Category: Stories

Help Globe TigeRobotics continue its high school program!

Globe High School’s robotics team had a big win at the 2015 Arizona West Regionals! We then had an amazing and educational time at the World Championships in St. Louis, MO, and State Championships in Prescott Valley, AZ. We need your help to continue to grow this team, which participates in the FIRST Robotics Program.

Ways to Support TigeRobotics Financially

  • One of the easiest ways for Arizona residents to help out is to fill out the Extracurricular Activity Tax Credit Contribution Form, which allows you to donate via check directly to the cause and get an equivalent 2015 tax credit of up to $400. Click here to get the printable form which can be mailed in or delivered in person.
  • If you’d like to donate via check without the tax benefit, please make checks out to “Globe High School Robotics“. Checks can be delivered in person or mailed to the Globe High School District Office, Attn: Noelle Anderson, 501 Ash St, Globe, AZ 85501.
  • To make an online donation via credit card, please visit our campaign page at http://www.gofundme.com/rd7sfw

For all other questions, please contact us! Thank you for your support of this important program and incredible life-changing opportunity!

2015 Arizona West Regional Competition Photos

Globe TigeRobotics making some adjustments to their robot at Arizona West regional competition.
Globe TigeRobotics making some adjustments to their robot at Arizona West regional competition. Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.
Globe TigeRobotics at Arizona West regional competition.
Globe TigeRobotics at Arizona West regional competition. Our coach is being interviewed by Fox 10 News (Phoenix) in the background. Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.
Globe TigeRobotics competing in the arena with other robots at Arizona West regional competition.
Globe TigeRobotics competing in the arena with other robots at Arizona West regional competition. Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.
Day 2 of competition for Globe TigeRobotics at Arizona West regional competition.
Day 2 of competition for Globe TigeRobotics at Arizona West regional competition. Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.
Globe TigeRobotics gets their shot at the Playoffs with top-ranked alliance members Team 2122 (Boise) and Team 3309 (Anaheim).
Globe TigeRobotics gets their shot at the Playoffs with top-ranked alliance members Team 2122 (Boise) and Team 3309 (Anaheim). Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.
2015 Arizona West Regional champions: Team 3309 (Anaheim), Team 2122 (Boise), and Team 5059 (Globe). Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.
2015 Arizona West Regional champions: Team 3309 (Anaheim), Team 2122 (Boise), and Team 5059 (Globe). Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.
2015 Arizona West Regional champions: Team 5059 (Globe).
2015 Arizona West Regional champions: Team 5059 (Globe). Photo by Kenneth Chan Photography.

Click the following link to see more photos of Globe TigeRobotics at the 2015 Arizona West Regional Competition! Thank you for your support! To review donation options, please click to return to the top of the page.

About Globe TigeRobotics

Here’s a playlist of our current videos, including team introductions, demos of our robot, and competition footage!

Click the following link to see more photos of Globe TigeRobotics FRC Team 5059! Thank you for your support! To review donation options, please click to return to the top of the page.

 

The World of Blind Photographers

Someone recently joked about taking my photography classes even though he is completely blind. Even though it was initially meant as a joke, I wanted to let him know that this is not actually as impossible as it may sound! In recent years, there have been a number of photographers gaining recognition in the world for pursuing their art despite being blind. In some cases, the photographer has low-vision or is color blind; other individuals are legally-blind and have even been completely blind from birth, having never experienced the world in the same way as a seeing person. Nonetheless, the artistic spirit is strong with many such individuals and photography is their chosen medium. Below are a number of links I have found to various galleries and articles about blind photographers.

Sight Unseen: The California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside put on the first major museum exhibition of work by the most accomplished blind photographers in the world. Some of the biggest names in the industry exhibited at this 2009 event. TIME Magazine also ran a feature article about this exhibit.

Visions of a Blind Photographer: A New York Times article celebrating the work of Sonia Soberats.

Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photographers: An HBO documentary featuring several blind photographers who transcend their physical limitations.

Pete Eckert: One of the most well-known blind photographers. His website features his stunning photographic work and also describes his experience and process.

Completely Blind and Deaf Photographer Can Now ‘See’ His Own Work, Thanks to 3D Printing: Australian-based photographer Brendon Borellini experiences 3D representations of his photos. Check out the video at this link.

The Blind Photographers Flickr Pool: An open group for blind and otherwise visually-impaired photographers to share their work via the Flickr photo website.

Blind Photographers Documentary Crowdfunding Campaign: Fundraising effort for a new documentary on blind photographers across the globe.

Have another web resource about blind photographers? Please leave it in the comments and I will add them to the list as I can!

Don't forget to check out the Recommendations page for the latest products that I'm showing to friends and blog readers based on their requests. I love talking about this stuff, and every time you click on a referral link from this website to a featured retailer like Amazon.com and B&H Photo and Video, I get a small commission that helps keep this site running, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support, and please contact me if you need any recommendations!

Stray Cats Invaded Our House

About a month ago, I discovered evidence that at least one animal had infiltrated the downstairs storage areas of our house, having apparently fallen through the fiberglass insulation overhead and broken a few glass jars that were in storage. Without thinking much about it, I used a broom to stuff the insulation back in the crevice above. A day or two after the discovery, I observed a curious cat entering the same storage area by way of a cutaway hole in the paneling that allowed water pipes to enter the house. I immediately chased the cat out, and hoped that the message was clearly conveyed that this intruder was not welcome in the house.

However, I was not successful in this attempt, and over the past three weeks, neighborhood cats have been observed roaming about freely in our yard with increasing frequency, with greater numbers of distinct animals, and with increasing aggression, particularly in the evenings. Additional inspections of the two adjacent storage areas revealed repeated disturbances to the insulation and more broken glassware, which was unfortunately left in abundance on the shelves of this space by the previous residents. The past week has also been marked by the daily chasing of stray cats with a broom away from the house, followed by confirmation in the evenings that the intruders had found their way back into the house, as evidenced by the unsettling sounds of cats meowing, running about, and fighting, all emanating from the ventilation system in our living room, which is directly above the heater unit installed in the storage area. I have no doubt that the outdoor cats have found the space near our heater to be a pleasant location to hide away during a cold night, but this progression of unruly feline behavior, property damage, the growing stench cannot continue.

Today, I was prepared to investigate the situation in earnest, and I believe my efforts were rewarded, as today’s discoveries were the most significant to date. I have taken the opportunity document my findings through the following photos. The first photo shows the back of the house. Each photo contains labels so readers can stay oriented as they view the image series below.

A. Front door of downstairs unit.
B. Back door of upstairs unit.
C. Picnic table where stray cats like to lounge around.
D. Storage Area that contains heater and vents overhead.
E. Workshop that is behind a padlocked door.
F. Empty area under the house where stray cats like to hang out. 

House photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

This morning, I spotted two cats on Picnic Bench C and managed to capture them with my camera. Behind them are Storage Area D & Workshop E.

Surveillance photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

I soon discovered that there were in fact more than two cats on the picnic table, and it is clear they had been expecting some privacy at this early hour.

Surveillance photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

I was surprised and annoyed by the boldness this morning, as this clowder glared at me while continuing to do their business, perhaps confident that the wooden posts between us would provide them adequate time to make a quick escape should the occasion arise.

Surveillance photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Without further warning, three of the cats suddenly bolted away, leaving the biggest cat alone in my sights. The cat looked intently in the direction of the empty Alcove F where I have observed other cats vanish during their escape.

Surveillance photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

That indeed was the direction at least two of these cats darted, though again they seemed to mock me by looking back to see if I was still in hot pursuit.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Undaunted, I decided that this time I would follow them into the dark, perhaps to their dismay.

Surveillance photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Here is a wider shot of this alcove, which contained dusty pipes, loose rocks and concrete, and the musky smell of cats that were not my own. I proceeded forward into this narrow space, hoping for an absence of scorpions and spiders.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography 

Here the nook reaches a dead end, save for some broken boards and pipes which clearly did nothing to stop the cats from slipping past. I, on the other hand, would have to find another way past this obstacle.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

I retraced my steps and exited the alcove, and decided to investigate the storage rooms next. Here is the area directly outside of the two storage room doors. Alcove F is located directly behind this way, and the cutaway panels created for these overhead pipes were one way the cats were gaining access into the storage areas. Workshop E is to my left and Storage Area D is behind me.

Interior photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Here is the entryway to Storage Area D. The exit door is the one with the word “LIGHT” scrawled on it, and the heater is the metal object directly above the door.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Here’s a closeup of the pink fiberglass insulation that I have tried to cram back into the crevices rather unsuccessfully due to the way they have been shredded up by the intruders.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Here is the back section of Storage Area D. Through the mesh screen, you can see through to Workshop E and back to the Alcove F, as labeled below.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Here you can also see that the pink fiberglass insulation has been disturbed.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

At the very end of Storage Area D, I discovered what appeared to be the connection between all three areas infiltrated by the strays. This hole in the mesh screen, designed to allow the pipe to pass through, has been enlarged to allow the cats to roam freely into Workshop E.

Home repair photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

Here is Workshop E from the other side of the mesh screen. Label D indicates the hole that allowed the cats to traverse to and from this room via the shelves. All of the goodies in this workshop were left here by the previous resident.

Interior photos by Kenneth Chan Photography

With my newly-found discoveries, and with high confidence that I had temporarily scared off all of the intruding cats, I proceeded to block up the holes between areas D, E, and F with cardboard boxes and other junk that I found lying around. Will this be the end of our troubles, or have I underestimated the determination of these freeloading felines? Only time will tell.

Intro to Storyboards

Planning is key to a smooth and high-quality production, whether it’s a feature film or a PowerPoint presentation. Many people are accustomed to the idea of generating a script during the planning phase, but a script is often not enough. For a video project, storyboards are used to sell your idea, discover problems with the story before you start filming, and make sure everyone from the actors to the camera operator is on the same page about what needs to be done to complete the project. Before you pick up a camera, spend the time to think about what shots and angles you want (wide establishing shot, close-up details shots, b-roll/cutaways, etc), the purpose behind each shot, the props you’ll need, and the story you’ll tell with action on screen. Click to view a compilation of ideas and techniques for Cinematic Storytelling. Think about your locations and lighting, your crew and cast, and how you’re going to get from beginning to middle to end within your time and other budget constraints. A storyboard helps keep the project on track.

You can create a storyboard in whatever format makes most sense to you. Many people like to sketch out each shot on paper and then scan it. Here are two templates for you to consider using: a 16×9, 3-Up template and a 16×9, 9-Up template. Other people like to take mockup photos with their digital camera, and then use PowerPoint to arrange them. It’s up to you to choose the method; what’s ultimately important is that you do this planning before you pick up a camcorder to start shooting. Your storyboard doesn’t have to be really complicated nor artistic (stick figures are fine), but it needs to have a clear beginning, middle, and end.

In early drafts of a storyboard, there are often gaps in the story that can be further expanded. For example, there’s a whole story to be told between frames 8 & 9 in the storyboard above. How does the main character react to the news from the instructor in frame 8? What does he do about it? How does he eventually end up at frame 9? Check out one possible storyboard expansion that is meant to be give more thought and detail into what’s happening between Frames 8 & 9 of the original.

That’s the basic introduction to the process. If you’re feeling stuck, here are some additional resources detailing how to think about storyboards:

Don't forget to check out the Recommendations page for the latest products that I'm showing to friends and blog readers based on their requests. I love talking about this stuff, and every time you click on a referral link from this website to a featured retailer like Amazon.com and B&H Photo and Video, I get a small commission that helps keep this site running, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support, and please contact me if you need any recommendations!