Assignment 12.1.1


a) Amplitude

Amplitude is the total height of a sound wave. A sound wave is a pressure wave. A physical characteristic of amplitude is loudness, a logarithmic measurement call a decibel unit was assigned to amplitude to measure the amount of loudness or sound pressure. The lower the units of decibels (dBs), the quieter the sound. The louder the sound the more damage is done to human hearing. Human hearing becomes damaged at 140 decibels and hearing is permanently damaged at 150 decibels.


b) Wave Length

Wave length is the distance of one sound vibration measured from crest to crest for one second.


c) Frequency

Frequency is the number of complete wave cycles that occur over a set period of time. Measured as Hertz per second, frequency has the physical characteristic as the pitch of sound which can range from low to high. To calibrate the audio in a production, the common frequency tone is 1 kHz or 1,000 Hertz. The movement of the the cycle has three phases: Compression, Rest, and Rarefaction.

Compression occurs as the wave of molecules moves upward, peaking at the crest and has the greatest amount of pressure. At the highest point, when the energy of compression can go no further, rest occurs. Rest only lasts for a micro-second because the energy of the pressure wave is beginning to shift directions due to elasticity of the pressure’s molecules. The molecules then begin to lose their energy and start pulling apart. This loss of energy and separation is the rarefaction phase and the soundwave descends to the lowest point, the trough.

Frequency plays an important part in audio production as this creates the aural impression. The perception of sound by humans is the human frequency spectrum. The normal range for hearing in this spectrum is between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. This spectrum’s range is broken into three bands, bass, midrange, and treble. These bands are used determine the audio output in sound systems using a 3-band equalizer.

Assignment 12.1.3

Coder is the short form of coder-decoder, a computer program/algorithm that is designed to encode and decode audio and video signals into sequences of binary data or raw digital bitstream. Nyquist’s Pulse or PCM is a type of codec which reduces a large file to a manageable file size for storage. MP3 is a well known codec used for digital audio storage and playback.

A container format is a file format the bundles a codec in order to keep the separate audio and video data together during processing for an end-user. The most common containers used are .wav for the Windows operating system and .aiff formats for Apple operating system. Both container systems are not structurally different because the coder or PCM audio stream doesn’t change once the container opens in a CD player. The container “talks” to the operating system to let it know what kind of data is inside and how to uncompress it.

Assignment 12.1.2

Sampling Rate

In the early days of audio recording, sound was recorded as an analog signal. An analog signal is a continuous electric impulse of varying amplitude. Stored as vibrations on wax or plastic materials, the signal would be picked up by an electrically charged phonograph needle as the hard surface spun. The audio signal had a one to one correlation that allowed a precise reproduction. When technology shifted from analog signaling to digital signals, the format for recording signal changed from a linear model to a mathematically discrete pulse code moderation or PCM.

PCM breaks down the continuous linear signal into “points” called samples. If I were to compare a sound sample, it would be similar to a geological core sample for oil. Sound samples are mathematically calculated at certain points along the analog signal. The sample takes a measurement of the sound and converts the sound into a binary string. This binary string is inputted into the computer digital system as a raw data file.

The PCM’s audio stream maintains its fidelity by using two properties, sampling rate and bit depth. Sampling rate is the number of samples taken each second. The bit depth is the number of bits in a waveform. The size of a sampling rate is twice the frequency which for human hearing is between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz or 20 kHz. So the sampling rate at it’s highest for human hearing is 40 kilohertz. Any higher and the sound pressure will damage hearing.

Assignment 11.1.2


Helmut Newton’s Photographic Equipment

Thoughts On Cameras

In the film, Helmut by June, Helmut Newton talks about cameras and composition. Newton says the camera he uses is one used by amateurs and that much of his work occurs in “his head”. The technology surrounding photography has changed over the centuries yet composing a photograph has not changed. When I think about cameras and photographs, I don’t allow the lastest model entice me–I look towards cost and strip my technological needs to a minimum.

I first started shooting photographs seriously when I was attending the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Several cameras were available to me througardeniagh my major in Theatre Studies and Film Studies. Using opportunities to film school performances and class assignments allowed me to tryout several brands of cameras: a Pentax while filming in-class performances, a Canon Rebel T3i loaned to me by my instructor, a Nikon checked out for class assignments from the college film lab, and I used my Samsung Rush’s camera phone at the race track. Much of my film and photograph experience was shooting flowers, people working on race cars,  and filming sprint cars performing on the track.

The Samsung Rush became my primary camera as it wasn’t as intimidating as the other cameras and if I broke it, I could afford to replace it. It allowed me to practice using menus and experiment with some of the computer’s camera options to see the actual changes that occurs with the programming.

In order to improve my pictures, I would need to jump to the prosumer cameras. A prosumer camera has more options for working in an environment filled with motion. The lenses that come with the camera would allow me to shoot from greater distances. Reading a number of recommendations by racing enthusiasts and professional racing photographers, both groups tended to recommend either Canon or Nikon. Shutter speeds and surviving flying dirt were considered the most important aspects of choosing a camera.

Returning to my college experiences, IDirt Track 3 May 2014 wanted to purchase a Canon EOS Rebel T3i which my film instructor, Rusty Sheridan,  owned and allowed me to use. I wanted this camera because I had used it in college and had some experience with the settings. Buying a T3i is no longer possible because of personal budget constraints and the model being discontinued. So I purchased a refurbished Canon EOS Rebel T5 to learn.

Assignment 11.1.1

f stops f stops ring


The iris is an adjustable diaphragm that regulates the amount of light striking the image sensor located inside the body of the camera at the back wall. When shooting images in low-light areas, the iris needs to be opened up to allow the maximum of available environmental light. For shooting in extremely bright light, the amount of light needs to be reduced so the image sensor isn’t overwhelmed. The area of the iris that opens and closes is the aperture and the physical diameter needs to be mathematically calculated (focal length of lens divided by the f-stop equals the diameter of the aperture) in order for the photographer to manage the light entering the camera and manage how the camera focuses on the subject matter. F-stops are mathematical notations that line the innermost rings of a lens housing. Starting at f/2.8 and rising to f/22, as the f-stop number increases, the size of the aperture shrinks.


Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter remains open. The shutter is a moving blade that is located behind the iris and acts as a moving curtain to allow light to reach the image sensor. Fast shutter speeds will “freeze” action occurring in brightly-lit scenes. In low-light situations, a slow shutter speed will allow more of the available light to reach the image sensor.

exposure math


Exposure is the result of the mathematical calculation of intensity of light multiplied by the amount of time light spends on the image sensor as regulated by the shutter. Yet, the mathematical result for exposure does not create the same image shot after shot. The image’s exposure can be adjusted by changes in the f-stop or shuttle speed shifting the depth of field from front to back depending on the numbers used in the calculation.


Depth of Field

Depth of Field (DOF) is how the area of the scene surrounding the main subject of the image is focused. The “success” of the image relies on the placement of the DOF.  The depth of field is created by combing the f-stop, the focal length of the lens, and distance from camera to main image. The DOF has two types: great and shallow. Great depth of field describes a photograph where much of the scene is sharply defined. Both the main image and the background are in sharp focus creating a “competition” for the eye of the viewer. Shallow depth of focus blurs the background so the image in the foreground is left in focus. This creates a center of focus and the main image gains the attention of the viewer.

aperture size

Aperture Size

There is an “inverse relationship” between the depth of field and size of the aperture. At f/2.8, the aperture is wide open. In low light, the background blurs creating a shallow depth of field. Yet when the aperture is open and the light is very bright, a great depth of field is created from the flood of light, if not overwhelming the image sensor with light. To counter the brilliance, adjustments in other parts of the camera would need to be made in order to render the main image as the center of focus. These adjustments would need to occur by zooming into the subject, increase the shutter speed. If the camera has film, the film speed could be reduced as well.

Discussion 11.1.1

Best Practice Renaming Images

When a digital camera takes an image, the storage system of the camera automatically assigns a name to the image. Unfortunately, this name is a long series of numbers and letters. This makes it difficult for a photographer to remember what is the subject matter of the individual image. Locating a single image for reproduction or uploading to a website becomes a long task of searching through the images taken. If a photographer has taken several dozen to hundreds of images of an event, the task becomes daunting.

The best practice for renaming an image or series of images is to create a two letter identifier of the event and  a series of numbers that range the event. If I took a series of photographs at Charlotte Motor Speedway, I would rename my images CM01, CM02, CM03, and so on. If I have set the time and date on the camera, I would have the dates and times available in storage to help narrow the event photograph even further using the time sequence within the event.

Assignment 10.1.1

illuminated manuscript


When communicating through the written word, books and other written objects were created and copied by hand. A broad-tipped nib pen was used to “paint” ink onto paper with each stroke constructing a letter. Each stroke would move up, down, diagonally, or in curves.

contrastlow contrast


The stroke of the type has transition points which can be thin or thick. This is the contrast within the type. The contrast itself is either high contrast, as in the Bembo and Baskerville type or low contrast, as in the Softly Serif Font. High contrast has multiple transitions which provide easy reading for viewers. Low contrast has very little transition.

stress example typeface


Stress is the angle of the occurrence of the transition of the stroke as it goes from thick to thin and vise-versa. The stroke can have a vertical, diagonal, slight diagonal, or no stress.

weight regular bold light

Weight (Regular, Boldface, Light)

The weight of typeface is the width of the stroke and visual appearance. Boldface is wider and heavier in appearance than regular typeface. Light typeface is thinner in appearance and visually appears lighter. Regular weight typeface is the middle ground between boldface and light.posture roman oblique italic

Posture (Roman, Oblique, Italic)

Posture is the positioning of the typeface. Roman is an upright typeface. Oblique is a slanted typeface that is based on roman positioned type. Italic is also a slanted typeface-but it’s slant is equivalent to cursive handwriting.


Proportions and Letterform Parts

The basic characteristics of type and where the type “lands” on a line helps a designer determine the style of type that would be used for a project. The “landing point” is called the baseline and the bottom edge of each type would be placed here. The top of an uppercase letter is lined up at the capline. The top of the lowercase letter would line up at the meanline. The size of the typeface itself is the x-height. Counter is the enclosed parts of the type and would be viewed in “o” and “q”. Descender is the part of the type that descends past the baseline as in the lowercase “j” or “p”. Monospaced is type that is spaced evenly and sits close to the next letter. Monospace is rarely used because it is difficult to read except in coding.

serif v sans serif

Serif and Sans-Serif

Serifs are small decorative marks that are added to the end of a main character stroke. Sans-Serif does not have the extra stroke. The issue of readability in print and electronic display has created dilemmas in design as the serif does not work well in legibility as the type becomes smaller on electronic displays. Serif is aesthetically pleasing in print media.

decorative type

Decorative Typeface

Decorative typefaces are usually robust types that are used as a decorative element for a design rather than for reading, adding mood, emotion, or attitude. Having more of a “personality” then regular typesfaces, decorative type is used sparingly as they can draw attention from the main element of a design.


Script Fonts

Script fonts emulate cursive handwriting and calligraphy and are used by printers for certificates of achievement and invitations.

font symbols and specials

Symbol Typefaces and Special Characters

Symbol typefaces and special characters are types and fonts that are needed occasionally for special designs. Accented letters, copyright marks, and currency symbols are some of the characters that can be used with some of the font families. Special Characters such as Wingding, Zapf Dingbats are ornamental characters that can be used within a design but they do not blend well with the traditional fonts.