Thursday, 31 December 2009

iPhoneography - Which blogging platform is best?

So tomorrow I will be launching my new iPhoneography blog

My preference for a name is still iSeeLeeds however I have also thought if I want to establish myself as the 1st and premier iPhoneographer of Leeds perhaps the name theiphoneographerleeds would be a good name, but is it possible a little too long and wordy for a URL?

My next challenge is to decide on which blogging platform to use. I want as many people to be able to follow this blog in a way that is simple and easy for them. I need to select a platform that the majority of people use. From personal experience of people I have met in the Yorkshire Digital Community I believe this to be blogspot. However I think if I take the Yorkshire Digital Community out of the equation a larger number of (photographic / arts) people use tumblr.

There is always the possibility to cross posting using a desktop blogging application, but then this would make it harder for me to go back and respond to comments. (Would I be possibly be spreading myself (and my work) to thinly)

As previously mentioned I wish to bring this blog to the attention of people in Leeds and possible develop an iPhone Photography Community in the Leeds / West Yorkshire / Yorkshire area.

I am aware that on my own that I will not be able to reach many people, therefore a plan to approach other bloggers with interests in photography, digital media and technology to write about my project. I could also ask people who cover art projects with in the Leeds area to write about my project with the aim of gaining more publicity for the project.

If I want this project to be taken seriously by other media outlets I feel I will also need to work with other people to help me design and create skins for my chosen blogging platform. If you would like to help me out with this part of the project then please leave a comment below. In the bio of the iPhoneography project I will give you credit for your work and link back to you.

So that is where the project currently stands but ….

The question still remains, what is your favourite blogging platform? Let me know in the comments. Also suggest ways in which I can build up followers and a community around iPhoneography

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Mobile Phone Photography Blog

I am hoping to purchase a new phone before the 1st of January

This has presented me the opportunity to start a new Internet blog about my unique discoveries.

When considering a new mobile device, camera capabilities are the most prevalent player in my decision making process.

Previously I have owned a Nokia N80 (with a 3 megapixel camera) and a Nokia N95 (with a 5 megapixel camera). This time around I am considering the iPhone 3G S. The iPhone 3G S' camera is 3 megapixels, but people with a knowledge of digital cameras will know megapixels only equate to how big you can print the picture and not image quality. It is the camera sensor that that gives the image it's quality and with that said I believe the sensor in the iPhone 3GS's camera is very capable of producing good images for online distribution and sharing. [See images taken with iPhone 3GS]

I have previous dabble in mobile phone photography and more recently learnt how to competently use a digital SLR camera. With this in mind I am planning on setting up a blog around the subject of mobile phone photography.

Blog Outline

Initially I am going to aim to take one interesting or unique picture a day and post it on this new blog

Initial Goals

My aim for this blog is not only to interest and entertain people by documenting the world around me, I also wish to generate a steady flow of traffic to this new project.

Further Challenges that may be posed

A personal goal I wish to achieve is to use a service such as Ad-Sense to generate relevant adverts on the blog. I hope to make my 1st online revenue stream in 2010!


If I can find the time I may also write articles about camera phone photography. I would also like to invite users to submit their iPhone pictures to also be posted (just to add some variety to the blog)

An initial starting point with any new blog is coming up with a suitable name

Here are some initial thoughts I have had to help me formulate a name

Living in the city of Leeds the majority of pictures will taken in Leeds

I will be using an iPhone to take these pictures

My current favourite name I have generated is 'iseeleeds'

Other names I have come up with include iphotoleeds & iphoneographyleeds

I am not sure if these names are a little too specific as pictures may not always be taken in Leeds. My reasons for having such a specific name is that I envision the initial community for this blog will be built up around people in Leeds (as this is where the majority of pictures will be taken) then through social media and "word of mouth" more people will discover the blog.

If you can think of any further ideas or inspiration for the name of this blog then please leave them in the comments of this post.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Testing Microphones

Having previous worked with video at a home / diy level I was aware that audio would be an important factor in giving this video a professional edge.

I wanted to test out the different microphones (directional, lapel and the built in camera microphone)

I shot some test footage using various microphones in locations of varying noise. One location was the college canteen at lunch time.

When watching the footage back I found that the built in camera microphone picked up noise from the whole canteen and my voice appeared muffled and somewhat in audible.

The directional microphone provided better results, but I found it some what inhibitive when presenting and talking to the camera.

The conclusion of this research was that a lapel mic would best suit my podcast I wished to create. The lapel mic gave me a freedom to not "fidget" while holding a directional microphone and was just a personal preference.

Unfortunately I accidently managed to destroy the video results of these microphone tests. All I have to evidence this work is a picture of myself in college with a lapel mic that I took to post on a social networking website.


Location Development

Feed back I got at the 1st crit was that my location was somewhat bland and not visually stimulating or engaging for my target audience.

I did some further research into alternative locations and recorded my results in to a power point file which I have embeded below

Geek Brief Credits

After my initial test of recording in a studio environment I became highly aware of how difficult is to control each and every element of video production when working on my own.

Problems I incurred included

  • Set up your own lighting and make sure it is even on the subject
  • Focusing a camera on a subject
  • Recording and present to a camera at the same time
  • Moveingequipment such as lights, video camera, tripods, and microphones.
  • Making tiny adjustments to things and not have a second pair of eyes to verify that what you see is the same as other people may see or perceive something.

    Previously I had thought that most 3-minute video podcasts were made by one person controlling and operating everything. Most video podcasts I watch do not contain any credits. However while watching GeekBrief I noticed there were credits at the end of the show, this made me aware that some of these podcasts are operating with a small team of people crew and cast is as follows

  • Producers, Writers, Editors Shooters, Janitors – Cali Lewis & Neal Campbell
  • Exectutive Producers – Adam Curry & Ron Bloom
  • Opening Graphics - Jude Ng
  • Back Ground Image – Trey Rattcliff

    My immediate thoughts on the trial run of setting up my lighting was

    “This would be a lot easier if I had a small crew / team to assist me. I found it hard to be able to evenly focus the light on myself.

    To check the light was even I used a camera as my second pair of eyes (Pictures can be seen on my Flickr account and while this over came the problem it was a large time drain.

    On reflection I know my work could have been better had I of had a small crew to assist me and in future projects I will look to assemble a small team of people to work with.

  • Pronunciation and Speech

    Once I had developed the script I had to think about the manor in which I would deliver it.

    This video required me to verbalise my understanding of technology, I am aware that the Internet in its nature is global and therefore is watched by an extremely wide audience.
    As well as having a comprehensive script. I also needed to deliver this in a way that could easily be understood aurally.
    I am aware that I have a Yorkshire and that I sometimes drop my “H’s” when speaking.
    To make the way I spoke in the video more understandable to a wider range of people I looked at pronunciation and speech
    I also looked at speech having rhythm and fluency, similar that that of music.

    I used YouTube as a tool to learn more speech and pronunciation.
    I found these videos particularly useful.

    Voice, Articulation & Fluency.

    Vocal Warm Ups for Public Speaking : Articulation Drill for Public Speaking: Uh & Ah - Is a YouTube Channel that has a number of pronunciation and speech videos that I found useful.

    Scripting – The use of powerful language.

    I am not a scriptwriter and therefore I had to teach myself how to convey the information I knew about technology in a verbal manor that would maintain peoples attention.

    At this particular time I was reading the book “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs”

    Side Note: At the time I was reading this book, as I am interested in doing consultancy work. I have been to a lot of conferences recently and have become aware that a lot of consultants give talks at conferences about their practice. In the future I would like to give a talk about the relevance of digital video on the web at a conference. I was using this book to educate myself on how to put a good presentation together. (I also used this book as a reference for putting together my presentation for crit)

    It struck me that the ideas and concepts I was learning from this book, e.g. Creating a Story & Deliver an Experience could fundamentally be used in creating a script for my video.

    Talking directly to a camera can be a nerve racking experience for some people. I related the experience of talking to a camera to that of public speaking (in some ways you can can consider your audience is at the other end of the camera and therefore this exercise was not to dissimilar to public speaking.)

    As well as reading The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and adapting the ideas in the book to create a script I also looked at other public speakers who I considered are influential at this current time.

    I looked at Barack Obama and also more relevant to social media I studied how Tommy Fishback (a 14 year old) delivered a speech at izea fest. (Video can be seen here)

    Crew Roles

    While undertaking this project I have been reading the book Directing The Documentary by Michael Rabiger (Read a description of Directing the Documentary).

    As mentioned I struggled not having a crew. One section I found particularly interested in this book was the section that defined crew roles.

    Having read this section I am a lot more clearer in my mind of what roles I would be able to delegate to people when making videos in the future. As well as helping me focus roles I am interested in filling and perusing as a career path.

    This is my understanding of each role in my own words


    The producer is involved more with the business aspects of the film. A producer manages budgets, hires equipment and people, and liaise with other people to market the film and get it to distribution


    A director’s role is to lead what the look and feel of the film will be. They must also be able direct any crew or actors with technical* and non technical aspects of creating the film

    *technical – lighting, camera angles, lenses, set,

    The director also has a role to play in post production, advising on colour grading and sound mixing.

    Director of Photography and/or Camera Operator

    The DP is responsible for ordering cameras and lenses, they would be expected to test all equipment before it arrives for the shoot to make sure that it is full operational. Camera operators are also often responsible for lighting, finding locations to access light and electricity supplies and supervising the set up of lighting equipment.

    Sound Recordist

    The sound recordist is responsible for hiring and testing any sound equipment that will be used on the shoot before it is on set. The sound recordist must liaise with the people in charge of cameras and lighting to find a suitable position to place microphones that will not interfere with the rest of the equipment.

    Further 3 point lighting investigation and research

    I have previously mentioned I performed a 3 point lighting test run

    As I researched into various lighting techniques I learnt about 3-point lighting. I choose to use this lighting, as I wanted to light my subject evenly while giving some definition from the background.

    While researching in to lighting I became aware of variations of three point lighting, what effects can be achieved with these variations as well as how and where it may be used.

    Below are Wikipedia links containing more information about high and low key lighting. I have chose not to reword Wikipedia’s description as I feel they have adequately described these two variations of three point lighting in a way which I understand and can not improve.

    High Key

    Low Key

    Lyndia Tutorials (Learning to navigate the Final Cut Interface)

    For this project I wished to advance my editing skills. Previously I have worked in iMovie but I felt I was now being limited by this app as there were certain things I wished to achieve that I could not create or execute with this app.

    Having an awareness of digital video I knew that I needed to progress to using Final Cut Pro (not only to achieve good results for this project but also to make employable as a video editor in the future.)

    I had previously used final cut but felt somewhat unfimilair with it’s interface. I knew I need to improve if I wished to use this to edit my final piece of video.

    The tool I used to help me learn to navigate and use the various features available in Final Cut was Lynda Final Cut Pro Training. After watching this video I felt much more comfortable with the interface and controlling various features.

    Final Cut has now my editing tool of choice as it allows me to have great control creatively over any footage that I have shot

    Self Reflection from last years feed back -

    It has previously been mentioned to me that when I have handed in work I have not provided enough documentation. On self-reflection this is because I have been under the false understanding that my final product demonstrates the knowledge I have learnt.

    However on this occasion and I am aiming to divulge as much information as possible regarding various topics I have read into to help me create my final product.

    They will appear in subsequent blog posts to this one.

    Wednesday, 25 November 2009

    Radio Plus (A new kind of interactive radio?)

    During research into making my video podcast I have also been investigating Internet Radio (somewhat of a dead / old format now) However I have been using services such as and ustream allowing listeners to interact with me as the show is broadcast (I guess you could call it Radio+ or Interactive Radio ?)

    Hear are some screen shots

    The challenge for me is to give the show a context.

    One idea that I particularly like is to extend the communications between people that happen after conferences.

    Recently I have been attending lots of BarCamps, Open Coffee and Tech conferences, perhaps a follow up Radio Plus show where people from the conference can come and meet up virtually, to further discuss their thoughts once they have digested ideas from the conference would be of use. (I think this is an idea I can develop further, I would need to speak to each speak at the event and ask them if they would like to be part of the Radio Plus show. Then it would just be a case of routing their audio into the stream (which I believe I could do via skype)) If any one would be interested in developing this idea with me then please get in touch with me. There is a link at the top of this page with my contact details

    Saturday, 14 November 2009

    Bradford BarCamp

    On Saturday the 14th of November (2009) I attended Bradford BarCamp with the intentions to shoot a video to be edited in to content that would be put online

    To shoot the video I took with me a Sony HDR-FX7

    For those of you who have not been to a BarCamp before they tend to be quite small informal events, where speakers and presentations are give by people from the audience.

    There is nothing discrete about pointing a Sony HDR-FX7 at someone, and I felt somewhat awkward, bustling in to a room wiith my large peli case

    to then start unpacking the camera and point it at someone who perhaps hadn't had that much experience at public speak.

    This is in stark contrast to when I attended PhotoCamp Bradford and took my Canon Mini DV MD205 with me

    This camera seemed to provide the perfect balance of portability and discretion for filming. So although I captured no footage today I learnt the following

  • I need to use a camera that is appropriate to the event I will be filming.

  • A camera assistant would be a useful asset. While at BarCamp I found it awkward to have to move from room to room. After setting up the camera I then need to move the peli case somewhere where people would not trip over it. These required me to leave the camera on the tripod (another potential trip hazard for people) while I moved the case. Another problem I encounter was having to open large heavy doors. Not an easy task when you have a camera in one hand and a tripod in the other.

    Working with video at this higher level (rather than just producing short clips from my bedroom) has made me realise that if I want to improve my work, I need to work with other people, I am now looking to use a noded network of people interested in creating video around similar topics and subjects as I wish to create video around.

  • Wednesday, 11 November 2009

    As I continue to teach myself to use video software at a much higher level than I have ever done before, I have now started to continue to build my knowledge of After Effects.

    This is something small and rough I have put together just to help me get a feel and idea for a title sequence.

    (At this inital stage there has been no thought put in to colour or typography, it was just a small exercise which enabled me to investigate the posibilities of using this software for creating titles)

    Monday, 9 November 2009

    Three Point Lighting Test Run

    I rented out some studio space in college. This video podcast project is the first time I have worked with a professional lighting setup and I wanted to get some experience before shooting the final piece.


    Above is my view as I faced the camera to present my podcast. Even though the lights were not particularly close to me I could still feel the extreme heat they were giving off. After about 10 seconds of standing in font of the lights I quickly became blind, which help relieve my awkwardness of being in a large room talking to a camera

    The Final Set Up

    After adjusting the lights a number of times, I was able to evenly light the backdrop.


    This was my 1st attempted at lighting myself and the background with 3 point lighting. After taking this picture and reviewing it was evident that I had created a harsh highlight on my right hand cheek. My initial thoughts was that this was from the Key Light


    In the above picture I have moved the Key Light further away from myself and opened up the barn doors on the light. I still have a highlight on my right hand cheek, and have also lost a lot of detail on the rest of my face.


    After reviewing the pictures again I realised the light creating the highlight on my face was coming from behind me and was caused by the back light. I fully opened the barn doors on the back light and opened up the barn doors on the other lights to create a nice even light on the whole set, as demonstrated in the picture above.

    I am very pleased with the final result I achieved. Although I have always been aware that lighting is very important when using video, this exercise has made me realise what a vast difference lighting can make to the over look and feel to a piece of video. I think it is also important to note, when I imported the video into Final Cut, and attempted to white balance and colour correct the footage, I could not improve on what I had already created. This will be a big time saver for anyone who has limited time in post production.

    Thursday, 29 October 2009


    A lot of the research I am doing for my video podcast is to get myself hands on experience in the field of video production. I feel I learn best by partaking in practical work to see how things work in the really world.

    Yesterday I went over to see the students at LS:TV

    The LS:TV website describes the station as

    "Leeds Student Television is a University society at the University of Leeds Students' Union.

    Our members work together to produce television programmes for the students of the University of Leeds. These programmes are broadcast on screens around the Student Union and online."

    I am going to be working with them on a regular basis to help produce shows for the station. I am hoping this will give me an opportunity to demonstrate my editing skills as well as get more experience as a camera operator and possible diversify in to vision mixing too should the opportunity arise.

    AT the first meeting with LS:TV they asked me to camera operate which I now have pervious experience of after working at a BBC event with JayJay Media in Hull.

    I have been working more with live video lately and my knowledge and confidence in this area has grown vastly.

    I am now able to rig a talk back system and rig cameras into a vision mixer.

    Working with live video has also made me question how I go about producing my video podcast for the DMD brief, Originally the plan was to use one camera and deliver my lines using a mid shot. However I am now thinking it would be beneficial to use two cameras. One at a mid shot and the other at a close up shot, this would give me more footage to work with in the final edit and would also all me to provide more entertainment and maintain the interest of the viewer.

    I have a room booked out to work in I now need to check with Matt that I can hire two cameras at the same time. This will give me the opportunity to use the dual camera set up for some initial experimentation work.

    Wednesday, 21 October 2009

    Lighting considerations for video podcasts

    Three Point Lighting

    Interview Lighting

    Monday, 19 October 2009

    Sourcing Some Kit

    I am hoping as part of the DMD brief I will be able to build some contacts and get my hands on some kit to review and test

    One are of emerging tech that interests me is 3D. It currently seems we have pushed the limited of picture quality and sound and the next logical move is to take video in a 3d direction.

    I have enjoyed watched a couple of 3D films recently and having the extra dimension did lend some extra interest to the film. It is particularly interesting to see that the PlayStation devision of Sony have also been investigating the possible use of 3D for future video games release.

    As I continue to follow the use of 3D I would really enjoy finding out and experimenting with some consumer 3D product that all "the man on the street" to be able to produce his own 3D media

    Cue the Fuji FinePix REAL 3D W1 (see below)

    Today through the power of twitter I managed to speak to Tom Dunmore of Stuff Magazing

    I am hoping that using my contacts within my social networks someone somewhere will be able to point me in the right direction with regards to getting my hands on test kit

    Saturday, 17 October 2009

    Export Settings

    These are the export settings I have always used and to export video for web.

    These are setting that I have found to be recommended by a number of video bloggers.

    As I endeavor to give me work (and portfolio that I am building up) a professional edge I think it is high time I did some more research in to rendering video for the web.

    *MENTAL NOTE* Use the college Library and photo copy relevant pages from a Final Cut book, on rendering video for web!

    Subtitle Strip (Final Cut)

    Just found a great tutorial for creating a subtitle in Final Cut, which is perfect to introduce an audience to who is speaking on screen

    For anyone wanting a basic on screen subtitle check out the link!

    Open Ended Questions

    I have just been refreshing my mind on what is and how to ask open ended questions, as I prepare to gather some primary research for my dissertation

    I found this video from bnet

    Asking good questions gets good answers

    This information will also put me at an advantage as I prepare to film and interview more people at up and coming technology conferences.

    Monday, 5 October 2009

    iPhone supports growth of online video growth.

    I have been collecting research to support the fact online video is continuously growing

    In part of my brief I have wrote

    "I also believe as many phone networks upgrade to the 3G standard, a standard that has been designed “to allow simultaneous use of speech and data services” data services such as streaming video, coupled with the fact more people buying mobile phone handsets such as the iPhone and the Google Android based devices that come with access to the Internet as standard this will encourage more users to consume more video content"

    I have just found some evidence to support this fact

    "Following the launch of the iPhone 3G S, YouTube saw an increase in uploads of 400%" Accessed on 5th October 2009

    Thursday, 24 September 2009

    Critical Analysis

    As I undertake my third year of a B.A Design for Digital Media degree a lot of the marks will be gained form critical analysis of other peoples and my own work. I found this video that examines what it means to be a critical student, which I thought was worth sharing and would make a very good first blog post.

    I would be interested to hear what other people definition of being a critical student is, and what methods they use to analysis and be critical of their own and others work.

    Thursday, 14 May 2009

    Evidence / Research FMP

    Before I could undertake this project I needed to teach myself to code in CSS, to do this I first borrowed the lynda DVD tutorials from the library

    Using the lynda DVD's gave me a better understanding of what it is possible to achieve with CSS

    I next need to put in to practice what I had learned in the lynda DVD's. Having never wrote any CSS before, I looked for some templates where I would be able to edit lines of code, to enable to learn, what the various parts of the code control.

    I found a brilliant CSS layout template website named Using this website allowed be to configure certain design element of the code with out having to learn to script every thing

    As I started editing code to change design elements it quickly became clear how a CSS website is structured.

    From learning this I was able to put together some simple websites

    By this point I was confident enough to try to skin a blog, after a failed attempt with both wordpress and tumblr, I decided to use blogger, as I have used this platform before.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009

    Photography and Photoshop

    My friend is studying for a degree in Art and Design.

    This weekend he requested my help in Photoshop. He wanted to mock up a design for a piece of clothing he is going to make for a project

    I enjoyed getting to do the photography for the piece (photography is an area I would like to increase my skill in) While editing the piece I realized how much I have improved in Photoshop.

    I would really enjoy a job in photo-retouching (I am actually starting to think post production is my kind of thing, I really enjoy Photoshop and I have started to use After Effects)

    Friday, 27 March 2009

    Basic in HTML and CSS Tutorial

    Wednesday, 25 March 2009

    Samsung's Viral Sheep

    Over the last couple of days I have noticed people mentioning a viral advert that used sheep with LED's attached to them to recreate images of a fireworks display and retro Atari game pong.

    I thought I would check the advert out to see what I had been missing, considering all the attention the advert had been getting.

    These are my thoughts after watching the viral advert

    The first thing I noticed is the duration of the piece is 2 minutes 44 seconds as general rule viral adverts should not be over 3 minutes (with 2 minutes being an optimal length) already this viral is a little on the long side

    The opening titles of the piece introducing the viewer to each sheep hearder and their quirky job (Ermis The Electrcian, Gerry The Player, Rob The LED Master and Bernard, The General) In introducing each character this creates a sense of suspense and makes you want to find out about the characters and what they are about to do.

    I did however find some of the time it is not clear what shapes and images the sheep are making.

    I also find the ending scene of the video to be a weak point. It ends with the text "With thanks to Samsung Smart LED technology. Look at there LED TVs. Oh go on!" It would have been nice if the had of included a URL or even a search term.

    Over all I felt the viral video did not relate to the product enough and did not inspire me to go check out Samsung Smart LED TVs

    On the plus side I did find out that the advert was made by The Viral Factory and I will be adding them to my student wiki space of companies I would like to work for, as well as dropping them an e-mail to make them aware of who I am and asking for advice on how to get in to the viral video market

    CSS Websites

    A few CSS websites that I want to remember for my final major project

    My initial idea is to set up a set up a WordPress blog

    Create a number of static pages, each one contains a different tutorial on how to skin a WordPress blog.

    By following all the tutorials on the blog you will be able to teach your self how to skin a WordPress blog

    Monday, 23 March 2009

    Milk Still Matters

    *N.B.* This blog has been wrote as a rough note of my thoughts.

    I remember last year (I will add the link asap) writing about a stop motion Cravendale milk advert that caught my attention

    Cravendale have done it again

    The most striking elements of this advert are there brilliant sound design, and the simplistic approach of the animation

    I watched this advert for a second time with out any sound, and discovered that it is actually the sound that it telling the story (try watching the advert with out any sound. It does not flow and makes little sense.)

    Being interested in social media I furthered my investigation in to this advert by doing an immediate search on YouTube

    I quickly found that the channels "MilkMatters", "CravenDale" and "CravenDaleMilk" were all ready being used by people who appeared not to be from the official Cravendale milk company

    It would appear that the Official YouTube Channel for Cravendale milk is All though for the casual Internet user it may not be apparent that this is their Official YouTube Channel

    If I was doing some consultancy work with Cravendale I would advise them their channel needs to have some of their branding on it so people are easily able to instantly recognize it belongs to them

    I have been teaching myself to make YouTube backgrounds in Photoshop so I will possible try to mock a Cravendale YouTube background to demonstrate this.

    They should also use their YouTube channel to drive traffic to all the other places that they exist on the web. Providing links in their YouTube profile would be the most simple way to do this.

    I notice in this video they have provided a link in the description to drive traffic to a related game on their website

    To further my ideas on using social media to promote Cravendale milk if you have read my blog recently you will know I am using DailyBooth I would recommend CravenDale to start using DailyBooth, posting a picture of a milk based drink or product each day. The blub under the picture would be the recipe for the drink or product. They could then encourage people to post a picture comment after they have followed the recipe

    Milk Still Matter

    Saturday, 21 March 2009

    Portfolio Development

    So I have a clear idea in my head how I want my portfolio to look/be.

    I want graphical elements that represent each piece of software that I use. You will click the "icon" and this will take you through to examples of work I have created with each item of software with a short explanation of each piece of work

    I will also include a short bio about myself as well as contact details

    I have been putting together a very rough version of this portfolio. I need to tweek the code and source some more icons.

    Or make my own icons. Tutorial >>HERE<<

    Friday, 20 March 2009

    One Month of Pictures

    I mentioned in a previous post that I have started using DailyBooth

    I have succesfully managed to use this app for over a month now. On day 31 (after one month of use) I used the widget that allows you to put all your photographs in to a video

    Below is the result. It would be great to get some comments and feedback let me know what you think

    On reflection to this video; it is kind a surreal experience watching a month of your life pass before your eyes. Each picture has a unique meaning to me. In a years time I will be able to watch this video and know exactly what I did between February and March. I am really enjoying using this app, it allows me to interact with friends from other social networks in a new and interesting way. I plan on using DailyBooth for the foreseeable future and will be publishing videos at regular intervals.

    Thursday, 19 March 2009

    Essay Research

    My initial thoughts when it came to writing the essay for critical studies was to look in to how broadcasting had changed since the internet has become a medium where news and information is instantly available

    I was considering using the title, Broadcasting Past and Present: What Role has the Internet Played?

    However I have not made a final decision and after loaning a number of books from the college library I found a couple of topics to that also caught my attention

    Culture Jamming

    This refers to the activities of challenging the imposition of marketing practices in our public spaces by parodying advertisements and hijacking billboards to seriously alter their messages

    Adbusters (wiki page / website)

    Improve anywhere (wiki page / website)

    Flash-Mob (wiki page / website)

    Trans-humanism / Post-humanism

    Read about post-humanism >>>here<<<

    Read about trans-humanism >>>here<<<

    Over the weekend I shall further my research in to these topics and draw a conclusion on which one I shall write an essay on.

    Wednesday, 11 March 2009

    Animation Development

    I not have the roughly lip-synced version of my Animation for the Feel Good Breif

    It still needs tidying up a little and the lip syncing still needs some attention but I just wanted to put this online as I like how the fruit characters have developed since I last posted.


    Just to evaluate a little bit, one problem I found when lip syncing was the my untrained audio actors dropped certain letters and did not fully pronounce of annunciate words. This lead to some trouble making the animation look as convincing as possible e.g the word "can't" the letter T is not pronounced harsh enough and the word "round" the letter D is pronounced too soft.

    In future projects where the spoken word plays such an important role I will pay more attention to the pronunciation. A draft audio will be recorded first. I will listen back to it and see where the actors are dropping letters or not prounouncing things in a way that will let me animate to what they are saying. By creating a rough audio draft and analysing it before going on to create a finial piece it should allow me to achieve a more realistic degree of animation

    Blog Analytics

    Just thought I would post up some analytics of my two blogs

    Blogger Analytics

    Tumblr Analytics

    Both these results are over a period of one month

    I have generated these views by being an active member of various social media websites. On most social media website there is a space to add the web communities you belong to. This is how I have generated some of the views on both my blogs

    At easter I will have been actively blogging for a year. If I maintain 50 views on my blog each month I would find that to be an acceptable achievement.

    Wednesday, 4 March 2009

    Summarising Text

    Just found an excellent article on summarise text.

    I just wanted to keep a copy of this on my blog so next time I need to summarise anything (such as a text for critical studies) I have something to refer back to.

    What Is Summarizing?
    Summarizing is how we take larger selections of text and reduce them to their bare essentials: the gist, the key ideas, the main points that are worth noting and remembering. Webster's calls a summary the "general idea in brief form"; it's the distillation, condensation, or reduction of a larger work into its primary notions.

    What Are We Doing When We Summarize?
    We strip away the extra verbiage and extraneous examples. We focus on the heart of the matter. We try to find the key words and phrases that, when uttered later, still manage to capture the gist of what we've read. We are trying to capture the main ideas and the crucial details necessary for supporting them.

    When You Ask People to Summarize, What Usually Happens?
    they write down everything
    they write down next to nothing
    they give me complete sentences
    they write way too much
    they don't write enough
    they copy word for word

    What Did You Want Them To Do?
    pull out main ideas
    focus on key details
    use key words and phrases
    break down the larger ideas
    write only enough to convey the gist
    take succinct but complete notes

    How Can I Teach My Students to Summarize?
    Please be warned: teaching summarizing is no small undertaking. It's one of the hardest strategies for students to grasp, and one of the hardest strategies for you to teach. You have to repeatedly model it and give your students ample time and opportunities to practice it. But it is such a valuable strategy and competency. Can you imagine your students succeeding in school without being able to break down content into manageable small succinct pieces? We ask students to summarize all the time, but we're terrible about teaching them good ways to do this!

    Here are a few ideas; try one...try them all. But keep plugging away at summarizing. This strategy is truly about equipping your students to be lifelong learners.

  • After students have used selective underlining on a selection, have them turn the sheet over or close the handout packet and attempt to create a summary paragraph of what they can remember of the key ideas in the piece. They should only look back at their underlining when they reach a point of being stumped. They can go back and forth between writing the summary and checking their underlining several times until they have captured the important ideas in the article in the single paragraph.

  • Have students write successively shorter summaries, constantly refining and reducing their written piece until only the most essential and relevant information remains. They can start off with half a page; then try to get it down to two paragraphs; then one paragraph; then two or three sentences; and ultimately a single sentence.

  • Teach students to go with the newspaper mantra: have them use the key words or phrases to identify only Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

  • Take articles from the newspaper, and cut off their headlines. Have students practice writing headlines for (or matching the severed headlines to) the "headless" stories.

  • Sum It Up: Pat Widdowson of Surry County Schools in North Carolina shared this very cool strategy with me. How's it work? You have students imagine they are placing a classified ad or sending a telegram, where every word used costs them money. Tell them each word costs 10 cents, and then tell them they can spend "so much." For instance, if you say they have $2.00 to spend, then that means they have to write a summary that has no more than 20 words. You can adjust the amount they have to spend, and therefore the length of the summary, according to the text they are summarizing. Consider setting this up as a learning station, with articles in a folder that they can practice on whenever they finish their work early or have time when other students are still working.

    The original article can be found >>HERE<<

  • Business Card Development

    Today I work on the design of my business cards as I ant to order them asap

    I have decide that I will define myself as an Online Content Creator as I enjoy creating video, audio, graphics, writing blogs, and creating animation that can be viewed online.

    I can't decide which of the 3 designs below to use. My gut feeling is to go with "Online Content Creation" as it just seems to look tidier and looks better presentation wise.

    But feel free to leave me your feedback in the comments!

    Thursday, 26 February 2009

    Lip Syncing in Flash

    Undertook a lip sync tutorial today to help me further myself with the Feel Good Brief

    Below are the results

    All I need to do now is find a couple of fruit related jokes and lip sync them

    If you know any good fruit jokes that I can use PLEASE leave them as a comment to this post!

    Tuesday, 10 February 2009

    The Snow

    Thursday, 5 February 2009

    Google Search is King!

    It seems it is becoming more common place for people to use "Search Terms" rather than entering a direct url.

    I have been aware of this concept for a few years and know that this is common practice in Japan, but the fact I saw this concept being used by a small business this weekend suggest to me that soon urls will be completely replace by "Search Terms" and that soon this practice will hit the main stream

    The image used when indicating someone to use search terms in a search engine is a magnifying glass

    I have mocked up an image below showing how you would indicate to someone to search my screen name (lukeb3000)

    Wednesday, 4 February 2009

    Social Media

    Courtesy of

    Courtesy of

    Sunday, 1 February 2009

    Digital Hand Shake

    I am a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk. He speaks a lot of sense when it comes to the online world. He is very respected in online marketing and branding.

    This particular video caught my attention

    Thursday, 29 January 2009

    Viral Video Research

    Sunday, 25 January 2009

    ITV's Best Ever Ads (TV Program)

    As I have (probably) mentioned many times before I think a career in advertising would be very interesting. I would love to work creating, producing or in post production of the advertising industry. I think there is something brilliant about an advert that captures your attention and gets you talking about it with your friends!

    Tonight on ITV2 is a program covering ITV's Best Ever Ads, I would recommend anyone interested in the advertising industry to watch this program as I am sure it will be highlighting and show casing what goes in to making a good advert!

    Below is synopsis of the program

    "Phillip Schofield and a host of celebrities remember the adverts that have become as popular as the programmes. Commercial clips include the Smash Martians, the Milky Bar Kid, the Guinness surfers and the saucy instalments of the Gold Blend campaign. With contributions from the stars of the ads and celebrities including Simon Cowell, Lorraine Kelly, Les Dennis, Michael Aspel and crisp-crunching Gary Lineker
    Category General Show/Game Show
    Director Stuart Ramsay
    Executive Producer Mark Robinson
    Producer Stuart Ramsay
    ITV2 4:30pm-5:30pm (1 hour ) Sun 25 Jan"

    Sunday, 18 January 2009

    YouTube Gathering Sheffield

    Today I went to a YouTube gathering in Sheffield if I wasn't so tired right now I would write up a proper blog post ... Thank goodness for twitter!

    I will try to write a more in depth blog post about the gathering at some point!

    Tuesday, 13 January 2009

    Stash Magazine

    This morning we had stash magazine playing in the studio

    As the videos played I took note of some of the websites that came up

    I thought this would be useful for Mike's brief

    Sunday, 11 January 2009

    Citizen Journalist

    This Saturday while in town I came across group of people marching being escorted by the police. Many people had stopped to watch and find out what was going on. I pulled out my mobile phone and began to record what was happening in front of me. As a gentleman approached me to hand me a leaflet, I managed to conduct a quick interview to ask him what was happening.

    Below is the raw unedited footage I captured

    Since making this video (and working with ITV local, who also handed out Nokia N95's as well as hand-held Hi-Def cameras to interview the crowd) I have become aware that most people are very open to being interviewed. My previous perception was that people would shy away from a camera (I think mobile phones are a very unobtrusive type of camera that people are comfortable to talk in front of)

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