Monday, April 17, 2017

Adobe Premiere Pro CC training for still/video production

   Wayne State students: If you feel like this final project is a bit daunting, you’re not alone!

   There is a lot of work that goes into a big project like this, so it’s important to concentrate on each step of the process as you go along. 
   Be systematic:
  • Find a story that lends to visual variety.
  • Pay attention to your camera settings as you shoot. Remember that there’s no need to constantly change your settings while shooting. As long as the available light doesn’t change, the settings don’t need to change (unless you want to change your depth of field or motion). 
  • Don’t shoot under 400 ISO, or slower than 1/60th of a second.
  • When shooting the story, collect caption information as you go. 
  • Record at least one interview, possibly in a quiet place. However, if you are collecting audio at the scene, like during a parade, just keep the audio device close to the subject so we can hear them.
  • If you are shooting multiple days, keep your photos in a single folder as you go.
  • When finished with your shoot: drag your working folder into Photo Mechanic; make a final selection via color coding them; isolate those color-coded images; select all photos at once and drag them into Photoshop to edit them.
  • In Photoshop, only crop, and fix color balance and exposure issues.
  • When saving each image, hit Save As and rename the pic so it doesn’t overwrite the original.
  • Select only the edited images and copy or drag them into a final folder.
  • Now write your captions. First do a skeleton caption for all photos so your meta data information is tagged to all pics. Then finish the captions per individual photo.
  • Next select the two photos you’ll use for the title and end slides, and edit in Photoshop. Directions are in this YouTube tutorial. Once you’re done with these slides, Save As: Rename them Title Slide and End Slide.
  • Edit your audio using Audacity (directions for using Audacity is an earlier post in this blog) and put that edited audio into the final folder. If you have audio from a video camera, then don’t worry about using Audacity. You can edit the audio in Premiere (directions are in this YouTube tutorial).
  • Once all of your working elements (edited/captioned stills; audio file(s); title/end slides; music file) are complete and in the final folder, then it’s time to produce your story. See tutorial below:
  • Review the workflow sheet for YouTube information, which is at the bottom of the sheet. You need to upload your story as an Mp4 to the course YouTube account so you can retrieve the embed code or URL code. You need the embed code to load the story onto your blog.
  • You can also view these tutorials if you need more training with Premiere: 
- Tutorial for Beginners 1

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Gathering photo captions: Practicing what I preach

   This is me, a working photojournalist gathering caption information on a photo I took during an Empowerment Zone meeting in North Toledo March 3 for the Toledo Blade. (Photo Credit goes to my friend Rhonda Sewell)
   As you can see, my cameras are dangling off of my shoulders as I use my trusty pen and notebook to take down this kid's name, since I photographed him during the event.
   My Wayne State Digital Photojournalism students just completed their caption writing block of instruction, which included clipping captions from newspapers and taking a quiz. Spending time on caption, or cutline, writing is necessary in a photojournalism course because it's the journalism part of photojournalism.
   Most of the time I write down names and other pertinent information in my reporter's notebook, but sometimes I record that information into my camera, especially when my hands are too full to write or the weather isn't friendly to notebook paper. Whatever the method, taking down the who, what, where and when are the active ingredients to a good caption.
   This post is just a visual reminder that you are learning about captions because they are a part of a photojournalist's job. It is also the part that is sometimes the most challenging: Taking the photo from afar is one thing, but going up to strangers and asking them for their name, age and hometown is another.
   Gathering captions can give shy scholastic photojournalists a panic attack.
   When you are out there shooting your final photo story in the next few weeks, remember that the later half of the word photojournalism is journalism, or the art of writing.