We’ve spent the past month or so moving. Since we only moved to the house next door, the whole process was dragged out, and we’ve been hauling over boxes bit by bit. We’ve been making an effort to reduce our stuff, which means we’ve been going through every little thing we own (and getting rid of most of it).
I found something, which must have wandered into my possession while I was working for our honors department. It’s a faculty review, written by one of my favorite ever professors. It made me laugh, so I thought I would share.
“Comp. II dull? Not Bill’s. Students sullen, unresponsive? Not Bill’s. Credit the affable and intelligent Mr. Smith with restoring both sanity and humor to one of the least liked writing courses the department offers.
Fearful of falling asleep in a class that I have always dreaded to observe – I have, under duress, observed other Comp. II classes and nearly tumbled out of my seat in response to the drone that passed for teaching – I saved half a thermos of coffee and pouched out both cheeks with hard candy. To my delight, I needed neither the caffeine nor the sugar. Bill conquered. All the students finished on time, and, in the process, learned from Bill and one another. Pay the man.”
Finding it reminded me of a website I like to keep up on, Letters of Note. They’ve had some pretty interesting finds. Or the equally entertaining, but generally less profound, Passive Aggressive Notes.
This made the internet rounds some time ago, but it’s a great typography animation by Ronnie Bruce, and an even greater poem by Taylor Mali. I’m certainly guilty of throwing in qualifiers where they don’t belong, and have seen it in students when teaching. Something to think about.
This past labor day, we drove out to Ohio to play some vintage baseball in the Ohio Cup. It’s the largest gathering of vintage ball clubs in the nation, and is crazy fun to watch. The boys were talking about next year about the second we got home from this one.
I’m already excited for next year.
Two weeks in, and I’m already cheating. We’re renting out the old place, and this past weekend, we got neighbors! Which sort of makes us landlords, hence the song. More importantly, it’s my favorite track off of Compulsive Disclosure. I’m surprised that I couldn’t find a live version – there were a few up following their show earlier this year. C’est la YouTube.
I got a chance to photograph Anastasia a few months ago. She’s a therapy dog, and makes her rounds at a few local hospitals.
Not a noun. Design is not a thing, it is a process. Design is form AND function, creating something that is not only beautiful, but useful.
The best designs are like magic tricks, seemingly simple. Something that anyone would look at and say “I could do that.” The New York Times logo is just a font. The Nike logo is just a fancy check mark. Five minutes in Illustrator, and let’s call it a day. But the finished product isn’t the whole story.
There’s a story going around where Picasso sketched a woman’s portrait in the park. When she asked the price, Picasso supposedly quoted her $5,000. The woman replied, “But it only took you a second to draw it.” To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”
True or not, it makes the point. The finished product – a logo, a portrait, a website – has intrinsic value. But there is also value in the process.
I’m settling into my latest gig, which is working on the Hear Me project at Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab. It’s a very cool environment, being able to work in conjunction with the robotics program. I’ve gotten to meet some extremely talented, and crazy smart, people.
We’ve finished the Hear Me website, and I’m now moving on to designing our Tell-Port, which is the portal that teachers will be using to upload kids’ stories. The Tell-Port is completely functional, but we want to improve the usability of the portal and at the same time make the design more in line with the existing site and media kit. We’re in a bit of a rush to get everything up and running, so I’m just keeping one foot in front of the other for now.
What is random start? The idea is to hit shuffle on your music library, post the resulting tune (no matter how damaging it is to my street cred), and briefly comment. I stole it from Riley, who stole it from Paul. It’s an insidious thing. So here we go!
I can still listen to Answer That and Stay Fashionable straight through, and I should probably be more embarrassed of that. Sadly, I couldn’t find the album version with the quote from Reservoir Dogs (which is where the CD title comes from). This is one in a long list of bands who’ve gone in a direction that I can’t quite get into – a shame, because now I have to be one of those “I like their early stuff” folks. But really? I do like their early stuff.
Some number of years ago, my dad wrote a short story called “A Thin Camel.” The gist is that not only CAN you take it with you, you MUST. Upon finding out that he’s recently deceased, our protagonist also learns that he is responsible for transporting everything he owns to his final destination. When I found out that I’d be doing a thesis film for my MFA program at Chatham, I knew that I wanted to tell this story. It ended up being a nice little film about the afterlife, with some decidedly Buddhist leanings.
I spent two semesters writing the screenplay (and accompanying thesis text), and most of the summer shooting. Recently, a classmate was asking for photos from our projects, and I dug out a few (which I shot on film! Like a caveman!)
The Jeep should have gotten a credit. We used it to haul gear and people (we were shooting out in the woods, a trip my Neon wouldn’t have survived), as a catering table, and even to shoot from when we needed a higher angle.
For all the hard work and long hours that went into this project, I had an amazingly fun time shooting it. Thus far, it hasn’t made it outside of my graduate class, but Dave Dietz is working some audio magic and we may be screening it some time in the not too distant future.
I wrote up a post for The Photoletariat about shooting for the newspaper:
The 3 Basics of Shooting on Assignment
“In film school, we learned to “shoot for coverage.” This meant that for a scene you would get a good, wide, establishing shot. Then you’d move on to a medium shot, and a detail shot. In the case of our Heart Walk, I got a shot of the grounds, a medium shot of some walkers, and a detail of the ribbon cutting. This gives you several options to choose from, and keeps a photo essay visually interesting.”