Monthly Archives: September 2016

Join the Worldwide Photo Walk this Saturday

From Boston to Benghazi, photogs are headed out to create beauty & raise money for a good cause. Scott Kelby writes:

If you haven’t signed up head over to the official site and see if there’s a photo walk set-up near you (if you haven’t checked in a while, it’s worth checking again – we have photo walks organized in over 1,000 cities with over 20,000 photographers walking around the world. – It’s not too late to sign up!)

Find a walk near you (it’s free).

Can’t walk? You can still help support the Photo Walk by supporting The Springs Of Hope Kenya Orphanage.

Don’t forget to share the event with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and use the event hashtag #WWPW2016.


Illustration: Behind the scenes with Colbert’s Cartoon Donald Trump

I’m so ridiculously pleased to see my Adobe pals getting a well-deserved day in the sun for enabling a whole new sort of comedic performance—and I’m pretty sure that the old Irish puppet is my great-grandfather.

Cartoon Donald Trump is the brainchild of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s Lead Animator Tim Luecke and Senior Digital Producer and Writer Rob Dubbin. We talked with them about how Adobe Character Animator in After Effects CC helps them break new ground in late night television.


The Joy of Spex? Snapchat introduces Spectacles

“Punk rock Palm Pilot” isn’t a phrase one hears much—in fact, Google search has never heard it—but maybe it’ll apply to Snapchat’s new $130 Spectacles, due to arrive soon. First, here’s how they work: 

What do you think?

As someone with no dog in this fight (i.e. these really are my thoughts, not Google’s), a few observations:

  • If Google Glass was the Apple Newton of the wearable capture space (complex, ambitious, unsure of its key purpose), what will be the Palm Pilot (simpler, cheaper, laser-focused)? But this being Snapchat, they’ll bring a healthy does of punk ethos/social lubricant. “Or not, whatevs!”
  • They’re keeping initial expectations low. “Spiegel refers to it as a toy, to be worn for kicks at a barbecue or an outdoor concert” (WSJ).
  • They’re trying to reduce creepiness by providing social cues. “Lights show friends you’re Snapping” is important, but so is the fact that these are sunglasses—better suited to outdoor, public shooting than, say, creeping around in bars. (Side bonus: This helps manage low-light expectations for the small, inexpensive camera.)
  • It’s not (yet) for broadcast. “Wirelessly add your Snaps to Memories on Snapchat.” Note that it doesn’t transfer them directly to your shared Story. This almost certainly stems from the lack of  People don’t share because they fear embarrassment—oversharing, looking foolish, revealing too much. Largely forgotten apps like Instagram Bolt & Taptalk “improved” upon Snapchat by making it possible to launch, capture, and share in two taps—but that gain in speed (saving one tap) wasn’t worth the loss of control.
  • Apparently it generates a new “circular video” format (demo) that is always cropped when displayed on phones, requiring you to rotate them to see everything. Hmm—color me skeptical about that. People keep phones in portrait orientation something like 92% of the time, and Snapchat’s vibe has been all about embracing laziness & apathy, not making people invest effort. But I’ll happily reserve judgement until I can try it out.
  • “Snapchat is the only company cool enough to possibly dismantle the Google Glass stigma,” writes Josh Constine at TechCrunch. He also anticipates them doing a constrained rollout, getting celebs to make the device cool/exclusive first. (Stay tuned for the louvered Kanye A-Hole Edition, bringing this tweet to fruition.)
Interesting times.




Kids: Draw the future in the “Doodle 4 Google” contest

Come challenge the Micronaxx with your most fun, interesting designs:

Students in grades K-12 are invited to take part in the 2016 Doodle 4 Google contest, and create a doodle that tells the world “What I see for the future.” From crayons to clay, graphic design, or even food, young artists can utilize any materials to bring their creation to life. Like all Google Doodles, each doodle must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. One national winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The contest is open for entries from September 14, 2016 to December 2, 2016.

Gratuitous showing of Finn’s previous doodle:


Shoot DNG, edit raw in Snapseed

If you don’t want your camera app “f***king stupid,” check out Manual, which—provided you’re running iOS 10 on an iPhone 6s or above—can capture raw images in DNG format that you can edit immediately in the new Snapseed. As you’d expect, the combo gives you greater control over exposure & white balance than if you’d simply shot & edited a JPEG.



Check out Google Trips

It’s a trip, it’s got a funky beat, and I’m already using it* for an upcoming vacation. I love being able to download info beforehand just in case my local connection goes south.

Meet Google Trips, available now on Android and iOS. It’s designed to give you everything you need to have the best vacation, right at your fingertips. Fill each day of your trip with fun activities you love without all the work. 


*Bless its little heart, it’s looking at our departure city and trying to recommend fun things to do in San Jose (“the Cloaca of the Bay Area”). Not even Google magic can return results for that query.