Big Mischief

Founder at Moonbase. Previously UberConference. Read my process posts here

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This Blog Has Moved

My blog is no longer published on Svbtle. You can find my new blog here. While I have imported most of my old posts over to the new blog, I will leave this address live as an archive.

I will not be posting here on Svbtle anymore so please adjust your bookmarks, feeds and what not to the new site. My Twitter will always be the most reliable place to get notified of new posts. Follow me here.

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Flipped Iceberg in Antarctica

On a recent trip to Antarctica, I came upon a recently flipped iceberg. My photos of the rare specimen spread online, faster than almost anything I’ve ever released.

I put together the video above, which includes the process used to capture the images, a gear overview, the Lightroom editing process, and outreach analytics. It’s a detailed look at the images from start (a small zodiac boat in Antarctica), to finish (The Today Show). I wrote a longer article about the process over on the Moonbase blog.

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Planet Iceland

I shoot a lot of footage when I travel. Recently I’ve been experimenting with ways to make this footage interesting and engaging to people who weren’t on the trip. Because I know, the last thing you care about is another stranger’s time-lapse montage of sunsets in paradise.

Planet Iceland is my most recent experiment. Shot on a trip around the island, it’s about exploring Iceland in a protective spacesuit while waiting for more people to arrive. Iceland is such a magical and inspiring place; I tried to capture the feeling of being there. We had 8 days to circumnavigate the island and I basically shot from the hip the whole time, infusing the story after the fact, once I got home.

For the camera geeks: It’s shot on Canon C100 + 1DC. Approx 85% of the footage is C100 as it was too difficult to monitor exposure on the 1DC in the field. Relied heavily on the C100’s NDs and waveform...

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Why It’s Impossible to Make Plans Anymore

In the landline-days of old, a plan had to be a solid commitment. Now, it more closely resembles a series of nebulous inklings. For some context, we made this video:

If you do decide to embark on making plans in 2014, I have also prepared this glossary of terms:

A Plan:
Once heralded as a firm commitment to an event in the future, a plan is now largely considered to be a string of noncommittal text messages leading up to a series of potential, though unlikely, events.

A Cellphone:
Your primary device for making plans. More specifically, the medium with which most plans are conceived and later altered. It’s imperative that you keep your cellphone on your person at all times, as you can expect all plans to dissolve into an amorphous cloud upon conception.

A reconfirmation is a neurotic reiteration of plan that has already been confirmed. There may be dozens of these...

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The Peculiar Traveler: Tokyo

We visited Tokyo in March and I shot a lot of random footage. I compiled it into a typical travel montage, but then had some fun experimenting with a voiceover, and turned it into this weird little travel programme. I thought it’d be an interesting way to make, what is essentially a personal travel diary, into something more widely accessible. I love Tokyo, and hopefully this video captures that and inspires you to take a trip to this wonderful place!

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Drones on Demand

What will the consumer drone market look like in a year? In five? I think about this a lot, and created a new product to explore the possibilities: Gofor: Drones on Demand.

Gofor will make drone technology useful to the consumer, as opposed to merely being relegated to solely aerial imaging. Using the Gofor app, drones can be requested to perform a multitude of tasks; from location scouting to personal security, Gofor’s tasks are basic, but undeniably helpful.

Gofor’s vision of the future is documented here, with a comprehensive execution of the website, promo videos, and iOS app interface.

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An App for Escaping Awkward Situations

I thought of a very important mobile app. It’s called Tickle and it helps you escape awkward situations. Using your phone’s accelerometer, Tickle can sense awkward gestures, and in turn, generate a phantom phone call to allow you to gracefully excuse yourself from whatever awkward situation you’re in. A video demo is above.

This app is important because people still insist on having large birthday dinners. Ex-girlfriends often go grocery shopping at the same time as you. And overly talkative commuters always ride that bus you take to work. These and other situations necessitate a mobile tool to save the day.

Tickle is part of a new generation of apps that has no UI. The app does one thing and it does it well: it calls you when you touch your phone in an awkward way. It’s the ultimate exercise in restraint; once installed, there is no visual interface – the app is always “listening”...

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Road Trip Iceland: A Custom Map

alexcornell iceland map.jpg

Iceland is the best country in the world for a road trip. The variety of the scenery is unparalleled; one road circles the entire country and darts through some of the most incredible landscapes you will ever see.

My friends and I travelled there in May 2013 and circled the Ring Road over the course of eight days. When we returned, I wanted to document our adventures with an artifact of some kind. My initial thought was to find a map of the country and annotate it to show our route. There were a number of options, but nothing felt quite right visually; either the map had too much extraneous information or it just wasn’t cool enough.

I decided to draw my own map of Iceland, on a massive canvas, and include the photos, stories, and logistics of our journey. The focus was the route, but I also included illustrations and notes to call out memorable moments of the trip. It was a...

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Quitting, and My Occupational Phantom Limb

When I quit my job two weeks ago, the array of sentiments that followed was predictable, but also complex, in one very specific and intriguing way.

Reducing my responsibilities substantially, in an instant, was of course relieving, but it’s been complicated by a perpetual sense of muddled, nonexistent urgency. Not unlike a phantom-limb, I still feel the presence of my professional duties. The rhythmic flow of tasks, emails and meetings had become so constant, so familiar, that my present mind has almost fabricated a reality where they still exist.

The primary symptom of this occupational phantom-limb is compulsive phone monitoring. Despite my new schedule, I still adhere to my old routine of pulling out my phone every few minutes, expecting important emails, reminders and events. Of course now, my phone repeatedly presents me with a striking lack of responsibilities. I can holster the...

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Blank & Blank: Apparently This Is How To Name Your Small Business


It seems there is a stubborn trend governing the naming of small businesses. Especially if a shop purveys handmade jewelry, reclaimed boat magnets, or organic plum muffins, you can be sure they’re doing business as a combination of obscure nouns. The effect is unabashedly grassroots, and when paired with lowercase letters and a wispy “+” symbol, you can’t help but fawn over how artisanal, hyperlocal and bespoke the shop’s wares must surely be.

Some real world examples: Hammer + Vine. Dapper and Wise. Satchel & Sage. Whimsey & Spice. Standard & Strange. Frank & Oak.

Now let’s make some up: Froth and Coin. Sail & Sword. Tooth + Anchor. Duck&Goose. cane + apple. Heart & Honey.

As you can see, it’s as easy as snatching two random words and plopping them together. Meaning-be-damned, the combination need not make logical sense, so long as the vibe conjured would feel at home at a Brooklyn...

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