Sit Rep: Current Status

It’s been a minute, so let’s get back to this:

  • Posts here have slowed because I’m putting much of my education-centered thinking into my newsletter. What?! You haven’t signed up yet? You best fix that here.
  • My shoe resole project went well- they’re back in heavy rotation and seem to be holding up well. In fact, embolden by this success, I went ahead and made some shoes for my eldest daughter from scratch. Those, too, have gone well. They’re roughly modeled after Tom’s shoes, so my daughter (and wife) call them her Tim’s. Cute.
  • Tons of work around the house done. Doors and windows, plumbing, deck, etc etc.
  • Refinishing a fiberglass shell chair. This has been going on f o r e v e r. I originally scored the chair on the side of the road with some nasty upholstery, but I stripped that off and cleaned it up- and it looked great. Then it broke (or, more accurately, the base came off the shell), and I took that as an opportunity to sand and refinish the whole shell, repaint the base, and generally improve the thing. Anyway, the base is painted and the shell is sanded and they’re back together (side note: steel reinforced epoxy is even more of a pain to work with than regular epoxy).  Now all that’s left is to seal the shell and she’s good to go.
  • I’ve grown dissatisfied with my backpacks. Most of them are larger (both because I’m tall, but also because I’ve needed to carry a lot in the past). Anyway, I’m in “need” of a smaller backpack. I built out a shoulder day bag for myself a while ago- it’s great and is holding up pretty well, but it’s just a tiny bit too small for days when I’ve more-than-average to haul. I’m not overly fond of the commercial options I’ve found, so… it’s build my own time. Much of the design is done, and it’s time to start sourcing fabric and hardware. And we’ll see if my sewing machine can keep up…
  • I’m on the latest & greatest social media too- Beme (pronounced “Beam”) which has come out of the brain of Casey Neistat. My username there is “nothingfuture” and you can feel free to add me. What is it? Ah. Um… ok. It’s like snapchat, in that you share video (and video only). But: there’s no preview of the video, all clips are 4 seconds long, there’s no edit, and there’s no likes. You can send reactions to videos as you watch them, and you get to watch any Beme once and it’s gone- including your own, strangely. It’s neat, though I’m not sure what sort of legs it will have.

Sit Rep: Current Projects

It’s the busiest time of the year for me in my day job, but despite this (or maybe because of it) I’m deep into a few projects here and headquarters.

  • I’m midpoint on resoling some shoes- I’ve removed the old soles and am nearly done prepping the welt. I’ve source a new sole, and all I need to do is track down some of the right adhesive, glue things up, and trim everything flush. It’s been an adventure thus far- and I’ve only bled once. So far.
  • Our house has several project that need attention- and they’re all starting this week. Busy busy busy. But exciting.
  • I’ve swapped the layout of the site here- finally. I’m not 100% on it yet- there are some changes still to make and some detail work to do, but it’s at least up and running.
  • Analog film for photography is still a thing- and something I enjoy a lot these days. Digital is great- don’t get me wrong- but having to think about each and every shot is a totally different mindset. I’ll go out and only shoot a frame or three in an hour, whereas with a DSLR I’ll shoot 40-100 frames in that time. Either way, I think it’s good for my brain to have to take a trip into that creative space during each day. I think it helps me in the other areas of my life, too.
  • I backed another Kickstarter. I know, I know. I couldn’t help it, though. It’s CHIP, and it’a s tiny computer. A bit like a Raspberry Pi, but it’s $7. Actually, I’m in for one with a VGA breakout board, so mine was a bit more, but still. It runs Linux, and comes pre-loaded with a full suite of apps. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll use it for, but the idea of being able to use it to run a monitor with a live feed of something is very, very appealing.
  • I’m trying to get back to making videos again. It’s hard, with all the other stuff I’ve got going at the same time, but just like the photography is good for me, making videos is a great blend of creativity and attention-to-detail in execution. As you know if you subscribe to my newsletter (and you do, right? RIGHT? Upper right corner of this page, if you haven’t…) I’m a fan of Casey Neistat. He’s been on a roll lately- making a vlog video every single day (he’s up to #52 as of this post). It’ been inspiring to watch, because I know he’s at least a busy as I am. I put a very short (and questionable-quality) video up a bit ago, and while I’m not in love with it’s production value, it’s the sort of thing I’d like to keep doing. It’s a story- a short, tiny, little story. But a story. And telling stories is what a lot of what I do boils down to, so practice at it is good.
  • And my newsletter. I’ve been doing it now, once a week, for 16 weeks. That’s essentially four months, and I’ve watched the subscriber count rise that entire time. It might be (and this pains me to say) my most successful educational project. It doesn’t take a ton of my time, but it’s work- and it’s nice to see it paying (not literally, of course. I’ve not monetized it) off.

 

EDC Update

It’s been a month, and I’ve changed a few things around and whatnot.

Current carry is:

  • iPhone 5s 16gb Verizon Space Grey
  • Kershaw Chilli
  • Croton 1878 (on a silicone deployment band)
  • Custom CP3 Titanium Ring
  • Friday & River wallet
  • Uniball Signo Micro 206 (0.38 black)
  • Retrakt Aluminum (G2 0.5 Black refill)
  • Field Notes Red Blooded (x2)
  • Leuchtturm1917 (standard size, dot grid)
  • Nikon 8008s w/ Konica Hexanon 40mm f1.8 lens (via Fotodiox adapter)
  • HumanGear GoTubb (medium, x2)
  • Custom Bag (NF-P-126)

Current EDC

  • iPhone 5s 16gb
  • Kershaw Chili
  • Uniball Signo 207 Ultra Micro (0.38) Black
  • Field Notes Red Blooded
  • Kara’s Kustoms Retrakt (0.5 Black G2 currrently)
  • Konica Autoreflex TC (Vivitar 28mm f2.5) (Poleroid OneFilm 400 c41)
  • All in custom bag (NF-P-815)

Places to find me.

In case you’ve ever wanted more places to find me (and the stuff I like, produce, or pontificate…), I thought I’d put together a list. In general, I work under the name nothingfuture– but here’s as complete a list as I can currently come up with:

Some of these aren’t in high use (pinterest, G+, ello) some are mostly for consumption (vimeo, soundcloud), and the rest are for producing/posting/sharing/ranting (twitter, tumblr, flickr, youtube). Even there, flickr is mostly for storage & content mining, if I’m honest. There are other, abandoned & orphaned accounts out here (foursquare, I’m looking at you…), but they’re as good as dead to me (and I only keep them open to maintain control of the username).

Of the active accounts, here’s what I use them for:

twitter

This is where my day-to-day comments go, though there’s always been a pretty heavy educational slant to my postings there. I’m not as active as I once was (which wouldn’t take much), but it’s still a place I check often. I use the API to do a bunch of archiving here as well- it’s a great research tool as well.

instagram

This is a favorite of mine- though I’ve been experimenting with it of late. I used to use it to share the quick shots of my life, but lately I’ve been taking a higher-quality view of what I post there (ironic, given the wildly poor quality of the media). All my content there is original to me- no reposts, no fluff, no filler.

tumblr

I’ve had one of these for a long time now- years. I’d mostly ignored it for a while, but recently I’ve been investing more time in it, and the more time I spend with the platform, the more I like it. Like, a lot. In fact, if someone was talking to me about wanting to start an online platform for themselves, I’d recommend tumblr before most other options. It’s very, very good. My instagram posts are cross posted here, but most of what goes here is not content created by me- I mine other platforms for content that speaks to me, and it gets queued here. This blog gets auto-posted 8 times a day, between 7am EST and 8pm EST. All I do is keep the queue full of good content. Also, tumblr is an amazing content consumption platform- it’s a self-contained RSS reader for other tumblr blogs.

youtube

I’ve had a number of projects in video over the last million years- and youtube is the place (right now, anyway) to post that stuff. I like the compression on vimeo better (uploaded videos literally look nicer there), but youtube has the audience and the infrastructure of google behind it, so there you go. My instagram videos are posted here in all their non-cropped less compressed 14 second glory. Longer work makes it’s home here.

Research List #34

Current Obsessions:

  • Brunley Kwaiken (and the offshoots…)
  • Kodachrome processed via Caffenol (weird cyanotype effect)
  • Caffenol recipes (and the best uses for each…)
  • Reloading 126 film cartridges
  • Workflow for a BMPCC into FCPX
  • Vintage Russian 35mm lenses
  • Building a new fly fishing bag (NF-P-126)
  • Waterproofing/resisting cotton duck cloth
  • Better sourcing for ITW GT Cobra Buckle (black, 1.5″)

a new playlist.

I’ve been dumping the full-res (such as they are…) videos that I make (for instagram) to a playlist on YouTube here.

They’re all short (duh) and are aimed at telling (very) short stories from my day-to-day functions. They are not, in and of themselves, products, really. I suppose they mostly just serve as a sort of ongoing drill to help me improve. Or something.

But everything looks better in slow-mo and I really dig the way some of the color grading looks on these. And 14 seconds is short enough that even I don’t get too bored…

As you were.

Current Settings

In case you have a morbid curiosity of what setting/apps/workflow I’m using on my iPhone in my current series of instagram videos, let me break it down like a fraction:

  1. Shoot the video in FilmicPro. I leave it wedged in 720p/60 frames per second with an automatic output of 30 frames per second. This also drops audio, which I am totally ok with.
  2. Load the clips into iMovie and edit. Add the title text (or a splash screen…) and import a soundtrack. Export the whole mess back to the photo roll at full resolution.
  3. Grab the edit in Chromic and color grade. I know there are filters in Instagram and iMovie but I like these better- and they offer a bit more control, I think. Push it back to the photo roll.
  4. Bring the now edited and graded clip into Instagram. Make sure you pick a decent splash screen. Double color grade if you’re feeling frisky. Tag that thing, too.
  5. Get no views regardless.

Done. Some of the new Sony cameras have a neat wifi based proxy recording function where you can send your footage straight to your phone- my Nikon won’t do that (hrmph!) so iPhone it is. It’d be pretty neat to be able to shoot on the serious camera and still edit/grade/upload on the go. Maybe I need to buy a Sony?

An example from today:

Podcasts.

Just a quick run-down of the podcasts I’m currently listening to:

  • Work Flowing
  • Cool Tools
  • The Alton Browncast
  • 99% Invisible
  • Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project
  • Mad Decent World Wide Radio
  • Solid Steel

Quick Update.

Some of you may have notices some minor changes around here.

Wait- that’s not true. Nobody visits here.

Anyway. I’ve added a quick feed to my instagram account on the right side- it shows the five most recent photos I’ve taken. Sadly, it presents videos that I post there as stills (with no indication whatsoever they might be videos…). Whatever. Though instagram is where I’ve been (weirdly) posting most of my new-ish video content. Just this morning started looking at the Storehouse app for putting together narratives in video and still with text. I dunno. Looks promising.

Above that lovely display of media there is now a place to sign up for my newsletter. Enter your email and BOOM you get (infrequent and erratic) updates about the various things I find, think, see, and hear. And make. Let me be clear:

It is a terrible mailing list. You’d be a complete and utter fool to sign up. Nothing good will come of it. Resist the urge. Subscribing to Sean Bonner’s or Warren Ellis’ mailing lists would be far better. Mine is rubbish.

Despite this stern warning, some folks have started signing up regardless. Fools. That means, however, I will have to begin actually mailing things out.

So that’s it. Nothing else new (in terms of design and whatnot. Always lots going on in the background).