31 July, 2017

pianissimo: How to move a piano (part 1)

Part of the magic of a piano is that they are always surrounded by art. Designing them is an art. Playing them is an art. Recording them is an art. Tuning them is an art. And, it turns out, moving them is an art as well. Recently, I was able to watch as a grand piano was moved from a San Francisco apartment to a house. As always, it was enlightening to watch people who were experienced in the art.

As I noted in "Timber!", tools and infrastructure make jobs like this significantly easier, and provide more margin for error. For this move, the movers mounted the piano to a wooden sled (think of a dolly with no wheels), and used the sled as an interface with the world. They let the sled ride down the stairs, and not having to keep the piano off the floor allowed them to focus their efforts on staying centered in the narrow interior staircase, and keeping the descent under control.

30 June, 2017

A Tall Ship's Long Shadow

Last week, I and a number of other Googlers answered the Call of the Sea, volunteering time, labor, and a bit of ingenuity to further the construction of the Matthew Turner, a historically-inspired tall ship being built in Sausalito.

At the time of our visit, the ship was already in the water, but was still lacking essential components like the masts and sails.

14 May, 2017

Portfolio Brainstormin'

As I've been working to update my portfolio for the first time since 2013 (when I took this picture), it's again occurring to me that the traditional sense of a portfolio as a collection of images-that-stand-alone doesn't really fit the kind of work I do. I feel like my dedication to storytelling and my focus on everyday moments are two distinguishing traits of my work. I try to get the aesthetics and style down as well, but I feel like they're less central to what I do.

But presenting those characteristics as part of an online portfolio still seems challenging. Among other things, phone screen aspect ratios make it challenging to lay out images and text together, such that the text is legible and the details of the image are still visible.

30 April, 2017

Timber, Day 2: Tetris

In the months that passed since the first work day, the entire demeanor of the terrain had changed. Drought, wildfire, and clouds of dust had been replaced by rain-induced landslides and a smattering of beat up, rerouted, and sometimes-closed roads.

As the dappled sunlight and scattered logs of the worksite came into view, I was also greeted by a miniature creek running along a 10-foot section of the gravel access road. Which, I remembered, was one main motivation of embarking on this adventure in the first place — Mark wanted to reroute that road, to reduce the impact of that erosion, and the tree was in the way.