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The New York Public Library is Turning Classics Into Instagram Stories via Gizmodo

November 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Mashing up media is one great way to create something new in the world and I am all for it. These Instagram versions of literary classics is just one way to mix things up and use new technology to deliver — still relevant — text in an interesting fashion. — Douglas

Gizmodo has advocated for libraries as an excellent means of logging off, because a library is a service that lets you “stream” films, music, magazines, books, and all other kinds of media for free.

But now one of the world’s greatest libraries is trying to enrich the social media experience. The New York Public Library just released the first of its InstaNovel series on Instagram Stories. NYPL followers can watch-read the first part ofAlice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll on the app. The feature shows the full text of the book, but also includes illustrations by designer Magoz, and animated pages that capture the liveliness of Carroll’s creative page formatting. As anyone who’s used Facebook’s Snapchat clone could assume, lifting a finger from the screen turns the page.

5 Camera Settings That All Macro Photographers Should Know via Digital Photography School

October 24th, 2018 Comments off
Do you macro?
 
I find that closeup major photography can be the most challenging photos I take. Focus and depth of focus are a constant challenge along with the fact that the breeze almost always picks up when I am shooting.
 
Digital Photography School always has the best advice and tutorials. Check out their entire site! — Douglas
 
 

This article will detail five camera settings that are essential and which all macro photographers should know. It was inspired by Will Nichols’ excellent tips Five Camera Settings Every New Photographer Needs to Know. You will notice two main themes in this article – ensuring a perfect point of focus and ensuring maximum sharpness. Both of which are critical in macro photography.

Included in the list of settings are Manual Focus, Manual Mode, Live View, the self-timer, and burst mode. By familiarizing yourself with these settings, your macro photography will grow by leaps and bounds.


Want to learn more about macro photography? Check out these books from Amazon!

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


An interesting link found among my daily reading

What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School

August 25th, 2018 Comments off
My problem is that I tend to take too many photos when on vacation, but there have been times when I have been frustrated by a particular location or day. I really want to share it with my friends when I get home but I can’t seem to find an “in” that helps me produce great photos. I’m checking out these tips as I prepare a trip to Milan, Italy in a few weeks. — Douglas
 

Vacation is a great time not only to recharge and relax but also to practice your travel photography skills. Whether you’re a pro with lots of gear, or a hobbyist with your first camera, there are plenty of photo opportunities in a new place. In fact, there can be so many that you can easily get overwhelmed or uninspired to shoot anything at all.

If you hit a wall and don’t know what to photograph while traveling, here are some ways to fire up your creativity.

Read What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School


Learn more about photography with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


An interesting link found among my daily reading

By the canal…Nottingham in Watercolor via Instagram

August 15th, 2018 Comments off

By the canal…Nottingham in Watercolor via Instagram

By the canal…Nottingham in Watercolor

A lovely and quiet spot along the canal during our most recent visit to the UK. 

Instagram and Follow

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Learn more about watercolor painting

More books on watercolor painting

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Books available at the LA Public Library

Bookshelf and Banquette — Follow me on Instagram!

June 26th, 2018 Comments off

Bookshelf and Banquette -- Follow me on Instagram!

Bookshelf and Banquette

Rowan Hotel, Palm Springs

We have been waiting for decades for this new space which finally replaced the defunct mall. Looking good!

Instagram and Follow Me

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Learn more about Palm Springs

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Reading – Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by by Andrew Degraff and‎ A.D. Jameson – 12 in a series

February 26th, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by by Andrew Degraff and A.D. Jameson – 12 in a series

Reading - Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by by Andrew Degraff and  A.D. Jameson - 12 in a series

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See more cinemaps on the author’s web site

All movies take place in a world of their own design and Cinemaps helps to map out those spaces for 35 of our favorite movies from Star Wars to Pulp Fiction to Back to the Future. Each map details the passage of the main charactear, showing how and where they encounter one another, diverge, and meet again throughout the passage the film. This is a new way of understanding films, providing a visual summary of the movies and a piece of art in its own right. A.D Jameson’s essays on each film provide more illumination to the “illuminated” maps showing how one informs the other.

A great gift for movie and map buffs!

** My version of this book was available from the Los Angeles Public Library in print and ebook versions.

From Amazon.com…

This beautifully illustrated atlas of beloved movies is an essential reference for cinephiles, fans of great films, and anyone who loves the art of mapmaking.

Acclaimed artist Andrew DeGraff has created beautiful hand-painted maps of all your favorite films, from King Kong and North by Northwest to The Princess Bride, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, even The Breakfast Club—with the routes of major characters charted in meticulous cartographic detail. Follow Marty McFly through the Hill Valley of 1985, 1955, and 1985 once again as he races Back to the Future. Trail Jack Torrance as he navigates the corridors of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And join Indiana Jones on a globe-spanning journey from Nepal to Cairo to London on his quest for the famed Lost Ark. Each map is presented in an 11-by-14-inch format, with key details enlarged for closer inspection, and is accompanied by illuminating essays from film critic A. D. Jameson, who speaks to the unique geographies of each film.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library.
Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

January 16th, 2018 Comments off

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

Still life is a particular style of photography that slowly lured me into its clutches. The gateway drug was, of course, food photography, and before I knew it, my weekends were spent combing secondhand shops for props and buying up linen in all different shades.

he popularity of Instagram has given rise to images of every different kind of food, drink, dessert, cake, and cocktail. You name it, someone is shooting it, adding a filter and posting online before they even taste it. Except for the one thing it really shows, is how hard it is to compose and take a good still life image, especially with a cell phone. There are a lot of really awful shots out there. Someone even made a hilarious video about the effort needed to get a good shot.

Of all of the techniques I have learned in my photography journey, none has taught me as much as doing still life work.

Read this entire article – 5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School





An interesting link found among my daily reading

20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

December 1st, 2017 Comments off

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20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory

20 MUVI X-Lapse 360-Degree Photography and Timelapse Accessory | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2017

I picked one of these up on sale a few months ago and have found a variety of uses for it. It only plans right to left, since it is based on a mechanical timer, but it is a great way to start integrating movement into you time-lapse movies without spending hundreds of dollars on more complex motorized camera sliders. It is cheap enough to just have fun with it.

  • Create 90° degree (15 minutes), 180° degree (30 minutes), 270° degree (45 minutes), 360° degree (60 minutes) sweeping time-lapse films.
  • Create 90° degree, 180° degree, 270° degree, 360° degree panoramic pictures
  • Mount cameras up to 750 grams on the standard 1/4 -20 UNC male tripod screw thread. Perfect for the MUVI HD or other actions cameras with continuous photo mode
  • Standard 1/4 -20 UNC female tripod screw thread for mounting on Veho DuoPod tripod or other tripod systems and integral fold out feet to stabilize and support larger cameras
  • Ships with iPhone/Smartphone holder to enable panoramic time lapse photography using your smartphone with apps such as Time Lapse Pro, Glimpse Pro, Osnap

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 23rd, 2017 Comments off

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17 Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

I first read Bird by Bird a long time ago and often recommend it to people who have a desire to write. After talking with a friend about the book recently, I thought it time to revisit and re-read the book and see what new things I might take away from it.

Unlike Big Magic, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, Bird by Bird is more of a traditional book on writing — offering direct advice, exercises and support to help you write and write better. That said, Lamott has a great way of interjecting the realities of being a writer along with a strong dose of humor to help you cope with the ups, downs, sideways and convolutions of writing a being a writer.

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

On the concrete side of the writing equation, Lamott details her advice on writing using “Short Assignments” — committing to only a few hundred words detailing a particular character or scene. Just enough to get your writing — something — which can often be the most difficult part of any project.

Next is allowing yourself to write, in her words, “Shitty First Drafts. This is Lamott’s way of saying that sometimes you just have to write. We can all get tied up in trying to make every word we write perfect — the first time. Almost anyone who has ever written will tell you that this is a sure road to madness, writer’s block and worse.

An entire essay on Perfectionism follows to give some reasons and some tools to combat it and continue writing, no matter how bad you might think your project is right now.

Lamott then follows with chapters on other important aspects of writing including Set Design, Plot, Dialogue and more.

Part II of Bird by Bird, The Writing Frame of Mind is a series of in-depth essays on “Looking Around” or how better to see the world around you and use it in your writing, “The Moral Point of View” which explains how it is very difficult to complete any writing project that you don’t care passionately about — at least in some small way. You have to have the thread that drives you through your project. Something important you want to say. There is also an important section on “Jealousy” that I think is required reading for any writer. Jealousy is something we must all learn to deal with if we want to have a happy life and a successful (or at least, fun) writing career. Otherwise the “green-eyed dragon” will gobble you up with a moment’s thought.

In Part III, an essay on “Calling Around” explains how important it is for a writer to find sources for their writing — those people who can call on with specific information about world’s you may not move in, but still want to use as a setting in your writing. Lamott also details why it is so very important to find a trusted friend to read your early drafts and how you may go about finding them. Writing groups might be one solution and Lamott shares her thoughts on how important a good (and functional) group like this might be for you.

Part IV deals with the nasty bits of being a “professional”, “published” writer. It isn’t an easy life and there are a few things you need to know before you head down that road. It can be unforgiving. It can be crushing to your ego. It can also be exhilarating and dramatic and a host of other feelings.

I read Bird by Bird essay by essay in most cases. Taking time to think and digest the lesson in each section before moving on. You might also turn to (or return to) individual sections were you need a bit more support and a bit more thinking to use the lessons in your own writing.

After this re-read of Bird by Bird, I still think this is one of the foremost books for writers of all levels, but especially for those just beginning their writing journey. There is a lot of great advice, guidance, and truth in this book that can benefit everyone.

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
Categories: Books, Creativity, Education, Gift Guide, Writing Tags:

12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 17th, 2017 Comments off

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12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon

 Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort. Share, Share, Share One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will on this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too. What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!