Gettin’ Jibby With It

The semester has flown by and the last deadline of 2016 approaches.  In the ‘Film production’ group project, we were split into 2 groups of 5.  Brief was to each create a 2 minute piece that you would combine with a studio piece to create a 16 minute production.  You were director for your piece, directing a counterpart in the other group who filmed for you, and vice versa.

I worked with Ollie Tookey of @wildworldmedia to create my piece on an introduction to Jubilee campus and the wildlife it contains (Ollie shooting below).  The project required me to really plan (not my strong point…), and although I thought I knew what I wanted on the first day, I hadn’t spent sufficient time working out a schedule, so I properly prepared that night and it was smooth sailing after.

For Ollie’s piece on animal tracks and signs I took the role of cameraman.  I’ll admit it took me a while to get used to the cameras, but after a while I managed to get some shots I was really proud of (patience was required to get the shot below!).  I especially enjoyed the jib work; at the beginning I did have some struggles, but after attaching a “counter-weight” (Ollie’s bag) I was able to create the smooth motion associated with jibs.

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To Bee or Not To Bee

This week has been purely spent filming for the final assignment of the year, the group film project.  But I’d just like to take a step back and look at the project that was in for the week before, the research poster.  A project that required us to research a scientific topic and create a poster aimed at undergraduates.

This project was slightly different to the others in that it was back to the world of scientific writing, something I hadn’t done since my undergraduate.  I chose the world of aposematism and Batesian mimicry; in layman’s terms: warning colours, and “copying” the warning colours of something, even if the organism is completely harmless.  I focused on the world of insects and concentrated on the wasp, bee, and hoverfly families, as they have some of the most obvious warning colours in the animal kingdom (included below is a tiny example of the variety of organisms that fall into these groups).  This piece really required me to draw on skills learnt from previous workshops, including the sessions done on studio photography, and Photoshop (both addressed in previous posts).  It was a really interesting project that got me back into the mindset of researching and referencing my work, and also allowed me to experiment with a different design structure (section added below).

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Partridge in a Pear Tree

Last week saw me travelling to my home county of Oxfordshire to take images for my next assignment which tested our skill in using images to enhance a larger body of text.  The brief was to write a piece and capture images about something that had both positive and negative impacts on the environment; 8 images to enhance, and 1 creative image to use as a front cover to the work (results below).

Because of the recent controversial words posted by the RSPB on the subject, I chose the management of land for shooting game.  So, I got the permission of a local gamekeeper to spend the day walking around a shoot.  As I had only one day available, I prepared a list of the topics I was going to discuss, and the sort of images I needed.  It is important however to be flexible when on location.  This was highlighted when I found a partridge that had succumbed to disease, so I wanted to take full advantage of the situation.  I took a range of images so I could use them in several ways; one turned out as­­ my favourite image from the day (the image and how I used it in the piece below).

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

The second of this week’s deadlines came in the form of the identification project; pick a specimen from the museum, photograph it, use these photographs to create an infographic in Adobe Illustrator highlighting how to identify your chosen subject in the field.  This was using the knowledge we’d gained from our time with Greta Powell earlier in the course (see Adobe-Wan Kenobi Part 2).

I chose the Atlas Beetle (below) as my specimen because I’ve always been fascinated by the sheer size of these insects and the impressive horns they use to do battle over mating rights.  With a tonne of instructional sites on how to make various objects in Illustrator (examples below), I had great fun tinkering with the design.  In order to allow me to spend that long designing the project I had to be pretty organised with my time.  Now ‘organised’ isn’t a word often used to describe me. I need to place crucial items required for a day so I virtually fall over them, otherwise they’re forgotten (even then it’s not guaranteed…).  However this course is really helping me get to grips with this challenge in my life.  I’m starting assignments early enough so that I have time to tinker, and I’m feeling in control; a new and welcome experience!

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Wait… What’s Negative Space Again?

The first week of deadlines is fast approaching and, as promised, here is a post on the Design Project.

First a urm… ‘brief’ rundown of the brief:  take 7 images using 3 different lenses and lighting techniques.  Additional specifications have been set: orientation, layout, and the level of negative space.  It is up to me which image is set for each specification.  For example, 4 of the 7 images must be landscape orientation, and tell a story through their structure and placement.  See below (still under construction).

What’s the age-old saying? “Two positives don’t make a negative space”; something along those lines.  On the surface it seems quite logical; an atonal, not too busy area of the image that you can easily lay text over, but it’s not as simple as it seems.  Take the image below for example.  The branch at the bottom adds too much to the image to be covered, and the area at the top has too many tones, so one uniformly-coloured text could not be laid over it.  Overcoming challenges like this has highlighted the different ways I can use my images, and I’m now wanting them to have a purpose, whether that’s to tell a story as part of a series, add context to a body of text, or be a standalone image.

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