Don’t tell the pug, but Dave Barry refers to pets this size as “small emergency backup dogs.”
After months of discussion and planning, I was invited to film a segment for a KJZZ tv pilot for a show about Highway 89. I do know a thing or two on the topic, and the invitation came from a good friend, Monte Bona with the Utah Heritage Highway 89, so I agreed to do it. I have been taught that unless I have a good reason to say no to an opportunity, I must say yes. KJZZ had seen an interview I’d done for Monte months and months ago and decided it was adequate, so I couldn’t beg off on lack of experience or ability. Thus on Friday I found myself in Mt. Pleasant, with full make-up on, ready to start filming.
That’s my ride the film crew is using to take a white balance reading before filming commenced. I don’t know video, I don’t understand video production, but it seems to take a lot of time for a few minutes on screen. The other (obvious) thing that’s different from shooting still photography is motion. Motion is desirable. As in walk and talk at the same time please. Don’t just stand there, do something visual. Between trying to remember not to say “um”, express a coherent thought and not trip on the sidewalk, my brain was completely overloaded. I did actually manage to make a photograph on command, which surprised me that I could “see” while the video was going and not feel like I was faking it.
Then, as invariably happens while I’m out on the road, I met some really interesting people who had traveled to Mt. Pleasant to show their friend the plaque in the ground marking the absolute center of Utah. (They said that’s why Mt. Pleasant is called the “Hub City.”) The husband and wife had been married for 58 years and had 2 great-great-grandchildren. They couldn’t remember how many grands and great-grands. Then he started to tell me about his business in motor freight after WWII on Highway 89. I had no idea if the videographers were picking up my unscripted conversation/interview on my lavalier microphone until after it was over. Nor whether it was in any way useful. Maybe I created my own reality tv segment, who knows. It was a true representation of my life on the road.
My piece was sort of a side bar in the show. The main theme involves a classic car and a host driving to various interesting locations. The ride in question, however, had some cooling issues that day and the crew had to push it out of the road. I helped. I took pictures.
Another thing that’s different about tv is the fluidity of schedule (I now fully appreciate the luxury of freelancing my own shoots and deciding my own timeline). I have no idea how or when they decide if the pilot leads to a full production schedule. So I’m in the wait and see mode, round 43, which is as boring as following the road striper down a two lane highway. I did pitch a segment I’d like to do for each episode. I guess that means I’m willing to do it again. And I am if it means I get to drive more of my highway and meet more people like me who love being on the road.
You might be surprised at my decision to make both U.S. Highway 89 and The Story of the Cathedral of the Madeleine available from Amazon.com in Kindle format. After all, isn’t the Kindle a black and white only device? Why bother. That’s what I thought, until I recognized that I was buying books from Amazon to read on my Kindle for IPad app, instead of the IBooks storefront that Apple runs. I prefer the Amazon buying experience (i.e., a search engine that functions), and I realized that many of my potential customers were shopping there too.
I qualified my company as a Kindle Direct Publisher and uploaded my Epub format file of the books. Amazon converts that file into their proprietary format, which is why you need the Kindle app to read the file on the IPad (IBooks displays the EPub format, but that is a whole other post). In less than 24 hours, I began selling these books for the Kindle.
And how does it look? I don’t have a Kindle device, so I wasn’t sure until I persuaded my friend Rich Legg to download the book and take a look. The oohs and ahs over the phone as he opened the file on the IPad were might reassuring. He sent me a screenshot captured directly on the IPad (above, right) and a day later had time to set up his Kindle before a camera and shoot that screen (above, center).
Not having one, I can only guess that the expectation of a Kindle owner is NOT to have a rich photo experience. If they wanted that, they probably would have bought something different. If I’m right, then my books should exceed expectations, and they look amazing on the IPad in color. Next I have to tackle the Nook. My past interactions with Barnes & Noble have been fruitless as a potential vendor, but maybe the Nook will be easier.
You can get’em here and decide for yourself: Highway 89 and Cathedral of the Madeleine. Personally, I’m still in love with photography in print, but I am reading more and more on my IPad, so it’s nice to give readers a choice. How about you? How are you using your ebook readers and do you think it works for photography books?