Video Storytelling Project with Alex Breckenridge and Miles Englehart

8 Dec

For this assignment, Alex, Miles and myself teamed up and did our video project on the Student Activities Council annual “Thanksgiving Dinner”.  The event is a free Thanksgiving dinner that’s offered to students and members of the community.  Alex, Miles and I interviewed members of the SAC staff, as well as Lead Student Programmer Maddy Graham.  For our B-roll we filmed people getting in line and enjoying the food.  All of this was captured using the video camera option on our mobile devices.

I really enjoyed filming and interviewing our sources.  I think it’s nice to get different perspectives on events and that helps you appreciate the event even more.  At first I was having fits uploading our content onto iMovie, this is mostly because the iPhone and the Galaxy Phones can only upload so much video content all at once.  Thankfully, I saved my content into my Dropbox and I was able to download the content rather easily.  After downloading the content I was a bit rusty with iMovie which got us really frustrated however, after toying with it for a few minutes it all came back to me and I was having fun messing around with the project and making something cool with it.

The one thing I wished I did differently was that I wished I used better filming equipment, however with no money and no way to get excellent filming equipment, you have to stick with what you got.  Speaking of which, had I known that if you filmed vertically with the mobile phone instead of horizontally then my content would not have came out sideways.  Some great footage was lost and could not be saved because of the orientation in which we filmed.  Lesson learned I guess.

Using video in the future can be great if I wanted to film a recruiting video for Sheridan College, seeing how they just recently hired me as their new Admissions Counselor.  It’s just an idea, but if it ever happens I’ll make sure they hook me up with a good camera instead of the iPhone 4.

Here’s the video, enjoy!

Live Tweet Project: UW Cowgirl Basketball vs. #11 Colorado Buffs

5 Dec

For this assignment we had to live tweet an event that was happening in our area.  Personally, I really wanted to live tweet the much anticipated debate between Stephen Easton and (then) UW President Bob Sternberg.  However, in a turn of events that never happened.  So I settled with the next best thing, a live tweet of a sports event.  I decided to live tweet UW Cowgirls Basketball and their game against #11 Colorado.  Basically I used my iPhone’s Twitter and gave up to date information on what was happening during the game.  It got really exciting and frustrating at times because the Cowgirls would be winning and then they would be down by 10.  By the end, they nearly came back and won the game but lost by 4. 

I learned that you have choose what information is important to tweet.  I usually would tweet score updates during the timeouts.  But I knew I had to mix it up, such as how the crowd was feeling when we were down, or what the energy was like when they tied it up with a minute left.  The hardest part, had to be finding quotes.  I was lucky enough to hear the radio broadcast later, (which is broadcasted throughout the Arena Auditorium)  and I heard UW head coach Joe Legerski, say a really interesting quote, so I tweeted it.  But I had not heard that broadcast, then I would of had nothing.

Overall, this expierence was really awesome to do! I kinda felt like any sports reporter on Twitter who keeps up to date information.  Afterwards I actually compared my tweets to Casper Star-Tribune UW Sports Writer Mike Vorel’s Twitter.  Vorel’s twitter feed during the game was very concisely written, like you could tell he wasn’t rushing like I was.  I thought it was important to tweet minute by minute, Vorel waited for the highlighted moments and kept his audience on edge. 


SoundSlides Project with Miles Englehart

7 Nov

Our assignment was to make a visual-audio slideshow using the program SoundSlides.  My partner Miles Englehart and I decided to do our project on some buildings of the UW campus.  The two we decided to go with was the Rochelle Gateway Center (that’s currently being built)  and the War Memorial Fieldhouse.  We decide to go with these buildings because we wanted to do one building that shows the current changes UW is going through (Rochelle Center) and one building that has gone through many changes yet still stands to this day (War Memorial Field house).  Both Miles and I, went out and took photos of our respective buildings.  We also interviewed Brett Kahler, ASUW President,  who had vast knowledge about the Gateway Center.  As well as Kevin McKinney, who is the Senior Associate Athletic Director for the Wyoming Athletic Department, Kevin has been with the University for over 50 years and had great insight about the Field house. 

Working with Miles was great! We both understood what the other wanted to do, plus we gave each other good ideas on how to make the project better.  It was a great experience and I would love to work with Miles again.  

My experience with SoundSlides was not the best to be completely honest.  I thought it was pretty simple for the most part, but I didn’t like the fact that I had to edit my audio before inserting it into the slides.  I felt as thought Garage Band would of been an easier program to use because then I could edit my audio with my slides, and they would of been more in sync than with SoundSlides.

The biggest problem was trying to have my photos sync with the audio while still following the one slide per 7-9 second rule.  That was a definite challenge, but in the end I thought it worked out.

The biggest change I would make to this project is using Garage Band.  I think it’s much easier to edit the audio with it and also from my experience using it in the past, it’s much easier to sync photos with the audio. SoundSlides was great up until the point that I had to edit my audio before inserting it with my photos.  It’s almost as if I had to guess what my cues for the photos will be.  For that reason SoundSlides is a thumbs down for me.


Why I hate asking girls out on dates (applying for jobs)

4 Nov

This is going to be the one blog post I leave on here, that isn’t class related.

So I’m a 23 year old soon-to-be college graduate, which means it’s time to start applying for real world jobs. When it comes to the experience of applying for jobs it’s very similar to the experience of me trying to ask girls out on a date while in college.

This how that process would work.

You show interest, you make a move (applying), then they take forever just to say they’ll go to dinner with you (interview). You start to think “Oh no! I knew I should of said this instead of that (Using this power word in your cover letter instead of that!)” Finally, you get a call, “Hey, do you want to meet up for dinner on Wednesday (Would you like to come in for an interview at lunch on Wednesday) You of course say “YES!” but in a cool and collective way, to make them think that their might be other suitors (jobs) you’re into.  So then you’re at dinner (the interview) and things are going great! Your charming and confident, she’s smiling, laughing and clearly is enjoying getting to know you. But by the time that’s over you find out you’re not her (the job’s) type because she (the job) saw 5 other guys (candidates) before seeing you. Of course she (the job) has to call you, instead of telling you to your face that she is seeing someone else.  But she’ll of course say that you’re a wonderful person (candidate) but, right now it just won’t work but you can try again in a few years (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) So now, that your dream girl (job) just crushed your dreams, you have to go on Craigslist just to see who’s out there.  Unfortunately no one wants “Committed” (full-time) work, they just want a “Casual Encounter” (Part-Time) so you downgrade and start seeing (working) McDonalds.

The moral of that story is you better get your Dream Girl (Job) otherwise you’ll be stuck making McNuggets for the guy who’s seeing (working) your Dream Girl (job).

Final Edit: An Interview with Alex Breckenridge

24 Oct

I’ll admit, editing 5 1/2 mins of audio and cutting it down to 2 minutes was very tricky.  First, I had to choose which audio to cut.  The first being all the pauses or noise I made.  That still didn’t make a dent in it.  So I had to cut audio that I found useless to the project.  Eventually, I cut out over 3 minutes and 45 seconds of audio.  Let’s just say this project was tiring, long and drawn out.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to finish this project.

I learned that using Audacity was very difficult.  So I used Garageband on my Mac to edit my clip.  This program was something I was more familiar with and was a lot easier to use than Audacity.

I enjoyed the interview process as a whole.  That’s always fun to learn something new about someone who you may or may not know.  Alex provided me with great material that helped make this project a great time.  The thing I did not enjoy the most was obviously the editing process.  It was a very long drawn out process. But I understand that’s part of the job and everyone has to do it.

I was definitely surprised how not user friendly, Audacity was.  Even after looking at the tips Dr. Landreville gave us, I’m still stumped with the program. Like I said before Garageband was much easier to pick out which audio needed to be clipped or where I can insert this type of audio during some time of the clip.

The one thing I would of like to do differently was ask questions that flow along with one another, that help make the editing process much easier. However, I’m happy with the way I did the interview, as I am sure it was as much a learning experience for Alex as it was for me.

Final edit with Alex Breckenridge:

Raw 5-Minute Interview with Alex Breckenridge

22 Oct

This project asked us to interview one of our classmates and in turn that classmate would interview us.  The only thing was that it had to be 5 minutes long with a 30 second over/under time.   Also this interview can only be done using digital recorders.

Alex Breckenridge and I teamed up for this assignment.  Right away, Alex wanted to talk about his experiences when he studied abroad in Costa Rica.  I’ver never had a problem using digital recorders for interviews before.  Generally, I use them a lot for accuracy purposes, but never have I had to publish my recordings.  The difference being that I say a lot of “mhmm’s” or “Really?!” when I interview someone on the recorder.  So it was kind of difficult to not say anything while Alex was talking.  I had to basically cover my mouth and just nod whenever I agreed with him.

When Alex was interviewing me, it felt totally comfortable and to be honest, I just talked to Alex instead of the recorder because I knew whatever I would say the recorder would pick up.  Overall, a great experience and I’m glad Alex provided me with great material.

I learned that Alex is very passionate about Costa Rica as he did spend a semester over there.  I think you can tell in his voice that he was super excited to talk and share his stories from there.  Including how he played with the local soccer team and how different the style of play was there compared to in the US.

I enjoyed everything from this assignment, the only thing I did not enjoy was to stay quiet the entire interview.  It’s hard for me not to voice out something!

In terms of doing it all over again, I probably wouldn’t.  Alex and I picked a real nice quiet room in the Classroom building that had no external noise (i.e. a computer fan), however at the very beginning of the clip you hear a scratching noise.  I take it, that it was from me moving something, so next time I have to be totally still. But overall the room was definitely the perfect place to conduct an audio interview.  Overall, the project went very smoothly.  Now comes the nerve-racking part of editing the clip!

Interview with Alex Breckenridge:

Taking Photos of Strangers Without Them Knowing

8 Oct

For this week, we were tasked of taking 5 photos with a person in it.  This task was really difficult for me, as I don’t have a professional camera to use and I had to use my iPhone.  SPOILER: For those who don’t know taking photos of strangers with an iPhone is 1) Totally obvious 2) The strangers you’re taking pictures of will notice and shoot you weird looks and might yell “WHY ARE YOU STALKING ME!?”

These are the photos from that adventure.


Two University of Wyoming Students ponder what shot to take during Billiards Club at the Billiard Hall in the Wyoming Union

The Color of Money:  Two University of Wyoming Students ponder what shot to take during Billiards Club at the Billiard Hall in the Wyoming Union

This photo was taken during Billiards Club which happens every Monday Night in the Billiards Hall in the Union.  These two students were playing against each other and  were really taking a lot of time between shots.  Mostly thinking one step ahead.  It was interesting to watch and I wanted to capture that moment without having it be awkward.  In terms of creative device I guess you can say I used “Rule of thirds” as the pool table is in the bottom third and draws a majority of the focus.


A group of UW students are seen studying hard (or as it appears) in the Union.

Study Time–A group of UW students are seen studying hard (or as it appears) in the Union.

This photo was taken while I was working at the info desk at the Union.  Usually when working in the Union, I see mostly individuals or partners studying.  If I was looking for groups, then I would go to the Library.   I didn’t want to be a creep and take a candid, random photo of this group studying (not to mention disrupt them).  So I stood at the desk and zoomed in and caught the moment.  If I had a professional camera with a big lense then I could of caught the photo and use better creative devices.  Speaking of devices, my device for this photo, I used leading.  The table in the bottom right of the photo is the main focus then you have the main table with the group dead center.  Letting the viewer know that this can be a place for studying.


A firefighter leaves his truck to investigate an incident at the Geology Building.

Fire (False Alarm)–A firefighter leaves his truck to investigate an incident at the Geology Building.

This photo was taken when I was walking to the Union tonight.  Apparently a fire alarm went off in the Geology building as the sidewalks were engulfed with two large fire engines and a couple of police vehicles.  This shot ended up really cool because it was taken at night and all of the flashing lights plus movement gave the photo a really cool look.  Again if it wasn’t for an iPhone, the quality and photo could be much better.  For creative device I used Viewpoint.  As my phone gives a totally different view compared to what really was happening.


Jazzy Sax--A UW Student performs during the Jazz Jam Session at the Wyoming Union on Monday Night.

Jazzy Sax–A UW Student performs during the Jazz Jam Session at the Wyoming Union on Monday Night.

This photo was taken again while working at the info desk.  Jazz musicians will perform a Jazz Jam Session every Monday night in the Union.  This fellow was performing his solo during one of the songs and I wanted to capture the moment.  The thing that irked me was that when I wanted to get a good shot from a different angle, he kept looking at the camera.  Which I did not want.  The only way to do that was by going around.  This is just a good example of letting nerves get the best of you and not being out going enough to take a good shot regardless if he was looking into the camera or not.


Good Eats--Ben Lee eats a delicious plate of stir fry with a nice glass of apple juice.

Good Eats–Ben Lee eats a delicious plate of stir fry with a nice glass of apple juice.

I was visiting my brother over dinner at his place and his roommate Ben is someone who I haven’t got to know.  Thankfully he was cool with me taking this shot.  Basically, I put my phone on the table and got a nice close up of the plate of stir fry and glass of apple juice.  If I had to do it again, I would probably raise the angle and capture his face.  In terms of devices this is definitely rules of thirds as I caught the glass on the right, plate and food in the middle and Ben dead center.

This assignment taught me that I need to be more outgoing when taking photos.  Maybe if I had a professional camera I would feel more confident taking pictures of strangers than with an iPhone.  Because with a Camera people know you’re taking photos.  With an iPhone people don’t know if you’re taking a picture, taking a snap chat, video, tweet, etc. The possibilities are endless and that’s why people act up.  So next time I’m going to go with the professional camera and end up with better results.

Creative Devices of Photography (My Handy-Dandy iPhone 4)

1 Oct

So our assignment for this blog post was to go out and about, take photos, and present them in raw form (unedited).  I immediately thought “This is assignment, would be great, if I had a Nikon!” Then I remembered, I’m a broke college student, who can barely afford a disposable camera, let alone a piece of professional equipment.

I went to my only resort.  The iPhone 4.  Yes, even with the iOS 7 upgrade, the camera didn’t magically turn into a Nikon, however I did get some great shots that I would like to share.

8th Street.

8th Street.

The photo you see above was taken at the corner of 8th and Clark Street in Laramie, WY.  When I took photography at Sheridan College, my instructor wanted me to take a picture of signs, any sign.  So one of the first photos I took was the street sign in front of my apartment at sunset.  My main dominant creative device was to use the rule of thirds.  If you look at my photos, I tend to use this device a lot.  To me rule of thirds helps draw attention to one specific thing while letting the viewer explore later.

If you put the photo in a gridlock, I used the right third and the middle third when focusing on the street sign. I was also surprised how far everything from the sign actually looks.  In real life it didn’t seem as…panoramic.  So I’m pleased with how this one turned out.


Here Comes The Sun.

Here Comes The Sun.

This photo was taken near the flower bed that lies behind the Arts and Sciences building, in between the Physical and Biological Sciences building and in front of the Classroom building.  The way the buildings are structured these flowers won’t see direct sunlight until the mid/end of the day.  I caught the moment where the sun was peeking right in between the Biological Science and Classroom building.  It also just so happened that “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles just played on my iPod. Hence the lovely title.

My creative device was to viewing.  I had to angle the camera low and close to the flower bed, to include them and the structures that surround them.  It’s interesting how being observant and looking at things different can lead to a pretty cool shot.


The Trail To Odessa.

The Trail To Odessa.

This photo was taken while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park (Note: This happened right before the shutdown.  Talk about close call!) Some friends and I took a 4 mile hike to Odessa Lake.  This photo is near the end of the trail.  I got real lucky as the clouds were coming in and the lighting stayed perfect.  The dominant device to me has got to be the leading lines.  I loved the opening that the trail and creek gave which lead right up to the mountains.  It kind of makes you feel you’re practically there.  Not a bad photo from the iPhone!


The Big (Wait For It...)

The Big (Wait For It…)

This photo was taken on top of hill on Joe Street located in Sheridan, WY.  What’s the glorious landscape you ask? That would be the Big Horn Mountains.  Taking legit sunset photos with an iPhone can be tricky, not to mention they can turn out worse than what you hoped. This photo had great balance. By using the natural light at the top and the darkness at the bottom I was really lucky how the photo turned out.  I swear if I had a Nikon, it could of been on National Geographic! Another device to be considered can be Viewpoint.  If I didn’t happen to leave for my friends wedding rehearsal dinner I never would have viewed God’s Masterpiece. I also wouldn’t have caught the Cream of the Crop.


Horn Mountains!

Horn Mountains!

I really wish my iPhone had a panoramic view.  Just by turning a few feet to the right the glorious sunset that night in Sheridan, WY did not disappoint! My friend jokingly called this photo “Sky Porn”.  Most people might think that I edited this photo by really brightening the sun beam.   However, I kid you not it was that bright. This photo has great natural texture from the clouds, to the beam of light, to the mountains in general.  Had it not snowed that weekend I highly doubt the mountains would of reflected like that.  But if given a chance to edit, I would really like to take out the lighting from the gas station below.  That way we can have leading lines that go right up to the mountains.

Surprises? Anything I learned?

The thing that surprised me most about this experiment, was that the iPhone definitely works great for outdoor nature pictures.  I tried to take photos of strangers who didn’t notice and they never really turned out as good as these 5.  However, I do believe that if I had a Nikon or Cannon I could get some great shots of strangers (in a non stalker way).  Overall, the iPhone is a great camera that can catch great outdoor shots.  I just don’t recommend using them on animate objects i.e. people, animals, vehicles, etc.

More Than A One Trick Brony

19 Sep

What If I Told You…

That the show My Little Pony wasn’t just for little girls in elementary schools, that beyond the ponies, bright colors and cute theme songs, there’s a global phenomenon that keeps growing. That phenomenon has caught up to the University of Wyoming. Thus the Wyoming United Bronies or WUB was born.

The Bronies

Go into the Union on campus and you’ll find a computer science major sitting at one of the dining tables. More than likely, he’ll be sitting and creating some new music beats on his black laptop. But if you sit down and talk with Jake Harper, there’ll be more than meets the eye.

“You’re probably wondering, how does a guy like me get involved with something like this?” Harper would ask.

It’s an honest question. How does a college male, start a club with one of the main focuses being My Little Pony?

“I started this club, with the intentions of it being that this was a social club.” Harper said. “Because really, that’s one of the main messages of the show.”

Harper states that the Bronies itself is about hanging out and meeting new people in a social setting. Whether that’s having fight nights in one’s dorm or by throwing a rave in the Union. No matter what setting is, it’s almost a guarantee you will find the Bronies having a good time.

The Bronies recently had their booth setup at the RSO Fair that took place at Prexy’s Pasture on Wednesday. Their setup was basic including a table, a sign-up sheet and two signs taped to the corners saying “WUB Club. We’ll make you 20% more cooler.” Also at the table you’ll find Harper and fellow Bronies Chris Prevedel and Xander Cox.

Courtesy of the Wyoming United Bronies Club

Courtesy of the Wyoming United Bronies Club

Prevedel found the Bronies as a freshman. “Coming to UW, as a freshman, you don’t really know anybody.” Prevedel said.

A chance encounter with a new found friend from orientation would lead to sharing common interests.

“I was having lunch, with my friend Seth and we both found out that we were both Bronies and enjoyed My Little Pony.” Prevedel said. “Then Seth and my friend Eric said ‘Hey, we’re going to the WUB club meeting do you want to come?’”

The rest as they say was history.

Xander Cox, a fellow Brony, had found the enjoyableness of the Bronies as soon as he joined.

“I moved here from Las Vegas, NV so I didn’t have a giant bundle of high school friends who came with me. So I was looking for new friends.” Cox said. “I came over and everyone was super inclusive and super nice. As soon as I met them we became instant good friends and instant good company.”

Cox became real close with his new group of friends. So close even, that when Cox lost his Internet in his dorm, he basically moved in with Chris and another fellow Brony for a month.

My Little Pony Phenomenon

According to Harper, My Little Pony has quite the following from massive fan blogs to conventions.

“There’s a lot of conventions for it,” Harper said. “We’re hoping to go to one in Denver, in October.”

Of course with every type of fandom there is always the fan websites.

One of the websites that contributes to the My Little Pony phenomenon is
Equestria Daily the central hub for My Little Pony on the World Wide Web. The site is a massive collection for fan art, recaps of certain episodes and “fics” or threads for users to create and start random topics on My Little Pony.

Courtesy of Equestria Daily

Fan Art: Courtesy of Equestria Daily

Courtesy of Equestria Daily

Fan Art: Courtesy of Equestria Daily

It’s a bro, bro world

Hang around the Bronies for five minutes and you’ll know that this club is way more than just watching My Little Pony in the classroom building. It’s about building bonds with fellow students at the University of Wyoming. It’s about having a good time with each other, whether that’s playing Super Smash Brothers on the nostalgic Nintendo 64 console. Cox still has nightmares to the day about how fellow Brony John got the final smash with Zelda and arrowed all 3 competitors to gain the victory. “It was Korean Level Meta.” Cox described. Even throwing a rave in the Union with Harper being the DJ at the event ended up being a good time.

The Bronies much like My Little Pony is all about friendship and being there for each other no matter what. It’s a club that wants to include everyone, geek out on the My Little Pony “merchandise”, and overall have fun. It would be nice to see more clubs that have this kind of bond. They’re literally one-in-a-billion.

If you would like to get more information about the Bronies please e-mail Jake Harper at or check out their RSO page at

Usability: “Powering A Nation-Coal: A Love Story”

4 Sep

The story I was assigned was “Coal: A Love Story”


My initial thoughts with the page that was that it had a really great design, from the top of the page it informs you that it’s a interactive website. So of course I started my interaction from the top where a video would play and then it would move down the site, where you would watch

The content I explored was all videos most of them took about 2 minutes to view.  I started from the top with the first video and then worked my way down.  The reason I did this was because I feel like that’s how the website was intended to be.  So in that regard it’s better to follow the storyline one by one, than to skip around. 


As far with problems with navigation, I had none.  The site was very easy for me to navigate because it used a great job of graphic design by having a power cord be the line you follow throughout the site.  In regards to the 10 navigation tips, they followed every single one. They never over did any use of scroll bars or layers of material.  The buttons I’m sure would be big for a mobile device.


To find how to contact the creators of the website I had to go to the bottom of the page and click on “About Coal: A Love Story” link this led me to a page where it showed me the group who was behind the project and how I can contact them.  Now when originally looking for the contact info, I did not go to that link.  The first place I went to was the bottom of the page. Because, nine times out of ten you’ll find the contact information, not this time.  After clicking through some dead end links, I finally found the contact information.  Overall, it took me about 5 minutes to find.  Which I feel is a little too long.  Generally if you want contact information you want it to be found easily and not be hiding like Waldo.

I had my co-worker Molly check out the website to get a feel for how someone else would explore the site.

Right away Molly was very impressed with how clean and cool the site looked.  I noticed that she started scrolling down and scanned through the whole page.  Almost immediately she realized that the site was designed to start from the top interactive wise and work its way down from the first video to the second and so on an so on.

I asked Molly to find where to contact the producers, reporters, etc, on the website.  This is where trouble brewed.  Right away she went to the bottom of the site (exactly what I did).  She couldn’t find anything that said “Contact” however she did find their Twitter page.  After five minutes of clicking on useless links she finally found it.

With all of this said, here are 3 things that should NOT be changed with this site.

  1. The graphics.  They help make this site look very professional and it helps give it a lot of credibility.
  2. The flow of the site.  The order in which the videos are placed help give the viewer an understanding of what goes on in the world of coal.  It also makes for a very informative story.
  3. Additional information.  Every site needs to cite their sources right? Powering a nation does a great job of putting additional information on the subject to the side just in case people get more curious about the coal industry.


Here are 2 things that should be changed with the site

  1. EASIER WAY TO CONTACT! I typed that in all caps because I literally want to yell that.  Finding the contact information was hard for me and my friend Molly.  If Powering A Nation really wants to make a “change” they have to have easier contact info.
  2. I really would have liked to see more reasoning on why they did the order of videos they ended up with.  Before you start you’re “experience” there really isn’t any info given on why the order is the way it is. I need more clarification.