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Welcome to 2011 | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Welcome to 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

Looking forward on top of the Empire State Building New Years Day 2011

After reading about this tradition a couple years ago, I decided to start my own New Years tradition by visiting the Empire State Building during the first day of the New Year. This year was my second visit. What it allows me to do be thankful what I was able to accomplish, reflect on lessons learned and focus on the upcoming year. Plus it allows me to shoot some great images of the city. Last year the photos I took off the top of the Empire State Building set the tone for 2010. This year was no exception. The shot that I was looking to take again was looking south on Manhattan. I got that image but there was one other that serendipitously made my day. After walking around both observation decks I was looking southward when I red ballon drifted by. I’m going to take that as a positive sign of what’s to come this year.

I made a lot of changes in 2010. I moved on from Daylife to Behavior, travelled a bit to talk about design, tried moving Design Notes to Design Noted and came back to Design Notes. I also blogged a bit less and meet more new people face to face (usually in the early morning—shoot me an email if you want to do the same thing). I changed cameras from a Leica D Lux 3 to a Lumix GF1. I kept up with #walkingworktoday and tried shoot Madison when I could. 2010 was a strange year for the blog.

A couple months into the year my rss feed got infected with a spam. Every time I would post something, the headline in the rss feed got swapped in pharma spam. For a while I had no idea how to fix it so I started a new blog. I kept that up for a couple months until I finally was able to kill the pharma spam. That’s why I’m back to posting here. Looking back I didn’t think I had any other options though I wish I had been able to find a solution faster.

I had the opportunity to travel sharing some of the design thinking and ideas that I felt were worth mentioning. Some talks went better than others but each was such a great learning experience for me. I also was fortunate enough to talk with some great people about different technologies and even Madison. The bonous at the end of the year was being filmed showing how I would design a weather app. I’ve always had a lot of people helping me out though in 2010 it was taken to the next level.

In my next post I’m going show all my #walkingtoworktoday photos in chronlogical order for 2010. It was interesting to see the difference between using my iPhone 3GS, my D Lux 3 and half way through the year the switch to a Lumix GF1. I’ll be talking more about some of the unexpected themes that emerged during that project but one thing to point out is how each camera influenced the type of images I took.

I’ve got a lot planned for 2011. I’m going to take what I’ve learned and experienced to push it to the next stage. There’s a lot of unknowns but it’s going to be worth shooting for. This time next year will be truly fascinating to look back upon. It’s both scary and funny to realize that anything I’ve written down has provided itself as an opportunity. If there’s anything that I can share, it would be that—write down what you want because those opportunities will present itself. Thanks for taking the time to read a post or two over the last year and good luck with getting what you want.

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  • http://twitter.com/neylano Callie Neylan

    Happy New Year, Michael! Love the shots of Manhattan.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    Thanks Callie, it was great hanging out with you when you visited NYC btw!

  • http://mdaniels.com Matt Daniels

    Very excited. Keep up the awesome posting!

  • http://twitter.com/thechimera Teresa Jay

    Me too Michael, I’m taking your beautiful red balloon over Manhattan as a sign of good things and good times to come.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    Cool to hear Matt & congrats again for your move…

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    : )