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Top Gifts for Media Savvy Friends

Photo Credit: Christmas at Mom's House by Jen Gallardo

Photo Credit: Christmas at Mom’s House by Jen Gallardo

If you are anything like me, chances are you are trying to work your way through a list of folks you need to shop for this holiday season. While some friends and family are easy to shop for, others are a little bit more challenging. Personally, I find my media savvy friends the most challenging to shop for as they have all the latest and greatest gadgets and a ton of accessories for them, to boot. However, I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge! Here are some unconventional gift ideas for the photographers, filmmakers and media-lovers in your lives.

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

For your comedy-television-loving friend, consider purchasing Amy Poehler’s biography Yes, Please. In this hilarious read, Poehler shares stories that ultimately help us understand how she went from Upright Citizens Brigade to television star and frequent host of the Golden Globes. For a great one-two comedic punch, you may also want to include Tina Fey’s biography Bossypants or comedy legend Martin Short’s latest I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. Continue reading

Video Didn’t Necessarily Kill the Radio Star

Serial Podcast Logo via Time.com

Serial Podcast Logo via Time.com

More often that not, we hear that a certain medium has been declared dead. It’s not uncommon to hear people give radio the death knell. Traditional radio stations for music lost their monopoly over the airwaves to satellite radio and online streaming services like Pandora. However, even those newcomers are struggling to consistently turn a profit in a business where many mouths need to be fed. That said, I contend that while radio struggles with music, it provides opportunity for other content creators to grow audiences with limited investment in resources via podcasting.

In case you are unfamiliar, podcasting is essentially Internet radio. You can record your podcast and very easily broadcast it through a number of different services. While you can do video podcasts, traditionally it has been audio only. This eases the barrier to entry as most people have a means of recording themselves such as on their mobile device or on a laptop computer with a built in microphone. Plus, you don’t need to worry about hair and makeup when all that gets recorded is your voice.

Recently, I learned that podcasting is so easy that even aging comedians can do it (I kid!)! Continue reading

John Huston Retrospective at Film Society

Scene from Key Largo; Credit: The Kobal Collection / Warner Bros

Scene from Key Largo; Credit: The Kobal Collection / Warner Bros

During the months of December and January, New York City’s Film Society of Lincoln Center will be doing a retrospective featuring the work of filmmaker John Huston. Let There Be Light: The Films of John Huston will feature an exhaustive collection of over forty films where Huston was involved as director, screenwriter or actor. For the majority of these films, he both directed and wrote the screenplays. Continue reading

Crowdsourcing and You

Photo by Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP - © 2014 - Focus Features - Wish I Was Here

Photo by Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP – © 2014 – Focus Features – from Wish I Was Here

What do you, Zosia Mamet, Lavar Burton and Zach Braff have in common? You all can create a crowdfunded fundraising campaign! In the absence of public funding for the arts, many people are turning to the same methods marathon runners have been using for years — tapping into their social networks to raise money for a cause.  Continue reading

Top 4 Things Filmmakers Should Be Thankful For

Image still copyright Peanuts Worldwide

Image still copyright Peanuts Worldwide

As we approach Thanksgiving, there is a huge pull towards consumption. We want to eat all the stuffing and all the dessert and then get ALL the best Black Friday sales. However, the holiday, per its name, is about truly reflecting and giving thanks for the things that make us fortunate. Instead of consuming, we should be creating; creating food to share with out families and making lifelong memories, even if they are about how crazy the trip to get home was (thanks, Winter Storm Cato)!

That said, in the spirit of the holiday, here’s a reflection on the top 4 things filmmakers should be thankful for in this day and age.  Continue reading

Celebrate at the MoMA

Postcard of Heckscher Building (where MoMA originally rented space), with The Plaza Hotel (right), 1923 via MoMA.org

Postcard of Heckscher Building (where MoMA originally rented space), with The Plaza Hotel (right), 1923 via MoMA.org

If you are in NYC this weekend, you might want to stop by the MoMA and wish it a happy birthday! The Museum of Modern Art is hosting an event the evening of November 15th in honor of its 85th anniversary.

The MoMA was born in the shadow of the infamous Wall Street Crash of 1929. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and her friends opened the museum which was the first of its kind in Manhattan. The museum quickly expanded under the leadership of president A. Conger Goodyear, eventually outgrowing the several rooms it occupied on the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue. Continue reading

Capturing Life: Strategies for Taking Better Photos from Henri Cartier-Bresson

Line Drawing by Jen Gallardo

Line Drawing by Jen Gallardo

Recently, I read an article published in the New York Times Lens photo blog containing excerpts of a 1971 interview conducted by Sheila Turner-Seed with legendary Magnum photography Henri Cartier-Bresson. The article struck me at how easily almost everything Cartier-Bresson said could be applied to photography today. Given his status as the father of modern photography, we can distill from his comments some clear strategies for taking better photos.

Lesson One: “you shouldn’t overshoot”

In the interview, Cartier-Bresson mentions that you shouldn’t overshoot. He acknowledges that when you shoot, there are plenty of “yes” moments and then some “maybes” but really, what he is saying is to be judicious. Take too many photos and you may miss the moment (your camera runs out of space and/or film). In our current digital age, take too many photos and you give yourself the headache of having to process over 400 photos! Continue reading

Three Ways to Improve your Nighttime Photography

It’s starting to get much darker way earlier here in New York. By the time 5pm rolls around, the sun has nearly completely set. Until the winter solstice, the days are going to keep getting shorter. If you like to make pictures, this means trouble. Unfortunately for us, our cameras don’t automatically adjust the way our eyes do. Thankfully, there are ways to get the camera to behave when the lights are low. Here are three pretty simple ways to improve your low light photography today.

Friday Night Details by Jen Gallardo

Friday Night Details by Jen Gallardo

1. Ditch flash

It sounds counterintuitive, but if you want to take better pictures in dark atmospheres you should avoid using the flash attached to your camera.

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Project 366: The End

It took us a while to finally post these, but here are the last two photos Anthony and I took in the year 2012. As always, this daily project was an adventure wrought with lots of challenges — but we managed to thrive. We are looking forward to challenging ourselves in new ways in 2013. Keep an eye out for our first group of photos from 2013 next week!

December 30, 2012

Santa's in a Tree by Jen Gallardo

Santa’s in a Tree by Jen Gallardo

Places I've Visited by Anthony J. Merced

Places I’ve Visited by Anthony J. Merced

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Project 366: Week 52

Christmas finally arrived this week and we spent much of the time eating, as you’ll see below! We also spent a lot of time playing with gifts we received and, of course, having a good time with family and friends as well. We hope your holiday was joyous and well-catered! As always, let us know which photos are your favorites in the comments area below this post.

December 23, 2012

Handmade Card by Jen Gallardo

Handmade Card by Jen Gallardo

Kid Toys by Anthony J. Merced

Kid Toys by Anthony J. Merced

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