I was happy to spend some time recently with Martha Lynn Kale (and her beautiful son!) to shoot the May cover of REAL Magazine. The story was about the work-life balance we all try hard to achieve, and it was a lot of fun to work on these images. I am looking forward to becoming more ‘balanced’ one day.
Where would some of Austin’s most successful advertising executives be if no one had given them a shot in advertising?
That was the question that advertising agency McGarrah Jessee asked as a way to promote and support the efforts of the Austin-based educational organization, E4 Youth. E4 Youth works to educate, nurture, and provide mentoring opportunities to creative youth. It’s a great way for students to get exposed to various creative fields so that they can make informed decisions about their future.
I was very excited to be a part of this project, as each scenario involved a crazy new career path for these agency executives. We did a total of 5 shoots off-and-on over 3 days. Everyone “buried themselves in the part” quite well!
I’ve been thinking about this the last few days. It’s a challenge, to say the least, and it’s not just limited to photography. Think of every creative service industry that’s been affected by a transition to digital: photography, music, art, advertising, etc. They’ve all been inundated with new talent that’s able to learn and produce at a rapid pace. If you can see the results of your work right away, you can progress through those 10,000 hours much quicker. The baseline for what is considered acceptable work changes as well. As an example, look at audio. When the digital revolution started, audio professionals slammed MP3 for it’s crappy compression and frequency response. And where are we now? The pros still slam MP3. And MP3 is the dominant audio format. Not “cd quality” files. Not HD audio. This kind of market ‘attitude’ adjustment has happened in every field affected by digital. And it’s not completely a bad thing. It’s great, for example, to be able to get a beautiful print out of today’s printers without worrying about CMYK or color separations or any of that stuff. So how can you stand out in your field among all this change?
Heads up – it’s geek-out time now.
One of the things that’s always bugged me about Photoshop is that there is no keyboard shortcut for showing/hiding the current layer. A lot of times, I like to quickly do some before/after checks to see if the adjustment layer I just added is working. Usually I’m clicking on the show/hide eye icon to do this.
The most recent version of CS6 supports conditional actions. So now you can do something akin to “if this, do that, otherwise do that”. This is perfect for creating a show/hide layer option. Here’s how to do it:
First, create 2 actions. One is called Show Layer, and the other is called Hide Layer. For the Hide Layer action, have a new layer selected (anything other than the locked background layer), start recording the action, and then go to the Layer menu and select Hide Layers. Stop recording. For the Show Layer action, do the same thing, except make sure the layer is not visible when you start recording the action.
Now that those actions are created, create a new action called Layer Toggle (or whatever) and start recording. For the first step, click the arrow at the upper right of the action palette and select “Insert Conditional”. The conditional action window will pop up. Make it look just like this:
Stop recording and give that action a keyboard shortcut. You should now have 3 actions like this:
And you’re done! From now on, when you hit that shortcut, Photoshop will look to see if the current layer is visible. If it is, it will make it hidden (and vice versa). I’ve got this assigned to a button on my Wacom tablet and it’s working great.
Mel is an executive for Dell, so we photographed him at their headquarters in Round Rock, Texas.
Although it didn’t run in the story, I love this other photograph we took:
Photographed at the Hilton in downtown Austin.
I have a friend that runs a company called Enzoology Education. You might have heard of the company’s innovative elementary and middle school instruction program Exploration Nation on Ellen, Today, NBC News, Scientific American or Time Magazine. I’ve done some shoots for them in the past, and always look forward to the next project with them.
Enzoology is a social enterprise that creates inspiring science instruction featuring real kids doing real science research. The program’s hosts do some pretty big things but now, in partnership with humani.tv, EARTH University, Rio Indio Lodge, Bushmaster Survival School and others, they are doing something global in scale that will have real impact on kids everywhere. Check out this video:
In April of 2013, a team of kids, Special Forces veterans and surgeons will travel from around the world to San Jose, Costa Rica to begin a 14 day scientific expedition through the jungle that will culminate in setting up a surgical clinic for the Rama indians in Nicaragua.
During this 14 day expedition, Enzoology will produce a series of lesson programs that illustrate the message to our future innovators that:
Science and innovation is the tide that lifts all boats
1. Go to www.ExplorationNation.com/contribute to contribute to this cause. You’ll get great rewards ranging from a lifetime subscription to Exploration Nation for you and a school of your choosing to actually going on the expedition with the team. Or how about seven days of Spec Ops survival training in the jungle?
2. Next, please send this message to your friends.
3. Finally, get the message out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Hash tag include: #TeamXN #STEM
I’ve been following the progress of Pete and his team since they started on this project last year. If you can contribute in some way, please consider it!