I’m an #igaddict and proud

I’ve become an addict. I can stand here and hold my head up and be proud to say it. I AM ADDICTED, but not to anything narcotic or alcoholic.

No, I am addicted to Instagram. I was introduced it to months ago by a colleague, but never really got into it. Purely because at that point I was addicted to Twitter. Over Easter a friend showed me some of her images she’d posted onto Instagram and showed me how it worked.

Taken with iphone4 and altered in Instagram

That was that. I went home, delved into my app and began posting. My first few images were straightforward shots of my pets; photos I’d taken on my iphone4 and not altered in anyway. Those first few posts contained no hashtags, I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I looked at other people’s images and noticed they’d hashtag them #ig (Instagram), #igaddict (Instagram addict), #iphonegraphy and so on. The lists were endless. Hashtags connected to what the image was, whether it was black and white or colour, beautiful or photo of the day.

These keywords are important to help people locate and follow. See an image you like, then like it or comment on it. Your likes can be seen by your followers and you can engage in dialogue with people around the world.

Some on there are professional photographers, who use more than their iphone to take a snapshot. I only use my iphone and there are many who do the same. It’s amazing what good quality photos can be taken with the phone.

While Instagram offers filters to be able to change your image, if you don’t want it to remain

Guess the film title? Pictures taken on iphone4, altered using Instagram, Snapseed and framed using Frame Maker

‘normal’, there are so many other apps out there to do the job. I’m enjoying Snapseed, Percolator and Frame Maker. Snapseed is great as there are many tools to manipulate your image from its size to filters, colours, structure, contrast, etc. And it’s so easy to use too.

Percolator is interesting as it allows you to convert your images into bubbles and it’s all done as if you’re making a brew. While Frame Maker allows me to import my images and put them into frames. Here I’ve been able to show before and after or a range of shots and how they’ve been tranformed.

I’ve now progressed from snapping my family and animals to looking at things around me and taking a photo and then using Snapseed to recreate the image. I also love on my travels snapping architecture and quirky things.

This is addictive. Because my phone is with me all the time, it’s handy to grab it out my bag and point and shoot. Instant uploads and within seconds it’s there on Instagram. I love looking at what other people are doing too and engaging in dialogue with them.

There are many people taking landscape pictures and street scenes, and there are some very talented people out there too. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a great photographer or not. It’s about, for me anyway, seeing things visually and then taking that image. While it may look great normal, I then love the fact I can change it and enhance it in some way.

The other night I took a picture of a glass purple paperweight and turned it into a photo called ‘The birth of a new star’. As a photo on its

The birth of a star

own it looked bland and boring. Visually not interesting, but chuck it into Snapseed and add filters to it and alter the brightness and you have something unusual and different. You can see the bubbles in the glass, but where the light has caught it I’ve been able to expand and develop that.

It just reminded me of the galaxy and a star exploding, hence its name.

Instagram is a great app and I thoroughly enjoy using it. I’m always looking for something to take a picture of. If you look on my IG profile (lingarde) then you’ll see a variety of images from portraits to abstracts.

It’s the variety I like. I don’t concentrate on one type of image. I seem to go through phases, one week it’s animals, then riding shots, then abstracts. Just lately it’s been shoes and legs. Who knows tomorrow what I may take?

I suggest everyone gets on there and becomes an #igaddict. It’s worth investing that time into creating things. Especially if wanting to go into media. It’s a showcase of your work. Are you one?

One of my first Instagram posts - a black and white image of my horse


Social Media

I’m currently exploring  some new apps for journalists to use on the iphone4. I’m a being fan of using my phone in the role of a journalist. It’s great for taking photos, shooting video and recording podcasts.

For podcasts I use audioboo as it’s so simply and easy to use. Recording time is limited, though you can upgrade, but I find it is sufficient. I’ve also experimented with iProRecorder, which was good and easy to use and allows longer recording time.

I use the iphone4 to film in HD and use ReelDirector to edit. While it is simplistic and I don’t find it easy to trim shots down, it is straightforward to use. I’m also looking into Vericorder’s range of apps at the moment for video and audio editing and also at an app called Luci Live, which allows you to live broadcast and link into the studio. Perfect for when  you don’t have an ISDN line. However at a hefty £300 I don’t think I’ll be rushing to buy this one!

Of course everything I produce is all interconnected and instantly lists things on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I’ll feed back some more as I experiment further with these apps and if you use or know of any other apps suitable for journalists to use then please share.

#LincUpLive 360 is here next week, so watch/listen/read for more

Social Media Week London #smwldn

Are any of you currently at Social Media Week London or maybe attending one of the many talks around the globe?
I’m watching it on Livestream (http://new.livestream.com/smwlondon) and following the Twitter hashtag #smwldn.
There’s some very interesting topics being discussed and it’s well worth following if you’re interested in social media, entertainment, marketing, brands, etc.

Study at University Centre Grimsby

One day some undergraduates seem to have a wake up call and realise the degree they chose to commit their life to is not what they expected it to be and so have a dilemma as to what to do next.

Many have chosen their degree, not by its reputation or facilities, but by location. The city/town is known for its excellent clubs/bars or shopping. Or it’s close to where boy/girlfriend is studying. How many actually choose the degree for what it’s worth and where it will take them next?

I’ve written here before about how Grimsby has an image issue. People assume because it’s called Grimsby, that it’s actually grim here or that because it’s at the end of the M180, it’s the road to nowhere. It’s believed to have been named after its founder, a Danish fisherman called Grim who in folklore rescued Prince Havelok from the North Sea. Grimsby, like many places in the UK, has its downside. The upside is, that it is cheap to live, travelling is not an issue as everything is close by and within walking distance. Cleethorpes and its golden beach are down the road, Hull and its nightlife are over the river and the rolling Wolds are a stone’s throw away.

It is a friendly town and people always seem willing to chat and strike up conversations.  Speak to the students and they’ll tell you about the Multi-Platform Journalism programme and the reasons why they chose it.

And so many famous people have come from the town or chosen to live in the vicinity – John Hurt, Julie Peasgood, Chubby Brown, Johnny Leeze to name but a few.

And now the town has its own University Centre, a fantastic new building to house the Institute’s university programmes. It is bright, light and spacious. On the ground floor there is a cafe and coffee lounge/bar. There is a well stocked library which is open 24 hours a day.

On the media floor we have two TV studios – one green screen and a soft studio using Tricaster. There is a radio studio and multi-platform newsroom complete with ENPS, Final Cut Pro and the undergrads learn not only how to audio and video equipment to shoot and edit but also how to use their smart devices.

It’s an exciting course for all things social, digital, media, journalism and iPhone! Plus there are plenty of opportunities for work placements – Grimsby Telegraph, BBC Hull (Look North and Radio Humberside), Seven TV – all of whom have employed ex students too.

As people start to go into clearing then if you have 240 UCAS points then apply for this course. Our external examiner  Chris Walton, Project Editor of the BBC College of Journalism recently said at an exam board that this course prepares students to hit the ground running. As he called them, they’re oven ready! So if you want to learn the skills to become oven ready then give us a call!

Call 01472 311222  for more information and an application form.

The Grimsby Institute, Nuns Corner, GrimsbyLincolnshire Wolds

Riverhead, Grimsby

St James Minster, Grimsby

HUMEX 2011

Associated British Ports (ABP) at Immingham invited a group of multi-platform journalism students to participate in an emergency exercise.

The students jumped at the chance to be involved. On the morning of the incident one of them had to put a call into the Spurn station after “hearing” reports of a collision in the Humber via social media. The man on the other end really gave the student a hard time, deflecting him and not answering the question.

On the way to Immingham another call was put in and so the relentless questioning began. On arrival the students were held in a room and had the opportunity to look around, though nothing was really found. Their nosiness instinct seemed to kick in as they searched for anything, which would help them uncover the story.

Throughout the morning the students had the opportunity to interview the manager who was closely monitored by the press officer and on this occasion that was Blair Jacobs.

As it progressed they asked all the right questions and were slowly able to pull together the answers to establish what had happened.

They found it a steep learning curve but enjoyed it. They realised the importance of listening and asking the right questions or probing and exploring further. Importantly realised it was about never taking no for an answer.

Students interviewing outside ABP offices

BJTC Accreditation

The course has been declared one of the best in the UK offering multi-platform journalism according to the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.

The BJTC panel visited us a fortnight ago and were bowled over by the facilities and the work the students were producing on the day.

Year 1 worked alongside Year 3 on a multi-platform news day. There were students producing a radio programme, which went out on livestream (GIFHE Radio). It included bulletins and packages as well as guests dropping by. The TV group were producing 60 second bulletins and then the online group were writing content for the web.

Alongside these were the social media group following each production area and tweeting and podcasting about the news content as well as about the crews.

It was an extremely stressful day. Some students seemed to be like ducks in water and were natural, while others seemed to flounder a bit. The realisation that this is their future career seemed a big factor. Newsrooms work like clockwork when people all pull together and do their bit to contribute. It’s about a work ethic and thinking on your feet. There is no time to sit around in the newsroom watching YouTube or being on Facebook for fun. One cog stopping working has a knock-on effect for the entire team.

It was great to see them work and work hard and let’s hope they go onwards and upwards. The more they practice this, the better they become.

It was a great achievement for all involved!

Students producing the radio programme

Multi-Platform Journalism

Tomorrow is the big day. For tomorrow we begin teaching in the University Centre as it is finally finished.

It looks impressive – it is modern, light and smells new. It also features some great pieces of kit in the media department.

We have a Tricaster studio which can be used for recording the news and creating a virtual set, as well as using for motion capture. There is also a soft news studio and a radio studio.

In the multi-platform production newsroom the students have access to ENPS – essential news production system – used by journalists in most major newsrooms and the PA newswire (Press Association).

Students will be using Nagra, Tascam and ipod touches to create audio content and Sony Z1 and also the latest Sony solid state memory recording cameras – Sony EX3.

Practical application of skills will see journalism students working on a daily video news bulletin for Seven TV and a half hour weekly news roundup as well as producing content for radio programmes.

It’s exciting times for students on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree and seeing as it’s UCAS time anyone considering journalism should consider our course.

Call 01472 315550 for more information.

Radio studio

The radio studio

The soft TV news studio with the multi-platform production room behind

The Tricaster TV studio