I am a writer and editor with diverse interests that include technology, graphic arts, digital media and steampunk. This website is a home for news and commentary about these topics, as well as visual journeys to places where creative people roam.

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Cosplay at Clockwork Alchemy and FanimeCon

Steampunk | Jun 17 2017
Batman and Deadpool

Clockwork Alchemy and FanimeCon were full of costumed characters. Some were inspired by movies, TV shows, video games and comic books. Others came from the imaginations of the cosplayers. It's performance art, and I was impressed by how easily they struck interesting poses. Here are some photos, plus additional shots from FanimeCon...

Visual Tour: Steampunks Converge at 2017 Clockwork Alchemy

Steampunk | Jun 16 2017
Dr. Blackheart

Last year, I paid a quick visit to Clockwork Alchemy, the steampunk convention in San Jose. This time, I took a deeper dive and spent most of the weekend there. Here's my report from the event, plus lots of photos of the characters and their creations...

Visual Tour: More Cool Stuff @Maker Faire 2017

Maker Faire | Jun 10 2017

My camera always gets a strenuous workout at Maker Faire, and this year's event was no exception. Here are some more photos, including illuminated sculptures, Danny Scheible's Tapigami and my latest excursion into virtual reality.

Visual Tour: Steampunk and Other Creative Anachronisms @Maker Faire 2017

Steampunk | Jun 8 2017
Steam-Powered Pencil Sharpener

The do-it-yourself spirit runs strong in steampunk culture, so it's no surprise that many projects at Maker Faire had that wondrous techno-Victorian look. One section was devoted to steampunk, but you could find steampunk-inspired contraptions throughout the fairgrounds. Other projects were not steampunk in the strictest sense, but shared a similar sort of creative anachronism.

Visual Tour: Robots and Drones @Maker Faire 2017

Maker Faire | Jun 6 2017
InMoov Robot

Robots at Maker Faire come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny do-it-yourself gizmos to six-ton megabots. Some take humanoid form, while others perform useful functions such as backyard weeding. Many are just plain fun. Here's a look at some of the robotic contraptions at the 2017 Bay Area Maker Faire, and the people who built them.

Will That Be Rye or Klabasto? A Guide to Finding Steampunk Fonts

Steampunk | Apr 30 2017
Victorian Print Shop

Whether you want free fonts or you're willing to pay a few bucks, many websites offer typefaces that have a steampunk vibe. But these sites don't always make it easy to find the fonts that work best for you. Here's a guide to the top sources for free and premium steampunk fonts. You'll also find useful tips for searching those sites.

Adobe Launches Public Beta of Adobe Stock Contributor Site and Plugins

Creative Tools | Sep 21 2016

When Adobe Systems introduced a stock content service in June 2015, it wasn't just a new source for images and other content. The company also touted Adobe Stock as a money-making opportunity for creative professionals. But until recently, you had to submit content through Adobe's Fotolia service. On Tuesday, Adobe announced a public beta of an Adobe Stock Contributor site, along with plugins for Bridge and Lightroom that allow users to submit content...

New Photoshop Plugin Lets You Browse Shutterstock's Enormous Stock Image Collection

Creative Tools | Sep 8 2016
Shutterstock Plugin

When Adobe introduced Adobe Stock last year, the big selling point was its seamless integration with the company's desktop apps. Now Shutterstock, one of the biggest players in the stock content market, has responded with a Photoshop plugin that provides access to its library of about 100 million images. I've been testing a beta version of the plugin, and though it has a few rough spots, it should be a boon for any Shutterstock customer who uses Photoshop.

Siggraph 2016: Virtual Reality, GPUs and New 3D Software

Creative Tools | Aug 27 2016
Maxon Cinema 4D

If you want to see the future of sci-fi and fantasy entertainment, you go to Comic-Con in San Diego. But if you want to preview the tools that enable the wild visual effects in those movies and TV shows, you go to Siggraph, the annual conference and exhibition on computer graphics and "interactive techniques." The conference is also a showcase for applications in digital art, scientific visualization, and — this year in particular — virtual reality. Here's a look at some of the highlights.

A Visual Tour of Shape Tech Expo

Innovation | Jul 21 2016

It's no CES, but the Shape Tech Expo was nearby in San Francisco and offered me a chance to get a close-up look at futuristic technologies. They were grouped into five broad categories: Internet of Things, Emerging Technologies (including robotics), Smart Cities, Virtual Reality and Wearables. For me, the big draws were virtual reality and robots. It's another story best told in pictures (and video).