I Make Music. I Simply Need To.

Usually I just fail to record it, or I will make a simple demo that I don’t share. But my wife deserved a love song and I thought I would be grand about it, instead of quiet.

So this time it ended up on my Bandcamp page! Click for a free listen.

Creative uploads music GarageBand recording songwriting

As I said on her Facebook page,

“Embarrassing Valentine’s Day Outpouring of Love, Commence!

A new song shared on Bandcamp for your listening convenience and public embarrassment (free unlimited streaming!). Sorry, no cheesy video this time.”

Here’s a little background on the secret production, 31 years in the making as it turns out. (Though I’ve only known her for 23 …)

My Tumblr post To-all-valentines-that-simply-need

—–David

P.S. It’s still stuck in my head and not the first time one of my songs has done that to me. Fortunately I think it’s kind of funny when people complain about ear worms to have had it happen to you with a song no one else on the planet has ever heard.

I Make Music. I Simply Need To. was originally published on Creative Uploads

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Stick Up Your Cams

Creative uploads photography videotaping videography

Been doing some timelapse captures. Going to have to finish another video edit before I get to them. But here’s a #Prisma of my GoPro twelve feet in the air. (Comic style)

I also grabbed some really low shots. But I do like the high overhead angles, what I used to refer to as the Hitchcock shot (mostly because of staircase shots in “Psycho” — as if he only had one angle himself).

I also “edited” in camera, shooting one angle at a time and basically deciding on the next shot during the previous and saving a few shots for certain steps in the timelapse process. So hopefully I have enough coverage since I won’t have another shot to cut in if something didn’t work.

That’s another thing that Hitchcock supposedly did, not shooting extra footage to prevent studios from taking his movie and re-editing his cuts. If he didn’t want a wide shot he didn’t shoot it, so that left only the tighter intercuts he intended.

It was a little bit of self-promotion on his part; I think sometimes he shot more than he admitted. And I wasn’t being too cocky, I had hours to plan shots since I was only grabbing a few stills each minute. When you add up the frames it’s perhaps one second for every four minutes, even less when I decided to play it even faster during the edit and I will.

Anyway, get a backup battery and don’t drop your camera by accident.

—–David

P.S. I really should make chart for timelapse purposes instead of doing a bunch of math on my head. Had to plan for 24 or 30 frames a second, because that greatly affects the math. A shot every ten seconds garners 24 in four minutes and 30 in five, so am I getting twenty percent more or less footage based on that one choice? Then do I need to get more frames or can I afford less depending on how much motion I need to show? Water flows smoothly so that should be smooth, but a static shot of construction could be shot on an otherwise jumpy frame rate. Things to ponder.

Stick Up Your Cams was originally published on Creative Uploads

Disco Lives!

Creative uploads prisma

Never thought I’d have to write that headline. But the featured image today (repeated below) was processed with Prisma’s latest style, Disco. 

As always don’t get the fake ones, it’s available through prisma-ai.com and is a free universal app.

Above is Old-Fashioned which seemed fitting for this secure undisclosed location featuring old signs that do not even reflect its current use.

Also old-fashioned is this square format that the Android app still has while iOS has gone wide. Both apps now feature a Prisma social site I haven’t activated yet. (C’mon, I can barely feed what I have.)

Also the app demands that you turn on geolocation in order to post so it can create local feeds, which is great, but I don’t want to tag my photos with geolocation. I turn it on when on trips but off at home. Would be nice if they let you assign a city or zip code instead.

I thought I was just going to post a couple of photos today and not write anything on this post and on I go. Well off I go.

—–David

P.S. And I thought it looked nice with the Roland style. More like a painting than a filter, which is really the point of the app.

Creative uploads prisma

P.P.S. Disco is dead. That’s where we started right? (I still have a Bee Gees 45 in my collection, alongside “Le Freak” though)

Creative uploads prisma

Disco Lives! was originally published on Creative Uploads

Mixing Electricity In The Pool


creative uploads cameraphone photography prisma

Resurfacing the pool is a great photo opportunity if you like standing at the bottom of a pool without having to hold your breath.

Oh, and still being able to breathe. Without gills.

—-David

P.P.S. And if you save it and reapply the same Prisma style again (Electric) …

P.P.S. So the iOS Prisma app gets updated first, then Android, which means my earlier post about being able to go widescreen doesn’t YET apply to the Android phone I took this one, and I sort of like the familiarity of the box but this one could have benefited from the height. Might do a pointless followup if I feel like copying the photo over to the iPad.

Mixing Electricity In The Pool was originally published on Creative Uploads

WordPress WordPress

This will not seem like a rant.

So I originally created a small Creative Uploads site on wordpress.com, creativeuploads.wordpress.com and since I really wanted a fancier hosted site, I created that later when the opportunity arose. That’s at megawatson.com/cu, or now that the subdomain works, cu.megawatson.com. If you are reading this, you are probably at one of them.

creative uploads wordpress mobile app

Use Your Brain!

That’s because I carefully copied over the original site’s posts over to the new one, likely using the offical WordPress Importer, though now I can’t recall.

Then I set up cross-posting on the new self-hosted site (which is much fancier you know) so that it would publish the new posts I write into the original blog, thereby increasing the chance someone could stumble across me, though not always where I want….

And if I decided to slim back down to the WordPress.com site and drop hosting, I don’t lose content, just the setup and add-ons.

The free mobile WordPress app is pretty cool too. I can start, edit, schedule and read posts on it, for both sites. I can start on the computer and finish on the app. Or vice versa. When there’s a feature set that works better in one, I switch between. Or I can upoad camera photos to the media library while watching tv and use them later in a post.

But boy do I hate it when I have switched between sites and don’t go back tot he main site before I create a draft or a post and it gets pushed to the WordPress.com site and not the megawatson.com/cu version, which DOESN’T CROSS-POST AUTOMATICALLY!* Because then I have to manually copy the post and media over, hopefully while it’s a draft or still scheduled.

That doesn’t seem like a rant. More like pointing fingers at myself.

TIP: If you have more than one WordPress.com site on your app, doublecheck that you are creating in the intended site before you start.

—–David

* (and that’s okay, because imagine the redundant loop of never ending cross-posts!)

P.S. Ooh and it doesn’t update my Google+ page Creative Upload page either! No wait, BOTH do if the post is unique. That’s even more annoying! I miss you, Google Plus, you were like a cool party where you could just engage or eavesdrop on cool conversations with potential friends and acquaintances. You aren’t gone, but I don’t see your party flyers around like I used to.

 

WordPress WordPress was originally published on Creative Uploads

Boxes Are Helpful

Don’t get put in a box. Don’t get boxed in. Think outside the box.

But you know what this good advice has in common? Yeah, a box.

Boxes are good. They help compartmentalize an issue. Literally they hold stuff together so you can carry it around and store it or put it away somewhere.

They define the edges of what you can typically do, and what might generally be thought of as the usual solution.

That’s good stuff. That’s organization. It’s order out of chaos. Being able to find your notes. Keeping delicate stuff from casually being broken.

Don’t get me wrong. When I worked in cubical world my email signature for years was:

Allison loves being tossed around and tipped over in the box (yeah, reasonably gently.) It’s kind of like watching that scene from “Singing in the Rain” (But unlike the scene in the Lionel Richie “Dancing on the Ceiling” video.)

    __ 
 /__/  Think outside.

Absolutely break that boundary, often. Think outside the box. See the situation from more than one angle.

But check the box. Don’t you need a box to know when you are on the edge, or over it? And remember, that’s just awareness, not judgement. What you do with that understanding is where the excitement starts.

—–David

P.S. No I don’t always put kids in boxes, but you know what? They love it. They get it. Boxes are helpful playthings. This is my daughter enjoying being tossed around in a refrigerator box back in 2006.

P.P.S. Happy Boxing Day!

Boxes Are Helpful was originally published on Creative Uploads

Hey, Mr. Spaceman – The Musical

I decided to finally record the John Glenn parody song I posted lyrics for the other day.

Here’s the YouTube blurb as background:

Honoring astronaut John Glenn’s passing: in 1998 there was some controversy on sending John Glenn on the space shuttle at 77 in an expensive mission instead of other qualified candidates. I wrote this tongue-in-cheek political parody to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” but never recorded it. So here’s a recording, with all the possible verses (in the real world some would have been dropped to fit the original song). Hey 2016, thanks for bookending the inspiration. Now quit it.

Since this blog is about the dreaming, creation and publication of artistic endeavors, it felt like I ought to finally record a version and share it somehow, right? At least it took me less than twenty years. And I didn’t have the publication outlets then that we do know, where it can not exist one day and be available worldwide the next (not necessary known but at least available).

I also left in all the verses, breaking an important rule of parody songs: get in, state the joke and get out before it’s worn out it’s welcome. Hey, that applies top a lot of other things too. But it’s a historical document at this point, so there’s the whole draft. Just to show how editing can help focus something and make it better even if you have to leave out a joke you like.

Hope you make it to the end.

—–David

P.S. Tang really was marketed as the breakfast drink of the astronauts. There’s a hilarious double entendre in that these days but it was a more innocent time. By the shuttle missions Welch’s had replaced it as the powdered drink sent up on missions. Ironically, Congress likes to welch on their promises to properly fund NASA. Go figure.

P.P.S.
I just imagined
how long an unedited
haiku would become, i mean can you imagine if the guy just wouldn’t shut up and kept spouting aphorisms and potentially insightful observations with no understanding of the reader’s mental digestion ability?

Note to self: edit more, talk less.

 

Hey, Mr. Spaceman – The Musical was originally published on Creative Uploads

Trace of Clouds, aka The Sky Is No Limit

I take pictures on Thanksgiving. It’s one of the things I am thankful for. This is a timelapse of a lacey sky from the backyard at our relatives’ house in northern Arizona. Shot on a GoPro Hero 3+ and processed in GoPro Studio which I like and don’t, because of some quirks and a bit of bugginess, which stall the creative process. Finally I added newly created music by me from Garageband on the iPad using an app called Loops but edited down for time. It was that or gently blowing into a microphone as if it was wind.

 

Doing an improv and trimming down to the good stuff is not only effective but is a time-honored musical tradition; essentially it’s capturing the creative and writing portion of songwriting in a format that allows some of the sketches and outlines to make it all the way through the final draft to the published product (if I can turn it into a book metaphor here in the closing days of NaNoMo.)

You can do this with performance video as well but it’s a real slog cutting it together in a meaningful way after throwing out the poorer parts. There are so many moving pieces in that it’s better to plan for a better result. I think that is true even if you have many cameras for multiple coverage, and audio and lights and everything you might need, but then you are drowning in options and choices and don’t know what to throw away.

For this timelapse with one camera I got to toss out many minutes to have a snack-size thirty seconds, but I am not telling a deep emotional story, just making a small watercolor….

—–David.

P.S. What I enjoy about this is that because the setup takes almost no time, I got to be creative but also social with the family, and do the editing and publication work on the backend. But all the time I knew I was pushing a project forward; literally multitasking.

P.P.S. Of course I took a bunch of photos of family too, but that’s more interactive if you make it so. I sometimes fall into a pattern of news photography, capturing scenes without trying to intrude. I like that style, but remember that people like to be social, and photos can be both an entryway to that or a barrier to interaction.

 

Trace of Clouds, aka The Sky Is No Limit was originally published on Creative Uploads

I Wasn’t Ready For This, no wait….

A favorite quote:

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
– Seneca the Younger

Or if you prefer a more recent version:

I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.
– Oprah Winfrey

Preparation to me includes practice, education, fascination, and plain old playing around. Also a lot of failure and occasional nuggets of success.

Enjoy the journey.

—- David

P.S. Also:

Luck be a lady tonight.

Preparation H (because sometimes it’s a pain….)

Opportunity knocks:

  • Once
  • Twice
  • You over
  • When you least expect it

I Wasn’t Ready For This, no wait…. was originally published on Creative Uploads