Google has just released a video which shows off the User Interface for its Glass project—and it looks kinda neat.
We've seen some similar videos before, but this one shows off far more about the device's functionality. On-lens directions (including ski runs!), voice-controlled messages, web searches, notifications, and even on-the-fly translation. This all looks kinda fun—and actually pretty useful.
While it's still not clear when an affordable pair of the glasses will become available, the video coincides with an update to Google's pre-order policy for the first iteration of the Glass headset. Initially a small number of the Explorer edition—intended for developers and early adopters—were offered at last year's Google I/O conference.
Now, the glasses will be available to "creative individuals" via its #ifihadglass page, for same princely sum of $1,500. Google claims to be looking for "creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass." Or, perhaps it just wants to sell a few more pairs. [Google Glass]
Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques.
First-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with the Oscar®-nominated short, "Paperman." Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, "Paperman" pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction.
Did you catch the live feed of the Red Bull Stratus jump a few days ago? A brave man named Felix took a weather balloon up to space and then jumped back down to earth. He had 35 cameras with him on his adventure and this Red Bull video gives us a look at them.
One of the most exhilarating things about Baumgartner’s space jump was the ability to see so many different angles of what was going on, both as photos and video. To ensure that the cameras would work, the Red Bull Stratos team turned to Flightline Films, which has been providing aerial photography services since 1984. The company’s had extensive work in the upper atmosphere, including work with Virgin Galactic to photograph its spacecraft.
All of the cameras had to be tested in extreme cold and heat, as well as near-vacuum conditions. Specialized filters were applied to compensate for the intense sunlight at the edge of space. Some of the cameras had to be placed in pressurized housings filled with nitrogen gas to ensure they’d continue to operate.
In addition to the 9 cameras on Felix’s person and capsule, some of the images of the flight were also captured by helicopter. Airborne Images was in charge of the chopper, which was equipped with a gyroscopically stabilized HD camera that was manufactured by Cineflex.
Stuff like this is always fascinating to me because of the sheer amount of planning required. Check out the video below:
And here is some of the final results, the jump from Felix's point of view:
Yesterday I had the great pleasure of meeting and filming the founding president of Trent University, Thomas Symmons, or Tom as he prefers, for a heritage tribute video that’s being put together for one of his colleagues.
Born in 1929, Tom is also an author and attended University of Toronto (B.A. 1951), Oxford (B.A. 1953, M.A. 1957), and Harvard University.
His old estate-like home nestled in the rolling hills on the outskirts of Peterborough, Ontario was so beautifully decorated and appeared so rich in history that it was hard not to feel immediately welcome from the moment I stepped inside the door. His wife gave us a quick tour of his library and study, both of which included many high-backed chairs, plaques and diplomas on the walls, pictures showing relations to the British Monarchy and even a letter from the Pope - he was very recently knighted by the Pope, even though (he was quick to point out) he isn’t Catholic. He serves as chairman, chair person and/or officer for more organisations than I can count and has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honouring his significant contributions to Canada.
This is a man who is so accomplished and wise that even before he speaks a word, you understand his legacy and influence because it just emanates out of his every pore, and on top of that he’s remarkably humble about it all.
He shared many stories like the story of his father being shot down over France in WWI and meeting a Canadian nurse, who later became Tom’s mother. He recounted stories of having tea with the queen mother and after many cups she would always ask if he wanted a “nip of something else” – which usually meant gin! (Sounds like the queen mother knew how to have a good time! :P) He was even a guest at Charles and Diana’s wedding and has watched “the kids” Prince William and Harry grow up. He reminisced a bit about his relationship with the royal family and finally said, “Prince Charles is a deeply intelligent man.” – a nice comment from someone I feel is quite intelligent himself.
As part of the video interview I was shooting, we asked Tom to sit in one of his royal-esque chairs and read a book by the window overlooking his garden. We picked random books from different piles, put them by his side to let him flip through. As I was shooting, he perked up and said “How time flies! I’ve forgotten I wrote the forward to this novel…” And so there he was, reading his own words in an acclaimed book we chose at random off the shelf, one of hundreds if not thousands of books in his great house.
A still photograph wasn't planned, but I couldn't walk out of this place without one. I asked his permission and he said it wouldn't be a problem. I only had a few minutes with him as time was getting short and we had to shoot other subjects at a different location, so I acted fast – grabbed a flash and threw on a wide angle lens. My goal was to photograph him in what I felt was the most inspiring room in the house – his study – with all the books around him – and awards – over half of which aren’t even in the frame. I wanted to show the overwhelming amount of work this man has done and continues to do, and the “weight of it all” so to speak.
Physically he is clearly aging, but mentally… he’s as sharp as they come.
It was great to meet you, sir!
Dear fellow 7D users, in case you missed it - the next evolution has arrived!
Firmware Version 2.0.X brings the EOS 7D up to speed with the best technologies Canon has to offer, delivering performance and features befitting the flagship APS-C EOS DSLR. It also keeps the EOS 7D on the cutting edge of technological innovation by adding user-requested innovations developed for Canon's high-end EOS cameras.
This significant upgrade raises the performance on one of the most popular Canon EOS DSLRs ever created.
Click here to download the update from Canon Canada.
The update includes:
Click to enlarge and read the full article as seen in Canadian Musician (March/April issue 2012).
If there's one thing we as artists, specifically photographers, struggle with more than asking for money... I don't know what it is.
Seems like every artist in the beginning stages of their career comes across the daunting task and begins the inner battle of deciding what they're worth and what to charge for their creative services.
It's true, vision and creativity is a difficult thing to place a price tag on. How does one even begin to place a dollar figure on something that doesn't even exist yet, with little to no experience behind you to prove you can create it? How can you perform with the weight of money and expected performance on your shoulders? How do you charge friends for something they think should be free? How do you ask money from another starving artist?
It's easy. You just do it. And it doesn't have to be as scary, or as difficult as you think it will be. It also doesn't have to ruin any relationships you've already spent time and effort building.
Why you need to charge money for your photography services.
Ninety percent of small businesses fail within the first two years. With few exceptions, working for free is the fastest way for freelance photographers to become part of this 90 percent. Photographers like any other business owners need income to survive, and the industry itself as a whole relies on it's own community to stay alive. If all photographers stopped charging money, the community and support system we rely on to find work would collapse. Its a (sad) fact of life that money makes the world go round and the business of photography is no exception.
Charging a fee for your photography establishes value and respect. These are extremely important characteristics of any successful business venture. You can't get caught up worrying about other people's financial situations. Helping out a 'starving artist' for free because you want to be nice isn't accomplishing anything, because guess what? Technically as an amateur photographer you are too! Let's shed some light on this topic in another way. Let's pretend said starving artist waves down a cab and askes the cab to drive him home - 20 blocks away. The guy sits in the car and says Hey driver, listen times are tight and I really need to get home in a hurry. Except I have no money to offer you. What do you think the cabbie is gunna say? Guess what pal, can't help you. Times are tight for everyone - take a hike.
(See 12 Excuses For Shooting for FREE - And Why They're Bogus)
More importantly, imagine 5 years from now when a client you shot free pictures for actually has a budget, let's say $2,500 for a large project requiring two days of shooting - who are they gunna call up? The photographer they used back in the day that gave up his time and talent for free? Or are they going to ask around or go online in search of new professional photographers to work with that cost roughly $2,500? 9 times out of 10, it's the latter. Who would you rather be? The guy who gets the call for free shoots ("networking opportunities") at the local rock club on 90's playback night, or the guy that gets a call once a month from a marketing agency when they can afford you and your rate - let's say, a rate of hundreds or thousands of dollars? I think I know the answer.
Truth is, we've all been there. The excuses for shooting free work are endless. The most common being that its to build a better or more diverse portfolio. But in your initial stages as a photographer you can shoot nature, the city you live in, small concerts, friends and family for free as much as you want to build your portfolio. It's important you understand that when a stranger comes knocking at your door for photography - that is your cue to start building a name and brand for yourself in the industry beyond your comfort zone by charging a fee. It's not your cue to initiate the same freebie/portfolio conversation you've been having with friends and family.
How (much?) to charge for your photography services.
When I was just 16 years old I got to say I was a professional photographer. Why? I shot my first wedding and charged the bride and groom $300. Such a low price that most pros would laugh, but it was something at least. Some people would ask, though, how could I charge anything when I was still so young? The answer is: I had spent countless months building my skill set shooting nature, architecture and portraits for close friends and a family, plus I shot a family wedding and all things considered I was feeling good and prepared to charge for my work. I was confident in my talent and ready to take on something new and outside of my bubble, and I wasn't about to do it for free.
The question then became, what do I charge? I did some research on other, much more experienced photographers in my area and found that they were charging roughly $1,500 and up for weddings. Great! I knew that if I was significantly below $1,000 any bride and groom would be silly not to sign on the dotted line. Plus, I had nothing to prove - they had already inquired with me for the work - which means they like my website of nature and portraits and believe in my ability to translate that same vision into wedding photography. I didn't need to sell them on me, I needed to sell them on the price. This would become the single most important business skill I ever learned. How to price myself.
There is no one-price-fits-all formula in photography, because pricing almost always depends on the client and requirements of each shoot. But here's some advice to get you started and help you get it right.
Being a photographer is definitely no walk in the park. It takes a lot of hard work, time and effort to get anything remotely like a consistent income flowing your way. It also takes a lot of time, many years in fact, to learn every facet of the business and get comfortable in your own skin - especially when it comes to charging people for your time and creativity. Even if you're the most talented photographer it's possible you'll struggle to make a living - especially at the start. But one thing is for certain - shooting for free won't help you change that fact. Start charging people, even if it's only enough to cover your gas or train ticket, clients don't need to know the why behind your price. Just charge them something so that if nothing else you can start to compensate for your expenses, and one day you'll see yourself staying in the black. What's more is you've helped keep all the photographers around you in business as well, by helping maintain the idea that photography is a service worth paying for and just because every grandma and their fat cat owns a camera doesn't mean everyone can take a good photo.
Ultimately one day making a wonderful living doing what you love will be the fruits of these labors. Just hang in there. And believe in yourself.
Thanks for reading and good luck!
Follow me on Twitter @mattvardy and share your comments or questions. I will happily answer all of them!
There's one thing I really enjoy doing, almost as much as photography, and that is tackle a problem and solve it visually... in other words, graphic design.
I'm fortunate to have a steady stream of design jobs on top of my photography to keep me busy. One of the more common things I do month-in-month-out is design posters for events around the city. Most frequently these posters are for my own LiveMusicTO events, but I also get called upon from random clubs and concert venues around the GTA to create engaging visuals that will advertise their event and attract customers.
Step One in the process (pictured above) is always to get in the right mood. Today's design project was for a club in Oshawa, ON and so I started playing electronic dance music to get myself in the right frame of mind for the job.
Below are the design instructions that were sent to me over text messaging.
Now begins the fun part. My wheels start to turn and brainstorm about the words "white out".
Couple obvious things come to mind: The fluid eraser used to make corrections and blizzard conditions in snowy weather. My favorite of the two thoughts was the fluid eraser - what does a fluid eraser do? Well, you spread it over top of words. This lead me to think of how I could reveal, rather than erase, the words on the poster using a brush-like tool in Photoshop. In keeping with the snow/precipitation theme I thought I'd incorporate soft blue hues.
I'm feeling happy at this point with these out-of-the-box ideas. However, as I started to build the rest of the page I began to realise that perhaps this is a little too "indie" for a general dance party event. A little too Nuite Blanche if you will and not enough Party.
Below you can see the gradual evolution of the ideas into the final product. You'll notice I eventually gave up the brush-like effect for something more legible and basic; although I enjoy the simplicity of the first couple designs more, they weren't suitable for this east-of-the-city demographic. I also started toying with the idea of mountains and snow more heavily, to emphasize the winter theme (time of year) as well as adhere to the client's initial request.
Is photography over? Of course not. But a provocative title none the less, appropriated from SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), suggesting we think more deeply about what photography was, what it now is, and where it’s going. Given the nature of contemporary art practice, the condition of visual culture, the advent of new technologies, and many other factors, what is at stake today in seeing something as a photograph? What is the value of continuing to speak of photography as a specific practice or discipline?
In April 2010, SFMOMA convened a range of major thinkers and practitioners to write brief responses to this question and to convene for a two-day summit on the state of medium.
Interesting, insightful and evocative in my opinion. Feel free to leave your comments below.
Special thanks to Chase Jarvis for bringing this discussion to my attention. Photo/videos courtesy of SFMOMA.
On a day-to-day basis I'm hard at work on many photography related things, which also includes my work at livemusicTO. livemusicTO focuses on the music scene in Toronto; hosting events, blogs and artist interviews as well as live music photographs.
Thanks to my 'job' over there I'm often browsing many live music blogs and websites trying to stay in touch with what's cool and currently revolving around Toronto musically. Time and again I notice a few things that bother me a bit and I think a lot of photographers are missing the mark. The frustrating part isn’t necessarily that they aren’t talented enough or don’t have enough passion, it’s simply that they’re using the wrong techniques or equipment to get the job done right. Some common faults: poor timing, bad clarity, too many of the same images and wrong flash or camera settings.
I think what a lot of young photographers forget is that the power of a photograph lies in its ability to tell a story. And this applies as much to live music photography as it does nature photography. If all your photographs are the same close crop of the lead singer or drummer for example, you’re missing more than half of the “story”. The collection of photos as a whole should ideally share the experience of being there. If the viewer leaves your gallery only knowing the colour of nail polish the lead singer wears, you’ve missed the mark and the lasting value of your images will be lost. Sure, one photo might be spectacular, but if the pose you’ve captured is almost identical to the other 100 images you made public… it’s going to be less memorable.
I recently had the opportunity to explore these ideas when I photographed Aaron Gillespie (The Almost, Underoath), Parachute Band and NineOFive at a concert in Ajax, ON last month. In my attempt to tell a story, I discovered some keys to success that I’d like to share with you.
So this concert wasn't your typical high energy club show. It was inside a church, the venue had seating and so the crowd wasn't able to move a whole lot. It posed a great challenge for me to tell a story or capture the live energy. Sometimes it helps to add context to the event by showing the crowd lined up, the posters lining the halls or the catering/production/sound checks. Sometimes as a photographer you have to create energy for yourself. Find crazy perspectives no one else will think of, that help tell a story, share a message or portray energy whether or not it was even there.
A stranger should be able to look at your photos and know exactly what they missed if they weren't there. Hopefully what they missed was a damn good time, thanks to your photos. I don't claim to be an expert on the topic and I'm not always the best at practising what I preach, but I hope some of these tips help you next time you're out shooting a live music event. - Matt Vardy.
Aaron and his management liked the photos so much that one of them became the
Echo Your Song (Live) album cover!