Category: vapa

Total 4 Posts

A Second Note On Modern Photography

I use my point-and-shoot less and less for still photography and my FlipCam more and more. I realize that with the Flip I’m losing hundreds of thousands of pixels and a much better sensor but I’m also picking up a) portability and, most crucially here, b) a couple dozen more frames per second. Technological advances will eventually close the gap in quality but technological advances are useless to close the gap between the photographer I am and the photographer I want to be.

Check this out. Give a photography student less than a second of video. Twelve frames, maybe.

At what point is the composition balanced?

At what point does the gorilla become the subject?

I have found this kind of deconstruction to be a) essential to my growth as a photographer and b) impossible to achieve using a point-and-shoot camera (or any camera) with a shutter refresh rate of more than a second. That kind of lag has you comparing apples to oranges.

Saturday PD

a/k/a Homecoming!
a/k/a Mostly Gratuitous Entry!
a/k/a Best To Move Along, Seriously!


I woke up early on Saturday and drove to Sacramento, CA, to make up some professional development hours which I, uh, accidentally missed last week. This was also my first visit to the area since I unceremoniously evicted myself two years ago so I thought I’d lump in as much nostalgia as eleven hours would allow.

Twitter Interlude

Photo Interlude

Keynote: From Survival To Success

Francisco Reveles came up in the streets of Segundo Barrio, Texas. At the end of his keynote he announced his candidacy for California State Superintendent. His talk, therefore, wandered purposefully along the path from that first sentence to the second.

For my money, he is the only sort who oughtta run a gang-beleaguered school, the sort who pushes past reactionary responses (eg. more enforcement more enforcement more enforcement), who recognizes that gangs fulfill specific psychological needs for their membership (eg. actualization, power, structure, camaraderie), who then deploys school resources to satisfy themDamian’s kinda guy, basically., Make that any kind of school, beleaguered by gangs or otherwise..

His whole keynote served largely to tease his later breakout session but one remark stood alone: “teachers with low expectations for their students are the most frequent victims of assault.”

Twitter Interlude #2

Breakout Session: Pop Art Stencils

Awesome and useless! I can’t believe I scored PD hours for this one.

You take a photo and trace out its shadows, midtones, and highlights onto separate sheets of cover stock. You cut them into separate stencils, lay them down one by one, and spray on black, gray, and white. Awesome.

No way this ever figures anywhere into my classroom but

  1. it made for great reflection. This is, after all, exactly how I see teaching: on first blush an overwhelmingly complicated job which anyone can then disintegrate into smaller, more manageable tasks (tasks, which, once upon a regrettable time, I dubbed “slices”), and
  2. whatta mother’s day gift!

Photo Interlude

The Road Mix

Nostalgic Interlude

I rolled through Davis, CA, past Fountain Circle Apartments, Alvarado Ave., 7st St., Anderson Rd., and anywhere else I ever spent more than twenty minutes in college. I realized I was old enough to have taught some of the undergrads running around and cursed.

I saw my old friend, Josh Yoon, drive by in a Honda and flipped a u-turn as he parked only to realize as he got out of his car that he wasn’t Josh, rather, another Asian guy who looked only somewhat similar. I acknowledged that the nostalgia (and careless racism, let’s be plain) was hitting my head a little hard, cursed again, and moved along.

Twitter Interlude #3


On my way out, I stopped by my old mentor’s office, looking to share news of the largest return on his investment, the most recent, most curious development in his protégé’s short career. But he wasn’t around, so I beat a path out of my past and returned home.

Free Moby

Nice guy.

this portion of, ‘film music’, is for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.

You enter some login information and then receive access to thirty-or-so tracks, most of them unreleased. It’s a lot of really decent ambient stuff, ideal tracks to run underneath your podcast or vodcast. Tell your friends.

Apple’s Insomnia Film Festival

Apple is in preproduction, eleven days away from mandating the themes, props, and settings that’ll comprise its Insomnia Film Festival, a 24-hour cast-shoot-edit-and-score-a-thon. ¶ Pass it along to your students. Whatever your class, guaranteed you’ve got some students who’d undertake this kind of exercise for adrenaline and giggles alone, but the prize package (full hardware / software kits for each team member) is something of an incentive also. ¶ Feel free to pass along, also, screenwriter John August’s (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) ten-step plan for victory.