Bamberg, Germany

Sunday, May 1, 2011


My Social Issue project was a really interesting project for me. At first, I had no idea what I wanted to make my topic be, and considered doing immigration as an issue. The problem with that topic was that it was not personal to me. I finally stumbled upon the issue of the American stereotype in Germany. It is the perfect topic because it is so personal to me. It is an issue that I along with every other American faces when they go abroad.

I decided that the best way to communicate my message to viewers was to use interviews as the main piece of the project. I chose to interview two of the Australian exchange students at Bamberg. During my interview I strategically asked very specific questions because at first the interview began a little awkwardly. The interviewees were a little shy, but after the first couple of questions they really opened up. In order to counter the interview with the Australians, I interviewed another American exchange student, Whitney. Whitney’s interview was really successful because she was able to tell me about specific reactions that she has received to being an American.

In putting this video together, I really wanted the interviews to be the majority of the video since they were successful and telling. Rather than using my voice in the interviews I decided to insert inner subtitles. I wanted to completely remove myself from the video. In the end the video turned out really well. I think I successfully communicated to viewers the issues with the American stereotype.

CLAM Professional Project

For my professional project I chose to focus on the influence of history in the German businesses. German history is what interests me the most and is incredibly relevant to understanding how the Germany economy operates; especially with how recent much of Germany’s economic history is.

In order to create this video I outlined the project so that I could figure out what type of theme I wanted to use. I decided that it was important to provide viewers with a little background on the German history, specifically the division of Germany and the competing political systems (capitalism vs. communism). I was planning on focusing strictly on the tourism industry in Germany, but after my trip to Berlin and seeing in person some of the remaining effects of the division made me want to expand my content.

As I made the video, I tried to keep in mind the many principles that we learned about the digital medium. In choosing my music I wanted to use a song that did not overpower the content of the video. I used the link from the rhetoric soup website in order to find the perfect song. After finishing and publishing my project I had to figure out a way to send my video and upload it. The file was too large to just send in an email, so I had to play around with some other options.


Making my video on my personal experiences while abroad was definitely the most enjoyable project for me to make. It was fun getting to look through all of my photos again and getting to relive some of experiences so far. My personal project was a little different from most because my semester began so much later than everyone else’s. I have only been in Germany for about a month and a half, so I had a much more limited amount of material to access for video content. Nevertheless, I still had plenty of to use and talk about in my project.

My first task for the personal project was to figure out what type of angle and perspective I wanted to use in the video. Because classes have still not begun and I have not actually experienced “student life” yet, I chose to focus my video on the trips that I have gone on since arriving in Germany. After choosing a theme for my project, I began to storyboard it out. I am a little bit old school so I just made a rough storyboard with pencil and paper and then made an electronic outline. My outline was the biggest help because it provided me with parameters for the video. These parameters helped me know what types of photos I needed to be taking while on my trips. My outline also helped me choose what type of mood I was trying to convey in my project, which also helped me to choose the right type of background song (carmel latte).

After taking all of the photos that I needed for the personal project, I began to try and create my video. This is where all the trouble began. My internet connection is not the best so downloading and uploading is not the easiest task on my computer. My MacBook’s iMovie software was great and made making the actual movie very easy and fun, but trying to download the music for the video was very frustrating. Also when I tried to upload my video onto my blog and into an email, the upload took so long that my computer froze and I ended up losing all of my work. So I was forced to remake each of the three videos. I ended up using a friend’s computer because she has a stronger internet connection, and was able to redo my personal project.

Overall I am very pleased with the way my project turned out. I tried to use what we learned throughout this course with image presentation. Hopefully the message that I tried to convey translates through my video.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Apologies again for the lateness of this entry... there have been some technical difficulties. I wroted this blog on Friday but my less than reliable stick of internet decided to lose service right as the post was being published. So here is take two for blog # 11.
I have been conducting a couple of interviews this week for my project, so this section's material was especially helpful. It is really hard trying to come up with a narrow approach of questions because there are just so many different directions I could go in. I really found the article on ethnographic interviews helpful. I used its advice on picking a specific event/ day and asking questions about that, rather than the predictable why Bamberg... what do you like about it. I asked questions like what is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday here in Bamberg (although because our classes have not begun, everyday is a bit like Saturday). Also since coming to Bamberg, the one thing that I do almost everyday is go and sit with friends at a cafe to talk and whatnot. So basically cafes are playing a consistent role in my experience so I am asking questions about what cafe's other people like to go to and what they like to order. Or if anything fun happened once while they were in one (A major fight went down in one of the cafes I was sitting in... it involved a man literally kicking another grown man in the butt... It was magnificent).
It is those types of colorful stories that I am trying to find that will hopefully add color to my project.

Friday, March 18, 2011


My decisions for how to shoot my video content for my movie has been to primarily capture the spirit of what I am watching. For instance, I literally just returned home to Germany from visiting Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. I recorded some footage from the parade and sightseeing. I really wanted to show the excitement that was literally pulsing through the air. There were SO many people from all over the world visiting, but it was like one giant party so language and cultural barriers were completely bulldozed over. Everybody was simply "solid green." I tried my best to capture that spirit in my video because the many pictures that I took cannot and will not do it justice.

In order to actually capture that spirit, I tried to really just include and focus on people as my primary subject in each frame. My video's tone is about not only the actual experiences but the people that I am sharing them with. So hopefully my video's inclusion of people and just humanity in general will communicate that sentiment to its viewers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Plan of Attack!

Since I have only been in Deutschland for about 1 week, I have not really accumulated too many photos or videos for my final project. Aside from the shots of me looking a tad rough in the airport with my ridiculous amount of luggage. So needless to say, I am having to get a little creative on my video's content. I think I have decided to go with the angle of "what is to come" rather than "what has already come and past." I will talk about what I have already learned and experienced, but also focus on what I am excited about doing while in Germany. I will also try and use multiple interviews of local and exchange students explaining what I should expect from Bamberg, and why they love it so much.

I think that I am going to be fine on video content, but it is just going to be slightly different from most of the other final projects submitted. And different is usually a good thing in my book. (hopefully it's also a good thing in the grader's book too- just kidding).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Internet at Last!

I must apologize for the tardiness of this blog entry. I have FINALLY arrived in Bamberg this past Tuesday and have been frantically trying to get everything organized and settled. Apparently however, Germans don't really seem too concerned with something as trivial as internet connection. Eventually though my tenacious (or annoying) persistency came out victorious and landed me with the overwhelmingly slow "internet stick" (yes that's what they call it). In other words, while waiting for this blog page to load, I have written a short novel- just kidding. Needless to say however, my internet is super slow. So please bare with me.

Anyway, this week's blog topic, tropos, I found very interesting. When I took the pictures for the earlier blog entries I did not really think about why I chose this angle, or to exclude/ include this or that. I just instinctually snapped the shot. So I guess aesthetics is what drove all of my decisions behind the photos I took. Since, I was still in Charleston, the photos I took are of flower boxes on a side street in the downtown area. I chose to photograph flowers because to me they represent a large part of Charleston. The city, resting on the coast of South Carolina, is extremely natural, filled with beautiful flowers and greenery. For me, the bright colors of the flowers give off a whimsical feel, and I tried to capture that in my photographs.

In the close-up photo, I wanted the pink flower to be the sole focal point of the photograph, in order to show how important the flora is to the region. That is why I chose to exclude the actual flower box and window. It is interesting that by just zooming in, you can change the entire perspective of the photograph. The close up shot presents an entirely different image compared to the one of all the different flower boxes. The shot with the multiple boxes, to me represents the charm of the houses in Charleston, rather than the importance of the flora.

These principles of Tropos are really useful because they make you stop and think okay why am I taking this shot? What do I want inside the frame and why? And now that I am finally in Germany I can start applying them to my sight seeing as well. When I look at the different monuments and castles I can question what internal visualization is the artist or architect trying to externally communicate?