All posts by tayarisha

About tayarisha

Why shouldn't we have our cake and eat it too? What's the sense of cake if you can't eat it?

Treehouse by Interlude

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 3.51.43 PM

When coming across Interlude’s well designed website, the first thing they’ll tell you is that we’re entering a new way of telling stories. I think they’re right, with more platforms on which to watch films, television shows, and everything in between, we’ve got to figure out better ways to tell the stories we want to tell. Continue reading Treehouse by Interlude

Using Master Pages in InDesign

Master Pages are meant to make your time in InDesign a bit easier, but if you don’t know what they are, or what they’re for, then you’d better believe that they just complicate things! Hence, this post: how to use master pages in InDesign. The first thing to know is that a Master Page is essentially a template page that you can create within your document. By default, you have a blank Master Page, and it’s called Master A. All of the pages that you make in InDesign, unless otherwise arranged, follow the template of Master Page A, and since Master Page A is blank, all new individual pages are also blank until you add things to them. Continue reading Using Master Pages in InDesign

Printing a booklet in InDesign

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 3.47.11 PMIf you’re making a booklet in InDesign, then you’re already on the right track. Don’t worry about rearranging your pages so that they print in the correct order when folded, instead, make your document in normal sequential order (1, 2, 3, etc) and then follow the directions below to print it in booklet format.

This is my six page booklet. 

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 3.04.59 PM Continue reading Printing a booklet in InDesign

Make Your Own Music Video with Final Cut Pro X!

When: February 19&26, March 5; 3PM-5PM
Where: WIC Seminar Room

There’s still time to sign up for this three-part workshop where we will develop, shoot, and edit small music videos using the videography equipment that the Media Lab has to offer and Final Cut Pro X to edit. Each workshop builds on the last, so attendees should plan to make time for all three in order to benefit from the full experience!

In this first of three workshops, we’ll spend time talking about how to shoot boring things in interesting ways (how do we make footage of someone making a cup of tea beautiful and romantic but also tragic and terrifying?). Depending on the weather, we’ll roam the library or its surrounding areas and shoot footage for our projects. We’ll then reconvene and go through Final Cut X’s logging, capturing, and categorizing process, thinking all the while about the music we’ll choose, and the tone we want to create with our edits.

In the second of three workshops, we will begin to edit our projects in Final Cut X. We will bring our music in (anything from your own music, the Beyoncé song you dance to every morning, or whatever muzak you hear in your apartment building’s elevator) and practice cutting the visuals to the audio, with an emphasis on rhythm and clear artistic decisions. Are you cutting on the beat? Are you cutting off of the beat? Are your takes long and thoughtful? Quick and curious? We will work, in this class, towards a visually locked music video (meaning one whose sequence of shots won’t change).

In the final part of this three part workshop, with our visually locked projects, we will continue on with learning the basics of color editing to create final music videos. If what you thought as you were shooting would look better in black and white, this is where you’ll make that edit! We will then watch and workshop one another’s final pieces. Each participant can export their music videos and share them widely and wildly.

You can register now, and I hope to see you next Wednesday!

Above and Beyoncé

a still from the video "Pretty Hurts"
a still from the video “Pretty Hurts”

I was half asleep scrolling through news updates when Beyoncé upset the entire pop music game with her surprise self-titled studio album. I checked a few forms of social media (ok, I nearly broke my thumb scrolling through tumblr) to see the general response and eventually found myself so overwhelmed with GIFs that around 3 AM I gave up on sleep and got out of bed to see for myself what this was all about.

Then I watched the whole visual album two and a half times. The sleep deprivation was well worth it.

Beyoncé’s 14 song, 17 video album is her greatest artistic effort yet and is, in my opinion, the slickest release of the modern era. While we could say that she released the album without any warning, promotion, singles, or other traditional marketing practices of the pop world, we’d be wrong. Let’s be honest: 2013 was the Year of Beyoncé. From inaugurations to Superbowls to world wide tours and Pepsi ads, Beyoncé has spent the entire year marketing Beyoncé; releasing the album at the end of it was part of a sensibly elaborate marketing plan. However, even with that in mind, releasing an album along with seventeen gorgeous music videos is still a jaw-droppingly large feat. Not to mention that this release surely sent the blogosphere running back to amend their premature “Best of 2013” listicles.
My personal favorite is the vivid, exciting, bokeh heavy “XO” video, directed by Terry Richardson. The run-and-gun cinematography perfectly encapsulates the feeling of the crowds at Coney Island (especially Coney Island when Beyoncé and her crew of pretty supermodel friends visit). It manages to lend a collective air to a song that is very much about a message from one person to another. It’s as though we are all in love with Beyoncé, and she is in love with all of us.

I’d love to talk more about the videos and the choices made! If you’d like to do the same, come to the WIC Seminar Room (first floor of Van Pelt Library) on Thursday, January 16 at 3:00 PM, where we’ll be showing some of the videos and chatting about our Beyoncé feelings. Sign up here, or just come by!

ps: here’s “XO”:


WIC Tech Tips

Recently in WIC we’ve started thinking about fresh ways to spread information to users, so when we saw Johns Hopkins’ clever Innovative Instructor series, we thought we’d try something similar! Thus introduction: WIC Tech Tips, where we’ll give an introduction to topics about which we’re frequently approached. Our first issue is on making and using screen videos. We’ll be putting one out each semester, so make sure to check back for next semester’s topic soon!

You can download “Screen Videos” here!

At last count I had seven cameras, two of the digital, one SLR, one Instamax, and three toy cameras (one that looks more like a juicebox than a camera)newJuice_1024x1024

Yet, there are always times when I find myself stuck without any of my cameras and I only have my phone ready to go. In those times, I use VSCOcam. mzl.wkclexje I was introduced to VSCO through their film-like presets made for Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw. I’ll often use them to edit photos in a hurry or to add an interesting layer to a bit of video work. When I heard they had an app for phones, I downloaded it right away. They recently released a new version of the app a bit before iOS7 arrived, so it’s better than ever, and it’s free!

VSCOcam provides film-like presets and a significant amount of editing power (saturation, fading vibrance, grain, upping and lowering shadows or highlights, vignettes, crops, the list goes on) for such a tiny machine. The app also grants you more control when taking photos. The coolest feature to me (and other excited camera lovers) is the ability to set separate focus and exposure points within my frame (and you can quickly return to the single focus/exposure point with a double tap on the screen). IMG_5425-576x1024 IMG_5424-169x300

While the app itself comes preloaded with plenty of dope presets, you do have the option of purchasing 16 different preset packages (usually at 99 cents, though recently they had a sale of all 16 presets for 6 dollars total).

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The other enticing feature of VSCOcam is their user photo sharing community, VSCOgrid. You can create an account and share your own photos made through the app, or discover new folks to drool over. IMG_5437 I also recommend checking out VSCO’s blog as they’ve got several helpful tutorials for editing better photos using their presets, and it’s always exciting to see the potential of a new tool like this. You can tell that VSCOcam was designed by folks who like to look at beautiful things, because it is a beautifully designed app. I find that it runs a bit slow at times on my iPhone 4, so I use it primarily as an editing and sharing tool, instead of as my main camera.

images are from the very great review here.