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.

Jars of Clay: The Shelter (Acoustic)

Remember a couple weeks back when I sent out some facebook updates and tweets about hanging with Jars of Clay. It’s ok if you don’t, I’m not offended, but I did. Anyway, my friend Mr. Chadwick Trentham, made this video of their song, “The Shelter,” performed at Azusa Pacific University during their acoustic set. My claim to fame? I filmed one shot of this video which practically makes me famous. Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading.

Photo for the Day

Today was fun and exciting. I literally took photos all day for a project I am working on with Swire, and I loved every minute of it. We collectively decided to post a photo for the day and a little story to accompany it to show a different side of Maui. Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading. Remember to follow @passporthawaii and @goswire on Twitter to keep up with the team throughout the shooting of the pilot episode.

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No Big Thing? We Beg To Differ.

Jeff spotted this cutting board and coconuts at Da Shack on the way to Waihe’e, where Vicki sells home-baked cookies and fresh fruits, including soursop from a tree next to her stand. She also posts the Hawaiian Word Of The Day. Today’s was Mea ‘ole, which means no big thing. When asked how to pronounce it, she pointed to Jeff with a smile and said, “Ask your brother. He said it right.”

Get A New Email Signature

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Lately I’ve noticed a lot of companies have decided to put social media icons in the signature of their emails. I’m not against the idea, it’s a good way to let your clients know that you own those properties (as long as you’re keeping up with them). What I don’t like is the way this renders in certain email clients. It’s just not pretty. I get 4-5 image attachments, the links get separated from the images, and it just doesn’t look real inviting.

Since I’m not one to complain about a problem without proposing a solution, here’s what I’m thinking. Ideally, it would be great to have a “connect” type page on your companies website that lists all the wonderful ways people can follow or get in touch with you, but let’s face it, not every company has the time or manpower to build something like that. That’s why I love the idea of about.me. Beautiful, one page profiles that integrate with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Posterous, and a whole lot of other sites. Create a page, make it beautiful, then simply place the link in your signature. Thanks for reading.

[Update] Once you create your profile, click on the “promote” link at the top and you’ll find instructions on how to add this into your signature for a couple different email providers.

Visual Notes by Ogilvy

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I always knew I was a visual learner. Sure, I take notes just like everyone else, but mentally it’s all image mapping. That’s why this is amazing. Not only are the artists extremely talented, but the content is there to support it.

If you didn’t go to SXSWi, this is a neat way to see what happened in most of the bigger sessions. I’d strongly recommend Gary Vaynerchuk’s session (though the artwork hasn’t been posted for that one just yet). See other notes on Ogilvy’s site here. Don’t say I never give you anything. Thanks for reading.

Hey Ogilvy, you’re creative and I like it.

An Epic Photography Fail FTW

You might have heard the rumors (because I started them) about some light painting/writing that took place this last weekend. They’re true. And if you were to judge us by the final product…we probably would have failed. Really we just played with the shutter all night. You know, the thing that makes the clicking sound when you take a picture? So why is it worth blogging about? The answer is because it was simultaneously a major win.

I’m in love with the creative process. There, I said it. I love everything about it. From the waking up at night with an idea and frantically searching for my iPhone to write it down before it fades away, to the sloshing around in damp leaves on a cold and rainy evening taking a 100 pictures of a rose. That is what photography is to me. It lets me be creative when I otherwise have to work by the book most of the time.

This past weekends experiment is one of several I’ve been wanting to do. I’d been watching all kinds of videos and reading blogs for a couple days, and finally decided it was time to try my hand. Honestly, it made complete sense in my head as far as the technical aspect was concerned, and then was far different in reality. But that’s why it’s so fun. If everything was as easy as playing out a scenario in your head, nothing would be hard. Profound, I know.

Yet, the question still remains: Why in the world would a guy who owns an aspiring photography company post these pictures for everyone to see? Isn’t that poor marketing? It’s just the opposite to me. The answer is pretty straight forward. You’ve now discovered that I do my research, that I practice, that I play, that I’m persistent, that I’m determined, and I haven’t even shown you any images yet. I hope to never be described as “boxy.” When I say, “I just went on a shoot!”, you’re immediate reaction should be “Oh boy, I need to see those photos” not “Great, more [insert typical reaction here]” You get the idea. Anyway, enjoy.

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