Lab Hours

As a reminder …

  • Wednesday-Friday, 9-5
  • Monday, 9-5


Due on the server by 5 p.m. On Monday, May 5, is your final portfolio and multimedia project.

Your portfolio is ten images that were made this semester, fully captioned, cropped and appropriately toned. They should show a variety of image types (long, medium, closeup, portrait, news, feature, etc.) to demonstrate the competencies you have mastered. Look for great light, good moments, clean compositions and storytelling.

You may have packages of 2-3 photos from the same subject (each image will be considered one image), but those photos need to work as a package.

You may have images from your multimedia project but they cannot be the same or substantial similar.

To submit, create a folder titled LastName_portfolio and inside that put your ten images and the final version of your multimedia project.

Things to watch out for …

– Not saving files as true JPGs
– Errors on your captions
– Not properly naming your images
– Not having ten images
– Turning in images that are not sharp
– Turning in images that are not properly exposed
– Turning in a multimedia project that was not exported properly and legally

Questions? As always, send them along.

Soundslides Hysteria

It sounds like there is a lot of entertainment in the lab this afternoon … let me answer the questions I’m getting.

CAPTIONS: When you import images into Soundslides, it brings over the captions you wrote in either Photo Mechanic or Photoshop. You need to rewrite those into what we would normal call “cutlines.” A cutline (even though Soundslides calls them captions) is what the public would see and is structured much like what you see published online and in print.

The first time you should a character, you need all of their info – name, age, job title, etc. On subsequent appearances, much like in a news story, last name only.

Your cutlines should flow – imagine someone looking at your piece without the audio, would they understand the story from the images and cutlines?

Some of those cutlines will be only one sentences, some may be more. None should have the contact information for your subjects in them – ever.

EXPORTING: The video has an older version of Soundslides in it so the contents of the publish_to_web folder will be a little different. This is what your folder should look like:

Screen Shot 2014 04 25 at 12 51 37 PM

If you’re seeing more than one folder, named “400_300” and “600_450,” you did not set the output size to large. In Soundslides, there’s a Modify pulldown menu and, at the bottom of it is the option to cane the output size.

Remember that you need to rename that publish_to_web folder and drop the folder with its contents on the server.

ASSIGNMENT: Multimedia

Hopefully, you are well under way with your audio and have your photos mostly edited. During class time tomorrow, you should be able to knock out your presentation. Make sure you have watched the Soundslides video so you know how to start and you bring headphones – don’t make everyone else listen to your project.

There are two changes from the video you will need to make, both of them fairly minor:

  1. On the opening page, where you create a New project, there is a box for Output Sizes. You should check the Large button.
  2. Under the Template tab, click on Shell and set the pull-down to ios_html5. If you don’t do that, you’ll end up with a project that won’t play on iOS devices.

Here’s a quick checklist of what you need to do …

  • Edit Your Audio: Get it down to 90-120 seconds, no less and not much more.
  • Edit Your Photos: You need to have all of your photos cropped and toned in one folder – you import them as a batch so keep them together. Make absolutely sure they are JPGs – we have had some issues this semester with folks not saving as true JPGs or as PSDs, Soundslides will reject your images if they aren’t JPGs.
  • Create Your Soundslides Project: Remember to create a new folder for it and set the output size to large before importing your audio and photos
  • Rearrange Your Photos: Look for the natural breaks in your audio, listen for the punctuation – wherever there’s a period, comma or semicolon, that’s a natural place to transition from one image to another. Make sure what they’re saying matches what you’re showing.
  • Write Your Cutlines: These are different than your captions in that they should flow from one image to the next. Think about the viewer who can’t listen to the audio – can they understand the story? Think about your AP lessons – last name only on second reference and not every cutline will need a second sentence.
  • Clean Your Cutlines: No contact info, no credit info in the cutlines. We never publish our subject’s contact info. Ever.
  • Save Often
  • Set the shell to ios_html5.
  • Set the Template to Black
  • Export
  • Test: Firefox is occasionally finicky, drag the index.html file onto the Safari icon and make sure it works.
  • Rename the publish_to_web folder: That’s the only thing you will put on the server, not the whole project folder.

I’ll be in the lab for your entire class on Wednesday, pepper me with questions.

Learning Soundslides

Earlier this semester I said that Photo Mechanic was one of my two favorite programs, Soundslides is the other one. What it allows you to do is fairly stunning.

Here’s the tutorial on it:

So, what should you be doing in the next few days? I hope you have recorded your audio already as that will let you do your audio editing over the weekend. Audacity is free and available for both Mac and Windows machines. Read all the installation steps as you need to get the LAME Encoder, too, so you can export an MP3.

If you come in with your audio done on Monday, once we wrap up the Inspiration projects you can get to work on editing your photos then heading into Soundslides.

Pro Tip: Older versions of Audacity were a touch finicky, the current one seems much more stable. Still, try to get all your editing done in one session to be safe.

Soundslides only takes in two types of files – photos as JPGs and audio as MP3s. There’s no audio editing to be done in Soundslides, just arranging and setting timings.

Pro Tip: While working in the lab, you must use your own headphones so everyone around you doesn’t go crazy. Your earbuds are fine if that’s all you have.

Some of you may have discovered there is a free demo version of Soundslides available. Which is great, but it leaves a big message on your project saying you were too cheap to buy it. If you submit that, I won’t accept it – we spent the money for licensed software and expect everything to come in as legally exported projects.

Pro Tip: If you bring the entire project in, copy it to the lab machines, open it in a licensed version, save it and then export it, it is supposed to clear the demo message warning.

Questions? Send them on.

AJ Reynolds at the Red & Black


On Thursday 4/17 AJ Reynolds from the Athens Banner-Herald will be at The Red & Black at 5:30 to give a quick photo talk and then field questions from students about the industry, gear, portfolios or anything else VJ related. After the talk and questions he will critique portfolios. If students do not have a website/online portfolio they should bring between 20-30 images on a flash drive or external hard drive to be critiqued.

Here is a link to his website if you would like to include it on the blog:

Business Practices

Alum Dylan Wilson sent along a link to a post by Robert Seale on business practice for photographers, a very good read.

Towards the end Seale has a list of books you must own, I’ll add one more that’s due out this summer – John Harrington’s More Best Business Practices for Photographers. Harrington talked about this book at the NPPA’s Northern Short Course last month and I’ve already preordered it. This is not an update but a new book and it will have a stellar section on the mechanics of registering images with the copyright office – that alone will be worth the $25 for you.

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