Monthly Archives: March 2012

Photography Examples

After looking through BuzzFeed’s “45 Most Powerful Images of 2011” there are a few constant themes that produced the best content for still photography.  The strongest pictures involved a display of emotion, destructive weather and phenomena, memorable events or anniversaries, and action and conflict.  Iconic photographs not only show something of great emotion or power, but also become symbolic in a way that captures a certain feeling and sense of time.  For instance, when you see one of the iconic pictures from the “Occupy” movement you get a sense of what the time is like because we’re living in it: the economy is bad and the middle class is paying for it.  It’s easy for us to relate to it because it’s happening now.  There are several “Occupy” photos that have captured the feeling of the times that we will look back on in the future and remember just how bad the economy was.

I wasn’t around for the Vietnam War, but one of the most iconic images that captures the violence of the war is the photo taken of South Vietnam police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan shooting a helpless Viet Cong prisoner.  The execution was caught by AP photographer Eddie Adams, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the 1969 picture that acted as a symbol for the anti-war movement.  However, one of the problems with photos is that they can be looked at without full context, which allows us to make judgements based on a lack of information.  Adams says he wishes he’d never taken the photo because “The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths … What the photograph didn’t say was, ‘What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?”

Nearly every picture on the most iconic list is taken from an event that everyone has heard about, from the tsunami in Japan to the tornado in Joplin to the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 to the Occupy protests.  Although not everyone has shared or been a part of these moments, everyone has had their own reaction and opinion of these moments and can remember hearing about them.  The great thing about photography is that it doesn’t have to be a moment that everyone knows about for it to stir an emotion.  For example, the image of the dog Hawkeye laying next to his master’s casket at his military funeral might be one of the saddest pictures in this set. You don’t need to know the details that the soldier died in a helicopter accident on a mission in Afghanistan.  Just seeing the dog upset is enough to know that this is a picture showing the grief that comes with losing a loved one.

Here are the images I thought were the most iconic from the list:

President Obama and his staff watch the live raid on Osama Bin Laden.

The destruction left by the tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri.

The 10 year anniversary of 9/11.

Chile's Puyehue volcano erupts.

An "Occupy" couple embraces among the violence, after being knocked down by riot police.

Let The (March) Madness Begin

Multimedia Project

For the audio assignment we had to create a 20-30 second radio ad without naming the product or company/organization.  March is my favorite month because of March Madness.  I live for it.  I watch as many games as I can.  So I thought the timing was appropriate to do an ad CBS’ March Madness, without actually mentioning CBS or March Madness.  You can tell it was meant for CBS’s March Madness because it is the same theme song CBS uses.  There is also a mention of “One Shining Moment,” CBS’ tribute to the tournament that is played after the national title game.  I included audio of announcers calling big time shots, three of which are famous buzzer beaters, to bring excitement to the ad and to get people excited for March Madness.  I tried to take a page out of Jim Nantz’s book for the voiceover and included a somewhat cheesy line at the end, which he is known for, and mention the “madness” of “March Madness.”

SoundCloud – March Madness

 

Three Examples of Video Ads with Strong Audio

Old Spice (w Terry Crews) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNbMvlPc_7U

When I think of Old Spice commercials I usually think of Isaiah Mustafa’s hilarious scenes.  But they aren’t the best for listening to because they are visual heavy. On the other hand, the Old Spice commercials with Terry Crews are visually stimulating and have great audio.  Apart from Crews screaming, there are sound effects like his head opening, brain flying out and explosions.  Crews sets up the audio perfectly because he describes what’s going to happen.  He says “it’s so good it will blow your mind in front of your face.”  As soon as he finishes you can hear his head opening up, brain flying out and saying goodbye and then exploding in front of his face with him screaming.  There are subtitles in his next line, which he can’t deliver because his mind has been blown up.  Although there are subtitles that you need to read, you get the idea from listening that his brain has been blown up.  The explosions at the end are a nice touch as well.

DIRECTV: “Don’t Wake Up in a Roadside Ditch” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7udQSHWpL88 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2ZYIdmdx14

The new DIRECTV “don’t do something bad because cable companies are terrible (Time Warner I’m looking at you here)” has been very popular in the last few months.  I think it’s biggest selling points are its humor and that everyone can relate to being put on hold with a cable company.  When deciding which commercials to use i closed my eyes and listened to see if I could picture what was happening.  The voiceovers are the best part of the commercial because they are descriptive with the storytelling.  I can relate to being put on hold by a cable company and I know it makes me mad.  The blow off steam segment is good because you can hear the character playing racquetball and you know what it is because it makes such a distinct noise.  I think the running noises are good when the character is running from the guys trying to beat him up, but I wish it was a little louder.  I think the final scene where he’s in a roadside ditch is hilarious, but it might be tough to picture the setting by just listening.  The train sound is good, it’s just not enough.

Gatorade – “Good Wade, Bad Wade” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbu4WY7luLU

This is my favorite commercial of the three I’ve picked.  The idea of the good vs. evil Wade on Wade’s shoulders is hilarious.  If you were only listening to this you would be able to tell what was happening the whole time.  It would probably be more helpful in understanding if you’ve heard Dwyane Wade talk before so you’re sure that the two small voices are him.  The announcer sets everything up so that you know you’re in a stadium (because of the crowd noise) watching the Miami Heat play and that they’re down by two.  Once the voices start talking their tones match up with what they are saying.  The good one sounds a little nervous and just wants him to shoot a jumper, whereas the bad one sounds tough and wants him to get violent with the rim.  By the tone of the good Wade’s voice I can imagine that he’s wearing glasses.  I like the way  the crowd noise is lower and muffled when the voices are talking so you feel like you’re actually in Wade’s head.  They do a good job of showing and letting you hear the action when they briefly stop talking and then go right back into his head and the crowd is muffled.  The best part is the ending after bad Wade is encourage the dunk and good Wade is encourage the jumper, and Wade decides to dunk.  When he lifts off both heads are screaming like they’re on a roller coaster, which lets you know if you were only listening that he decided to dunk.  There is the sound effect of the emphatic slam followed by Wade yelling at the crowd as the commercial ends.  And you wouldn’t know it just from listening, but after Wade screams the Gatorade logo pops up, letting you know that he was able to dunk it thanks to Gatorade.

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