Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jon Mac On The Radio

Today I was on the Leo Laporte show, a nationally syndicated radio program about all things tech and geek ;) I've always loved listening to Leo and it was great fun to speak with him.

We talked about using older, manual focus lenses with new DSLR cameras. What does that have to do with writing, you ask? Heh, well I like to think of this blog as being about stories as much as writing, and A) storytelling is important in photographs and movies, and B) Using older lenses that are high quality and 1/10th the price of new ones is definitely in the Indy Author Spirit, and C) I'll be adapting some of the Mythik stories into movies using this technique ;)

Here's the snippet from the radio:

A lot of people are taking advantage of this combination of new and old tech in a lot of creative ways. It's definitely a fun pairing of retro and future :) Whether you're a reader, watcher, writer, or filmmaker, the "democratization" of creative technology only makes the world a better place.

It occurs to me that I do seem to talk a lot about living in the future. It's not just because I like science fiction stories. It is because the future has turned out to be pretty cool, and I like being in the world that would have seemed like science fiction to somebody living 20 years ago. I used to work on the fringes of the tech industry, and for years the biggest buzzword was "convergence." The idea was that soon all kinds of different technologies would merge together to make something completely new and unexpected. One example the experts often liked to use was that your refrigerator would connect to the internet and would automatically buy milk when you ran out. Ha, my fridge is still embarrassingly dumb, but my phone is smart. And Kindles, Nooks, iPads, smartphones and YouTube are blurring the lines between readers and writers and audiences and film makers. I think the long awaited convergence has converged, and we are already to the point where anybody can really do anything if they put enough thought, time and hard work into it.

So, Mythikal People, have you tried this out? Or do you have any other "out of the box" techniques you've tried? It doesn't need to be photo or movie related - it could be how you write a different way or interact differently or even the way you encounter stories (however they may be presented) in a new way.

What do you think?


  1. Very interesting Jon. Does the use of the old lenses give the film a different look? Perhaps softer, more real than the compressed, digital look?

    Randy B.

  2. Hi Randy,

    Yes, the old lenses do give a different look. Sometimes they are softer, or give a glow in light areas that is pretty cool. A lot of the old lenses don't have the coatings that modern lenses have, so they also can have interesting flares. And the bokeh (background blur) can look a lot different on the older lenses. On the other hand, some of the old lenses are just as sharp or sharper than the new ones!

    They aren't for every situation, but sometimes they are just right - and you can't beat the price :)

  3. Cool, Jon. Now you're all famous. :)

    My husband is mad that he just gave away all his old camera stuff. He was semi-pro. Because now I could have used it on the new digital he gave me. Oh well. I will manage.

    I'm not a great photographer, but I enjoy taking photos. Great suggestion.

  4. Hey M Pax, you might have other family members that haven't given their old lenses away yet. I got one of my best lenses from my dad. Ha, he got that lens before I was born!

    You can also find some gems at garage sales and thrift stores ;)

  5. Woohoo, you're getting famous! :)

    Creating a podiobook is probably the most new-tech I've gotten insofar as my writing goes (and podcasts are kind of old news now!), but I would like to do an iPhone app for my world some day. I'm not sure what I'd stick in it, other than some nice maps, but maybe I'll get some more ideas along the way.

  6. Hey Lindsay, I think an iPhone app would be extremely cool. You could have character bios, a wiki, cool maps and a Sicarius knife throwing game ;)

    Speaking of maps, one of these days I'm going to have a map making tutorial with some of the things I've learned as I've been developing my Land of Lor maps.