Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Playing & Practicing

 Playing & Practicing

I've been playing around with objects I find around the house. Trying different things with angles, composition, lighting & lenses.

I rarely have a specific goal in mind aside from developing a better understanding of light, composition and the gear at my disposal.  I (hopefully) create some decent images, but I often learn as much from the ones that don't work as I do from the ones that do.

Evey once in a while I try something that works out and I think "hey, I've really got something here. This new techniques is great!"  then after I down load the images I realize it's not really new, It's actually something I've seen before or a combination of things I've seen.

Often it's something I tried before and couldn't get the result I wanted, and sometimes it's a technique I wasn't excited about until I combined it with something else & got a more interesting result.

I read enough blog posts & articles & watch enough tutorials that I've always got a few "things to try" in the back of my mind. Somehow they never really click until I try them out. Once I have an example  ready to post, then, I have  new tool to add to my bag of tricks.

That brings us back to playing around & tying new stuff. When I'm working on a specific project I usually play it pretty safe and projects also come with deadlines, so there's not much time to play around.

Which is why it's important to play around & try new things when the time is available. Develop new skills when you can, then they are ready and waiting in your tool box when the right project comes along.

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** all photos taken with canon 80D, canon 50mm f2.5 compact macro, 1 light (+ room light) & DIY diffusion.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Summerfolk 2017 in 60 Seconds - GRADED

I updated the slide show from the previous post. 
The only difference is that grading or stylized colour has been added.

Colour Grading is something I find fascinating to watch but elusive to create.  When you see before & after shots of something before & after it was graded the difference can be huge. It obviously looks different,  but it also feels different & that is usually the thing that's more important. The colour enhances the mood & emotion of the story. Even if you never see a before & after ideally you will still get the feeling they're going for.

 Grading is hard. it's even hard to do a half baked job of it. It's really hard to do well and the people who do it well are wizards.  I can't afford to send my little videos to a wizard to work on, which is why I'm trying to work towards doing a half baked job of it.

The idea with this one was to have it feel like dreaming of a happy memory then waking up & being a little disappointed that the dream is over, but happy you had it.

Original (no) Colour

Colour Graded

I'm not sure if the colouring really makes that much difference here, but you have to start somewhere.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Summerfolk 2017 in 60 Seconds

A quick little slideshow of photos from Summerfolk 2017.
All the photos are being posted on Flickr. One photo a day until they're done.

This type of slideshow (each photo for a very short time, pan & zoom, no style elements) is something I saw years ago and liked. So, I tried it & liked the results, but it's so easy to over use or to use for something that doesn't fit the stripped down style.

It seems to work pretty well for Summerfolk. I think it could almost go a little faster.
Any thoughts?

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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Canadian Raptor Conservatory - Teaser

I'm busy working on a series of projects that won't be finished for a while and I've finished one smaller project that I'm sitting on until after the official release by the client.

 With all the longer projects on the go I don't have much to put in the blog. So I'm posting something small, mostly because I haven't posted in a while.

One of the projects that's going to take a while to finish is the Canadian Raptor Conservatory.
It was was more fun than I expected and I'd do it again. I'll be writing writing more about it later and there will be a video at some point too. For now here's a short bit of footage from that day.

As I said, it's early days and as I post this I'm looking at it and making notes about things to do different for the final video. But,  that's part of letting other people look at things, it makes you look at it different. Things that are easy to over look are more prominent when someone else is looking.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018


Winter is a time when I expect to have a bit of extra time. Weather that's true or not is a discussion for another day.  Back to the topic at hand.

A while ago I added a daily reminder to my calendar "Watch 1 Tutorial". I have a long list of tutorials in my bookmarks. They accumulate there due mostly to procrastination. I'm working away and want a break before I start the section of work, procrastination. So, I check twitter and see an interesting tutorial in my feed. But, I don't have time for it now, after all I'm working. So, I bookmark it for later, more procrastination and a long list of un-watched tutorials.

I like tutorials. Most of the ones I watch are related to making digital media. From Graphic Designs through Photos & Videos it includes a lot of topics: writing, shooting, editing, effect, sound design, colouring, animation, treads, tribe building, social media awareness, and a ton of related topics.

I'm trying to master them all or even be proficient in all these areas. Many of them I just watch to have a basic idea how they work leaving the details and application to others. Know the basics of how other people do their job can add something to how you do yours.

One of my favourite things about tutorials are the "wait, what was that." moment before going back to watch that bit again. Sometimes it's about something I'm not going to do, I just want to know "How It's Made" and they say something that applies directly to the stuff I Do work on. It's that little piece of cross over that is all the cooler because it came from an unexpected source.

The other thing that happens over and over is a different type of "wait, what was that" moment. This time the thing that catches my attention is something that is glossed over. It's thrown out & run past like it's the most common thing in the world. It's never the focus of tutorial it's just a step along the way. "next you just do X, to setup for Y. To do Y you..."   Wait!   What?   X?  I didn't know about X. That's so cool, how come I've never seen X before that will solve problems and save time. Why has no one told me about this? It happens to me all the time.

I should probably be embarrassed by this (I'm not) but, I've learned a ridiculous amount from throw away lines in tutorials and interviews.   It's why I watch tutorials to the end. Even if the production value is kinda bad, or the topic isn't really what I was expecting, once I start I usually watch til the end. If I finish it and get nothing new, I've only lost a few minutes. If the whole thing is kinda of  2nd rate, I'll still try to watch. If nothing else I'll learn how NOT to make a tutorial.

If I stick it out for a few minutes I might see something that will save me time or become an integral part of the next thing I work on.

Now I'm off to watch a tutorial about making animated Easter Eggs in After Effects.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Quick Video to get a bit of Practice.

I was watching a few tutorials and took a break to make a coffee and ended up with this video.
It's an excuse to practice a few things I was watching in a very short project.


Some of the Specific things I was practicing are low key lighting, tracking for text, lumetri & adjustment layers.  Even this tiny piece took most of the evening to shoot, edit, finish & post. Which is part of the reason I should keep practicing.

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Friday, 19 January 2018

Random Ideas: Could learning toki pona benefit an aging population?

 First, What's Toki Pona?

Short answer: A constructed language with only 120 root words.
Longer answers can be found  here Wiki & tokipona.org

The language is designed to be simple, minimalist, and somewhat universal. But, the specifics aren't that important to the original question. Could learning toki pona benefit an aging population?

The point is that the language work very different from ours. With 120 words you need to combine words and thoughts in new ways. You need to conceptualize things differently. More to the point you have to think differently and, from what I've read, thinking differently can be helpful in maintaining our mental faculties as we age.

So when I heard about this constructed language and how it works my first thought was "I should try to learn a bit of it" & the second was "could that be useful for preventing dementia?" I don't know enough about dementia to answer that question but, it did lead me to to another thought.

If learning a new language is supposed to be good for maintaining mental agility, wouldn't learning a language designed to make you think differently be the perfect choice?

I have  looked at toki pona, but I haven't learned any, just read a bit & looked.

Learning toki pona is for that magical day in the future, when I have time to spare and nothing to fill it with. When a day like that comes along I can sit down and learn Toki Pona.