Friday, October 14, 2011

Photoshop Student Gallery

Our intensive one-hour Introduction to Photoshop class wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, and I've been meaning to post some of the wonderful images students submitted for their final portfolios. The assignment was to create six original images using the techniques they learned in class. They also had to write a brief legend about how they created the image.

I asked the students to submit their favorite photo to be published on the blog. Here are the ones I got, along with the legend for each one.

"Creek" by Brittany Brantley
I used the lasso tool to select the rocks and the creek, I then used a photo effect to brighten them and make them stand out.
"SKATE" by Alex Chandler
I...placed the portrait on top of the stars.  At which point, I erased the background and made the stars appear behind us.  Then I added a text box to the bottom of the photo with a 60pt font with old English text mt, at a T1, and colored it white.  I placed it in the bottom left corner and then cropped then entire picture.
"Freedom" by Monica Linares
I combined two separate pictures of the same landscape by using Auto-Align Layers. Then, I used Auto-Blend Layers to even out the colors of both pictures. After that, I cropped and scaled the pictures to get rid of some edges and make one rectangular image.  I then proceeded to use the Horizontal Type Mask Tool to write the word “freedom.” Once I had the word selected, I inversed the selection and changed the hue/saturation of the picture to make the letters stand out as the central aspect of the image. 
"Hope" by Michelle Loving
(I don't actually have the legend because it was part of the portfolio book Michelle turned in and I gave it back to her before I copied down the legend. My bad.)
I always enjoy seeing the creativity the students combine with their newly-learned skills!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ozarks Students to Take Part in Offshoot Film Festival

The following is a press release written by Max Hilgendorf, a sophomore Strategic Communication major, for an assignment in News Writing class. Since this is an actual event Ozarks students will be participating in and since one of our alumni (Trent Jones) is working with the festival, I asked Max if we could publish his release.
CLARKSVILLE, AR – An upcoming Fayetteville film festival (Oct. 27-30) will provide a great atmosphere for filmmakers and enthusiasts alike with educational opportunities and film screenings that include several Ozarks productions.
The four-day Offshoot Film Festival will kick off on Friday, Oct. 27 and run through Monday, Oct. 30 in the Fayetteville Square area downtown.  The film festival will feature a wide variety of films from seven different categories: Documentaries, Narrative Features, Animation, Short, Student, Low budget/low tech, and films with an Arkansas Connection.  This year, the film festival will include two original films created by University of the Ozarks RTV students.  Led by Ozarks RTV professor Susan Edens, the students entered two films in two separate categories: a documentary called “Hello St. Louis?” and a short film called “Unwanted.”  Edens said she is encouraging her students to attend and submit films at Offshoot because she said it is a close and cheap way for them to meet other film people and to truly experience the real world of the film industry. 
The festival will include educational opportunities with film industry professionals and a post screening question/answer session with several attending filmmakers.  Both Edens and Trent Jones, an Ozarks RTV graduate and now a media teacher at Har-Bar High and an organizer for the film fest, said the Offshoot Film Fest puts an emphasis on the educational arts and is a great opportunity to grow a solid film student base in Arkansas and the surrounding states.
Also, every night the festival will host an official Offshoot After-Party around Dickson Street.    
Jones, who is now a media teacher at Har-Bar High, said there are many ways to get involved with the festival; people can volunteer to work at the fest for a day or even submit a film to enter one of the categories.
The festival is presented by the Seedling Film Association, an organization that strives to help establish and serve the growing film community in the Northwest Arkansas area. 
As Jones says, the Fayetteville area is the perfect setting for such a festival not only because of its enthusiasm for film and the arts, but also because of its market potential.  Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas and next to the headquarters of the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart, which is also the largest distributor of DVD’s. 
Jones said this up-and-coming festival will continue to help grow and influence the area’s film industry and that through social media and word of mouth the festival’s reach will further expand to allow more and more people to gain the knowledge and fuel the passion of film.  The Offshoot Film Festival invites its attendees “to be a part of a festival where [their] treatment will be memorable and [their] influence as an independent filmmaker will be esteemed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vlog #1 - Behind the Scenes of Ozarks Weekly

This semester the Channel 6 crew is working on a program called Ozarks Weekly, which features campus stories, weather, and sports.  Producer Malisa Mat Sani put together an inside look into the hectic days leading up to the first production last week.

Tonight was the second production for Ozarks Weekly, which airs Thursday nights at 7:00. You can also check out the show on YouTube.  Malisa plans to keep us in the know by continuing the vlog series throughout the semester. Check out Ozarks Weekly to keep up with what's going on at U of O.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Multicultural "Bread"

One of the cool things about teaching is the chance to, as Dr. William May put it today in a faculty forum, collaborate with students in the learning process. I had one of those moments today in Persuasion Theory class. We were talking about symbols and their arbitrary nature and how they come to have meaning because a group of people agree on a conventionalized meaning.  I used sort of a canned example by putting the word "bread" on the board and talking about how, in English, we've agreed that combinations of marks represents the physical thing we know as bread. Then I put up "pan," which I knew is the Spanish symbol (thanks, 9th-grade Spanish class!).

But that's when the class took an interesting turn. We have a Vietnamese student in the class, so she added their symbol for bread. These's also a young man from Costa Rica who has a Japanese heritage, so he put the Japanese symbol on the board. Another student added the word in Nepali, and finally, a Jewish student gave us the Hebrew word. This is the first time I've ever had such a diverse collection of symbols to use for this exercise, and I don't know if it will ever happen again. But it certainly added to the discussion -- from my perspective, anyway!

(The bottom word above is the Nepali one, and the original one was not in the list with the others. I copied it, and I hope I did an adequate job.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Such Creativity!

Today was the last day of the Introduction to Adobe Photoshop class, and students presented their final portfolios. The assignment was to create six images using the different tools they've worked with over the past weeks, then to present those images to the class. Students had a choice of how to present the images; some chose to create a paper portfolio, while others presented their images via a PowerPoint show. Regardless of the format, the students also had to give the class an overview of what it took to put the final image together.

Here is a sampling of the presentations:
Michelle Loving

Brittany Brantley

Phuong Do

Rafael Luna

Alex Chandler

August Laue

Patrick Otto

Monica Linares
Tomorrow, you can get a better chance to look at their work. Each student is sending me one photo to post on the blog. Get ready for some awesome images!

(Something else that's coming up this week - Channel 6 is putting together Ozarks Weekly, and producer Malisa Mat Sani will give us an inside peek with a video blog!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Out on Their Own

The News Writing class has been working on summary news leads, and I think they are beginning to chafe for something a little more exciting. So today I gave them an assignment that requires them to gather their own information to write a brief news release about an event on campus, like the Halloween organ concert and the Historians at the Movies series. Each student drew an assignment and is responsible for meeting with the contact person, conducting an interview, and writing the release for a Wednesday deadline.

Some students seemed a little apprehensive, but I think they were all eager for the chance to write something besides another set of summary leads from a worksheet. I'm looking forward to seeing their stories!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Off and Running!

The past couple of weeks have been busy ones for the RTV and Strategic Communication majors at Ozarks. We've had some combined events for our students, one of a social nature and one of a more educational type.

All-Communication Gathering

Students majoring in either field were invited to mingle at a Communication program gathering at Greta Marlow's house.  We shared BBQ from Fat Daddy's and made s'mores - a new experience for some of our students!

More than 35 students made the trek to the party, and we had a great time eating, sitting out on the deck, and standing around the fire ring. And of course, setting marshmallows on fire and eating them anyway!

Professional Development Workshop - Liz Chrisman, Photographer

Three days later, we took advantage of the classes cancelled on Assessment Day to host a workshop on photography with Liz Chrisman from Russellville. Liz is the featured artist in the Walton Fine Arts Center gallery this month. She gave students tips on composing shots and advice about getting down and dirty - no, literally down and dirty! - when taking photos.

We have a great group of students this year, and we're looking forward to sharing them with you through this blog. Come back often!