The “Icy-Hot” of Journalism: Warm vs. Cool Colors

Aurora Borealis in Norway
The Aurora Borealis provides many cool colors. Photo courtesy of: APNI Travel Tips

Warm colors and cool colors are discussed in art. They also apply to photography. Blue, green, and purple would be your cool colors, while red, orange, and yellow would be your warm colors. Each group sets a mood that is opposite of the other.

The Blue Whale under the sea
A Blue Whale chilling under the sea. Photo courtesy of: The Garden of Eden on

Cool lighting is used to establish a calm or gentle mood. The blues and the purples also make the picture more relaxing and easier to look at than the warm-colors. Good examples of cool color pictures would be the Aurora Borealis and of marine wildlife.

Huge Explosion
A huge atomic explosion. Photo courtesy of:

On the other hand, warm colors are very intense. They contrast from cool colors as they are not easy to look at, and usually are very bright. Explosions would be the best example of warm colors.


“Live and Learn”: Some Mistakes You May Make in Journalism

Homer says, "Doh!"
Don't worry Homer, everyone has a "Doh!" moment. Photo Credit: Bad

Some people say that we should learn from history. I agree. We should try to learn from our mistakes. No one wants to feel like an idiot. I compiled a list of scenarios that you may find yourself in. Try to learn from our mistakes and be prepared for the future.

Not Having Enough Space on Your Memory Card: Always bring an extra one. I prefer one 8GB card and one 4GB card. Anything less may not be enough to capture the whole interview.

Focus: Always make sure your camera is in focus. Blurry pictures are frowned upon.

Shutter Speed: When taking action shots in sports, or any shot involving motion for that matter, be sure to have a high shutter speed. Blur effects are cool sometimes, but usually people want to see a clear picture of the defining moment.

Scheduling: Make sure you have made travel arrangements in advance. Set appointments up in advance as well. If you plan on doing multiple interviews in a day, then leave plenty of time between them. Things don’t always go according to plan, and if everything is scheduled close together, then you will be left scrambling.

Jump cuts: The Free Online Dictionary defines “jump cut” as a cut to later action from one film scene to the next, creating an effect of acceleration or discontinuity. Everyone makes this mistake. It is inevitable, but after gaining experience, you will learn how to avoid it. In film and in photo slide shows, everything needs to be presented to the audience in a logical order. If the audience loses track of what’s going on, then they lose interest. For example, if a person is walking towards you, film them walking all the way towards. Don’t cut from far to close right away. This acceleration may freak out the audience, and you do not want to lose your audience.

Future journalists, you have been warned. Be ready to learn.

“Planting the Seed”

Picture of the Dos Equis Character
"The Most Interesting Man in the World" Photo courtesy of: Fast Company

In high school, I had to read the tragedy of Othello. The part I remember the most was when the villain Iago tells Othello that his wife may be cheating on him. At first, Othello ignores Iago, but the idea grows in his head, and eventually he became paranoid. Iago’s tactic was deemed as “planting the seeds of doubt”, and he was very successful at it.

If you think about it, Iago would have been good in strategic communication, or in other words, advertising. He was able to convince Othello to buy his story. In strategic communication, the person’s job is to get the firm’s message across and/or convince people to buy their product. It seems as if firms will almost do anything to “spread the word”. They will call your house, they will stick ads in newspapers and magazines, they will put up billboards, they will sponsor events, they will put ads on buses, they will clog your digital and physical mail boxes, and of course, they will pay for ad space on television. Wait, there’s more. Now they are talking about using the iPhone and iPad App that reads QR codes. All you would do is scan the QR code, and next thing you know, a video starts playing on your iPhone or iPad. Freaky.

Like I said, firms will almost do anything to achieve their goal. One popular method of gaining attention is celebrity endorsements. Proactiv is firm that uses that strategy. They have used Jessica Simpson, Katy Perry, and now Proactiv has come down with “Bieber Fever”. Every commercial is the same where the celebrities talk about their acne problems, and now Proactiv has made them more confident. In addition, they show before and after pictures to ensure the audience that the product works.

Another method used in advertising is creating a character. Tony the Tiger, Kool Aid Man, the Geico Gecko, The Most Interesting Man in the World, and the list goes on and on. However, this method is not necessarily the best. Look at the Burger King. He was kind of creepy, and that’s not the image Burger King was looking for. Then, there’s Six Flags. In their commercials, they used to have an old man with huge glasses do a funny dance in their commercials. At first, it was funny, but then people could no longer stand him. Characters are a Jekyll and Hyde relationship. They will either work to your advantage or they will backfire.

The most important thing about advertising is to consider ethics. Yes, it seems like many advertisements do not look that way, but they will call you out on it. Group On is one example of a firm learning that lesson with their Super Bowl ad a couple years ago. Just don’t create controversy.