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Dragon Dictate Direct

5D, Nik Silver Efex 2 Beta

I just bought a new piece of software today called Dragon Dictate. As some of you may know I write quite a bit as part of my job. I teach at Carnegie Mellon University in the Entertainment Technology Center. I write books, I create online training courses, and I try, when I can, to write entries for this blog. But ironically, I’m not a very good typist. I have long used the “two fingered typing method” and I’m not very fast. Recently, the amount of writing that I have to do is increase, and I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed by it all.

As many of you know, I read the online photographer Bob, the blog by Mike Johnson. Columns in that blog have been written using the Dragon Dictate software, and the more I heard about it, the more I became fascinated with it. A friend of mine, had given me a gift card from the Apple Store for Christmas, and today I used that gift card to buy a competent copy of Dragon Dictate.

I figured that if this really works, and since so often when I teach I improvise as I go based on a few notes, that this could really save me a lot of time and that my writing would feel more natural than it does. Not that I have a particular problem with my writing, most people find my writing enjoyable, but the ability to speak as I think might increase my speed which given how much writing I have to do would be a good thing.

So this blog entry today, is my first attempt to use the software, and to see how this whole process feels. Right now, it feels kind of odd and a little artificial, but I think there’s some real possibilities here for making my life easier and my throughput from a writing perspective more efficient.

One of the things that’s fascinating about this software, you let your writing and thinking and speaking all of the same time. You have to speak that punctuation, and when you want to save the document, you have to say “save document” and it’s pretty amazing to watch the software go ahead and save the document after you’ve given the command.

The text first post is with very few corrections, exactly as I dictated it into the document. I wanted you to see how well it captured my speech, especially because this is the very first document I ever created using the software. It’s a very first time I tried to use the software, I installed the software about 5 min. before I started creating this document, and as you can see, it’s really pretty good at analyzing my speech and turning it into text.

One of the really interesting things about this from the perspective of my analytical mind will be to see whether or not my “voice” changes as the text is coming directly from my brain and to the microphone instead of from my brain to my fingers to my typo misspellings and then into the document. I can already see that the number of misspellings the software does is far less than the number of misspellings I get when I type.

The future of the blog

A a while back I came up with the idea to come up with a blog that would focus entirely on film photography. As most of you know and certainly as if you look at the number of posts that I’ve done on film as compared to the number of posts I’ve done on digital photography, my film posts far exceeds my digital photography posts. It’s not that I dislike digital photography, I still love using my Canon 5D, and I really look forward to the new Fuji digital rangefinder (which I hope to purchase soon after it comes out Lord willing) but for me the joy involved in using film and especially lately the joy involved in rediscovering color fill is a real pleasure to me.

A I had talked to a couple of the readers of the blog about a year ago about the creation of a blog where we could all post our own film photography. The images would not be mine alone, they would be a combination of mine plus other film images by friends, and it would kind of be a “clearing house” for those photographers who wanted a place to post their film images that was a little better and a little more organized than Flickr perhaps, in a place we could also manage the conversation in a more coherent fashion.

So I think sometime soon this blog as most of you have known it for the 2+ years it’s been in existence, may change. I’ve registered the URL of “the latent” and I believe I will start soon that blog dedicated solely to film photography. Whether that will mean the eventual death of this blog I’m not sure, but I would imagine that my personal life would dictate that I would not be able to maintain two blogs at once (it’s pretty obvious that at times am too busy to even fully maintain this blog). I’ll think that changes can happen anytime soon, but I recently set up WordPress at the other site on beginning to pick out a theme and I may eventually port some of the film related posts over there. I’m also planning to do a revision of my digital versus film comparison, now especially that I’m much better using ex toll than I used to be, and it might be a much fairer comparison given the notes that Paul Busey gave me about getting the best out of digital and the best out of film. The purchase of the cat in the EOS–one camera allows me to use the same lens on both my 5D as well as that film camera, and so the same lens will be used for both cameras one with digital one with film.

I intend to do that comparison once the weather warms up a little bit. Peg in Iran take a trip to New Jersey sometime in March, and I’m hoping to meet up with Mike peters while we’re there, and he’s promised to loan me some Zeiss lenses which would be ideal for the comparison. That comparison might be an ideal opening post for that new blog, as well as the posting of my film roles that I shot while in Paris which have not yet been developed, and I’ve also got eight rolls of color negative film sitting here undeveloped as of yet from my trip down and up the California coast. In

January hasn’t been a very productive month from a film shooting point of view it’s just been too cold. A but hopefully the new software along with perhaps some warmer temperatures will get me out shooting again.

((in case you missed it, the text above is exactly the way Dragon Dictate transcribed my audio ramblings, warts and all. Thought you’d be curious))

Posted by Chris Klug on January 29, 2011