End of Semester Reflection!

This course has taught me a lot about communication and storytelling with various mediums.

First, in terms of technology, I learned some strategies when recording audio and video, how to edit on Final Cut Pro, and how to optimize photos on Photoshop. The first time I tried to record soundbites, the audio was barely audible – most likely because the mic needed a new battery – but that experience taught me to always check the audio meter bars and listen to the playback on a computer, not just the recording device. I also found out that background noise is not easy to fix, so it’s important to find a quiet location and reduce background sounds as much as possible. It definitely helps to remove all jewelry, hold still, and silence all cell phones. Fortunately, when the audio is clear and stable, the editing is easier – especially after some practice with the software.

Bro. Dennis said several times this semester, “The only rule of photography is photos must have only one focus!” And it’s certainly true with still photos and video. With my audio slideshow and Taste of STMU video, I liked to pick a single focus of each shot and take the same photo/video from multiple angles so I’d have options during editing. Sometimes, a shot would have to much visual information competing to be the focus, so it helped to have a variety of images of the same subject.

For me, the hardest part of this class was setting up interviews with subjects. I’m naturally shy and afraid to bother people, so I had to be mindful of asking someone for their consent to be interviewed and photographed/filmed. During the interview process, it’s best to get it right the first time – especially for someone who’s too nervous about asking for a redo. When I interviewed my subjects, I blocked out a good chunk of time so we could talk before the mic started recording, and then I carried on with the interview. Looking back, I realize that this put us both at ease and because my subjects relaxed before the recording, they gave me lengthy responses that I could use to tell their story through editing.

In short, I saw the value of doing something well the first time so every subsequent step is easier: finding a good subject makes the interview easier; a good interview makes the storytelling easier while good, clear audio makes the editing easier; and a good story allows the visuals fall in place.

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