In the spirt of needing to get back on the horse of putting some of my own work out in the aether, it's time to make a todo list. Like anyone, I'm constantly writing task lists in my phone, in my notebook, in a team's task management tool, on scraps of paper. In this respect, extending that concept of task lists to the blog is just diluting the process of holding my future self to task. Even so, defining actionable processes is, of course, an early step in any achievable work.
Like literally anything, I have strong opinions on the best practices for managing tasks, but I wont get into that just now. To do so would be a distraction. It will be more worth my time to ramble about each thing on my todo list instead. This way I can save my opinions about best work practices and management for some other, less introspective time. Maybe when I'm desperate. Here are five things I'd like to cover over some number of posts in my writing.
What I Do
I've done a lot of different jobs, and have this sort of broad, evidently useless, but apparently very intriguing set of skills that comes with that kind of meandering study and career trajectory. So basically I've wound up doing some things which are difficult to pin down or are almost by definition original. Rather than just be hired on to something, my positions frequently are somewhat invented.
The whole professional situation described above makes for sort of awkward conversation. That is, if it makes for conversation at all. It rarely opens doors. What I'd like to do is describe how I've come to be in these sort of fairly unique professional situations, how I navigate the sort of inventiveness of my professional life, and what comfort I take in leading this path if I take any comfort in it at all.
Flat White/Long Black
Similarly, I would really like to complete the sort of memoir-like series I was working on about my life in coffee. It's still apt, shaped my recent past, and there's an element of posterity there. It would be a shame to lose it.
The Tools I Use
Still in the vein of self examination, I use a lot of different tools and mechanisms to do the various things I do. Rather than be totally self involved, I'd like to talk about the utility I find in the items of my everyday life. Things like this very task list, it's organization in my head as well, and the notebook I sometimes draft it in would be the subject here.
Much of the work I do seems to be done in somewhat eye catching or unconventional ways. My interests in and my evaluation of the tools I currently use and things which interest me are a bit of a constant surface experience of working. I edit video on an under-powered MacBook. Not iMac, not MacBook Pro, but a 12.9 inch MacBook. That was a conscious decision and more than just a frugal purchase. These things make up a meniscus, the surface tension if you will, of a much deeper body I try to explore in actually working.
Additionally, I spend a lot of time developing and outlining frameworks and diagraming systems just for thinking about what it is I'm doing. Usually this manifold of processes is sort of private. As an alternative, I'd really like to explode that kind of system focused thinking I do and draw out many of the outlines that don't see the light of day.
Techniques for Black and White Photography
So there's a lot to say about cinematography. More to be said too, of course. And I've looked at black and white cinematography before, but I also have worked in black and white photography for some time. There's some particular thoughts and techniques I'd really like to expand upon about how I think black and white can shine through in a photograph.
Moreover, I'd really like to illustrate how those techniques for good black and white photographs work. In the fall I did some shots on my Instagram about black and white. Trying to be specific about how the medium worked seemed important. So I'd like to outline seven to ten concrete techniques for good black and white photography.
At the beginning of the year I was really intrigued by my most listened songs of 2017. Epoch by Tycho topped that list. Notably this was the music in Color, a video essay about color cinematography. No doubt I listened to that song more than anything last year, but I figured it was mostly in the editing suite. Nope. It topped my listening that year.
To be fair, I like Epoch. It's almost everything I like in a banger. But Elegia by New Order or Myth by Beach House sort of defined the sound of my 2017 in many ways. These other songs are older and already permeated some part of my sonic sensorium.
Looking at the details of the sound of 2017 was incongruous. At any rate, the use of music in video editing is enlightening in itself. Finding the music to use has become a sort of key part of my process, indeed informing almost every part of what goes into the finished product. In the spirit of showing the machinery behind creativity, four and eventually five posts will look behind the scenes at the playlists that refined these video essays.