Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Hours?

Creative uploads photo talent practice

Sometimes you just take a picture. It’s a snap. It takes a second and maybe you doubt even give out a lot of thought when you do it.

But does it reflect things you’ve learned and forgotten from the thousands of pictures you’ve taken before, whether loved or ignored? Is it an innate skill grown from casual talent?

Yes.

Can you be good without being born with “talent”?

Yes.

Because people that are good at something may have had so-called talent, but really that means they had a drive and curiosity and interest that led them to dedicate time toward playing with and learning and understanding  what they wanted to do.

So take a picture, it will last longer than you think. Even if you never look at it again.

—–David

P.S. So for everybody that takes selfies and that’s it, you will get really good at selfies, perhaps accidentally. Unfortunately, it’s hard to make a career out of them because although they are portraits, the self-portrait market doesn’t pay a lot.

Unless you have a sponsor.

Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Hours? 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

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

More Pics Than You Can Shake A Selfie Stick At

I have been taking pictures since I was a child, back when it was expensive to get a camera, buy film and have it developed, wait weeks to see what turned out, and treasure the magic of those twenty-four shots at a time. 

I still treasure the magic even though it works faster and further, and since going digital over a decade ago I’ve probably taken over 80,000 pictures, some of which aren’t worth paper they weren’t printed on and many, as I continue to improve with such vast practice, are pretty delightful.

I do consider it practice still, and I also realized I already have more pictures than I need, but it doesn’t make me stop. I still enjoy looking for new shots to take and even finding uncaptured frames accidentally. (Never mind the search for particular ones afterward, that’s becoming less a stroll and more a marathon.)

I also write songs and music, stories and scripts, joke, laugh, love, eat… I don’t intend to stop any of that either. Life is a journey of learning and experience, and it’s better when you embrace it that way, as if you are on a trip and not just standing still. Even if you are. Your perspective doesn’t have to stay the same even if you are standing in one spot.

—David

P.S. Maybe that’s why 360s and panoramas are popular, it’s a secret metaphor….

More Pics Than You Can Shake A Selfie Stick At was originally published on Creative Uploads

Creativity = Good

Daily Creativity has a positive effect, according to scientific evidence.
Works for me.

Delicious Yin and Yang

TL;DR: Doing one small creative thing a day can promote a happier attitude. But you don’t have to take my word for it. I linked to an actual scientific study!

—-David

P.S. So this qualifies as Me Time, if you want to call it that.

P.P.S. And surely chocolate helps too. I wonder what I can do creatively with chocolate to double the effect?

Creativity = Good was originally published on Creative Uploads

Hey, Mr. Spaceman

So back in 1998 when there was some controversy about sending John Glenn up again at his age and in an expensive mission, I wrote this parody to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” Thanks for bookending the inspiration, 2016. Now quit it.
I thought he was great even if Shepard beat him up, he took the space race into orbit.
 
Here's a western scene: This is a stickup! Reach for the sky!
Space Oddity 1998 lyrics by David Watson, music by David Bowie
 
Ground Con-trol to Ma-jor Glenn
Ground Con-trol to Ma-jor Glenn
Take your vi-ta-mins and put on your De-pends
Ground Con-trol to Ma-jor Glenn
The guy from Wheat-ies called a-gain
Can you read me? Put your hear-ing aid back in.
This is Ground Con-trol to Old John Glenn
Turn your left blink-er o-o—off
‘Cause it’s been on since you missed that a-ste-ro-oi-d
And the a-li-ens be-hind you are a-nnoy-ed–
He trained Spock, Mc-Coy and Cap-tain Kirk
So NA-SA, have no fe–ar—
He’s the on-ly thing up there o-lder than Mi-ir
Well, ex-cept the hip that got re-placed last yea-e–e-ar
Here am I sit-ting in the ship’s can
Thanks-to fi-ber pillsPla-net
Earth is green, but it’s no-thing I’ve not-seen
I may have been se-cond all a-long, but I’m still in the race
Like Viagra I’m back up where I belong – My frequent
flier miles beat Shepard and Arm-stro-o-o-ong
I got a sen-ior dis-count on the suit And made the Se-nate pay
and I hope my space-walk makes it on C-SPAN
So my grand-kids can all see me wave my ha-a-a-and
Here am I sitting in a tin can, Looking for the Tang
The spaceship’s have all changed, but the planet looks the same
This is Ma-jor Glenn to Ground Con-trol
I’m step-ping through the hatch and I’ve fall-en, can’t get up, but I can fly
Got-ta go now, Meals on Ro-ckets com-ing by-y-y-aye
Oh Ground Con-trol to Ma-jor Glenn you for-got your hel-met, come
back in
Can you hear me, Ma-jor Glenn?
Can you hear me, Ma-jor Glenn, Can you
Here am I, float-ing in my mem-ories
Far too old for this
Planet Earth is pissed, but it’s some-thing that I missed.
(Who cares what it cost to get back something that we lost…..)
 
(converted from a WordPerfect document: time flies….)

Hey, Mr. Spaceman was originally published on Creative Uploads

Fade To Black aka Blanket of Night

Another timelapse from Thanksgiving Day, this time of the sunset. I was pleasantly surprised how this turned out given a cloudless sky doesn’t always make for the most appealing textural video.

Shot with GoPro Hero 3+ Thanksgiving evening 2016 (Watch for the horse!). Processed in GoPro Studio with fresh music by me from an iPad app called Pattern Music. I haven’t used it very often and I liked the variation in the instrument choices it provides and got a nice moody effect from it. It’s set up with a grid system so I was really expecting a more rigid musical result and it fell into place nicely in the middle.

I’ve mentioned before an ambivalent view of GoPro Studio. I don’t like that you have to convert everything when you bring it in, so the app can feel snappy during the editing function. That’s a good idea, but the best workflow is to ingest your video and very quickly get it processing while you go do something else. You also have to have a lot of hard drive space for these giant copies it makes so your video card doesn’t have to fight to decode the compressed video or multiple high res images you shot as it flies through them or applies filter effects. I get it. I don’t love it.

And when you import and it crashes of hangs on converting something, only my Google love and ability to find a suggestion to change the framerate saved me from a very frustrating failure to edit.

I also really hate that you can’t zoom in on the timeline when making cuts, and if you can toggle along a frame at a time to find the right spot, I’ve forgotten how. Then when you do make the cut, every clip on your timeline is the same inch long size, with no indication of how long it really is. Ooh, like Legos. But I am not working with Legos. And I understand the simplicity of it, but the workflow is not creative to me, it’s blocky.

—–David.

P.S. I don’t use GoPro software to import my video, preferring to bring it in using Windows Explorer under a main GoPro folder and nowadays breaking it into a dated name folder with the subject. It comes in as 116GoPro and I will rename the relevant container as 2016_11timelapse. This date format, year-month-day, lets the folders sort properly in chronological order so I don’t have to read a giant list to find things when I know roughly when they happened.

img_1039

Fade To Black aka Blanket of Night 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

Flying Makes People Look Even Smaller Than Ants

Flying to New York

http://megawatson.tumblr.com/post/152061834516/flying-to-new-york-june-2016-give-me-a-window

I really can’t help looking out the window….

—–David

P.S. At least I’m not pretending to be Superman while I’m up there. Great, now the theme song is in my head.

Flying Makes People Look Even Smaller Than Ants was originally published on Creative Uploads

Quite A “Rush”

So I just watched “August Rush” which I got from Netflix months ago and somehow didn’t get to. I really enjoyed it, and if you want to write music, like music, or are interested in the different ways it comes into form, you might appreciate this story. It’s not about every way art happens, but it’s got enough art to it that it might inspire you to make some of your own.

That said, it has all the ingredients for a terrible cliched romance, but for me, it floats right by them. Now, I write and plot stories and scripts on occasion so when I see something coming a mile away, I don’t know if whether it’s  so obvious to the general audience, but here, the foreshadows and dovetailing puzzle pieces were welcome because the characters are so likable that you wants things to go their way.

It doesn’t hurt that Freddy Highmore, Keri Russell and Jonathon Rhys Meyers play lead roles, with a spirited performance from Robin Williams as an NYC Fagin-type, gathering orphans and homeless kids for his personal ensemble. And the score by Mark Mancini just keeps pushing the music-focused plot forward, even though it’s not a musical. But as the kid is a musical savant whose origin comes in a backstory that eventually comes together in the present, you can imagine the soundtrack is fully a character throughout.

I’ve probably already said too much about it and spoiled the innocent surprise that I came to it with knowing nothing, but if you want to see another one of those sweet movies that explores how artists are inspired by the world around them with a driving force that compels them to create and share, this is a good one.

—– David

P.S. Also filmed on location in New York City, so the city is a character. And the music comes in  a bit more organically than “Fame” and those kind of musicals (except maybe Lunch Time Jam) so it’s not just wedged in.

Quite A “Rush” was originally published on Creative Uploads