Sunday, January 28, 2007

My week in pictures, Jan 21-27

A bit lite this week, with classes at SJSU starting on Wednesday I decided to error on the side of too much free time and only worked one day. So enjoy the two assignments I shot.

As always, please see my Flickr feed for caption info.

The first was about a potential change in the California primary. I was sent to the Register of Voters office to discover a moment. My contact was the county clerk, a very knowledgeable woman who was trying her best to find me a picture. After letting her know that won't be necessary, as I prefer to find my own moments, I politely excused myself from her side and explored. While there I ran into a pair of students from UCSC and explored their space. I found my pictures with them, but I was thinking like a college paper photographer, the students aren't the most intriguing. This paper's reader was 25-80, not 18-25... the students weren't exactly the story. The story was the primaries and the workload on the country clerk and thus I backtracked and focused on her. I'm just glad I realized it while still out on the assignment.

The second assignment of the day was a piece on a wood pellet shortage. I had never heard of these and found the topic intriguing, which helped in making conversation and putting my contact at ease. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, a good attitude and a few prime jokes are reflected in the end result.

So... again, apologies for the skim pickin' this week, but that should change in the coming week. It seems I've earned the favor of the powers that be enough to cover for 2 of the 3 staffers this week as they leave for a golf tournament... I know what you're thinking, they're just giving you the work because you're free intern labor... well I say, "meh, I'll take it!" With gusto even.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Revisiting Slideroll

When I started my first "My pictures of the week" post a funny thing happened on the way to the publish button.

Originally the slideshow had a long introduction about trying out Slideroll again and it got a bit long, so I thought it might be wise to separate the two.

What follows are my impressions at the time as I was producing the slideshow.

So I've turned back to Slideroll... which by the way has some nice new features like captions, but still retains some of the annoying habits of my last critique, like being unable to upload my own music. Although I do see a ghosted button on the free version, so either it's only available on the paid version or it's a feature not yet active.

Well look at that, I didn't intend to ramble on about Slideroll again, but as I write this there is one thing that I must point out that could improve Slideroll. Those captions, while nice, still have a ways to go until they are perfect.

There are two options for displaying captions: as an overlay on the pictures and as a box below the Slideroll applet. Now here's the problem: captions over a picture cover up visual real estate and in the case of my captions, that often meant half the picture was under a white box where the text was displayed. In the case of the box version, it's not very aesthetically pleasing and its placement separate from the Slideroll player makes it look like a last second add-on or 3rd party plug-in.

So how do we fix this? From my last write up about Slideroll, I know that Geoffrey P. Gaudreault, the creator of Slideroll, does care about feedback and checks these type of posts, so I've a solution. Add a toggle button for the captions and allow people to turn them on and off to their own desires. Also, while we're at it, let's make that white overlay a shade of translucent gray.

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My week in pictures Jan. 14-20, 2007

A few weeks ago I embarked on my second internship, and seeing as how I haven't updated the blog as often as I'd like, I thought it might be a good idea to share the work I'm producing.

Things have settled a bit... more like the calm before the storm as SJSU starts up next week... and I figure why not.

For captions please see these images on Flickr.

I haven't been sure just when to reveal that I've been working at the Santa Cruz Sentinel, call it my Asian upbringing but modestly prevails, but I guess this is as good a time as any.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel is daily in the heart of the coastal city whose coverage area reaches from the peaks of the the Santa Cruz Mountains to the north to the Monteray Bay to the south and spreads from Watsonville to the Pacific Ocean laterally. In addition to subscriptions, issues are available in location up and down California and as far north as Washington.

My work thus far has been varied, from coming across rollover accidents on the way to work in the morning to waiting for sun to come out from behind the clouds for a portrait that later ran as a mugshot.

The work you see is from my second week at the SC Sentinel. I questioned myself about continuity, but deemed timeliness the stronger force. Another slideshow with work from the prior week will be coming shortly.

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His rhymes are bottomless!

It's break time again! You know what that means... time to kick it Aussie style.

I have no idea why they're not more famous, that's good stuff. I've known of these guys for 3 years now, it's about time I told someone.

OK... time to get back to more serious business, like doing another installment of "In my mind..."

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Holy 105th post Batman!


*Batman is a tradmark of DC Comics, a subsiderary of Warner Bros. and is provided without permission to SLR.

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Lamest of the lame yo... ugh... lame

As the holidays end, the lights come down, the trees hit the curb, folks sober up and the world starts spinning again three things are a given:
  1. That scarf will just sit in your trunk until it's to late to return it.
  2. Mr. Lopez isn't going to take in his Menorah until March so stop buggin'.
  3. Everyone and their dog's grandmother will have a list of the best and worst of the 2006.

When it comes to throwing stones and naming the worst of the worst you have to be ready to take the criticism... soooo... I'll just take a cue from the current admission and let someone else fight my war (oh snap!) and deliver the blows.

Dennis Dunleavy, a college professor teaching visual journalism and reporting at Southern Oregon University and a fellow blogger has compiled a list of what he's calling the lamest moments of 2006 in photography and I think it's worthy of a gander.

Be sure to click through to Dennis' blog for his explanation and comments.


Full disclosure: Dennis is my former instructor and a pretty good guy I also consider a friend.

A glimpse of my latest project

One of my latest projects has been a documentary on a local band and it just so happens I have the opportunity to provide a sneak peek into the work I'm producing.

The final product is still in flux and I'm still in the process of capturing footage, but here's a trailer video I edited for San Jose power trio 5606 for a promotion campaign for their upcoming album.

I know what you're thinking, how creative another college student producing a piece on a band. Hey, not so fast there Capitan Sourpants, that just means I have to produce something truly special to have it stand out from the pack, and that's just what I'm aiming for. I'm a journalist first and foremost to expect something along the lines of a serious look with some social merit... it'll also be entertaining, this is music after all.