MiMaVe-Design-Photo

SlowWeb: Ten commandments by MiMaVe-Design-Photo

  1. Avoid compendiums
  2. Only content that’s been thought through and digested by the author
  3. Adjacent media that’s really made by the author (example: photos mainly manual, avoid ready filters or settings in development)
  4. Avoid linking and referring as much as possible
  5. Real bespoken environment for the content, avoid ”feeds” (sterile)
  6. Rather spelling than skimming
  7. Opinions and comments only if they bring real content or thoughts
  8. Avoid trends, be honest
  9. No content for the contents sake.
  10. Content as a whole, avoid content that creates a want (consumerism).
Discussion on SlowWeb: Ten commandments by MiMaVe-Design-Photo

The Software

So it’s time to go through the software I use , I’ve used and that I know something of. So those into to graphics , video , photo , web , 3d , animation , sound , music , linux , open source etc. etc. etc. etc. Here is what drives these things.

In a digital world you can’t do anything without the more or less intrigate conglamorates of code that twist and turn the to us visual, aural etc. manifestations. First a voyage to bits and then to make wonderful things and combinations with these bits that in the end of their path meet our eyes, ears and feelings and we can again experience those bits as something real. Is that absolutely fantastic when you think about it, or what? Ok enough of the semi philosophical chitchat.

I’m mainly a Linuxian, been using Linux for quite some years now. So this, as you might quess, has some impact on my software decisions. I do also use Win, if I have to, and Android and Ios, but the more I use Linux the more I love it.

I’ve used Ubuntu Studio as my main operating system since 14.04 and I’ve been happy. Most of the problems have come from dual booting to Win. (aka windows breaking things 😉) Ok enough rant. With Ubuntu studio you get all the media software you need out of the box and if you need more there is more, but the software..

Photography

The best software I’ve used and I like most for digital photo development and file management is Darktable. It’s an absolutely ingredibly fantastic software, there is always something new to take you to the next level, but it’s also convenient and has great usability also.

Pixel twisting

If I need to twist and turn and blend image pixels in a more drastic way I use Gimp, great software this also. Sometimes I also use Krita, but haven’t used it that much, but the brush/painting side of it seem more developed than in Gimp.

Video

Before I used Blender for video editing also, but with more 4k-material it became quite difficult, so I took a another look at Kdenlive and have not been wanting another video editor since then. So I use mainly Kdenlive for video now. My previous excursion to Kdenlive ended up in frustration. The version/combo I used then was unstable even if the software was great, but with the version I use now there have been no issues or very few. Kdenlive is simple, but has enough complexity for most situations and when you need more you can always dive into the brilliance of Blender. More of Blender below. FFmpeg is also a part of my video workflow . Joining the timelapse images developed in Darktable, cropping, changing codecs, bitrates etc. ffmpeg does that. It’s a command line tool and very powerful, many other software depend on it also. I’ve been using SlowmoVideo more and more. It’s a software that tries to calculate images between images. If you don’t have enough flops (fps 😉) you can try to do slowmo even though. It also functions as a way to do the timelapses and it is becoming my go to timelapse footage maker. There is a lot of testing still to do to get the most out of it for my part at least. It can’t do miracles, but it can do things…

3d/animation

Blender is absolutely incredibly fantastically amazing, almost anything you can think of, you can do with Blender and a lot more. Graphics, animation, video, 3d design etc. etc. If you are creative, but don’t have oceans of cash Blender is just the thing for you. As it is so multifaceted the learning curve is quite steep though, but you get value for your investment and patience. I’ve done animation, video, edit, graphics character creation, 3d design etc. etc. with Blender. And the extremely great aspect with Blender is that there is a lot of tutorials etc. on the web, so… There is also Meshroom (photogrammetry) and Meshlab that I’ve used/use.

Graphic Design

I really enjoy using Inkscape and if I can do the things with Inkscape I often do even if Gimp etc. would be more suitable for pixels. The great thing about Inkscape is the SVG. I think Svg is absolutely fantastic, it’s so versatile and it can be also used as code (also for animation), imported in to Blender for example for 3d/animation etc. It’s fantastic! And as I’m not the best draughtsman on this earth, it’s much easier for me to move the points/vertexes, twist the curves and flip the planes… The form language is quite universal. After doing some 3d-design studies I’ve even developed my graphic design capabilites in Blender. Blenders 3d-environment can be used in many ways also in graphics design… For layout and pdf-stuff I use Scribus and been happy with it.

Audio

For audio I mostly use Ardour. It’s an absolutely fantastic DAW (digital audio workstation). For video sound Kdenlive can do a lot. So if you have the field sound from multiple sources you can do the mixing, syncing, editing also in Kdenlive. Audacity I mainly use for it’s noise cancelling and I do my mid-side raw conversions in Audacity. Sound/instrument wise I use mostly the Calf plugins, Yoshimi syntheziser, Hydrogen for drums, RackaRack for the guitars etc.

Programming/Software development related

I used Bluefish as my main IDE for quite a while, which I was happy with, but aim to try to use Kate now, but Bluefish is always there also… As for development my main skills lies in css, html and to a degree in WordPress related php and also some JS. I have some skills also in Python (Django), software design, UI/UX, management/planning, security etc. But I’m no real coding expert and my interest lie mainly in embedding and using media, animation etc. as part of web…

The non Linux software I know/used

I’ve used many of Adobes software (illustrator, lightroom, after effects, premiere, photoshop, Xd). Some 3d-related software I’ve used Autocad, Solidworks, Fusion 360 and Unity. There are of course tons of other software I’ve used during the years, but the more you use software that is build with passion and with the love for the specific field/area of knowledge the more you enjoy the Linux/open source stuff.

Discussion on Software

The Gear

I would think most of you, who have something to do with media or media production, have the same opinion: You never have enough gear , or good enough for that matter! 😉 Ok that’s taking it a bit far. You can do great stuff with not so great gear and awful stuff with great (expensive?) gear, but you can’t do the things to do without the right gear/equipment etc. to do it in the first place. That’s just how it goes. So what you need depends on what you do and how you do it (workflow). Probably most of us involved with media have a love/hate relationship to equipment and gear, be it photo/video related, computer related, sound related etc. etc. etc. etc. So for all you that love the more techy stuff I’ll go through my main toys and gadgets here, hold on to your wallets… 😄

Photo/video/field related

I have two camera bodies. One Nikon aps-c body that’s already been through a lot and a newer mft Panasonic Lumix body more for video stuff, especially 4k. I think that with the Nikon body I can still get good enough images for my needs, but it lacks on video resources that the Lumix body fills marvelously, it’s not that bad on image quality either. I also have a Nikon 4k capable pocket super/hyper zoom that works ok for certain situations and I also use my old sony smartphone as a 4k/sound “gatherer” as it has quite good water resistance, I say it’s got pretty wet at times… 🤓 So for photo/timelapse I use the Nikon body, for video the Lumix and for additional (meaning risky/fast) stuff the Sony and the Nikon pocket. I also have a film body, that’s mostly gathering dust, but has a few interesting lenses… There are some other stuff also, but…

As for video sound and field recording I have two portable recorders (up to 8 channels combined) both capable of 96khz/24bit with mid-side, shotgun, stereo mics and two pen condensers, lavs and the mandatory trinkets and stuff…

About the lenses: I have a few full frames for Nikon 15-30mm, 50mm, 50-500mm and some aps-c lenses also plus the film body lenses for some “effect” footage and a Panasonic 12-60mm. With adapters I can use the lenses on different bodies and adaptability was a big reason why I went and got a mft body in the first place and so far been very happy with the decision. The adapters I have: A dummy to adapt the film lenses to Nikon, a dummy and a booster to adapt the Nikon to Lumix, and with more Nikon dummy adapters you could adapt many many a lenses to my bodies, but I’m quite happy with the ones I have now… There is though no auto when using these adapters, but I prefer mostly manual even when auto would be available, though the Lumix body-lens-combo has absolutely great auto focus features when and if needed… What’s great about using the adapters and full frame is that I can get a 100-1000mm equivalent with the dummy and an about the equivalent of putting the full frame on a aps-c, but with a full stop of light “more”, with the booster. 😄 And I`ve been amazed by the sharpness of the combos… I also have quite a few stances, tripods, mounts, brackets and stuff to get the cameras where I want them to be…

Studio related

Studio in the meaning of an ability to control the “environment” or aspects of it at least to some degree…

video/photo

For video and photo light I’ve got for example a hand flash combo of four flashes, with a couple of sofboxes, snoots, honeycombs, gels etc. I also have a set (3) of continuos light (daylight) with sofboxes. The daylight has a slight greenish tint but not that “bad”. Then there are some old film flashes, a flash that you can put instead of a light bulb and some light stands, remote controllers for the hand flashes and a lot of trinkets, screws, adapters, a lot of requisite etc.

Sound

Sound wise everything happens through a computer (that means digital). I have a quite well functioning audio interface and two audio recorders that also can function as an audio interface. Quite a few real music instruments and sound devices, a midi controller and a varied gathering of headphones, speakers etc. Mics I have include a shotgun mic, a condenser mic, two pen condensers, stereo and mid-side mics and lavaliers. So most of the sound/video sound etc. situations should be covered.

Computers and related

I have a desktop computer with quite a lot of counting power, recently even upgraded to a fast nvme disk and to 48gb ram, yes that’s a lot, but already used up to 35gb ram on a project, complex 4k video editing is very very hungry 😲. I’ve also got a two monitor + 4k tv setup, from which one of the monitors is a pretty nice hardware calibration capable one plus a calibration device, graphical tablet, back up hdd’s, several memory cards. After a couple of failed cheaper memory cards I’ve primarily used the more professional ones even if they cost a little more, hint hint. 🤔

If in need of more mobile devices I have a bit more slower counting laptop and an Ipad (which I think is useless except for surfing/Ios quirks hunting etc.), but you can at least do the basics with the laptop leaving the heavy lifting and colour sensitive stuff for the desktop and the color graded quality monitor. And you need or need to get your hands on as many a devices etc. for testing web stuff and sound stuff etc.

After words

That’s a lot and things can get a little cluttered sometimes, but to do the stuff you need the stuff to do them with and mine are for the most part quite budget friendly, no throwing away thousands here… 😲 But it’s nice to have different places to keep things. So I have boxes, a bag for the photo stuff, one for video and sound, one for the flashes, bags for some tripods and for the light system. This way it’s easier to grab what you need, many small instead of big ones…

Discussion on Gear and gadgets

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