A very busy month of creative activity

I had really been wanting to get more into blogging – and publishing my writing on a more consistent basis.

But for the month of May, that didn’t quite work out the way I hoped.

It’s frustrating not being able to put out content as regularly as I would like.

I reflected on this for a bit… and then quickly realized there was an underlying reason: Over the past month, I was really preoccupied with all sorts of activities related to creating – just not writing!

Here’s what took up my time throughout May 2022.

WordPress 6.0

WordPress has been transforming in a big way the past several years, but especially in 2022 with the release of version 5.9 last January, and then the milestone 6.0 unveiling on May 24. Both releases bring a host of all-new developments aimed at delivering a vastly more appealing and satisfying user experience – with the objective of significantly broadening the appeal of WordPress to content creators and business owners.

In preparation for all the new and exciting stuff to come for website creation and management, I put myself through an in-depth tutorial to bring myself up to speed. I also spent time getting familiar with the new user interface and the many new features and capabilities.

The future of WordPress is very exciting, and I’m definitely planning to have it as a major aspect of my future career or business ambitions.

Getting more deeply into JavaScript

I’ve been pleased with having been able to build my website from the ground up – by hand-coding with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But there were some aspects of the underlying code structure that were less than ideal.

Specifically, I was duplicating content by simply repeating the underlying code – not a very good practice. Over time, this was going to make it harder for me to manage things effectively and keep the content up to date.

So I set out to address this by getting more deeply into JavaScript, learning something called Web Components, that would allow me to encapsulate a visual element into a module, and then call up that module whenever I want to reuse it – instead of inefficiently copying and pasting code. I’ve been able to finish out all the work necessary to fully implement Web Components into my website.

Card designs for portfolio webpage
Web Components allowed me to go from duplicating 76 lines of HTML for each card, to a custom HTML tag that calls up the code.

Spending more time with my camera

I’ve really been wanting to use my mirrorless camera more regularly, and acquire an intuitive feel for what I can capture with it. The problem is that like the 3 other interchangeable lens cameras I’ve bought over they years, I haven’t used it enough to appreciate its imaging capability.

That is, until last May. I decided I had enough of buying camera gear but not using it as much as I would like. So I started to devote more time to playing around with photo and video shooting. Almost every time I felt like whipping out my smartphone, I would conscientiously bring out the camera instead to purposefully get more practice and familiarity.

A dedicated camera delivers far superior optics compared to a smartphone, but is a pain because you have to tweak with the settings to get the shot “just right.” However, I’ve been experimenting with something called Intelligent Auto mode on Sony cameras that’s pretty fantastic. It makes the camera more like a smartphone and its “automagic” simplicity of generating quality images without having to do anything.

Sushi photographed in Sony Intelligent Auto mode
Photographed using Sony Intelligent Auto

I’ve been rather pleased with what I’ve been able to capture thus far with Intelligent Auto, and plan to cover this more in a future blog post.

Wait… there’s more!

Yep – I was able to do several more things around my nonstop desire for creativity and making fun things.

  1. Updated the design of my personal logo. See below. The dimensions are in there for fun… but are also an important visual reference.
  2. Reviewed and tweaked some of the motion graphics created for my videos. This includes an animated version of my logo.
  3. Shot a video in which I discuss how I focused first on designing these motion graphics before beginning to make my videos.
  4. Did an extensive review of my Adobe Creative Cloud library – reorganized, archived, and deleted stuff to free up valuable storage space and preserve only the things I needed.
  5. Experimented with creating product photography shots. The goal was to reproduce the product photos on the Adafruit website (which I’ve always admired).
Perry Sun logo with dimensions