Reflection Post

As we conclude the semester, I find myself reflecting on the semester and what I have learned. I feel that throughout this class, I gained many different tricks for shooting stellar photos and videos. Earlier in the year, I predicted that I would learn many skills in the photography and videography and with the semester wrapping up, I feel that my predictions for what the semester would hold came true.

In addition to the inherent technical skills gained throughout this course, I also learned and developed many soft skills. The biggest soft skill that I gained in this class was the confidence to approach a stranger in order to gain an interview, or photos. Building off of this concept, I feel that I am much more prepared and adept at developing my professional network due to this increased confidence.

In my life moving forward, I am absolutely certain that I will use the technical and soft skills gained in this course, especially since I am pursuing a career in the music industry. The assignment that I found to be the most meaning full was the journalism assignment. This was the most meaningful because it was directly related to the career I hope to break out in, I was able to get an official press pass for this assignment, and although it was not my best grade, I am proud of work I did.

The most challenging assignment for me was the audio profile and this was honestly self inflicted. I took for granted that I have a background in audio work and production and this lead me to not pay as much attention to the assignment guidelines as I should have, and because of this, my grade suffered. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to not get complacent and just coast because this is my last year. I feel like I did that a little bit this semester and that because of this, my grades were not as exemplary as they could have been. Thank you to our professor Dr. Kristen Landreville for creating a fun and challenging learning environment.

At-Home Tattoo Video

For this assignment, we in the class were given the option of working individually, or partnering up, in order to brainstorm, film, and edit a video covering a topic of our choosing. Luckily, my roommate Wade Dudley is in the class with me and so we chose to work on this project together. We decided that at home tattoos would be a good topic for us to go shoot, as Wade has a friend named Em Whipple that has given him many at-home tattoos before. For the sake of our video, and due to the pre-existing relationship between Wade and Em, we took more of a promotional approach on the relationship between the two friends and the process of tattooing.

I really enjoyed this project because I have come to thoroughly enjoy the video shooting process. I was also enrolled in Digital Video Production class this semester and so I was very excited to use the skills I have learned and developed in this class for that assignment. It was a fun video to shoot because I also love tattoos and the idea of putting someones art in ones skin and so shooting the process was very enjoying to me.

The worst part of this assignment, in my opinion, was the editing process. Although I had a whole class on video production, I still struggle a bit with navigating editing programs and I find the process to be rather cumbersome and not as much fun as the other elements of video creation. The only thing I wish that we could have done differently is to have shot in a more open and better lit area. I found that occasionally it was hard to get a light balance that was appealing to my eye. I can definitely see myself utilizing video production in my professional future by creating promotional videos to promote my brand as a DJ.

Live Tweeting Adult Coloring Event

Coloring at Coe – Student Carlos Hernandez shows off the picture he had been coloring

For our most recent assignment, we were all tasked with researching some sort of event that we could attend and give live updates on via Twitter. I chose to attend the university’s adult coloring at Coe library for this assignment because I really enjoy coloring and the anti-stress events that the university puts on around the end of every semester. My updates on the event can be found here: @StevenWiner5. I have had a Twitter for many years, but I have never posted on it until today. I primarily use my Twitter account as a source for quick news from a variety of different sources.

For this assignment, I attempted to utilize more of a journalistic approach while covering this event. I really enjoyed talking to the other students that were attending this event and coloring a picture of my own! I didn’t enjoy the required writing styles that we had to use for this assignment because I feel that I am not a very strong journalistic or PR writer. However, I do appreciate and see the merit in working on those skills that I am less versed in. Additionally, I did not enjoy trying to come up with relevant hashtags because I found myself coming up with ones that were either too ambiguous or too specific to my liking.

In this assignment, I learned that it can sometimes be difficult to get everything you what to say across in Twitter’s 240 character limit. I was surprised at how quickly that space gets filled up, especially when you start adding a bunch of hashtags. I honestly am not a very big fan of Twitter and I feel that it would most likely not be a social media tool that I utilize much in my future, but who can know for sure!

Instagram Promotion Post

For this assignment, we were all tasked with promoting five of our previous blog posts ( 1. Creative devices 2. Photojournalism 3. Web writing story 4. Audio profile 5. Google My Maps) on our Instagram page. To do this we utilized a program called Canva in order to create strong images that would pop on our feed. While I am rather experienced with Instagram (@BigRedd307), Canva was a fun new tool to play around with.

In order to make my posts catch the eyes of my followers I tried to create backgrounds that complimented the photos from the posts themselves. I tried to utilize colors that popped and fonts that were pleasing to the eye. Canva had a lot of fun base templates to look through, but admitedly, I found the app to be the most challenging part of this assignment. Once I figured it out more, it became a very fun process to edit the thumbnails to get exactly what I wanted out of them. What surprised me about this assignment is how much I enjoyed using Canva after I had it figured out.

In the future, I can see Instagram as an invaluable tool for promoting the things I am working on. I hope to pursue a career in the music industry and as such, social media promotion on platforms like Instagram will be of paramount importance. I am grateful that I now have a better grasp on how to use Instagram as a tool for promotion.

5 Best Concert Venues in Denver, CO.

Music is a wonderful thing and live music concerts can be very exciting events. Like many other cities, Denver, CO has a wide variety of concert venues that cater to different audiences, and provide entirely unique concert experiences. That being said, it can be a daunting task deciding which venues to go to, when trying to track down the perfect fit for you. For this reason, I created the interactive map above to help those that are interested navigate to what I hold to be the five best concert venues in the Denver area. This list includes venues in a wide variety of sizes, location, and function, as well as quotes from an interview that I conducted with Daniel Evans. Dan, or Mr. Bugatti as he goes by on stage, is a Denver native, and one member of glitch-funk trio, The Party People.

The stage at the Fillmore Auditorium – Photo courtesy of Live Nation Special Events

The 5th best concert venue in Denver is the Fillmore Auditorium. The Fillmore is a fairly standard concert venue, that has the capacity to hold a fairly big crowd while still providing areas to sit back and enjoy the music in a less physically demanding way. The Fillmore often gets big name acts such as Tech N9ne, Snoop Dogg, and Awolnation, however it is the more unique events that the Fillmore holds that makes it stand out from other venues. The Fillmore often plays host to art shows that combine live art, live music, and the sale of art to create a truly unique experience.

When asked about these more unique shows, Evans stated, “Those are my favorite shows to go to at the Fillmore for sure! I just recently went and saw Tsuruda play an art show hosted by art pioneers Alex and Allyson Gray.”

Preparing for a show at 1st Bank Center – Photo courtesy of 1st Bank Center

The 4th best concert venue in the Denver area is 1st Bank Center, located north of Denver in the town of Boomfield. 1st Bank Center is the first stadium style concert venue on this list, meaning that 1st Bank Center holds much larger events. The layout of 1st Bank Center provides a massive floor, a large bowl of seats, and many private viewing booths. This all grants 1st Bank Center a lot of versatility in terms of the many ways you can experience one of their events. 1st Bank Center is know for their massive visual productions and the large name acts that hold their shows within its walls.

Packed house at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom – Photo courtesy of Cervantes’ Masterpiece

To change things up a little bit, the 3rd best concert venue in Denver is much smaller and much more intimate than the previous two entries. Located just north of downtown Denver, Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom is a staple of Denver’s illustrious music scene and night time culture. It is a local hot-spot that combines the booking of high profile acts and local talent, in order to provide a truly incredible concert experience.

“Cervantes’ has been so great to us over the years, and The Party People consider it our home.” said Evans. The small size of the venue allows attendees to get up close and personal with the artists they are seeing, while the VIP lofts allow for a more comfortable viewing experience. Whether it’s the local population that draws you in, or the intimate nature of the shows themselves, any trip to Cervantes’ is sure to leave any concert goer satisfied.

Setting the stage at the Pepsi Center – Photo courtesy of Rate Your Seats

The 2nd best concert venue in Denver is the Pepsi Center. The Pepsi Center is the pinnacle of stadium concerts in Colorado. Also playing home to the Denver Nuggets, the Pepsi Center has the capabilities of holding massive amounts of spectators. This makes it a stop for some of the biggest names in music such as Post Malone, Cher, and Blake Shelton. For anyone looking to have the full-fledged concert experience, complete with massive production, pyrotechnics, stage gimmicks, and tons of theatrics, the Pepsi Center is definitely a must on ones concert quest.

When the night comes alive at Red Rocks – Photo courtesy of Roadtrippers

To wrap up my list of the top 5 concert venues in the Denver area, Red Rocks takes up the number 1 spot. Located in the foot hills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks is a massive outdoor amphitheater that plays host to concerts of all types and varieties. Red Rocks is named for the distinct red hue that the rocks hold, and the most notable features of this venue are the two massive, sloped rocks that border the North and South sides of the amphitheater.

“I have been to venues all over the country and nothing so far has compared to Red Rocks, in my eyes. There is just something special about that place.” said Evans. As the picture makes clear, Red Rocks is an outdoor venue which really adds to the experience overall, and allows patrons to enjoy music while taking in beautiful Colorado sunsets with the Denver skyline in the backdrop.

Music is something that is very important to me and I know just how big of a pain it can be to find music venues that fit your needs. I feel that for the area of Denver, my list and map provides a fair spread of venue types that can help anyone in need to make a more informed and decision. Denver has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the country and as such, its music venues are top notch. It is hard to go wrong with venue selection in Denver, but through adhering to this list, a top notch concert experience will surely be achieved.

Audio Profile of Trevor Moritsch

For this blog post, we were tasked with interviewing a subject, recording the interview, and then editing the audio down. For this purpose, I interviewed one of my long time friends Trevor, who is a first semester freshman here at the University of Wyoming. This interview process was fairly smooth as i have known Trevor for a long time, and I am familiar with audio recording.

As smoothly as the interview process went, the edit process was rather arduous and cumbersome. When I recorded the interview into my D.A.W. it had some sort of volume issue where it recorded very quietly. This resulted in me having to do more mastering to the final track in order to hear it better. I ended up solving the problem with a custom EQ and a compressor over the track. I also found the process of removing all the “um”s and “ah”s to be much more cumbersome than I initially thought.

The easiest part of this assignment was definitely getting the photo of Trevor. Due to us being very good friends, taking the picture was much easier,and less awkward, than getting a photo of someone I don’t know as well.

I really appreciated this assignment because it is my hope to enter the music industry after college, and a lot of the skills used in this assignment can be very advantageous to that field. This is even more true since I recorded in a different manor than with my phone. I recorded into Abelton using a condenser mic and audio interface. This is very similar to the set up for recording vocals over music tracks and I feel that I will apply the skills from this assignment in this way, in the future.

Rowdy Times at Red Rocks

On Your Feet! – Sullivan King gets the crowed riled up for the opening moments of Kill the Snails’ set

It was a temperate fall evening in Morrison as the sun lowered down over the Rockies. While most places would be winding down at this time, Red Rocks was starting to come alive. The air was electric as the doors opened and the music kicked off what was to be a very energetic night. The bill for the night consisted of bass music artists Decadon, Krimer, Sullivan King, Midnight Tyrannosaurus, Rusko, and all lead up to the headlining performance of Kill the Snails. The duo consisted of New York’s Kill the Noise and Montreal’s Snails, and there performance was a special for Snails’ third annual Red Rocks headlining show, Sluggtopia.

Meeting the Snail- Taken last year at Sluggtopia II, my girlfriend Kaycee and I were able to meet Snails and his mother

To earn a headlining show at Red Rocks is no easy feat, as it is heralded as one of the greatest outdoor music venues in the world. To earn an annual headline is an even more respectable feat, and there is no end of Snails headlines in sight. Known worldwide for his signature sound, complex arrangement, and unique brand, Snails is one of the biggest names in electronic dance music. He has played for hundreds of thousands of fans around the world and is known for being very engaged with his fans. With each headlining show, Snails consistently brings innovations, variations, and endless surprises. This years addition the the concert line was certainly no exception to this.

From the Front to the Back – Sullivan King (Front) sings lyrics for the opening song of Kill the Snails’ (Back) set

It was a very thrilling evening as each artist that stepped on stage brought their very best. It almost seemed like a friendly competition between the artists, which added even more excitement to the experience as a whole. Artists like Decadon and Sullivan King accompanied their mixing with powerful live guitar riffs, while Midnight Tyrannosaurus and Rusko brought their incredibly unique sound design in full force. Each act that took the stage had unique traits that they brought to the table, which made night blend together into one overarching masterpiece.

Jump! – Rusko brought is signature “wonky” sound to the rocks for this energetic night

Electronic music culture has long since been the subject of many negative stigmas, the most prominent being the promotion of heavy drug use. However, this association is often times over exaggerated due to a lack of first hand information, and a misunderstanding of the culture as a whole. When interviewed, Denver local and long time concert goer Sean Wilson had this to say, “I have been to shows of every genre, and I cannot say that I see any more drug use at raves than I do rap shows, country shows, reggae shows… you name it.” This idea was confirmed by a Red Rocks employee of 7 “seasons,” Staci Kholer. “From what I can tell, when people get in an environment like this, with the music blaring and thousands of others around, some groups of people lose control. I wouldn’t say that I see it any more ODs on nights like tonight than on other nights.”

Beta Here I Come – Sluggtopia opener Decadon announces he will be headlining Beta Nightclub the following evening, while Krimer gets ready to take over the decks

At any concert or festivity you will find people that can have fun whilst making healthy choices, and those that can not. However, this idea of drug use and electronic music culture having a special relationship is a fallacy. This environment may have some bad weeds, but the overall experience is meant to be a beautiful sonic journey between the music and visual production. “The general vibe of the crowd is totally different at raves” said Wilson. “I have never seen people being overly aggressive and picking fights at raves like I have at other shows. It’s like we all have the same purpose and its to have a good time.” This sentiment was again reinforced by Kholer when she said, “I can say that it’s not my kind of music, but the crowd really seems to enjoy it. I am a people watcher and I love to see how much this type of crowd enjoys themselves.”

Bass Drop – Midnight Tyrannosaurus builds suspension before the drop

It is very evident to any that attends that there is something about raves that is simply different. However, this should not mean that just because something is special and different it gets negatively stigmatized. The minority of people that do chose to engage in drug use should not stand for the majority that practice healthy ways of living. Through first hand experience you may see for yourself that there is much more than meets the eye with this strange culture. According to Kholer, “The weirdest thing about most ravers is the way they dress.” We have all been told the famous idiom, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” and I challenge to all to apply this to the electronic music culture.

Fun With Photojournalism

For our third assignment in Multimedia Production, we were tasked with scouting out events, and people, to photograph using the skills and tools of a photo journalist. At first this assignment was a bit awkward for me, as it required us to approach strangers and ask if we could photograph them in whatever they were doing. It can be very strange to ask someone their permission to photograph them, but after the first two it became much less stressful. What follows are the five photos that I believe turned out best from my shooting.

Gotta Second? – Joseph Shahidi petitions students in the University of Wyoming Union, on behalf of Thrive Laramie

My first photo “Gotta Second?” is a feature photo of one of the many booths that can be found in the University of Wyoming Union on any given day. I happened to stumble upon this booth while walking through the Union between classes one day. For this particular booth, Shahidi was asking students passing by to fill out a short online survey about housing developments in Laramie. Any students that completed the survey would be entered in a drawing for a $100 Downtown Laramie gift card that can be used anywhere down town. This was a very easy shot to get as, I talked to Shahidi for a few moments, agreed to take the online survey, got my shot and went on my way.

Off to Class – Students at the University of Wyoming mosey between classes on a beautiful Friday afternoon

This second shot is more of a spot news shot, as it is simply a snapshot of one of many moments that take place on the University every day. It was a beautiful, sunny fall day and the atmosphere was buzzing due to the weekend drawing ever nigh. Additionally, there was a home football game on campus the following day, and the excitement of the school could be felt in the air. Another element of this shot that I really love is the presence of the leading line photographic element. The walking path leads the viewers eyes along the line of students, as if they themselves are a student walking to class.

Study Buddies – Engineering students Cole Burbank (left) and Issac Boettcher (right) prepare for coming exams in the basement of the University Union

This is a more general news shot taken as the semester ramps up, and students put their nose to the grind to prepare for tests. I was walking through The Gardens, in the basement of the University Union, when I discovered Burbank and Boettcher having a very intense discussion over the material they were working on. I immediately felt a connection to the moment as I have been in their shoes many times before. Trying to work through a study guide and racking your brain with classmates is something that we, as college students, can all identify with. In the photo the two students work to balance each other, and the way they are framed demonstrates the rule of thirds. This was probably the most awkward of my photos to shoot, because I didn’t want to disturb the two students. However, both Burbank and Boettcher were very understanding and kind. I talked to them for a moment before letting them return to their peace and quiet.

Just Hanging Out – University of Wyoming student Bowen Reber holds his core tight for this L-sit hang

My fourth photo is a sports action photo taken at Half Acre Gymnasium at the University of Wyoming. This photo was taken about halfway through Reber’s workout on Monday afternoon. By this time in the assignment I had gotten over my anxiety of approaching subjects to be photographed, so getting this shot was relatively easy. At the time of this shot, Half Acre was rather empty compared to what it usually is. This allowed more flexibility in getting the perfect shot, as it was easy to move around and not be in the way. Additionally, I really love the lighting that you can get from the high power lights that are at the gym.

30 Years of Remembrance – (Right to Left) PVT. Bendan Rucinski, Ellen Vis, Rachel Judy and John Innocenti give students information at the mock Berlin Wall located on Prexy’s Pasture

Today begins the week long event at the University of Wyoming to commemorate and remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. On Prexy’s Pastures there is a mock Berlin Wall that students can write various graffiti messages on. This feature will be here all week and will have students and faculty that can offer information on the fall of the wall. I was lucky to stumble upon this event for a feature photo as I was walking home from class, and everyone was happy to be photographed and have the word spread. I really love the lighting for this photo, and I believe that the checkpoint and the wall work to balance each other well.

All in all, I really enjoyed this assignment. It was fun running around campus and talking to various students. In hindsight, I wish I would have taken photos at more sports events so that I could have had more than just one in this post. Moving forward, I plan to pay more attention to the UWYO events calendar so that I can find some truly unique events to shoot and write on.

Creative Devices in Photography

Photography is something that I have always had a large interest in, however it has not been something that was very accessible to me until now. I am very thankful that this multimedia production class is offering the opportunity to develop my photographic prowess through hands-on practice. Last Friday, 9/13/2019, our class spent time at the William’s Conservatory on the University of Wyoming campus. Our goal on this outing was to successfully shoot many photos and capture five that we felt portrayed one of the creative devices that we discussed in class. What follows is my showcase of photos that I believe exemplify various creative photographic devices.

Peeking Pokey – A prickly cactus pokes out from behind another plant

The primary creative device present in Peeking Pokey is focus. While the cactus lies in the background with another plant in front of it, the viewers eye is drawn to the cactus due to it being in more focus. Additionally, this picture effectively shows depth with the plant and its pot in the foreground, and the windows and the shelf running off in the background. These elements in tandem work together to make this an aesthetically pleasing shot of the cactus.

Fuzzy Fingers – Many fuzzy tendrils erupt from this unique plant at William’s Conservatory

Fuzzy Fingers is a very fun piece that is brought to life thanks to the creative device, texture. Many of the individual hairs on each of the tendrils are clearly visible and they leave the viewer with the sensation that they know precisely how this plant would feel. Focus also works in this picture as the background grows blurry which reinforces the texture of this plant. I chose this photo because the plant really popped out at me when going through my photos from the shoot.

Fancy a Sip? – Wade Dudley gets a refreshing drink from mother nature’s treasures

Fancy a Sip?” is a funny shot of Wade Dudley getting a drink from one of the many water features at William’s Conservatory. This photo utilizes the creative device known as balancing elements. Balancing elements play a large role in this piece as Wade’s face head and the vibrant red flower work together to establish balance across the shot, making it very aesthetically pleasing. The way the Wade’s head is cropped reinforces this idea of balance across the shot.

Serenity – Water pours from a bamboo chute in a beautiful water feature

Serenity is, without a doubt, my favorite photo from Friday’s shoot. The primary creative device in in this shot is viewpoint as it is shot near the level of the water which draws focus to the ripples on the water. I believe that leading lines play a role in this photo as the water pouring from the chute leads the viewers’ eyes into the blackness of the chute. These devices work to create a calming effect which is what inspired the title.

Vibrance – A plant with all the colors of a rainbow

Vibrance is another one of my favorite shots from our time at William’s Conservatory. The most evident creative device in this photo is color which makes this plant pop and come alive. The combinations of colors are so unique and aesthetically pleasing that one can get lost in the sauce while viewing. The viewpoint of this shot also ads to the aesthetic because its close up perspective makes the individual parts of this plant pop even more.

I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment and learning more about the photographic process. In hindsight I wish I would have taken more photos. However, I do not believe this hindered my ability to capture various creative elements in each of the photos. I am very excited to utilize and hone the skills gained through this assignment as I continue as a photographer.

Here We Go Again

Its that time of year once again. Back in Laramie with my pencils sharpened and a hunger for knowledge. Perhaps an even greater hunger to be done, as this will be my last year here at the University of Wyoming. I am very eager at the opportunity to take the multimedia production course, I believe that in this course I will learn a wide set of skills that will make me a more effective and marketable media producer.

I believe that this course will teach valuable photography and videography techniques and skills, as well as many editing strategies to make my media standout. After browsing through the previous students blog entries, my hunch appears to be true but only the unfolding of time will provide certainty. I also believe that this class will provide a unique opportunity to dive deeper into my love for audio media.

Throughout this semester, I would like this blog to focus primarily on all things music. From music events here on campus to music news across the country, I want to provide insightful commentary and reporting on that which brings me such joy.

This blog assignment also provides the opportunity to develop skills and conduct research into strategic communication. I hope to speak to the Branding Iron and WPR and see what strategies and tactics they use to appeal to a mass audience and use strategic communication to impact the way information is disseminated and received.

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