Monday, May 10, 2010

Playing Work gets a new home

In an effort to reinvigorate this blog (make it prettier) we have moved all of our content over to a wordpress blog. The new site url is:

Please check out the new site and let me know what you think. As of post time we are still experiencing some issues with site performance that I hope to have resolved soon. We'd love to hear your feedback.

Don't forget to subscribe to the new RSS feed on the new site!

Thank you for your continued support of our attempts to Play Work.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

Grove of Aspens trees in Utah, photo by Ryan Smith

Today I give thanks to this giant mass of rock and water that is our only home in the universe. Please remember to be kind to it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Make a left . . .

Directions have been on my mind a lot lately. As much as I might wish the path to be as clear as the photo above, there is never an easy way to success as an entrepreneur. I am forced to take chances, compromise, stand firm, solve impossible problems and do it with a smile. I often find myself wondering what direction to go and I'm forced to pick one or the other. This can be an extremely stressful and difficult choice, but that's just it . . . I have a choice.

We all have a choice. What's yours?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fear, Creativity and Portfolios

I try to consistently update my print portfolio with new photographs, but it is easy to get comfortable with what I already have in there. While I am always excited to add new images to show where my style is going, there is also a subtle fear in the back of my mind about how the new images fit in with my overall creative vision. It's silly I know, because after all it's my portfolio. It's my eye and it's how I see the world. It's pointless to let fear of other people's rejection influence what I put in my book.

We work in a creative industry that frequently ignores creativity. How is that possible you ask? Well, for the same reason I hesitate when adding new images to my portfolio. It's the fear of change . . . fear of doing something different and unproven.

I feel the photography profession is at a point where if you try to follow the old map you will quickly run into a dead end. The NY Times reported on this the other week. The map is old and doesn't account for new roads, tolls, roadblocks and wilderness. This leaves us with two alternatives . . . follow the old road until you run out of gas, or make your own map. I am working on my own map as we speak. It changes frequently, has many roadblocks and countless areas of uncharted terrain, but it's all mine. I'm the only one who can get to where I want to go.

So I'm going to add new images to my portfolio and the only requirement is that I like them and they represent my creative vision. They must be visually striking, intelligent and cohesive yet unpredictable. And maybe, just maybe someone will like them enough to hire me.

What do you fear and what are you going to do about it?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Universe in a Cardboard Tube

Sometimes I find joy in the simplest of things. Like pointing my camera through a cardboard tube and playing with different colors at the end of the tunnel. They make me think of our galaxy and the universe beyond. Do you think Captain Kirk ever saw anything like this?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Moving Toward Motion

Lately, I have been experimenting with video production and have been working hard to learn new technology and workflow. The above video was pieced together as a way to learn Final Cut Pro. It took me much longer than it should have, but I learned a lot about editing along the way.

The original footage was shot back in February and was not planned. I used this day as an opportunity to play and experiment with the Canon 5D Mark II. This video is by no means perfect, but it was a hell of a lot of fun to make.

In the spirit of learning, please give me your feedback. What do you like about the video, what do you dislike? I am open to all comments and suggestions.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RARE: Portraits of America's Endangered Species

Here are two videos by photographer Joel Sartore promoting his new book, RARE. Thanks to APE for these links.

RARE from Joel Sartore on Vimeo.

RARE: Behind the Scenes from Joel Sartore on Vimeo.