Geeky

I’ll always be a geek, techy, and engineer. Loving it.

~See Lemons Geeky

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[List of 30] Holiday Gifts

seelemonsonline : December 18, 2014 12:00 pm : Geeky, list of 30

Random Observation/Comment #488: Sometimes I have a funny bone in my body. It hurts when I bump it.

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First and foremost, forget what you know about your significant other, family member, or friend and just generically bucket them into two or three of these types of people. Pick the 2nd one that represents them best (because the first means they already buy everything they want). From there, it’ll most likely be clear what you should get them as a present.

First Hint: If they’re hardcore something, get them anything but what they’re hardcore in (unless you asked them first and that’s exactly what they want). Imagine someone getting you the wrong smart phone. What a nightmare.

Second Hint: Accessories are always appreciated.

  1. The classy alcoholic – whiskey, whiskey glasses, orange bitters, and whiskey ice cubes
  2. The audiophile – tickets to a concert because it’s better live
  3. The one trying to get in shape – fitbit or something similar to track movement and get involved with a community of friends
  4. The one who buys everything for themselves already – a Starbucks gift card. This is something they will never buy, but secretly use all the time. I’m pretty sure they all drink coffee at some point.
  5. The yoga beginner – yoga pants, a roller for stretching, or a water bottle
  6. The karaoke singer – treat them out to dinner in Ktown and then ask “it’s still early, what do you want to do?”
  7. The couch potato – a list of awesome shows to watch or a new anime series and a google Chomecast
  8. The aspiring chef – a new cutting board or a peeler. Everyone likes cutting boards and needs peelers. Maybe an emulsifier. Also an allrecipes pro account.
  9. The aspiring eater – schedule a burger, ramen, pizza, or tacos food/restaurant tour
  10. The shutterbug – a 500px pro account or photoshop subscription
  11. The animal lover – something for their pet (like a new chew toy or pillow)
  12. The one with child – spa day or little onesies, socks, or hats. They’re so small and cute.
  13. The one birthed child – spa day or anything for the child
  14. The one watching the child birth – free day playing a sport
  15. The child – probably a shirt or a high five
  16. The amateur traveler – a universal power converter or a cool passport holder
  17. The suit – a stylish vest or a v-neck black sweater (can’t have enough of those)
  18. The sports fanatic – find out their favorite team and give them a jersey
  19. The one who works at a desk all day – a new work-mouse, ergobeads pad for the wrist, or a large medicine ball to sit on
  20. The fashionista – sweatpants or a onesie. Yep.
  21. The book club reader – buy them a Terry Pratchett book or an audible subscription
  22. The one who sometimes wears pants – a hiking trip or new underwear
  23. The coffee lover – French press or some cool green tea bags
  24. The hipster – they probably don’t celebrate gift giving, but colorful socks are probably on there
  25. The DIY king/queen – your personal lifestyle issue. Give them a need and they’ll build you a solution. Also, duct tape.
  26. The nerd (Star Wars kind) – a card with a drawing of the new light saber with the hilt and 2 Prepaid theater tickets
  27. The geek (Star Trek kind) – thinkgeek stuff. Got my brother the Spock cooking mitts
  28. The tech illiterate (parents) – a wireless mouse for your laptop users or a new monitor so they can be impressed by multiple screens
  29. The master of the universe – a cronut because they would never wait in line for that…
  30. The Gandhi – a hug and home made card with probably a funny photo

~See Lemons Happy Holidays!

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[Lessons Learned] Organizing a Corporate TEDx

seelemonsonline : October 10, 2014 3:39 pm : Early Career, Geeky

Random Observation/Comment #449: Find activities that encompass multiple hobbies and aim towards a true mission… like TEDx. Organize a TEDx or more events appreciated by your community if you want to be happy.

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TEDx licenses are granted to those who demonstrate a well-rounded theme that can provide multidisciplinary speeches, demonstrations, and general talks. It’s not meant to be a marketing ploy for your company to sell a product or anything based on doing more than expressing your passion and sharing your ideas.  Just like any other event we organize, there’s a big room, some guerrilla marketing, and then a few inspirational speakers. Simple, right? Nope. Here’s what went into the organization:

  • Speakers.  We had 8 speakers and 2 separate moderators for each session. Due to the importance of the event, we gave them around 5 weeks to prepare. There was a timeline in place with milestones. None of them were followed. People procrastinated. What else is new?
  • Speech Coaches. Our internal toastmasters club volunteered some advanced speakers to review content, listen, provide guidance, and tweak the speaker’s speeches. Every speaker actually had 2 or 3 coaches work with them.
  • Logistics. This includes room setup, video recording, photographers, slides, playing videos, transitioning between speakers, sign-up sheets, volunteer sheets, moderators, post communications, etc. This was no easy feat.
  • Marketing. What’s a bunch of speakers without an audience? We spent a lot of time spreading the word in different creative ways:
    • Our version of social media. We posted to different groups and utilized synergies between groups
    • Independent bios. All speakers provided their own photos, backgrounds, and list of random facts to get their teams pumped
    • Our internal newsletters. Our corporation has great newsletter coverage from different groups and it was excellent at reaching a diverse audience.
    • Sign-up tables. We hosted lunch sign-up tables with the speakers telling more people about the event.
    • Toastmasters support. Toastmasters members were also informed of the upcoming TEDx and helped with evaluations and speech prep/supportive environment for the speakers.
    • “Recommended” attendance by more senior speakers. Speakers who were also managers were able to rally their team for the hour event. Speakers would also tell their friends to join.
    • Training our volunteers to pitch the event. With a large number of volunteers within the firm, each volunteer just needed to convince 2 or 3 people to join and we could easily reach our 100 mark.
  • Artifacts/Docs/Presentations
    • About Our TEDx. For those who asked us what TEDx is, we had a well thought-out answer. This gave the background of “what is TEDx”, “What is our theme this year?”, and “How do I get involved?”
    • Speaker Kit. Specifically for the speakers, our kit contained some extremely useful information:
      • What is TEDx? – a message to the speakers about the TED vision and our own.
      • What is our theme this year? – we used “proactive learning”
      • What are some examples of TED talks? – we were narrowing down which TED talks to show that were related to proactive learning and wound up sharing all of them.
      • What is some advice for speakers? – I’d suggest including the TED Commandments
      • What are the guidelines to the speeches? – we recommend personal stories
      • What are some key milestones for the speakers? – the main 3 steps are:
        • Content/Flow. Write out the speech and outline the speeches into chunks/widgets that can be moved around. Find a solid introduction that draws the interest of the audience and a conclusion that gives a call to action and inspiring view.
        • Audio/Voice. Record yourself speaking while only focusing on voice inflections, intonations, and pauses. Read through it, remove your filler words, and start to memorize.
        • Video/Body Language. Record yourself going through the whole speech and add any visual cues with slides or props. Walk the stage, use eye contact, smile, and stand tall comfortably.
      • What is the speaker order, format, and agenda? – we put together a general agenda for the day-of the event.
      • What resources are available to me? – we mentioned the speaker coaches
    • Full Script. This was much more for the moderators and room setup team. Moderators need to be enthusiastic, include their own story, and know how to introduce their speakers.  Here, we also wrote difficult to pronounce names and asked the moderator to reflect on the speech to make the transitions less awkward.  We also recommended how the projectors/video would show on the main screen when the TED videos were being played.
    • Speaker photos and bios. This was important for marketing. We also included some rapid fire questions that give the speakers more opportunity to talk about their background with fun facts.
    • Consolidated speaker slides with Thank You slide.  We put all the slides together on one consistent powerpoint and added a huge Thank you slide at the end of it.  We worked out logistics on how/when to change slides.
    • Wiki page for organizing logistics and assigning volunteers.  Wikis were great for sharing any of the information above.  It was also easier for people to volunteer themselves for any outstanding tasks.

Lessons Learned/What we Did Right:

  • Allow for at least 6 weeks of planning.  Most of this time is for the speakers to prepare, but it was all a lot more work than expected.
  • Have speaker try-outs and choose a diverse group. Everything worked out great, but I think we could have did some auditions.  For the audition, while the speech does not need to be completed, we want a well thought-out topic.
  • Keep speakers on their toes. People will procrastinate, so write weekly words of encouragement and suggestions to give them milestones of where they should be for a checkpoint.
  • Hold a dress rehearsal at least a week in advance. This will let those who did not prepare to get a kick in the butt and prepare a lot more. Without that extra time pressure, it wouldn’t seem real.  You’ll also need to work out the slide changes and moderator transitions.
  • Have the speakers talk to each other. Since all the speakers worked in the same firm, it was easier for them to meet and share ideas. The result was an interesting correlation between speeches. Key words were shared and topics weren’t overlapped.
  • Assign multiple speaker coaches to speakers.  Not all speaker coaches have the same strengths. It’s important to have at least 2 per speaker so there’s a second opinion for speech content.
  • Give moderators a full script.  This was extremely important to run through by the dress rehearsal. It even included where people would shake hands on the stage and how the stage could be used.
  • Have hands-free microphones. Whatever the venue may be, it’s essential to have clip-on mics so speakers can use their hands to emote.  Holding microphones tends to restrict body motions in many ways (even though comedians do a great job with it).
  • Delegate your work. Add volunteers and have them help out. There’s plenty of work to do.
  • Market the event creatively. Other than having a website, make sure you have ways of confirming registrations (something like eventbrite) and sending updates when the dates get closer. We also bought red and white TEDx wristbands to give to volunteers and speakers to wear.
  • Use technology for communication/organization.  If we were doing this outside of the corporate world, i’d probably have a lot more shared google docs and calendar reminders for different milestones.
  • Send post communications.  It’s important to let attendants of the event additional information about those topics after the event.  This is especially helpful if you plan on holding another TEDx.
  • Have fun! It’s a lot of work, but it’s important to finish strong.

~See Lemons Organize a TEDx

 

 

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Off The Grid

seelemonsonline : September 23, 2014 10:52 pm : Geeky, Just Life

Random Observation/Comment #445: Sometimes you must disrupt flow to restore order.

good book speaks volumes

Have you ever felt controlled by your technology? Music becomes a crutch to memorized lyrics and familiar tempos while you’re pushed and pulled to all this made-up work.  By made-up, I mean things will still be if I don’t check someone’s updated status or life will still go on, if I don’t read that article.

We literally look at our phones at least 100 times a day, and then the rest of the times, we’re being bombarded by some type of a work computer screen or TV. When do we stop? When do we unwind and unplug?  On vacation, we’re constantly looking through the lens to capture the moment or trying to figure out what to do next. Why can’t we just do nothing?

I didn’t even realize how crazy it was making me until my phone stopped working. Maybe there’s a reason why our shower thoughts are sometimes so profound.  I love how they are almost fleeting joys of discovery.  Can I make that happen more? Can I absorb in the culture deeper instead of blocking off senses because it’s just a part of a routine?

I think this deserves some attention. Maybe answers aren’t supposed to be at our fingertips and maybe that buzzfeed link didn’t need to be clicked. Can’t we just wait to receive that text? Was that tweet really that important?

Clemens’ Guidelines Staying Off the Grid:

  • Only check phone 10 times a day.  (3 of them will probably be for taking photos of meals).
    • Turn off all push notifications on all social networks/apps
    • Tell your friends/family/significant other you only check messages at 11AM and 3PM at work (during coffee breaks).
    • Remove all games from phone (except maybe crosswords)
    • Wear a real watch so you don’t always rely on your phone to keep time.
  • Don’t put work email on phone. This will help you disengage and leave work feeling satisfied when things are completed (or at a point where you don’t have to worry about them the next day).
  • Don’t watch more than 1 hour of TV per day.
  • Don’t read more than 5 pages of reddit per day (this one is tough).
  • Bring a physical book to read on the commute. Audiobook is also an option (but only focus on one thing at a time).
  • Take a 5 minute break walking to get a drink of water (without the phone) for every hour of working. Use this time to rest your eyes.
  • Don’t listen to the same song twice in a week.
  • Dedicate only phone time (I may multitask and do this with toilet time). Use this time to check social networks or share something profound.

More and more I feel like we’re all just boosting our own egos and making ourselves feel more important than we actually are. Every little notification we get is an artificial dose of good feelings that someone cared and connected with you.  Is this really a problem, though? Does it need a change? Maybe it doesn’t for you because your phone is the only thing keeping you entertained at breaks, but I currently don’t have my Nexus 5 anymore, so this seemed like an effective use of my time.

~See Lemons Off the Grid

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Advice for Start-Ups

seelemonsonline : August 5, 2014 9:52 am : Geeky, Tech

Random Observation/Comment #438: Follow your heart. Even if you give it your all and you fail, at least you’ve experienced something. It’s more valuable than 100 successes.

startup advice

I attend a lot of NYC start-up/entrepreneur events where panels speak about their experiences from working at a successful start-up. It gets a little repetitive because they’re probably reading from the same blogs, but here’s my best summary:

  1. Treat your start-up as an experiment instead of a business. The start-up is an investment and it will not make money for a long time (sometimes a very long time), so you might as well have fun with it. As an experiment, you probably shouldn’t think about the long term finances or marketability of your product.
  2. Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you. This is a rally for passion and if you don’t see the value of these words, you probably shouldn’t have your start-up. If you have your vision and you work hard to get there, then no one can stop you.
  3. Change happens, so Deal with it. This applies to starting a new company and seeing one of your key selling points become a feature in your competitor’s strategy. Well – it’s not the end of the world. Just work harder to do it better.
  4. Start from your role and always work outwards. Realize how you contribute to your idea and how you’re pushing it forward and making it grow. Once you do that, look at the other points of influence:
    1. Know who people in your company are and what they do day to day. Let’s be honest, you can’t do everything yourself so you’ll need to hire people – good/smart people that share your vision and pull their weight. It’s only micromanaging if you’re telling someone how to do their job. Understanding why they’re doing their job is just courtesy.
    2. Know your market and all it’s nooks and crannies. Be sure you’re aware of all the big players and possible news that can change the playing field. Maybe a law can be passed that could completely shut down your operations. It’s better to know and be proactive, than just have it sneak up on you.
    3. Know your users. Not everyone can be their own user, but even if you are, know all of them. Know how people use your product/service and why they continue to. It will help your in your overall strategy. Embrace their feedback and adjust accordingly. A low feedback diet is harmful to the health of your business.
  5. Be thorough and complete with your work because your prototype usually becomes your version 1.  This happens all the time around scalability, so as with all good coding, make sure what you’re building can be separated into modules and scaled to a certain extent.  Also make sure that you’re not building to support 1 million users when you have trouble getting 1000.

This is basically Entrepreneurship 101, but people working as a project lead on any-sized project at any-sized company should have the same passionate perspective as these entrepreneurs. The leadership is usually the special sauce that inspires the team and drives a project to success.

~See Lemons Prototype

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[Lessons Learned] Key Start-up Questions

seelemonsonline : June 5, 2014 6:25 pm : Geeky, Tech

Random Observation/Comment #428: One of the most important skills to learn in analysis and evaluation is to put yourself in the other person’s position. Once you see what others see, you’ll be in a better state to make the decision.

see lemons excited

I’ve been working with the start-up industry and playfully keeping updated with the latest technologies for the past 7 years. It’s actually quite amazing how far we’ve come and how much farther we can go. I’ve heard hundreds of brilliant ideas and thought through all the different market niches that one could even consider.  Surprisingly, this is something else I do for free in my (free) time. I think I’m just a terrible business person when money is involved.

If you’re thinking about starting a company, consider what VCs ask when evaluating your company. Yes, many people that are building sites are doing it altruistically, but if you want to realistically have this company become successful, you have to think of the following:

  • What problem are you solving?
    • Does the problem actually exist? Is it a large problem?
    • Is it something that I can feel, understand, and relate to?
    • Is it something original or already being solved?
    • Is it something scalable?
    • Do you know people who want to see the problem solved?
    • How are you using technology to solve the problem?
    • Can you cheat the market place? Are you playing on an un-leveled playing field?
  • Who is on your team?
    • Can your team execute? Can they build it?
    • Is your team reliable and hardworking?
    • Can your team build it themselves? Do they need to hire programmers on the side? Is your team technical?
    • Is your team experienced?
    • What is your team’s network value? *This is specifically important for gaining momentum and movement
  • What is the competitive landscape for your idea?
    • It’s not if there is competition, it’s when there is competition. How do you react to it and defend against it?
    • How do you compare to your competitors? *Can your idea just be a feature for someone else’s existing site?
    • Do you need to educate the space? Is it a space that doesn’t exist or most competitors don’t understand yet?
    • Is your product better than your competition by value? You should not be playing the pricing game unless you’re big enough to take the loss.
  • How much is your company raising?
    • What is your plan for expanding the company?
    • Which seed stage are you in? Incubator, Accelerator, Series A, Series B, etc.
    • Where are you allocating the funds?
    • How much time do you need to get your product out there?
    • Who’s on your team of hires?
    • How much money do you need vs how much you’re raising?
    • What are your main milestones?
    • Is there room for error?
    • What is your strategy to get the next investor? Investors should jump to next investors to keep traction.
  • How will you make money?
    • Do you have a predictable revenue stream?
    • Are there similar services payments?
    • What’s your pricing model?
    • What’s the overhead and product expenses?

Most importantly, every person should think about risk. Some people can take the loss while others have more responsibility. There’s a fairly slim chance of your start-up being the next billion dollar idea, but it may be exactly what you want to do and support a growing idea.

Remember that all of your assumptions can change at any time and it may turn your playing field upside down, so be sure you think clearly about the market and the customers.

~See Lemons Started-up

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[Gaming Lessons] Stanley Parable

seelemonsonline : May 3, 2014 11:33 am : Geeky, Reviews

Random Observation/Comment #421: One can learn from everything… Especially playing video games.

see lemons smile

(Quick warning: There are minor spoilers, but not anything you probably don’t already know from reading other reviews about this game.)

I had never written anything about video games because I never found one that probed my personal psycho-babel analysis… until now. Stanley Parable. This is not your typical first person shooter, but rather an interactive narrative story line with the illusion of choice and some very clever/entertaining dialogue.

The narrator leads Stanley (you) through an adventure of exploring a mysterious company, but the landscape provides opportunities for Stanley to stray from the path and find different endings. Each choice reveals deeper social commentary and each ending makes the player want to keep finding different endings (even though it just keeps restarting).  Looks like this:

the-stanley-parable-explained

I love the game concept because it’s super ‘meta’ and each layer says so much about the simulation of a world we live in.  After playing a majority of the endings, I think this is what the game is trying to tell us:

  • Choice is a lie. Everything in the game is restricted so you have to follow any number of set paths already written by the script the narrator reads from. You’re choosing to do something, yes, but it’s something already programmed into the game.
  • Or is it? The game itself is finite and there are scenarios (trapping yourself in the broom closet) where the narrator talks directly to the player(s) in the room telling us to get on with our normal lives and stop playing this game. The only choice we have is not to play the game and disobey the rules, but rather to not play the game at all.
  • Yep… it is. As parables go, we all want to know that what-if. It’s so rare we get to relive a moment over and over again like Groundhog’s Day, so it’s all a trap because the designer of the game knows we’ll at least keep playing 6 more times to find other endings.
  • Freedom can come from following the rules. Ironically, if you listen to the narrator’s directions, Stanley gains his freedom by turning off the ‘Mind Control machine’ and essentially stop ‘you’ the player from controlling him. An actual happy ending because Stanley, the person you were controlling, has freedom.
  • Or can it? Even after you beat the game that way, the game always just loops on itself and restarts. There is no escape from this cycle and actually no real freedom…. unless you stop playing. But how can you resist the curiosity of seeing that new ending?
  • Existence requires a reason. If a god has no followers, does the god still exist? In one of the endings, ‘you’ the player stops controlling Stanley. The Narrator then goes into a monologue showing his insecurity with his own existence when having an inactive player. What’s the narrator’s purpose if no one moves? In fact, we all need to exist: the designer of the game, player of the game, Narrator in the game, and Stanley in order for there to be a game itself. If the game existed and no one played it, then no one would hear the story. It’s all a symbiotic relationship, and this is a slippery slope of this type of thinking that leads to insanity.

At the end of the day, this was a pretty fun game. The main path takes about 15 minutes and the other endings could mostly be completed within 2 hours.  If you want to add another layer of control, you can just watch a youtube walkthrough of the game to find all the endings. I guess if you’re watching a video of a series of choices made by a player leading a character in a game that gives finite choices the thinking about the scenario can just drive one crazy…

~See Lemons In a Parable

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Running Low on Hard Drive Space? Use WinDirStat

seelemonsonline : April 30, 2014 7:45 am : Geeky, Tech

Random Observation/Comment #420: I don’t know why I keep all the originals of the photos I took and don’t share in social media. It’s not like I’m going to look back at hundreds of thousands of photos that I didn’t deem important or good enough to post the first round through and relive every shot…

see lemons windirstat
Visualization of my HD usage

My C:\ status bar was red with 26GB of 278GB free. Wait, what? How did this happen? Although I’m quite liberal with saving all my photos, I’m not torrenting movies and music, so where did all my hard drive space go?

A colleague of mine introduced me to WinDirStat and it put everything into perspective.

windirstat results

This application basically provides all sorts of file usage statistics so you can easily narrow down what’s taking up the most space. What I thought was photos was actually 100GB of Program files, Steam-downloaded games, Guild Wars 2, D3, and misc games I’ve long beaten just taking up a large percent of space.

With the easy interface, I found 15GB in the Recycle bin, 20GB of Temp App Data, and 10GB of misc videos I had stored 5 folders deep within my Pictures folder. Genius application and super useful for all your digital spring cleaning needs.

~See Lemons Digitally Spring Clean

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[Lessons Learned] Time-lapse Photography

seelemonsonline : March 2, 2014 6:19 am : Geeky, Just Life, Photography, Random Hobbies

Random Observation/Comment #411: Life is about trying new things and retrying old things. I guess life is just about trying? No, that’s too complicated. Life is about not thinking about trying.

see lemons time lapse

Time-lapses are a series of photos that are strung together and then sped up to condense something like 700 photos into 12-seconds of video. What you’re left with is those awesome Planet Earth shots that show sunrise and sunset across the lands while flowers bloom right before your eyes.  Beautiful stuff and not entirely out of your skill set (if you have some money and free time).

My colleague introduced me to time-lapse photography through one of his photography discussions at work.  After seeing how he makes his stunning videos going through NYC night life and some other random clock series, I started seeing time-lapses everywhere (mainly because I was watching a lot of House of Cards).  Being crazy and having a free hour after work, I decided to try my own.  Here is my setup and some lessons learned.

Things I Used:

  • DSLR (Nikon D5100) – this is the camera I’m most familiar with
  • Lens (Nikkor 35mm f/1.8) – I would recommend using something more wide angle (see below)
  • Fast SDCard (SanDisk 32GB 45MB/s – $30.53 on Prime) – I think a faster and larger card will help with all these continuous shots
  • Tripod (Dolica 60” Proline– $40) – inexpensive, well-made, and reliable for all my purposes. This is obviously necessary because you need it to be steady for the 300+ shots you’ll be taking
  • Intervalometer (RainbowImaging LCD Timer Remote Control – $28.99 on Prime) – unless you’re pressing the button manually, which is not recommended.

Learning by Doing: To be honest, I just went out and did it. I stood there looking at the manual for the intervalometer for 15 minutes like an idiot, but I did it.  And more importantly, I learned something the good old fashion way. Note that I did not do any calculations in the beginning and just decided to wing it.

  • Scene picking:
    • Remember that time-lapses are a series of photos strung together, so you need to choose somewhere that doesn’t have too much movement. If it does have a lot of movement, you’ll need to take smaller interval frames or have a location where the object stays within the frame for a long distance so you can follow it throughout the scene (e.g. people walking a city street during rush hour with the camera pointing down from above to see full trails).
    • Taking a self-portrait photo every day can also turn into a time-lapse.
    • I chose the Shake Shack line in Madison Square Park because it was close-by to work and convenient.
  • Tripod setup:
    • Frame your shot so that you can keep as many people in frame as possible. If it’s a line, get the entire line so you see people moving along it.
    • Make sure you’re in a spot that isn’t too heavy in traffic or else people will walk in front of your camera and totally block your shot.
  • DSLR Settings:
    • Shooting mode: Manual
    • Focus: Manual, focused on the line area
    • Quality: JPG (Choose Medium if you have a smaller SDcard)
    • ISO: manually set (outside I just did 100 on a sunny day)
    • White balance: manually set (sunny)
    • F-stop: I did F9 because I generally wanted more people to be in focus
    • Exposure: I set 1/40 only because I wanted to see people blur a bit. Also, dragging your exposure like this will make the movie seem smoother.
  • Intervalometer Settings (with the RainbowImaging LCD Timer Remote Control)
    • DE: 00:00’:00” – this is the timer. It will take a photo when the time is up
    • BU: 00:00’:00” – this is the exposure time. You can increase the time set for exposures if you set the Exposure to “BULB” (slowest exposure possible)
    • INT: 00:00’:04” – this is the interval timer so you can take the photo every INT seconds until the N photo counts are taken
    • N: – – (infinite) – this is the number of photos that the intervalometer will take. I set it as infinite because I just timing manually.
  • Shooting and Waiting:
    • I stood there waiting and looking at my phone as it continuously took a photo every 4 seconds for 45 minutes. Obviously people came by, but they didn’t really ask questions.
  • Post Production:
    • I used Photo Lapse 3 found here. It very simply did everything for me.
    • To make sure this didn’t take forever, I also shrunk the photos down to a smaller resolution (640)
  • Result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic-cw2So7A8&feature=youtu.be

Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t forget that it may get darker while you’re taking your photo. In my case, the sun was setting while I was watching the Shake Shack line move, so it started from bright to dark in a very uneven way.  Extreme changes in lighting like this are very hard to capture in time-lapses and I should have chosen something more consistent.
  • Night time-lapses can be very cool especially if you catch taxis stopping and going and creating streaks with the stoplights.
  • Planning the scene is extremely important. Consider subjects with cloudy days, semi-still water, parties, and anything with clocks.

I can’t wait to do my next time-lapse shoot! It’s certainly a nice sub-section of photography that blends snapshots with video.

~See Lemons Time Lapse

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Halloween Costume Ideas

seelemonsonline : October 11, 2013 6:51 am : Geeky

Random Observation/Comment #358: Zombiecon is ironically the one day I feel alive.

see lemons love henry

For the past 6 years, I’ve gone to zombiecon (http://www.zombiecon.com/) and dressed up as many undead things. It’s always been sloppy and I just love scaring tourists in Time Square.  Through the years, I’ve seen many great ideas. Here are the ones that I’m on the fence of picking for this year:

  • Be ironic. Like FEic. I miss breaking bad.
  • God’s gift to women. “To: women. You’re welcome. From: God”
  • Bizarro superman. Zombify the superman PJs and pair up with my sidekick.
  • Movie theater floor. Red carpet with random snacks glued on.
  • Recently laid off. Regular suit with tie around your head, untucked dress shirt with buttons off one, and a flask.
  • Trevor from GTA V. White t-shirt, unshaven, sweatpants, and blood stains.
  • Walter White with mustache or bald with beard, flannel shirt and tighty whiteys.
  • Zombie chef with frying pan making brains
  • Zombie in scrubs doing brain surgery
  • Batdad. For some reason, I imagine him in a bathrobe. It’s really just a creepy guy wearing a cheap batman mask speaking with a raspy voice all night giving good advice.
  • Person getting caught in the wind. Gel long hair out and fix tie or clothes off to one side. Turn a cheap umbrella inside out as a prop. Squint in all pictures.
  • Guy that starts the Harlem shake. Wear a helmet that also plays the beginning of the song on repeat. Proceed to hump things.
  • Hot undead Fisher woman called the “Deadliest Catch”

If that doesn’t work, just be yourself. For some people, they wear a costume all other times of the year. Have a safe and wonderful Halloween!

~See Lemons Boo

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Android Photosphere: Beats my DSLR

seelemonsonline : September 21, 2013 9:05 am : Geeky, Photography, Tech

Random Observation/Comment #355: I still refer to my smartphone as a cellphone out of habit. I should just name it… JARVIS.

see lemons photography obsessed

Y’know that guy who holsters his DSLR to use his smartphone to take pictures? Well – that’s me. I’m the guy holding up the Galaxy Nexus panning around slowly with the photosphere. Why? It’s to stitch photos and easily share them without bringing my laptop or using any complicated software.

Convenience used to be the main reason to use a smartphone camera. I always have my phone with me, so I can easily foodspot or snap a quick photo of an odd moment.  You can take decent pictures from the 8MP and you’ll probably use some silly instagram filter on the thing anyway to make it look washed out and artistic.

What I’m more impressed with today’s technology is the stuff I CAN’T do with my DSLR. I’m mainly talking about the biggest deal breaker between iPhone iOS vs Android phones jellybean: Photosphere. This is such a game changer.

Here are some photos I’ve taken in the past year with the photosphere feature (photos redirect to Google+ album because it’s the one that shows the full photosphere experience).

see lemons sunsetsee lemons photosphere

Google+ is currently the best for viewing these, but it won’t be long before it expands to iPhone and it’ll be a huge rave. The photosphere interface allows you to take multiple pictures of the entire sphere of space around you. It easily shows you these blue dots on a transparent plane. When you slowly move the camera over these dots, it will capture the photo automatically.  It takes about 10 seconds to move the camera to touch each dot and then another 15 seconds to do the magical stitching in the background, but it’s fantastic. This feature completely removes my need to buy a wide angled lens because this can cover so much more without distortion.

I honestly think we’ll see Facebook and Twitter try to add this feature on their photo streams if Google doesn’t keep their I.P. hands over this program. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a loophole somewhere.

~See Lemons Photosphere

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