live blogging the floor

I finally made it to Northern Voice ’09 just before noon. I slept in a little, then scooted to UBC. It’s gorgeous outside, but damn cold – I foolishly thought perhaps I could get away with no gloves or scarf, but I got as far as Park Royal before I had to rethink that idea.

Also, there were video games.

Speaking of priorities, as soon as I got here I did the following:

  • registered
  • got diet coke
  • took a pocketful of buttons for my candy jar
  • grabbed a fistful of meat
  • sat on the floor

.. just a typical Friday ’round these parts.

It’s lunch time, but I’ll be live blogging the afternoon sessions including Miranda and Reilly’s talk on photography. I missed it last year, but I’m glad I got here in time germs or no germs.

Security is trying to shoo us off the floor, but I don’t play by their rules. Ask anyone – I love sitting on the floor. I do it at meetings at work. I wonder if that’s why I haven’t gotten a raise yet.

Also, a man in blue is walking around plaintively waving a magazine in people’s faces. I am not sure what is up with that – too busy stuffing my face with tomatoes – but it is kind of funny. Then again, I’m a little disorganized and out of it right now so EVERYTHING is funny.

EX HUNTING! Twitter told me my ex-boyfriend is here, so we (Miranda, Tracey and I) went ex-hunting. It didn’t take very long – we found him and now we are taking pictures for the Photo Camp. Hee! I like hunting.

1300: I’m at my first session of the day – The Evolution of Storytelling with James Chutter . It’s a pretty popular session; we had to pull up a carpet to find a seat. Works for me what with my affection for down and all, but we were able to steal Miranda a chair because she is special (and also broken).

I basically chose this topic at random, but since I am definitely all about the storytelling I think this is a good session for me to sit in. Stories are awesome, and I hope I occasionally do the genre justice.

James is a graduate of NYU and likes to say “holy shit!” a lot. It’s extremely endearing (because I enjoy swearing), and his presentation is pretty cool – wondering what it would be like to be right there when radio was invented, or motion pictures – the things that took “generic” story telling to the next level by introducing images or sound or something with more depth than a script read from a sheet of paper.

That’s where we are now with all the technology coming at us like flying hams – things are changing so fast that sometimes we forget to take a step back and marvel at just what we’re capable of doing these days with the tools that are commonplace now. All hilarious cliches aside, it really is a pretty amazing time to be alive. I love that I’m able to do the things I do and reach an audience, however smal it might be – and to know that if I wanted to put the time and effort into it, I’d be able to use a vast array of other tools to widen my reach is cool.

I ask this every year, but I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point where I choose to do video blogs instead of written. I highly doubt it, given my aversion to being on camera, my loathing for all things YouTube, and my sheer love of words. Still, it’s a distinct possibility however distasteful it may seem to me at the moment.

1337: Our afternoon session game plan seems to be the same as last year – pick a room and attend whatever session happens to be in it. It’s a good way to do things, since every presentation is interesting and this way we don’t have to lug all our crap from room to room just to set up and tear down all over again. I have no idea what this session is – the schedule (the accuracy of which has been questioned) says “EduBlogger Hootenanny”. While I’m not so much about the educational blogging (although I do try – did you know that the average ejaculate contains 9ccs of liquid?), I am always down for a hootenanny.

Miranda took a fantastically bad photo of me, but since that is what she is going for I suppose I have to give her props :(

Where is Josh when you need him? He usually has a pocket full of drugs at all times, and right now I could definitely use some sort of anti-cold medication.

1403: I don’t quite know what this session is about – it started around me; I haven’t moved – but the lady speaking is wearing head to toe PURPLE. It is awesome and I am so very jealous of her purple cowboy boots. WANT!

She seems to be trying to convince us to buy a Mac Mini. I could totally get behind this – I like gadgets, even if she’s suggesting that you buy one because you have kids (???).

Heh heh “grown up DVD”. PORN!

I can’t quite tell if this session is pro-child or pro-YouTube. How odd.

There are a lot of different tools out there that allows you to download or stream TV shows online. She’s telling us about ways to bypass the tools in place that don’t allow access in countries that aren’t the US – Hulu, I’m looking at you – but unfortunately, none of this really applies to me because I don’t watch TV (and if I needed anything, I have ways of finding it). Sometimes I wish I was more into the whole “passive watching” thing – if only to use some of these cool toys – but at the same time, I really don’t. I like reading and video games and bathing. Especially video games.

1456: “The Ethics of Shooting People” – *awesome*.

I’m in Photo Camp Camp now, and we’re picking topics. Miranda is up first – woop! She’s talking the Dos and Don’ts of Candid Photos. I’m very excited about this, since I missed her session last year.

Oh good, Miranda’s HORRIBLE HORRIBLE picture of me is on the screen for the whole room to see. “This is Kimli of Delicious Juice, you can see her awesome cleavage which is one of her features” .. DUDE! Hah. It’s kind of true, unfortunately. I DO have other qualities – somewhere – but you have to give props for the honesty.

For a presentation Miranda threw together this morning, this is pretty cool – I really need to start paying attention to the composition of my photos, because for every passable picture I take there are 10000 shots you DIDN’T see that are just awful and I know that if I actually tried, I could probably take better pictures.

Black & white vs colour: if your picture is slightly blurry or not quite perfect, try looking at it in B&W – go for artsy vs perfection.

1539: Reilly is talking about fun stuff you can do with film, including taking the roll out (in the dark of course) and unwinding it, then rolling it back up backwards and upside down. It’ll give you an awesome creepy red tint to your film pics. Check out Reilly’s examples on his Flickr!

a reilly-roid of me and tracey

1555: Talking the ethics of shooting strangers – can you take pictures of random people on the street and post them online? Legally yes (with some limits), but ethically – should you? A seriously gray area, especially when children are involved. I’ve taken photos of pictures of kids and posted them online, and have been horrified at the amount of attention the pictures get from people I don’t know.

Personally, I am really bothered by people who take pictures of friends or coworkers and go ahead and post them to Facebook without asking permission. I’ve touched on this before – in fact, almost destroyed the family because of it – but I also am really incensed when I take pictures at events (for example) and share them with the people IN the photos, only for them to take all my work and post them online with no credit to me. It’s a small issue because I’m just a private (well, sort of) citizen who doesn’t actually make money at any of this, but if this were my business? I’d have to get really angry, really quickly.

1626: Son of a bitch – Josh just Comic Sans’d me! It’s the end of Day One here at Northern Voice, and people are getting restless. Josh is molesting my camera, and Reilly is attempting to insert a roll of film into Miranda’s mouth. You’d think that, given the speech on Film Photography that Reilly just gave, he would know that film doesn’t GO there.

We’re wrapping up now and will move the party off campus to an as of yet undetermined location, then do it all over again tomorrow. Can’t wait! Day One has been great!

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