[draft] Curiosity is a great storyteller!

Explorer vs passenger.
Researcher vs a scientist.
Student vs learner.
Leader vs manager.

Trying to prescribe learning process via curriculum can be ultimately dangerous because prescribing a one-size-fits-all, prescheduled model that is cured or certain type of time, doesn’t really prepare students to survive and thrive in school.

Photography can tell a great and wonderful story. Tips to make better images!

In my opinion, photos can be an ideal storyteller because they do a better job Telling than Explaining. Let me explain: Good photography captures great moments. They engage the viewer by leading and forcing them to look deeper at the image, learn from it, find the story (or stories). Pictures can say a lot.  They can tell an engaging story because of what is there and sometimes what isn’t.

[image here]

Here are a few tips on how to capture the moments and tell the story. In previous posts, I talked about the function of the composition of the images– the framing and the use of the wide shot, the medium shot, and the close up shot. Although I talk about these types of shots in video– the rules are the same with photography. The only difference (traditional) is photography allows you to shoot in portrait (up and down) and landscape (left to right) modes.

Communicates the location.  It provides the users a place, a location, a context.

Communicates the action.  It tells the story of what is happening.  This is also known as the verb/ action shots.

Communicates detail.  It also provides a great opportunity to capture and share expression.

Together– they communicate a clear story.  For example, when creating a storyboard– a visualization of text (a script), this helps communicates the story evolution.

For example: While sitting in his Office, overlooking the Blue Mountains, Jim is composing a song with his harmonica.

Shot list from script:

sitting in his Office = Medium shot and a Wide shot

the Blue Mountains = Wide shot

Jim is composing = Medium shot

song, harmonica = Close up shot

Recommended shots:
CU = around hims office, music notation, Jim playing the harmonica

W, CU = Blue Mountains (variety).

One sentence turns into 6-10 images, photos.  Thinking this way can help provide you the framework of what is needed to collect, shoot to help better tell that story.

Now that you’ve taken the images, there’s some post production work that the images need.  These is fine tuning that is needed to help pop out the colors, sharpen the image, and add any additional adjustments or affects needed to make the images “pop” and stand out.

I’ll talk about this post production process more in detail in a future post. I’ll talk about how to catalogue and showcase the images in a later post, too.

I hope this helps.

Syncing audio: the secret for amazing audio!

As mentioned in a previous post, audio is by far the most important part of the digital storytelling process. However if you don’t have the right equipment, there still a way to get great audio.

You will need A camera or a tablet or smart phone that records video. Now, you will need another tablet or smart phone that records audio. You can also use any SD card-based audio recorder.

Professionally, a audio device is used to record the audio and a video camera is used to record the video. It is recorded separately then it is synced using a postproduction editing tool. it sounds complicated, but it’s not. Look at the video below to see how it explains the process.

[ video of syncing audio]

The Mobile Storyteller: Part 3: composition and what to focus on!

How one frames an image is key! So let’s chat about how to frame a picture, an image.

Composition is how things are organized. Officially:

composition (plural compositions)

The proportion of different parts to make a whole. [from 14th c.]

The general makeup of something. [from 14th c.]

Let me make this simple. What do you want to focus on? Agree on what you need to capture and what you don’t need to capture. There are 3 types of shots you’re going to capture: the wide shot, the medium shot, and the close up shot. These are your base shots for everything. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s key to use this framework (no pun intended) for your shots. Wide determines location shots. Medium shots communicate the action that’s happening. The close up communicates emotion and detail.

Try to be as clear as possible when composing your photography or your video. The rules are the same. If you want to capture location, shoot a variety of wide shots. Make sure you’re clear with that shot. It should communicate WHERE clearly. Medium shots should focus on the action. For schools, think about the verbs. Capture those using a variety of medium shots. Detail and emotions needs to be communicated using close ups. Zero in on exactly what you want people to see!


The rule of thirds!
One of the oldest “rules” in photography, film, and even paintings is the rule of thirds. This is an way photographers use to frame an image. It helps organize the captured image to control or influence what people are looking at. It helps create a balance to see things.

Imagine a tic tac toe grid over your viewfinder. The four intersections are called focus points. They are like magnets for your eyes. You want to do your best to move what you want people to focus on to one of those points. Or, the two natural horizon lines. See examples below.

[example 1 w m cu. rule of thirds]
[example 2. Horizon line options ]

Practice shooting with the gridlines on. Most cameras have this feature available in the settings. Find it. Open it. Try to use these focus points to help you reframe your image.

[example 3. Show iPad grid and examples of good and bad]