Today will be a short post with some random thoughts. I am a one man office and locally I really don’t have other local architects that are in a similar situation that I can share thoughts with and bounce off ideas, so I started looking on the web.
I am not a big Facebook fan, although I do have a personal presence there for family purposes.
I do like twitter, but I got on twitter about a year after it started. I had the concept that I should not have just one twitter account, but individual twitter accounts based on my interest. I love technology and that is who I mainly followed in the beginning, but I am also a big Hokie fan (Virginia Tech for those of you not familiar with the Hokie Nation). I follow techie people on twitter as “arcadtect”, but just didn’t think it made sense to post “Yea, Hokies over Hoos, another good football game!” on twitter for those people who may have started following me because of my tech comments. For sports I have set up “79hokie” and that is where I follow sports people and my fellow Hokies. Then I set up “barch” for architecture and that is where I follow people in the design professions. Being Barber Architects, barch made sense, but being architects we all know what a “B of Arch” is, so it has a double meaning. I also got www.barch.com as a domain name for my firm, but really wonder how many people are searching for information about a bachelor of architecture when I see how many hits my site gets?
Then there is Google Plus which is my favorite social site. I just like the way they have it set up where I can follow who I want and don’t have to deal with accepting people who want to follow me. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I never just blindly follow someone because they have started following me. I alway look at their profile and see if there is any common interest. If we have something in common I will follow them back. I have never understood the mindset of “he who has the most followers wins”. I consider it more of a quality over quantity issue. I would rather follow a limited few who have something I want to read and learn from than just start mass following people and constantly click past their post because I am not interested. In turn, I would hope that people follow me because they are interested in what I may have to say. I know I have no control over that, so I have no issues who ever decides to add me whether it be for content or body count.
I am also on Linkedin, but I consider that a Facebook for business. Again I look at every request I get to see if I know the person or we have a common interest or friend before I accept. I only invite people who I have had contact with in the past. I get, as I am sure most of you do, invites from people halfway around the world, who are in a profession that has nothing to do with architecture. I just don’t understand?
It seems the architects I follow the closest on Google Plus are typically residential architects. Their practices and mindsets seem to be a lot different than mine, but I do appreciate what they share and it has made me take a new look at the way I do business and think about architecture. I don’t always agree with their concepts or practices, but as a one man shop, I understand we all have to march to the beat of our own drum. I find the interactions refreshing. I want to give a shout out to Marica Mckeel, Mark R Lepage, Jes Stafford, and the boys at Archispeak Podcast. They make Google Plus a better place to visit. The master of the architectural blog is of course Bob Borson of “Life of an Architect”. Always entertaining and informative. I realized that to mature my posts I need to incorporate some visual items. Bob and Marica do this very well. I like out Bob disperses them at several points in his blog and somewhere down the road I will try to incorporate them too.
My last random thought of the day is about photography. I love photography and don’t devote enough time to it, but I think it can be a tremendous benefit to architects. You don’t have to commit a lot of time to it to get some great results. My oldest son Michael is a part time professional photographer. His site is www.Arphotecture.com and he started doing HDRs (High Dynamic Range) images. These are very easy to do and I think are extremely impressive compared to normal photographs. Yes, you still need to have some kind of photographic eye to get good composition, but by increasing the dynamic range just makes the pictures pop. Your eyes have a much large exposure range than your camera, so by taking multiple pictures in different exposure ranges and merging them, you get the nice photos. A lot of cameras have a function called AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing) built in. This will allow your camera to take multiple pictures at different exposure setting with a single press of the shutter release. Here is a website that will let you check if your camera has that capability. http://www.hdr-photography.com/aeb.html I believe that photoshop can merge photos for HDRs and I use a program called Photomatix, which I think cost me about $100.
Attached are some HDRs of a building that I will soon be working on in Washington, NC