New Photos from INSIDE Google – Soon on Buzz!
I am releasing some new photos that I took while inside the Google HQ recently. I had to get them cleared by corporate communications, and now they are free to be released! You can find me on Google Buzz here. They’ll be released at some random time on the 16th…
Google Buzz – List of Photographers
Are you new to Buzz and looking for Photographers to follow? See this Photographers on Buzz list. Note, this is a BIG LIST, but I suggest you surf around it and see some people! You will likely find a few that you like… so many great photographers and artist out there – I hope this helps you to discover some new ones.
Daily Photo – Building 43 at Google
Wow I had a great time at Google! The guys and gals there I met were very nice and cool… After my Authors@Google talk, I stayed around for a while to take photos while waiting on the workshop to begin. There are sensitive areas of Google, of course, and I didn’t even try to take pictures of any of that stuff… Building 43 is the central building of the whole Googleplex. It houses the offices of Marissa Mayer (who did not show up for my talk *ahem*), Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. I wanted to pop into their offices and make unique photos of their offices for fun, but I did not want to ask on my first visit. Wouldn’t that be one of the most interesting things in the world? To see the offices of all these people? They don’t have to be awesome and all James-Bondy — even something mundane would be interesting, if captured in the right way. But I do picture Sergey stroking a white cat…
A Full SmugMug Review!
I recently wrote an article entitled “How to Make an Online Photo Album” about SmugMug. Follow that link to learn more!
I feel a little late to the SmugMug party! Here is the story… I kept hearing more and more about SmugMug. And I was like… What! Why is everyone always talking about SmugMug! What a strange name. Hey… I’m on Flickr… the last thing I need is another place to host my photos… this is what I was thinking.
And then the very kind Candice Cunningham invited me to speak at the inaugural SmugMug meeting here in Austin. It was an amazing group of people and many people in there already had SmugMug portfolios and businesses! As I learned more and more, I became even more impressed. I even got to visit their HQ near San Francisco and I came away really excited about the present and future of SmugMug.
I have linked the “Visit My Portfolio” up there on the top right of the site to link to StuckInCustoms.SmugMug.com. It is really beautiful and I have decided to make it official.
Even more Customization!
I wrote a second article on you can further Customize SmugMug. It already comes with a bunch of themes, but if you want something truly unique, you can just pay a bit extra to get something that is completely different. I reviewed four different third-party companies, all of which can give you a custom SmugMug “skin”.
Daily Photo – The Glorious Church at Stanford
During our amazingly fun Stanford photowalk, our entire unit crashed into into the church like the Allies setting up barracks inside a French cathedral.
Right before we went in, as I climbed the stairs, one of the more nervous-types that was on the photowalk said, “Uhhh, I don’t know if they will let us in because they are about to close.” I said something to the effect of, “Who cares, we’re going in anyway until they come tell us to leave!” And with that, we blew in through the front doors and spread out far and wide. I set up my camera and gave a little talk about my settings for the shot. I mentioned that in dark situations, you don’t want your multiple exposures to all be 30 seconds. You need to widen your aperture and increase the ISO so that your all your exposures get finished, with the final one at 30 seconds. In this situation, I shot 5 exposures at 1 step increments with my 5 respective shutter speeds at 2 seconds, 4 s, 8s, 15s, and 30s.
Oh, btw, now that I am one with sweet sweet SmugMug, click on the photo below to see it big and bold and proper. At the top, you can select whatever size you wish.
Recap of the Photowalk
It turned out to be a great Photowalk!
I sent out a few worried tweets while en route because of the rain, and I got tweets back that there was a full complement of photowalkers waiting under the tree in The Oval. I showed up, at the very last possible second, and then said hi to everyone. It was a very upbeat crowd, and I was happy to meet all of them! I think we had around 50 there, even though the rain was rather epic, especially by California standards!
After I explained the way I do my Photowalks (half shooting, half sharing online), we set out to hit a few spots on campus. As we were moving about, Arnav Moudgil took this photo (also on the right) for the newspaper. This was taken when we were walking in one of the covered areas of the campus.
We moved around and hit several locations, including the one below. At the end, we went over to an eating area and talked for a long while about photography and stuff! I signed books, gave away all kinds of goodies from Smugmug, and this sort of thing — it was nice to meet such enthusiastic photographers. One enterprising Type A created a “Stuck In Stanford” Flickr group where people are currently sharing their photos… this is my first contribution to the group!
Daily Photo – The Stanford Church in the Photowalk Storm
The rain situation was betwixt sprinkles and torrent. There was enough rain to moisten my bulbous 12-24 (that sounds dirty), so I wanted to be quick. Usually, I let people look through my lens to see the composition, but, it would have gotten too wet… so I just fired away quickly then put on my little trombone-cover-thing.
Now, maybe my smart audience can help me figure this out. Some people on the walk told me that “HDR” was “invented” here at Stanford. Others tell me MIT. A few people told me that the first HDRs ever taken were inside this very church (where I also collected some shots, for publication soon). Anyway, this all sounds very intriguing… and I am interested to know the real answers!
Check Out this Workshop near LA
For you are in the LA Area (or willing to travel for an interesting workshop), join my friends Frederick Van and Joeseph Linashke for their workshop at nearby Joshua Tree. These guys have worked hard to put together a really excellent program… you can visit the website to see everything that is included!
New Interview Up with Ron Martinsen
I had an interview with the extremely nice Ron Martinsen. Head on over Ron’s photography blog to have a loosee! He also has a nice discount code on my textures tutorial, in case you have been waiting for a good deal!’
Daily Photo – A Great Day at the Google HQ!
Wow that was a cool experience. Those guys and gals over there are super-nice. You never know… I guess maybe Google seems somewhat intimidating from the outside, but after I met guys like Cliff, Brian, and Chip — I felt right at home.
I gave an hour-long talk in one of their theaters there. It was super-packed and people were standing all around because seats were gone. We were graced with the presence of one Sara Jane Todd from @Peachpit to help out selling books – and we sold out! Also, my Brazilian friend Fabio, the editor of Abduzeedo was there too, so it was great to see him.
The Authors@Google (video link) program has a neat deal where they subsidize books, so Googlers don’t have to pay full price. I saw all kinds of cool stuff and took a lot of pics. I have to get most cleared with Google Corp Comms before I can release… but I nabbed shots of a spaceship, a new pseudo-holodeck, and more mysteries await! We even got to eat lunch there in the Google cafeteria, which had some of the most excellent food I’ve ever had in such a setting… they even have a small organic farm on the campus… well, I could go on and on… but I was very impressed and happy to meet so many enthusiastic people!
The video should be done in the next 2-3 weeks or so. We’ve got good-man Brian at Google slaving away on editing the whole thing together!
Here are a few pictures from GDC. Most of the things I did there were fairly boring and not picture-worthy, unless you consider talking to industry magnates in the Fairmont hotel bathroom to be exciting.
Below is a picture of a windswept Will, who is generally more hairy than me in almost every conceivable manner. The second picture is from inside the Fairmont as we are waiting for some sort of meeting that seemed rather important at the time, but I can’t remember what the heck it could have been about now. The third picture is my dad and Will trying out some of the force-feedback steering wheels. In that outfit my dad looks like George Steinbrenner.
We had a pretty good time hanging out at GDC in San Jose. Last year it was in San Francisco, and I like it a bit better there for some reason. Here are a few pictures from the Hayes Mansion, where we stayed. It was built back in 1904 and its unique construction enabled it to be one of the only surviving buildings since the big quake.
Below that are pictures from around downtown San Jose, including a very expensive tax-supported statue that looks like a pile of dog poop.
We arrived in San Jose for the Game Developer’s Conference that is going on this week. There are interesting things that happen there, and I always get to meet some cool people with fresh perspectives. I tend to really like and appreciate the creative types, but I have little tolerance for the “tragic artist with false sense of entitlement” attitude that is fairly pervasive. The thing I hate most about the conference is all the incredibly bitter game developers that moan and groan about how horrible the industry is, yet they a) choose to stay in it b) continue to feed the system they hate. I don’t get it…
Will booked us at a place called the Dolce Hayes Mansion – here is a picture below. If you look close, you can see Will scaling a palm tree to get a coconut for our breakfast.