Here There Be Faeries (slightly NSFW)

July 21, 2017

I was out having keys made when my eyes caught a blur of color in the dry grass.


I looked closer and there they were.


It’s amazing how much of life happens when we’re too busy to notice. There’s a saying in photography to “move your feet”, meaning find a new perspective on the image you’re capturing – go higher, lower, from behind a tree – move your feet.

ACTION ITEM: Look closer today. Move your feet.


New Gear I Got, Part The Third: Aputure LED Lights

July 18, 2017

This is the third of 6 short videos showing some of the new gear I’ve acquired since the end of last year; this one is all about some nifty new wireless Aputure LS-1C LED lamps, ideal for shooting interviews on location. More fun than it sounds 😉


ACTION ITEM: Relax. Hydrate. Meditate.

Sink or Sync

July 17, 2017

Here’s a tip for being part of team traveling for business (which also works exquisitely for family travel): make sure, wherever possible, each person carries the same brand and/or model of electronic device (phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) as other members; that way you all also carry the same chargers and accessories! When a charger or other accessory goes kaput for one member of the team (or family!), they can share another member’s charger without having to make a bothersome side trip to an electronics retailer.

ACTION ITEM: Planning a trip? Share technical requirements before you get to the airport

Things Everybody Knows About Except Me, Part 2

July 14, 2017

I saw this in Rimini Street’s Michael Louie’s office wall, a graphic and kinetic method for keeping track of projects 1. to be, 2. being, and 3. been.


I’d never seen anything like it before and thought it was pretty cool. Then Michael told me it was, in fact, a tried and proven system for “just in time” manufacturing and quality assurance, called Kanban (ˈkänbän/), in use for nearly a generation. Regardless, I like the visual representation of various projects working their jolly way through to completion. I can imagine the shiver of satisfaction I’d experience every time I moved a Post-it® to the column on the right.


Things Everybody Knows About Except Me, Part 1

July 12, 2017

Ordered a beer with my room service salad in Portland OR, and it was delightful (a locally-brewed IPA). But the room service – guy? – suggested next time I order a super-chilled Shock Top® in a frosty mug with a slice of orange. Couldn’t get it out of my mind, so when I got back home I immediately made one (that’s right, even before unpacking).


I later mentioned it to a buddy who gleefully informed me I was the last human on earth who knew about this.


If This Is Tauranga I Don’t Want to be Tau-right-a

July 10, 2017

The Tauranga wharf, early morning (just before the Trinity Wharf Hotel breakfast buffet), from a recent working trip to New Zealand (on the eastern coast of the North Island)


ACTION ITEM: Order the Eggs Benedict

Designs for Modern Living

July 7, 2017

Fancy new urinal at SFO. Really messy. Can’t say I cared for it.


Stay Wired (Kind of Wonky)

July 5, 2017

At the same trade show last week, I had to use my wireless lavalier (microphone) setup on the event floor, which is almost always an ill-advised use of the technology. Porque? These environments are flooded with RF (a set of Radio Frequencies used for communications or radar signals), so whatever frequency you’ve chosen may be invaded by another passing radio (I’ve found this is usually facility security), risking a good quality audio capture. Conversely, if you’re broadcasting using an unallocated frequency, you may impose the same rudeness on someone else.

I was on a job about a year ago where I was taping participants in a videoconference room in the Bay Area who were yakking with meeting attendees in a second videoconference facility in New York City. The NYC location was smack-dab in the middle of a technology demo room awash with RF. The NYC crew (whom I did not hire) showed up with only wireless audio tools and wasted a good 40 minutes trying to locate an open and clean frequency. A more experienced crew would have known that wireless was a risky gear choice in an environment like that.

Be safe. Wherever it’s possible, choose a wired option – good quality XLR cables not only efficiently manage audio signals, they’re usually shielded to avoid interference from unwanted sources

ACTION ITEM: Unless your speaker requires the ability to move through three-dimension space or you have deep and legitimate concerns about the safety of laying an XLR cable on the floor, choose a wired audio setup.

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

July 3, 2017

I just got back from a fun tradeshow in Las Vegas, but one thing I really wish they had in my client’s booth was a self-contained video interview backdrop, complete with lights, audio hookup, “step-and-repeat” backdrop – here are a couple of samples from attendees who, I think, did a pretty nice job:


At every trade show, you’ll have the opportunity to interview important customers, analysts, industry thought leaders, etc. – the problem is scheduling these people to sit down and chat in front of a camera. If you have an always-available setup for these ad hoc interviews, you can come away from your event with a number of timely and valuable video assets.

ACTION ITEM: Early in your planning, consider – seriously – adding this component to your next tradeshow booth design.

Brian Hamilton on Working With Bill Rolland

June 30, 2017

Brian Hamilton, Editor of The Union newspaper (online at, on the experience of being interviewed by Bill Rolland, especially setting the speaker at ease.

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