Monday, March 30, 2015

US National Rubik's Cube Championships 2014 Held At Liberty Science Center

In August of 2014, the US National Rubik's Cube Championships were held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.

This first photo is descriptive for several reasons. While it has a primary element and a secondary element, the secondary element is blurred nearly to the point of incomprehensibility, and the primary element is insufficient to explain what's going on to all but a few viewers. Additionally, the photographer forgets both to keep his light source behind him, as well as the rule of thirds, as the primary element is directly centered in the photo. While it is intended solely as the thumbnail for a video, it nevertheless remains a descriptive photo rather than an explanatory one.

The second photo, on the other hand, is explanatory. It has not only a primary and secondary element, but a tertiary element as well. While it may not be clear what puzzles are being solved, it is clear that the two competitors are solving the puzzles as quickly as they can, given that they are being timed. As a secondary element, other competitors are visible behind them, sitting at stations while two parents look on. Third, all the way at the back, one can see the huge crowd of people gathered for this event, and the blue shirted staff members attempting to keep them under control. The lighting is about as good as could be found in that part of the venue, and the rule of thirds is used well. The only thing I would question is the choice of angle, which makes it harder to see the crowd at the back, and makes the table somewhat more prominent than it should be.

A Highway Crash in Peru Involving Three Buses and a Freezer Truck Kill and Injury Many, Leaving Peruvians in Danger and in Need of Support

Less than a week ago, 37 people were killed and 70 were injured in a Peruvian highway accident. It was said a truck driver on the Panamercan highway fell asleep while driving. The bus swerved into another bus in the oncoming lane, causing a multiple vehicle accident. The crash occurred at 4:30 a.m, 315 kilometers away from the nearest large city.

The photo on the left is an explanatory photo for many reasons. It displays a primary element, containing the remains of the damaged trucks and cars. People stand around the scene, distraught. In the background, mountains with clouds are shown, proving the photo is taken in a country like Peru. The light is behind us. The photo conveys much emotion of a dark and gloomy setting. Since such a devastating event had just occurred, the photo expresses the deep distress.

Not only can one recognize the present of this scene, but also get a sense of what had happened before this and what people in the photo are planning what to do in the future. This photo demonstrates a true and accurate story. To explain the story better, injured people waiting for rescue could be pictured in the photo, requiring the photo to be taken more recently after the incident occurred.

The photo to the right is a descriptive photo. Not only does it display poor quality, but it also is a simple point and shoot. Although it can be argued that there is a primary and secondary element, the photo lacks any explanation of the crash that had just occurred. The primary object is poorly framed and cut off.

Although these photos convey stories from the same occurrence, one is clearly explanatory while the other is simply descriptive. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Germany Wins Title of FIFA World Cup 2014 Champion

In the summer of 2014 Germany won the FIFA World Cup. The first photo of this event is a good example of a descriptive photo because it does not tell you what specifically is happening. You see a man holding a gold trophy, but if you do not know what the World Cup is, you will not recognize the trophy and you might not recognize that this is a team, because the main focus of this photo is the man in the center. You cannot tell what sport the team plays and you also do not know when this event is taking place because you are given no context, only a photo of a man celebrating, with uniformed players surrounding him.

This second photo is explanatory because it shows that the event is the FIFA World Cup and it took place in 2014. You can clearly tell this is a team and that they having a celebration because they are the champions of this event. However, it is not a fully explanatory photo, because you do not know what team this is, unless you recognize the jerseys, and you do not know what sport it is if you are not educated about the World Cup.

Although these photos were taken at the same event, the second photo is a lot better than the first one because it gives a lot of information without any text needed. It could use improvement, but overall it does a good job of explaining what is occurring.

UMD Students Protest About Racist And Sexist Frat Email

After the racist and sexist email sent by a University of Maryland student and member of Kappa Sigma fraternity was released, UMD students have been facilitating conversation and holding forums about what should be done now. On March 27, 2015, students from different organizations held a protest about the email and proposed punishments given to the fraternity and student.

The photo to the left shows several different explanatory factors. The primary element is the group of people walking in with posters; with a few individuals chanting. The background shows collegiate buildings and more students walking in unison. The light is not directly behind, but to the left. Making the light directly behind would have made this more explanatory. This photo shows a variety of upset faces and students chanting; so one can see there's a story and call for action.

While the photo does show a protest in action, there a few different things the photographer could have done to make it more explanatory. According to the article, the students were in route to the Kappa Sigma house. There, more students would have been chanting or holding their signs higher making it clear that they are protesting. The photographer also could have shown more students walking behind for a stronger background.

This photo to the right is more descriptive compared to the photo above. The picture suggests there is something happening because everyone is staring at a student with a megaphone, but you can't tell why. Also there are neither primary nor secondary elements making this photo a simple point and shoot.

Both photos capture events that occurred on the same day and relating to the same topic; yet there's a clear distinction between the explanatory and descriptive photos.

Gas Explosion Occurs in New York City

The first photo visually describes the ultimate destruction that was caused by the gas explosion that occurred on Thursday, March 26. This picture is of the rubble of three buildings located on a city block in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The gas explosion ignited fires in four separate buildings, ultimately reducing three of them to scrap, as seen here. The photograph gives no indication of where this site is, as left out of the frame is anything such as a street sign, landmark, yellow cab or mass transit, that would indicate that this is in New York City. Furthermore, it is not immediately clear if this pile of rubble is actually three building structures destroyed by an accident; but the telephone booth and mailbox help point out that in the front of the photograph is a sidewalk and the remaining facade on the right of the photograph helps explain that this may have been a catastrophic event.

This picture, taken at the scene of the fire, clearly indicates where this is; included in the frame is a street sign indicating second avenue, a main street of the Lower East Side. Also visible is the tag "FDNY" in multiple places, standing for New York Fire Department. The bottom floor of the middle building ablaze is thoroughly black and charred, indicating that some sort of explosion took place. Also the fire that is consuming the buildings is very clearly explanatory of the headline, which says that a gas explosion occured on the Lower East Side.

NHL's Seventh Annual Winter Classic Held in D.C. at National's Park

The first photo is descriptive because it only shows an action. It does not include where the action is taking place, or what is happening in relation to the action. Obviously there is a hockey game being played, but it is almost impossible to decipher who is playing or where the game is being played. The framing contributes to the lack of explanation that can be taken from the photo. The entirety of the ice cannot be seen, nor most of the stadium. This photo would be better if it included more context. If it showed what was going on in the game, who the teams are, or perhaps who the players are. It does however, show the game is the Winter Classic, but the overall picture is missing information.

The next photo is from a front view that allows the viewer to see the entire scene. This photo clearly shows the game is being played in National’s Park in Washington D.C. This is explanatory because it has a second element to it, which the original photo was lacking. In the second photo, the game has more scenery to it, allowing the viewer to understand where the game is taking place as well as just being able to see all of the ice. The relationship between the game and the venue allows for more information on what the picture is about, and explains more in general to the audience. Mainly, the picture is about hockey game, and the setting. 

The second photo is more explanatory because it says the game is the Winter Classic, but also that it is being held in National's Park. Being able to see all the fans and the patriotism also explains the value of the game to all the people attending. 

After Rolling Stone Article is Released, People Gather Outside of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity House at UVA to Protest Rape Culture

The infamous Rolling Stone Article about "Jackie" and her assault at the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at the University of Virginia (UVA) created much animosity among UVA, it's students, and the rest of the country. On November 22nd, 2014, people gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest both  the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, as well as the rape culture in general.

This first photograph does an incredible job at explaining exactly what was happening. The primary element that draws the viewers attention is the yellow sign that a women is holding. By reading the sign a reader can see that the women has experienced sexual assault herself as well as that she is protesting rape, specifically rape that happens in fraternities. The photo is framed perfectly around her and brings great attention toward her and the sign. The sign, along with the facial expression of the women, relay a great amount of emotion to the reader. The secondary element in the photograph would be the house that stands immediately behind the women. The house has the Greek letters for Phi Kappa Psi, and even if someone can not differentiate the letters it is still quite obvious that this is happening outside of a Fraternity house. The small crowd of people to the left of the women also explain that there is some sort of commotion happening, which the yellow sign makes even clearer. This photograph is a great example of an explanatory photo concerning the UVA protest of Phi Kappa Psi.

This second photo does not do quite a good job at explaining the entirety of the situation, it is just descriptive. Although it is quite obvious that there is a protest taking place, it is not as obvious where it is occurring or the main purpose of it. The reader may see it is a picture about rape at UVA but that is about all they would know from seeing this picture alone. This photo does not have a primary element for the reader to focus on, perhaps if the photo was framed differently and had a primary element then it would be a little more explanatory.

These pictures are describing the same event, the protest of rape culture at the University of Virginia, in front of a fraternity house. The second photo, however, is not explanatory and it would be very unclear what it is about without any subtext. The first photo is very clear and a reader would be able to tell what exactly is occurring.

Troops are Greeted Upon Their Return Home From War

These men and women are returning home from war, however one of these pictures clearly shows its viewers and the other leaves us wondering what exactly is happening. 

This first photo describes to us viewers, but it does not explain. The photo shows soldiers exiting an aircraft and being greeted by fellow troops, but we do not know why. However, the image does not give much more insight than that. It shows part of an airline name and we can see that these troops are carrying their weapons but that doesn't explain to us that they are returning home. The photo is descriptive in the fact that we can conclude that these troops are returning or arriving to or from somewhere, but we do not know where that somewhere is. We would need an explanation to fully understand why these troops are being greeted and where they are in the world. 

The second photo does a much better job of capturing the surroundings and explaining to us the situation of troops returning home. Like in the first photo the troops are being greeted. However, in this photo we can see that these troops have small bags with them which leads us to believe that they are returning with their personal items. We can also see that these men and women are returning to the United States, Tennessee to be exact, by the secondary element of the flags flying in the background. This photo does a great job of capturing many elements and telling its viewers what is happening without the use of words.  

To improve on this explanatory photo I believe the photographer could have taken a better and more explanatory picture from the other side of the flags. This would have allowed for all of the elements to remain the same and it would’ve given the viewers a look at the airline and a more clear view of the troops being greeted.

Threat of Ground Incursion Leads Soldiers to Close Safe-Guarding of the Presidential Palace

Political unrest is rampant in the Middle East causing all soldiers and defenders to constantly be on guard. Military trucks painted in desert beige and camouflage are the norm for many subjects of war pictures. These two pictures are representations of what I believe to be an explanatory and descriptive picture.

I believe the first picture is an incredible example of an explanatory picture. The first element that grabs the eye is the barbed wire. Most people know that barbed wire represents some sort of barricade or boundary, and for those that don’t know that, it looks dangerous and solemn. This could arguably be the primary or secondary element of the photograph. The next element is the soldier. He looks hot and tired and the sun is obviously beating down on his head. He’s surrounded with his comrades and ready to guard the building. The scene itself shows the harsh environment and the bleakness of war and uncertain invasion.

The second picture is what I would define as a descriptive photo. While this picture is high resolution and probably not a smartphone shot, it looks like a point and shoot. There is no real primary and secondary element. The lighting and angles are fine, but if an uninformed person were to be shown this picture, there is no way they could garner any information about it further than soldiers in a truck in the Middle East. This picture lacks what the first had so much of: emotion.

These two photos show the same situation, soldiers guarding the presidential palace. However, with the first photo, you get emotional insight into what the situation is. It is this insight that lends to making a picture first rate and ultimately explanatory.  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina Victims Were Rescued by Boat When the Water Levels Became Too High

When Hurricane Katrina struck the United States in 2005, many people were forced to flee from their homes and fight against the high waters that resulted from the storm. These two photos show people being rescued by boat from the water. However, it is easier to tell that this is the case in the explanatory photo than in the descriptive photo.

This picture would be categorized as descriptive because it is just a point and shoot photo. You can see that men are in a boat and in water, but no other context is given. Anyone who looks at this picture does not know why they are in a boat or where the picture was taken. It would need a secondary element to become an explanatory photo so that whoever is looking at it knows exactly what the picture is from.

On the other hand, this picture would be categorized as explanatory. It still shows men in a boat but there are more elements that help to give context to the picture. The primary element would be the men and the boat. However, a secondary element would be the sign on the right that says superdome with an arrow pointing left. This indicates that they are in Louisiana where the superdome is located. It also indicates that the reason the men are in the boat is because of Hurricane Katrina when thousands of people used the superdome as shelter. Another explanatory piece of the photo is that it says rescue on the boat. There are many elements in this photo that explain to the observer what it is from and why it was taken.

These two photos are from the same natural disaster showing the same event. But, in the descriptive one it would not be clear by just looking at the photo that a boat rescue was taking place. However, in the explanatory photo it is clear without any text or explanation what is occurring. This is why the explanatory photo is much better than a simple point and shoot descriptive photo. 

Same-Sex Marriage Protests Occurring throughout the United States

In recent years, the fight for equality in marriage has been an extremely hot topic. Protests in support and against same-sex marriage have been occurring in places all over the country; especially in major cities. In these two photo’s, it shows two protests in favor of same sex marriage. However, one picture would be considered explanatory, while the other is simply descriptive.
The first picture is definitely explanatory because there is a protest occurring in front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. We can also see Gay pride flags and equality posters flying and raised throughout the photograph.  By putting these two concepts together, we can begin to infer that the Supreme Court was making a decision on whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage and the protesters were outside showing their own opinions on the matter.
The next picture is also a protest in support of same-sex marriage yet; we can not exactly tell where the event is occurring or even put together an idea if there was another purpose for why the protest was happening. In the other picture we could give a definitive location and a reason why the protest occurred there. This picture does not give us as much information. In order to improve this picture we could add more flags and clear posters as well as a street sign or identifiable building so we know where the event is. 
The differences between an explanatory and descriptive picture is extremely clear. From the first photo we can gather more information and more reasoning behind it. On the other hand, the second picture leaves us questioning the motives and exact events happening at the time.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Crowd Funding has the Ability to Raise Thousand of Dollars for Upcoming Artists through Appealing to the Fans

     In this era of flourishing technology people around the world are discovering new, innovative, and more efficient ways to do things we used to do. In the world of upcoming music artists there is a new way for them to reach their fans, raise money, and promote new material or merchandise. Crowdfunding has become very beneficial to artists in various ways by immensely contributing to aiding their success. If I were an artist struggling to get my name out there and be successful in the industry I would definitely consider crowdfunding as an option. Here I will draw up a business plan explaining the profits I believe I would gain from my decisions made in this plan.

Create A Website

  The first and most important step I would take is to build a website. The graphics must be inviting as well as interesting while also embodying my essence as an artist. This will attract people who are interested in what I will be providing them. Appealing to the fans is very important. After all, they are your main support group.

Create Easy Access for Personal Social Networks

On the website I would include links to my social networks whether it be Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, or Instagram. This will give my audience various ways to see what I'm up to. Twitter feeds are often used by artists to quickly update their fans on everything they want them to now about. On the homepage of my website I would leave room for a live Twitter feed in order for people visiting my website to be able to be up to date on what I'm tweeting about. The tweets would vary from announcing show schedules, new upcoming music, new merchandise or even just new adventures. Readers would have a high level of access to what I'm doing everyday. I would also place my SoundCloud feed on the homepage and, if possible, have it play once the website is visited. This will immediately give visitors an opportunity to hear my newer music and hopefully encourage them to look through, listen, like, and repost my other music. Gaining support is crucial to the success of crowdfunding.

Utilize Crowdfunding: Create Ways for Fans to Support You

  Allowing website visitors to various social networks will add to the gaining of support and, hopefully, the creation of fans. Having a fan base is vital to utilizing crowdfunding because the more support you have the more beneficial crowdfunding will be. Crowdfunding is a concept that allows entrepreneurs to gain funding through support from a large amount of people. I would have a multitude of ways for fans to provide monetary support. There could be a variety of contests. For example, for Valentine's Day I could offer my services as an artist to assist the romance on this special day. If I was a singer for a lower amount of money I could sing a fifteen second cover for someone to send to their loved one and the gestures could become increasingly more extravagant as the price went up. Contests allows fan interaction along with an opportunity to raise money. The fans are the most important element to the success of an artist so it is important to keep them involved, they are your support especially in crowdfunding. I would interact with my fans through various social networks to find out what they want to see me do. From the information gathered from them, I would create events that they would enjoy. Additionally, I would charge a fair fee and give the fans what they want to see. Lastly, I would allow fans to purchase merchandise. When you have a true fan base they will want to support you as well as promote you. Wearing gear with logos that symbolize you as an artist is not only financially beneficial but it helps to create a brand for yourself that your fans are able to share with people they encounter.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Social Media Now Plays a Large Part in Determining One's Self-Worth


"If you didn't put a picture of it on social media did it really happen?" We live in a world where social media is an aspect of our lives that we really cannot seem to get away from. More and more, people feel the need to document everything they do through the means of social media. Instead of documenting things they enjoy and do with a more personal thing such as a diary or a journal, teenagers are increasingly turning to social media.

Maintaining a positive image on social media has become increasingly important to this generation. Instead of aspiring to be astronaut's, policemen, firemen, etc., today's youth is dreaming to be a "social media rockstar". The notion of fame and fortune has evolved from happiness and in some cases money to the amount of likes you get on a post or picture. Due to this new notion of popularity, fame is now easier to attain than ever before. 

In conjunction with the rise of social media and its influence on popularity, cyber bulling and mental illness have become more prevalent issues than ever before. With an increased amount of importance put on social media profiles, it has become harder for teenagers to cope with cyber bulling. The permanence of social media on the media causes everything to stick so the user is constantly reminded of the negative comments towards them. All in all, there needs to be more regulations in the future to ensure that cyber bullying will not impede on the youth's online experiences.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Integration of Social Media Into More Aspects of Daily Life in the Next Five Years Will Result in a Sense of Urgencey to Carefully Maintain One's Online Persona

We've all been told that our potential employers could be searching our profiles on social media to get a deeper look into who they could potentially be hiring. Initially, a popular reaction to this would be to make sure your privacy settings were set so that sort of thing wasn't possible. On the other hand, some would see this as an opportunity to create an image of themselves that would draw favorable attention and reactions. Those who decided to do this undoubtedly have a leg up on the others, especially in a world where your online persona is becoming more and more integrated into your real life.

If recent trends continue, social media would be poised to increase in terms of popularity, users, and integration into aspects of daily life. As a result, your representation on social media will carry more weight than ever before with regards to what people think about you. I predict that in the next five years, people will be pressured by social norms into having their online persona more closely represent their actual selves. This would likely be a beneficial change for most, as it would urge people to be more careful in what they post and how they appear online.

In five years, a company will likely have a more negative opinion of someone without a social media profile, as that either means they don't want just anyone to see it, or they don't use social media, which in five years would put that person at a disadvantage. Some people even today have found ways to take full advantage of social media and use it even for profit. Advertising campaigns across social media have been known to generate huge amounts of success, especially recently. Social media has established itself as a key factor in mass communication, and five years from now it will be even more ingrained into mass communication.