Since 2011, I have been a content strategist for technology companies offering products and services. My work has been to make the complex simple to understand and use.
Talking tech specs: megapixels, resolution, and more
We often judge a camera by its megapixels. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than thinking that the device that shoots the most pixels is the best. There is a lot more to know about how digital cameras operate. Let’s take a deeper (but totally understandable) look at what digital camera tech specs mean in general and specifically for PogoCam.
Our 10 favorite photo editing apps
Since the dawn of photography, we’ve been unhappy with the results and we’ve taken technical steps to improve them. In the days of physical film development, photographers affected focus, brightness, contrast, color, and much more in the darkroom. In the 1860 presidential campaign, a photographer added effects to a portrait of Abraham Lincoln to make him look less weird.
Taking great family photos
With the holiday season approaching and family time with it, we thought we’d take a look at how to capture great family photos. Of course with PogoCam, your techniques are going to differ from traditional hand-held cameras. Here are some tips for taking photographs of your family (and friends!) during the holidays that take advantage of PogoCam’s unique point of view.
Whether it’s with PogoCam, your phone, or a DSLR, family photos look great when the group is really close. Don’t all...
Taking better winter photos
Winter is upon us and it’s a great time to break out PogoCam for cold weather photo scenes. Here are a few tips and tricks for taking photos this winter (particularly in the snow!).
Taking Pictures in Crowds with PogoCam
Last year, we took an early version of PogoCam to San Diego Comic Con. If you’ve never been to a comic convention, they are always a colorful, crowded, busy experience. San Diego Comic Con is even bigger, busier, and louder than most. It can be a photographic delight or a claustrophobic nightmare.
How we made our St. Patrick's Day video
We thought it would be cool to give you a behind-the-scenes peek at how we made our St. Patrick's Day video.
Working with Lens Flare
Here is the gist: a single point of light brighter than the rest of the scene either in the frame or aligned so that it hits the front element of a lens can result in a haze, lack of contrast, or polygons of light in a picture. In other words, that single, brighter point of light creates the lens flare.
The Opposite of Death
I started going to concerts without adult supervision at age 15. Big rock concerts. Van Halen, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Metallica, Joan Jett —sometimes at an enormous amphitheater outside of town, sometimes in a sketchy old auditorium. It was at those concerts where I learned what pot smelled like, where I had someone try to burn my neck with a cigarette, where friends hid drugs in my car. A few years later, I was getting knocked around on the fringes of mosh pits, falling off folding chairs, tr...
Figure out how to do it yourself or pay a professional
It’s so commonplace that it would be unusual if you hadn’t ever asked a friend for free recording help or graphic design. When you’re a young musician, you can’t be expected to master all the disciplines needed to make, record, package, and design your music releases. You’re going to have to turn to friends. It’s also meaningful to work with your friends who are engineers, photographers, cinematographers, and graphic designers. You’re not in different scenes. You’re all in the same scene. Exc...
I didn’t play a protest song
There isn’t much to the story: I played a show; I didn’t play a protest song. This is unusual only in that I had a protest song to play. Despite all the Dead Kennedys listening I did as a teenager, I was never much a of a protest song writer myself. A band of mine — The Carter Administration — traded in mockery when it came to politics. Sincere protest songs always seemed dated. They’re tied to an event or era that can make them irrelevant almost immediately. It was always better to be arch, ...
The parable of Bob Seger
And what it tells us about curating the art you make
My friend Axeslasher shared this article about Bob Seger’s fading recording legacy with me. The article tells the fascinating story of the recordings of Bob Seger — a classic rock staple and, arguably, one of the greatest exponents of American rock ’n’ roll. The central question of the piece is: why is it so hard to find the records of Bob Seger in an age of limitless, ubiquitous digital distribution? In the course of exploring this questio...
Make art. Don’t ask permission.
A tweet showed up in my feed recently that said, “Should you release an album no one cares about?”
In short, no you shouldn’t. YOU should care about it. AND THAT’S EVERYONE WHO MATTERS.
I loathe marketing click-bait bullshit like this. Listen, artists: marketers have nothing to say to you in this regard. The link on this particular tweet went to the author’s blog where he entreats you to contact him to get started on your marketing plan.
“It’s important for you and your band to look ahead and...
When the day job gets in the way of your art
Last week, I could not get a column written in time to publish. This has happened only a handful of times in the last two years. Usually, it is a scheduling problem but last week was a problem we’ve all faced as part-time musicians: the day job. Part of this gig writing for SongCast about making music is turning my experience into “teachable moments,” mostly for myself. The lesson here seems to be: this sucks.
For all of my adult life, I’ve squeezed creative madness into the times around my d...
Your job as a live venue
Recently, given some stories of really half-assed performances that I’d heard, I wrote about your job as a live musician. We gigging musicians often get the short end of the stick in live situations. That post was meant to address the basic requirements you gotta do as a live musician. Now, let’s talk about what the venue ought to be doing.
Communicate with the musicians playing your venue
Communicating clearly with the bands and musicians playing your venue whether it’s a club, coffee shop, ...
Your job as a live musician
It often sucks to be a live musician. We’re rarely paid; venues don’t have great sound; no one promotes the show; people don’t show up. We can’t correct all those injustices ourselves. But we do have to face the cold truth that it’s sometimes our responsibility when we’re treated like crap. If we want to be treated as professionals, at the minimum, we have to act like professionals.
We all hear stories of bad gigs. We also accept as musicians that we have to put up with a lot of them just for...