Movember Special

Another year, another Movember – here’s to raising awareness! As I get older I find that I love giving back more and more every year, and what better way to give back than by growing a dirty upper lip and raising money toward prostate cancer.

Here is our week one, day one picture:


Oh, and to follow up to my last post, I couldn’t go a week without a phone, I ended up just holding on to it until I bought the iPhone 5.


Using a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on a Canon

I absolutely love the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8; it is probably one of the best sub-$300 lens I have ever used. When I made the jump to Canon, I was sad that I couldn’t use it anymore, until I found an adapter to use it on the new camera.

I just wanted to play around a bit with it today, so I made this quick video. I think it looks great!

My Jump From Nikon to Canon

Holy crap have I been living in the stone age! I recently bought a Canon 60D and what a difference it is! The cameras that I have are a Nikon D70, Nikon D80, and now the Canon 60D; given that my Nikon’s don’t shoot video, I will be talking about still photography.

I have always been an advocate for learning on worse things, that way when you get the good stuff you are 100 times better. For instance, I play guitar and started learning on a $10 acoustic instead of an easier, more expensive electric; this proved to pay off because I learned very fast, and had much stronger hands. I kept this mantra even with my cameras; while my friends were purchasing $4,000 Canon 5D Mark III’s, I was still chugging away on my 12 year old Nikon.

Yesterday, I went out for a night shoot, and my first shot I was completely blown away! I couldn’t believe how clear the pictures were, the sensor in the 60D absolutely blows away my Nikon! Taking pictures at night with the Nikon would mean that I would spend hours in post color correcting, fixing saturation, dodging and burning like crazy. The pictures that I took with the Canon last night I did zero post on, it looked perfect straight off the camera.

Here are a few sample pictures. These are taken with the Nikon D70, with about an hour in photoshop:

San Diego Downtown – Nikon D70

San Diego Birdrock – Nikon D70

The next two where what I took last night with the Canon 60D – look at the colors on the pictures, these were both taken with the crappy lens that comes with the camera (I haven’t purchased any new ones yet), and zero photoshop.

San Diego Bob Hope Memorial – Canon 60D

San Diego Seaport Village – Canon 60D

Granted, I like the composition of the Nikon pictures better because I was actually out on a shoot that day, but you cannot beat the look of the Canon!

Here’s to many more pictures and fun events – let’s go take some pictures!

DIY Glide Track

I am a big advocate of doing things myself; when it get a chance to make things, I jump all over it. Today, I saw a YouTube video on how to make a DIY glide track for under $10 and immediately ran out the door to Home Depot.

Let me start this off by saying this is absolutely no Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly, and as soon as you think it is you will be sorely disappointed – this is a cheap alternative for shooting video at home, I would never use this on a professional shoot. That being said, photographers use whatever works at the time, but I would never lug this to a shoot with me.

Here it is in the beginning phase (keep in mind, I still had to add all the screws and paint it):

I got so excited to test it out, here is what I came up with:

Now go out there and do some DIY projects!

The Apple Ecosystem

I often get told that I am a “product of the system,” that I buy electronics that I don’t need. I prefer to look at myself as an early adopter of sorts; I invest heavily in gadgets and buy quite a bit of them. With that being said, I do not buy things that I don’t need, i.e. gadgets that wouldn’t have any usefulness in my life.

What I have been invested in lately are Apple products, not because I am an Apple “fanboy,” but because I believe they are currently the best on the market. Between the UI and design, they are beautifully crafted and meet all my needs while looking great.

  1. iPhone 4S: this phone is the best phone currently on the market. Between the camera, UI, design, and compatibility, it is unbeatable. As a professional photographer, I have an appreciation for cameras and quality; the iPhone 4S simply has the best camera in the best package. It is often said that the best camera is the one that you have on you, and what is more convenient than your smart phone?
    • What I use it for: quick internet, calls, text, music, light gaming, video editor – I literally can use my phone for everything.
  2. iPad 3: it is most often the device that people see as unnecessary; it is not a laptop and not a smart phone, so what is it used for? A while ago I was in a bar that had a $200 shot of tequila, seeing this I asked the bartender if I would piss gold afterward, that is when he said that if you view it like that then I am missing the point of good tequila. This is the same way that I view the iPad; you have to look at it as a completely separate device, as a bridge between a laptop and a smart phone. I survived college with this thing, mostly because my laptop was too bulky to carry around in my backpack along with my 30lbs. of books; I have written several five page papers on it, and it works perfectly as a word-processor and PowerPoint creator.
    • What I use it for: heavy internet browsing, light texting with iMessage, PDF viewer, newspaper, light gaming – it is a supplement for not being able to carry around a bulky laptop.
  3. Apple TV: the bread and butter of my home entertainment system. I made the decision to ditch cable a few years ago, and couldn’t be happier. With the recent addition of Hulu Plus to the line-up, the Apple TV is stronger than ever; the only thing I pay for these days is $50 for my monthly cable bill, $8 for Netflix and $8 for Hulu Plus. This has also made me more productive because I can watch TV on my schedule; gone are the days of channel surfing for 30 minutes only to start a show mid-episode. Once you are caught in that trap, you watch the next show, then the next, and the next, and so on. When I watch TV now, I put it on my 22 minute show and I’m finished; off to other things. AirPlay is also great because you can mirror your MacBook or iOS devices on screen; it is a very convenient alternative to having to store things on a set-top box.
    • What I use it for: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vimeo, YouTube, Trailers, AirPlay – gone are the days of the $150 a month cable bills!
  4. Retina MacBook Pro: my newest and happiest purchase, with an amazing screen, smaller form-factor and amazing speed, it is completely unmatched. There has been a lot of question about the screen, if it is worth the extra $400; if you are involved in any sort of graphic design, photography, or video production, it is a complete no-brainer. Upon purchasing, I saw it next to a regular MacBook and was blown away – if you cannot tell the difference between these screens, you seriously need to get your eyes checked.
    • What I use it for: Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, heavy typing, texting with iMessage – I bought this for video, but it has literally become my main computer.

So there you go, the justification for all my devices and what I use them for. Keep in mind, these aren’t just about the individual devices themselves, but the entire Apple ecosystem. If Android can become less fragmented and Windows have an ecosystem this user-friendly, I might switch, but until then, Apple it is.

How To Make A Video Go Viral

THIS is effective integrated marketing, that went viral! Here is how this band created buzz around their product in just six steps:

  1. Create a catchy song.
  2. Create an app with the song and make it interactive and entertaining, where others can recreate the experience.
  3. Create a video that looks fan made.
  4. Link it all together with the video, song, and app, giving people the overall experience.
  5. Blast it across social media.
  6. Sit back and watch it go viral.

This is how you create integrated marketing that works, and reaches your target base. Enjoy.

I was so entertained by this that I even created my own video.

Apple’s New Ads

I am finally back after a month of rolling around in the woods, and have returned with some new toys; in trying to purchase an auxiliary cable, I also ended picking up a Canon 60D and Retina MacBook Pro. I have to say that I am very pleased with both of them; owning an Apple computer makes me wonder how Microsoft is still in business. Once you start using it, you realize how in-house software + hardware simply makes all the difference. Speaking of Apple and technology, the release of the new iPhone is less than six weeks away; there is a lot of discussion about this phone, even down to what the name is going to be. As always, my advertising nerd side will come out with the new set of ads coming out.

Has anyone else noticed the batch of horrible commercials they have released lately? When I noticed on their website they had four new ads, I was excited to see what they had released, but was sorely disappointed. These ads are no where close to being on par to Apple’s normal ads, they look more like a horribly made Four Hour Energy commercial. Being a new CEO, Tim Cook needs to be careful about the steps that he’s taking, not only in terms of his products, but in their ads as well. Apple has branded itself as a corporation that prides itself in everything that it does, going above and beyond regular advertising; this mixture of celebrity based ads, plus these Apple Genius commercials, are the complete opposite of that. They seem to be moving in a different direction than they were heading, and it doesn’t seem to be working correctly. I am a huge John Malkovich fan, but his commercial is not entertaining and makes Apple look as if they are trying to jump on the celebrity bandwagon. Apple itself IS a celebrity and doesn’t need other famous people to help promote their brand; it makes them look as if they are knocking themselves down to a lower brand that needs a celebrity endorsement. Let us not forget that at one time Apple had more money in the bank than the U.S. Government.

No one ever gets anywhere without taking risks, but Apple needs to look back at their history with advertisements, and make their new ones keep continuity with their corporate image; celebrities don’t promote for other celebrities, and Apple shouldn’t either.