New Journey -IPhone Photography with IPA and Personalizing for Me

I am going thru an online course IPhone Academy. The first course is based on using the iPhone as your primary camera vs a DSLR.

I do not have any intention of discontinuing use of my Canon Rebel. I love it and have some investments in it with lenses etc. But many times I am without it. In 2009, I always had my small point and shoot with me and had begun the photo a day routine. Jump ahead 8 years and carrying around a point and shoot is like getting the daily paper  – it is falling into oblivion. My phone is with me more than not. The quality of the phone camera has improved so much it is truly hard to not use it. The challenge is to use it well and with the features it has to get good photos and photos that will be good for processing later. Anyone can point and shoot – but to use the phone as a camera and art takes some practice and learning.

When I think about a phone that costs $600 or more – why wouldn’t I be using it for more than texting and communication? The phone costs more than my DSLR beginner kit did!

As a self directed learner – there are many ways to accomplish the goal of learning to better use the iPhone camera. The Internet has many communities and groups who share. You can find and piece together all that you need to improve.

BUT – in a social media feed I stumbled across Emil from iPhone Academy. A young business man who has capitalized on his proficient use of the iPhone and iPhone camera. I watched a few of the click and tease videos. Emil has a nicely paced delivery style which was easy for me to follow.

As someone who has had a life in instructional design and online delivery – it was great to see the polish of Emil’s instruction. He takes it seriously – and seems to have the energy to get all the details done. Questions are anticipated. Video and audio and written –  (multi modal) are provided. Feedback is built in and automated in to provide instant validation. Moderation is provided and modeled to establish community. All the things we know as educators are important for good instructional design implemented and in place. It is an instance of making learning a business service. The learner does not have voice in direction, but does have consistent structures in which to rely for making progress. He is a business man who has taken his interest and now markets it.

Well – I grabbed the hook. While I could follow and assemble tutorials and videos and pick a little here and there from many awesome and sharing individuals I decided to take the route of purchasing Emil’s IPhone Academy course at the 80% discount promotion (and still higher cost than I am usually comfortable). Besides learning some new things about my iPhone camera – I am fascinated in seeing and reviewing how the course is put together and how  it holds up. Definitely a ready made example for others to learn from in creating online instruction. (if one is in need of creating some somewhat traditional delivery in the cover of technology tools).

I am impressed. It is a well oiled machine and evident that it is a focus because it is to create business. Many learning paths I have taken before have either been institutional places that can be somewhat rigid and steeped in academia and get stuck in explaining the theory of learning within context of whatever course you are in or the open format (still my favorite) in which I design and personalize my own learning path.

But there very much is a need for some of the learning pie to have a slice of what Emil offers. Not everyone finds the same energy or interest in how and why we learn when learning themselves – they just want to learn and need “services” that provide direction and flow. His target audience is not in creating learners, it is giving topics of interest to those who want to learn the topic.

Some have criticized and said IPA is out to just sell apps and make money. I think that is capitalism right? No one has to buy it.

So far – I am okay with the price I paid. The format and the pace are good for me. The IPA staff have created a dynamic flow of interaction I have rarely seen in education institution offerings. It seems to attract individuals who are not associated in any way with education. Maybe that is what it is – just people who have an interest and want to pursue. Hmnnn-  I think that is the product outcome we have wanted as educators.

I am thru the first of 7 modules. I think I will make it thru all of them. The pacing, the hooks to the next level are all there and designed not only in pedagogy – but social media and consumerism. I am intrigued equally in how the delivery and flow, the kinds of participation and interactions, as well as with the content of learning things about my iPhone camera.

To the dismay of Emil – I probably won’t sign up for the next course (but who knows?) – Editing iPhone Photos. For that I will continue with what I know and take the open learning route. It is a topic and direction in which I want multiple views and ideas vs. producing trendy or similar art. But I can see where many individuals will take on things they may not have on their own and develop skills because they will have the opportunity. So in that sense I think it is great that it is offered and available. And yes- good for Emil and his business for being successful. They are not after the whole pie – just a slice they can manage.

The parts I bring to the IPA course for myself are seeing photos as stories. As documentation of lives. As art and as more art.

In this video that came across one of my feeds, Charlie explains photography as art. I like his thoughts. They resonate. And guess what – Charlie was a techy before he retired – how about that?

Here is an article that goes along with the video:

A Message To Photographers | Direct Advice On Making Truly Great Images

Even with a purchased path of learning – one always can and will personalize (or should). IPA is my content and a resource – but not my total learning experience. I will grow more by taking what I learn and discover into other places and applying, tweaking, expanding. It is my prep and research to contribute in other places at a higher level.

I will be following my #ds106 format of blogging as I learn. I have added a category for IPA.

#4life – #ds106: Still the method that helps my learning mean more to me and to make me accountable to self -but also in increasing my wealth thru sharing.

 

Photo Avalanches and Hocus Pocus

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Digital life brings file management hell! It is SO necessary. I find the longer you have been in this the more you have to change…..those just starting are able to leap ahead from our lessons learned. Clean up is tedious – but necessary. In some ways it is like our new home – we have lots of things that are important to us or have history and still in great condition -but it would be so much easier to start from scratch than try and work with what we have.

But you can’t escape – so it is figuring out how to make what you have work and improve on it. Much like collaboration on creative pieces – building and tweaking on what is already there…..hmmnnn – another DS106 thread of life.

I embarked on the DS106 path in January of 2015- 6 months after retirement. My goal was to organize myself and learn in order to document family. As I have gone thru iterations, I have found wealth. As I approach my 3 year mark, it is time to reflect.

I have improved my skills and learned new things. I have met new people. I have expanded my global view.

While DS106 is many things- it has made me think about learning and teaching.

I have always been one to think learning is personalized. You get out what you put in. I never quite figure out how others do it differently. How can you not want to put things in order and figure out how they work?

Part of my personal journey is to keep family first. Figuring out how to make sure my kids and their kids know who we are, where we came from, and how great they are in carrying us into the future.

I have inherited the family photo albums. We have 30K in digital pics! We have our first grandchild who prompts us to create even more to document!

After 2+ years of trying to figure out Lightroom I fell into a format by accident.

I have been following and reading bloggers by the numbers on how to organize and manage. I saw a common thread of saving by date and then using collections. It all sound great- but how.

I deleted what I had set up in Lightroom. I was working with only current photos. On a lazy Sunday, I started a new catalog from all of my photos that were on my hard drive. I didn’t realize I had set up Lightroom for certain import specs. By accident I got it right. All my photos imported by date!

This did create MANY folders. but it was okay. It was better than going photo by photo.

I began reorganizing by year to make the tree structure smaller. This was also a time to get rid of all the duplicates. It actually went smoother than I would have expected.

The other plus was the work I had done previously in Lightroom or in tagging etc. all carried forward!

The first thought was to get my catalog smaller in case Lightroom would start to freeze etc because the catalog had 30K+ photos. But more research points towards the fact that it is a database and not actual storage and many have not yet found the breaking point.

Next steps will be to go in and create the collections. I now know to keep folders with originals and dates move forward from there. With tagging I can create collections for special events or times.

I am almost finished up to the current date. Ironic in that 2017 is the most difficult. Seems I was saving and making sure I had pictures so I have 5-6 of the same picture to go thru. My sister also scanned all her hard photos and shared them with me so I have 1K that say 2017 when they are really the last 30 years. They are all tagged by her name – so I will create a collection and a folder that says Sandy’s Pics to separate them.

There are also all the ones I have downloaded from family via Facebook, messenger, texts. Those don’t always come thru with good metadata – so there is now a folder of Unsorted that will need attention.

All in all – so far it is feeling a whole lot more manageable. I found my notes from more than a year ago a workflow. I have changed it up a little to actually be less tedious.

  1. only download on desktop and directly into Apple Photos
  2. Title, tag, add descriptions etc. in Apple Photos
  3. Export to an auto import folder on my desktop so when LR opens they import with all the tags and metadata. (at least once a week or as needed)
  4. Optimize SmartFolders for Collections to pull in by tags.
  5. Set Time Machine up to back up hard drive so that Photos and Pictures folder are backed up. I know I have pictures in two places – but now I can back up the photos library and and the hard drive in two different places so that I know I will have redundancy.
  6. Set up Flickr for album uploads to share with family (also another back up)

Along with this new workflow I am also doing a weekly update in a private family blog. My first direction was to create the stories – but with so much coming in and limited time – I have been missing milestones and become buried in content. The weekly updates will offer a slice and still allow me to do the creations for events and milestones – but hopefully have more organized and ready to use. Plus it eliminates the urge to include everything in a creation – because now the content is still somewhere and available as narrative.

As I was cleaning up these files I also cleaned up my music files. Two older iPods are now music only and have all of our music on them. New music can be added easily now. It is backed up as well. Two years to get to this point – including ripping all of our CDs!

Can you see me doing a happy dance? It has made sticking to a walking regimen easier too. Just hope the new neighbors don’t laugh too hard if I start singing out loud while walking.

Yes – I guess Spring is the time to get organized!

The photo is from a ds106 Daily Create. It is a self portrait in a mirror and using photo editing to eliminate the camera. It took a little longer than 20 minutes but was a great creation process. #TDC1427

A month past – still here!

Wow – a month has passed without a post!

I am still here. I have been checking the Twittersphere when I can, viewing Flickr and Instagram, keeping up with family on FB. My art for the last 4 weeks has been in organizing moving and juggling a housing purchase while prepping the current house for listing!

We list on July 8 with an Open house on July 10. Hoping for a quick and clean sale!

Movers are coming in 15 days! So getting things packed, labeled and organized.

And – remembering why we are doing this – Landon! Squeezing in a day to go visit. Soon we will be close and we will be part of the day care team for 2 days of the week and as needed. 🙂

Looking forward to getting my office set up and back into a digital creating cycle again.

So far – it is still creating – just different ways.

Packing

Packing

My Little Guy!

 

 

#tdc1608 Guitar Solo

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What Just Happened? New Adventures!

Wow! Still pinching myself and trying to figure out what just happened. Almost seems like a Thelma and Louise moment of decision-making! But with a better outcome!

We have a new grandchild – our first. Our daughter lives about 6o miles from our current residence. Not a horrible distance, but enough to make visits something that have to be coordinated. No pop ins either way and no “can you just run over for 15 minutes and help me out” types of things.

Leaving from a visit about two weeks ago as we were driving out of the neighborhood, I spotted a house and just casually pointed it out to my husband and said that I really liked that house and could see myself living there if it was possible. Just mostly dreaming and in a way story telling in my head. I had no idea what the house looked like on the inside etc.

The next week I went to spend a few nights to help my daughter out while her husband had to be out of town. A 3 week old and new mom need extra hands. We were chatting about how it would be nice to be closer for helping out over the hour plus drive. As we were chatting – we heard activity outside. A FOR SALE sign was going up on the house I had admired! We quickly brought it up online. I had been watching the housing in the area for more than 18 months and new styles, looks etc. I had started watching when my daughter was looking for her home and never stopped the search updates. Over that time I really never saw anything that said MOVE NOW. Some things that were like dream places and way too big, too expensive, and too much upkeep for us in this stage of life, or too small, too old, too many projects that we just don’t want to do anymore. BUT-  this one was different. It actually looked like it was meeting all the dreamy checklist items I created in my mind that I thought would be impossible to ever come up.

Next – my husband is not a change lover like I am. He puts up with my change addiction, but does have some comfort boundaries.

I showed him the house online and reminded him of our previous conversation before it was for sale. He said – let’s look at it. WOW! Not expected.

Then things just get faster and more connected.

We made a showing appointment for a Wednesday. We took our daughter with us and we toured. It spoke to both of us as soon as we entered. Some of the customized features of the home were things we have done in our homes or have wanted to do. The finishes were not a downgrade from our current residence and several are actually upgrades. Some of the perks one thinks they should have after working hard for many years. Touring we noticed that most of the color pallette in this home were the exact same colors I have chosen over the last 2 years in our current home as updates. We got to the mechanical room of the house and found it has radiant heat and a boiler. My Dad was a great believer in radiant heat and we had learned a lot from him on what to look for, what was good etc. in a system. We couldn’t find anything that wasn’t pleasing or comfortable.

We went home and had some conversation. Should we move from the area we have known for almost 60 years of life? What would it be like moving to a rural town? But we would be closer to family. Very close to our new grandchild and 40 miles closer to our oldest daughter as well. We know our current residence we love -but taking care of 8 acres and a large home is getting to be not what we want to spend our time doing. This new place would still have things to do, but at a scale that is more enjoyable and not task mastering.

We decided to make an offer on Thursday. Did the research came in with a lower offer than asking price, but still fair for all as we saw it.

16 hours later we received news the offer was accepted in we were now in a legal contract to purchase! Closing will be within 30-45 days!

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OMG!!! What just happened? Usually we take painstaking steps or research and revisiting and reflection to make a decision. It takes me weeks and samples to choose a paint color!

But this all seems right. If it doesn’t work – we can move again.

We don’t have jobs anymore to tie us down and work around. We have not made the “snow bird” life choice of 6 months somewhere else each year. We can still commute to see friends etc. when we want and that will become the planning and scheduling instead of planning and scheduling family. It just all makes sense. And too many coincidences and signs – too many to list here now that say this is going to be good for us and our next adventure.

Nothing we are going to do can’t be changed again.

We only have this one time to be part of our grandson’s development. He has already changed so much in his first month – we don’t have years to make this decision. We have to act in the present to make a difference in the future.

So many things we thought we would do leisurely like clearing out belongings – getting the current residence “spiffy” and ready for selling. Now all that gets moved up and fast paced! We do have the advantage of some pacing as we have a closing date on the new home and the current one is not even for sale yet – so some transition time. But still a lot faster than ever imagined.

BUT IT FEELS RIGHT!

Here are the realtor pics of the new home with the current owners stuff – so things will change.

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ALBUM of REALTOR PICS

and here is our current home – someone looking to move – let’s make a deal!

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So – to my #ds106 friends and collaborators – I will be popping in and out for a few months. I won’t totally be gone – I don’t have that in me – I am #4life. Trying to think of it as my summer break. By the end of August we should be settled and set up again. I will be in the background watching and listening and supporting – not gone until then. Not sure if I can go that long without a GIF or video or design creation!

I see several hours ahead with my iPad blasting #ds106radio tunes as I am packing, cleaning, etc.

Also in my mind trying to figure out how to capture and create the story of the beginning of the adventure to put together once we are set up again.

And the awesome part is the online world doesn’t have to get packed or moved – just wifi! One less thing to think about. LOL!

#4Life

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