iPhone 365 – a video of my year in photos

Starting back in 2009, I’ve participated in a photo-a-day project called iPhone 365. At the end of every year, I’ve created a video/slideshow to showcase all of my photos. This year, I managed to capture 365 photos (my 3rd consecutive year).

This year, I mixed in bits of video amongst the photos – I think it adds a nice feel to the piece, and it’s something I hope to do more in 2014.

Production Notes

All photos & video were shot with an iPhone 5

  • Apps – Shooting: Camera (default), SlowShutter (long exposures), SnappyCam (for action)
  • Apps – Editing: VSCOcam, Camera+, Image Blender
  • 365 Video: Downloaded photos from my 2013 365 Flickr set using Photo Grabbr then compiled and edited everything with Adobe Premiere. In years past, I compiled the video using Apple iMovie; taking a bit of time to learn how to use Premiere was a huge step forward – it provides a lot more control over the timing of each photo and I’m much happier with the quality of the finished piece.

This is a great talk on advertising featuring Lee Clow and Alex…

This is a great talk on advertising featuring Lee Clow and Alex Bogusky. Part 1 is embedded here; once you’re hooked here’s part 2, part 3 and part 4. Enjoy!

This is a great talk on advertising featuring Lee Clow and Alex Bogusky. Part 1 is embedded here; once you’re hooked here’s part 2, part 3 and part 4. Enjoy!

“Inspiration is for amateurs…”

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get the work done. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lighting to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work.” – Chuck Close

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get the work done. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lighting to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work.”

Chuck Close

Innovation – just say no

You should ban “innovation” from your vocab:

This thought really, really resonated with me; regarding red flag words:

  • When asked who the audience is, they say “everyone.” This exemplifies a lack of focus. I usually follow this up by saying “If you’re talking about whales, would you talk the same way to a class of kindergarteners versus a class of Marine Biology majors?” Everyone doesn’t work. Making something for everyone makes it useful for no one.

viafrank:

bobulate:

Scott Berkun on banning the i-word:

Einstein, Ford, Picasso and Edison rarely said the word innovation and neither should you.

Because:

Ask people who say innovation what they mean. If ever anyone says the word in a meeting, ask “Can you give an example of what you mean by innovative?” If they can’t, you’ve just saved everyone in the room hours of time. Using the i-word is often a cop-out for clear thinking. They are trying to signify creativity, without actually being creative.

A-men.

So, I’d like to try to try to communicate my enthusiasm for how much I agree with avoiding the word “innovate.” It makes me want to light my hair on fire and run off a cliff. (I love hyperbole.) Unfortunately, my grasp of language can not express my raw disdain for these red flag words, so I will resort to this: “!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!” [sic]

What do I mean by red flag words? I mean words that clients say when they have no idea what the real objectives of the assignment at hand are. Or, maybe, they just do not know how to communicate what those needs are. (We’re all not professional communicators, you know.) If you ask hard questions like “What does this widget need to do?” and “Who is it for?” you may get shallow answers or perplexed looks. Thankfully, none of my current clients do this, but hey, there’s always the possibility of these sorts of issues occurring again. Things are cyclical.

Other common offenders that make me break out in hives:

  • The word “Sexy.” Usually, if a client tells me it needs to be sexy, it means that they want it to look desirable in their own eyes, and not necessarily sexy. It also means that they haven’t really thought about the best way to communicate whatever they’re saying.
  • When asked who the audience is, they say “everyone.” This exemplifies a lack of focus. I usually follow this up by saying “If you’re talking about whales, would you talk the same way to a class of kindergarteners versus a class of Marine Biology majors?” Everyone doesn’t work. Making something for everyone makes it useful for no one.
  • Ideate The horrid verb form of “idea.” This usually means that the client believes that ideas come from a magical black box process. This also usually means that the client will not understand that iteration leads to good ideas, and that there is a lot of waste in gold mining.
  • Web 2.0 Avoid at all costs. Do you know that part of the Sand Lot where the kids lose their ball over the fence and there’s a snarling, barking dog with rabies and drool oozing out of it’s mouth aggressively barking at them? This is what I see in my future for any client that uses the word “Web 2.0.”
  • Make It Pop This means that you and your client have not agreed on a simple question: What is the most important element of whatever you’re working on? Because, well, your client thinks one thing, and you think another. Usually, the client thinks it’s who is talking (“Make the logo bigger!”) and the designer thinks it’s what is being said. Some times the client is right. Some times the client is wrong.

The article gives a clue as to how to dissolve these situations if you can not avoid them: ask the client what they mean. The beginning of most design jobs is like an interrogation: you’re trying to squeeze the truth out of someone who is trying their hardest not to give it to you. So, if you must, resort to the handcuffs, the strong light, and water depravation. Maybe, if you work in a studio, you can work a good cop/bad cop schtick. Regardless, you need that gem of wisdom that is actually useful that let’s you get on your way.

When dealing with rough spots like this, I try to explain to my client that I understand what they are telling me, but they are not particularly helpful because they’re being vague in their requirements. So, I tend to drill with questions. “What does this need to do?” “What is an optimal outcome?” “What does success look like?” And then, when presenting solutions or sketches, I frame every single decision I’ve made based on what the client has dictated to me as success. It also helps to deflect bad client feedback. If a client tells me that they want to make the logo purple, it helps to be able to say “We agreed that the main audience for this is 40-something males. And those guys hate purple.”

Client Relations 101 is about knowing where the mines are buried and trying to avoid them. Then, once you find work that is an opportunity, being able to milk great information about the requirements and needs of the project from your clients. The forgotten good steps about doing good work happen in choosing the right work to accept, then understanding what the work needs to do in order to be good. I’m tempted to say a designer is only as good as the questions they ask their client.

I ran across a great post on Frank Chimero’s site recently in which he comments on Scott Berkun’s article, “You should ban “innovation” from your vocab” (also a great read). Frank’s thoughts on red flag words really, really resonated with me:

When asked who the audience is, they say “everyone.” This exemplifies a lack of focus. I usually follow this up by saying “If you’re talking about whales, would you talk the same way to a class of kindergarteners versus a class of Marine Biology majors?” Everyone doesn’t work. Making something for everyone makes it useful for no one.

I hear about this broad target audience of “everyone” way more often than I care to. One, because it’s easy (for the requestor, anyway). Two, because if you’re talking to everyone, that surely translates into more sales, right? If you aren’t sure of the answer to that question, read the previous quote again. Know your audience; I guarantee it isn’t everyone.