Testing Slow Motion Video Between DSLR and iPhone


A still frame of James on the D600.

I’m not sure what compelled me to do this today, but I wanted to do a quick comparison between my iPhone 7+ and my Nikon D600 to see which one did slow motion better.


Same shot, but from a different angle on the iPhone 7+.

While my Nikon was outfitted with a 35mm f1.4, I had to shoot at 720p in order to get 60fps. While I lost a lot of resolution, it doesn’t look terrible. On the other hand, the iPhone boasts awesome slow motion performance, but the feeling isn’t as cinematic.

James showing off his Vape Nation skills in slow motion video.

Now I’m really curious to see what it’ll look like show with my 58mm. In addition, I think it would be cool to try doing a portrait photo with a light pattern casted from some window blinds… or maybe even play with a prism to get a cool rainbow effect running through the smoke.

More importantly, I’m thinking about using this kind of stuff for b-roll when I make a real video in the future. Anyway, enjoy!

~1 Year Since My Bike Accident

Photos of my bike with an updated Surly touring frame.

I can’t believe it’s been about a year since my bike accident last year. For those of you who don’t know, around this time last year, I got in a nasty bike accident last year which left me with stitches, a concussion, two chipped teeth, and a damaged bike. It was pretty rough because it overlapped the time when I was shutting down Flare and transitioning to a new project. Thankfully, I had insurance and a strong support network here to help me out.

I made a fast recovery… and when I was able to ride again, I made a video that documented my crash as well as an issue I had with my bike. This all happened last year, but I’m finally getting around to sharing this video one year later.

One of my first vlogs on youtube I created last year.

Anyway, everything is okay now. Since then, I get my bike serviced once a month to make sure all the parts are in working order. I also got a full face helmet along with a GoPro to document my daily commute.

By the way, since last year, New Wheel (the company that sold me my e-bike), replaced my damaged frame free of charge. I had to twist their arm, but they stood by their product and rebuilt my bike after the rear wheel dislodging. So, if you’re in the market to get an electric bike in San Francisco, I’d recommend them.

So, I ride super conservatively now and I avoid questionable conditions.

HOWEVER, Google Maps managed to navigate me through a really sketchy path. I would say this felt as sketchy as walking around in the Tenderloin at night. I really wish there was a checkbox on Google Maps that says, “Avoid Sketch AF Routes”. Since I’m sharing some crazy videos, here’s another one…

Sketch AF bike route by Google Maps.


While I love San Francisco, there are times that I’d like to get away from the craziness. I live in Bernal Heights now, and it’s pretty safe/clean… but all you have to do is walk a couple streets down the hill, and it gets seedy.

Okay to lighten things up, here’s one more video of another bike ride. This is a time lapse of a bike ride I did with Patrick from Sausalito back to Bernal Heights.

Timelapse video of a 56 mile bike ride from Sausalito to Bernal Heights.

Hopefully you won’t get too dizzy watching it. It kind of starts smoothing out once we go over the Golden Gate bridge. Next time I’ll see if I can run these kinds of videos through a hyper lapse filter to remove all the jittering. Enjoy!

Hearthstone Design Inspiration

For those of you who don’t know, Blizzard (the company that created Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch…) is like the Apple of game design. Their attention to detail is insanely meticulous. When someone says their product was built with love, Blizzard is the bar.

Hearthstone is filled with all sorts of Easter eggs, micro interactions and tiny little details. While most apps and games try to minimize long load times, Hearthstone celebrates it.

Hearthstone loading 2

Hearthstone’s match making load screen.

They could have slapped in a boring screen with a load bar, but they had some fun with it. I think there’s a lesson to be learned in these little details.

Recently, I saw a cool animation on Dribbble by Kyle Decker that was inspired by Hearthstone. To bring in these kinds of details to a product, a culture has to be built around going the extra mile. It’s pretty crazy that he was able to do this all with code.

Dat motion blurrrrrr tho.

As I work on Input, I’m trying to balance between building the essentials versus adding the special touches that add a wow factor. Here’s an example of a small animation tied to a micro-interaction when a user posts. Notice the tiny little animation in the button that resembles our logo. The animation prevents the user from double clicking and communicates that a post is being sent.

Button animation during posting.

I know these kinds of things won’t help us find product market fit… but there’s just something about exercising your love for details and the small things. I’m tickled by cool hover states, minimal transitions and micro-interactions. The best designs are often unnoticed… but on the other hand, I think there are times where users will welcome personality and a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

By the way, I made a Hearthstone video with my buddy Justin Ho. It’s a quick pilot to see if: a) it’s something that he’s interested in doing long term, and b) it’s something that I have time to edit. If you didn’t know, Justin (aka Lyrondak) was ranked #11 in the world last season. I actually believe he could be #1 in the world if he really tried.

The Greedy McGreeds original Hearthstone Deck.

This was our first attempt, so the audio and lighting is a little janky. Creating these videos is just a good excuse to fly drones and play crazy troll decks in Hearthstone.

Anyway, I’m not sure if this is something that we’re going to commit to yet… but I’m pretty determined to work on a video project at some point. I’m just waiting for the right opportunity. You’ll see some more experimental YouTube content soon.

VR Vlog 001

First vlog about VR with the team.

Our team is exploring the VR space, and I wanted to document it with a vlog. I’m not sure if I can create video content every day, but I’m going to try to share our experience, ideas, and challenges.

Right now, I’m going to shoot it with my iPhone 7 plus. If you guys like it, I’ll use my DSLR and up the production value.

iPhone 7 Plus Photo of Ellie and Carrie


Photo of Ellie and Carrie using the iPhone 7 Plus.

So for starters, Ellie is super cute. She’s such a sweet cat—she’ll come up to me an say hello every day.

Now lets talk about the photo. There’s nothing special about the picture itself except that it was shot with the iPhone 7 Plus with no color correction or retouching. This is just an average photo, shot with average lighting.

I’m kind of amazed by the level of quality by these new smart phones. I’ll do photo shootout later this week. I’m really curious to see how it performs compared to my full frame DSLR.

Ellie getting her massage from Annie.

By the way, the video shot from the iPhone 7 Plus is pretty amazing too. I’m hoping to experiment with this a little more too.

Too Cute: Fennec Fox Learns to Sit

A Fennec Fox pup.

I stumbled on a super cute video of a Fennec Fox being trained how to sit. I didn’t even know that people could have these things as pets.

Training the Baby Fennec Fox to Sit. +500k views on YouTube.

The fennec fox or fennec (Vulpes zerda) is a small nocturnal fox found in the Sahara of North Africa. Its most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which also serve to dissipate heat. The fennec is the smallest species of canid. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments. In addition, its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds. The fennec has a life span of up to 14 years in captivity. –Wikipedia