Music? Yes Please.

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I like to listen to music, and to play it, but when I’m working it’s usually the first. If you’re like me, your iTunes library gets a little boring 8-hour + workday after 8-hour workday. That’s why I love Grooveshark and Pandora. They provide me with two different music options. If I’m curious about an artist and I want to hear one of their albums, I look it up on Grooveshark, add the album, and let it roll. This is also a great way to decide if you really want to buy that CD (or download that album), or if you can stand just listening to it when you have an internet connection. This usually saves me $9.99.

If I’m not in the mood for just one artist, I like to mix it up a bit and head over to Pandora. At Pandora, you start with and artist (or genre, composer, whatever) and they pick songs that they think you will like. It’s sort of like the Genius feature in iTunes. And now, so this post isn’t one of those, “Why are you telling me something I already know?” type posts, here are some Pandora stations I like to listen to depending on my mood and what I’m doing at the time:

Chill/Interesting Background: Explosions in the Sky or Radiohead Classical

Pop/Nice Melodies: Jon McLaughlin Radio , Syndicate (The Fray), Parachute Radio

Indie Sounding: Band of Horses

I’m Working but I want to listen to some rap: Instrumental Hip Hop (no words, but all the beats you love)

That should give you a few stations to play with, thanks for reading.

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The Face of Story

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© 2011 Dustin Reynolds Photography. Not for Reproduction. All Rights Reserved.

I took this photo today of a man who told stories like it was his only job in the world. Amazing. Thanks for reading.

Hawaii!

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Saturday was an interesting day for us. We went from the depths to the heights of Big Island. Starting out driving around the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, we saw steam vents, craters, and pre-historic looking plants. Also, it’s National Volcano week if you’re interested, so go find your favorite volcano and you’ll be able to enter the park for free.

These are a few of the images we captured that day. There are a lot more. We’ve done a lot more since then. I have hi-res photos available if anyone wants them.

Thanks for reading.

Just Try One New Thing

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Today I was finishing up the post editing on my photos from Hawaii. As I was nearing the end, I started thinking about the photos. I had edited them in different batches, so each time I sat down I saw something a little different and tweaked them (for the better I think). As I came to the last few, I said to myself, “Self, there were clouds in that sky. It was so much cooler when I was there. Why do these pictures look so flat?” So I changed one thing. I won’t bore you with the details, but it changed the way I saw the picture. 

So, the moral is this: Try something new. I heard my pastor give a 5 minute sermonette this weekend on this same exact topic. I wasn’t thinking about it when I tweaked this photo, but it works, hence the reference. We get scared when new opportunities arise or when something isn’t the way we expect it to be. If we can break it down into little pieces, and just try one new thing, at least we can say we gave it a go. You never know, you might find gold. That’s it for this class, you’re dismissed. Thanks for reading.

Magic in Photos

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I’ve been taking a lot of photos lately. I used to look at them on the LCD on the back of the camera and decide if I wanted to keep them or not, but recently I’ve changed my process. First, I ended up buying a huge memory card. What that means for me is that I don’t have to worry about space, so extra images aren’t that big of a deal. Second, I’m a new Adobe Lightroom (affiliate link) evangelist. Running my photos through that program in post-production has saved me incalculable hours (they’re probably calculable, just not right now). I can sort, rate, delete in a tenth of the time it used to take me. Third, I’ve found that the LCD previews just don’t give me enough detail to know whether I want to keep it or delete it right there on the spot. 

Here’s a recent example. I went to a horse training facility and did a photo shoot for them showcasing the staff, students, and facility…not to mention the beautiful horses. As I loaded my pictures from the card to my computer, I saw something kind of cool in one of the photos. At a glance, it was nothing special. It was part of a horse head, no special composition, pretty plain. On looking closer, I saw that the horses’s eye actually held the reflection of myself (and two friends) on the railing as I was taking the photo. I was glad I kept that photo because it felt special. On the camera that might have been impossible to see at only a cursory glance.

I’m not saying you should do it this way. Everyone has their own style, this is mine. I tend to always find subtle hints of what I call “magic” and I love that. Thanks for reading.