Archive for the 'squaredpeg' Category

18
Feb
08

Housing Virtual Tours

So for the past two months, I have been working off and on on complete 360 degree virtual tours for housing. It’s been a slow process because I have been working on a lot of other projects, but also because it hasn’t been a huge priority. After meeting with our Web Services people, we discussed having them done in time for unveiling with the newly redesigned Housing website. I will be using the ones I created along with some/all of the ones Brad created when he was here.  So of late, I have been trying to get them all put together. I have been using a program called Cubic Converter which has been working great! I’ve been using Photoshop CS3’s photomerge feature along with some of my own editing. To shoot the panos, I have a Panosaurus head mounted to my tripod (which is weak and has caused me to have to do A LOT of post-processing). I am shooting with a Nikon D200 with an 18-70 mm f3.5 at 24mm and manual exposure controls. I will be writing a how-to later about this detailing the process in full. It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s also been a lot of work. The results have definitely paid off though! Now, I need to figure out how to convert from outdated QTVR to a Flash file for the website…if you have any suggestions let me know. Here’s a little sample:  *Wordpress does not allow embedding of videos into posts due to security reasons.  So for now, I’ll link to it.  It is in it’s full screen version here, but it is undecided how large the final will be.  Use your mouse to control the scrolling and shift and control zoom in and out.

Let me know of any changes you would make or do before the final cut.  I think they look pretty good, but then again, I may be biased…

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14
Feb
08

Using Pixish for Higher Ed

This has been a crazy busy week with like a million of projects, all back to back…finally I get to blog…my apologies.

So I ran across a website the other day called Pixish. That same day, Brad Ward from SquaredPeg blogged about it’s uses in higher ed. I met with some creative students yesterday and talked to them about how they would feel about submitting photos in exchange for photo credits for use on some of our webpages (Student Life, Student Page?, Media Quad, etc.). It was unanimous, and everyone said they would be happy to submit photos. We currently do not have a campus photographer (he retired 6 months ago) other than myself, and I am do not consider myself a professional photographer; I can just take pretty good photos. So I thought, why not open this up and see what kind of response we get. I will be monitoring the site for quality of shots and to ensure they will help add to our goals. I will not just take any shot of students, certainly not something point and shoot, but actual really excellent shots of students having fun. FJ Gaylor blogged about how to capture life after 5 p.m. This is definitely something we have always struggled with, and really do now since I have moved from the Student photographer position I held here last year to full time marketing. No one has filled that void yet, I’ve got my eyes on a young woman I met at a preview day, so hopefully she comes to UIS next year! Anywho…chime in on how you feel about this and whether or not you think students will really take advantage of this.

07
Feb
08

A little bit about me

Per Matt’s request, I thought I would give you guys a little background into who I am. I will tell you that I have probably been working in higher ed for the least amount of time (7 months) out of all the people involved in BlogHighEd, but I am extremely passionate about what I do and therefore always wanting and willing to learn about the ever changing field of Higher Education.

I am officially the Marketing/Recruitment Specialist for the Office of Enrollment Management for the University of Illinois at Springfield. I work for the smallest of the three U of I campuses, but still get all the benefits. This position was created last year for UIS graduate and co-creator of BlogHighEd, Brad J Ward, but he moved on to a position at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. I spend my time researching trends in the current and potential student market for recruitment and retention. I also implement ideas that I present to the directors on our websites. I also have some web experience, but desperately want to learn more! I also do campus and event photography.

I look forward to learning with and from everyone who contributes here and I am very thankful that I was chosen for bhe. And here’s a better photo of me and my wonderful girlfriend.

Jordan and I
31
Jan
08

I am getting the bug back!

So as I sit here, bitterly enjoying my Subway sub and looking at lenses for my camera, I am thinking to myself: “I really miss taking photos.” Over the course of the past week or so, I have been able to take a lot of photos of a variety of different things. I’ve been able to hang out with some friends and shoot photos with them, and more importantly, some of my girlfriend! As I thought about it over lunch, I realized the reason I quit enjoying photography was because I was shooting too many things that I wasn’t passionate about. Not only that, but it was usually on a last minute notice thing and more often than not, after hours. And while I enjoy attending events, I wish I had something to show for it. I talked with our creative director the other day, and ever since I started here I’ve been trying to get some new camera equipment. I’ve been begging for a good telephoto to replace the 28-200 G lens that I have now. Performance wise, the lens takes nice photos outdoors. Inside shots with low light, and autofocusing though are awful. I don’t think I’ve ever used a lens that focuses as slow as this one does, and is also not that accurate. Also, the zoom is not very tight (and is backwards from every other Nikon lens I’ve ever used…) and slides out while moving around. Aside from all that, it does take nice photos when the lighting is right. Unfortunately for me, I take a lot of photos in very poorly lit places and in places you’re not supposed to use a flash. In these situations I resort to my trusty 50mm f1.8. Like these photos here, the left one being pretty much my trademark shot:

Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS Eddie Smith Dunk at UIS

Now, my friend Joe, of FJ Gaylor told me yesterday that he had a lens he might be able to sell me which would be amazing! Hook me up! Another reason I have been excited about photography is because the FJ Gaylor was updated to include all their fall 07 shots. Let me just say that they have their act together! If you need photographs of your college, I would highly recommend them! And I’m not the only one.

 

Moving on, last night at the library (I briefly mentioned this earlier) I was helping Jordan find some things. I came across a book titled “Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washington.”

Memoirs of Mary and Martha Washingon

 

Then I looked at the copyright date in the center on the bottom of the page….1852.

Mary and Martha Washington
Martha Washington

Isn’t that amazing?!?  It’s crazy to think that book is actually in my universities library.

Martha Washington

It’s hard to read, but this book was given as a gift on Christmas in 1853.  These photos were taken with my iPhone.  It does a decent job for a camera phone in low lighting.  But so anyway, I was really amazed and I think the artistic aspect of that book really made me enjoy photographing them (even just with my phone).

 

Alright…last thing…I mentioned bitterly enjoying my sandwich.  Last time I got a tuna sub from Subway I got a six inch.  They put three scoops of tuna on my six inches.  Today I was starving and decided to get a foot long.  I watch as he applies the tuna and see him put only four scoops on my sandwich.  Now…it’s been a while since I’ve taken a math course, but if there are three scoops on a six inch, shouldn’t there be six scoops on a twelve inch sub?  The tuna was spread so thin on my sandwich, I would have gotten all bread and veggies.  So I asked him to put another scoop on my sandwich and he said it would be .50 a scoop.  Then I started thinking, I’m paying more for a 12 inch sub with an extra scoop of tuna than I would for two individual six inch subs.  $7.10 later, I leave with my sub and drink (drink was free for being a student!) and return to my office.  I usually spend $3.27 for lunch on a six inch sub.  It probably wouldn’t bother me so much except for the fact that 4 out of the last 5 times and 7 out of 10 times I have gotten “fast food” whether it be from Subway, Taco Bell, or Wendy’s, they have gotten my order incorrect.  I guess they think that when I ask for a hamburger I really want a cheeseburger instead.  Customer service has really gone down hill…

14
Jan
08

Keywords search

This morning I have spent some time looking into what people search for when they view websites. I decided to review some hits my blog has received and how they got there. If you aren’t using Google Analytics, you really should be! It’s easy to set up and easy to use. The data you get is fantastic!

Anyway, I found some interesting things while reviewing the keywords and these are some that popped up:

“wow uis”
“‘my car bounces'”
“mobster art”
“real deal cheap broadway tickets”
“shuttle from spi to bmi”
“uis rims”

Those are just a few of the ones I found interesting. My friend Brad J Ward over at SquaredPeg posted a topic about Google Alerts this morning. As with just about everything that google does, I tried it out. Already got one alert from Nicholas’ Blog! Nice to see it works. I’ll review Google Alerts later after I play with it some more.




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