Making Apps

September 8, 2020

To expand on my last post a little, I’ve started working my way through this App Ideas Collection, in addition to client projects (photography and web). I find making apps like these helps me apply learning and problem-solve.

My 2nd project - a border radius preview and code generator app
My 2nd project – a border radius preview and code generator app

I’ve been freelancing for a few years and the work I get can vary. I now feel like many of my interests and skills are consolidating into something tangible, so my goal is to translate this into a vocation.

I’m also just happy I got these to work and wanted to show them off.

My 1st app, turn binary to decimals or vice-versa.
My 1st app, turn binary to decimals or vice-versa.

I’ll be making apps from the list moving forward and adding them to my Github repository.

  • Try the Border Radius Preview and Generator App here
  • Try the Binary to Decimal App here

It’s Too Late To Stop Now

September 6, 2020

A time-lapse I made from my 9th floor flat in Sydney

Above: a time-lapse I made from my 9th floor flat in Sydney in 2015

I thought lockdown would make me prolific in my blog posting, but it didn’t turn out that way.

I lost my dad and my grandma which was, and continues to be, awful. This meant weeks spent in Edinburgh, my hometown. I also spent a lot of lockdown working on a lot of web-based projects for clients from home (or wherever I was).

One positive has been a lot of web development learning. I’ve taken a few different courses and I’m still going. I’d like to work on projects that align with my interests and and ideally my ideologies. I’ve got a few forthcoming web projects that I’d like to share here at some point. I added my GitHub link to the menu, if you are so inclined.

The title of this post comes from this incredible Van Morrison live performance which Lester Bangs famously wrote about.

Koh Samui, back in 2016

October 12, 2019

When we lived in Sydney I bought 3 Canon EOS film cameras for about £25. I still use the EOS 50E, I gave one to a photography assistant there and the last one I gave Becky to use. I gave her a roll of cheap film and a lend of ones of my lenses (probably the nifty fifty) and she shot a roll when we met up with my parents in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Grenery near our accommodation

We both forgot all about it when we got back – and seeing as she hadn’t used the camera since – the roll was left in the camera, undeveloped. I finally found it when I was looking at the camera when going through equipment for a shoot.

My dad and me, fishing at Top Cat's

With my home darkroom, it’s so easy to chuck an extra roll in with the rest and here are some of the results. I developed, scanned and coloured these, but Becky took them!

We visited Bangkok for a few days and then spent the majority of our time on Koh Samui. Thailand was a weird trip and I’m not in any rush to go back, but have some fond memories and glad I got to visit when we were living not too far away.

Me napping :)

I took some photographs when we were there too, I posted one a while back.

I’ve Always Liked Zines

October 10, 2019

Four zines on my workbench

Zines have always appealed to me: the autonomy of creative vision, the hand-made aesthetics, the culture, the physicality.

Zines are an accessible way to share artistic projects, passions and practically anything you can think of.

For me, zines are a smart thing to give to people in your creative community, clients and colleagues. They are more likely to be kept and treasured by the recipient.

I like when they are connected to an art project, like Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry zine and all the Tom Sachs zines that accompany his works and exhibitions (and other things).

I love the photocopy culture, the punk connections and the political intentions.

So, I am concurrently working on different zines that will hopefully see the light of day later in the year or throughout 2020. I don’t like discussing projects before I have things to show, but I’m planning on discussing different things in the blog in the future so thought it would be appropriate.

Sharing my ideas now would be a little premature, but it’s likely that I’ll make one based on my adventures in Shooting Instant Film on Medium Format, at some point.

I pulled out some zines I own for the image above, these are:

Do you own any Zines? Have you had a go at making them? I’d love to hear from others and their experiences with buying or making them and how it worked out.

Using Cheap eBay Video Capture USB on MacOS

September 30, 2019

I’ve been wanting to find a cheap, easy and fast way to capture (digitise) footage from my VHS and Hi-8 cameras into MacOS, so I could use them on projects. I found this generic video USB adapter that cost £7 and I’m actually pretty happy with it so far. Maybe there are more reliable or better quality options, but – for the price – this does exactly what I want.

Generic UVC USB Adapter plugged into my laptop for Video Capture USB on MacOS
Video Capture USB on MacOS

At first I spent some time looking for drivers and software (it’s bundled with a CD but I don’t have a disc drive) but eventually found out that it’s plug and play and works fine – I just needed to know how to capture.

Quick Guide to Video Capture USB on MacOS

Turns out you can use Quicktime Player (other software will work too). If you open up QP and then hit Cancel (you don’t want to open other media just now). Then hit File > New Movie Recording.

Screenshot of Quicktime Player Settings for Video Capture USB on MacOS

After that, hit the down-arrow beside the record button and make sure to select USB 2.0 PC CAMERA and USB 2.0 MIC. On my first try I missed the audio and it recorded through my Macbook Pro mic. I spent a while fixing it in Final Cut before realising my error.

Once that’s done, hit the red record button (then play on your camera to capture something pre-recorded. Or go to record mode in your camera to film something live).

Finally, when you’re done recording, hit stop and make sure to save the video.

There’s lots of these available online – on eBay, Amazon, Alibaba and so on. Maybe others work differently, but I read that a lot of them use the same video capture chip.

Come to think of it, I’ve started adding videos to my portfolio and have a video section on my website now, where you can watch some things and also my YouTube channel for older videos, some from when I was at film school.

I’m looking forward to more video making soon and will leave you with the first test I shot. The blue screen is a camera issue that I fixed after this shot but errors and issues are things I love to embrace and work with: