nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

Tag Archives: lessons

Photographic Learning

When I first started, I was just feeling adventurous. I saw some amazing photographs in my time but having the opportunity to make some of my own was tempting.

I picked up my DSLR a couple years ago, since then I’ve captured some amazing photos. I’ve seen the plain and turned into something artistic. My still life and street photography has grew out just from observing  my surroundings and being open to just taking a photo.

Technically speaking, I’m still fairly adept. I still have much to learn and do. I haven’t done a portraiture and I haven’t done a lot of night and low light photography. I still have yet used the on board flash. I still want to try all of those and get a bit skilled into it. I just want to do all the things.

I know after I bought my third lens, I promised myself to stop buying equipment. I might just break my promise once I get back from work. I realized I’m missing a few things including a vessel to carry all my lenses together. I’m planning to remedy that with something homemade. I would like an external flash and a remote trigger, more importantly the remote trigger. I’m a bit inspired by some self portraits from another photographer I’ve been following on 500px. She does amazing work with your body and a remote trigger. I don’t have a body like her, but I would like to do some portraiture of self and others.

For now I’ll just save my money and keep on learning.

Lessons from Photography

I think this hobby has yielded me some personal discoveries. Perhaps I should pick up more hobbies.

Patience is one thing I either have or don’t. Every time I wield my camera, I feel something change within me. Something that tells me to stop and breathe, watch and wait. Some of my best shots so far have just involved me sitting and waiting after finding something worth a photograph. I have some which don’t really fit the bill as something worth a view, but the best are those I just sat and observed it.

I stomped out my own creativity when I was a kid since I was a very fidgety kid. If you told child me I would be an artist, I would have paid no mind since I could only draw stick figures. Of course I did take art classes as a child and a preteen, but I never got beyond drawing really good stick figures and works that would look very pre-renaissance. Having a camera I don’t draw a picture, I just have to go out and find one. With the knowledge of the colour palette and cropping, all I can do is just snap and lightly edit. I’ve tried heavily editing my work but I find just a slight change to be enough.

This hobby has given me a reason to wake up every morning to go out and take a photo. Of course, I haven’t taken a one every day. I would say with all the photos I’ve taken on average, I’ve taken about two per day. I have to get up and plan, then execute and adapt to changes. If I could, I would travel to different cities and take photos. I try to wake up now so I can go out and take photos when I’m not looking for work through online job boards.

Still as I write this, I can’t help but to hold my camera and take it one last time before I spend the summer away from all my luxuries.

Things I’ve learned making Let’s Plays

I’ve never put in so much time for one thing I wanted to do; okay, I put in a lot of time for a few things. However I never been devoted to be a bit creative. It was always something I lacked. I can be creative at times to think of ideas (thus how this blog was born) but I never really been a visually creative person. Start of this year, I decided to make let’s plays on YouTube which somewhat harkens back to my old Black Ops gameplay. I always wanted to do something constructive or creative to develop something I had problem learning. For my new readers, I’m ADHD and I am not a very creative person; quite the unusual irony.

Over the past six months, I learned a few things from playing and recording video games. To veteran recorders and producers of gameplay, it may be obvious; but I do admire the fact the consistent and persistent nature of YouTubers. They remind me the humbling experience of being unpopular, bottom of the pyramid, way of finding a style. To those who haven’t had their mind set on WordPress wanting to do LP’s or record gameplay, I want you to learn from someone who doesn’t have a following and started with pretty much with a lot of time, plentiful amounts of procrastination and no money to put forward to upstart a hobby or interest. Take this as a warning or advice (or both).

Starting off, I needed a recording software. Something light on the system and can record the amount of time you need. For me, I need it to record continuously because I never know if there will be some good action bits. At the moment I’m using Open Broadcaster Software because it allows a one click solution with minimal set up but enough functionality to make changes to the encoding. At the beginning, I downloaded the program to replace CamStudio because the installation file I downloaded for The Dead Linger didn’t work. Both are free, but after having an experience in both products, I’ve come to realize the interface with OBS is easier and built towards online streaming and local recording than for tutorials and short presentations.

When I started with Banished LP’s, I recorded them in large huge batches. I’m talking like files sizes of 1GB times how much time I had. So in under x amount of hours, my hard drive would be capped out on raw video files. I think at one point I had 10 files lined up for uploading and those uploads would take up to 12 hours per file to upload. So it would take about 10 days to upload if you include time for me to just use my internet connection for anything besides uploading. So in the 30 plus episode run, it took a day each. However in TubeStar, the same 20 minute file would take about an hour or two. So if the game is very action based would require more frames. Therefore the file size will be larger compared to text based or 2D games. This is true in OBS by the way, try with your recording software of choice!

In making The Dead Linger, I found a difficulty with sandbox games where travelling is required. For one thing, you have to fill the time walking with something interesting. If you are a quiet gamer, definitely cut out the nothingness. If you have something to talk about, just talk and don’t hold back until you’re done. It can be interesting, informative, funny or just be somewhat like a small video journal about your life while you play. Just let it out and even if you are going to cut it, then cut it but it’s always to have some extra bits to have more to add if the video is a bit short.

Length of the video to me is only the limitation to the audience and your hard drive. However personally, I think people have a bit of a short attention span. With that in mind, I do my best to make my videos 20 minutes or less. At first, I aimed for 20 minutes. Now I end it when I think I have enough content or I set an end point. I guess it’s because Defiance has missions unlike The Dead Linger. So I can end one mission as a video. What I’m trying to say, find a way to end a video.

Early on, I said I’m not a very creative person. The truth really unfolds if you watch my YouTube channel compared to everyone’s LP. I don’t have a visual introduction, no end cards or effects. I just play as is and I do that because two main reasons. First being theory; I don’t really want to promote myself, I want to promote the games I play. The games are the feature on my channel and I want people to find their niche in video games. The large part I want them to see my video and try the game themselves. I think the second reason why I don’t have visuals is obvious. I’m not the best editor or graphic designer. I’m usually the idea man, the guy who wants to do it and get it done. I like to be the person to establish point A and point B and let people define the direction of travel. But at times, I do regret I’m not a visual person. I wish I could have some creativity so I could make graphics. But for now, you got to like where you start out. You don’t have to be established to start something, you just have to start.

Have I learned everything from making videos? I’m just about to get started. I don’t have a job, I don’t have the creativity, I don’t have best of anything. I just do it because I go in knowing I could fail and I would learn something from it or succeed and gain something I don’t really know and I could get interested into it. I might not make money from it because I consider myself small time but it doesn’t matter. For better or worse, I do what I love. I love video games, I love playing video games and I want to share my love with people who are still finding their love.

If someone who loves to teach a noob about graphic design and video production, let me know!