Monday, February 12, 2007

Bye Bye Blogger!

I have been considering it for a while and have decided to migrate my blog across to WordPress. There are several reasons as to why, but that is neither here nor there. So, update those bookmarks and point your browsers towards:

I won't be updating this page any more! Any feedback appreciated.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Nature Boy and the Photography Course

Got pretty ill this week with a stomach virus and for several days the only thing of any interest aside from watch Curb Your Enthusiasm replays on HBO was taking Goldie for long walks with my camera. As such, this week’s photos feature a lot of shot of Discovery Bay wildlife. In fact I started taking lots of pictures of birds, then spending my days trying to identify them. Yes, I was very bored. To pass the time, I thought I would read through a decent looking free online photography course that I found. Lesson one of the course focuses entirely on composition, making no mention at all of camera technicalities, and finishes up with a couple of assignments based on the lesson content. Going out with my camera and this lesson fresh in my mind really changed the way I approached my photographs, and particularly how I chose and cropped a few of the final shots.

The full course, by Jodie Coston, is available here.

It's well written, easy to follow and is essentially a very basic photography course. It seems to me that if you are a beginner, it would be a perfect place to start. If you are at my stage of starting to become comfortable composing, capturing and cropping photographs yet far from considering yourself a photographer, it really helps re-enforce some vital rules. Even if you are a bit of a pro it never hurts to revisit the basics. However, if you are perfect, just ignore it.

With that, here are last weeks photographs. FYI photos 5 & 6 are my attempts at the assignments for the course.

Siena by Night (p365 29)

Necessary Evil (p365 30)

High Key Me (p365 31)

Siena Bougainvillea (p365 32)

Angled Stairs (p365 33)

Chinese Fan Palm (p365 34)

Crested Mynah (p365 35)

- Joe

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Elements of Design

Stumbled across a great article today whilst browsing the world: The writers manifesto (as per E.B. White) applied to graphic/web design. In taking the commandments of good writing and applying it to design many interesting parallels are drawn. As would be expected with any creative process (particularly for a commercial cause), 90% of it is down to the ego, clashes of interest and other human issues unrelated to scripting, layout or other technicalities.

8. Avoid the use of qualifiers.Rather, very, little, pretty—these are the
leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words.

In web
design, the “qualifiers” are often styling. Just because you can create your own
look and feel for a scroll bar doesn’t mean you should. Many of the browser
defaults work quite well; do not overburden your users with your desire to show
off your mastery of CSS.

The article is available here and is a good read whether or not you are a web designer (web design is certainly not my forte, though I dabble). In fact, with enough thought I am pretty sure these rules apply to pretty much any creative system.

Re-reading the original elements of style was also a fairly depressing experience and pointed out each and every one of my shortcomings as a writer. Look, I shouldn't have even used 'fairly' in that last sentence. I suck. Fortunately, I am not a writer, merely somebody who writes...