Above: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, directed by William Joyce

“Polymath is one of those words more likely to show up on the SAT than in everyday conversation. But the reason we don’t use the word much these days has less to do with vocabulary than it has to do with practicality: there aren’t a lot of polymaths around anymore.

In case you don’t have your pocket dictionary handy, a polymath is a person with a wide range of knowledge or learning. Think people like Leonardo da Vinci (artist and helicopter designer), Benjamin Franklin (founding father, inventor, and all-around lady-killer), Paul Robeson (scholar, athlete, actor, and civil rights activist), and even Steve Jobs (engineer, businessman extraordinaire, and marketing mastermind).

Still, while we admire the select “geniuses” that can do it all, we tend to disparage the regular folk who attempt to spread their knowledge around a little. If they are so foolish as to dabble instead of devoting themselves to a single calling, those unfortunates sometimes earn the time-dishonored label of “Jack of all trades, master of none.“

- Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, and founder of Dozuki
Excerpt from ”In Defense of Polymaths“, Harvard Business Review


Tools of the Trade Tuesday: Dozuki

Dozuki is documentation software to create visual work instructions and other training using photos, videos and text annotations.

With Dozuki, ANYONE can make amazing documents.

Finally got around to making this custom mitre jig (out of scrap wood) to help cut the 15° peghead angle on neck blanks. Works like a charm. The new japanese dozuki saw is no slouch either.

The wooden blocks are mounted to a small plywood deck and fastened from below. Pieces of steel sheet metal were added to the inner faces of the blocks to help them resist wear and tear from repetitive use.

For any japanese saw nerds out there … A kataba saw would be preferred in this application, as it can go deeper and longer into the channel. This dozuki works fine, but I had to negotiate the angle toward the end of the cut because of the reinforced back edge (seen in bottom photo).

Editorial: Dozuki + Lezyne

Its a great feeling when a personal project leads to a commissioned assignment.  The photo series of small business owners has been a great one (it is going to become probably a bi-weekly rather than weekly, but more on that later.)  It has led to some great relationships, a growing body of photos I am proud of, and has presented some great real world learning opportunities.  This assignment was a direct result of the work that has gone into that project, from reaching out to people, sharing photos, and directly engaging myself in my local community.

All of this led to being hired by iFixit to shoot a case study and editorial piece for a software they make called Dozuki.  The software allows companies to create DIY guides and repair manuals for products they sell, and then distribute those guides through the app store, and in web environments to help customers around the world trouble shoot and fix those products.  The concept is relatively new, and is a great example of yet another way the guys at iFixit are bringing the DIY mentality to consumers around the world.  Anytime a company implements this software into their business in a cool way, iFixit goes onsite, and does a case study on them as a way to promote both the software, and the businesses, large or small. 

This current project focused in a bike hardware and accessory company called Lezyne.  They make some really hi quality, cool looking products, and have put together a service guide to match.  The top shot was the clients pick for the story, the second was my favorite from the day.  We also shot a lot of secondary and support images of the products in use that will be released over time.  All the images were shot at the Lezyne studio in San Luis Obispo.  You can check out Lezyne here, and you may see a few more outtakes on the Dozuki site.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to hit up the comments with any questions.



Ps.  The bottom photos on the tear sheet were shot by iFixit.