Blog, business, graphic design, portfolio

New iStockphoto images, developments

It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted here, so this will cover a few things.

First, posting images to iStockphoto has been going well. Now, I just need to start making more money from them. Here are a few recent uploads:

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So is the economy up or down? I don’t think anyone can decide. Even Wall Street was bipolar this past week — way up one day and way down the next. We are considering ways to drastically cut expenses for the company, like moving to a smaller office and using fewer computers, or even temporarily closing the post-production side of the business (entertainment industry has been hit hard). But, on the other hand, I added more job numbers to my jobs list this week than I have in recent memory, and completed several large projects as well. So I’m feeling cautiously hopeful, at least in the short term.

While we’re talking about the business, I found an elegant little program called TimeTagger for tracking my time spent on projects throughout the workday. It’s going to help me track profitability much better than I have been able to previously.

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And, in the “covet” department, I’m really wanting a Canon 7D. Great photography and HD filmmaking at multiple frame rates, with lots of upsides. Expensive, but possibly worth it. We’re not ready financially to make a big purchase like this, but if the right project comes along, this is the one that I would purchase right now. If you want to buy it for me, the link is here…thanks!

Blog, business, graphic design, portfolio, post production for film and video, sound, Uncategorized

Auto-Tune & Photoshop: embrace the march of progress

So I’m doing a lot more music recording these days. And one of my favorite tools is a wonderful little program called Auto-Tune, which, if used correctly, does exactly what its name implies: automatically pull a note that is out-of-tune back to perfect pitch. Let’s say there’s one note out of a whole phrase that’s a bit off-pitch: why re-record the whole verse for that one note? I just punch-in the plug for that one note, and we’re back in business. [TIME did an article on Auto-Tune, and the company has its own podcast mp3 so you can hear how the program works.]

I do the same thing with Photoshop a lot right now because I am now selling stock on iStockphoto. They need every photo submitted to be as close to perfect as possible, so I go in and “airbrush” all the little imperfections out, creating (hopefully) a more marketable/usable photo.

But I’m also conflicted. Overuse of Auto-Tune turns out lifeless vocals. And I love to “grunge” up my graphic design work, when the project calls for it. Imperfections are what make things human, and removing all of the human element isn’t always a good thing.

That said, I will never throw the tool out [like these people want to, or here’s Neko Case complaining about Auto-Tune towards the end of the interview, or these studio engineers who are as conflicted about using it as I am). If I can use it when needed but make it practically invisible, and then not use it when we have the time to get it right, then I think everything will be okay.

But taking the time to get things right is another concept that is dying right now — budgets are way too tight to actually try to do something right. So I work overtime even when the client isn’t paying for it, just so that I can be happy with the final result. Unfortunately, that cuts into the time that I’m supposed to be recording…