1.8 Tools of Capture

Tools of Capture: Canon 7D, Day 6 Plotwatcher Time-lapse, iPhone

Beyond accumulating physical objects and written words in my database, I am also passionately accumulating still and moving images. I use a range of high, medium, and low-resolution cameras, and oscillate between still and moving digital devices. Although quality/resolution is always a consideration when I am using a particular camera, I’m more interested in the access a particular device provides. Whether it is the med-res iPhone camera in my pocket at all times, a rugged Day 6 Plotwatcher low-res time-lapse camera I can duct tape to my bike and film while riding (or leave it somewhere all day to capture the environment in-motion) or the high-res Canon 7d DSLR with that allows me to investigate with interchangeable lenses (including a 15mm ultra wide, 100mm macro, or 35mm standard lens).


The digital aesthetics of these tools each provide a particular look to the final output. These tools are used primarily for sketching, and I attempt to capture the immediacy of the moment. Many times the poor or compressed digital quality offers a genuine quality to the piece. As filmmaker Hito Steyerl describes, “The poor image is a copy in motion, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as well as copied and pasted into other channels of distribution.” The beauty of the high or low-res digital camera is that they can all be remixed, rechanneled and shared quite easily. Still and video sketching is another tool that graphic designers can access without creating a subcategory of a separate discipline. My intention is not to undermine the tradition of film or photography but to imbue the disciplines with a shared philosophy.

Objects, writing and images all create a large database of inspiration for me to access like memories in my mind. Capturing ephemera and my surroundings is just the first phase in communicating my methodology.