Sunday, March 29, 2015

Leather Craft

I got off to a great start in Leather Craft by making my own Leather Wallet in a hands-on session led by Sarah Green of Cord Shoes. This is one of the several maker/builder courses offered by Mass Collective. I have had a chance to meet a few of folks at Mass Collective and I am looking forward to learning with them.

Check out pictures on my Flickr feed here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

TIme Lapse: Getting Started

I have been fascinated with creating Time Lapse photography. I am starting out small. This is my "primitive" attempt at creating a Time Lapse movie. I noticed once that a cut potato left exposed to air will decay. And I picked that as a subject.

Equipment Used:

1. Canon 20D with a 24-105 Canon Lens
2. Polaroid Shutter Release Remote Control
3. An AC Adapter for the Canon 20D
4. A Manfrotto Tripod (any tripod would do)
5. A Plate and a Potato

I had set up the remote control to take images at every 15 minutes. I took about 105 images over 26 hours. The setup was on a table next to a window. I went through day and night. At night I setup a table lamp. The Polaroid remote control allows for a long exposure. The exposure time was being calculated by the camera but I had set the focus manually. As day turned into night - the amount of light changes over the 26 hours and it changes the exposure of the image.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Color and Vision

I have been color challenged on two fronts - color blind and color naming of various shades and hues, and the two add up to make it more complicated. I was, recently happy to come across a series of articles on NPR Color Decoded: Stories that span the Spectrum - especially the one on where they explain that color is perception.

In "These X's Are The Same Shade, So What Does That Say About Color?" Mark Fairchild of Rochester Institute of Technology explains that color is perception. To quote:

"I could change the color of illumination on that apple and make it look green or blue or something completely different," he says. "The redness isn't a property of the apple. It's a property of the apple in combination with a particular lighting that's on it and a particular observer looking at it."
And I was happy to understand that perceiving color is not easy, combine it with my color blindness, it explains the challenges I run into all the time!

Insanely Simple

Insanely Simple by Ken Segall is an excellent book on how Simplicity drives Apple, and how Steve Jobs built a monument to Simplicity in Apple itself.

The book has a marketing perspective through and through - an reader should keep in mind. Ken worked closely with Steve Jobs as ad agency creative director for NeXT and Apple. He was a member of the team that created Apple's legendary Think Different campaign.

It dawned upon me that what makes Apple successful is not just beautiful design. It is their entire approach to everything. And Ken has looked at all those aspects from Product Development, to selling to marketing via the lens of Simplicity. It depicts, and Ken writes bluntly, on how other organizations such as Dell have failed at attempting to more like Apple.

The key takeaways are the chapter titles themselves. To summarize, embarking on the Road to Simplicity requires:

1. Rigor
2. Tenacity
3. Unwavering, and unrelenting discipline NOT to take the easier road
4. Small, dedicated teams. Hands On.
5. Movement, Velocity - willing to make bets, and admitting mistakes when they happen and putting yourself back on the corrected course

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Biases: The Mistakes Our Minds Make

I have been reading The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli - it presents 99 biases that afflict the human mind. I say "have been reading" because they are not easy to remember, and hence to avoid or mitigate the effects of these biases is even more difficult. The book certainly is an excellent read but I wanted to capture two resources that give a good list of "frequently" occurring biases.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Designing Symbols

I recently acquired the book Symbol and around the same time the vector art software from Bohemian Coding called Sketch. These two assets have made me start thinking about how designs especially symbols & logos are mathematical operations (to be specific a combination of set operations - union, subtract, intersect and difference).

More than thinking - I think in time - it is going to be more like solving the Rubik Cube in your mind. When I was in the middle school - Rubik Cube was at its height and I was hooked on to it - and I used to plan the moves in my mind all the time till I cracked it.

For now I am using Sketch to re-create some of the symbols/logos in the Symbol book such as the one below:

Left to right is my work in progress - the rightmost comes closest to #45 on page 27 of the Symbols book. This per the book was commissioned by for Zee Retail, Switzerland.

It was really simple to create - create a triangle in Sketch, and then use the "edit" functionality to round the edges followed by using Layer > Paths > Rotate Copies.