Despite being a coast away from Boston, our hearts go out to our friends, family, and the community of Boston, MA.
Thank you Boston and to all of those that protect and serve – Seattle loves you.
Last week, the WSJ reported that Sears and Wal-mart Portrait Studios abruptly shut down. Is this the end of an era as DSLR cameras become more mainstream? A few months ago, my wife bought an online deal for a local portrait studio. The studio is well known, quick to draw nods of acknowledgment when friends ask. Our experience however was anything but impressive. Our photos were taken by a teenage girl, bleary-eyed from too many strobe shots and working hard to maintain the attention of our two boys. Hundreds of dollars later, we got the pictures and I was disappointed with the quality. There had to be a better way. There is.
If you have a Digital SLR, for about the price of a photo shoot and pictures, you can create your own family portraits at home anytime you want. After investing just a little time in understanding the basics of lighting and off-camera flash (OCF), a 20 minute session with family yielded some amazing results that far outpaced the work of the so-called, “experts”. I highly recommend The Strobist blog, a great free resource and 101 series to get the basics down. If you already have a flash (I use a Nikon Speedlite SB700), you can build a basic kit for under $200 that can be used over and over again, and you own the originals:
For the backdrop framing, I just bought some PVC from Home Depot and strung it up between two curtain holders with a few clamps. This, “Good enough and go” approach enabled me to experiment without concern, and upgrading equipment over time (e.g. wireless trigger, second flash) is easy.
If you’re even modestly into photography, I highly recommend this approach, or find a friend who is. They just might be willing to quick photo shoot for you.
Some friends were competing in Tough Mudder Seattle yesterday. This was their reward.
Sonos, a Santa Barbara, Calif-based company that makes networked connected music hardware, has raised a $45 million in new investment and has expanded its board to add some heavyweights. The new investors in the company include Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts (KKR), Elevation Partners and Redpoint Ventures. Index Ventures, which is an existing investor, did not participate in this round.
The traditional television commercials that play between programs on a TV set are long overdue for an upgrade, which Microsoft is more than happy to provide.
The technology giant announced today it will begin selling advertising units for its interactive NUads ad product on Xbox Live. Unlike traditional TV commercials, NUads will use the Kinect's motion sensing technology to help boost audience engagement.
Every time a mobile phone is used, the temptation is there. Please help to stop this affliction.