Media & Technology Resources

This page will include a summary of topics and resources covered during the following lab sessions led by Ainsley Sutherland:

October 10: Logan Center Performance Rehearsal (4-6pm)
October 17
Website, group blogs, and media basics


We covered equipment introductions to:
Digital Camcorder (canon g10)
DSLR still camera
Shotgun mic
handheld Zoom mic
steady the camera with a tripod. If impossible, steady it using as many points of contact with your body as possible.

We also covered some basic principals of image composition, still and dynamic. These are rules so, made to be broken! But do so thoughtfully and with good reason.

In a pinch, thinking about these guidelines is a quick and dirty way to make it more likely that your images will be interesting to look at and make sense of.


Creating symmetrical images is easy for eyes & brains to gloss over. By mentally dividing your image into quadrants, and avoiding absolute centering of horizon lines, subject’s eyes, et cetera, you’ll force people to look a little longer and attempt to reconcile your image. It also has the effect of pushing a viewer to consider the WHOLE image, rather than a simple focal point that’s been put on a pedestal. (Unless that is your intent!)

Another note: Placement of the horizon line can really change the main feel of an image from grounded by earth to only loosely connected to it.

Richard Misrach
American, born 1949
Desert Croquet #1 (Deflated World), 1987
Chromogenic print from digital file
46.7 x 59.1 cm (image); 20 x 24 in. (paper)
Signed, titled, numbered, and dated on lower edge in ink; Edition 23/25
Photography Gala Endowment, 2007.231
© Richard Misrach

Even in this ‘symmetrical’ image, the very slight asymmetry creates a more interesting image. And it makes sense, with the subject matter, that imperfect symmetry would be intentional.

2. LINE OF MOTION — if you had to draw a line on your picture that shows the movement of the viewer’s eye, can you? And what does it look like? A jittery, zig zag line will create the same sensation in a viewer. A straight, clean one can have a strong, clear effect.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hyères, France, 1932; gelatin silver print; …

Fazal Sheikh, “Hadija and her father Badel Addan Gadel” from A Camel for the Son

3. Give your people some space!

Of course, the top image conveys more claustrophobia, maybe urgency. Maybe that’s what you want! That’s why these are guidelines.
Well, I’m not endorsing shooting birds. And obviously, there might be situations in which showing only one subject is preferable. But conveying action is easier if you show what your subject is acting upon.


we also covered how to FTP into our server space at uchicago dot edu, set up a basic website with an image and text, and use a little bit of photoshop.

Please contact me if you want to learn how to do this and could not attend. It will be necessary for at least one team member to be able to do this.

See you all this Wednesday!

October 24: Introduction to Photo/Video/Audio composition
October 31
Introduction to Digital Editing Concepts
November 7:
HTML/Mobile Workshop
November 14: Experimental Media
November 21: No Special Media Session (Thanksgiving)
November 28: Final Project Assistance
December 5: Final Project Assistance


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