The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Technology

The Pick-up

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Today was the awards ceremony for the most recent Korea Brand UCC Contest. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I was unable to fully participate; however, I did manage to make it out to Seoul for a while today and meet with the fine folks at the Presidential Council on Nation Branding.

At first I declined to attend the ceremony, not because I didn’t want to meet everyone, but because it takes about 90 minutes to get from their offices back to Dongtan. Since the ceremony was going to be at least an hour, it meant there was no way for me to be at their office and miss work. My solution was to go early (with their permission), and they agreed.

As this was my second award, both parties were eager to put faces with names. When I received my award certificate, it was also shared with all those in attendance that I was a repeat award winner.

It was great to finally be at their offices and mingle with other award winners. There’s an incredible amount of talent in Korea, and the contest brought out the best in everyone. They announced two more contests for the remainder of 2010, and I might enter them as well. For now, I we’ll see how my free times stacks up.

As mentioned on YouTube, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions regarding my travel videos. I’m going to do that now, since I’ll be delivering my computer to UBASE on Friday for a hard disk upgrade, and I’m not sure when I’ll get it back. Couple that with SeoulTube 2010 and Chuseok (추석) next week and I think you’ll see that I’ll be away from the Internet for some time.

So here are those commonly asked questions:

How long does it take to make a travel video? On average, the 4-minute videos I produce on YouTube with a travel theme take a full day of editing. Meaning that it may take 8 or so hours to produce the 4-minute program.

How do I choose where to go? This is really more of a team effort on Jo and my part. We both love to travel and see as much as we can during the time allotted. This means researching our destinations and scouring over maps to see what may be interesting and off the beaten path. Once we have an idea of where we want to go, we set about researching the Internet and consulting tourism organizations and books for details.

Are my videos scripted? Not really. Based on my research, I know what bullet points I want to cover, but rarely do I actually write out each line.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re in Korea, I hope you have a great Chuseok and I’ll see you soon!

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Thanks!

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Since I’m opening the question gate over on YouTube, I thought I’d do it here as well. If you have a question about how I put together my travel videos, please let me know in the comments and I’ll craft them into a video response!

Written by Steve Miller

September 13, 2010 at 6:40 am

Many thanks!

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One of the things I try to do with my travel videos is to make them fun, interesting, and educational. When I returned from holiday this summer, I saw that Experience Korea had launched its Season 3 competition, focusing on traveling in Korea.

With only a day to prepare an entry, I opted to submit my Wongudan video.

I was notified last evening that it was selected as one of the honorable mentions in the competition. I am extremely grateful for this distinction and plan to continue making shorts that extols Korea’s hidden treasures!

Written by Steve Miller

September 10, 2010 at 7:27 am

An honest review…

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It really is magic...

I have been using a computer for longer than I can remember. I think the first computer I used was back in the late 1970s and I have loved them ever since. For a long time, I used PCs, simply because I needed certain software and Macs didn’t offer me anything. Over the years, I liked, Macs, but really didn’t like their operating system.

That all changed when Apple decided to drop their old system and move to UNIX. For those not-in-the-know, Macs run an operating system that dates back more than 40 years. By contrast, Windows is roughly half that old, and is continually being gutted and changed. So each incarnation is a new product. Apple went with UNIX because there’s so much behind it. When you add in the Linux community, the programming resources become infinitely larger.

But the thing that always grated me with Apple was their mice. I hated the one button thing. I was always used to two, three, or more buttons on a mouse. When I first got my Macbook Pro, I opted to get the Mighty Mouse. It’s a Bluetooth wireless mouse with several options. It offered left and right clicks (based on sensor inputs), had a trackball, and side buttons. I loved it. I could do everything with it.

However, the biggest problem with that mouse was the trackball. It would always get gunked up. When that happened, you either couldn’t scroll one way, or even at all. After three years and countless cleanings, my Mighty Mouse’s trackball finally gave in. I needed to get a replacement. Since I like the Bluetooth aspect of my mouse (it keeps a USB port free), I needed to get another one. Apple’s only option is the Magic Mouse, which they introduced last year.

It’s sleek. It’s sexy… but only has one surface and effectively one button. It allows for left and right clicking and solved the scrolling issue, by using the surface of the mouse as a touchpad. But, I had grown used to using Spaces and Exposé with my Mighty mouse. What was I going to do? Go to YouTube of course.

I found several tutorials on how to make better use of the mouse. this lead me to MagicPref. It’s a free program you install on your system to manage the Magic Mouse. It offers far more customization that I’ll ever use, but it now allows me to use Spaces and Exposé by creating special clicking areas (middle click for Exposé and three-finger click for Spaces). I love it and highly recommend this free program for anyone with a Magic Mouse.

Written by Steve Miller

July 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

Travel Videos: Research

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I’m going to be brutally honest. Most people don’t care about your trip. You have to make them want to care about the trip. When preparing to produce your travel video, you’ll need to do research ahead of time to know what you’re going to see in order to capture the most spectacular images. This also helps you when it comes to editing the final version, since you already know what kind of story you’d like to tell.

For me, I use a wide variety of resources when researching my topics. I use Wikipedia, travel blogs, tour books, and the materials published by the actual location. This assists me in getting the big picture of my destination. From here, I can pick and choose what I want to focus on. Doing this ahead of time also helps you write your copy for the video (speaking parts). It also makes it easier to type up descriptions and blog entries.

But the most important aspect of research, is that it helps you craft an engaging and interesting story. Here’s an example: On our trip to Indonesia, we visited several places. A travel video showing Jo and I walking around Indonesia may be entertaining to our families, but not to a large audience. Picking out interesting things to go see and do ahead of time allowed us to have a better vacation, but also assisted me in choosing how to string together all the clips to tell the story about Indonesia that will inspire people to get out of their homes and book flights.

The more information you have, the easier it makes things… but in my opinion, you don’t have to use it all. Viewers want to be engaged… not lectured.

Next week: Filming

Written by Steve Miller

July 24, 2010 at 4:18 am

Phones and the ADA

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I’ve written a few times about how phones in Asia are considerably more advanced than those in the US. But my question is this:

Given the ADA and the fact that hearing impaired individuals can use video calls to sign, is it likely the US Government will require all US carriers to provide such a service on all phones?

What are your thoughts?

Written by Steve Miller

July 15, 2010 at 5:41 am

Travel Videos: The Camera

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The Canon HFS11

Back in the US, there’s a little thing taking place this weekend called VidCon. It’s a conference, unlike any other YouTube gathering in the past, because it isn’t a gathering. It’s a professional development conference designed to help YouTubers make it big online. While I’m not big by any means, I do get a lot of questions regarding how I make my travel videos. So I thought I’d begin a new weekly series explaining the process.

The first in the series, as you can no doubt tell by the title, is about cameras.

I think of of the pitfalls people get into when they decide to make travel blogs or travel videos, is that they go out and spend a lot of money on a camera. I cannot more strongly disagree with that line of thinking. Sure, the better the camera, the more features and better the images will be. However, that doesn’t translate to having better content.

Really spend the time getting to know your camera. Changing the white balance, shooting settings, and other features may take time to learn, but in the long run, can make a huge difference in the product you produce. I’ve shot videos with my Canon HFS11 and my point-and-shoot camera. Both produce great videos. Only invest in a high-end camera when you want to take your production “to the next level.” That means, you want to be semi-pro. If you’re shooting videos to chronicle your trip, there’s no need for a $1500 camera. A regular camera will do.

Probably one of the most important thing to keep in mind when selecting a camera to shoot with is the filming rate. HD is all the rage these days, but isn’t a necessity. Choose a resolution that’s at least 640×480 and at least 30 frames per second (fps). This is key, since less than 30fps makes things a little hard to see when you’re moving the camera around. (Note: PAL is 25fps and Cinema is 24fps.)

If you do buy a regular camcorder, you may want to invest in a wide angle lens down the road. While these new HD cameras are great, sometimes shooting up close is quite difficult. for example, even with my long arms, it’s tough getting my face in-frame without a wide angle lens adapter.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comment section below and I’ll be happy to address them. I will not comment on brand recommendations, however. Most cameras will do the trick for everyday travel videos, and if you have specific questions about a model you’re interested in, I’m sure you this has the answer you’re looking for! That being said, if you have specific questions about the Canon HFS11, I’d be happy to discuss my experiences with it.

Next Week: Music

Written by Steve Miller

July 10, 2010 at 7:33 am