Her Name Is Rio

creative uploads cactus saguaro photography

Prickly

And she really likes Duran Duran (my wife) so I thought the new Prisma style would be a nice fit.

Yes, those are tall, real saguaros, planted in a pattern outside a museum. One of the benefits of living in Arizona is seeing them around a bit. Though cactus needles are far from friendly.

Prisma is user-friendly though, so far. I mentioned earlier I wasn’t a fan of the misleading upload page that “encourages”you to sign up for their social service by not making it clear you don’t have to, at least on Android. The iOS app seems a little clearer but that may be because I use it on the iPad and the real estate makes it easier to decipher.

And my iPad is currently updating to the latest version of Prisma, which mentioned something about a “store” for styles, and I believe something about getting points for using their social site, so I hope they don’t muddy things up.

—–David

P.S. Now that it’s gone, I miss having a square Prisma output, sometimes. I prefer shooting in a non-square format but now there is no crop tool it all and I do like to edit.

P.P.S. My wife’s name is not actually Rio. She has infrequently danced upon sand.

Her Name Is Rio was originally published on Creative Uploads

Advertisements

Today I Learned, WordPress Edition

That if you wrote a post and published it on WordPress using a PC, then opened the WordPress app on your phone and found an empty draft with the same title, which you thought you made earlier (I really did), you shouldn’t immediately delete it to tidy up.

Because even though it was in Drafts, it was the Published post. So I should have forced a refresh (which you think would happen when you opened the app) or been more patient and double-checked before deleting (which I thought I did but in a rush.)

TIP: Did you know WordPress has a Trash bin? Yeah, it’s available in the web browser, right at the top of your list of posts at the end, past Published and Drafts and all that. You can click Trash and select a pot and Restore it or accidentally delete it forever, whichever. AND it doesn’t show up unless there’s something in it, which is why I never noticed it.

So that’s new too!

—–David

P.S. There’s probably a Trash link in the app too, but I’m done with that for today.

 

Today I Learned, WordPress Edition was originally published on Creative Uploads

Music Making Needs Control: GarageBand iOS 

creative uploads music GarageBand songwriting

I really like Garageband iOS on my iPad. Lately it’s been improved to the point where the annoyance of not being able to do something critical has been replaced by the smaller annoyance of needing to learn where they have hidden how to do some things.

Did you know that if you long press on the Undo button it pops up the option to Redo? Why would they hide that? There’s a perfectly good space next to the Undo button where a reversed arrow would have fit! Seriously made me mad, and now that I know, let me make you mad so it can stop driving you mad.

And volume control. For ages I have battled uneven volume in a single track. Usually vocals where I just sing a few phrases with a little more gusto. The workaround was to pick a level in between that you could live with, or create another track and split the different volume tracks between them, louder clips on one with the main volume brought down, and then a boosted track to bring quieter audio up to balance.

Now Apple has included Automation controls to add a volume level path to audio tracks as they play. I think Adobe used to call them rubber bands.
This feature overrides your ability to use the regular volume slider, so get that about where you want it for the majority of your track first. Yes, this means you should already have a rough mix worked out, if you want to work more efficiently.

To activate the Automation, you tap the instrument icon on the desired track, then the yellow lightning bolt type icon below it (reference the photo). This creates the first flat audio band, set to the current volume level. You can pull it up and down carefully and it will show you the decibel changes, but this pulls the straight line between points and doesn’t work in pencil edit mode.

When you slide over the pencil lock control in the upper left into edit mode (bright red), you can tap on the line to create additional points, or long press on existing points to move them up, down, or sideways. Experiment on your own. Remember you need two points for a volume transition, but it can be a slow fade or really close  together for a jump. (Great for taking down a sound without cutting the track apart.

And remember you have Undo and Redo buttons when you screw up. You will screw up. TIP: Don’t try to swipe around in tracks to different parts of the song by touching the activated track. Just don’t. 

When done with the editing you can slide the pencil edit off. But you also need to click Done in the upper right to close the Automation control and get back to other controls.

I used this feature extensively to mix and duck audio in the track I posted for my wife this Valentine’s Day. Hear my Simply Need song free on Bandcamp. It made it easier to get an acceptable mix under deadline and tweak things at the last minute.

Enjoy your free time! Or use it to make more stuff, that’s cool,too.

—–David

P.S. GarageBand is free if you bought an iOS device that runs it anytime in the last few years. Now if you want to convert it to another format, well, that requires a Mac since you can’t open or extract from the file on Windows. But using GarageBand on a Mac (also free, the software not the Mac) you can move it off the iPad and not have to keep everything you created on a device that might just die or get stolen one day! (Yikes! Lived that fear.) With Logic (about $100) you can work on your composition in a much more full featured (professional even) audio software tool. 

P.P.S. If you have a friend with a Mac and work in Windows, they can use Logic to actually unpack the file to get to the midi and audio stems, which you could then import into your own DAW (digital audio workstation). It’s a little bit complicated but might be worth it if your music is trapped on an iPhone and you want it in another format for future use. You cannot copy the file to Windows and move it though, you have to sync to the Mac (or maybe use iCloud).

Music Making Needs Control: GarageBand iOS  was originally published on Creative Uploads

Free NPR Audio Training Online

A primer on audio issues with tips on preferably preventing them or trying to fix them after. This is fantastic if you use a microphone to record anything, for audio, video, music, podcasts, whatever. It will make you think first and have (less) problems later.

At the very least, you’ll learn the vocabulary so you can act all knowledgeable about things you are still learning. At the most, you’ll get better at what you do when creating cool things and improve your process. 

http://training.npr.org/audio/the-ear-training-guide-for-audio-producers/

And it has example audio clips for everything being discussed.

—–David

P.S. You’re still learning aren’t you? If you are still alive, it’s really the only way to go. And a bit of knowledge knocks the crap out of that self-doubt that keeps you in your shell.

P.P.S. Free. Go!

Free NPR Audio Training Online was originally published on Creative Uploads

Build A Better Mousetrap

“And the world will beat a path to your door.” That’s the saying, isn’t it?
I don’t know why the mice-killers get all the foot traffic, but I get it. Who wouldn’t want to be able to mass murder cute little rodents? (I wonder what Walt Disney would counter with. I suppose he just made better mouse)

creative uploads mousetrap photography dream inspiration

Of course the point was, if you can improve upon something simple with something just as effective but better, people will want it. Doesn’t even have to be cheaper. (Heck, these days a lot of people think more expensive is better. Suckers.)

Now in the creative engineering field that’s a good goal, but in the creative entertainment arena, better is relative. I write songs, for example, and I think some of them are just as good or better than songs by some of my musical heroes. That’s my opinion of course, but we all start with our own opinion, so there I go. Some of them, not at all.

So a better song than the pied piper, I suppose.

For creative types with more arbitrary measurements, this phrase could be reduced to “build better.” And measure against yourself. And while I write songs, I’ve properly recorded only a few with any patience and care. That’s the “building” part I’m leaving off. (Something my heroes excelled at.)

Goals are funny complicated things that we think are easy. We come up with the end of them in a snap. But even a complete basic mousetrap has a process. You have to prepare the cheese, set the spring, and put the trap carefully in the right spot to get to the snap in the first place. Also watch your fingers.

Build better. One step at a time. You can make many complicated steps or a few simple ones; it depends on what kind of cheese your mice likes, and how long you are willing to spend to get to your goal, but realize it’s more than one step. Build.

And once you have the staircase…. it’s a snap.

—–David

P.S. I didn’t have “Mousetrap” when I was a kid, just the commercials and friends with the game, so I loved it of course. Never got the chance to be bored with it. Friends always have the shiny stuff you never get to play with, while you are stuck at home on rainy days ignoring the boring toys you never bother to play with that make your friends envious. I have a bunch of creative toys now I am just waiting for a rainy day to play with, because I figured out a trick to try. It’s even in two steps:

  • Pretend they aren’t my toys so they seem fresh.
  • Point a hose at the roof so I can imagine it’s raining.

P.P.S. This works for all sorts of things, music, writing, photography and video projects. Heck, grocery lists if you like to buy more interesting stuff when shopping. But if you’ve read this far you’re probably creative enough to figure that out, so this is a just a complimentary confirmation bias.

Build A Better Mousetrap was originally published on Creative Uploads

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

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