ccourses

TRU Time

You Show Show Notes

A credible, textbook design process includes extensive pre-planning, testing, reviewing feedback, and making public once it has been thoroughly scrutinized. That’s not happening here. The previous post was syndicated here from a new project being hastily assembled by me and Brian Lamb at TRU as part of my Fellowship. Part of the package was running […]

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#over / #notover … no one decides

Okay Connected Course students, assessment time. True or False? It’s actually some sort of inside out zen riddle. Pretty much the concept of a course as most all of us know through decades of conditioning is that classes/courses are clearly bounded in time. The school sets the schedule, the teacher gives out the final grade. […]

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The Blog Talk Garage is Open

It’s been a few weeks since the Blog Brothers were yakking but they did let participants (well anyone) know that their garage would be open for those angling to create a Connected Course. Open is as open does. Cars are pretty easy, right? Blogs and RSS are way more finicky pieces of engineering? Maybe, maybe […]

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It’s All About the Do

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC ) flickr photo shared by roberthuffstutter With travel and moving to my new perch for a few months, in the last few weeks, my awareness of what’s going on in Connected Courses has been mainly the vibe I get from scans of the #ccourses twitter stream and reading a few […]

Blog Pile, TRU Time

Looking for Light/Looking for Ideas


creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

For a break today, my first full day on campus at Thompson River University, I do the thing I enjoy most– wandering around with my camera.

I do cite a subtle and maybe overlooked tip for photography is “to look for the light.” This means much more than conventional wisdom of having your back to light sources, which often does work to best light a subject outdoors. But there is just as much beauty in breaking that, taking photos directly into the light, or using strong side lighting.

But I’d been thinking about something I probably operate at a more instinctual level, from experience with the camera, there is a feeling when I am in certain places, or noticing the way light is highlighting vividly, or when it is absent, or when shadows and light have interplay. I cannot pinpoint it, but its a gut feeling in those moments that there is interesting light at work. And that means I then amplify my awareness and look more intently as to where I might find it.

You see, most of photography is done by figuring out how to remove most of what you see, that is composition by cropping out with just the camera view finder.

The photo above was taken in a non descript location, the stairwell of the building Gardner Campbell works in at Virginia Commonwealth University. But when I looked up, as I tend to do, and scan around me, I got that feeling from the way the light was coming in the windows, the geometries of the elements, the shadow on the wall… it told me that maybe there was an interesting photo in that place.

I am seeing this now at almost 5pm in the student union, I am looking at the vivid last daylight strike a vivid streak across the valley, lighting up the city of Kamloops at the based of dark brooding mountains. There is a photo there (well actually it was better yesterday):


creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

I am not writing this just to whaffle about photography techniques, though I do really enjoy myself writing about the thoughts behind a photo as much as I like reading about the ideas of others, like Tom Woodward wrote last night on his photo of a couple’s kiss with a dog in front of a 7-11:

I was actually trying to shoot the dog here and the kiss started. The camera was extended at arms length and nearly on the ground. As a result, I wasn’t sure I’d got the shot until I looked later. You don’t often see zombies kissing so that was pretty fortuitous. The whole image tells a pretty interesting story with 7-11, cigarette ads, that big guy in the corner … it’s another version of Americana.

Photography is more than just snapping photos, damnit. Well to me it is.

But I have been noodling if there is a similar process at work when swimming among the firehose of information in a space like Connected Courses or the whole damn web in general. Is there a sense you get when just scanning, of something like “good” or “interesting” light in photography that takes you to interesting ideas?

Is it a clever title? a turn of a phrase? a provocative link? a vague link that does not indicate where it goes? The familiarity of the source url or the curiousness of it? What are the suggestions in the flow that help you clue in to what tends to be more interesting than not?

Because, I conjecture, if you can hone your senses for seeing nuanced suggestions of good/worthy/intriguing ideas out there in the information flow, you can get much more out of it than just getting soaked.

I don’t know. Play along with me. Tell me what clues your senses, if you really do have an attention span less than a goldfish, how well do you use it?

What I do know is my photos.

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Transmutation

As Cogdogblog awoke one morning from uneasy dreams it found itself transformed in its posts to something else. Not at all an insect. But absolutely changed. If only he could remember how to blog. Surely it was not difficult. Surely there was a Manual. Surely there was a Professional Development Seminar by a World Known […]