Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Reflective “meta” Post

04/06/2009

After 15 week’s my blog finally concludes… for now. My three nominated post’s are as follow’s:

My blog’s content has mainly consisted of NMP course diary entries and the weekly topics, however I have used them in relation to my personal interests. I established my blog as being particuarly involved in the photo editing community by subscribing to a number of different blogs regarding photoshop. I progressed in later weeks to talk about film medium’s in this case Stock Motion. I used my blog as a network platform in which to create links to my previous work.

Whilst my blog didn’t recieve a big audience, my discussion about japanese import cars recieved heavy discussion. I think this is because I chose to offer an opinion on the topic rather than simply stating facts hence why it was a debated topic. This also suggests something about the demographic sharing my interests and how they are often critical and competitive for their turn under the spotlight. Of the all the traffic sources I had, all of which were australian. This is perhaps indicative of a popular blogging culture or at least a growing culture among australians.

In regards to the appearence of my blog, I went for a fairly simple layout, however I decided to customise my own custom header which I felt better suited the overall content of my blog. I also used feed’s from flickr and del.icio.us as side bar blocks to expand my blog connectivity as well as to acknowledge similiar work to mine.

To improve the connectivity of my blog I have linked to many seperate pages and blogs, networking different sources of information together. I have also used online video tutorial’s to help demonstrate my photography techniques further to an audience keen enough to learn them. With my post regarding multiplicity, I made links to a popular peer to peer integration website called Stumble Upon, as well as links to media content Stumble Upon had refered me to, hence creating a sort of networking circle.

In terms of the content of the unit I feel that I was learning about things I had already been engaging with, blogging being the obvious example. Before commencing this course I didn’t know what a blog was, despite having used bebo and facebook for years. Also, Multiplicity in particular and how it makes the web possible was a topic I was able to study in detail and gain a greater understanding for.

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Production B Assignment

04/06/2009

For my Production B assignment I chose to do a Geo-narrative. I made this choice based on how I have travelled the world, have my own stories to tell, and have so many of my own photographs. However rather than making a narrative on the map close to home, or jumping to and from different countries, I situated the story strictly within the French Quarter of New Orleans and based it on a night out on Bourbon Street.

There were a number of technical process’s available for making a Geo-narrative. I used Google maps as a platform for creating my story. Google maps in itself has an enormous amount of data and images within it. It basically has the entire world mapped out to the extend that you can zoom right in to street view on any street in any place in the world. This really aided the narrative of my story as the audience can feel very close to what was happening, and can even experience my story at street view.. Also because my Geo – narrative was very image based, I used photoshop to create detailed and effective images. I used a lot of my own images, and pasted images of myself into the photo’s which gave the narrative a better sense of character and development as the story progressed.  However, I encountered a number of problems when creating way points. Firstly, creating icons was one way google maps offered to allow your way points to correspond to actual events in the story. For example I used a martini glass icon to correspond to visiting the ‘Bourbon Rocks Bar’, and I used an anchor icon to correspond to the ‘River Boat Cruise’. However aside from the fairly limited list of icons it provided, customization of the way point text boxes were very limited. Another major problem I encountered was not being able to edit the width of the text boxes, meaning that some of the text would then be off the box and difficult to read. I think a more diverse range of  tools for customizing would benefit google maps for these sorts of narratives. 

On the world wide web, Geo-narratives are a fairly original idea and their wasn’t a great deal of other work to relate mine to. However, because of the popularity of Bourbon street and New Orleans in particular which featured as the location in my narrative, there were vast amounts of photo’s uploaded to flicker by other users relating to the photo’s I took overseas in New Orleans. I was able to draw upon these images, and with effective licencing I was able to use them to help narrate my story. Again with proper permission and by utilizing the creative commons photo library on flicker, I was able to use photoshop to modify and tailor my images to fit the story line. Also I think my narrative effectively drew on the work of others through detail and accompanying links. For example when I talked about the popular New Orleans drink, the ‘Hurricane’, I created a seperate link to a page that goes into more detail. Like wise when I talked about Tiga the rapper, I created a link to his myspace page, which further describes what he does. These images and links give the audience a greater insight to the different elements of the story, as well as creating a network of similar sorts of work. 

I think my Geo-narrative uses it’s small location effectively so the story is sequenced and easy to follow, as well as effective images that correspond with text that describes the story. Below is a link to my Geo-narrative.

Production Assignment B

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Turbo’s are evil things!

26/05/2009

For years and years ive obsessed over modified cars, mostly of the japanese variety, yet I still appreciate the occasional german automobile.

I’m 19 years old and beginning to look at the reality and expenses of owning a turbo charged street machine! insurance will set me back 2000 a year with a 1700 excess, not to mention 22 mpg fuel consumption as well as general maintenance costs.

All that aside the love affair still continues! I’m always entranced when I see a smooth gliding skyline drives past, or a grunting WRX, or a supra spooling up it’s turbo’s then barreling down the street.

Examples of violation so to speak, can be drawn from what we call “Ricers”. a ‘ricer’ car can refer to a car that has been excessively modified, or can refer to a car that’s exterior brags more than what the performance can live up to. Examples include stock Lancers made to look like Evo’s, or subaru impreza’s with hood scoops made to look like WRX’s, or even Nissan skyline GTS-T’s given GTR badges.

Perhaps overdone a tad?

Perhaps overdone a tad?

Oh my god, Fast and Furious came out a few weeks ago. I saw it two days in a row at the movies and have now downloaded the movie on my computer! I can’t get enough of the cars and the racing!

Have a look at this! Nissan newest and fastest model, the new GT-R rivals the mighty Porsche GT2. For those of you that know little about cars, a GT2 will cost approximately 3-4 times what an GTR will cost! Hence why they are so freaking cool!

Have a look at what this blog has to say about it!

GTR Vs Porsche

Going back to insurance, after shopping around for ever, trying to find the cheapest insurance. I found Just Car Insurance. Just car is specifically aimed at making insurance affordable for younger drivers like myself. I also found that their adverts were cleverly aimed at the modified car world

Check it out! Just Car Insurance TV Commercial

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Green Screen Photography

19/05/2009

Forget what you hear on television or from anyone with a ‘can do attitude’, dreams are make believe. Generally we day dream about our thoughts, things that could happen in the future, or things that have happened in the past. I always look over my old travel photo’s and remember meeting the people, soaking up the atmosphere, and most importantly being there! Green screen photography is one method we can artificially place ourselves in locations almost to tell a story; fiction or non fiction!

Here is an excellent green screening tutorial on youtube!

Me gazing through the streets of New Orleans!

Me gazing through the streets of New Orleans!

In order to crop cut my self cleanly from the original photo and paste it onto the new photo I photographed myself infront of a white back ground (didn’t have acess to a green screen unfourtunately). This made the ‘magic wand’ tool in photoshop alot easier to use so I could isolate the image of my body.

Another creative way in which I have used green screen photography is to star myself in films I enjoy. Check out below!

Say hello to my little friend (Scarface) Say hello to my little friend (Scarface)
Where's Brian??? (2 Fast 2 Furious) Where’s Brian??? (2 Fast 2 Furious)

I had a look around and found a blog describing some of the green screen techniques in detail! Digital Photography Green Screen Techniques  – Check it!

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Data Data everywhere so lets all have a look

12/05/2009

Visual data is an amazing and hugley diverse tool. This week’s lecture looked at some basic factors to consider when looking at data. These were scale, shape, movement, color, and position. By using any one or even a combination of these we are able to differenciate between different elements of data.

Heatmap webpage visualisation

Heatmap webpage visualisation

Above is a clever example of how useful data visualisations can really be. This visualisation shows hot spots on the website to indicate where people have clicked the most, obviously with blue being ‘cooler’ less clicked spots on the webpage and the orange sections being the ‘warmer’ more frequently clicked on areas. In terms of it’s use it’s argubly just a pretty way to show data, or a neat way of decorating the page. It uses scale and color to indicate the popular topics in the lists, but also from a design point of view, it could be useful to look at when designing where to put toolbars, links, headings etc when designing a webpage.

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Multiplicity

05/05/2009

Multiplicity in essential terms makes the internet possible. It creates, retains, and draws information together from potentially millions of different sources. This allows the internet and its sites to have more information than any one person or source could make available on its own.

One example is iTunes music store, and the way it allows its members to make online music purchases. Not only this it retains every little piece of information. It creates a purchase history, it makes general recommendations based on a rating system, it even makes personal recommendations based on a tool called “genius”.

Genius works when a selected song is then rated and put into a category, this maybe based on catagory or genre, and also by artist. When using Genius on the iTunes music store it makes song recommendation based on your purchase history and based on your current music library, however it will never recommend a song which you currently have. From a marketing point of it’s helping you to find and discover more music you like, and therefor spend more.

A 'Genius' playlist

A 'Genius' playlist

I had a look around on the web for further information regarding the iTunes tool. I found apple’s description of Genius not to be particularly useful It was based more upon a marketing and selling point of view, and described Genius in very simple terms.

However through a google search I was able to find some blogs.

Here’s a blog I found which raves about the new software

‘iTunes Genius is pure genius’

Here’s another blog I found presenting a negative view on ‘Genius’

‘iTunes Genius is not so smart’

 

Stumble Upon

Stumble upon is another perfect example of multiplicity. Stumble upon is a free website that’s pure objective is to use networking to it’s audiences benefit. When you join stumble upon, it requires you to choose  categories of web content that interest you. These could include just about anything from arts, photo’s, video’s, lifestyle, entertainment, even games. I myself became hooked on a flash game called ‘Too Many Ninjas’ all because Stumble-upon recommended it to me. I also have many youtube ‘favourites’ all recommended to me by Stumble upon. This indicates how accurate stumble upon in finding web content that I enjoy. 

How does stumble upon decide on what I might like? The answer is that stumble upon doesn’t, the makers of Stumble upon wouldn’t have the faintest idea what i’d like. It uses what’s called ‘peer to peer integration’ to create a refferal system. It makes its recommendations based on what other users have liked and indicated that

When stumble upon recomends you a website, it places it’s own toolbar at the top of the page. For example when I choose to ‘Stumble’, it allows me to select a category. I chose ‘Photography’. Below is what it recommended to me. 

Stumble Upon recommending me an online photography collection

Stumble Upon recommending me an online photography collection

 

Stumble Upon Tool Bar

Stumble Upon Tool Bar

As you can see above, every website stumble upon recommends to you has a toolbar at the top of the screen with seperate buttons basically asking you;

  • ‘Did you like this?’
  • ‘Did you not like this?’
  • ‘Would you like to share this’?

This is how the peer to peer integration system works and it can all happens in a single click. If I were to click ‘I like this’ it will not only find me more of what I like, but also recommend the same webpage to anyone else interested in photography. Rather than stumble-upon searching for specific content that will interest it’s users, it uses networking to help it’s users to help each other. Stumble-upon is  a platform for discovery!

 

 

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Web 2.0

28/04/2009

Web 2.0 in my mind is probably the most difficult topic i’ve come across this semester in NMP. Even during this weeks lecture the lecturer stated that he himself wasn’t even 100% sure as to it’s full meaning. What I got from it was that Web 2.0 indicated a second generation of the World Wide Web. Below is a table I found online showing the transition and progression of popular web tools!

Web 2.0 table

One of the main things that I understand from this table is that Web 2.0 thrives from peer networking. No longer are their personal websites, but ‘blogging’ (web logging) has become a more popular publishing platform instead. Blog sites include Myspace, Bebo, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger etc.