America 2008 blog photo

The Glass and The Inspiration

Summer of 2008 I spent most of the summer roasting in Upstate New York working at camp, mostly working with video and photo, preparing the camp’s media that year.

I had the pleasure of re-visiting New York City at the end of the summer and picked up a new Nikon D80 in the Giant Jewish Argos (an amazing place!)

Last weekend I got a new lens.

Nokia 17-35 f2.8 Lens (pic from

Ken Rockwell, whose site is a great internet resource for  camera reviews, real life lens tests and opinion on which cameras and lenses go well together, has a review of it here. He doesn’t necessarily recommend it for a “DX” body like my D80, as 17-35mm becomes cropped to ~27-55mm, but upon consultation and a quick road test, decided it was the one for me. An affordable [edit: actually, affordable is not quite the right word] wide lens with a short zoom and fast f2.8 would turn a camera I know has potential into one that will help me compose the photo I want.

Bokeh isn’t everything, but it sure tastes sweet.

Photo Blogs

Over the last few weeks I’ve come across a great selection of photo blogs, whether their content be stunning imagery, useful tips or an eclectic mix of those and more.

This site from MSNBC was launched a few weeks ago, a tumble-log format photo blog updated a couple of times per day with the best press and sports photos they can find.

Pictory is a showcase of photographs, stories and infographics. I particularly enjoy the New York Series — featuring loads of real life imagery with real depth and nostalgia.

Photo by audrey le on pictory

I came across Lisa Bettany‘s work a few days ago, I especially love her series of shots on bad photography.

I noticed all the crummy photos I’ve taken over the last few years. After feeling mildly embarrassed, I realized how much I’ve actually learned about photography, simply from taking bad photos.

Do you have any favourite photo blogs? I’ve no intention of starting my own, but it’d be amazing to have the content and endeavour to do so.

America 2008 apple blog brands meaningful labor rant

One thing… (aka. The joys of rendering)

There is one thing that would put me off the notion of working semi-professionally in the video field. That thing is Rendering. Rendering is when you take some source videos, audio and whatever processing you wish to apply to them and prepare an exportable video format (putting many into one).

Just like when Jessica was learning the song.. every time she asked “what chord comes after ‘angels’?” the answer is ‘C.’ Every time.

When something goes wrong with a video project, what is the problem? Rendering. RENDERING.

The problem is not just waiting for the render to take place, that has become a non-issue in the last year or so, I’m used to it. But what really bugs is when there are two folders


  • Have only one render folder selected for A and V
  • If you have any problems go into the “/[Audio ]Render files/Project Name” folder and trash it all (clear trash)
  • And force re-render after re-starting Final Cut.
  • THEN re-encode the DVD  :|


And on another note, WHY does the FOX tv channel always, perputally broadcast distorted audio? I was channel flicking a few nights ago and had to turn it off it was annoying me so much (so unlike me), and in any case it was pre-season NFLstuff.  Not that interesting, lots of football-nerd talk (c.f. above).


PS I think this one qualifies for RANT status, though it should probably be filed under the SCHOOLBOY ERROR column as well.

America 2008 blog

T-Shirts (America 2008 .3)

So my taste in t-shirts has changed a lot this summer.  Broadened.  Still don’t overly like stripes, and have not ventured pink, fear not.

That’s all.

America 2008

Ready to go (America 2008 #1)

All is set now for me to go off to the States on Monday, as I had my visa interview this morning, providing my passport gets returned before Saturday! Last year I think it returned overnight, so all should be fine.

This year at camp my job title is two-fold: Worship Leader and Videographer, so I’ll spend my mornings and Friday afternoons preparing and leading the musical elements at camp and a big chunk of the rest of my time capturing, editing and producing video of the camp activities for the parents’ service on the Friday afternoons. Ironically I think it might be less of a chore to prepare these videos than it would be to do what I did last year and compile photo slideshows, I don’t know what it was about that but it always took forever and never quite worked first time.

Five days…

America 2008 blog hope for the future meaningful labor

Summer Ahoy

The to do list can now be tackled, this blog can be styled once again and working out what’s going to occupy my time come September is back on the agenda.

Lying in the back yard all day: priceless.
For me it’s now summer time and today’s weather approves that, it’s the most sun I’ve seen since last summer in the States!! Plenty of time to chill out, soak up some heat, read some bits of paper and write a 20 point to do list and four pages of notes on the matter. Tonight I’m meeting a client to discuss some pre-America work, which I’ll of course mention when it’s done.

Realiging face-lifts are due and some updating, building a fine web design company and indeed a certain fine Northern Irish Event Management and Audio Visual Solutions company.

Anyway, eating time, hoping to make a decent blog diary this summer in the states, where I intend to have time to *think*.

Four weeks to go!