Category: Blog

What’s going on?

I’m still alive, just hardly here. I hope this isn’t the end. There likely never will be, as I like picture-taking far too much. But my energies have been elsewhere. A lot of them, as you could’ve guessed from the last post, went to developing Campaign Trail. As you may have also guessed, I chose not to release the game. Not at least in its current state, as the humor was wrong. My assumption about the election was wrong, and releasing the game as it were would’ve come out looking like a political endorsement.

To some degree, I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t think I’ll be involving myself in political undertakings on that overt scale for a while. Not in games, at least.

So what will come of this? Hopefully nothing too grave. As I write, I’m far too fond of photography to give it up, but I’ve been spending considerable time with client work on the design end, slowly getting my business off the ground, and writing more and more code.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Greenlit!

Greenlit text on purple background

Jesus.

Campaign Trail actually made it. I don’t know how I should feel. It almost came by surprise. On top of that, I’m very excited to be joining one particular startup as their creative director.

We're in!

Arthem is getting busy with client work, and I might be looking for another dev. What a week.

A busy week

Campaign Trail launch thumbnail

We signed two new web clients this week, I’ve got a marathon to photograph on Sunday, and I’ve released a goddamn game to Steam Greenlight. They’re a tough crowd, I tell ya.

In fact, I wonder if I made the right decision, pouring all that work into a game like that. It’s not too well received. If it isn’t accepted, I’m going to have a very hard time breaking that to the team, let alone getting back to the drawing board with anyone else along for the ride.

 

The bell tolls for me

A fake Ernest filter alla Yusuf Karsh

So I’ve started University, and the exploration of the much-loathed selfie came about as a project. My interpretation of it’s deconstruction, with a removal of the figurative me, is such:

Non figurative me

It’s a screenshot as one can tell, with leach window and app layered so as to portray my online being in succeeding levels of abstraction. In the forefront, an excerpt from a conversation I had with my girlfriend, and to the right the remainder of the title image (above), concealed in an ad. That would play to my take on the cheapness-appeal of the Selfie. Indeed, the porn is too.

Deleting my history then comes as a gag with the porn, and as a reference to something I’ve done may a time. I’ve deleted whole accounts, and swathes of my online identity, too.

Behind it all, my thoughts, unedited yet out of view. Behind that still, the second place the original image appears, this time as a base64 encoded string, to represent the physical component of a selfie.

Resource: On Taking Pictures

Screaming kid into mic by Jason Rosewell

Over the years, I’ve only ever loved listening to “On Taking Pictures,” a podcast by 5by5, hosted by Jeffery Saddoris and Bill Wadman.

Each lengthy episode covers everything from the current gadget on the media radar to philosophical discussion about the nature of one’s role as a photographer. The Photographer of the day segment details the work of a selected artist, new each week, and what their style and influence was on the art form as a whole. In a way, they are a continuous, past-to present analysis machine of the state of photography.

And I could not recommend them more.

Running with the Virtual Bulls

On ninth day of the fiesta I found myself, despite fervently refusing the four years prior, inside the fences of the encierro. I’d already seen gorings from the press barriers and knew what could come, but to complete my fiesta experience from what I was clearly missing, I ran the Ayutamiento.

It wasn’t much of run of course, I barely got anywhere before the bulls were past me and the crowd had shoved me aside, but it was exhilarating nonetheless. I finally seem to see where the camaraderie of the runners comes from. What the veterans talk about when praising the run itself. By no means am I a runner now, but I see it, what wishing someone luck before then run means.

IMG_7839

The very same day I had the pleasure of running again–this time the length of the course. An impossible feat if it weren’t for the Virtual Reality (VR) software presented by the folks at the Encierro Exhibition.

Donning the HTC Vive headgear and stepping into braced platform that would allow one to run freely in any direction while keeping the runner in place, the Omni by Virtuix , I was placed in a virtual encierro.

The studio behind the work has clearly kept attention to detail a top priority, as with every excited head turn, one could see the photorealistically accurate buildings that make up the course. And, to my delight, one could look down alleyways and streets beyond the course, too.

Inclines, bends and buildings are all there already. One might even see more in the VR simulation of the actual buildings surrounding the run than during the fiesta, as the crowds of San Fermin cover what the encierro experience aims to reproduce.

The Toro del Fuego (or Firebull) is a plastic bull likeness with real bull horns made for children, and it gets its name from the fireworks it shoots as it chases the younger generation of the fiesta.

Naturally, the beta is a beta and there is a pronounced lack of runners, and there aren’t any steers, photographers, policemen and attendants to the run of all sorts to see. And yet, the miracle-run from just before the bullpen to the triumphant exit of the callejon into the plaza is a marvelous experience, one I’d like to see again, and recommend to anyone looking for a very futuristic take on this age-old tradition.

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New Site, New Rythm

Screenshot of original mikemingway.com landing page

Hello World,

So to the few that paid attention, gone is the old site. Gone is the mikemingway that we knew, the first site I ever built.

That site came at the tail-end of my fervent curiosity with cameras, and we could say the infancy of my photographic career. I was exploring all sorts of stuff then. From 3D design, digital arts and game design, to mead-making, writing and other evils. A lot of those interests crystallized and I’m still at them today.

With that first iteration, I learned my way around web design, and really paved the way for the web business I’m running now. Of course, it was all static HTML and very hard to update without a CMS. That kinda let me stagnate with uploading, and in turn killed a lot of the momentum I had with my photography. This site is then the answer to that. A fully custom theme I can be involved in with my web design and the WordPress back-end to manage frequent updates should keep me going strong with my photos.

Screenshot of the categories from my site

On top of all that, this new site lets me add way more diverse content, as I’m no longer bound by my original site’s three categories. This was a design decision I learned in school, that of scope, and one I was wisely advised by other designers while considering the redesign. This new site may not be as focused, but hey.

To infinity, and beyond.

-Mike