The Web is Not Free

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the use of material found on the Web.  When in doubt there is a good rule of thumb you can use.  If you don’t own the item, document, file, track, pic etc. or have written permission to use it you can’t.

If you don’t own it, don’t use it.

That sounds pretty harsh and things aren’t always “black and white.”  There is this whole thing called Creative Commons.  Essentially defines several types of licenses and rights that an individual can provide to others without surrendering their own copyright protection and ownership.

Within the Creative Commons community are a number of people and sites that publish material that is available for use in creative work.  Attached is an in depth description from Professor Trish Anderton at the Cronkite school that will help you in your quest to honor intellectual property.CreativeCommons

Another good resource is “A picture’s Worth 1,000 Links.”  This post by Amanda Milligan provides a good guide to finding and citing images.

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Write for the web

Becoming a master of style is just as important as collecting great content.  Print, broadcast and web all require great writing that is similar.  AP Style is still king.  Accuracy is a requirement and great grammar is imperative.

The least understood medium is the web.  We are still learning how people consume content and what type of content is most effective on which type of device whether it be a desktop computer, laptop, reader, iPad or smart phone.

Here are some helpful thoughts for developing your own skill as a web content creator.

Building Powerful Landing Pages

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Photoshop Ethics

Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.  That pretty well sums up Photoshop ethics.  Your job as a photojournalist is not to create the moment or the story but to capture it.  To that extent there really isn’t a lot required if you have captured a great image to begin with.  My general rule of thumb is that minor cropping, color correction and dodging are about all that is necessary.  The photo should accurately and truthfully tell the story by itself.

Steve Elliot from Cronkite News Service created this great presentation for the Reynolds Institute that illustrates some of the ethical challenges confronted by our media.

Photoshop_ethics2

Photo Elements

I am often asked what is the best camera.  Naturally I have my own personal preferences.  After a lot of thought I think the best camera is the one you have with you at the moment.  No amount of discussion of lenses, F-stops, sensors and mega pixels will do any good if you don’t have a camera with you that will allow you to manage all the tech stuff.  You can however capture quality images using even a cell phone if you become a master of its capabilities and learn to manage light and composition.  Here are a few helpful tips and tricks.

Photoelements

Photo Composition

Using Sony Handicams and Importing to FCP

Instructions courtesy of Stephen Elliott.  Cronkite News Service Director

USING SONY HD HANDYCAMS AND GETTING VIDEO INTO FINALCUT

Take a Deep Breath

Seriously – I want you to take a deep breath. Close your eyes and find a place of zen. Envision yourself turning on the camera, pointing it at something or someone you want to document, hitting the record button and capturing crisp video. Believe it or not, most video cameras today are this easy to use. This doesn’t make it easier to choose the right scenes and subjects, frame properly, etc., but it makes things a lot easier before you do. The camera you will use in this class also has a hard drive, making exporting video much easier than a camera recording on tape.

Camera Basics

Here is a rough representation of the business end of the Handycam, focusing on the few features you need to understand to make it work.

  1. This wheel turns the camcorder off and on.
  2. This button stops and starts recording.
  3. Here’s the viewscreen. Flip it out from the side of the camera.
  4. The battery goes here. It’s secured by a latch underneath.
  5. Direct view into lens. Just forget this exists. Use the viewscreen.
  6. These are various items on the viewscreen that it helps to know.
  7. Zoom lever. Continue reading

Who Are Those Old People in Our Lab?

Age and technological prowess often are not synonymous, particularly in education.  Factor in the tech toys, marvels and training available at Orlando’s Full Sail University and you can imagine the dismay expressed by the student who asked, “Who are all those old people in our lab?”

It is just as easy to understand the laughter the querry evoked among the educators and professionals attending the  Apple Distinguished Educator conference. No longer were they masters of WIKIS, AVATARS, NINGS, MOODLES, MMOGS, TWEETS, BUMPS, VRE’s, and a dizzying array of professional software certifications. Continue reading