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Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Talented Musicians on Rising Star

As a music fan, one of my favorite new television addictions of the summer is ABC’s innovative music competition Rising Star.

And of the several highly-talented artists that made it into the second round of competition, these two young ladies are among my favorites. Both have overcome some challenges and both have something amazing to offer.

Megan Tibbits

came out in the first round, and has since advanced to the third with the help of voters on the West Coast who got her through her initial audition, came out with a harp. Yes, I said a harp. And with it she sang and played a unique a beautiful rendition of what is most likely to be one of the year’s top wedding songs, John Legend’s “All of Me.”

April Lockhart

got through the first round easily and compelets in the second tomorrow night. She too offered a unique spin on a song by the Spice Girls (anybody remember them?) called “Say You’ll Be There.” And while Megan’s challenge may have been the use of an unusual instrument, April’s was the fact that she learned to play the guitar and excel at it with just one hand.

Great sources for free media content

A little while back I wrote about the ethical use of content from the web. Keeping with that theme, I figured I would share a few great sources of quality content with the reads of the blog.

Most people have probably heard of the classifications “royalty free” and “public domain.” But, there’s a newer licencing category out there that often ends up offering newer content and with few or no restrictions at all. It’s called “Creative Commons.” And if you’ve never heard of it, you should really check into this.

So, without any further ado, here are the sources I mentioned above:

Search Creative Commons

Search CC

Let’s CC

Let's CC

 

Unique and wonderful aerial animation act

Let’s face it, a lot of reality TV and competition shows are flat out useless. And even if the show itself isn’t, some of the acts that appear on them are. This was certainly not the case with a young lady named Abigail Baird recently appeared on America’s Got Talent.

The skill, grace, imagination and creativity of this teacher-by-day is nothing short of inspiring.

Check out the official video here:

Ethical and legit practices for using content you find online

Since the very beginning of writing and art, there has been a concern over the ownership, intellectual property rights and usage of work that has been put out there for public consumption. And since the digital age of the Internet, things have gotten much more complicated.

In college, I studied journalism and part of my schooling dealt with media law and ethics. Oddly enough, the answer to many of the questions and issues that we discussed was simply “it depends.”

So, just for kicks, here is my personal perspective on this matter.

If the content is from social media…

One of the primary purposes of social media is for the content to be shared. Whether is be on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest or something else, it seems to me that the content owner who posts his or her work is essentially granting permission for others to share it. If they do not want this to be the case, they can make adjustments to indicate that the content is private or not meant to be shared.

If the content is from a random blog, site or search…

I suppose the usage of these items does depend on many factors. I suggest you use you intuition.

If the content is specifically marked…

If the content states that it should not be reproduced or reposed, if a Youtube video is disabled from embedding or if right clicking on an image is disabled, clearly the post author does not want this to be spread around.

Best ways to go…

For photos or video:

Start out with your own images or videos, if you don’t have what is necessary, look into public domain, royalty free and stock content. The next best thing to do is seek out content that is clearly intended to be shared via social platforms.

For writing: 

Create your own or seek out people who will create content for you. Another option is to use content from article marketing sites like Ezine Articles.

When it comes to giving credit:

Crediting is often not necessary for public domain, royalty free or stock content. If it is a condition of usage, give proper credit. Same goes for stuff from article marketing sites. If it seems like sharing is acceptable, crediting the source in some way is always a good idea. While Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest pretty much automatically do this for you, not all platforms have such a feature. In that case, you can do something like tag the author or literally create a byline.

 

Eldur Á Himni – Fire In The Sky (A short film)

Being a fan of photography,video and nature, I came across this amazing time=lapse video shot in Iceland of the beautiful Northern Lights. I hope you enjoy this incredible work by the talented Boris Schaarschmidt.

Eldur Á Himni – Fire In The Sky from Boris Schaarschmidt on Vimeo.

So, you’re not a rap fan?

“I don’t like rap.”

It’s a phrase I hear quite often, especially from members of an older generation. While I can understand ang appreciate that if, your reasoning is sound. For example, if you don’t like the stylistic elements and you’d rather tune in to some jazz, blues, rock or country. However, I can’t stand when anyone makes a blanket statement about ALL of one music genre or another.

That being the case, here are five rap/hip-hop songs I think might just surprise some of the naysayers.

Voice Over Mistakes in Films

Guest Post By Jessica Wright

Have you ever thought ‘I like this film but I just can’t stand the narrator’? Or, ‘why is there even a narrator telling me this is Paris if you can clearly see the Eiffel Tower’? And what about voice-over translations that don’t make any sense?

There are 3 kinds of mistakes when talking about voice over or off-camera commentary in film production:

-        The voice itself

There is always a character behind a voice, even if it’s just a narrator linking parts of the story, this voice has a personality. And this personality should match the tone and style of the story. In films where the voice over is used continuously, like in animated movies, a good casting is even more important. Characters need credibility and not having the adequate voice for them is a terrible mistake. Mistakes here are also related to the emotions ‘shown’, the tone of voice, a correct diction and any other techniques that are common to any kind of acting. The responsible for these mistakes would be casting and direction.

-        The use of the voice over

Sometimes the use of a voice over is just not needed. When an image is already telling you the story, showing a context or you can see the personality of the characters with their looks and acting, you don’t need another voice to explain what you already know and make you aware that you are watching a movie instead of letting you dive into it. If a voice over is used to, let’s say, introduce a character, it should be to give additional information of what you don’t see or can’t explain otherwise. The responsible for these mistakes would be the scriptwriter.

-        Translation mistakes:

We can find hundreds of mistakes when talking about voice over translations or dubbing. The choice of the voice is even more important here and should match not only the personality but also the physical appearance of the character. Translating dialogs and adapting them to another language is always a hard work. In addition to common translating difficulties, when doing a foreign language voice over, it has to look like the character is actually pronouncing those other words instead of the original ones. Again, credibility is needed in order to believe the story told. The responsible here would be the studio in charge of this post production service.

These are just general mistakes occurring in filmmaking, but voice over also happens in any kind of television production, radio, advertising, video games and  audio visual in general, so imagine how many more mistakes can be done in each of them!

The artistic beauty of dance

I am a long time fan of the show Dancing With The Stars.

And while the series is known at times for having some silly and less than elegant elements, it has also had it’s share of truly amazing performances. Some of these have inspired visually, musically and even emotionally. Here are a few I saw last night that I simply felt compelled to share. The first is newly crowned Olympic Ice Dancing champion Meryl Davis and her notoriously suave partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. It was dedicated to the journey to the gold medal she and her ice dancing partner Charlie White had been on for more than 17 years. This second video is of  Paralympic snowboarding star Amy Purdy and her choreographically gifted partner Derek Hough. This was dedicated to her father who played an incredible role in her recovery from an illness that cost the athlete her legs. Sit back, relax and take in another example of how art can inspire us all.

Beautiful views of interactive light show

My hometown of Pittsburgh has seen a lot of first…

and now for the second time in less than a year, this city has been the first in the nation to feature a new an innovative work of art.

The Market Square area of Downtown Pittsburgh has been the setting for a temporary installment of an interactive exhibit designed by two men from the United Kingdom, The creators are KMA visual media artists Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler.

Here’s how it works. Every night at dusk through 10 p.m. on weekdays and 12 a.m. on weekends, a projection unit with thermal heat detection comes on, plays music and produces a stunning light show based on the movement of the people in Market Square at the time. The piece will be in Pittsburgh until March 16.

Check out a few video samples below:

Things start off slowly at dusk.

After a few minutes, the show moves into full swing.

The show in full swing.

Review of camera – on my new Galaxy S III Mini

As even the most casual readers of this blog know by now, I do a lot of work as a photographer and thus take my art very seriously. So as a general rule, while I would never really advocate a cell phone camera over a fully functional DSLR, bridge camera or even a quality compact unit, the fact remains that sometimes these are simply more convenient.

With that being the case, I decided to give a quick review of the camera from my new phone the Samsung Galaxy S 3 Mini.

Photography:

The official manufacturer’s specifications - 

5 MP, 2592×1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, panorama

Real world usage (my opinion) - 

The camera offers a fair amount of adjustable features for a phone. This includes modes for shooting at night, facial feature enhancement and the ability to add a bit of sound to the beginning of your photo. While the jury is still out on these modes, the sports mode leaves a lot to be desired. But then again, that is typically the case on most cameras or devices. The flash is pretty good and very similar to any standard camera flash. You can easily adjust the flash setting as well. In addition to the auto focus mode, you can also opt to use macro focus which might come in handy with close-ups. The ISO can be set between 100 and 400 and it also provides the ability to adjust white balance on a basic level.

Video:

The official manufacturer’s specifications - 720p@30fps with secondary VGA

Real world usage (my opinion) - 

The standard video quality isn’t bad and the camera’s microphone captures the audio well. However, it is possible that it might be a bit too well as that does pick up a bit of background noise. They video files come out in MP4 format. As of this time, I haven’t been able to determine whether or not the video can be adjusted to be full-screen or not. Video can be shot in both a front and rear facing manner.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

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