Stories combine words with pictures or diagrams to create integrated modules.
A lot of what I do these days is centered on projects. Some projects involve travel. Other projects create things, often related to computer technology. I like to document my projects and I have a feeling that the natural format for this documentation is a story.
My broad goal is to create stories that combine words and images. Further, I want these stories to be available on the Web and able to be formatted so that they are useful on a variety of devices.
Many of the stories here are experiments on how to accomplish my goal. Some designs are more successful than others, of course. The purpose of this site is to provide access to the stories so that the underlying technology and designs can be evaluated. And if you enjoy the content, that’s nice, too.
There are different media, integration software and delivery services that can be used to tell stories. Delivery services appear, to me, to be the major way in which my stories differ, besides the general topic.
ISSUU is a web service that provides access to magazines. Generally, the pages are shown as a double-page spread, much like you would see when handling a paper magazine. The graphical interaction appears like a magazine, too. You get the appearance of flipping pages. There are features that let you zoom the page and search for text.
You can put your own stories into ISSUU by making them into PDF documents. ISSUU stores the PDF documents and the presents them in ways that fit the constraints of various devices. Creating the PDF is left to the person creating the story. I have been using PowerPoint (or its analog, Google Docs) as my story-creation tool, almost exclusively. I’m comfortable using PowerPoint and the conversion to a PDF is very straight forward.
I’ve had to adopt some design standards, such as a minimum type size, to make ISSUU stories work with the constraints of small screens. Another design constraint (or feature) has been the need to consider facing-page layouts.
Wading Birds of the Black Point Wildlife Drive (ISSUU link: 139 pages)
The Black Point Wildlife Drive is inside the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. This seven mile road weaves between estuaries and impoundments, all good habitats for wading birds. This is a photo-essay with strong emphasis on photos.
Orchids in Winter (ISSUU link: 76 pages)
The New York Botanical Garden hosts an annual orchid show. This is our story of our visit. We dig into the history of botanical gardens, conservatories and orchids to provide a context for this event. Discover how this exhibit echos the technology developments of the Victorian era.
Flower Fields (ISSUU link: 64 pages)
Another visit to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. This is where you can see the broad-stripes of colors stretching across the coastal hillside. These are Ranunculus. The flowers come in many colors, shapes and sizes. This photo essay emphasizes this genetic diversity.
A four-part photolog of a visit to many of Kyoto's temples during the peak of the Fall foliage change. We wandered for four days, along with the huge crowds during this popular Japanese seasonal event. See where we went, what we saw and the delicious food that we ate.
The Garden at Nanzen-in Temple (ISSUU link: 36 pages)
A photo essay about a beautiful garden in the Zen Buddhist Temple, Nanzen-ji, in Kyoto, Japan. The fall foliage is spectacular. The garden at Nanzen-in Temple is a small gem that is well worth visiting.
Wandering in Angkor (ISSUU link: 101 pages)
A 2006 trip to Cambodia's Siem Reap region fulfilled my desire to see the ancient temples of Angkor Wat and the surrounding area. Reviewing this trip raised a number of questions about the things that were seen. This photo essay explores this region in an attempt to understand both the early and modern periods and how they relate to each other. The clues are all around. It took time to link the clues into a fairly complete view. Sometimes it's good to wait before writing a travel story.
A Night Walk in Downtown Honolulu (ISSUU link: 30 pages)
I took these photos by going out at night to test my Sony RX1R2 camera. I walked through downtown Honolulu carrying my camera and a monopod. The immediate question: Is a monopod a necessary piece of gear for night photography. The walk took me to familiar places that I often photograph. Many of these location are easily recognized by tourists and residents. At the time, I had no intention of creating a photo essay. My goal was a technical evaluation. The value of the images became more obvious as I worked with the photos. I converted the pictures to black-and-white; the lack of color helped the photos convey what I was seeing. What struck me most is that the details of the places change dramatically once the sun has set. I discovered a new way to look at this city.
Cruis'n the Coast (ISSUU link: 95 pages)
I took my Smart car from Southern California to Oregon. This is a travel essay about that trip. I drove along the coast, as much as I could. This was a trip down memory lane as I grew up in California. I reflect, very briefly, on places that are important to me along this route.
An Australian Adventure (ISSUU link: 99 pages)
This is a photo log of a trip to Sydney, Australia in the winter of 2016. We mostly poked around the city and the nearby coastal and mountain areas.
Impression of Persian Buttercups (ISSUU link: 33 pages)
The Persian Buttercup (Ranunculus asiaticus L.) is found in great abundance at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. There are thirteen colors (one being a mix of two-colors) that are planted to form bold stripes of color in the 50 acre field. There were once about 900 different varieties of this species available to British gardeners.
This photo essay explores some of the variability still found in this species. The focus is on the pink and white varieties.
This ISSUU story was designed to be printed using the CostCo photo book service. The goal is to have both on-line access (i.e., ISSUU) as well as hard copy so that this production can be returned to the kind people at The Flower Fields who provided access to some of the most interesting plants.
On Viewing Some Old Buildings in Honolulu (ISSUU link: 107 pages )
This is an illustrated story about 24 buildings and monuments that are located in Honolulu’s Capitol District. There are also comments and pictures of some of the significant plants used in the landscaping.
The text provides background information regarding the origin of the structure, notes on special construction features, and a history of its use. The photographs illustrate the structures and their surroundings.
Digital processing techniques were used to capture and display the structures in a way that is evocative of an earlier era.
Gardens by the Bay: A Photo Essay (ISSUU link: 78 pages)
This story is a photo essay about two new botanical venues in Singapore. These are world-class attractions that should not be missed. It is convenient to see them both as they are adjacent to each other.
Cloud Forest is a man-made mountain inside a greenhouse. It is a verdant oasis, complete with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
Flower Dome is the world’s largest free-standing greenhouse. The immense area under the dome displays a variety of ecosystems. There has been great care in selecting the plants and displaying them properly.
Even the outside of the area is special.
Plumeria (ISSUU link: 32 pages)
Honolulu Botanical Gardens has a great collection of Plumeria trees at its Koko Crater Botanical Garden. There is considerable diversity in this collection with many varieties of Plumeria on display. Equally important, the flowers are generally accessible. The trees are not trimmed so flower-covered branches are in easy view.
This story is a photo essay of some favorite Plumeria images collected over the years.
Ranunculus asiaticus variability and its lessons for BRIT (ISSUU link: 62 pages)
This story is based on a presentation made at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
The origin of the study was the discovery of the immense decrease in the availability of Ranunculus varieties. The story discusses this and proposes some technology that might be used to prevent the loss of plant variety information in the future.
This story is an example of re-purposing a traditional PowerPoint presentation.
Kaua`i Field Notes (ISSUU link: 67 pages)
This story is an experiment. The focus is on an alternative way to support field classes.
This document consists of a series of brief highlights of natural history observations in Waimea Canyon and along the Pihea Trail on Kaua`i. Each highlight is supported by photos or diagrams.
The object is for students to learn the essence of each highlight before going in the field. In the field, there is elaboration of each highlight and students have an opportunity to take new photos. Finally, students review the highlights as they substitute their photos for those which are in the original document.
Note: This document is in draft and will be changing.
Note: Link to an Exposure story by clicking on the picture associated with the story.
The California coastal town of Oceanside has a pier that extends far out into the Pacific Ocean. This is a great place to walk. You are far above the water. Look down. You can see the surfers on the waves. Look back toward the land and you can see the broad beach filled with people. Good bird watching, too. Especially if you want to see California brown pelicans. Hang around until sunset. You'll be rewarded with an iconic California experience.
The Washington Monument (Exposure Link)
The Washington Monument is, perhaps, the most dominant structure in Washington, DC. It is a great memorial to the first President of the United States of America. It is interesting to walk along the National Mall and the neighboring areas to see how this monument serves as a backdrop.
This photo-essay is another example of how you can travel to a distant location and focus your photography on a single theme. Each time I visit this city, I'll better understand how the appearance of this unique memorial changes. I'll keep taking pictures with the Washington Monument in the frame.
SuperMoon (Exposure Link)
SuperMoons are not common. The Moon and the Earth must be closer than average (technically, the centers less than 350,000 km apart) and this must happen on a Full Moon. The last time was in 1948. This phenomenon occurred again on November 14, 2016. It was time to take a few photos.
Ranunculus, The Flower Fields 2013 (Exposure Link)
This is a story about Ranunculus, a popular flower that is grown at The Flower Fields near San Diego, California. People flock to the 50 acre spread in the spring to see the bright bands of colors produced by the rows of these flowers growing on the slopes near the ocean.
Plumeria Impressions (Exposure Link)
I had two hours in my favorite grove of Plumeria trees. But it was the wrong time of the day for photography and I had the wrong gear. This is a story of how I transformed the pictures, using digital technology, to capture a new view of a long-familiar photographic subject. Maybe all of the things that were wrong were really right.
Cinque Terre (Exposure Link)
There are some particularly beautiful and photogenic places in the world. Cinque Terre, on Italy's west coast, is one of these locations.
How do you capture and show your personal impression of this beautiful place in a way that is more uniquely your own? This story documents our trip with images that have the quality of memories, rather than the precision of pixel-perfect photographs.
The Arctic Circle Challenge (Exposure Link)
This is the story of our taking a Smart car from San Diego, California to the Arctic Circle in 2013.
Smart cars are for urban driving. Right? Taking a Smart car to a very remote place seemed like an interesting challenge. It took a year of planning and considerable effort at properly equipping the car before we could head north. All of this preparation paid off. We got to the Arctic Circle, and a bit beyond, while having a great time driving this wonderful little car.
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh my! (Exposure Link)
This is a story about ethical stewardship and the challenges of zoo photography.
I like to visit zoos. And, like most people, I carry a camera. While my animal interests are broad, I particularly like to see the lions, tigers and bears. Equally important is my concern for the ethical stewardship of the animals.
I judge what I see at the zoo through two lenses: one is focused on the beauty of the animals and the other one the accreditation standards that apply to these institutions.
Hot Air Balloons (Exposure Link)
We went to the 2001 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. There were hundreds of balloons and thousands of visitors. We arranged (well in advance) to take a "lift" early on a very cold morning. This provided a spectacular sight and a unique flying experience.
St. Paul's Cathedral (Exposure Link)
Twenty views of this London landmark taken on a visit in 2013.
I had two days in London by myself. Camera in hand, I wandered the city looking for photo opportunities. One subject keep popping up: St. Paul's Cathedral. I used this subject for a series of photos, taken from many locations at all times of the day and night.
Floral Art of the Pa`u Rider (Exposure Link)
The photos taken during the Kamehameha Day Parade in 2013 form the basis of this story.
The elegantly dressed Pa`u riders are a significant part of the annual Kamehameha Day parade. These women are adorned with flowers appropriate to the island that they represent. This is floral art in the context of riding a horse and honoring Hawaiian history and culture.