Contextual StudiesPractical Research

Throughout the research for this essay, I have undertaken practical research to better understand how broadcast technology has advanced and how this can be used to tell a story.

As discussed in this essay, people use different set-ups to record and broadcast their stories. To illustrate this, I have produced three pieces using three different set-ups.

The Night Sky

This short audiogram was produced using the Kinemaster app on my Samsung Galaxy S5 mobile phone.

I wanted to share my passion for photographing the night sky. The app allowed me to do this with just my phone.

I took the photograph with my Lumix GH4 which was operated by remote control with my mobile phone. It means I can take long exposures without nudging the camera and blurring the image. This also meant I had the image ready on my phone. I put the image into the Kinemaster app and recorded a short piece about it. I was able to edit this in the app and create this short film.

Editing in Kinemaster
Editing in Kinemaster.

While this is an easy and convenient way to produce a piece quickly, I found some aspects of the process tricky: the phone is small, so the screen can only hold so much information, plus the quality of the finished piece is disappointing, as the sharp, high definition photograph is blurred at the start of the piece.

Driving Through Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, October 2017

In October 2017, I took a two day road trip from southern California to Boise, Idaho. In the north west of Arizona, the freeway appeared to be blocked by a wall of rock. I wanted to document this but did not have my camera to hand. I therefore recorded the trip through the gorge on my phone, holding it with two hands trying to keep it steady while we drove over a road with several bumps.

The phone recorded the video at UHD resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) but the video was shaky in places. I could have edited this in Kinemaster but the shaky parts would remain, so I opted to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro. The Warp Stabiliser effect took care of most of the shakiness. Aside from this, the editing process was similar in both programmes, although I found being able to edit on a larger screen much easier.

Editing in Premiere Pro
Editing in Premiere Pro.

I found this to be a good way of working. The camera is portable and convenient and caught high quality footage. The editing process is on a larger screen using a more powerful computer with more options to alter the final product.

Boise - Big City, Small Town

Boise is a unique city set in the high desert of Idaho. It is a beautiful and friendly city full of art, culture and good food.

I went there to find out what draws people to this city.

This shoot was an exercise in producing a local news style piece with the kind of equipment used by many local news crews. The specific equipment might vary, but there is a camera and an audio recorder with a professional microphone.

Boise kit
The kit used for this shoot.

Professional quality equipment is now so small and light it can be easily carried by one person, yet it will record high quality audio and video.