things around me. Even the smallest aspects of my life can be produced in an art form.

The second assignment was very similar to the first in that we had to take wide, medium and tight shots from different angles. The difference this time is that we were adding natural sound. I made Grange Grove the topic of this assignment. I took my photos in the early evening when the sun had almost set. This was probably my favorite assignment because I had the most fun with it. I am one who loves absolutely everything regarding Illini athletics, so spending time capturing photos of one of my favorite places during a time when I was the only one around was extremely peaceful. Because it was something I cared about and enjoyed doing, I think my photos came out even better than if I had picked a different setting.

Grange Grove

Grange Grove

Our third assignment was a video essay. This assignment was given to us during my brother’s wedding week. I took this opportunity to use my homework assignment to not only have fun but make a nice memory for my family. My brother had a videographer at his wedding, but he didn’t have anything for the rehearsal dinner or time leading up to the wedding, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I thought this assignment was the kickstart to my love for the class.

Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

Kevin and Lizzy toasting at the reception.

The next assignment was an audio story. I loved this assignment because it involved using skills that I already had learned to love, which is reporting. I reported on the Illinois student population’s opinion of the McKinley Health Center. The best part of this assignment was reviewing our scripts with Professor Collins. I have written plenty of audio stories before, but I have never actually gone through a script with someone and have them critique it with me. Reading my script out loud with Professor Collins and listening to her critiques caused me to come up with new ideas of my own, which I think made my story even better than I thought it could have been had I completed it without going over it with anyone.

The McKinley Health Center

The McKinley Health Center

Following our audio story, we had a video story. We needed three video interviews. Since I am already extremely comfortable interviewing people, the most important part for me with this assignment was the video shots themselves. Making sure that the setting was quiet enough was a bigger problem than I thought. Another important aspect was using lower thirds to make the shot look nice. We also needed plenty of b-roll. This assignment was the most different for me because I had never done anything like this before, though I hope to produce plenty of more assignments like this in the future.

Credit to parking.illinois.edu

Credit to parking.illinois.edu

After that was our how-to assignment. I showed how to make a green vegetable smoothie. I thought this was a good topic because it is something that I make all the time. I was in my video, which if I was to do it again, I probably wouldn’t have done that. I preferred my classmates’ videos in which they used mostly tight shots to physically show what they were doing in each step of the process, where as in mine it was mostly me telling my audience what to do.

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org

This photo of two green smoothies is from thelifechest.org

Our final assignment was a package consisting of an audio story, a photo essay, a video story and a how-to. We chose to focus our package on disability. My part was the photo essay. I took photos of the Illinois Wheelchair Track team’s morning practice and wrote about the team itself and the McFadden sister’s journey to success. I loved this assignment. Though we each had our own parts, we all helped each other out in different ways. This way, we all were able to learn from each others’ approaches to journalism and share our own ideas. Overall, I thought our assignment was a success.

The wall of the practice facility for the Illinois Wheelchair Track team.

The wall of the practice facility for the Illinois Wheelchair Track team.

While preparing to write my reflection, I went to look back on reflections from last semester’s multimedia class. The first post I read was Brett Lerner’s. His post was ironically titled, “In the Blink of an Eye.” This post hit me hard because Brett was a friend of mine and was taken in a fatal car accident on his way to work earlier in the semester. Brett was what I like to think was a perfect example of what a good aspiring journalist should be. He was passionate, devoted and would do anything to get to the top. Brett had so much potential to be successful, though his life came and went in the blink of an eye. When we lost Brett, the whole world lost someone special.

From that point on, I decided to dedicate every piece of journalism that I produce to Brett. To future students who take this multimedia class or any journalism class, do not take this opportunity lightly. Life changes quickly, and you may never know when that is going to be. When you do something, anything, do it the best you can. If you don’t try your hardest to succeed for yourself, do the world a favor and succeed for Brett.

Onto the next one

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A picture of myself.

In all honesty, I am terribly sad to be done with multimedia. Also in all honesty: I never necessarily thought I would say that. After getting the 15-page syllabus this summer and coming to class the first day in August, I was extremely intimidated by what I thought I was getting myself into. I didn’t know how to work a camera, and I had absolutely no idea how to edit my work using programs that I had never used. However, it wasn’t long until I realized how much I was learning with each assignment, and tracking my improvements each week felt really cool.

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“Stand by!” Up next, Jasmine Dinh takes on Multimedia.

Fortunate. That’s the word I would use to sum up my semester in Multimedia.

Jasmine Dinh

Jasmine Dinh

Reflecting back on the semester, I have realized how fortunate to be able to learn what it is to be a multimedia reporter. When I signed up for this class, I was beyond excited. A class where I get to be more creative rather than focus on the serious reporting stuff? Sign me up! This class has pushed me to seek out different stories, while also allowing me to take on what I have interest in covering. I’ve been a photographer for about 6 years now and I’ve only been learning more since I started. For this class, instead of having to focus on learning basic techniques of photography I was able to focus more on the videography. I would say my skills have definitely grown as the class has progressed.

Sunsetting on my semester

Sunsetting on my semester

With the first assignment, I was excited to dive right in. We were required to take a variety of stills and videos of varying sizes (wide, medium and tight). I loved how relaxed I felt doing this assignment. It made doing my “homework” enjoyable for the first time. Fortunately, I was taking TV1 which is video reporting and storytelling at the same time. The mix of multimedia and TV1 helped me learn at a quicker pace when it came to editing, so it was easier to piece my first assignment together.

Delicious Naan Pizza

Delicious Naan Pizza

For our second assignment, we were told to create two video essays. One without the natural sound and one with. I went to my friend’s apartment so I could show her how to make one of my favorite quick fix foods, naan pizza. The sounds I recorded included my walk over, the elevator dings to her apartment, her chopping the food, the toaster oven timer clicking and the ding when it finished baking, as well as when my friend accidentally burned herself reaching into the oven. I think my sound added a lot to my piece, because it made the photos come alive in a sense.

Photo courtesy of Neutral Cycle

Photo courtesy of Neutral Cycle

The third assignment was all videoing and a lot more writing. It was our first news piece, really. We created a video essay. At the time I had heard about the increase in bicycle thefts in the Champaign-Urbana area, so I decided to head over to Neutral Cycle on Fifth street to hear about their research. I got some really cool shots, but unfortunately when i uploaded it something went wrong and it turned out slow and pixelated. I attempted to re-edit, but it had the same effect. The process of videoing and learning more information on bike thefts was fun and interesting, which made the project worth it even if my video didn’t turn out as clear as I would have liked.

Photo Courtesy of HERE

Photo Courtesy of HERE

By out fourth assignment, I was ready to start interviewing. We created an audio package, so we hear my voice for the first time. I decided to continue looking for news and went to interview a leasing agent and resident from HERE Apartments, the new apartment located on Fourth and Green street. At the time, the apartment company was receiving a lot of backlash for their inability to offer their residents everything they promised and the residents were not happy. I really enjoyed this assignment, because I was able to continue working on my interviewing skills. I was able to think faster about what kinds of questions I wanted to ask to help the interview flow by thinking faster on the spot. You can tell by the clear answers I was able to receive in my piece.

Maker Girls

Maker Girls

Next up was our full package! I did my story on the Maker Girls, which is a lab that invites young girls in to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. I enjoyed this piece the most, because of the enthusiasm I received from the girls’ excitement to be interviewed. Plus, I secretly wish they had programs like Maker Girls when I was 8 years old. I was also really proud of this piece and how fast I was able to put it together. It was not my original story plan, but I was able to find a news idea just in time and put my editing skills to the test against time. The piece came together beautifully and it was by far the one I’ve enjoyed re-watching the most.

Movie night essential

Movie night essential

Last, but not least, our how to videos.  Unlike everyone else, I decided to turn away from food and create a how to video on how to hold the best movie night. I love movie nights, but I still haven’t decided if it’s because of the amount of popcorn I’m allowed to consume without being judged or the actual movies. Either way, I had a lot of fun with this piece as well. I invited a few of my friends over and we went through each step that we would normally when we get together for movie nights. No movie night is complete without drinks, popcorn, a good movie, and blankets to cozy up in.

Photo Courtesy of Jasmine Dinh

Photo Courtesy of Jasmine Dinh

Now for the grand finale….drum roll please… Shining Light on What’s Hidden. A group project that tested how well journalism students can work together. This project was the most difficult assignment I had all semester. My group was great and I don’t think we would have been able to pull it off if it wasn’t for how well we were able to get along and communicate. We originally wanted to do our piece on raising awareness for dementia and Alzheimer’s, but the contacts we were hoping to get ahold of were not exactly the most consistent. So from there we decided to raise awareness on issues that are not always noticed as easily as others, hence our title, “Shining Light on What’s Hidden.” I don’t know how many places each of us visited to try and get interviews as well as how many times we were turned down. It was rough, but we didn’t let that stop us from thinking up new ideas which is what helped up complete the assignment.

Overall, I enjoyed this class tremendously, because of our ability to be creative. Journalism can be tough, but it can be fun. I got to learn so much this semester that has only challenged my skill set and made me into a better journalist.

http://publish.illinois.edu/digitalillinois/2015/11/23/shining-light-on-whats-hidden/

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly From Lucas’ Year in J215

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A photo of myself

It’s finally that time of the year. Time to look back and reflect on this very memorable year in multimedia. Coming into this class I honestly had no clue was I what the content of the class would be like, and when we received our syllabus from Professor Collins a few weeks before class it made the class seem somewhat overwhelming. But honestly trying to put 16 weeks worth of work into context that early probably wasn’t the best idea on my part. Continue reading