A Christmas video

KC and I first thought about filming skiers. But with the Christmas season so close we thought asking people what Christmas meant to them would make a cuter idea.

I enjoyed the whole experience of making this video. I thought it was such a fun idea. Driving around and looking at lights on the houses was my favorite part. Some people go all out! I did not like asking random people what Christmas meant to them. Some people looked at us like we were psycho, but others were very nice. I also did not like making people feel uncomfortable about recording them. After KC and I explained to them what we were doing though, the interviewees seemed to become more comfortable. They were most relieved when we told them that they did not have to look at the camera, but that they could look at me so it felt like they were just talking to a person.

I was surprised at how easy it was to get B roll that, was somewhat interesting. I wish instead of driving throughout the video that we would have also walked to maybe get a different view. In the future I think it would be great to switch roles and be the person to film and the one to edit.

In my future career I see myself using video as a tool to promote the business. I think I would also use it to show the boss a skill that I have, to maybe put myself above other employees.

KC did a wonderful job recording and editing the video together. I really enjoyed this assignment.

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First Tweeting Experience EVER

For this assignment I had to live tweet an event of my picking. I never go to basketball games and my boyfriend loves to watch…so I tweeted about the UW cowboy basketball game last night.

I enjoyed just going to the event, because actually basketball is not too boring to watch and it is inside so I can stay warm! While tweeting though, I liked the small rush I got while trying to type fast enough before that moment passed and another one has already happened. I did not enjoy missing those other moments. I also did not enjoy not knowing the lingo of basketball, nor not knowing the all the names of the players.

I learned a lot! First I learned how to tweet in general, I had to ask a friend. I mean it is pretty self-explanatory but I still asked. I also learned about the whole hash-tag thing, which is not my favorite thing. It may grown on me later but right now I find hash-tags kind of annoying. I found it surprising that as the game went on it became easier to watch the game and still pick out points that were interesting enough to tweet.

I wish I would have sat somewhere else. It was not too great of a view, but I was still able to see. I just made it easier to miss some of the ‘tweetable’ moments.

In my future career I see myself connecting with different audiences through social media. I will want to grab all of the audiences and therefore I will need to know what social media they are using.

At first I thought this assignment was going to be somewhat difficult. But after I got into it I liked the thought of sending out my thoughts as a tweet, for others to see.

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Small Business Saturday project

For this assignment we were to work with a partner and report on an event that we found interesting. KC and I chose the Small Business Saturday event that happens on Nov. 29. For this we interviewed three people. We started with Trey Sherwood, who explained the over arching idea of Small Business Saturday. We then interviewed Audrey Jansen at Sweets Cakes & Pastry to get a view from a local small business. Last but not least we interviewed John Schutterle at Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop to get a second view from a local small business.

I asked the small business interviewees simple questions like what got their businesses started and if they were doing anything special for Small Business Saturday. While I asked questions KC strolled around and took pictures to represent what was being said in the interview. I think doing the interview and taking pictures at the same time made it easier for this pictures and audio to match in the final project.

I did the interviewing, so my SoundSlides experience was limited. Although, I did learn from the last audio editing and so my experience with audacity was more pleasant this time.

We had one struggle when meeting up with one interviewee. They were late but luckily we had their number on hand and were still able to meet up. I also had another struggle with not being able to have my partner at one of the interviews, but she came and took pictures on a different day, so it worked out.

I think this project went very well and was easy to plan. Therefore I do not think I would change anything. Doing this project made me more aware of the Small Business Saturday event, which also lead to me getting the Big Dipper Ice Cream shop more involved. I think that is a great positive from this assignment.

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The Dreaded Edited Audio

This recording is a story from KC and her friend Natasha. Editing this was insanely hard for me, and this is the best I can do. I hope you all enjoy it, and think it is funny too.

During my editing, I became very aggravated at trying to make the transitions smooth. I thought it was hard because matching low with low volume sometimes did not work well with the words. So when I would cut a piece of the audio and paste it in another section the voice goes from soft to loud or loud to soft, and that makes the cut heard. Also editing five minutes down to two was difficult for me. I had this experience because I felt as though I could not edit out anymore words or breaths without taking away the plot of the story.

Even though this was really tough for me, I really enjoyed the experience. It was cool to hear some transitions go so well together, almost like it was originally said that way. But like I stated before, I did not enjoy being unable to make smooth transitions. However, I enjoyed trying to find certain words to input to make my edited story make sense to the listener.

It surprised me at how annoying background noise is! And also how the reporter may not notice it until it has been recorded. Although, I am sure a more skilled journalist is used to scanning for background noise instead of just ignoring it. And again I was also surprised at how difficult the editing was for me.

I wish I would have told the interviewees not to interrupt each other. That would have made making transitions easier. I also wish that the story was more on track. I should have done the recording a few more times to ensure that I had what I wanted.

In general I really enjoyed the experience of this assignment. I think more experience with Audacity would make the editing easier.

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Raw Audio

The following 5 minute story is amusing and yet has an eerie feeling. I think that feeling goes well with our creepy holiday coming up. Hopefully you find it as entertaining as I did.

This story is told by KC and her friend Natasha, titled “A Series of Unfortunate Events”

During the interview I felt at ease, mostly because KC and I are friends. Although it was not awkward it did feel a little unusual, because with the audio recorder the conversation did not feel natural. When I say natural I mean it did not feel like a regular friend to friend story, it actually felt like an interview. Again, I think this feeling is because the story was being recorded. Like when people realize they are on T.V. and they start acting a little differently, well kinda like that feeling. I believe that is why I did not say anything during the story. Also because I did not want to run out of time.

I did not feel any different while I was being interviewed. The only thing I changed was how long I told the story to make sure I was not over or under time.

I enjoyed being able to tell a story, that I think is hilarious, that other people I do not know might hear one day. I think that is what most people enjoy when telling their story. They hope that one day someone else will hear it. During the interviewing process I did not enjoy having to worry about how long the story was taking. I also did not like worrying about how loud the voice recording might be. Although, I am assuming those are things a journalist would become more comfortable with.

I wish that during the time I was interviewing I would have been more comfortable with the time limit. That way I would have felt that I could ask a question here and there.

I think audio is interesting and I like the fact that the listener gets to hear from the actual person who lived the story. Putting pictures with this recording would be really fun.

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An Inexperienced Photojournalist

Taking photos of people I do not know, is defiantly beyond the limits of my comfort zone. Photos to me are very personal and reveal more about a person than writing ever could. With that, here are five revealing photos of people that I met for the first time.

Photo #1 ~ Sports Action


On a beautiful fall day Kasten Sorencen (left), Marvin Norena (middle) and Adam Sorencen (right) play a game of 21 in Washington Park, to see who is the better basketball player.

I titled this photo “The Race” and placed it into the sports action category. I came across this game of basketball while walking my dog through the park. Deciding weather or not to ask these guys if it would be okay to take pictures of them was the hardest part for me. I felt extremely awkward to be interrupting their game. After the fact, it was fine and they really did not mind. I was able to capture this photo at Washington Park. It was a very warm but windy day, during this game of 21. Like I said before, I did feel awkward at the beginning. But, after I started taking pictures that feeling subsided just a little. Other than that, taking this photo was fairly easy. A creative device I ‘accidentally’ used in this photo could be balancing.

Photo #2 ~ Feature


While I was relaxing at work, The Big Dipper, Colter Sheets finished his ice cream and was having fun chasing his shadow.

The title of this photo is “Chasing My Shadow” and is placed in the feature category. I came across this photo opportunity while I was at work. Taking pictures of Colter did not feel at all awkward because I know for a fact that he would never judge me, he is incapable of doing so at his age. Getting this shot was kind of difficult because Colter was running around. Holding myself still enough while getting him in the photo took some time. I used rule of thirds in this photo. There could also be balancing elements here.

Photo #3 ~ Sports Action


On a warm day in Washington Park, Ramie, Delio, Andrew and Ian play a mixture of football and soccer after a long day of school.

 I titled this photo “A Brand New Game” and put it in the sports action category. Once again while I was walking my dog in her favorite park, I came across these children playing a mixture of football and soccer. As I snapped photos of their invented game I found it to be fun. It was almost liking watching my little brothers play in school sports. So during this situation I felt at ease. After I had taken enough pictures I asked for the kid’s names and they were willing but did not want to give last names. Getting a good picture while they were playing was actually difficult because I’d either cut a person out or I would end up getting a picture of them after the action happened. I used rule of thirds in this photo.

Photo #4 ~ Feature


Barylon Sheets sits in amazement of his ice cream, at Big Dipper, after getting a ‘free scoop’ certificate from the eye doctor.

I titled this photo “Wow” and placed it in the feature category. I came across this photo while at work. I felt a little weird while taking these photos because his mom was watching. Although after talking to her she did not seem to mind at all. Acquiring this shot was not difficult. Barylon was so engaged with his ice cream that he did not even notice me holding the camera like right in his face. For this photo I used focus as a creative device.

Photo #5 ~ Feature


While feeding his baby, T.J. Russel, and Lam soak up the sun in Washington park.

I titled this photo “Baby Love” and placed it into the feature category. For one last time I came across this photo at Washington Park, yes again while walking my dog. She just loves the park. Anyways, this was one of the first situations I photographed and it felt very awkward. I almost felt like I was invading his space. I asked permission before I took the photo so I knew he was okay with it, but it was just weird. It was a little difficult getting this photo because the sun was so bright and a lot of the photos were washed out. I used focus as a creative device.


Throughout this assignment I found it surprising that everyone I asked did not mind that I asked to take their photo. I wish I would have been able to photograph an event, but that is difficult for me since most of my time is between work and school. I also wish that I would have thought more about the use of creative devices. Using them would have made for better photos.

All around this assignment gave me a new experience. Even though I did feel awkward I think I could get past that feeling and end up enjoying photojournalism.

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Creative Devices

The next five photos depicts my attempt at trying to make photos pleasing by using creative devices. Out of the like 240 photos I took these were definitely the least eye sores! Hopefully they’re better than I think, lets see what you think!

#1 Viewpoint


As I wait in the freezing cold for my boyfriend and his friend to finish cutting firewood, the reflection of the very green trees caught my eye.

“A reflection” is the title of this photo. The dominate creative device is viewpoint. This photo is pleasing to the eye because the viewpoint attracts the eye to the puddle but it then focuses the eyes on the green trees. Another creative device is color. The blue hue around the puddle and the reflection of the green trees creates attention around the focal point.

#2 Framing


While throwing the ball around for my dog I watched the sun set.

“Stuck in a Tree” is the title of the photo. The dominate creative device is framing. This photo is pleasing to the eye because the two pine trees around the sun draws the eyes to the bright dot captured. Another creative device in this photo could be contrast. Contrast is pleasing to the eye because the trees are dark which leads the eye again to the bright dot and the blue sky.

#3 Focus


As I waited for my ride home from work I snuck a picture of the radiant yellow leaves.

“Beautiful Fall Day” is the title of the photo. The dominate creative device is focus. The device makes the photo pleasing to the eye because it would seem that the picture is of just grass. However, the tree in the background is in focus, therefore making it the focal point. Another creative device could be color. This makes the photo pleasing because the yellow of the leaves and the green grass blend well together making the photo peaceful.

#4 Texture


One freezing cold morning while camping I noticed the set of three pine cones.

“Nature’s Litter” is the title of the photo. The dominate creative device in this photo is texture. This photo is aesthetically pleasing because the texture of this photo almost makes the viewer wants to pick up the pine needles. I don’t think there are any other creative devices for this photo.

#5 Rule of Thirds


As my dog runs around frantically sniffing every yard possible on our walk, I got a great shot of the moon lit sky.

“Midnight Stroll” is the title of the photo. The dominate creative device is rule of thirds. The photo is aesthetically pleasing because in each third of the photo there is something to look at. Even though the moon is not directly in the middle of the photo I think the viewers eyes are still drawn to it. Another creative device is balancing elements. This makes the photo pleasing because the cloud on the left balances the moon on the right.

During this assignment I found it surprising that the photos turned out as well as they did. I also found that it was easier than I thought to find creative devices while taking the photos. Although, while taking the photos I realized it was very hard for me to keep my hands still in order to not take a blurry photo.

As for doing things differently…I think I should have tried to find people to take pictures of. I think nature is beautiful but viewers are able to relate to other people easier. I also think that the photos would have better captions if they were explaining people. What is there to be said about nature? Except that it’s peaceful and beautiful.

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Laramie Downtown Main Street Alliance

Farmers Market. Brew Fest. Business Referrals. Jubilee Days. Letters of Support. Confidential Business Coaching. Mural Project.

The above list shows the commitment the Laramie Downtown Main Street Alliance and Trey Sherwood, executive director, have in making positive contributions to Downtown Laramie.

The mission statement from the organization brings into picture the goals that are planned for the future: “Laramie Main Street Alliance strives to preserve historic Downtown Laramie while enhancing its economic and social vitality.”

What is the Main Street Alliance?

Laramie MSA banner

Photo Courtesy of: Laramie Main Street home page

Main Street Alliance is a national non-profit organization. For Laramie to become involved with the program, the city and businesses had to establish an active board of members and four standing committees that are made up of volunteers.

The organization works to revitalize the community, health of businesses, care of the buildings and promotion of the downtown.

In 2005, the organization was brought to Laramie. Laramie Downtown Main Street Alliance has since proven its support of the downtown and will celebrate its tenth anniversary this coming March.

Trey Sherwood

Sherwood is the executive director of the Laramie Main Street Alliance. She is the cheerleader and voice  for Downtown Laramie.


Photo Courtesy of: Sherwood’s Facebook

Along with the tenth anniversary, Sherwood will be celebrating her fifth year with the organization. Sherwood did not go looking for this job, the job found her. The previous executive director told her that she had the personality, so she jumped in and has been there since.

“It’s exciting to me that the work I am doing will make a difference down the road,” Sherwood said.

Her personality is also what gets things done and that aspect makes her respected and trusted by all the people she works with day to day.

Interacting with the community or celebrating a success with a business, to name a few, are what she enjoys the most about her job. She also likes the social media.

“The social media piece is interesting. I approach it as a conversation piece with our audience,” she said.

Each day is new and a challenge, that element fits perfectly with her personality. A day for her could include accounting, bookkeeping, business coaching, helping volunteers and the board set long term goals, be a cheerleader for downtown and sit in on a lot of meetings to make sure the communication between her and the community is open.

Laramie Downtown Main Street Alliance and Trey

Even though the organization has been around for ten years now, Sherwood continues to bring the organization to its full potential.

“She brings honest, passion to the job,” Jerry Schmidt, vice chair of the board, said. “When things don’t go well she hurts personally because of it, but when they do go well she can’t keep the tears out of her eyes. She just has a way of putting her heart and soul into her job and doing it in a professional way.”

mural 2

Photo Courtesy of: Laramie Mural Project, Pinterest Grainery Grove mural

The commitment Sherwood has given to the organization is exhibited by the award the Laramie Main Street Alliance recently won. The national organization recognizes them as program of the year. They were chosen because of the progress in design and fundraising.

As a non-profit organization they have to be mindful about going after money. Their successful fundraising is do to their ability to diversify the pots of money; the organization does not go to the same person or businesses over and over again.

Schmidt would like to see Downtown Laramie on the list of what people want to see and visit. He credits Sherwood as bringing that to reality by putting into action the improvements they were awarded for.

“I think what we’re building here is the synergy,” said Schmidt. Which means when two or more elements are combined they produce a total effect greater than the sum of all the individual elements. This synergy draws people to Downtown Laramie.

With the help of Sherwood’s energy and creative, fun ideas, Downtown Laramie is beginning to thrive or have that synergy. Contributing to the synergy is how Sherwood makes people feel like she wants them to have success. This makes people feel like they are a meaningful part of the community. This pleasure she gives them is also what she gets out of the people.

“They wake up and have a dream. Whatever they want, they are fueled by that passion and I think that is really contagious,” Sherwood said smiling.

Because of this passion, it makes Sherwood have a positive outlook everyday. If a business needs help, her positive, honest and goal oriented attitude shows the owner that they can trust her word. When she makes a plan with someone she follows through on it.

“Trey is so infectious,” Joan Martindale, Martindale’s store owner, said. Sherwood helped Martindale with her stores Facebook page, and bringing people into the store by making them more aware. She likes working with Sherwood because she gets things done and that makes the tasks non-frustrating.

Sherwood openly communicates with everyone she works with. This gives her the honest, positive attitude everyone loves. The demeanor Sherwood has, has kept the organization positive, alive and businesses involved.

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Usability Test

This user test was on the “100 Gallons” story. My first thoughts about this website were, ‘wow I can’t scroll down’, ‘It’s just one video, that seems simple enough’, and ‘there does not seem to be much information’. The thoughts were not criticizing the website, I was more trying to figure things out before exploring.

My exploration started with the ‘how to view’ button. I clicked on this first because there was not much labeling and so I was unsure of what each button did. After doing some reading I clicked play on the video. The ‘how to view’ rules had said I could pause during the video to read the different stories, but I just wanted to see the whole thing first. Once the video was finished it turned into a colleague of pictures. I clicked on one and read the text that came up. I had decided to click on a picture because I was unsure of what to do after the video had ended.

During my exploration I encountered a few problems. The first problem was navigating back from an informational page. There was no button, I had to click in the black in order to return to the home page. Also I thought the labeling of the buttons was unclear. If I had not read the ‘how to’ page I would have never known that the small circles were different stories, or something that could be clicked on.

The usability for this site was a bit different for the person I tested. The first thing they did was click play on the video and watched with no pauses. After the video was finished they clicked on the question ‘why 100 gallons’ and read the information. Then he asked “is this it?”

During his explorations he did not realize the small circles, or the colleague of pictures could be clicked on. In general he didn’t know where to navigate. This is due to the bad labeling, having more than 7 options, and that there was too many layers. Once he clicked on something there was more to click on. He said, “it felt that they tried to go way to advanced compared to what people are used to.”

I thought finding the contact information was confusing. I looked at the three logos on the bottom of the page and guessed that was who to contact. The other tester found the contact information by clicking the ‘about’ button and then clicked on the word ‘here’ on that page. Doing that lead right to the page that showed who made the site and who to contact with questions. It would have taken me a while to find that.

Our usability of the site was similar in the fact that we watched the whole video before doing some exploring of the page. Neither of us knew that circles were links to more information. Our differences started with what was clicked first. I had clicked the ‘how to view’ button and so I knew there was more that could be seen. The other tester watched the video first and concluded that it was all the website had to offer.

One thing that should not be changed about the website is how the main video is put together. I think the video is put together in a way that makes viewers wonder, which in turn makes them continue to watch. Another thing that should not be changed is the information. The information that is provided is very educational. Also the ‘100 gallons’ theme should stay the same because it makes people think. Not many people realize how much water they use in one day.

There are more than three things that need to be changed on the website, but these are the top three. The first thing is labeling. If there was any type of labeling on the buttons, I think viewers would have a better understanding of what everything does. Using less layers is the second change. Once a viewer has clicked into something, there is then more to click on that leads to another page. When this happens the viewer gets lost and leaves the website. The third change, I think, should be adding a home page. This would help eliminate the layer problem and it would also help convey the large quantity of information that seems to be hidden.

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My News Diet

On days I have nothing to do, which is hardly ever, I read my ‘usual’. This includes Facebook, Pintrest, and whatever book I have picked up. My family and friends are also great updaters of drama and such. One of my roommates that likes to update me on the world drama watches some type of ‘comedy political’ show. I always listen to him but I don’t think that type of news is always trust worthy. I guess this type of entertainment could be informative but I really think it is slanted and doesn’t portray both sides.

During my college career I have found that news makes me depressed, and so until recently I have stayed away from it. Although, when I changed my major I  had to become interested in news. I do not mnewspaper headlines showing bad news, recession related Stock Photo - 9938577ean to imply that this is a bad habit. In my opinion it seems that media delivers a lot of ‘bad’ news. It always seems that I really have to search for ‘good’ news, or news that relates to traveling, animals or other alike topics.

The topics I like include articles such as “Why We Travel” or “Potentially habitable planet detected around nearby star“. I associate these types of articles with ‘good’ news.Theses are types of articles that I feel are unbiased. I think political news is where bias comes into play.

Recently I have downloaded a news app on my phone, News Republic. So far this is the only news media that I have really gotten into. I like this app because it relates my interests, to other stories I may like based off what I have read before. How wonderful?! I am not into politics, although sometimes they are juicy, and this app will edit out those stories that I am not interested in.

When I get to talking about news in general, I like to talk to my boyfriend. Mostly because he agrees with my type of thinking, and he also has positive input, although we do disagree once in a while. Some of my family members become offended when I talk to them about what’s going on in the world.

With the changing of my major, I believe I need to branch out and read different news outlets. I think this should include CNN, New York Times, and NPR. With these new branches, I can educate myself on the dreaded politics and other alike topics. I may not always agree with CNN’s point of view, and the NPR station might only be played in long car rides, when there is absolutely no other radio station, but they still count, right?

Educating myself in new topics could be fun! So maybe the ‘bad’ news can be ‘good’, and potentially less depressing than I remember.


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