Hashtags

Over the past month, I have been doing quiet a bit of research on hashtags as I am in charge of the Twitter page for the story we are creating for our CMWP class. Twub has been really helpful, so much so that I actually did not need to use any other search website. Our digital story is about a fictional Indian girl who is in love with spices. Spices have a lot of attributes which are believed to contribute to our lives. For example, cinnamon is a spice for love, often referred to as the Queen of spices. Our story follows her journey of self-discovery as she cooks various recipes to help change her life around.

For this I was succesful with hashtags like indiangirl, recipes, spiceandherbbible, travelindia, goa and a few others. I came across a lot of what people write or enquire about and got some great insights not only for our story but our audience research as well. I discovered that tomato and coconut based curries are more looked at or discussed than any other type. I also found a lot of stuff which added to my knowledge of the indian girl mindset. Being an Indian girl myself, you would probably find that thought really funny, but our story is about a very different girl who grows in different circumstances altogether. My most important or helpful discovery was what I actually got when I searched spiceandherbbible, which was a suggestion on the search bar. It turned out to be a book that people were discussing but I actually got a website name of one of the posts which led me to an entire list of spices and what they stand for.

All in all, I think my hashtag research really helped me out and I would suggest that you all try it out too for your projects. More than most times you find stuff which might not do anything for you but if you keep an open mind, the least it will do is tell you what audience you are looking at.

Action….and Cut! Working with Actors

The article ‘Actor and the Director’, gave me a lot of insight upon their relationship. The article starts with the question – ‘How much does the film actor need to know about the work of the film director?’

I, for one, think the relationship goes both ways. As much as the actor’s performance represents the outcome and success of the film, the way he is directed also shows him in a certain light – good or bad. Hence, I believe that the actor should have complete knowledge of the techniques, camera angles, focus and other things that the director is working with. I, like Mackendrick, do not agree with Antonioni’s believe – “An actor does not need to understand, he needs to be.”

A few years back, a Bollywood fim was sued by the lead actress as she claimed that she had been shot horribly, in very unflattery light, which would taint her future job prospects. The director suffered a great deal due to this claim as it became hard for him to hire a good actor to play his roles in subsequent projects.

Also, I think an actor can perform his task better, and faster, if he is already aware of what exactly the director is focusing on and where the camera will capture his movements from. He can give you his best angles and expressions when he knows his face is the focus or he can use exceptional body language to get across the same points in long-shots. It really can be imperative for him to  know, to put his best foot forward.

An example used in the article was Actors being compared to trained atheletes. Again, I have to disagree with the way the comparison is made. Even an athelete to perform his best must be aware of things in his surroundings like the temperature, the terrain, the amount of oxygen in the air! He does depend on these thing to enable better performance.

Having said that, I realize we do not live in the perfect world where everyone shares the same work ethics. It is completely possible that a new actor may be over-whelmed by all the knowledge or an experienced one may want to interfere in the director’s work. Harmony is what we seek at the end and luckily, we get to choose who we want to work with!

Digital Image Editing (Flipped Lecture)

I have worked in advertising for sometime now. My entire day would go in observing my art partner while he did magic on photoshop. I was the writer. But, however much I tried, I never really got to learn all that much. Reading Jenny’s flipped lecture was very helpful for me because I was always looking to do more complicated stuff and always missed working the basics. No wonder nothing turned out quiet right!

One of the things in the lecture that was really helpful for me was the distinction between the different formats of pictures – jpeg, png, gif, tiff and eps. No one has ever taken the time to go through this as most would think you would be born with this knowledge. Now I know that if I want a smaller file, probably to use for the web, I would go for jpegs but when I want to take out artworks with much higher resolution for print, I would use tiff or eps.

I always forget to make copies of my work before taking it further and I feel I really do have the bad habit of overdoing everything. Apparently you can go back only for about fifteen changes you have made! It can be really frustrating, so I thought the advice to work on different layers and make copies was awesome. It is something I would have to remember doing.

I did this animation project for another class. When I started out, I gave it a black background, but thanks to Jenny, I was able to work out a beautiful background using an image from the internet and just using Gaussian Blur on it. It worked wonders, brought out my entire project. A great effect to use and something you can use even if your pictures are small and pixelated. With this you would never know!

Overall, I thought Jenny’s lecture was great. I did go back to the basics and came out stronger. It also forced me to look up some stuff on the internet and I found two videos on youtube, which I think are good watches if you are learning photoshop.

This video is perfect for us because it is specifically for the version of photoshop on our RMIT desktop. A lot of the versions are really different and some functions can be done differently. The new softwares also have the awesome shortcuts to help you save time.

This one is just for a really cool trick. The breaking effect. Check it out, who thought it would be this easy to do!

I also found a blog I really like on my RSS feed.

http://www.photoshopsupport.com/photoshop-blog/

It tells you a lot of cool stuff all the way to plugins. Check it out.

Photoshop for my Project

I am planning on doing a blog for which I need to have a lot of people active on it. It is very interactive and the outcome largely depends on my followers. I would love to make some characters using photoshop that I can animate and use on my site. I also want to use photoshop to design a nice logo for my website/blog. I would have to create both these elements from scratch and that means starting right at the basics. Thanks Jenny!

Copyrights and Avoiding Spam (Creative Commons)

Hey followers,

So, today as part of our tasks, I researched the different types of copyrights that you can post on your blog. I found so much interesting stuff on here, it is absolutely amazing. Recently, one of my friends and I had to face a big problem on something we helped create back in the day. I wanted to use it as part of our project this semester but found that I could not as other people had gotten it copyrighted in their name! It is really disappointing when something like this turns up. Heartbreaking! I hope that this blog helps you avoid such situations.

There are six types of copyrights, if you are using creative commons, which is the fastest and easiest way of copyrighting your stuff. Literally took me ten minutes! Here is a link for you to understand these types.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/

I would suggest saving the page or making a note of and understanding all the licenses as you might want to use different licenses for different projects. I have copyrighted my blog with Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license. This license lets others remix, tweak and build upon my work which I think is great for getting my work out there. Of course, they still have to give me credit for the original work. It also means no one can use a version of my work commercially, that right lies solely with me. I think that is really smart as I work hard to create anything on here and I don’t want someone else earning from my idea. My ideas that I decide to share non-commercially are projects I believe I want people to access without having to pay for it and I would not want to change that in any way.

These are all International licenses, not restricted to Australia.

Apart from copyrights, another huge concern, if you own a blog or any form of social media is avoiding spam. Who wants someone else advertising their stuff on your blog? That is so not fair, right! So, I did some research on how to avoid it and there are literally a million ways to do it. As my blog is on WordPress, I will just talk about what options you have there, but I suggest definitely using something to avoid it. WordPress has some really cool tools you can use for free to avoid spam. Here are the one’s I like best:

1. Akismet Comment Spam Fighter – Akismet is generally installed by default. But, just incase, go to your plugins and activate it. You get an API key that you need to enter to activate it. It is the best defence against spam but you do have to pay $5 for it.

2. Another way to do it is by making your settings to check your comments before it is up on your site, so you can moderate anything you want to display there. This can be very tedious if your blog is popular and it also does not really let people have conversations. It is effective though.

3. You can avoid the issue of conversations in the above settings by letting all registered users to comment only. Also on the panels – discussions page.

These are all great ways, but I suggest definitely doing some more research and checking your plugins page for more options.

Widgets on my page

Hey there,

I think, patience is a long forgotten virtue which has no space in the world today. With the fast pace that is set around us, no one has the time to waste anymore. As you can see, I have added a few widgets to the left side of my page to help you save some precious time. Here is a description of them.

1. Categories – As I currently write about various things like the structure and functionalities of blogging, photography, stories or anything else I can think of, this is a really great way to help you navigate through my site. Just click on the dropbox and pick the category you would be interested in.

2. Hash Tags – After every post, I tag it with some relevant words which can help you search for my posts on the net. It is a great way to find posts which are in similar categories but have very different key words. Just click on a hash tag you like and find access to anything relative. Read away!

3. Twitter – You can follow me on twitter, where I tweet about every blog I write. It’s an easy click and you don’t have to keep checking my blog for what’s going on. Stay updated and join in on conversations about a multitude of things.

4. Facebook – If you don’t like twitter or just like facebook a teeny amount more, no problem. Like me on Facebook and enjoy staying updated.

Well, these are the four I chose but if you think you’d like to see something else there that I have not thought of, let me know!