4K NYC Time Lapse at Night

This is a quick time lapse I made. The full video represents just under an hour of capture time. 1 Frame / 3 Seconds or about 90x the speed of real life.

There was no special hardware used, just my Fuji X-T10, Adobe Lightroom for color and cropping, and Adobe Media Encoder to assemble the footage. This is also the first 4k time lapse that I’ve published. Enjoy!

Photo Studio

Measuring Creative Operations

Preface: This is a post that I wrote for for the globaledit blog. I’m a huge believe in quantifying process and learning from other industries. After re-reading The Goal and looking at the Creative industry, I composed this:

One of the books that has really shaped my thinking about creative operations is Eliyahu Goldratt’s The Goal. The basic plot is about a manufacturing plant manager faced with a failing organization and tasked with turning the operation around or the plant will close. The book is commonly used to teach introduction to operations classes and provides intuitive and practical examples on both how to measure and how to improve assembly line style work. Not everything in the book has an analog in a creative operations world but most of the basic concepts apply.

Creative operations isn’t an assembly line in the manufacturing sense but there are clear parallels. You have raw goods (camera files), you have to do something to them (retouch them), you have to QA them (approvals), and you have to ship the product (the final images). The process of creating a creative asset is just that – it is a process with a series of distinct steps.



Getting image approval from celebrities is hard

Preface: This is a post that I wrote for for the globaledit blog. 

Talent Approval is an essential component of the media and entertainment industry. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, let me give you some background. If you’re producing a TV show, movie, or even YouTube show, you probably want recognizable people to appear in your production. One of the common bargaining chips used when negotiating a contract for a celebrity is the right for the talent to approve or kill images they like or dislike respectively.

This celebrity sign-off typically takes one of two forms:

  • Talent Approvals – Talent has the right to approve any image of theirs used (within some boundaries.)
  • Talent ‘Kills’ – This is the right for a celebrity to reject some percentage of the images of them.

For simplicity, I’m going to focus on ‘Kill’ rights but the exact same logic applies to approval galleries.


Original Ipod

#tbt Tom’s Diner and MP3s

Here is a little known fact that I find interesting. The MP3 Audio format was finalized in 1992. While it was being developed, Karlheinz Brandenburg used Suzanne Vega’s song Tom’s Diner as his reference sample. The song was chosen because it sounds flat, has a wide range of frequencies and a large variation in volume. Additionally, the almost-mono nature of the song allowed them to test for unwanted artifacts in their work. In other words, it is a reasonable test sample to study the effect of changes in the algorithm on. Tom’s Diner is generally recognized as the song that the MP3 algorithm was honed on. It’s hard to understate just how large of an impact this song had on the music industry.

That brings me to connection number two. The song is about a real diner – it’s called Tom’s Restaurant and it is located in New York at the corner of Broadway and 112th street. Of course, this restaurant might look familiar for another reason. It was the fictional Monk’s Cafe in Seinfeld.


Neither Digital Nor Color

Fun fact of the day: your new digital camera is neither digital nor color. Let me explain.

The image sensor of your digital camera is a device called a CMOS sensor. (CMOS actually just refers to the construction of the semiconductor so there are many Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductors.) The sensor is made up of a rectangular grid of sensors called Photosites.

A photosite is something that measures photons (fundamental units of light) received in a given period of time. This process, however, is purely analog. The more quanta that hit the photosite, the more it’s electrical value changes. These values are siphoned OUT of the sensor and then sent to a Digital to Analog converter. So the sensor is just an analog device.



#tbt VFW and 29.97 FPS NTSC Video

I’m about to date myself with this post. Back in the 90’s when Video for Windows was just starting to become popular and Quicktime was still in it’s infancy, there was a common problem. I started learning how to work with video on Adobe Premiere 4.0 for Windows. I quickly noticed a problem; a video might start out with the audio in sync but eventually drift out of sync. This and similar problems plagued the video production industry for years and the this blog post is about why this happened.

What was happening was that NTSC video (not PAL) was broadcast at 29.97 frames per second. Video for Windows typically encoded audio at 30 frames per second and as a video progressed, the slightly faster audio would begin to lose sync with the video causing the this discrepancy.

The interesting part is not the design flaw in Microsoft’s software – it is that our video standard was such an odd number. Why not 30 frames per second?