Taken at my parents’ old house in Oklahoma in early 2016. They recently sold the house, and I must say I miss the birds already.
Exit 227, a life in a metal box.
He was living quite differently now, in a place where people were stacked many stories tall and elevators creaked under the weight of something he couldn’t see. Out the window he glimpsed the tops of skyscrapers and hotels; without context, sometimes he’d see them against the faded pastels of sunset and imagine they were infinitely tall, as though he lived in a city among the clouds.
This past Monday I had the absolute pleasure of presenting a workshop at SXSW Interactive 2016 with my friend Jess Warren. We had a packed house (about 100 people) for our workshop on the basics of graphic design, targeted to people who had no background in design but could benefit from some basic design skills (hint: that’s pretty much everyone).
It was a lot of work but had a huge payoff — I know Jess and I both had a great time and we received some awesome feedback. You can find the slides on Slideshare if you’re into that sort of thing.
As a couple of footnotes for those of you who attended the session, I recommended the following two resources for those wishing to learn more about Typography: Butterick’s Practical Typography and The Elements of Typographic Style. As always, if you want to talk shop please do get in touch.
Lately I’ve had the pleasure of shooting some local restaurant fare here in the Dallas area. I’ve always loved shooting food (probably because I just love food) and it presents some really interesting challenges. Every dish offers something different, and often the most delicious dishes are challenging to photograph in an attractive and appetizing way.
It’s also more than just photography — being sent on assignment with food means you get to play art director and food stylist as well. I carry a pair of tweezers and a small knife to ensure nothing’s out of place, and use a napkin to take care of any stray sauces or smudges on the plate. A little spritz bottle of water can help liven up greens and sliced fruit to make them glisten.
With food you’re also presented with a lot of variables, like what kind of lighting to expect. I try to set up shop next to a window but that’s just not always possible. Utilizing the restaurant’s ambient lighting can help bring a bit of the atmosphere into the food in ways that using a flash just can’t capture.
Sometimes trying to get food to look perfect gets in the way of making it look good; comfort food, for example, sometimes just needs to look how it looks. It can be a little messy.
Inspired, as I so often find myself, by Mel Kramer — this time her “What did you make this year” post, to which I am a tiny but proud contributor.
What did I do this year?
I told a story about my favorite hill.
I sold my pickup truck.
I did lots of other things, too, but these things made the cut. Mostly I’m just thinking about what I’ll do in 2016. Here’s hoping it’s a good one for all of us.
- My latest piece, “The Unexpected Joy of the Mismatch” went live on the delightful Cause a Frockus blog. Always so fun to start writing and realize how everything is connected.
- My audio vignette about my little spot on a hill outside Tulsa was Cowbird’s Story of the Day last Saturday. So honored that people love hearing me tell stories.
- I moved to Dallas. I think maybe I’m bad at updating this blog.
- Launched the Podcast — episode two is currently in the works.
- [update] I made a Tiny Letter. Sign up?
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What have you been up to? Let’s talk about it.