ds106 assignment A (Colorize It!)

Visual Assignment #518: Colorize It

“Use a photo you have previously taken, and adjust the colors in the picture. Make sure to adjust more than one color. You can adjust the colors to be unrealistic, or make them go along with the idea of the original picture.”

I chose some of the pictures I had on my computer that had lots of different colors in them to begin with. I used Windows Live photo gallery and played with the color tints, hues, and saturation. I also adjusted the exposure with highlights, shadows, brightness and contrast. The assignment didn’t specifically ask for me to play with the exposure as well, but the colors are affected by the exposure, too. I liked this activity, and I messed around with a lot more of my pictures just for fun, as well.

I did several examples of a re-colorized photo, these were my favorite that I tried:

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This I Believe DMC & Comp. Log

Here is my final product! ^^

Composition Log:

8/31:
-brainstorm ideas
I thought about things I believe about family, about hard work, about the importance of having close and supportive relationships in your life, about how seeing different places and cultures can give you different perspective on the world. I have not yet decided on a topic, still turning things over in my head.

**Didn’t do any work over the long weekend on my TIB project 😦 **

9/4:
-in class
I decided on the theme of the importance of human connection. I began writing my This I Believe essay, somewhere between outline form and essay form. I think I will change a lot of the order and phrasing of my essay once I start organizing it into a video; I am just jotting down important concepts around my theme, trying to grasp exactly “what I believe” about it. I’m having some back-and-forth issues about how personal vs. generally about the human condition I want to make my essay.

9/6:
– I brainstormed and browsed ideas for images that I can use in my project, found some personal photos and tried a couple (both successful and un-) search terms for more general images. I also decided to make some images of my own to use and include some of the words or quotes from my TIB essay.

9/7:
– As I’m working with my essay, I think I am changing my topic to “play”. I think this video will be more fun and the images will be easier to find and coordinate. I also think the essay can be broader and more uplifting, starting my new essay tonight.
– I wrote most of my essay, still trying to work on the conclusion and editing. I also started trying out the different online programs for putting together the video.

9/8-9/9:
– This weekend I finalized my essay. I put together most of the video, still have to add the sound and the about another minute, plus the final credits. All the images I used either belonged to me, my friends, or Creative Commons, so the credits will be simple. I used WeVideo editor on YouTube to put it together, which was pretty easy, as long as you remember to save after every change made. The only flaw I’ve found in the program s far is that if I have any other programs running on my computer, the program is prone to freezing.

9/10:
– Before class I recorded my essay and matched up most of the timing on the slides, still working on the last 30 seconds. Aligning the right moments of the audio and images is HARD. Then when I went back later to edit the video, the voice track was inserted before the images instead of concurrently, for some reason, even though that’s not how I saved it. I’m going to google solutions and work on fixing it after my 5pm class. Hopefully it will be a simple fix and I can finish up my video to upload before our class meets tomorrow.
– After class, I figured out how to fix the video sound. Google wasn’t helpful and neither was the FAQ, since apparently the voice recording has a bunch of recently added features. The sound is pretty satisfactory except for a few blips or transitions. The images ended up being right where I want them, I added 2 more slides, a closing title, and an ending credits slide and closing music. After I finish this entry, I am posting the log, essay, and video in my wordpress blog.
YAAAY FINISHED 🙂

Final Essay:

           I believe in play. I believe that everyone, no matter how old, needs to have moments of release, moments where they do not take themselves too seriously. From a young age, playing can encourage imagination. Kids embrace imagination. I believe that we need to keep that imagination with us as we age. Everyone needs to take time to set down their work, get outside, and try something new. Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Feel the sunshine on your face and the grass under your feet.

           I believe in the importance of relaxation. Free yourself from the rush of everyday life and discover a new hobby. Meet others who are similar to yourself; meet people who are different from you. Learn something you didn’t know about yourself, or, better yet, add something new to you. Explore. Find places you have never seen, even if they’re only in your own neighborhood. See life from a different point of view.

           Play with your own expectations. A life without play does not allow exploration and any opportunity for self-growth. As we grow, our lives become more stressful. Our time seems more limited, and often we feel that we are spreading ourselves too thin. The harder you work, the more important it is to find time for play in your life. Balance is everything. Find the child within yourself when you play. Lose yourself in the activity, and let any worry of the time you are devoting to your own well-being slip away. Time playing is not time wasted.
Play music. You don’t have to be professional, or even be good, just experiment. Play with your mind. Write, draw, create. Never fall out of touch with your imagination. I believe that too many people get locked into a routine and lose track of their time trying to keep up with their lives and responsibilities. I believe we must find time to be free, relax, and get to know each other and ourselves. I believe in play.

Reflection:
The parallel composing process was something that I have had little experience with before. I began by writing the essay in its entirety, and the audio track I recorded was almost the same as the essay, although I added some words in here and there to make it sound more natural as I was speaking. The way which the video composing process most influenced my essay writing was in the subject. Since I had to both share and illustrate with pictures, I chose to do a lighter and less deeply personal topic than I perhaps otherwise would have. I also tried to choose a topic which could be displayed easily in images. I think the parallel composition can be useful to students in being creative with their writing and approaching their ideas from a different starting point by focusing on images or audio over the more traditional essay composition.

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Attention

My attention has always been a difficult thing to hold. While reading the Rheingold chapter on our changing attention spans, I had to force myself to stay focused on the pages, and even then I succumbed to minimal distractions such as responding to my phone and email. I believe the increase in technology and social media in our lives has definitely changed our attention patterns, but that change can not necessarily be cataloged as positive or negative.

Some reading can still hold my attention, if it has a plot or presents ideas truly captivating enough for me to choose to disregard other distractions. When reading the Harry Potter books, for instance, I opened them the moment I purchased them and barely stopped reading until I was finished. The only breaks I took were to sleep or go to school or work, which were unavoidable. I even chose foods I would eat while still reading the novels. While reading the chapter, knowing that I would be tempted to indulge in distractions due to the factual and pedagogical nature of the reading, I set page number goals restricting when I would let myself be distracted.I forced myself to read the first ten pages of the text without touching my computer, although I had my email inbox up on the screen and my phone within reach just in case something “important” arose.

Once I got about halfway though the chapter, I let myself take a break for the night and returned to the reading the following morning. This endeavor to finish the second half was much less disciplined and I took many short breaks to have coffee, eat breakfast, begin to get ready for the day, check my Facebook, and other activities. I also found that once I gave in to the allowance of distractions, I was more prone to continue on that path. I would turn back to the text occasionally, but at that point I was skimming to feel sufficiently complete with each page rather than absorbing each word.

While for some activities, the amount, convenience, and availability of the many distractions technology presents can slow down my progress, I find it helpful for other activities. While I am writing this blog post, for instance, I have both my inbox and Facebook tabs minimized, so that I can have them peripherally available without having to stop my activities. I am also watching a show streaming on Netflix in a side window, which serves as a background noise mostly, but also allows me to spend time writing the blog post while feeling entertained rather than rushing through my homework to get to a more interesting activity.

While I certainly feel text messaging, social media, and such easy and available access to the internet has provided me with more distractions, it has also increased my ability to multitask. I can quickly check different tabs and windows without ever having to actually leave the more important work I should be focusing on. I feel less of a need to take breaks and leave the task when I can just momentarily check another page and then return to my work. As Rheingold says in the chapter, having all of these distractions doesn’t necessarily lessen our ability to pay attention, it simply requires us to be more mindful of how our attention is being focused.

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