A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

This post is for an assignment creation for the ds106 Assignment bank, under writing assignments ……..

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Quite often we see pictures on different social media outlets. They are funny, awkward, or beautifully portrayed moments but we don’t know what led up to that point in time. Your task for this assignment is to find a picture and write a background or short story for it. It can be a photo you took yourself or found on the internet. This story could be based on a true event if the picture is from your personal collection, or completely made up if you are using a funny picture you found online.

Example for this Assignment:


Randy, an overworked blue collar farmhand, had been dreaming his whole life to one day leave Iowa and visit the magical city of Miami. That day came this past July when Randy won first place in a mudd’n event. The cash prize was $1,000. Since he had never left his hometown, where he was born and raised, Randy decided to fulfill his dream and booked a trip to Miami.

The day finally came when it was time for Randy to be dropped off at the airport, almost three hours away. Randy was so excited he had been packed for weeks. Earl, Randy’s cousin, dropped him off at the airport at 7:00 am. He wished him the best of luck on this trip and hoped he would meet a beautiful Latina princess he could bring back to the American Heartland.

Randy checked his bag, boarded the plan, and set out on his great adventure. With all this being new to Randy, he missed his connector flight in Philadelphia. He had to spend the night at the airport, as he was only able to get a flight the next morning. However, this did not damper Randy’s optimism.

Randy finally arrived at the Miami Airport, it was a bright and sunny day. As his suitcase arrive before he did he had to go to a special area to claim it. The attendant had a bag with his name registered to it. Randy signed for the bag and grabbed a cab to his Miami Beach hotel.

The first thing he wanted to do was see the beach, as he had never seen a beach or the ocean before. Randy opened his suitcase to grab his swim trunks, but to his dismay the entire bag was full of women’s clothes……. But that wasn’t going to stop Randy from having a good time. He put on the pink sparkly suite and hit the beach.

To Create this Assignment:

1. Google images, with a topic like – people at the beach

2. Right clicked the photo you chose, copy the picture and paste it within your desktop (to save it).

3. Upload the photo to your flickr account.

4. Copy the URL to embed the photo into your blog posting.

5. Come up with a story to go along with the photo.

The Final Countdown – Week 4 Summary


It’s the end of week four and I feel that I am getting more media savvy as the weeks progress onward. Week one and two were a blur and I felt extremely frustrated trying to get everything going and trying to figure out what was expected of us in this class. However, I think I finally got a handle on it last week. Like last week, this week I tweeted after every assignment. The grading rubric was very helpful. The Weekly Summary Checklist has also become a good organizational asset. I actually use it as an outline by copying it into a word document and filling it in as I go. That way I’m not scrambling to find thing at the last minute on Sunday.

I learned a lot this week about movies and cinematic techniques, many of which I would have never noticed if they were not pointed out to me. I found Ebert’s article interesting and enlightening. He definitely made some good points about positon of characters, camera angles, and perspective. I was able to watch movie clips and apply some of these ideas.

The program I used the most of this week was iMove. I have been a PC user for the majority of my life and have recently been trying to get myself familiar with Apple product, so I did not have too much experience with this program. However, I find it easy to use and I could see myself making future video for personal entertainment. I don’t think I had trouble with anything this week. Now that class is almost over I understand fully what is expected of us.

Reading Movies: I would not consider myself a movie nerd, nor do I get a lot of time to watch them or TV for that matter. I mostly watch, more like listen to, the news and CNN because it on at work. It was a little hard for me to grasp my mind around what Ebert was trying to explain about positioning and angles. Now that I am aware of the concept I can apply it more to things that I watch. However, when I do get to watch TV/movies I do it to let my brain melt, turn off and reboot. So, I’m not really thinking about anything, except eating ice cream. That thought never goes away. (I was doing things in threes this day, so I think I added an extra clip).

Project Link: http://www.stephysteffi.com/assignments/167/

Look. Listen. Analyze. I think this assignment was the hardest for me this week, as I am not an expert and perhaps barely a novice at “reading movies”. I actually, watched a couple of movie clips first. I ended up going with the execution scene from Gladiator. I think it was easier to identify was we were supposed to be looking for in a drama scene.

Project link: http://www.stephysteffi.com/assignments/look-listen-analyze/

Video assignments:

  1. Sports Highlight Reel : http://www.stephysteffi.com/assignments/barry-sanders-highlight-reel/
  2. Favorite Actor/Actress Highlight Reel: http://www.stephysteffi.com/assignments/favorite-actor-will-ferrell-highlight-reel/

Create Your Own Digital Storytelling Assignments: This week I completed and submitted one of the required two Create Your Own Assignments. I submitted it to the design bank. It is to create an event flyer.

Project Link: http://www.stephysteffi.com/assignments/design-assignment-creation-festival-or-fundraiser/

Create Your Own Tutorials: I included instructions in my blog post on how to complete the design assignment I create. This week I also completed and posted the two required tutorials. It was hard to find projects that didn’t already have a tutorial. I created a tutorial for the video assignment of creating a highlight reel of your favorite actor/actress since that did not have a tutorial at all. The second one I picked, sports highlight reel, only had one tutorial and I thought it was little lacking and missing some steps like adding music.

Tutorial 1: http://www.stephysteffi.com/assignments/tutorial-favorite-actoractress-highlight-reel/

Tutorial 2: http://www.stephysteffi.com/assignments/highlight-reel-tutorial/

Comment on other blog post: http://www.amandaperegory.com/uncategorized/create-an-assignment-1-wedding-invitation/#comment-402




This week I got several comments on my blog postings, I moderated them and responded to a couple of them. As well as separately commenting on the above four postings.

Daily Creates: This week, since I’m in the grove of doing them, I did four Daily Creates. I just can’t wait to wake up in the morning, run to my computer and see what the project is for the day. I enjoyed writing the story and making the tiling.

Look. Listen. Analyze

For this assignment I picked  a movie clip from Gladiator, the Execution scene.


When viewing the film clip first without  sound, I noticed there were many film transitions with majority in the form of cuts. The cut is the most basic type of shot transition and most common way to join two shots. It is the continuation of two different shots within the same time and space. I think I noticed about twenty or so straight cuts. The quality of light was good. The view switched many times, as there were many bodies present to witness the execution. This was a serious moment and the camera angles didn’t change to often. I noticed mostly angles shooting toward the left and some upward. However, most of the views were straight on.

Next I closed my eyes and listened to the same clip. This time only listening and not looking at it. I immediately noticed the scene opened with drumming, marching, and I could further hear a breeze in the background. Then ominous music began to play and I could here the rustling of fabric. Voices then began, the pacing was slow to moderate. There were long pauses, the ominous music played in the background. Towards the end of the clip the music heightens and it sounds like the drumming picks up again.

Watch the clip and being able to hear the audio brought everything together. Some of the sounds I could not identify were suddenly recognizable. The audio, music, and sound effects definitely bring it all together.




Tutorial- Favorite Actor/Actress Highlight Reel

-How to Create a Highlight Reel-

Try this project yourself, following the project link: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/favorite-actoractress-highlight-reel/

STEP 1: Go to YouTube and view, then download (using YouTube converter) some of your favorite movies/clips of your chosen actor/actress. You can find stuff to view by simply typing the name of your actor/actress into the search box and clicking the magnifying glass icon.

WF YouTube

STEP 2: For this project I used a Mac, So you would need to  open the iMovie program. WF iMovie

STEP 3: Import your selected movies/clips to iMovie.

WF Import

STEP 4:  Cut and trim the videos you like to smaller clips to make it a 60 second video. You can do this by highlighting the parts you like and dragging  them to the project area.

WF Trimming

STEP 5: Add your opening and credits to the video. This feature is included with iMovie.

WF Opening


STEP 6: One finalized export your creation to your iTunes.

WF exprot 1

STEP 7: Log on to your YouTube account and uploaded your video project to your YouTube channel.

WF Upload to YouTube

STEP 8: You should have final product that is something like the video below. Yours will most likely have a different actor/actress.

STEP 9: For the final step, if you need to share this project in your blog, you can embed the video you created into you posting by highlighting the web link from YouTube and paste it into the “add media” tab located on your “new” post screen.

Favorite Actor – Will Ferrell – Highlight Reel

This project is as well from the  ds106 video assignments bank, it’s worth three stars. The assignment instructs us to create a 30 to 60 second highlight reel of your most enjoyable movie scenes from your favorite Actor/Actress.

Try this project yourself, following the project link: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/favorite-actoractress-highlight-reel/

-Will Ferrell-

I chose Will Ferrell as my favorite actor. I have been watching him for years and think he is absolutely hilarious! I like every single one of his movies. I even named one of my dogs after a scene from, “A Night at the Roxbury”. My dog, Emillio, is named after the scene where Steve (Will Ferrell) is waiting outside of a club telling his story about how he met Emilio Estevez. I’m always outside yelling for the dog, E-M-I-L-L-I-O.

If you haven’t seen it, you need to check out his newest movie, “Get Hard”.

How this assignment was completed:

 1. Went to YouTube to download some of my favorite Will Ferrell movies/clips using YouTube video converter.

WF YouTube   

2. Then I opened up iMovie.

WF iMovie

3. Imported the movies/clips of will Ferrell to iMovie.

WF Import   

Step 4. I cut and trimmed the videos I liked to smaller clips to make it a 60 second video. I just highlighted what I liked and dragged it to the project.

WF Trimming

5. Then added my opening and credits to the video.

WF Opening


6. I then exported it to my iTunes.

WF exprot 1

7. Went to  my YouTube account and uploaded my video creation to my YouTube channel.

WF Upload to YouTube

8. For the final step I embedded the video I just created into this blog by highlighting the web link from YouTube and pasted it into the add media tab.

Highlight Reel Tutorial

 How To Create A Video Like This One

Step 1. Choose an athlete

Barry Sanders

(This is Barry Sanders)

Step 2. Go to YouTube, viewed some sports highlights and then downloaded your favorites (using YouTube video converter).

Barry Highlight Real

Step 3. Imported the videos to iMovie.

Import to iMovie

Step 4. Then cut and trimmed the parts of the videos you enjoy the most to small clips by highlighting them and dragging them to the project area. Feel free to play around with some other editing techniques by changing some of the filters or colorings of this clips to make black and white, or look old school.

Cutting and Triming

Step 5. I wanted to add a little extra to my video, so I looked up stats specific to my athlete of choice and added them to my video.

Looking Up Stats

Step 6. After you are finished with cutting and trimming you can add  the opening and credits to the video (this feature is included with iMovie).



Step 7. To make the video complete, add audio (a good song to accompany the clips). I went to my iTunes clicked, dragged it to the project area, and dropped it to add the music.


Step 8. Then export the video to my iTunes .


Step 9. You will need to finalize the video and upload it to your YouTube channel (if you want to share it).


Step 10: For the final step, embedding the video you just created into your blog. You can do this by highlighting the URL from YouTube and past it into the “add media” tab when you are creating your new post.

Barry Sanders Highlight Reel

For this week part of our class assignment was to  complete two ds106 video assignments from the assignment bank. For my first assignment, worth five stars, I chose to create a highlight real.

Project link: http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/highlight-reels/

The instructions for this project requests that the creator, “Channel your inner ESPN and clip together highlights of your favorite athlete, set it to some music, and add an intro”. I’m not sure that I have a favorite athlete, so I just picked a well known one.

I chose to do my highlight real of Barry Sanders, well because who doesn’t know who Barry Sanders is….. If you don’t you are either to young to remember, or have lived under a rock your entire life.

Barry Sanders

Sanders is a former NFL running back who spent his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions. He is a member of both the college and professional football halls of fame, he was ranked by NFL Top 10 as the most elusive runner in NFL history, and also topped their list of greatest players never to reach the Super Bowl. Throughout his professional career Sanders gained 15,269 rushing yards, 2,921 receiving yards, and 109 touchdowns( 99 rushing, 10 receiving). He retired within striking distance of Walter Payton’s career rushing mark of 16,726 yards. Only Payton and Emmitt Smith have rushed for more yards than Sanders.

How I created this project:

Step 1. Choose an athlete

Barry Sanders

Step 2. Went to YouTube, viewed some sports highlights and then downloaded my favorites.

Barry Highlight Real

Step 3. I imported the videos to iMovie. Import to iMovie

Step 4. Then I cut and trimmed the video to small clips that I enjoyed watching. By highlighting them and dragging them to the project area. At this point I played around with some other editing techniques by changing some of the filters and colorings of this clips to make  black and white, or look old school.

Cutting and Triming

Step 5. I then looked up stats and added them to my video.

Looking Up Stats

Step 6. After I was done cutting and trimming I added the opening and credits to the video.



Step 7. The video needed audio to make it complete so I went to my iTunes and click and dragged it to the project area and dropped it to add the music. I picked the song, “Here Comes the Boom”, by Nelly.


Step 8. I then exported the video to my iTunes .


Step 9. After I finalized the video I uploaded it my it to my YouTube channel.


Step 10: For the final step I embedded the video I just created into this blog by highlighting the web link from YouTube and pasted it into the add media tab.


Shadow on the Wall

-Today’s Daily Create

 “cast us a shadow?”

Today’s Daily Create was a photography assignment. We were instructed to cast a shadow, take a picture of it and upload it to flickr.

Photo Safari 2 - Shadow

My shadow casting is of a wine glass I was drinking from the other night while doing homework. Wine and homework go so well together. Honestly, friends and cheese go better. But what can you do when you don’t have playtime anymore…… I guess you just make the best of it and pretend you are having fun with your new buddy, homework .

To complete this assignment:

  1. Took picture with camera phone
  2. E-mailed it to myself and then save it as a photo on the computer
  3. Uploaded the picture to my www.flickr.com account.
  4. Clicked on the picture I selected of the shadow, then clicked on the arrow icon on the bottom right of the photo to “share picture”.
  5. The “Share photo to:” menu pops up on the next screen and can choose where you want to “share” your photo to.
  6. T embed the photo in your blog, you need to click on the HTML tab and then highlight/copy the link displayed.
  7. Paste the copied link into the “text” view area of your new blog post. Here you can also write your comments. When finished click the “publish” button and then view your blog post.