Workspace Inspiration – My Desks and Studios Throughout Time

I love being in my studio, whether its shooting a tutorial, using the workbench, or just attending a conference call. Since moving to NYC in 2003, I’ve always had to make do with a smaller-than-ideal workspace, except for those two years I lived in Arizona. Here’s a trip through workspaces of my past, starting with college.

I shared my freshman dorm with three other students. Four desks, four beds, four dressers, four NYC college freshmen women. I ended up doing a lot of my art school homework in the dorm’s study room or at the house where I babysat. But the furniture was the same at my next place:

The first space in NYC I had to myself was a single-off-a-suite I lucked into via the student housing lottery. The dorm was on Union Square West, just a few floors of the otherwise-privately-residential building above Blue Water Grill. (I’ve heard it has since been converted back to regular apartments and is no longer a New School dorm.) Since my bed was lofted, I could take over the whole floor with projects. Continue reading for the complete history of my workspaces:


Why I Switched to the GH5s from the GH5

I recently sold my GH5 and bought a GH5s to replace it. Here’s why:

Dual Native ISO
I’m excited to be able to capture low light scenes with less grain, which will help improve the quality of what I already do, as well as help push my creativity.

Goodbye, Sensor Stabilizer
The GH5’s sensor stabilizer is great for run-and-gun shooters and vloggers, but I found that it just got in my way. Want to do a pan on a tripod or use a slider? Disable the stabilizer, or you’d get unintentional lags in the shot. Without it, the GH5s is 65g lighter than the GH5, even though the external body is the same size.

Ships with V-Log
A renter on Kitsplit had upgraded my GH5’s firmware to include the V-Log feature, which is Panasonic’s excellent flat color space for greater flexibility in color post-processing. Once I figured out how to use Final Cut Pro’s built-in V-Log LUT, I was hooked. This feature should have been free all along, so it’s a good move on Panasonic’s part to ship the GH5s with V-Log by default.

My GH4 is still my go-to for still photos because of its lighter weight and smaller depth, both of which make it easier to grip with my smaller hands and fragile wrists.

Learn more about my camera equipment in my Camera Gear 2019 blog post.

My Camera Gear 2019

Here’s a comprehensive list of the gear I use in 2019 to capture and edit my DIY projects, tutorials, and videos. You don’t need anything special these days to start out capturing great photos and videos– use whichever camera you have access to. These are the tools I personally prefer for the type of work I do. Since the last time I made this post (2017), a lot has changed about my setup. I’ve carefully optimized my tool selection for my professional photography/videography practice. For some practical tips I still stand by, check out my 2014 MAKE article about making great build videos. Links to products are affiliate links.


Prism Holder for Rainbow Portraits

Here’s a project that has been on my list for TWO YEARS! Ugh, it’s so 2017… but I had fun modeling this prism holder in Tinkercad, 3D printing it, and using it to capture some rad selfies. It’s always fun to put another tool in the photography toolbox. Tutorial on Instructables

Geometric Succulent Planter

I designed and 3D printed this geometric succulent planter in Tinkercad, which has five chambers with drainage and a catch tray. Find the tutorial and files on Instructables. STLs on Thingiverse



Translate an Idea into Arduino Code

This tutorial walks through the process of combining Arduino sample sketches to make a working project prototype. Developing the code for your project can be the most intimidating part, especially if you haven’t done it a thousand times already.


Appearance on RiYL Podcast

Brian Heater interviewed me on his podcast RiYL (Recommended if You Like).

I first met Becky Stern back in 2011, when she appeared on the Engadget Show as a blogger for Make Magazine. At the time, she was showcasing a hoodie capable of turning TVs off an off when zipped. It was pretty standard fare for the maker — a project that explored the cross section of art and fashion. Stern left that gig the following year for a gig at open-source hardware company Adafruit, where she served as the head of wearable electronics. These days, she’s a content creator at Instructables and Autodesk, while teaching her trade at New York’s School of Visual Arts. We sat down to discuss the state of the maker community, the pluses and minuses of launching a startup and having garbage knees in the era of uncertain health care.