In our first post on Getting started with video for the web, we looked at some of the basic equipment for video production you would need to think about using; important considerations for filming such as lighting and audio; as well as some of the essential skills to practice before hitting the record button.
Remember, your camera is a tool for telling stories and no camera is perfect for every situation you’ll encounter. Importantly, try to become familiar with the operation of yourcamera.
- Know how to operate the focus controls
- Know how to manually adjust the main exposure settings of S-I-N-G: shutter speed, iris, neutral density and gain;
- Know how to adjust audio settings
- Know under what conditions your camera produces its best images
- Know the limitations of your camera: this will help your planning and workflow.
In this installment of Journalists@Work, we’ll introduce you to Ta Thi Ngoan, an editor with Quang Ninh Radio & Television (QTV) in Vietnam. She has worked for this station in the country’s northern Quang Ninh province for almost four years. QTV was DW Akademie’s partner in a three-year project called “Radio for the People” and during these three years, Ta Thi Ngoan took part in a number of our workshops.
Ta Thi Ngoan is now in charge of presenting a live radio program called “60 Minutes You and I”. It’s a call-in program for young listeners and runs every Sunday. She also produces some stories related to tourism, which is a key industry in Quang Ninh province, since it is home to Vietnam’s famous Ha Long Bay.
There’s much more to producing video than flicking on a camcorder and hitting record. And it’s unfortunate that journalists are often expected to go out and film something for their online site with little or no training.
Keep it simple, keep it short and a little bit of planning helps of lot.
That’s probably the best advice for anyone who needs to start producing video for the web content.
It goes without saying that we’d recommend you do a proper video for the web course. Or even better, a video journalist course to learn more about the techniques of filming and the craft of visual storytelling.
But if you’re looking for some tips to get started, our blog series on producing video for the web will cover some of the basics and point you in the right direction for online resources.
“What software can I use for converting and compressing files?”
It’s a question trainers are often asked on broadcast and multimedia courses involving a lot of work with audio and video files.
These tools are particularly useful as video or audio Swiss Army knives – between them they can handle just about any sort of file and convert or compress it to whatever size or format you need.
And both tools let you create a batch list if you have a lot of files to convert or compress at the same time.
Ever since photography was first invented in the 1800′s, people have been doctoring images. From the army exaggerating military victories to dictators removing political figures who have fallen out of favor, photo manipulation has a long history. To give a recent example, North Korea released a photo of a military exercise showing hovercraft landing on a beach. But the eagle eyes of Alan Taylor from The Atlantic detected that several of the hovercraft were surprisingly similar to each other. It seems somebody with a penchant for copy and paste button had increased the size of the fleet.
It isn’t the first case of visual armament and it won’t be the last. Especially as manipulating photos has never been so easy. Although many doctored images may look clumsy like the hovercraft photo, there are countless image editing tools and apps out there that allow even amateurs to create changes which are almost undetectable to the eye. This is a huge problem for media organizations who are increasingly using images on social networks in their news reporting. And it seems even professional photojournalists can’t be relied on to resist the temptation to pimp their photos with Photoshop.
But how can media outlets ensure that a photo isn’t a fake? This is where computer specialists like Hany Farid come into play. Farid is a professor at Dartmouth College in the US, and a digital forensic scientist who advises media organizations and intelligence agencies on a photo’s authenticity. Farid is also involved in the Silicon Valley company, Fourandsix Technologies, which has released software that can check whether a photo has already been processed in some way. This is an incredibly challenging feat of computing that evaluates numerous parameters. In an interview with DW Akademie’s Steffen Leidel, Farid says even with such software, there will never be 100 percent protection against fake photos.