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Visual Medial Mini-Conference

January 27, 2007

North Pacific Conference and Quest Church
Visual Media Mini-Conference
January 27th, 2007

What’s the big deal about Photographs?

People simply don’t read anymore. I’m in my mid 30’s. And when I was in high school, that’s when MTV became popular and our attention span shrank from 30 minutes sitcom-sized to 3 minutes music video-sized. Then came PlayStation I, II, and III and Microsoft skipped number 4 and went straight to XBox. Now we have YouTube, Myspace and Facebook. The only time people read is if their friends on mySpace put up a new profile picture with description on it. OK, so I might be exaggerating a little, but who’s reading any of this?

So what do we do to capture people’s attention in today’s market? Pictures, pictures and more pictures! And once you have their curiosity, then insert words. Let’s look at a website called POPURLS

This website, according to them, is “the dashboard for the latest web-buzz, a single page that encapsulates up-to-the-minute headline from the most popular sites on the Internet.”

You might notice a common theme… Pictures and Videos. On the day I made this entry, the top three sites were and

Imagery conveys feeling and emotions.

Take a look at this simple black and white photo of Zadok, one of our music leader here at Quest Church.

Click on the picture for a larger image. Just look at that face. Without the photo, how many chapters of character development would it take to describe his feeling and emotion that you can clearly see here? Here’s another one shot from a Chris Tomlin’s concert here a Q Cafe a few months ago

There is no doubt if you want to reach out to the already visually over stimulated generation, you’ll have to meet them where they are and grab their attention with pictures, video and whatever the latest visual media craze. So where do you find pictures they can relate and elicit their curiosity?

People love seeing pictures of themselves on the Internet!

How many people have digital images in the camera from a month ago? How about 2 months? 3? a year ago? We see digital cameras at every event but where are all the pictures? To encourage member to share their photos, at Quest Church we have a web page dedicated to encourage sharing of these images. People can email the images or send photos from their camera phone directly. There you can find pictures from hiking trips, C-group, or our small group meetings, other larger church sponsored events and private events of church members. These photos can also be shared and collected thru many online photo sharing communities such as , Google’s Picasa, or even small groups of church member on MySpace and Facebook.

Frequently updated photos can show the web visitors an alive, vibrant and active church.

If you’re looking for a very specific image, there are affordable stock photo agencies such as where you can purchase high quality images at very reasonable prices between $1 to $15 for XXLarge files. I would like to suggest though, why not grow your own in-house pro or semi-pro photographer and send them out on assignments? I’m a living proof that a church that embraces the arts and encourages creative spiritual expressions can grow their own in-house photographer from total armature to pro-level photographer in a very short time. Not to say there weren’t endless hours of immersing in books, online forums, shamelessly asking other professional photographers stupid question after stupid question; sending out emails to dance studios offering free services and begging friends to let me take pictures of them. But what kept me going was simple gestures from people like Pastor Eugene and Pastor Leah who would on occasion, asked me to take photographs at church events or Q Cafe concerts. Also other professional photographers like Nick Onken who use to attend Q before moving to LA, and Jonie Komura who for many years, shot for Seattle Times and Husky sports, would offer to take me with them on photo shoots, even just to hold the reflector or help Carry heavy equipments… all that helped me tremendously in my growth to become a professional photographer.

Grow your own in-house professionals!

Now I have photos, which should I use? Are there rules about this kind of things? Maybe you didn’t ask, but the answer is YES! There are many rules of design and composition in the arts that you should apply to capturing and displaying photographs on any type of media.

rule of thirds or golden mean rule

diagonal rule

leading lines

simplicity… if you can get closer, you’re not close enough.

isolate subject

A little bit about ppi and dpi

ppi is Pixels Per Inch, which is a measurement of pixels on your computer screen. Standard computer screen as about 72 pixels per inch. So for photos on the web or to be sent as an email, set the resolution at 72 ppi.

For printing, the unit is dpi, or Dots Per Inch. That’s number of dots of ink the printer places per inch. For example, Costco printer are either 300dpi or 400dpi.

What you want to take home about ppi and dpi is, don’t send a 72ppi file to the printer or the print quality is going to be very poor. And don’t send your friend with dial-up connection a 300dpi file or he’s going to get mad at you.

Other topics on photography might be:

does mega pixel on a camera matter?

what is crop ratio and sensor size?

what is JPG, TIFF and RAW?

what computer program should I use?

where should I get my camera gears?

how about copy-rights and photo credits?

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