Making Sense of the Internet of Things

This is a project I’ve been working on for months, and it is at last coming to fruition.

This is the first episode in a five-part video series about the Internet of Things. The series is intended for decision-makers in IT; a technically-literate audience, but not necessarily experts in the field. It will cover the technologies behind local networks, the “Things” themselves, the Internet, the Cloud, and the software that runs on IoT devices.

And most importantly… I’m making educational videos again, something I haven’t done in far, far too long.

This project means a great deal to me. I scripted, shot, illustrated, and edited this series, and I am the principle on-screen presence.

I do a lot of things reasonably well: photography, technical writing, web design and development, and graphic design, both 2D and 3D. This project takes nearly all of those skills (and a few others) and bundles them together in one enormous package.

David Hobby, the mastermind behind the Strobist web site said something not long ago that has been echoing around in my brain for months. He said that photography is not a career; it is a catalyst:

It’s not enough to just be a photographer. Maybe it was once, when cameras were scarce and expensive and conjuring prints in a darkroom was literally a dark art.

Now, technically speaking, everybody is a photographer…

Photography is not your life. Photography is your special sauce. Your secret weapon. Your superpower.

And taking photography off of your skills inventory “top shelf” does two things: it makes space on the top shelf for something more important, and it allows your photography to take that important something and maybe make it spectacular.

I think that is what great photographers understand better—and earlier—than the rest of us.

I’m very much hoping this educational series will help define the next stage of my career.

Some photographer notes:

  • The opening sequence include time-lapse footage shot in Montreal and London. I will make a separate post in the next few weeks about this footage and how it was shot.
  • The outdoor stand-up was shot at the Montreal Science Center. The lighting used was only the available exterior illumination, plus a reflector at camera left to provide some fill for the shadows. We had a small crew: one person on camera, one with the reflector, and one with an iPad that served as cue cards.
  • The interior shots of me at my desk, and of Christian Légaré, were shot only with daylight and a reflector, and were shot in our respective offices. I’ll make a separate post about the lighting in Christian’s office in particular, as it might seem more complex than it actually is.
  • The camera used was my trusty Pentax K-3 with a 50mm f/1.7 lens, which is rivalling my Fuji X100 as my favourite camera of all time.

I’ll post each episode as it comes out over the next few weeks.

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