To view my individual Soundslides project click here
My last project for my Online Journalism class is complete. For this project I used the program Soundslides to put together a story about the University of Wyoming’s production of “The Nutcracker” using audio and photos that I collected and edited. This project was identical to the group Soundslides project that I talked about in an earlier blog post, except that instead of working with a partner we all flew solo on this one. The purpose of this assignment was to bring together the many elements that we had gone over as a class (audio, photos, writing for the web etc.) into one last project.
Like the last Soundslides project, I thoroughly enjoyed working with the program Soundslides to put together this story. Last time for the group project I worked with the audio and my partner, Dyann Diercks, used a quality camera to shoot action shots and edit the photos. This time I had to take care of the photos and I must say that this was probably the most frustrating part of the experience. I shot most of my photos at one of the rehearsals for “The Nutcracker.” The dancers were moving quickly and the lighting was low, therefore I needed to use my camera’s flash to best capture the action shots. However, the crew would not let me use my flash because they did not want it to distract any of the dancers. So needless to say, it was a battle to get my camera to focus. I ended up taking about 400 photos just so I could get a few focused and good shots.
Due to my frustrating photo experience, I probably enjoyed the group project more because Dyann has a great knack for photography, therefore she probably would have had less difficulty capturing the photos (especially if she had access to the high quality camera that she used last time). Working with Dyann on the group project was perfect because we both were able to focus on our strengths to put together a quality finished product. Therefore, I probably enjoyed the group project more, but it was also fun getting to go behind the scenes when taking photos for my individual project as well.
Editing the audio for this project was more difficult then it was for the group project, because I had about three times as much audio to choose from. However, this was a good thing, because I always feel it is better to have more audio then less because there is more of a selection. While this was a positive, it was much more time consuming. Trying to put together four different audio interviews into a two to four minute audio slideshow and make it flow was a challenge. I ended up using music throughout the audio (which I recorded at the rehearsal) to provide transitions and a little bit of flavor as well. Overall, I think the audio turned out nicely.
When looking back at this project there are some things that I wish I could have done differently. To begin with, I wish that I would have had access to a better digital camera. This would have made the photo aspect of this project about a million times easier. Secondly, I wish that I had recorded one of the dancer’s interviews in a different place. I recorded all but one of the interviews at the rehearsal. I recorded Emily Katie’s interview backstage and I thought that some of the background noise could be beneficial and give the listener an idea of what it was like backstage. However, with doors closing and people running by us, this was a little more noise then I wanted and there were some quotes that I had to take out because of the distracting background noise. Next time I do an audio project like this I will make sure to not make that mistake again and I will only rely on the ambient noise that I record separately.
Overall I greatly enjoyed this Soundslides experience and feel pleased with my finished product. I have immensely enjoyed my Online Journalism class and I feel that I have grown as a journalist throughout the course of the semester. I can’t wait to continue my journey as a journalist and see what the road is like ahead!