Loss Of Control

One door closes, another opens.

After about a year of doing political blogging at my friend Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog, Bob and I have agreed to end that arrangement. And today, I began blogging about politics at my friend Tommy Christopher’s Blog Daily Dose. My first piece is posted there now, about health care reform.

That’s the formal announcement and I could leave it at that – but that’s an emotional element to the whole thing, too.

Like a marriage that drags on, the blogging relationship with Bob and I should have probably ended a couple of months ago. Bob and I are both passionate advocates for health care reform but around the time it was revealed that the Obama administration had cut a deal with PhRMA a pretty major rift occurred between Bob and I.

Without getting into the wonky political details here, I was very unhappy about that deal and what I saw as the consequences of it. Bob actually thought the deal was good, smart politics and also took the Obama administration at their word that there was never a deal to begin with.

That rift was really echoed in the larger progressive blogosphere – some liberals are unhappy with President Obama’s performance on health care reform and some aren’t. I thought that this difference between Bob and I was symptomatic of that.

Bob took my disagreement a lot more personally. He felt (and still feels) very strongly about his position and didn’t much like me arguing against him on the blog that bears his own name. So there was a lot of heated discussion in public and private.

That’s when I should have left. Since August, I’ve been unable to write about health care reform with the worry of a huge blowup with Bob. And the hell of it is – Bob and I like each other. We’re friends and we agree about this issue, just not President Obama.

But I’m not faulting Bob. I should have left because I ended up censoring myself. I’ve written almost nothing about health care reform (except on Twitter) and done almost no heath care videos since August. I just lost interest.

Writing the piece for Daily Dose was the first time I’ve felt really free to write about health care in months. I can’t explain the feeling of freedom of not censoring myself; of not being worried that I was going to get in trouble for writing what I think.

Eye Of The Beholder

Found this on the log Lateral Action. Brian Eno and Will Wright are two artists / innovators whose work I like and this is pretty nerdy stuff in an artsy way.

The most interesting comment to me is when Eno talks about how much ‘art’ actually lies in the mind of the observer. This isn’t always true but it’s broadly true because our brains want to find connections and meaning. In filmmaking, you see this going back to Sergei Eisenstein’s  montage theory.

Artist Soniei Gets It Right

If you want to see a prime example of an artist who is going a great job of makering themselves and their work online, please visit the website of Soniei. She’s using a website, eBay sales, social media, a blog, video and of course imagery to share her paintings and the vision behind them.

Look how she uses YouTube videos to document the process of her work. Aside from being interesting to watch, it really makes you see the value and time that goes into her pieces. It connects you to the artist. And all of that makes it a lot more likely you’ll buy one of her pieces.

Her whole site is great; very professional without being sterile. Her blog has useful articles like 18 Tips on How to Sell Your Art on eBay.

Visit her site and be inspired.

Solved! Pentax K-x Fatal Filmmaking Flaw

Update : the shifting exposure issue is solved thanks to YouTube! The AE-L button on the K-x is set to be ‘Auto Focus’ by default – even in Movie Mode. Go to Menu and change it’ to AE-L and now you can can lock exposure.

I made a new video to explain this.

A DSLR that shoots HD video for under $650? That’s what the Pentax K-x promised. I ordered mine right away, thinking about yummy depth of field, cool focus effects and creating some gorgeous visual imagery.

Oh, sometimes it’s a bad idea to be an early adopter.

I got my K-x yesterday. It’s a well built, solid 12 Megpixel DSLR with some great features. Easy to use. As a still camera.

As a video camera, it had two serious problems. First one – my editing software (Sony Vegas) couldn’t find the footage files. I spent hours and hours trying to solve that problem. The Motion-JPEG or MJPEG format simply wouldn’t worked. The clips showed up as black. Eventually I found this codec and it worked – the Morgan M-JPEG Codec V3.

The other problem is brightness shifting. I first, I thought it was just me. And maybe I’m still missing somewthing but after reading Pentax’s manual for the K-x, I don’t think so.

And it ALWAYS happens. I made this video to explain better.