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Idea Spark App – now available!

Idea Spark App Store Screenshot

Idea Spark is now available!

Hi.  I’m David the software engineer.  Yes, this is the same David that normally posts here, but at the moment I am wearing my software engineer hat.  Since this website focuses on photography, I don’t don this hat much here.  It is a conscious choice to keep my web presences separated for clarity’s sake; even so, these skills constantly support each other in my day-to-day work.  When developing a website, I can build up media that is specific to my clients’ brand – photos, videos, audio, etc (maybe I should call this my multimediographer hat instead of my photographer hat).  Similarly, my skills as a computer scientist let me build a website that showcases my visual work exactly how I want people to see it.

So why am I blurring the lines all of a sudden?  Well, it is because I have developed a new tool for photographers (for all creatives, actually) that I want to share with you.  This tool fits in your pocket, costs less than a cup of coffee, and can help you get started on your next creative project.  It is a creative little app called Idea Spark.

Photographers, authors, painters, cooks…all of us sometimes get stuck coming up with new ideas.  As with most things in life, the hardest part is getting started.  That’s where this app comes in: the short, clever phrases you generate are seeds for your own creative interpretation and exploration (great if you’ve hit a creative block or are looking for a challenge).  You can keep the generated ideas as random, or tailor the results to your needs, such as focusing on people or textures, emotions or lighting.  A multitude of customizable combinations using the curated themes and contexts is possible from the 85,000+ unique ideas (and growing!).

Amidst the overwhelming amount of digital noise out there, I personally found myself wanting something that simplified and streamlined ideas that could spur me forward out of creative blocks.  My goal was to make something that I couldn’t find available from the ton of apps available already.  From finding ideas for daily (365) photo projects, to seeking inspiration from a hometown landscape where everything is familiar, or looking for focus when there are too many options, I created Idea Spark to help drive my own creative process.

Maybe it could inspire you to flex your creative muscles too?  That is my ultimate goal for what this might do for people – inspire creativity.  Check out the website for details and screenshots here, give it a try, and let me know how it goes.  The design of the app itself is meant to be its own form of inspiration; hand-drawn illustrations coupled with a clean and simple look means that the Idea Spark app doesn’t look like all the others.  This design principle embodies the very thing this app aims to inspire within you: to create something unique and individual in a world where much is the same.

Happy New Year to you all.  May this next calendar year bring you even closer to where you want to be.  Keep on living the life creative.

January 6, 2015 - 8:29 pm

Don Martin - This is all good Dave. A ton of work and very impressive. Keep it going.

The Crooked Brothers

After months on the road, The Crooked Brothers threw a homecoming party at the West End Cultural Centre a couple Fridays ago.  Oh, and they also were celebrating the release of their new album: “Thank You I’m Sorry.”  Take it from me, you should check it out: it’s streaming here.

The crowd, seated.

The place was packed.  Seats were claimed quickly, so the latecomers made themselves comfortable lounging on the floor; until it quickly turned into a dance floor that is.

Introducing the brothers

Introducing the brothers: Jesse, Matt, and Darwin (left to right).

The sound booth

The sound mixologist quietly dials in the levels at the back.

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December 24, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Henk von Pickartz - Merry Christmas, David!

December 24, 2014 - 9:20 pm

Sheldon Emberly - Have a great Christmas David!

#ExploreMB Book – now available.

Flipping through the #ExploreMB book

Flipping through a fresh-off-the-presses copy of the #ExploreMB book.

About a month ago, I was contacted by Travel Manitoba to be part of a book they were putting together to highlight truly Manitoba moments.  My contribution: Folk Fest memories!

Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find a copy in my mailbox – the final product looks great and I’m happy to see so many friends’ work featured as well!  Flipping through it on this dreary December day, I am reminded of all the warm moments that this province has to offer.  Though I will continue to venture outside its borders, I will always come back to this special place.  As a dear friend of mine often says, “Winnipeg is a great place to come back to.”  Going abroad makes you appreciate it even more.

The road to California: Familiar territory.

Covering so many miles, seeing so many new things, constantly exploring places you didn’t know existed…a road trip is certainly an adventure.  Like all good adventures though, the rewards come with an exhaustion that slowly builds up.  There is a sort of comfort in the familiar; a quiet sense of permission that it’s ok to relax – that you don’t need to constantly be active.  Coming full circle and now retracing our tire marks on the pavement, Waterton was familiar territory where we could spend a couple days relaxing before making the final push home to Winnipeg.

Portland Volkswagon Van

Arriving at our Portland hosts’ home, we pulled into a parking spot behind this classic Volkswagon van.  Hello Portland!  Turns out this sweet ride belonged to our hosts’ son, who was back from university for the summer.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Strapped for time, the car stayed parked for the couple days we were in town while we adventured around the area we were staying in.  Portland streets are a poster for mixed usage: residential, commercial (often local as entrepreneurs are highly supported), food/coffee trucks…there seems to be a little bit of everything found on any street corner.   It is one of the most walkable cities out there.

Heart Coffee

While Stumptown is renowned for their coffee, I personally prefer the lighter roasts that the smaller Heart Coffee Roasters does.  These folks are passionate about what they do.  Of particular note is that you can select your beans and brew type independently, which, for the coffee connoisseurs out there, can make for some interesting side-be-side tastings.  Here, we tried a Yirgacheffe bean brewed via the traditional pour-over technique and compared the same bean brewed using the Aeropress, a method gaining popularity in the western world.

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The road to California: Coast

Winnipeg, the starting point for this whole journey, is located at almost the exact center of North America – pretty much as far from any ocean as you can get.  At this point in the trip, to roll over yet another hill and see the endless blue horizon stretch out across the sky was quite the milestone.  Crossing California’s dry interior, we reached the refreshing sea air just a bit north of Los Angeles.  Here, at a crossroads that marked our furthest point from home over the entire trip, we hooked up with the scenic highway #1 that snakes north along the coast.

Pavement meets ocean

After many, many kilometers, the pavement meets the ocean.


Blue on blue.

Seagulls against the blue sky

Seagulls soaring above.

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December 2, 2014 - 10:26 am

Britt W - We went to the same pub on haight! So good!!!

December 2, 2014 - 10:28 am

Donnell Dacillio - gorgeous post

December 2, 2014 - 6:31 pm

Kay Eight-Enn - Sweet life, David! Maybe you want to make a guest appearance as a computer science teacher with that history of yours, and I’ll head out west to take some pictures? Just a little tradesies for a bit?

December 4, 2014 - 10:16 pm

David - I may be in that place before you know it Kay! I’m actually dabbling in some education education right now. And no, that’s not a typo.

December 6, 2014 - 6:37 am

Dave Benson - This journey is most definitely on my bucket list… Thanks for the added incentive… and since I did that education thing first… I now have time for the photo-life…