Author Archives: bedoubleyouphoto

Accelerating to Unconscious Competence

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The four stages of learning or competence, often attributed to Maslow, show a natural progression and growth in competence.

  • learners start at unconscious incompetence – they don’t know they can’t do something
  • in early training they pass through conscious incompetence – as they become aware that they can’t do this thing
  • then through conscious competence when they begin to start being able to do it
  • until they arrive at unconscious competence which is when they can do it without even thinking

Ideally you want all of your people going about whatever they do, knowing exactly what they need to do. When something new comes along, a new process, a new way of working, a new script, or even for new sales people, how can you accelerate your employees to unconscious competence quickly and in a comfortable and safe environment?

Introducing Accelerator from The Creative Engine          

Accelerator from The Creative Engine is a branching eLearning tool, which runs on any Learning Management System, delivers simulated scenarios with immersive content and realistic customer interactions with the following benefits;

  • simulates real world experience
  • reduces time needed away from the front line
  • it’s a reusable asset
  • creates a safe environment for learner practice

Now you can get your people to unconscious competence with Accelerator by The Creative Engine. 

Take a look at this video for more information and contact me below for more, or to arrange a demo.

 

Infographic: Shameless Self Promotion

From time to time you need to shamelessly self promote yourself. Anyone who posts to LinkedIn knows this, and does, no matter what they tell you. Now is MY time. Infographics are innovative and popular tools for visualising information, and your CV or resume can also benefit from the infographic treatment.

Of course, unless you are applying for a particularly creative job, I wouldn’t send in an infographic in place of a traditional CV / resume. Even then, most companies these days now use automatic CV reading software which can’t read infographics, and if you were to send in your finely produced and highly visual infographic your CV would most certainly not be picked up and you could lose out on that big job you are gunning for.

So when can you use the infographic and how useful is it?

Networking

It is known that relying on job boards and recruiters only in your job search is limiting. A high proportion of successfully found jobs actually come through “networking” often even before the job has even been advertised on any boards. Why not circulate your highly visual infographic across your network (or specifically chosen recipients from your network, targeted across the areas where you are interested in working)?

Personal Brand

Designing your infographic well and ensuring it fits with your personal brand is essential. That way potential employers / recruiters can instantly see your brand awareness and understand what your personal brand is all about. The infographic is a visual aid to the information in your CV or resume and should never replace your CV itself. It should be simple, clear, concise and visually impactful. Ideally it should entice prospective employers or recruiters to want to ask you for your CV, and to want to have a conversation with you.

Recruiters

Recruiters generally don’t have time to look at your new infographic masterpiece, BUT it may just catch their eye and make your CV the one they want to see, so make sure you circulate it appropriately. At the same time realise that one of the biggest mistakes job applicants make is sending the same CV to each and every job that they apply for. You really must tailor each and every CV you send in to each and every job that you apply for, so your infographic CV is only useful as an attention grabber for recruiters. They will need your updated and full (no more than 2 page) CV eventually once you have updated it for the specific job.

LinkedIn

Just popping your new fancy infographic CV on LinkedIn is a bit of a ‘no no’.Shameless self promotion tends to be a bit of a turn off on LinkedIn, so you really need to find a way of dropping it in to a post for a reason, to accompany another message, or in support of another topic. Trenton Willson, CEO / Owner at Dream Coaches published an interesting article on LinkedIn discussing the two sides of the coin, identifying when it is “healthy” to self promote on Linkedin and what is deemed to be “damaging”. Worth a read.

Anyway, here’s one I created earlier. I’m posting it here as an article on my WordPress site, and I’ll refer to it while networking.  I’m happy to receive constructive comments, and any suggestions you may have or experiences you may have had either in receiving an infographic CV or in creating one yourself. If my new shiny infographic sparks an interest and you want to get in touch, you can reach me on LinkedIn or by email to brian.n.waters@btinternet.com

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Travel Photography: I’m Looking Forward to Volume Two

Travel Photography by BeDoubleYou

a photobook by photo enthusiast Brian Waters

I’ve had the opportunity to do some travelling over a number of years and this book is the culmination of a number of visits to countries across Europe and South America. I’m looking forward to volume two being released in a number of years time, but have still to do all the travelling! For now though this book adorns my coffee table to remind me of the job ahead.

You can take a preview of this book here: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/5935173-travel-photography or even order your own hardback or softback version for your very own coffee table. Even if you’re an ipad ebook reader only, there is an option for you with prices starting at only £2.49

OK, How are You Going to Record that Demo Now then?

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Quite often it’s far simpler to show something to someone rather than tell them what’s going on, and this is the premise of good screen demos. They can be quick and easy to do, can really illustrate your point and not only fit in with the viewer’s learning style, but also in this digital economy, video is in great demand.

So you’ve been asked to create a demo recording of your new product, that fantastic widget that you’re about to launch? Or you’ve got an issue with the Learning Management System and you need to share exactly what’s going on with the team and stakeholders? Or you have been asked by the L&D team to provide them with a demo that they can pop into one of their latest online training courses? Where do you start? What can tools are available for you to use? What pitfalls do you need to watch out for?

Whoa there, tiger! First you have to understand your objectives. Why are you being asked to do it? What is the expected outcome? When is it required by? Who is the desired audience or viewer? Ensuring you are in on the loop on all of these will ensure you can put together the best possible solution (demo) that fits the requester’s needs. For example, if it’s simply a demo to show a team of five people something is going wrong, you could suggest a WebEx or other videoconference may be a more effective use of everybody’s time, thus redirecting the request and saving everybody a lot of valuable resources. Producing that video demo might not actually be the answer, so always double check the objectives first.

OK now we know we have to go ahead with this, and the demo recording is the ideal solution, what’s available to use? First, your company may have certain restrictions on what you can use, or a suggested product that they know works well, so consult your local team. There are a good number of products out there which can be used, from Adobe Captivate to Camtasia Studio, from Webex (yes, you can record using Webex) to Screenr.com. Of course there are many lesser known, lesser used tools, some of which I have kicked the tyres of, but mostly discarded for one reason or another.

Some of these products are very high value, some have a steep learning curve to learn how to use effectively, but by far the simplest has for a number of years been Screenr, brought to you by the chaps at Articulate. Screenr (free version) was and still is the simplest to use. It basically just does it with no bells and whistles, and limited to five minutes recording duration, which to be honest was just enough for most use cases.  No nonsense, and has been the mainstay of my recent work doing recordings. Until, that is, they also brought out a paid version “Screenr Business”. This offered secure storage, 15 minutes recording limit, and a protected collaborative environment which could be branded with your own logo. It became the core of my recent work, with instructional Designers bringing in Subject matter experts on the system to do the recordings and hand them off in system. It was a great tool while it lasted.

Unfortunately, at the end of June, Screenr Business was retired due to its reliance on Java Runtime Environment (JRE ) which is basically no longer supported on most modern browsers. The folks down at Screenr admitted defeat with their business offering and are currently working to see what they can do with Screenr (Free) and are giving it until around November 2015 (according to their helpline).

So where does that leave us? There are others out there, as I have said, but most were plagued with blue screens, freezing, poor quality of image and other such aggravations which would spoil the quality of your output. Then there’s the high ticket price, steep learning curve tools such as Captivate.  Or Adobe’s other screen grabbing tool “SnagIt” which has really come along over recent years.

There is however one other tool there that, having kicked the tyres, I was blown away by its features, its collaborative abilities, and the quality of output. ILOS Videos is “ridiculously simple screen recording” (their words not mine). For a start you can pause and resume your recording during mid flow. You can also perform simple edits to your completed recording for example to trim off the top and tail or to blur out certain sections of the screen. Additionally you can also record your webcam at the same time as doing the screen demo – if you really want to show the world what you look like while your doing your recording.

Not only that but you get a whole back end with it too, you can assign videos to “learners”  to watch, you can review user stats to see which videos are being watched. You can playlist videos into sensible groups and you can invite “learners” or other “trainers” to come on in and work in your account. ILOS Videos has really come in where Screenr Business left off with the added bonus of a boatload of additional key features. Finally though, and this was the most important factor for most of my customers, ILOS Videos allows unlimited duration recording. It came up many times in customer requests, and ILOS Videos definitely now fills that gap.

Using YouTube Audio Library for Production Music

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One of the hidden costs of any video project (and the least expected from a client point of view) is licensing music to go along with the video. You simply cannot drop in any music, post and hope for the best as the potential lawsuit resulting from incorrect use of copyright music could be enormous. Google however has a solution for some folks that may or may not be appropriate or helpful in your own productions. Within the YouTube “Create” section there is a link to the YouTube Audio Library. Here you can listen to and then download free music for your video productions.

Finding the YouTube Audio Library isn’t always intuitive to everyone. If you are a habitual poster of video content, then you’ll probably know your way around the YouTube Dashboard. If you navigate to your “Video Manager” page, then on the left navigation there is a section called “Create”, and under that heading you will find a link to the YouTube Audio Library. Alternatively, just Google “YouTube Audio Library” and you can’t miss it.

There are three “tabs” that you will need to know about.

First, there is the Free music tab. This is the most interesting one, as here you can download royalty free music for your production. You can use the music in your production and the video will not be flagged by YouTube’s now powerful copyright protection engine. The horizontal line shows how popular any particular music track is. The number of tracks available is limited but may well grow given time. It will be fairly easy for the content to quickly become tired through use, and many of the tracks may just quite simply not be suitable for your productions, but it is a good starting point to look for something. All of the music in this tab can be used in videos which you may be monetizing on YouTube, but since this is very unlikely in your case, this is less likely to be relevant to you.

The next tab is the Ad-supported music tab. Here we have a range of music which cannot be monetized, because the folks who have put it there will be applying their own conditions to it. For example, they may apply advertising to any videos which use that music and posted to YouTube. That’s the deal. It’s their music and they have the right to decide how they want it used. So beware. When browsing this category, if you click to open the track you will see a description of how you can use the work. As a user of YouTube myself, I wouldn’t ever see any need to go in there at all, as I don’t generally want other people dictating advertising on my videos. The conditions which can be applied to each piece of music vary. For example, videos using the music may be blocked in certain countries, blocked by region or even worldwide. Videos may be unviewable only in one specific country due to differing copyright laws in that country.

The third tab is a place where you can get free Sound effects for your video project. This is a very limited collection of sounds which may or may not come in useful for your next project. Totally free and no issues with copyright on YouTube*.

*All above assumes posting to YouTube. If posting to any other location / platform, you are strongly advised to take legal advice.

So if you are looking for some music for a video, you may well look no further than YouTube itself for that music. It could provide the sound you require quickly easily and of course, free. Be careful though. Understand the difference between free and ad-supported. Above all, understand that this only applies to videos posted to YouTube, and that copyright might be an issue beyond that platform. For further information see this Google support article.

Not the Best in my Book!

 

 I needed to produce a Photobook. I normally use Blurb, especially if I want to sell on the book. However on this occasion I wasn’t really thinking about selling the book. It was specifically going to be a prize for a photo challenge at work. I was going to get 8 copies. I built the book from scratch on Shutterfly, with 34 photographs in it, in a 20 page photobook, hard bound. I was building it in my spare time, and it took over two days of spare time to do. I was pretty pleased with the end result. They folks who were going to be getting it as a prize we’re going to be pretty chuffed. When I was finally happy with it, and I normally check these things over again and again, then spell check, then check it again, because I’m like that, I finally went to my cart and pressed the purchase button. And that’s when it all went wrong. For some reason the cart wouldn’t complete. So, thinking it was a browser issue I went to Chrome. Did it again, to no avail. Same result. Then I got a chat help pop up, so I used it. After about half an hour of chatting and waiting and explaining, I was no further forward, the person on chat simply said I am not authorised to complete your purchase for you so you will have to phone the number below. So I did. After some time I got through to someone in customer service and explained the whole issue again. It seemed that this person knew immediately what the problem was because they had an issue with the system not recognising a UK postcode. So I asked if I left the cart and phoned back tomorrow they would be able to help me. No sir, this problem will take two weeks to fix! TWO WEEKS? 

So there we are. Shutterfly, have an outstanding fault on their website which currently doesn’t recognise a UK postcode and therefore cannot take my order for 8 books. The overall total was about £390 but there was a voucher code and it was what I thought an impressive £203 to pay at the end of the day all in. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for a day or so before deciding to take a look at Blurb. I didn’t really fancy reconstructing the book from scratch all over again, particularly since it took two days on SF. 

The day I eventually decided to try Blurb, I couldn’t believe it. It was quicker, it was easier, more flexible page design, with more options, plus of course, there’s the additional element of being able to sell the book and set profit etc., which although wasn’t the plan, you never know how things might change. But what really grabbed me when I finally got the blurb version finished. It was £221 with no discounts, so effectively, after all that, Blurb was better value, quicker delivery too. 

So in summary, Blurb is cheaper, more vfm, faster, and easier to use. Although I have created with SF in the past and been very happy with the book quality, I will more than likely stick with Blurb as this experience has proved to me that Shutterfly may well be a big name, but definitely not the best in my book (pardon the pun).

BeDoubleYou’s View of the Street

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I recently had the great fortune to meet the award winning “emerging talent” in street photography, +Sarah Choi It was a real eye opener, a pleasure to work with Sarah, but ever since then I’ve started noticing and expanding my view of the genre. So who has caught my eye?

+Jianwei Yang has an amazing attention to detail in shadows, geometry, line and can tell a story with the simplest of images.

+Swee Oh
initially caught my eye with some of her black and white architectural work, and blew me away with some of her blue series.

+Marie LAIGNEAU
took me with her work on the streets of Berlin, with shadow featuring highly.

+Valerie JardinThe master at work? Valerie is soon running some workshops jointly with Marie in London. These would be a great attend for those serious about street.

+Chaz Wright The photography of Chaz Wright is quirky, but I do like his work on the streets of Japan in black and white. When you look at some of his photos you think, ‘What’s the story here?’ and then his “title” grabs you and pulls you into the photo.

+Ina GatIna Gat is an amateur photographer from Berlin who not unlike many others has a day job. Fabulously dark and powerful images a lot of black and white, and great use of light and shadow on the street.

+Dako H.Dako H is a street photographer from Seoul. Captures almost exclusively in b&w, with some colour shots now and then. Wonderfully minimalistic in approach and a fantastic eye for geometry and shadow as a background to the human element on the street.

+Bernd SchaefersI have long been a fan of Bernd with his distinctive black and white studies of his Travels from Germany to Hong Kong. They really capture the mood. What is it with the IT industry? Are we all destined to become closet street photographers? Certainly not the first I have found sharing the same industry as me. (Not saying I am anywhere near the same league – nor even trying to be!)

+Hiroyuki OguraTotally Tokyo! Fascinating B&W insight into life on the streets of Japan. I really can’t explain why. They’re not just dark, they’re perfectly black. The shots could also be ANY city, but they’re definitely and could only be Japan. The shots simply show the human element in the urban street environment.

+Thomas LeuthardI have admired Thomas’ work for some time. He’s going to be teaching at the Out of Chicago gig in June 2015 with sessions like the “10 commandments of Street Photography”. Shame they’re pretty much sold out already!

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty more out there. Street Photography is big, with many more contemporaries out there to go watch how they do it. In my list so far there are rising stars, emerging talents, and established greatness. I’ve enjoyed my introduction to Street Photography and will continue to watch the genre with interest on G+, Instagram, Flickr and elsewhere on the web, and I’m sure I will continue to be influenced in my own works by some of these great artists. Well done to all for making my list. If, you’re reading this and you’re not on my list and want to be… drop me a line! I’ll be updating it from time to time.

Photography on this post by BeDoubleYou. All links open in a new browser window and direct you to a relevant place to view each artists work, for example on Google Plus.

Your coffee table needs one!

New from BeDoubleYou, this 100 page full colour photobook is perfect for any coffee table. With photography by Brian Waters on his travels, from South America to Spain from Germany to Austria, from the UK to Prague, each with a story to tell or a comment to make. Full colour premium lustre paper, with a choice of three finishes, softback, hardcover, or hardcover plus imagewrap, to suit your own budget. http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/5706016-travel-photography

Travel Photography by BeDoubleYou

a photobook by photo enthusiast Brian Waters

Amanda Frescura (Toca Flamenco) uses BeDoubleYou Photography with permission and attribution. If you ever get a chance to catch one of the shows please do – it’s a fantastic night of Flamenco guitar and dance! http://ift.tt/1oRZILw

Amanda Frescura (Toca Flamenco) uses BeDoubleYou Photography with permission and attribution. If you ever get a chance to catch one of the shows please do – it’s a fantastic night of Flamenco guitar and dance! http://ift.tt/1oRZILw

Artist Talk: Sarah Choi

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I recently had the great pleasure in hosting an event at work for our in house Photography Community of enthusiasts. As the Community Manager for this group I reached out to some of my network of contacts to investigate any opportunities for a guest speaker to come in and give us a talk, a show n’ tell so to speak, and I’m planning on running a number of these throughout the next year.

The first Artist Talk was given by street photographer Sarah Choi who hails from Seoul, Korea, but now lives in Hong Kong. Sarah only started seriously with Photography in July 2013 but since then has gone on to be recognised with an award in the LensCulture Emerging Talents 2014 – one of 50 photographers chosen from thousands of applicants. This is a phenomenal position to be in and the award comes with a showcase exhibition in Barcelona, inclusion in a printed book, and much media and critic attention. But not only that, in those short months, Sarah has also been featured in a number of online magazines including National Geographic, with a promise of an inclusion in a future issue of the paper based magazine.

For me, Sarah’s work is all about light leading to shadow, about rythym and connections between people and the street. Colour is a also key element, but what is amazing is the way Sarah previsualises the shot. She has an amazing talent for this, and a gut instinct second to none.  Sarah says herself that her work is “like music without sound. I try to catch the best moment of that connection and develop new sound in the photography“. I’d say that this street photographer has well and truly emerged!

The presentation went down really well with the group who commented things like “I’ll never look at MY street the same again” and “Sarah is so inspiring and full of love for her subject, what a joy to be able to see her work.”

You can check out some of Sarah’s work on her website www.sarahchoiphotography.com or catch up on Google+ or FaceBook Page.

 

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