I Did it My Way

I would like to summarize what I learned this week. For my reflection on the entire course, please click here or follow the link towards the end of this page.

This week was a challenge for me. Throughout the course I had difficulty with storytelling behind the visual, design, audio or video assignments I completed. This is what the course instructor pointed out in the feedback to my weekly assignments. Therefore I took it as a challenge and before I could start to do different parts of the final project, I gave the actual story a lot of consideration. I thought of different ideas at the end I decided that I am going to try a modern version of the traditional “Thirsty Crow Story”. I tried the story with toy dinosaurs and at the end it turned out to be a fun experience. I was able to attempt almost all of the digital tools that I learned during the previous weeks i.e. Audio, Design, Visual and Video. I hope that this story can be of interest to its viewers.

Following are the links to different assignments for week 5.

  1. The Final Story: The Thirsty Baby Dinos
  2. Course Reflection: Digital Storytelling and Me
  3. Design Assignment (4.2 Stars): How to Design a Story Poster with Adobe Photoshop
  4. Visual Assignment (3.5 Stars): How to make a GIF animation from different images
  5. Video Assignment (4.5 Stars): How to add a video into the thinking box or a callout of an image
  6. Audio Assignment 1 (4 Stars): How to make a radio announcement or advertisement with Audacity
  7. Audio Assignment 2 (4 Stars): How to record a telephone conversation with two different voices when both voices are your’s

Total Stars Attempted: 20.2

An amazing video week

This course has been unfolding precious mysteries for me. In the previous weeks I was able to organize my personal blog, learn photo editing and tell audio stories. This week has been more amazing for me. It was related to the video world. I was able to have a glance into how critics view movies. Believe me it is completely different than how we view it. They can see the use of different camera angles and their effectiveness. Even where a character comes from and where does he/she goes has a different meaning which I have tried to describe in some of my posts available bellow. I used Windows Movie Maker for the first time and it was great to know that some of the video effects like slowing a video down or fast forwarding can be done so easily. I faced an issue of using music clips that would not be taken down by YouTube when I upload it there. I found a great solution to this problem in the form of two amazing royalty free music website i.e. Free Music Archive and BenSound.

Following are the links to the different tasks I have completed.

Reading Movies

Roger Ebert on Reading Movies

Summary of Cinematic Techniques

Look, Listen, Analyze

How to Look, Listen and Analyze a Movie


Creating Instant Replay

Tutorial: How to Fast Forward with Windows Movie Maker

Comments on Blog Posts

Is Commenting Helpful in Learning Only?

4 Daily Creates

Confessions of an Arab

Be a Vegetarian

I Still Look Good

I am Going to Mars

So how was week 3?

What did I learn this week?

This week I had to look back on the mistakes I made previously and try and rectify them. I did visit blogs from other course participants and learned a lot from them. I am hopeful that much of the changes that I brought in to this week’s work are the reflection of the many things that I learnt in those blogs plus the feedback on my previous week’s work.

I have listened to audio stories since I was a child. I always thought that it was a simple task to produce an audio play. But after going over the course material for this week and completing the audio assignments, I have come to a conclusion that audios production and storytelling is a complex art. I hope that the lessons learnt from the audio storytelling part of the course will prove to be vital in my future course work and may be professional life. And why not?

Following is a list of the tasks that I completed for this week.

  1. Please click here for a summary of audio storytelling by Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad
  2. Please click here for a summary of the radio story
  3. Please click here for audio assignment 1
  4. Please click here for audio assignment 2
  5. Here are the 4 daily creates: 1, 2, 3, 4
  6. Summary of feedback from comments

Week 1 Summary

Setting up the Domain

First I went to Godaddy.com which is a domain provider to look for domain options. I has earlier paid with my credit card for a friend who registered a domain on Godaddy. It came up with many domain options that included my name as a part of it. I finally decided to choose www.taractaronline.com as it has my name and sounds like one from the digital world where everyone is trying to be online. Then I came back to the video about how to register the domain by the class instructor and followed the simple steps to register it.

Commentary on Customizing Blog

I searched Youtube.com for different options on managing a wordpress website. It came up with useful information that helped me a lot. I chose one of the free designs from wordpress called Twenty Fifteen. The reason that I opted for this theme is that is good on eyes, simple and responsive. Then I looked for different plugins. I came up with many ideas. I installed the plugins that I believe would add quality to my blog both from the viewer’s perspective and search engines perspective. I installed the Related Post plugin by Zemanta. This is a unique plugin that also lets you embed related posts from other websites on the internet. I have tried this function on this page: http://taractaronline.com/assignments/visual/gaga-heavens-gate/ . The details of the plugin are available here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/  .

Apart from the plugins above I installed the recommended Akismet plugin for spam control, a social media sharing plugin by AddtoAny, Contact Form 7 plugin, Plugin for a Photo Gallery, Plugin for Twitter Feed and Yoast plugin for SEO from https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/ .

I have included my social media profiles on the right sidebar of my blog to let others follow me on different social media platforms.

Link to Photo Safari


Link to Photo Reflection


Link to reflection on Photo Safari


Link to three Daily Creates


Links to 4 Visual Assignments






Reflection on Visual Storytelling

This is a new subject to me. I didn’t think that it could be so interesting to look at photos from a perspective of a whole story associate to it not just a single image. Colors play an important role when it comes the digital world and each color works with collaboration with another to make a story. I did try to use my imagination while completing the different digital tasks. They were challenging in the beginning but now I feel that I am really enjoying the art of ‘visual Storytelling and hope that I can come up with more innovative solutions to the future tasks.



Week 2 Summary

This week has been excruciating for me as my blog had been down due to some technical issues. I was trying to keep up with the week 2 assignments and have luckily completed all of them. The process was really great opportunity for me to learn about the basics of designing, playing with digital storytelling and designing GIF Animations. I believe these assignments compel you to think out of box and come up with creative ideas as most of the assignments are guidelines to complete not strict rules that would confine the thinking process. I have made blog posts for all the assignments and applied Twitter and Flickr embeds where necessary. Following are the details of the different sections of the assignments.

Read and Reflect on The Vignelli Canon


  1. Complete a DesignBlitz (Embedded from Flickr)
  2. http://taractaronline.com/best-work/designblitz/

  3. Do your Daily Creates

Twitted with tags.


  1. Five design assignments completed and posted to blog:







  1. GIF Animation assignments completed and posted to blog: