Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video Aspect

I was trying to suss out how to achieve a quality video for my final project and decided to capture firsthand what the first cultural differences of the US was to me when first arriving to the States.  For example, when I first arrived to the states I was astounded of the amount of fast food restaurants there are around the place and all the different types of fast food restaurants. I will compare a street of America to a street of Australia, where we only have few of the fast food restaurants that are here in the States. 

 I will also focus a lot on the language barrier between the two countries and the different words that I did not understand once arriving in the states. I will also focus on the words that people did not understand in my vocabulary. I am thinking of incorporating a video of my interpretation of American tourism adverts, (ads showing in other countries, showing the States and trying to improve tourism). I may also point all the stereotypically wrong points that the Australian tourism adverts that where shown here in the United States. For example, the ad below of Paul Hogan trying to promote Australia has many stereotypical aspects of which Australians don’t do. 

My Plan of Attack

I have just returned from spring break, so I have only briefly thought about my plan of attack for my final project. Furthermore Over the past few months whilst being at Clemson I have collaborated hundreds of photos of Clemson and other Cities and spring break has helped add many more photos. 

I am currently dividing my photos of the United States thus far, and picking the ones of which will be included into my final project. I am including many cultural pictures and excluding many pictures of me drinking. 

My final project will depict the differences of Clemson to other Cities around the US, and then comparing the two to the Culture of Australia. I am looking forward to working and completing this final project, as I am confident I can depict the cultural differences of the two different country’s to anyone whom will watch my final project video.
Of the three different video’s I am making, I have already chosen the main topic, for example:
  • A personal reflecting on the host culture – I will be discussing Clemson in comparison to UniSA (My host University back home in Adelaide, South Australia)
  • A professional video to do with my major – I will be comparing traffic congestion and public transport of the two country’s
  • public issue video

I am planning to have these videos done within the next few weeks, so be patient and I hope my video will achieve the goal of comparing the cultures of Australia to the US.

Digital Photographs

Pat Wright video explained many different aspects that can be used to alter images in different ways. I was very interested in these techniques as I was astounded to realise how many different views and looks you can get of the same image with different angles and colours. The only techniques I used in the past were zoom and flash. I was very keen to try some of these techniques and to learn better ways to take a quality photograph.

Some of the techniques I tried include:

Low to high angle photo showing Carlisle, Andrew and myself (from right to left), three Australians currently studying at Clemson. This angle helps depict us a more bigger and powerful, which is why I like this photo.

This picture is a close picture, where the whole image is focused on one object. This image is of the Philips arena logo, the home basketball stadium of the Atlanta Hawks, of which we watched them play against the Miami Heat.

The image below is considered a far image where the focal point (the Hollywood sign) is small in comparison to the whole picture. This picture was taken in Los Angela’s, where we arrived first from Australia before heading to Clemson.

The image below is an example of vertical photography. The vertical photography helps emphasis the large size of this beer mug. We had these beers at a German bar in Atlanta.

Monday, February 28, 2011

McDonalds aka Maccas

There are a few differences between the Maccas back home and the Maccas in the United States.  The food on the menu is basically similar but the difference is in the advertisement of the famous McDonalds sign, the advertisement of the menu and also the sizing of the meals. 

Upon investigation of the US website, there is a massive Angus burger and wrap in the middle of the screen being advertised with words “seize the bold” next to it. This type of advertising is trying to encourage the viewer to become hungry and to entice them to buy one of their massive meat based burgers. The advertising to me has negative effect, the picture looks very dull and I believe the picture is emphasizing that Maccas has burgers full of meat and fat.  

The Australia website goes straight into the menu and has a large picture of a healthier looking chicken wrap. This type of advertising is trying to illustrate that Maccas isn’t that unhealthy and makes it look healthier with clear picture of tomato, lettuce and grilled chicken. I find this advertising more encouraging as it illustrates more that McDonalds is a bit healthier and is not only meat and fat (unfortunately i am unable to get a pic of it). 

There are a few differences between the Maccas in Australia and the Maccas in the United States, firstly the most obvious is that the menu has not small size. On my first experience to Maccas near Nashville, I was in the drive-thru trying to acquire a small meal, unfortunately 5 minutes later and being required to drive face to face with the worker to order, I was able to find out that regular is the smallest size. After ordering a regular it is clear the cup size of the soft drink was a fair bit larger than the regular cup back home. Not only was this the case but when eating inside, the maccas in the states offers free refills where back home it is very hard to find any type of fast food which offers that type of luxury.

Another difference is the advertising of the famous Maccas logo ‘the big M’. In the states many of the maccas have massive high and bright Maccas logo’s that can be seen from many distances away. Back home due to height restriction and such, this is not the case.  Another difference in the states is that Political correctness of America, in that it is by far the most politically correct. The political correctness is so extreme that McDonald’s restaurants don’t sell "white coffee" or "black coffee." They sell "coffee with cream" and "coffee without cream." http://www.convictcreations.com/culture/yankaussie.htm

Overall the advertising and cultural differences of Maccas between the two countries are much vaster than what I thought before travel here to the states. The major difference I believe is that the advertising Is very different, In the states the advertisement is emphasising on the amount of meat you get in the burger for such a little price, whereas in Australia the advertising is always on tick approved meals that are lower in calories and fat than the regular ‘big mac’ or other similar burgers.

Cultural Litereracies - Nietzsche’s typewriter

Ink and paper ->    Typewriter ->     Computer ->    Internet -> ………….

Media has progressed over the years and although the basic ink and paper is still used, Computers and internet are used by most people largely due to it being the easiest and quickest way of obtaining and documenting information. 

Nietzsche once explained that “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” I absolutely agree that different media’s will alter the outcome of the final product. An example of this would be when writing information, it would take longer with pen and paper in comparison to a computer. This is due to the computer being faster in typing than writing, also with mistakes, the backspace of the computer is far more effortless and neater that an eraser. But when it comes to studying or writing notes in class, I always use pen and paper as it helps remember the info that I am writing, this is due to the fact that it takes longer to write, therefore your brain thinks about the information for a longer time (thus helping in remembering the info) rather than quickly typing and forgetting information on a computer. 

As I am majoring in Urban and regional Planning (city planning) some of the essential knowledge needed for the profession, is to map out city’s on a GIS computer program. The program is used to quickly and accurately get model maps of cities in many different angles. If these maps are drawn out using a pen and paper, the quality would be far less and the map would also be inaccurate, also many different maps would be required to be drawn in order to account for different map angles. Therefor the final product of using a computer program to a pen and paper in relation to map modeling would be far different.

‘Is the improvement of media making us more stupid?’ I am sure that the introduction of spellcheck, thesaurus and grammar check, are making us less observant of our own mistakes and not helping in regard to self-improvement of grammar and spelling, thus making us unable to identify mistakes on our own to fix. But then again the introduction to the internet has made vast amounts of the world’s knowledge just a few clicks away. This ease of access to information would help many people quickly learn larger amounts of information in shorter time, thus helping the human race to gain knowledge.

Overall I think the evolution of media is helping many businesses and persons improve in relation to organization and quality. The internet is helping the human race to become more knowledgeable as a whole and help in making everyday jobs a lot easier and quicker. I believe the human race will become incoherent in regards to spelling and grammar in the future, due to the introduction of spellcheck/ grammar check and hope that pen and paper is always going to be used in order to help these aspects of a human brain.