Author Archives: christiancantarutti

Camera Work for Beginners

This is a piece I threw together for my Media program. It goes over some pretty basic stuff. Thanks for listening.

Basic Camera Operation

There are various different shot types used in Television and Film to create moods and give the viewer information.

The wide shot or establishing shot tells the audience where the scene is taking place, it gives the audience a sense of belonging. It is usually used at the beginning of a scene in order to show the location of the action.

The various different types of medium shots allow a director to introduce their audience to the characters or where the action is going to specifically take place. Medium shots are excellent for showing both facial expression and body language.

The close up, headshot or shoulder shot tightly frame a person or object. This allows for a much more intimate feel. When introducing a main character, a close up shot is typically used to indicate their importance. They are also the typical shot types used for news broadcast and interview shots. Close up shots can be scene as a double edged sword. They are essential in creating intimate programs but if they are overused they can leave a viewer feeling uncertain about what they’re seeing.

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of thirds or Golden Ratios is a set of guidelines for beginnings in order to try to bring more substance to their camera work. If you Imagine a Tic Tac Toe Grid, or X’s and O’s grid in your mind. The goal is to place important elements of the shot or photo along these lines or at their intersections. It is generally accepted that this will create a more poignant and dynamic effect in the piece rather than simply placing an object in the center to create symmetry.

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Aside

In this this short film clip, George Lucas talks about how he was first introduced to the industry.

Thoughts on Social Media (Revisited)

Over the past four months social media has become a substantial part of my life. I have spent countless hours browsing, researching and writing about countless different social mediums. Generally, I received the different mediums well but I found some a little tedious. I genuinely believe platforms like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter generate great opportunities. However, I personally think some mediums like Foursquare and Flickr are monotonous.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think social media, social expression and having a social outlet via the web are positive things. I just think some mediums do these things a lot more effectively than others. Flickr is great for photographers and people interested in browsing pictures and categorizing them. For people outside that specific niche though, it is pretty useless. Foursquare is good for showing your friends where you are, finding friends and stalking people. I might be old school, but I think that’s kind of scary.

All these mediums allow both independent business’s and large corporations to connect with there costumer base, which is generally seen as a good thing. They allow regular people to connect with their friends, family and colleagues. They give opportunities for people with similar interests to make connections. However the different levels of effectiveness in these mediums is overt. Facebook added a Foursquare type application inside of it called places and has millions more photos than Flickr. The general usefulness of Facebook or Linkedin in comparison to Flickr and Foursquare is not even debatable.

Thoughts on Flickr and Buhduh’s Photography

When this assignment was handed to us, I had no idea what Flickr was. After spending a few hours on the site, I honestly grew to enjoy the content. The content on the network is posted by people from all walks of life. From the tourist with a Nikon to legitimate professional photographers. It is unique in that anyone regardless of skill or ability is able to get involved and be recognized. Programs like Instagram for mobile phones have really helped photo sharing networks by making it extremely simple for anyone to take an aesthetically pleasing picture.

Buhduh’s Flickr page consists of mainly original content. His photos have a large variety of different subjects but he is primarily posting travel related photos and vintage audio equipment pictures. I decided to pick him more based on the pictures of his vintage equipment. There are pictures of vintage turntables, receivers, radios, tube amps as well as a variety of more unique items. Buhduh’s eye for making these items look good in a picture is very well established. His photos of his travels are also incredible.

Buhduh. Turntables. 2011. Flickr

Realistically, I don’t see Flickr having real longevity in the world of social media. This is because platforms such as Facebook have much more photo sharing activity. Flickr is great to kill time on. However the fact is that Facebook has million more users, pictures going up, applications and content on it already. I truthfully can’t see Flickr thriving, much less surviving.

URL to Buhduh’s Flickr Account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bede/

Jakyll and Hyde – Flickr Gallery

The photos in this gallery range from fiction film characters like Travis Bickle and Walter White to musicians like Scott H. Biram. The people and characters in this gallery’s actions behavior or opinions have impacted in me some way. Whether this impact has been positive or negative is another story entirely.

There is a stern variety of content in this gallery. It is in no way, shape or form suppose to linear. However, if a theme for the gallery was to be chosen, I personally believe it would be strongly based on chaos and leisure.  The gallery’s pictures are either chalk full of disorder and chaos, or they are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. At this end we find the individuals and characters calm and relaxed. This speaks to the duality of man.

Overall, I don’t really think this gallery will have much meaning or impact on people other then myself. It’s a series of loosely related pictures of which a majority people will not be able to identify with. Its a lot easier to sift through if you keep the Jakyll and Hyde dynamic in mind though.

Here is the link to a gallery about few people who have influenced me over my life: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christiancantarutti/galleries/72157629731515125/#photo_2159926524

Stuff You Missed in History Class – Podcast Review

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Stuff You Missed in History Class is a Podcast funded and produced by howstufworks.com. The Podcast is currently written, produced and narrated by Deblina Chakraborty and Sarah Dowdey. It explores history from all over the world with some focus on North American history. This is due to the fact that North Americans are their primary listeners.

The show does exactly what the title depicts; it tries to educate the audience in past events that their high school history curriculum most likely have left out. The show explores various topics such as How the Spanish Inquisition Worked, Belle Starr: A Bad Rap for the Bandit Queen, Leading the Charge: The Massachusetts 54th, A Jewish Pirate’s Life and 5 Sinners in Dante’s Inferno.

A big problem with informational Podcasts is they can be extremely dry. Deblina and Sarah avoid this problem by staying upbeat and not remaining on the same subject for too long. The show is constantly flowing and changing which keeps listeners captivated. Another way the producers keep their audience engaged is by choosing topics with feedback from the fans. This not only allows Stuff You Missed in History Class to build community with their listeners but it also ensures that their subject matter continues to be both entertaining and educational.

The show does a superb job of educating its audience on various topics. The two hosts do a magnificent job of presenting information while still remaining engaging. The two hosts of the show are very engaging and pleasant to listen to. They share valuable information while remaining candid and without any bias.

Click to Subscribe to:Stuff You Missed in History Class

Lignatone – The Czech Guitar (A Brief History)

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure:

I chose to do my video blog on Lignatone guitars. I knew nothing about the brand name even though I have been playing one off-and-on for over a year. I found a lot of people in similar situations. They owned a Lignatone model, wanted to find out more about the company, but simply couldn’t find any solid information on the brand. After scouring countless forums and reading dozens of reviews I found very little on the company. However, what I did find was pretty damn interesting.

Lignatone guitars were made in Cremona Luby, Czechoslovakia anywhere between 1955 and 1989. The guitars had some presence on the “communist” market but were mainly used as export. Lignatone mainly made acoustic instruments of a fairly conservative design.  There were only 2 guitar companies in Czechoslovakia during communist rule, Drevokov in Blatna from 1955 to 1963 and then the big national CSHN in Krnov, Hradec  Karlove, Horovice and various other places from 1964 to 1989.  This means these guitars must have been made by one of these two establishments and branded as Lignatone guitars. Drevokov and CSHN made several very similar guitars under the names Resonet, Arco, Arioso, Grazioso, Neoton, Jolana, Tatra, Delicia and of course Lignatone.

I found this guitar in my friend’s basement, he owed me a couple bucks so he said, “Hey man why not just take this little guitar and well call it even.” Before I even picked it up I agreed. The guitar itself is in rough shape at best. The truss rod has been completely destroyed, so the action is so high it is unplayable without a slide. It looks like someone cranked the rod too far and cracked the wood surrounding it. This also means is inevitable going to cave in on itself from the constant tension of the strings. The machine heads are rusted and a real pain to tighten. The bridge moves around so it required tedious measurements and adjustments every time you re-string the guitar. Overall for ten bucks, the Lignatone was a steal. It doesn’t by any means have  great tone, sustain, or playability, but it’s a fun time to fiddle around on. I keep it tuned in open E or Em depending on how I’m feeling.

Bottom Line: This guitar is not the most playable and it sure is not the prettiest but its got something 98% of guitars don’t have. The guitar has history and charisma. With a little bit of love, time and money it could be fully restored to near its original condition.

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