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Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 10:56:54 PST


Edit reel 2010

Tue, 01 Jun 2010 05:58:53 PDT

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Once I finished this up I realized I had shot everything on it as well. The times, they are a-changing.

Media Files:

Forget it Jake. It's... Chinatown

Tue, 18 May 2010 04:54:46 PDT

I spent this weekend at the D.C. studios of NPR in an amazing workshop on audio storytelling. I was excited - and appreciative of the good folks at the NAHJ and NPR who thought my body of work merited this growth opportunity, but I had no idea what I was in for when I rolled into the NPR parking garage at 8:30 on Saturday morning.Leading the class, Sora, NPR's training director and and an amazing - and incredibly kind -instructor, started immediately with the anatomy of an NPR story: Character, Narration, Scenes, Ambience, and Actualities. My professional experience is equally divided between writing and editing, so while I felt immediately at home I could also tell that I would be learning more - a great deal more - than I had expected. After listening to a few quintessential NPR stories (driveway moment kind of stuff) we were asked to dissect the stories; break them down into the five elements and how they kept us, as listeners, engaged.We talked about audience and the need for a clear sense of direction. Focus. Active Voice. The difference between writing for print and for The Ear. Our teachers shared an analysis and comparison on a particular story as it was reported in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR. The print stories were multiple pages, with photos, graphics, and gave multiple takes on the event at hand. The radio version was, when presented in the same font size and column width, two columns and took up about half of an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper. You can always put down the paper and come back to it. If you decide to answer the phone when you're listening to the radio, the story is gone forever.The truth is, I'm a wordy writer. Those last three paragraphs could have been boiled down to one. This, I think, was what I was really there to learn. Our assignment: listen to a pre-recorded interview with a local historian about the history of DC's Chinatown (where we were located), pick an element of that history, go get some interviews, and write your story. Sure, I picked up some great interview and writing techniques, but when we came back from our street interviews, I was torn; just as with my last "assignment", I was seeing stories everywhere, and in everything. I was trying to be artistic, poetic, and comprehensive all at the same time. The writing contained all the things I love to read and no one has the time or attention to listen to. One producer sat down next to me as I wrestled with my script, and in minutes half of it was gone. One thought per sentence. Active voice. What's the action? Leave space for... space.Once my story was disemboweled, NPR anchor and all-around awesome person Lakshmi Singh stopped by to check on my progress. "What's it about?" I really couldn't say. I had my selected interviews, I had the bones of a story, and in a minute she distilled it for me - listening to my 60 seconds of interviews she saw what I couldn't see for the fog of trying to write what it was not.We finished the day by turning in a file of our selected interview clips and reading our story live to the class, cueing Rolando, an NPR producer and one of our fantastic trainers, to play back our clips as we would have them appear on-air (complete with the anchor intro, which was a bit weird, as I had to introduce myself, but hey - we're there to learn how to do it when we really submit a story to them, so that's pretty cool). We were all given the same assignment, and the class came back with six wonderful and incredibly different stories of this neighborhood and the people who live in or pass through it. After I read my story to the class, wrapped the workshop and got back to the hotel, I had to keep working on it and hear it in (nearly) finished form, complete with the NPR logo I created in Logic. This is the finished, but rough, draft: allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='[...]

Media Files:

A Moment in May

Wed, 12 May 2010 06:33:22 PDT

Where will you be on Sunday, May 2, at 15:00 hours (U.T.C.)?...asks the New York Times Lens. Here's where I was:... ankle-deep in the Moormans River during the height of snake and fly season. I'm always looking for ways to hone my craft and this challenge seemed like a great opportunity/excuse to get off my couch and make a picture. I had about a day to think about what the shot ought to be, and how I might make it happen. Honestly, this is why I like “challenges” of this type – they force you to think a little bit and pull me out of the autopilot mode I find myself in at times.So... 11AM, wherever you happen to find or put yourself, with a camera. Sounds pretty simple and that’s really the trick – if it sounds simple then it usually isn’t, and that’s where the fun part kicks in. I decided to get out of my house and get out of my yard; the NYT guidance was that it could really be about anything in terms of theme, but since this was to be part of a “Timely Global Mosaic” I thought a sense of place was important, so that’s what I started going for. I spend most of my time at work capturing images of people (which I love), but this seemed like a good time to stretch.I don’t know if going to your favorite place in the woods qualifies as a stretch, but I honestly had never done too much good shooting out there, aside from the video of my Dad, right after he fell into the river. I’d had some thoughts of wanting to make a picture from the middle of the creek, thinking it might give a neat perspective. Had it all planned out until I got in the car, with about :45 minutes until it was time to pull the shutter. That’s when the plan fell apart. It’s probably a ten-minute drive from my house to the location (less really) and I must have found 20-30 potential shots in those few short miles. The cemetery on the hillside. Weekend Harley warriors stopping for coffee at the country store. Fly fishermen heading toward the reservoir. Kids at the swimming hole. Flora. Fauna. Gah, make it stop!The weird thing about constraints is that they make your mind work SO hard. Not hard as in difficult – hard as in overdrive. So here I was, no time to think and nothing but thoughts, which – doh! – was exactly why I undertook the challenge.So with no time to think, I tested a few ideas that crept up on the bank.Ah, so-so. It was just about the worst time of day to be doing this kind of thing. I stuck with my plan (it’s that first shot, up top). Wide lens, long exposure, moving water (and be in the water). I don’t think there’s anything earth-shattering about this shot but it has meaning in that I learned a lot while doing it. And after 11 O’clock hit I took a deep breath and a short walk and really enjoyed the day. Also, I think I won’t wear flip-flops the next time I try this sort of thing.update: it made the cut![...]

5x5, in under 5

Fri, 02 Apr 2010 13:45:49 PDT

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Love this idea, which I found via LonelySandwich, who quotes:


Do you ever shoot video with your point and shoot or iPhone and never do anything with it? Of course. Who has time, or the know-how, to edit a crazy involved video? It’s tedious and hard.

Not true! At Vimeo, we have a super simple project call ‘5 Vignettes’. It’s easy and a great solution for your lack-of-editing prowess. Take five, five second clips and string them together to make a twenty five second little video. Upload it to Vimeo and add it to the 5 Vignettes Group, or just go there and check out some examples. It’s really the best way to use up footage you never do anything with.

I will give away a free Plus Account to whoever reblogs this with the best 5 Vignettes video they make today by 11:59 pm PST. Older 5x5’s don’t count. Go!

this shows up at a good time for me, as I'm really trying to keep things moving by doing shorter, more fun projects that keep the creative juices flowing. As Sandwich writes:

I love this idea. I LOVE IT, THIS IDEA.

I edit for a living, and I hate it. It’s hard, it requires skill and competence to not do badly, and in the end, no one really notices unless you’re terrible at it. But we (you and I) have mounds and mounds of video that really is in some serious need of editing.

So apply some constraints, is what Vimeo is saying. Don’t get all fancy about it, just slam five good bits together.

This, like flickr’s “long photo”, might just be the cathartic reset that web video needs right now.

I’ll make a 5 Vignettes and post it later today. You should, too.

So I did, and here it is!

Media Files:

Room for Innovation

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 18:46:17 PDT

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(note - having some trouble getting this embed to fit, click here to see in full YouTube glory)

Commissioned to create a short doco/promo piece on a new space for teaching Innovation, I thought this would be the perfect time to bring my new HDSLR - the Canon 7D, in to play. There are a lot of workflow considerations to discuss and this piece is intercut with plenty of archival HDV b-roll and the occasional Panasonic AVCHD wide shot (the Panny was also the audio master for the piece), but the cinematic quality of the new cam provided production values higher than I ever expected, even though I've run a few jobs on this same platform with the Canon T1i, which I shot with strictly to get better low-light perfomance.

SO, can ya tell which shots we stretched on? Fun ;-)

Color Grade #3

Sun, 28 Feb 2010 15:26:58 PST

That's better.

My First Documentary Film: Leadership and Theater

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 08:22:54 PST

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(click the video to watch full size on YouTube)

What does theater have to do with business ethics and leadership? In the spring of 2009, 24 MBA students at the Darden School of Business in Charlottesville learned more about the connection as they took Professor Ed Freeman's "Leadership and Theater: Ethics, Innovation, and Creativity" class. In addition to acting and directing exercises, the student's final project was writing, directing, and acting in a full-length play. This documentary follows the students throughout the class, with the grand finale of the performance.

See supporting materials at the Leadership and Theater Website.

DSLR Video - first takes

Thu, 08 Oct 2009 12:24:21 PDT

I've been too busy shooting and editing to write, so maybe some pictures can take the place of a few words?

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Rough Edit of an Industrial Piece, my first work with the Canon T1i.

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Some Studio test shots with the T1i and kit lens.

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Thu, 30 Apr 2009 10:46:36 PDT

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My spots from the days when this was all I did. Good times...

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Color Grade #1

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 10:26:34 PDT

Since I haven't had time/energy/motivation to write anything for this blog in four months (thanks, Twitter!)I'm going to start posting some before/after pix of color grades I'm working on. This is an area where I have very little practical expertise and am hoping to increase my skillset via practice, practice, practice. So, without further blah bleh blah, here's #1:



Shot in MiniDV (NTSC) with natural light.

Here's the list of ingredients (all in Final Cut Pro), in order:
1. Color Corrector 3-Way: Slightly crushed black and brought the whites into line via Mid and White adjustment. Pushed everything in the to Reds/Mg ever so slightly, trying to remember the adage that slight adjustments are the best ones.

2. TMTS Custom Diffusion: This is also very subtle, really more noticeable in the motion than in this softer, de-interlaced JPEG.

3. Vignette: This one is less subtle and I might back it off a bit, or opt for two instances, one for focus and another for true lens vignette.

All in all, this was about 20 minutes, maybe less. If I go back for tweaks I'll update the post to track the progression.

the price and the promise of citizenship

Tue, 20 Jan 2009 12:30:59 PST

(image) I did not trek to D.C. this week for what turned out to be the most historic event that city may ever witness, but watching the inauguration from Mr. Jefferson's University was a pretty good second option. It's fairly difficult to elucidate how any of us feel at this moment, but one thing I know is this: in almost 40 years on this planet, up until a year ago I was convinced that my generation had blown it, that the great challenges and responses of Americans who had Come Before Us would be examples which we could look up to, but would never live up to. I think perhaps that more than anything I feel a sense of relief that, given the opportunity and the challenge, we have in this election been able to surpass our fears and our prejudice to do what we need, for the sake of all of us.

There's a long road ahead, but the record shows that with strong leadership, anything is possible. I was asked yesterday if I felt proud that I had "contributed" to the victory (I spent a few days canvassing, a small effort at most) and that's when it hit me: I'm excited about this leadership because it inspires me to action. It inspires we, the people, to do the work that no single person can, or can be expected, to do. It is what makes this a great country and despite all our flaws, all our bitter history, focuses us, in the President's words, "on what you can build, not what you destroy".

And then of course, there is what needs to be said. Despite growing up wrapped in the shroud of white privilege, nothing has scared me more in my life than seeing both the immediate and long-term effects of racism. Reflecting on his society's treatment of black men and women, Jefferson feared that "a just, vengeful God could not sleep forever"; I've often feared for our future because of the way we handled race relations in this country, and I think we've made a major step here by selecting leadership based on ability, vision, and education, putting anything aside that doesn't matter - in the interest of, well, a healthy self interest.

When I woke up this morning, without warning or prompt Reagan's campaign catchphrase popped into my head: "It's morning again in America", and I really believe it is. I'll close by adding that with this promising new leadership I'm really glad I won't have to tell people I'm Canadian when I travel abroad. That was just painful. Things are looking up.

Making the Case

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 08:17:47 PST

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So here's a piece I've been working on for nearly a year that's not so phenomenal for its production value or editorial finesse, but simply in value-to-client. We've had this on YouTube for a few days, and we're averaging 200+ views daily. Nice!

There are a few reasons I'll never forget this one. First being that I spent a week doing the multicam edit (it was a three camera shoot with backup audio on another system) on an older Avid before that system died completly, taking the project files and all the media along with it. The second memorable "event" in this piece was a client management situation I learned SO much from. Months into the project, a second producer came in from the marketing side, essentially speaking a different language than the rest of us. Had I sat everyone down in a room and said "let's get on the same page" from the get-go, it would have been fine. Truth was, the new producer had a completly different concept in mind(with the same "name" we had been throwing around months prior to her arrival), and the poor dear couldn't figure out why on earth we didn't "get it". Lesson learned: New person comes on, you sit down with the entire team and MAKE SURE you're on the same page, speaking the same language.

That being said, there were two realy shining moments to this project for me:

1. Amazing Talent: Professor Rodriguez is a wonderful person and teacher, on and off camera.

2. Putting the Learning to work: I spent a good deal of time this summer formally re-educating myself on the mechanics of creative, specifically through Apple's Certified Professional program. I thought I knew a lot - and I did - but I had no idea how much I didn't know before I started taking these classes. The best part is that now, I'm hooked. I'll never let 12 months go by again, let alone a week, without making sure I'm learning something, either formally or informally. Having invested the time makes my work better, richer, and more rewarding, and that's a trend I'm looking to continue in the new year.

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Sustainability, Recycling Footage, and YouTube Annotations

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 14:52:44 PDT

One of the frustrating aspects of my job is that I often walk away from a series of interviews with HOURS of good material. People who are passionate, knowledgable, and know how to speak intelligently about their area of expertise are what make my job fun and easy. I always feel as if I'm betraying them a bit by having to cut their thoughtful comments down to sound bites, and that our conversation together is somewhat wasted if I can't publish it to the world.

Last week I did a piece that had great interviews but the total amount of material was far too much for a showcase piece, so I tried YouTube's new "Annotations" feature to link from within our showcase news piece to the more in-depth interviews from the guests. My yield, as it were, went up from 4 minutes of video to about 25 minutes of really good material, and it is, in a sense, self-editing. If you're interested in learning more, great. If not, it doesn't get forced on you or take away from the snappy promo. 

This is going to be a fantastic feature for the kind of work I do at the University – I'll be interested in seeing what other assuredly more creative ways YouTube producers put it to work. For now, here's the finished piece - feel free to interact!

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Sat, 06 Sep 2008 08:35:25 PDT

Sometimes things break fast, all at once. More often though, they degrade, and then, seemingly all of a sudden, they don't work at all. It sneaks up on you. Such was the case with my car stereo last week. If you take a look at this blog you'll note I'm a big fan of podcasts. I also spend a good deal of time in my car, either commuting to work or heading up to D.C. once or twice a month, which can be a 3+ hour drive, depending on the traffic. This is why I really, REALLY love being able to run my iPod into my car stereo; hours and hours of audio books, podcasts, and of course, music. If you're in the same boat, you've no doubt explored the numerous solutions for connecting your mp3 player - expensive interfaces that work really well (but only for newer cars), FM Transmitters (they never work well), and then the good old line-out-line-in solution. This works best for me in my '97 Accord, but has one weak point: a one-inch connector that juts out the front of the stereo and is easy to hit when tossing bags in the front seat, when dogs are jumping around the car, etc. This is bad because the only thing that's holding that connector to the rest of the car is a few points of solder - not really designed for "strain relief".So, as I anticipated, it finally happened; something knocked the connector and one day, seemingly all at once, no more iPod in the car. Tragic, no? In truth, I had felt this coming on. The whole thing felt dodgy from day one, and about a month ago I had lost the Left Channel. I wasn't sure this was my input jack but was too lazy to pull the stereo all the way out to check the harness and had a gut feeling it was probably that faceplate jack, which I didn't know if I could fix anyway.With nothing to lose (except a half-hour of time and about $100 on a new stereo) I decided to take the damn thing apart to see if I could make lemonade out of these lemons. I'd often thought this could all be put together in a more secure way, and if I just bought a new stereo, well, I'd be starting over with the same weaknesses. 30 minutes later it was all put back together, plugged into the car, and sounding better than it had in months.It's often billed as a "guy" thing but I find an inherent pleasure in taking things apart, even better when I can find the success (rare in my case, I'm no mechanical genius to be sure) of actually fixing something. It was a Zen moment to be on the bench with this silly little stereo, and it got me thinking about the process, and what can be learned by trying something you don't know you can finish:1. Have the confidence to try things: Success breeds confidence, breeds success, and so on. 2. Go back to the foundation: whether it's mechanical or creative, such as a piece of writing, a musical composition, or a graphic design, we often find ourselves going down roads where things just aren't working anymore. I often find the prospect of "undoing" work daunting, it seems so inefficient, to just throw away all that effort. More often than not though, it's this thinking, and all that non-functioning, interfering material that is getting in the way. Trash it, go back to the bones, and start again, at the start. Many times this is the only way to get where you really wanted to go.3. Have the right tools for the job, the most important one being patience. I started with a well-lit workspace, magnifying lamp, forcep tweezers, a variety of small screwdrivers, and a good soldering iron. Most importantly, not rushing and enjoying the process allowed me to put the tools to use in an efficient and effective fashion.4. Anticipate that the results might be better than you expected, or worse: I could afford t[...]

Voyage of Discovery

Wed, 27 Aug 2008 11:47:39 PDT

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Above is a video I did last week of a team-building exercise for incoming students at the Darden School. The "Lewis and Clark Voyage of Discovery" gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own recent Voyage of Discovery, where I've been taking classes at the Washington D.C. location of Future Media Concepts with the goal of earning my Final Cut Studio (FCS) Master Pro certification.

I had initially embarked on this course of study as a way to forward my career and, lets be honest, earning potential doing something I really loved. Over the years I've worked as a writer, musician, producer, marketing manager, e-commerce strategist, sound engineer... a lot of different jobs. None of them were as fun or more of a seemingly "natural fit" for me as the creative work of being a music editor, way back in the day. It didn't pay much but many years later I still look back on it as one of the happier times, professionally, in my life. Later, there was a brief, glimmering moment in my life in video where all was creative, a natural extension of my experience as a music editor... and then all of a sudden it seems I was told I was "The Producer" and life hasn't been as much fun since.

So it was with that thinking that I went back to school this summer. Ostensibly, the goal was to achieve a certification that would provide greater breadth of professional opportunities. I really thought there wasn't a whole lot for me to learn in editing video or audio, and I couldn't care less about graphics, because I'll always want to hire pros for that anyway. Whoo boy, I couldn't have been more wrong.

I'm about half-way through this course of study, and as with all things in education, the most important thing I'm learning is how much I Did Not Know prior to the outset. What I'm learning about technique and workflow makes me cringe at the way I worked just a few months ago, and I'm finding that with my new set of tools I don't get in my own way anymore. I have a vision, I create it. If it doesn't work out, I start over and try something else. With my new tools I don't spend any more time saying to myself "with all the effort I just put into that, do I really want to undo it and try another way? Isn't that Good Enough? Most importantly, I'm noticing a visible improvement in my work over just the past few months.

Of course, if you're familiar with the FCS suite you'll recognize a lot of template media in the above piece, and you know what? That's just fine with me, because a month ago I wouldn't have ventured that far. And for the next project, I'll do more and be braver. And on and on.

All this, and I'm only half-way through. Can't wait to see what lies at the end, or beyond it.

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Podcasting with Drupal

Sat, 19 Jul 2008 13:39:39 PDT

Old friend Steve Monsen at the Alliance for Children and Families and I have been discussing the tech side of Podcasting for Nonprofits (note I am decidedly more of a content development person). They run a Drupal CMS (Content Management System) -based site and want to keep everything on the same server. While I still recommend Libsyn's hosting to everyone I know (they make it just too easy), he found this link which I thought would be worth sharing with anyone who might be interested:

Podcasting With Drupal (via Awakened Voice)

Good luck with the show, Steve!

Hate that Microphone

Sat, 19 Jul 2008 10:36:22 PDT

BUT.. I had a lot of fun riding the electric bicycle. Was amazed we were able to get any usable audio at all given the blaring PA. You'll see my hand making a cameo - holding the mic not quite off camera while I conducted the interviews.

And a big shout out to Apple Motion - although I've not yet done the graphics certification (two weeks away!) creating the lower thirds clocked in at about two minutes of fiddling with the options, even made from scratch.

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I did this music just a few weeks ago as an instrumentation test for something else I'm working on. It's nice when all these pieces just come together, right on the laptop ;-)

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Pandora, iPhone Update and the Social Web

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 07:56:54 PDT

I swore I'd never use Twitter but felt obligated to give it a try, and well, whaddya know, I'm hooked. Initially I found it a fun way to keep a mini-diary and very much like TwitPic's integration with my iPhone. As time has gone on, I find it even more entertaining to read what my friends and colleagues are Twittering about, and we've even started using it as an informal tool for two-way communication, i.e. "does anyone have any advice on..."

On a tangentially related note, I did the iPhone OS update last week - I've been chomping at the bit for the App store to open in iTunes and even though I'm on a version 1 phone, I imagined this would open up some amazing functionality if not just some good time-wasting fun on the device. When the store opened over the weekend, I was nearly overwhelmed at the amount of free and reasonably priced apps, many related to some of my favorite web services, like Pandora radio and the NY Times crossword puzzle. If you're not familiar with Pandora Radio, it's a "smart" kind of radio station, which pushes music to your device, you give each track a thumbs up or down, and your voting and the opinions of other users of the service helps Pandora intelligently plan your playlist based on those preferences. I simplify, but if you want more information read about the Music Genome Project.

I was so impressed with the immediacy of having Pandora's service (linked to my web account, natch) on my phone that I Twittered (tweeted?) within minutes of trying it out. The next day, I got a reply from @rustyspeidel asking if Pandora used the Sprint Data (Edge) network or Wifi. I had only tried it on WiFi (no cell service at the house) but replied I would try it in the car. So Rusty, to answer your question: It DOES work on the Edge network. A bit sluggish at times and it only runs as a foreground app, so if you want to check your email Pandora will close. Also, it's a bit of a battery hog. I imagine the buffering is less of an issue for users of the newer 3G phones where that service is available, and if you have a power adaptor for your car that would negate the battery issue.

So, props to Pandora for pimping my phone. Even more impressive is that I was notified a few hours after my Twitter post that Pandora was following me on Twitter. I find it very impressive (and pretty cool) that they are keeping their ears open for what people are saying about them, and staying connected to the people that are likely to say things about them, good or bad. Twitter and blogging are great tools for staying engaged in conversation with your customers, and having worked in companies that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on focus groups of questionable authority, I think this provides a really cool insight into how technology is enabling organizations to connect with consumers.

7 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Podcasts

Thu, 10 Jul 2008 11:52:49 PDT

7 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Podcasts

Just (re)discovered this article after an email exchange with an old colleague. Check it out, and consider that these guidelines don't just apply to Nonprofits.

Jump: 9 Photographers

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 10:57:56 PDT

This 11-minute short film gives viewers a glimpse into the thoughts and souls of nine diversely talented Aurora photographers, highlighting their work and passion.
The short premiered in June 2008 at the Look3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virgina.

Look3: Festival of the Photograph 2008 wrapup

Thu, 13 Aug 2009 10:03:04 PDT

I'm still a little fried from this year's activities (in a very good way) but I'm more inspired than I've been in years. Since our first year was so hectic, I made a point to step away from our productions this year (thanks to the wonderful volunteer video crew of Mike Hollander, Tiffany Horst, Peter Hedlund, Kevin Fagan, Sera Tabb, Seth Butler, Charlotte Hornsby) and see the Festival outside of the Paramount Theater.Of course, it was a privilege to be present and capture presentations from Flip Nicklin, Mary Ellen Mark, Joel-Peter Witkin, David Alan Harvey, and James Nachtwey. Even better were the wonderful folks I meet and became friends with over three short days of Peace, Love and Photography. It's difficult to relay the experience in words, so I'll just include some links and give it a few weeks to simmer ;-) One thing worth noting now is that the multimedia exhibited at the "Works" finale in the Charlottesville Pavilion was, for a moving-picture person such as myself, really mind-blowing. I've decided that my next personal project (shouldn't they all be personal?) will be predicated on finding a great still photog and following a story with him or her. Some really cool people I meet, whose work you'll be seeing more of and is worth checking out now:Seth ButlerLiz KreutzHeather McClintockJamie RoseAllison Shelley...and PDN provided some great coverage:as did John Harrington and the crew from Photo Business News:(with more video here)Perhaps I'll report more after I've really absorbed it all ;-)and here's really nice coverage from NPR...[...]

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YouTube Header Ache...

Mon, 02 Jun 2008 11:27:15 PDT

I've been trying to stay away and/or get out of web design as much as possible over the past few years, but every now and then something needs to be done and it's just easier to do it yourself. The real lesson here: When in doubt, View Source.

As we've been working on setting up Darden's YouTube Channel (complete with unrestricted file durations and all the other great things that come with having an Enhanced Channel)I decided that while we wait on the content encoding it would be a good idea to get the look of the channel up-to-date. This doesn't take a great deal of work, just adjusting the color scheme to match our main website and getting the few graphic options one is given (hey - simple is good) created and uploaded.

If you have a YouTube "Enhanced Channel", one of the privileged options you receive are what they call "Branding Options", under Channel Design. within these branding options, there are three additional ways you can complement your channel design: using a Video Page Banner, a Video Page Icon, or a Channel Banner.

As of today, the Channel Banner upload dialog advises as follows:

Upload a thin banner that will display at the top of your Channel page (maximum 850px by 75px).

So I took a logo that looked like this, with the above following specs:


and the resulting image on the YouTube Channel did this:


As mentioned above, I've been trying to get away from web design ever since the late 90's, so I didn't jump through a lot of hoops trying to figure this out. I did what I do best, which is to find someone with the answer, and this is what I got:

"The YouTube page is embedding it at 875 pixels wide while the image is only 850 pixels. Did they say to make it 850 or 875 wide?"

So, I adjusted the canvas size of the image and voilà, as they say.

This is not a gripe about YouTube - Obie has been wonderful at cultivating and managing educational channels on YouTube and I'm going to pass this along to him so they can make the fix, but I know someone like me is out there Googling this right now...

Look3: Festival of the Photograph 2008

Wed, 18 Jun 2008 09:44:28 PDT

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Phew! After sitting on the Tapes that Bryan Harvey and I shot at last year's festival for almost a year, I got the rushed call to put together a promo piece, and here it is. Lots of folks helped tighten, and having just taken a FCP class I've had the opportunity to learn everything I could have done more efficiently ;-)

Also had much fun working with my friend Addison Brady on the music and mix for this - the feedback so far has been positive, and we had a lot of fun doing it (also looks like a cut-down will be airing on WVPT next week). If you're coming to Charlottesville in June, be sure to drop me a line!

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