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Week Three: Photography & Cat Noir

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1/26/15 – 2/1/15

All work is due by midnight on 2/1/15

This week we change directions and start thinking about how we use visual elements to capture meaning and tell stories. We’ll be doing some work with photography and we’ll ask you to review some resources about improving your photography (and being more thoughtful about what you take pictures of). We’ll also be pulling the Noir thread into the week, asking you to think about how we can reflect some of the aesthetic of Noir in our visual stories. Finally, we’ll be asking you to organize your blog.

    1. Think about the Visuals of Storytelling: Review the following materials about photography and using visual elements to create stories. Write a blog post (tag: photoreflection) about your previous/current experience with photography. Do you take a lot of photos now? What of? Do you have a particular approach to taking photos? Do you ever work to capture a particular feeling or meaning in your photos? If so, how successful do you think you are? After reviewing these resources, what tactics can you use to improve your photos or to take a different approach to taking photos?
    2. Reflect on Noir and Visual Storytelling: Watch at least two of these movies and think about how the film is shot. How does the cinematography capture the feelings and aesthetic of noir that we’ve been discussing so far? Write a post in which you either share 2-3 still captures that demonstrate elements of Noir and explain your thinking. (tag:noircinematograpy)
    3. Complete a Photo Safari: In which you take at least one picture this week to capture at least five  of the following Noir elements (tag:noirsafari):
      • dramatic use of distinct shadows
      • lighting from one side
      • off-kilter or unusual camera angle/framing
      • the “Venetian blind” effect — using some repeating geometric shadow across a shot
      • sense of drama and/or moodiness
      • characters captured in a tableau suggesting an intense, fraught moment
      • urban nightscapes
      • the grittiness of built environment (building, streets, etc.)
      • a NoirCat
    4. Do the Daily Create: Complete three Daily Creates this week. Make sure you’re tagging them correctly.
    5. Complete Visual Assignments: This week, you’ll be doing at least 10 stars of visual assignments, At least five of the stars should be on assignments that are dedicated to your Noir character.Additionally, you will be required to do the “What’s in your bag?” assignment (3 stars) for your character (this counts toward your 10 point total)Make sure you’re tagging your assignments correctly, and review this week’s video for advice about writing up assignments.
    6. Organize Your Blog: As you start to write more and more posts for the different genres of assignments we’re doing, your site is going to have a lot of content. Take this week to set up categories for your posts so that you (and others) can easily filter and find your work. Here is a recommended category structure you can use (feel free to modify/expand as you like:
      • Assignments
      • Daily Create
      • Thoughts and Ideas
      • Weekly Summaries
      • Best Work
      • Radio Show
      • Final Project

Now create these additional sub-categories and set the Parent to be Assignments:

      • Writing (be sure to go back and categorize your old posts!)
      • Visual
      • Design
      • Audio
      • Video
      • Web
      • Mashup/Remix

Note: if you’re using your blog for other things besides this class, you may wish to add an overarching category for all of these of “ds106” or “noir106.”

Check out the Videos page on the course site and you’ll find a Categories tutorial under “WordPress Help.”

Featured Image: Photographer by Charles Sayer on Flickr

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