Category Archives: Photogpraphy

Studio Steve

Ok, first of all I need to come up with a better name than that.

Some work recently has given me the chance to play around with higher level AV gear and in typical fashion I kinda got a bit carried away. A couple of years ago, comrade Danny Choo convinced me to give live streaming a shot, Ustream had just published their iPhone app and I had great fun running around Akihabara streaming micro tours.

I’ll be honest. Personally I watch very little on Ustream, and I NEVER watch my own stuff. The jarring motion when I move the iPhone around makes me carsick in about three seconds. But I do see a strong value there if things are done well, and simply put, I love the gadgets.

In the world of content, the combination of real time and video is the tip of the sword, and combining valuable content, modern technology, and logistical planning can create a new level of communication never before seen. Yeah, it’s basically cable access tv spliced onto the Internet, but think about it. Cable access tv spliced to the Internet. The potential to waste time in vain pursuits shared equally with the power to topple governments.

But I digress. What I am really talking about is the opportunity for Steve to play with gear. And Steve likey the toys.

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Invention: Here’s my new wireless camera custom tripod (beta ver)

Just put the finishing touches on my new wireless camera platform. It’s still a bit rough and I know there’s a revision on the way, but it came out surprisingly well for a first draft.

The head is a .3 MP CCD camera attached to a 1.2 ghz wireless transmitter. The antenna for the transmitter makes up the right arm and I threw in an LED lamp for a left arm for balance. Loose cables and a monster 6,800 maH LiOn battery fill the backpack.

Range is a bit of a problem. I think it will reliably transmit about 10 meters with Line of sight, maybe further, but indoors through walls that’s about the limit. I need to work on an improved antenna for the receiver to improve that range.

It’s basically just a webcam on a tripod (an old Gorillapod I had lying around) but I wanted to do something fun with it. It’s pretty fun to put it on a table somewhere and have people say “hi”. I guess future versions can add things like a pivot head and facial recognition, as well as a mobile base to turn it into a full robot, but overall not a bad project with some random parts I had lying around and about $10 in pieces for the body.

What do you think? What does the next draft need?

Social Technology “Expert” in Japan

On more than one occasion I have been billed as a Social Media or Technology “Expert”.  To be completely honest, most of my internal organs cringe whenever I hear this title.
The reason is that to me, there is nothing special about it all.  There are no real definitions or qualifications, pretty much anyone with a twitter account qualifies.  To me introducing yourself as a Social Media expert is like saying you are a real estate agent, just with less qualifications. 
I say this mainly because the field right now is simply too undefined and while there are some amazing individuals in the field, most of the people who claim this title are just unemployed wannabes with too much free time on their hands.  (yeah, I know which group I belong to)

I am however a proud and I believe very qualified gearhead.  I have worked for many years and spent countless dollars and yen to achieve this title, and while it is equally useless, I am more than happy to accept this badge.

So what is a gearhead good for?  Well, I am often asked to help cover or publicize an event.  Sometimes I do it even without being asked.  What I bring along is an understanding of current social media tools, and even more importantly a bag full of electronic gadgets and gizmos.  Here is an example of a bag I brought along with me to the last CGM Night hosted by Danny Choo.

IMG_0207.JPG

Pictured here is
1 Macbook Air
1 Sony Vaio P series ultralight laptop + Large stamina battery pack
1 LCD projector
1 Portable 32inch projector screen
1 Sony Alpha 300 DSLR + 2 lenses
1 Logitech Orbit webcam
1 Gorillapod DSL tripod
1 Logitech Laptop Pro webcam
1 EMobile Pocket Wi-fi portable hotspot.
1 Plantronics Pro bluetooth headset
1 Buffalo Multi Memory Card reader
1 Power strip
2 Sanyo Eneloop Mobile Power Batteries
2 Poken Digital business cards
Lots of paper business cards and Moo cards
Power adapters, cables, and wires for all stuff above

And I fit it all into a small roller bag that I can drag along to the event.  Now how many people can put together a kit like that?

A setup like this enables me to livestream broadcast and create a two-way portal for online interaction in realtime for pretty much any activity or event. 
Now I don’t carry all this stuff around with me wherever I go.  I tend to customize my kit each time I go out to compliment the event and the environment I expect to work in.  Believe it or not, weight and portability are usually the most critical considerations I have when planning out my equipment load.

Understanding the capabilities of all this equipment and finding ways to combine technologies are what I feel are my true areas of expertise.   And as much of a dork as it makes me, I’m pretty proud of my abilities.

Model Photoshoot

Been working on cleaning out a lot of my work backlog. One of the big things on my to do list is to finish the post processing on this batch of photographs I took last year for a model photoshoot.

Back in August, a few photographers and I gathered together to shoot some pictures. Since then we've all been kind of swamped so we haven't been able to edit the pictures that we will plan to publish into an iPhone app. Not that Appliya Studio has an easy publishing system, I hope to get things on the road, so I sat down today to work some of the post processing on the shots I have.

Rhodium-11

Next up we'll need to gather together to decide on out favorites, then send the lot off to the model to get her edits. Hopefully the app should be available in the next month or so.

Rhodium-23

To see all the pics from my editing session, check out this slideshow.