I was out shooting a pumpkin carving contest for the paper, and this was my favorite pumpkin.
Shirt and Nettey throw awesome parties. They also, it seems, make awesome invitations. And by they, I mean Nettey definitely made these by herself. Honestly, how cute are these?
This one actually started the whole word art project, but I hadn’t gotten around to posting it. I liked the lyrics so much that I wanted to do something with them, and then this happened.
My brother asked me once why my photos of his kid are better than his photos. I said, “Editing.” Sure, I have a fancier camera, and a better understanding of basic photographic principles. Still, I think editing plays a huge role in getting a better finished piece.
And it starts in camera. Framing a photo, deciding on aperture and lenses, all of it is mentally editing. Taking out anything that doesn’t work, elements that distract from a photo instead of adding to it. Deliberately drawing focus to certain features, and away from others. Choosing the best angle. You take out the things that don’t work, and when there’s nothing to take away without sacrificing your goal, or your message, then it’s right. Mental editing.
Once I start going through photos, I edit them down even more. Out of focus? Gone. Bad angle? Deleted. I sat in on a talk with Jared Platt, and some of the other photographers attending were shocked at how he could so heartlessly delete photos of his own kid. “But that one’s cute!” Cute, maybe, but the focus was off.
I think a certain level of detachment is needed when you’re editing, and I think this is something that I picked up from having a background in design. We routinely did class critiques on our work, and you couldn’t afford to take comments personally. Either something worked, or it didn’t. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, then why is it there? It doesn’t matter how long you spent on it, or what you had to go through to get that shot. If the end result isn’t working, none of that matters. Because your clients aren’t seeing the effort – they don’t know the story behind it. All they see is the end result.
I was in Pittsburgh meeting up with Jeremy Saffer, who was in town touring with the Ghostbustour. They hit some traffic (in Pittsburgh? no way), and I killed a bit of time shooting around Diesel. I’ve only seen one actual show there, but I dig it so far.
Last night, we made the 3 hour trip out to Cleveland’s House of Blues to see Bad Religion on their 30 year tour. Though they made a lot of comments on their age (“You can’t boo old people!” and “He’s been drinking the same beer since 1996″), they’re none worse for the wear. They didn’t do “Marked” live (you can see the whole set list here), but 30 years is a lot to cover, even if it’s only 2 minutes per song.
They had a few less albums when we saw them at Rostraver Ice Garden in 2002 or so. There may have been a few less middle fingers this time around, but the music’s still as good as it ever was. I remember standing in the test prep aisle at Waldenbooks a few years later, asking my dad how you studied for the vocabulary portion of the GRE’s. He said, “You read for 20 years.” I was pretty well set on that end, and I figure spending some years listening to Bad Religion couldn’t have hurt. Greg Graffin’s personally responsible for a good chunk of my vocabulary, and their lyrics had me running for a dictionary more than once. I’ve hit them up for the word art project already, and I imagine there will be more to come.
I had an interview, for a job that I really, really wanted a few weeks ago. And that’s what John told me before the interview. “Floor ‘em, baby.”
Apparently, I did, because they’ve offered me the job. Today is officially my last day at Jefferson. I’ve learned a lot during my time here, and I’ll certainly miss the people. But sometimes an opportunity comes along that you just need to take.
So as of Thursday, I will be working with Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE lab, doing web design and media planning. You may remember that art and science post from awhile back, and you can see how this group would be of interest to me.
We’re doing a lot of moving lately. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been moving into a new house. Now, I’m moving on to a new job. It’s a lot of stress, and a big change for all of us (partly because I’m moving from working full-time to part-time). In the end, though, I think it’s what’s best for everyone involved.
John brought this to my attention a while back, and I thought I’d pass it along.
First things first, what’s a QR code? Basically, it’s a barcode that you can create, and that mobile devices can scan. They’re a bit smaller than your traditional barcode, which makes them easy to slip into printed marketing materials. This linking from physical world objects called a hardlink.
Great, but what can I do with it? Well, here’s an example. You’re putting on an art show, so you post a flyer downtown. Someone is interested in the show, takes out their mobile phone, and scans the QR code that you’ve put on the flyer. They can instantly get more information about the event, and a link to a website where they can check out the artists or buy tickets to the event.
You can effectively make all of your printed materials – business cards, posters, etc. – more interactive. Scanning the code can lead the user to additional text, a web link, or other data. Anyone with a camera phone equipped with the right reader application can scan QR codes. Google’s Android supports their use, as does Nokia’s Symbian.
These codes can be used to link printed marketing campaigns to their online campaigns, but I think there is a lot of room to be innovative with the kind of information you’re giving people. These are apparently already pretty big in Japan, but are finding their way into media here as well. If you’d like to find out more, go to www.qurify.com.
October is my favorite month. I get to wear hoodies, people stop looking at me weird for ordering coffee drinks hot (yes, I know it’s 100 degrees outside), and most importantly, it’s haunted house season. Every year, I make an enormous spreadsheet of all the haunted houses in the area, when they open, and then we hit up as many as humanly possible. This year, I’ve got two weddings and a ton of shoots to do.
On another note, some months ago, my family and I went to a Can’t Stop the Serenity event. You get an automatic 10 bonus points if you already know what that is. See, we’re huge nerds for Firefly. Like went to the advanced pre-screening nerdy. Waited in line four hours to get good seats nerdy. Made our own t-shirts nerdy. I can completely understand if you don’t want to be my friend anymore.
Anyway, it was a show that lasted less than a season, because everything that I like gets canceled almost immediately. Later, they made a movie out of it called Serenity. Both the show and the movie are fantastically well-written, and you should probably go watch them this instant.
Fangirl swooning aside, every year, around our lovely nation, groups sponsor Can’t Stop the Serenity events. It almost always involves screening the movie, some screened Dr. Horrible as a sing-a-long as well. This year’s was hosted at The Rex, and we made a stop over at the Pittsburgh Steak Company (also highly recommended). The idea of the thing is that they raise funds for a group called Equality Now, which is an “international human rights organization dedicated to action for the civil, political, economic and social rights of girls and women”.
Also, there’s swag.
In addition to the cost of admission, they also have some merch for sale (the t-shirt designs were quite good this year), and a raffle for various gift baskets. Miracle of miracles, I actually won something (I never win anything). Here’s my haul: