Reporting for Duty

It’s the end of my first week as an University student – not sure whether you’re officially considered one until you’ve come in hungover or not, but there’s more chance of me becoming President of the United States than having to drag myself to a lecture after a heavy night.

So, I’m studying Multimedia, and obviously the big one million dollar question is why I’m doing it, what am I hoping to gain from three years? Well, apart from passing… *ponders* I suppose it ties into one of my life goals. I’ll be the first to admit I have my head in the clouds, and when it comes to fantasy and sci-fi I’m in my element. For me, if I can get to a level where the sky’s the limit in how I choose to give life to all these fantastic places, creatures and stories in my head (animation, digital painting, audio/visual, interactive arts, or writing), then I don’t think I’ll want for anything else in life.

The first week was great, better than I thought it was going to be (I’ve never been a very sociable person, so I was nervous as to how I’d handle being around so many new people). The first task we had to do – go around the room asking three questions to people to get to know them – could have gone smoother, half the time I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I also lent someone a pen and forget to pick it up when we were told to move on, so I was very surprised to get it back! Had this been at my old school or college it would have been long gone (in the latter case more due to forgetfulness than itchy fingers). Whiteboard animation on Wednesday was very fun, after a bit of an indecisive start we went for more of an improvised approach than artistic merit. I’ve ab-libbed stop-motion before, but drawn animation certainly allows for a lot more leeway (and I’m betting that next week’s narrative project using the cameras is stop frame with either models or ourselves). Although I found that if you turned your back for a couple of seconds whilst someone else was drawing chances are something that was there before has suddenly appeared. In this case one minute the tree was being knocked over, and the next the stickman had chopped it up with a chainsaw.

Pinhole photography – I can honesty say I’ve never taken a photo with a beer can before, although I understand the principles, but I refrained from spouting off about things like daguerreotypes and the first man to be photographed (no wait, I did mention that one), which I tend to do when I know a fair bit about a subject. Making the ‘camera’ was easy, once you managed to get hold of the gaffer tape, it was going in the dark room that proved to be the hairy part. A red safe light is, from past experience, usually great for seeing what you doing with photographic paper. In this case the light was at about head level and demonstrated how totally useless a light source is when you got people milling around in front blocking it. It also completely screws up any chance your eyes have for adjusting. I’m amazed there weren’t any stubbed toes, barked shins or slapped faces (be interesting to see if you could aim a slap in the dark. It’d be interesting to see if you could duck it). Mind you, one tray of fixer fluid did fall victim to a couple of particularly unfortunate students – considering my track record I would have put money on it being me knocking it over.

Now where’s mine…

leanne_jennings_web.jpg (click to enlarge)

Right, this turned out better than I thought it would. As I mentioned earlier, red light is usually pretty good to see by in a dark room, I didn’t have any trouble seeing how my prints developed in my college’s dark room. Here, it might have had something to do with the image being negative instead of positive like I’m used to, but there was a moment of blind panic where most of us thought we’d put it in the developer too long. It turned out to be a case of poor contrast with mine, it might have been under exposed, or over – I’m not sure which, but the original is kinda grey. Some weren’t quite so lucky – whether from fingerprints to over exposure (one looking very much like when you over do it with the Levels tool in Photoshop) to the can not being kept still. Speaking of staying still, if you look on the left of my photo you’ll see two people stood there, Donna and Natalie (my sister Hayley was hiding behind me at the time). I didn’t realise that the can had that wide an angle and it was only when I developed the image that I spotted Donna. I only saw Natalie in the picture when I processed it in Photoshop.

I think that’s about it. And now to enjoy a long weekend (now that I’m finally able to log into my VLP and see that we don’t need to go in Monday).

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