Liz Joins #mobilersca to Experiment with the Android Galaxy Smartphone

Love any excuse to sing the praises of our team and I am most pleased that Liz Kearsley just gave us such an excuse.

Liz has been selected to be one of Canada’s first Mob!lers!  Samsung Canada picked her and 29 other 20-somethings living in Canada to take part in a competition with their new Android Galaxy S Vibrant Smartphones. Liz and her Team Vansung will duel it out against five other teams in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver for cash and prizes, including a trip to Korea, in 4 challenges designed to experiment with transmedia with their Galaxy Smartphones.

Before the fun started, Samsung set the guys a mini challenge in Toronto which Liz’s Team Vansung won.

Mohammed Hassan-Ali

Here are Liz and her teammates:

 

Mohammed Hassan-Ali @skysurfer64

Desired Superpower: To change the weather, so everyday he can avoid ever getting caught in those Vancouver downpours.

 

In Real Life: Grad Student studying Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Gyslain Lalonde

Gyslain Lalonde

Desired Superpower: Batman Wannabe

In Real Life: Server and reality TV talent

 

Chris McGuire

Chris McGuire @chrisonhismac

Desired Superpower: To be untouchable, yet imperceptible.

In Real Life: Web & Mobile Developer

 

Peter Verge

Peter Verge @peterverge

Desired Superpower: Snooping on Other’s Text Messages (a fly on the cell, if you will)

In Real Life: All Round Personality, MC and Broadcast Journalist in the making

Liz Kearsley

Liz Kearsley @LizKearsley

Desired Superpower: Information Osmosis (not surprising, as we see her similarities with an amoeba)

In Real Life: PhotoJournalist

Please help us to cheer them on in their last 4 competitions by keeping an eye on the Samsung Mobile Canada facebook page.  Go Vansung Go!

Our Family is Growing

We are very pleased to announce that our family has grown!!!  We have a few new additions to add to the Hargreave / Yearwood team, on top of our wonderful crew of educational and tech based contractors.

The first new addition to the family is Liz Kearsley, a photographer and journalist hailing from the UK. Liz has already been a nominee in an international photography contest since she joined our ranks and has had a few rather amusing introductions to Canadian culture, having joined us in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, to help tell the Yorkton Film Festival’s story interactively.

3 of our new team members: Bronwyn, Liz and Alyzee

Shortly after Liz’s arrival, we had twins!  No, really we welcomed two new interns from UBC’s English Department, Alyzee Lakhani and Bronwyn Malloy.  Both have been a welcome addition to the team.  They have been getting their feet wet writing on the Yorkton Film Festival Blog and helping Emme Rogers out with her prose.  Currently they are busy developing a tween and teen friendly character for Erica Hargreave to talk about in the classroom, and they will be assisting Erica this summer with her programs for Capilano University and the Delta School District.

Liz, Alyzee and Bronwyn Playing with Imagery for the Shaw Rocket Fund

Finally, we are very pleased to have Susan Brinton acting as a business advisor to us on some interactive projects that we are building for the future.  With over 20 years experience in film and television, including as an Executive in Charge of Production for CanWest and the Global Television Network, and as a Senior Policy Advisor for Television for both the Canadian Television Fund and Telefilm Canada, Susan’s advice and guidance is absolutely invaluable. We are thrilled to be working with and learning from her.

Bluepoint Wins the SCN Licence!

Saskatchewan Communcations Network (SCN) has always been close to our heart’s here at Ahimsa.  They (and Joanne McDonald) were the first to spot Erica Hargreave’s talents as a creative producer and aired our first educational series, The Magic Backpack.  Therefore, we have kept a keen eye on the bidding process of the network’s license and were pleased to hear today’s announcement by Saskatchewan Government that Bluepoint Investment Corporation won the contract.

© Liz Kearsley 2010 Richard Gustin (left) and Marcus Guske (right) of Bluepoint Investment Corp pictured at this year’s Yorkton Film Festival with Minister Dustin Duncan and Valerie Creighton.

“Bluepoint offered the best bid,” Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “Along with buying the assets there is also a commitment to buy new Saskatchewan programming content that will support the film industry and to develop digital content.”

© Liz Kearsley 2010 Dustin Duncan, Minister of tourism, parks, culture and sport, Saskatchewan speaking at this year’s Yorkton Film Festival lunch in his honour.

Bluepoint are planning to ensure a community focus is alongside growing as a broadcaster, and the government felt they were the best fit to ensure a continuation of a Saskatchewan educational broadcaster.

CEO and founder of Bluepoint Investment Corporation Bruce Claassen reiterated that by saying: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to operate SCN in the spirit of its original vision, yet with a real chance to grow its audience base with additional programming.”

Photo Editing for the Interactive Audience

Alyzee Lakhani on Spanish Banks beach, shot for Ahimsa Media.

Caption accuracy and editing used to be the main tasks us photographers had to focus on following a shoot.  Today that has all changed.  With a multitude of platforms to display our photographs, most freelancers now have to get to grips with internet distribution too, on sites like photoshelter, flickr and stock agencies.  As a result intelligent and extensive keywording has become a vital tool.

My newspaper background means that I have always been most at home with the new agencies for any sales beyond a newspaper or magazine.  I, like many British press photographers, have many photographs listed with Alamy, yet as my client list widens so do the places I display my work, and with that I have found my workflow techniques evolving.

Everyone has their own process of editing using different software, be it the camera’s e.g. Nikon Browser, professional e.g. Adobe Lightroom or computer based e.g. iphoto.  I use Adobe Lightroom and have found it is a great time saver for multi-use captioning and keywording, as well as embedding photographer information into your images prior to editing.

However it was not until I uploaded our coverage of the 2010 Yorkton Film Festival to flickr that I discovered just how much time can be saved by properly preparing your images.  I’ll use Lightroom processes here as an example, but different software has similar options.

When I open up Lightroom 2 and attach a memory card an option box pops up (see below).  It includes a variety of things you can input for the entire photo batch.  In the local newspaper game each download usually involved several jobs so I wouldn’t fill much of this in, bar my copyright information, (which I have pre-programmed) so I would put in minimal keywording or captioning then download the pictures.

A lightroom screen grab of opening page information

This has recently changed when I realised just how much time can be saved by keywording each image prior to upload and to batch keyword jobs initially. One reason for this is that on flickr you must place quotation marks around each phrase longer than one word to tag or keyword and then a simple space between single words.  Whereas, most other systems use the simple comma to separate phrases.  As a result most of us need to continually remind ourselves to use this method, and it can become awkward when cutting and pasting repeating words.

Whereas, in Lightroom you can place your group keywords in that initial download and then easily add individual words whilst editing.  Take for example the image below:

Screen shot of Adobe Lightroom 2, with keywording options open

On the right hand side of the page the panel gives a variety of keywording options.  You have a list of the keywords already attached to the image (from initial download), then a section to add more, and options for the programme to remember past keywords in groups for you.  It allows you to easily click and add without re-typing.  I tend to keep that option on recent keywords, due to my varying shoots.   Below the keywording panel, is also a keyword list, with ALL your past keywords, which can be handy if you forget spellings. Below this is a section detailing your metadata.  The metadata is crucial picture information: copyright information, caption and shooting data.  This can be edited at either the download section, or within Lightroom. You can also input it in Adobe Photoshop.  (I will explain in a further post the importance of metadata in relation to copyright theft and in particular facebook)

I have found that inputting all of this information into Lightroom significantly speeds up my uploads and keeps my files up to date should I wish to use the photos on a different outlet.  It also means that my contact information stays with my image (bar placing on facebook) so if you wish to upload to various sites you do not need to keep typing the same information.

Embedded information is also very useful should you later wish to put the pictures onto a blog, for example using WordPress.  It can help bring further traffic to the site, because the photos keywords are also added to the SEO of the post.