Beloved “Pedestal” rock formation in Oregon toppled and caught on video


The “pedestal” rock formation in the Oregon, Kiwanda State Natural Area was upset by three vandals in a cell phone video released by the Seattle Times. The video was indicative of a cell phone video because both sides that flank the frame are blurry. The video looks like someone was standing at a distance while the video was taken and zoomed in to take the footage. In my experience with cell phone video when you zoom in on a subject or object from a distance the minute details are not clear. For example, you can clearly see the three males pushing over the rock formation but you can’t see clear details of their faces. Another example of this can be seen in the quality of the background, it is hard to decipher if you’re looking at shrubs, plants, or the beach.

Using the cell phone footage David Kalas shot for this story was fitting because the video quality was adequate and added to the multimedia package of this story. Even if the reader did not want to read the whole online story, they could watch the video of the incident, and the following video interviews with David Kalas and his friend, Michael Kell, and get the comprehensive story. It is notable Kalas was flying a drone at the time trying to capture memories of his summer when his attention was drawn to eight people pushing on the “pedestal” rock formation.  Kalas took out his cell phone, and started recording the vandals pushing on the rock formation until it tumbled to the ground. The fact Kalas decided to use cell phone video when he had a drone at his disposal points to how beneficial cell phone video can be at capturing an event.

The light quality in Kala’s video was suitable because the subjects-including the rock formation, were illuminated well. The shooting of the video was steady, there was not unnecessary camera wobbling that distracts the viewer from the subjects of the footage.

One objectionable aspect of the video was it had a narrow focus. The video primarily focused on the rock formation, four people, and a small surrounding area. In the online story and the video interview Kalas mentioned there were eight people present at the beginning of the incident, and five stepped away. However, only four vandals are shown in the video frame so it is hard to tell where the others went based on the videos narrow focus. Kalas also mentioned in the online story three of the vandals saw, “…a crack…” in the rock formation-I could not see it on the video footage.

Overall, the video complimented the multimedia package in this story by giving the reader an option to watch the incident unfold in the video and hear firsthand from actual witnesses how the incident took place. The video presentation was so effective it could spark anger from readers because Kalas and Kell express how senseless the act was and how it seemed the vandals committed the act out of “revenge” against the rock formation.


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