Tips to Make Your Blog More Visual

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This was written for an agriculture audience, but is very applicable to rabbits as well.

Many in agriculture have been inspired to tell their story through groups like the AgChat Foundation. So you’ve decided you’re interested, you have a digital camera or video capability but what next?

In either case be aware of lighting. Too dark photos don’t show your topic off well. Remember that with camera settings they see the light as it is rather than adjusting as our eyes do. Sometimes photos late in the evening can look like it’s dark.

At the same time lighting can be a factor during the strong light of mid day – if you’re shooting livestock this can bring unwanted shadows. For other things, such as a combine or tractor in the field, bright light can be a good thing. If your image has a lot of white – such as Charolais cattle, sheep, white rabbits or some dairy cattle – you might get better results in the morning before 10 or so or in the afternoons after 4 – this allows you to position so the light is behind you. This also comes into play if you’re shooting winter pictures with snow that reflects light.

If you’re shooting a video beware of movement. If you’re walking to the barn and multitasking it may save you time but changing backgrounds can leave some viewers dizzy! Background is also important for still photos – with people and livestock pay attention to background so there’s no poles, trees or other objects appearing to come from the subject’s head!

Know when to come in close and when to back off. A field at harvest or planting may warrant a ‘big’ shot while one of a baby chick or an ear of corn means getting close. For close up shots use the macro setting on the digital camera – there’s a setting often depicted with a little flower, then you scroll to adjust and the lens will zoom in on tight shots like an ear of corn. Be sure to change it back so your other shots aren’t fuzzy! Also with macro shots it’s even more important to shoot steady. A blurred image can result from unsteady hands so brace yourself on a doorway, ledge or other solid surface if you have to.

For video consider an inexpensive tripod that eliminates all ‘bounce’ from your final video. As much as can be watch the noise interference in the sound and pick a video location that is quiet enough to hear what you’re saying. There may be some situations – such as dairy calves bawling at feeding time that it can be a benefit but mostly you want the viewer to be able to hear you!

Good photos show off your farm and are not difficult to get. It allows transparency without trespass. Farmers and agvocates need to be a part of the conversation about food and farming. Photos and videos are a way to do that in a very visible way.

  • agchat.org/
  • www.trufflemedia.com/home/blogs/trufflemediaadmin
  • www.causematters.com/
    • Pay attention to lighting and background.
    • Use a mix of “big” and close up shots depending on your subject.
    • Use photos in combination with other social media – blogs, Twitter, Facebook

    Did you know photos and videos allow consumers to see farming as it is, and allows for increased transparency between farm and consumer’s plates. It’s a way to share the world of agriculture with consumers.

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9 Free Ways to Safely Share Videos

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We’ve been gone to the ARBA Conference and are playing catch up – sorry for the delay!

Guest post from AgChat 2.0 Conference M. Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez, MBA

 

Thinking of creating a video to promote your brand and what your company does? Remember this:

Provide: Inspiration, Entertainment, Enlightenment, Education
19.4% of viewers abandon a video within first 10 seconds of video
By 60 seconds – 44% have stopped watching
Be Short & Start Fast (from Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki)
List of video sharing sites:
  1. Wikisend.com (easiest to use)
  2. Videosprout.com (no downloading involved)
  3. Dropbox.com (allows 300MB transfers.com)
  4. Shutterfly.com (creates your own video sharing website)
  5. Facebook.com (most convenient to use, since everyone is online & comfortable with it)
  6. Minigroup.com (10GB of storage with free account, for families)
  7. Chattertree.com (family-focused too, private for specific individuals)
  8. Vimeo.com (offers privacy control, basic account 500MB of weekly storage)
  9. Youtube.com (can be strictly private, most used)
(list from local newspaper article, originally from WestStar TalkRadio Network)
*Don’t forget to add keywords, categories, and a detailed description of the content of the video to increase your chances to move up the SEO ranks!

Photos, Ag & Legislation

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Two states have brought forth legislation that prevents unauthorized trespassing via video or camera.

 

Florida’s SB 1246 states: ”

“An act relating to farms; prohibiting a person from entering onto a farm or photographing or video recording a farm without the owner’s written consent; providing a definition; providing penalties; providing an effective date.”

 

In Iowa it’s same idea, different wording:

““HF 589 addresses concerns of bio-security of Iowa’s animal industry and the well-being of animals. The bill protects livestock and crop operations against unauthorized destruction, killing or injuring of stock, or disruption of agricultural or bio-technical operations on an owner’s premise. Additionally, it makes it unlawful to produce, possess, or distribute an unauthorized recording (sound or image) at an animal or crop operation.”

These are important for the rabbit world! It prevents undercover videos or “hidden cameras” from taking images of your agricultural enterprise – which can include rabbits. This may be dicey in the case of rabbits in urban areas, but for those in rural areas it’s increased protection from being slandered via images.

Most people don’t want cruelty around. We keep out rabbits fed, watered and cared for to keep them safe and productive – not that different from those who farm hogs, cattle or poultry. If there is an issue by all means address the issue! Many activists don’t do this but instead hang onto the video, sometimes for months, until the right time to present it to the media. In the spring it’s a great time to promote rabbits – and responsible rabbit ownership. It’s time to show our unique animals as producers of food, fur and fiber, as well as pets, outstanding youth animals and suitable for a variety of places. We cannot continue to let others do it for us!

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