From a Quick Laugh to Frustration

If you’ve been paying attention to this place, or any of the social media venues I frequent, you’ve probably heard quite a lot about the “DRM Box” project Brad and I have been working on.

But it’s been dragging on for months now, and I’m getting a little frustrated, so here’s a little behind the scenes scoop on the project.

The DRM Box was originally envisioned by me as a quick, week-long project to post online as a little internet joke. In my eyes, it just had to be good enough to hold up to video, then we would be done with it. Brad insisted that if we are going to do something, we should do it right, using nothing but the best materials and fabrication techniques for the job. It should be treated as a sculpture, where everything must be perfect, so after the video is made, we have a sculpture that is gallery-worthy. This is a situation where I do think Brad was right. This is art; we aren’t cranking out mass-produced wares for consumption, we are trying to make a unique object to express an idea that we are passionate about, and doing our best work is important.

Of course, going from, “just tape some crap together and hope it sticks together long enough for the shoot” to, “it must be perfect” necessitates a bit of a schedule correction. So, we went from a scheduled week-long build to an estimated month-long build. Then something big came up and my personal schedule changed, cutting out our free time together to about one third of what it once was.

These two factors lead to a project that started to really drag on and go nowhere for a long time.

But, this was ok, because we had a gallery show lined up for the project. The extra work was all worth it. They would be shown in a gallery after all!

Then the show never materialized. I don’t know what happened, but the show fell through.

So here we are, 10 months later, with a project that is well built, and it will be used for a quick little video, then put aside as we get to work on the next project.

But when you spend this much time with a project, when this much effort has been put into it, it becomes hard to treat it like a quick joke. It starts being something that you take seriously. And because we have been talking about it for so long, I fear the audience might also have begin taking this project seriously. I am worried that as far as the DRM Box Project is concerned, the humour is lost.

When a Project Just Doesn’t Go As Planned.

Phase 1:
Kyle: “Hey, this will be unbelievably awesome”
Brad: “It wont work”
Kyle: “Sure it will!”
Result: FAIL

Phase 2:
Kyle: “Well, this wouldn’t be as awesome as the original plan, but it would still be pretty cool, and it lets us salvage some materials”
Brad: “I don’t think that would work”
Kyle: “Sure it will!”
Result: FAIL

Phase 3:
Brad: “Well, I guess we could just do it this way, it’s passable, and means we wouldn’t have wasted all this time…”
Kyle: “Yea! that will totally work!”
Result: FAIL

Phase 4:
Kyle: “Whatever, we’re artists…let’s just do this and BS our way out of it when people notice the shortcomings…hmmm…no, I refuse to go down that path, lets just burn it now, and never speak of this again so the world never finds out about our failure this winter”
Brad: “it’s on facebook, tee hee hee”
Kyle: expletives deleted

Illuminated Landscapes is Now Available in ebook Format.

Our Self-Published photobook, Illuminated Landscapes is now available in ebook format for your iPad or iPod or iWhatever.

Illuminated Landscapes can be found on the Blurb Book Store

Note: You can still get the 2-part PDF version of the book for free by sending us an email. (

I know, I know…I probably shouldn’t be telling you about the free version while I’m pushing the paid version on you, I’m a terrible marketer, but yay! ebooks!

Now trees don’t have to die for you to have a copy of my book. Although if you like murdering trees, you can always pick up the paper version of our book. (I’d recommend the soft-cover version, it has a very shiny cover. I like shiny things.)

End of the Day Wrap Up for Maker Faire

At the end of day one of Toronto’s first Mini Maker Faire, Brad and I record a quick video recap, expressing our thoughts about the event.

I also take a moment to shamelessly plug our photo book, Illuminated Landscapes.

It was a long day, I was very tired, and goofing-off with a camera running always cheers me up. (until I watch the footage several days later and continually shutter at just how bad most of my jokes really are…)

Continue reading End of the Day Wrap Up for Maker Faire

Free Prize Inside

Last week, Brad and I had a few sales of our photo book, Illuminated Landscapes. Through a complicated series of relatives and acquaintances, the purchaser was able to have the books delivered to me, so Brad and I could sign them.

It’s always flattering to be asked to sign something. (well, I assume it’s always flattering, I don’t really know for certain; this is one of the first things I’ve been asked to sign…)

In the last several months, through a series of flukes and random good luck, I’ve had the opportunity to observe several well-known people in action. One thing that struck me was how cool they were. They weren’t arrogant celebrity divas, they were regular people who, upon meeting me, went out of their way to make a tiny gesture to make me feel cool.

This gave me a brilliant marketing idea: don’t be a dick.

Continue reading Free Prize Inside

Illuminated Landscapes: Sodium Series

While the Abstract collection was almost entirely my photography, The sodium series is almost entirely Brad’s. (except for this one photo below, which is my only entry into this set)

Kyle Clements: Illuminated Landscape #74

We call it the sodium series because of the deep orange glow in the sky. Although we were shooting these in the wilderness, we were only an hour away from several cities, and the warm glow from those distant sodium streetlights bounced off the clouds and filled the sky with an unexpected orange light.

Continue reading Illuminated Landscapes: Sodium Series

Illuminated Landscapes: Single Focus

As I mentioned in an earlier post, organizing and picking a select few images out of hundreds of photographs can be a daunting task.

Our first method consisted of going through the folder in waves, sorting the pictures into separate folders: Bad, OK, Good, Better Best. This left us with a very disorganized and inconsistent collection in our “Best” folder, so we changed our approach. We picked a theme, and selected the images that were the best fit for that category.

We found it helpful to sort the photos into several groups of similar images.

None of these category titles appear in the book, since text was kept to a minimum.

Instead, I will sort these images right here, in a series of blog posts.

This folder was titled “Single Focus”, and the shots in this folder made liberal use of the shallow depth of field our f1.8 lenses made possible.
Continue reading Illuminated Landscapes: Single Focus

Illuminated Landscapes: Abstract

As Brad and I were organizing the images for inclusion in Illuminated Landscapes, we were initially intimidated by the large number of images before us. We found it helpful to sort the photos into several groups of similar images.

We each came up with a few general categories. The working titles for these groups were pretty bad, it was just the first thing that popped into our heads, nothing too deep or poetic, but the idea to sort them like this was a tremendous help.

A single folder with 200 images can be very overwhelming go through, but when I had 10 folders with 20 images in front of me, I stopped seeing the image as isolated things; I began to see them as part of a series. This made sorting much easier. It wasn’t about the image any more, it became about what images worked best together. What could have been days of beard scratching was reduced to a few hours of work.

We didn’t title any of the sections in the book, since we decided to keep text to a minimum. Other than the opening blurbs, this is just about images. No captions or quotes; just text.

Over the next little while, I plan on using this place to present the groups of images.

I will start with a group of photos that is pure Kyle; not one of Brad’s shots made it into this folder. This folder was simply titled “Pollock”, and when you see the images, the reason for this name should be fairly obvious.
Continue reading Illuminated Landscapes: Abstract

Illuminated Landscapes Has Arrived!

Last night, the first copy of Illuminated Landscapes arrived in my mailbox, and I am proud to say that the book passed it’s inspection. The print quality matches our expectations and the project is now officially ready to go live!

It’s kind of strange to think that I now have a book out and on the market.

I don’t have a lot to say with this post; instead, I will offer a virtual tour of the book.
Continue reading Illuminated Landscapes Has Arrived!

Illuminated Landscapes: Free PDF Version Available Now.

If you are a regular here, then you’ve probably heard about Illuminated Landscapes a series of photographs by my friend Brad Blucher and myself.

I’ve hinted about the project three times before. But no more vague teasers!

We’ve edited down the huge archive of images into 80 photographs. These 80 photographs will appear in our new 80-page photo book Illuminated Landscapes, which will be available soon.

While we are still waiting for the hard copy version to arrive so we can apply our seal of approval and put the thing up for sale, the free digital version is available now!

That’s right, the free version is out before the “must pay for it” version!

The free digital version contains the same set of 80 images that appear in the physical version, and is presented as two separate PDFs. (one portrait, the other landscape)

To receive your free version of Illuminated Landscapes, all you need to do is send off an email to:

Continue reading Illuminated Landscapes: Free PDF Version Available Now.