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Future Projects, from Inspiration July 18, 2011

Posted by coolmikeol in Other/TO.com news.

Ocean Beach Sunset

This post is going to be a little bit different than most of my other ones. Ever since I went to Anime Expo in LA this year, I’ve been inspired to try working on new projects and learning new skills for “personal development”. This comes from meeting many new people and comrades at Anime Expo, who in my eyes are very inspirational to me as they have achieved much solely by working hard from the ground up. Since my interests and past projects are similar to those of people I’ve met, I’ve decided to work past the “comfort zone” that I didn’t realize that I was in, even though I knew it was a bad thing to be in.

Now, I bet you’re wondering what projects and skills I’ve been mentioning that I was going to work on. Those skills that I want to work on during my spare time include photo/video editing, photography skills, and blogging and networking. I don’t want to just keep myself within those limits though, so I want to keep an open mind to new skills that interest me, as I think of myself as a “jack of all trades” kind of person. When I look back a few years ago, before I had thought of what I wanted to do for the future, I was already doing a little bit of blogging, video editing, and photography, but just for fun and I didn’t have any plans to expand on those skills as I never thought of those kinds of jobs/hobbies as a future thing for me (back when I lived for the present and never thought of the future). But now, after meeting people who have made a name for themselves doing what they like doing, I feel that I can maybe grasp something for myself for my future from personal development of skills I want to work on.

Something leads to something. Nothing leads to nothing. – Danny Choo

I’ve started already thinking about what new things I’ll be doing for at least the next six months or so, but they’re still in the developmental stages of planning. I’ll elaborate on each one:


I’ve been taking photos of anything and everything interesting since I got my first digital camera back in late 2007, but I’ve never really expanded on skills or equipment. My first digital camera was a Kodak  EasyShare M753, but it’s an extremely basic digital camera with 7.0 mega pixels. It worked fine for a while, but one day while charging the battery after letting it drain (which is done through the camera), it never turned on again. I don’t have a clue why my DC broke, but it was a good time to upgrade. My next and current DC is a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS with 8.0 mega pixels. While it is good point and shoot DC in general, there are a few drawbacks that it has that prevents me from taking better photos. It does horrible in low light settings, does not have a wide enough view for wide angle shots, it has some problem where max zoom photos has lines streaking across the photo (though I don’t think that it is a original problem with the camera but a problem that came up with age and usage of the camera), and overall bad lighting adjustment such that when pointed at bright objects, everything else becomes dark. I know that these limitations are to be expected with a basic DC, but I’m just mentioning the aspects that keep my photos at a amateur level (though I’m not planning to go pro either).

Besides the bad aspects of my current DC, there are its good ones as well. Easy to use and nice quality of photos/video make it ideal for casual use. Another great thing about my DC is it’s features such as color swap, macro mode, etc. One of the features that it has for it’s video function, time lapse, is one that I’ll be using for a new future project that I want to try. Ever since seeing a several time lapse videos online, and knowing that my camera has a time lapse feature, I decided that I want to see if I can make time lapse videos too. The idea for making time lapse videos came before Anime Expo though, but I lost focus on that project after some time lapse tests. My time at Anime Expo has inspired me to reboot my time lapse video project, as an experimentation of what I can produce.

For my first time lapse project, I plan to do a short time lapse video that shows various places throughout the west side of San Francisco which is my around my own area. It will be a test of sorts, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to make a decent time lapse video showing my area of San Francisco. I won’t say exactly where I’ll be shooting the time lapse videos, but so far I have several places already in mind to go to and shoot. Time and weather conditions will be the deciding factors when I’ll do it though. I think it may take a few months to have my first time lapse video completed. As this is a side project of mine, I’ll probably release it in early 2012, which is around the same time as when I predict that I’ll run out of ideas for my PMS video series (hopefully not!).

After Anime Expo and meeting some new comrades, I really want to start expanding on my video editing skills. My skills are limited mainly by technological limitations. My current hardware and software for video editing is a (now bugged up) HP laptop from 2007 and WMM. It’s a sad reality that my laptop cannot handle high CPU programs without having extreme slowdown or freeze ups which cause major problems in working with many video files at the same time. I’ve been waiting for a while now, saving up money for the day that I’ll be able to get a new laptop so that I can finally work with bigger, better video editing software like from Adobe and Sony. I learn fairly fast just by playing around with new unfamiliar things, so I don’t think that learning how to use the programs will be that much trouble. I plan to get a new laptop early next year.

For a while, I’ve just been taking pictures without any real skill. It was just a casual thing for me to do. I never considered to learn to improve my photography skills… until now. Even though I have a basic camera, that won’t stop me from learning about how to utilize camera angle shots and other skills from the very resourceful google-sensei Danny Choo mentioned. Since causal photography is something I enjoy, why not expand on it? I want to improve my skills for myself and for others who checks out my photos on my Flickr. Besides improvement on photo taking, I will also look into photo enhancement programs in order to create better visual effects and fix photo problems. I originally wanted to avoid using any kind of photo editing software, as I wanted to keep my photos as natural as possible, a kind of pure sense of photography I had in my mind. But while watching a presentation at Anime Expo in the exhibit hall advertising a program called Topaz Labs, I feel that if  I invested in something like that, it would help me take a step forward to give my photos much more flare than what they are left alone.

While blogging doesn’t really require any skill at all (anyone can blog), there are a couple of things I’d like to improve on, such as like updating my blog/posting blogs on a regular basis and changing up the design of how my site looks. The updating part is not hard, but a bit time consuming. What really gets in the way though is my laziness to do so sometimes. I know that it’s no one else’s problem but my own when it comes to me being lazy, and I’ll try my best at working against my laziness, like people say, “Your worst enemy is yourself.” As for the design for my site, there is not much I can really do as it is a template of WordPress’s, but I can still change up the banner and background. I won’t have decent ones until I get better programs to create them, so I’ll just use what I got for now (Microsoft Paint) to keep my site fresh until I get a new laptop and some new software early next year.


Most of my future projects mentioned above I won’t be able to start on right away, as money is the big obstacle that separates me from moving forward. That means that I’ll just have to keep looking for a part time job to save money (hard to find in this economy) and focus on my college studies. I’ll also look into learning a few things from Google-sensei from time to time when I have the time to do so. This time next year I hope to be at a whole new level in terms of skills and such, and to show the results when I return to various cons next year like FanimeCon and Anime Expo.



1. fabricerequin - August 5, 2011

Well what can i say, have a clear mind, the futures bright if you follow what you want to do.

I wish you all the best!

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