Journal

  • Postcards, Pt. 2

    I want to send you a postcard. Just for fun, free of charge.

    Last time, I mailed out 25 attrative photos of Oregon's view of the Pacific Ocean. (If you were in the first batch of postcards, I respectively ask for you to sit this round out.)

    This time, I'm sending out 25 photos of Oregon forests, waterfalls, hikes. You know, the usual. Nine of you asked for postcards last time, but didn't get any. You're first on this list.

    There are 16 spots left. Shoot me an email to claim your spot. Don't forget to include your address in the email.

    I'll update the post when the spots run out. All out!

  • Editing Process

    A friend recently asked me what my normal editing process is like for a portrait. Decided to just make a .gif of the entire process. All of my editing takes place in Lightroom. If I have to open a photo in Photoshop, chances are I probably screwed up pretty badly.

    I use and lightly (and sometimes rather heavily) tweak VSCO filters for my photos. For the past year, I've exclusively edited with just one filter as it's become part of my style, but that evolves along with my style. The year before that, I used a different filter exclusively. Personal styles are weird, right?

    One — What came from the camera
    Two — Lightroom Auto Tune (Adobe analyzed millions of photos for their Auto Tune. Not using it is stupid and probably rooted in elitism. Just use the best tools for your work.)
    Three — VSCO Film Filter (I believe it was from VSCO Film 4: Kodak E200.)
    Four — VSCO Editing Tool Save Highlights++
    Five — VSCO Editing Tool Save Shadows++
    Six — VSCO Editing Tool No Grain (Certain filters of VSCO’s add grain to look like their film counterparts. That’s great, but I hate artificial grain in digital photos, so I always remove the added grain.)
    Seven — VSCO Editing Tool Sharpen++
    Eight — Tone adjust to cool down the photo a little bit to be more like how we actually felt.
    Nine — Local adjustment brushes to lighten up the left side of your face a bit to even out the lighting, and then a second to lighten up your eyes just a bit. (Too many photographers over do that and everyone has super white bright eyes and it makes me want to stab the internet.)
    Ten — Crop. (Ideally, I would’ve done this at the start, not the end. But didn’t think I’d want to change it. I was wrong. You usually want to do Crop at the start because it allows for Lightroom to edit the photo that you’ll use, not all of it. May effect how certain filters work, etc.)
    Eleven — Removed one unruly hair that was popping up.

    That's it. That's how I edit a photo.

  • 365: 280

    Day 280

    I'm on the phone with a founder of a rad company I met at XOXO. She's great — we were supposed to talk for 20-30 minutes. We're nearing a solid hour. I'm pretty sure this is going to work out.

  • 365: 259

    Day 259

    I just woke up. I roll over to check my phone. My grandma is dead.

    She was a loud, boisterous, funny lady that loved card games, cats, bronzed shoes, and driving too fast. She was also a raging alcoholic.

    I take a walk to think about what this means and to try and process losing her. Due to geographical location and reasons that felt good at the time, I never got to spend much time as an adult with my grandma. Missouri isn’t the easiest place to travel to, and your mid-20s aren’t the easiest place to leave.

    Besides, spending time with her at Christmas and the random summer always felt strange. That she loved us, but didn’t quite know how. Whenever we were there, the plans always revolved around us running off without her to have adventures — my brother and I would go with my dad somewhere, she’d go with my mom somewhere.

    I always thought it was that she didn’t enjoy spending time with us. Thinking back on it now, I'm realizing I was wrong. It wasn’t that she didn’t care about us or love us.

    My grandfather was never around for my father. A terrible man, he left very early and didn’t come around much until my dad was 45. She raised my father and his sister alone in a time when the world wasn’t friendly to single mothers.

    So growing up, when we would show up to spend time with her, she would spend her time making sure something important would happen. She gave up her time with us so we could have the time with our dad we needed; the time that she saw her own children miss.

    Underneath her addiction, she loved us; we just weren’t old enough to figure it out at the time. Sure, she was a mean, old drunk. But she also loved card games and cats and us.

  • 365: 256

    Day 256

    We're in the middle of the third XOXO. Anything really great or transformative in my life I can trace to decisions that I made because of being inspired at the first XOXO.

    I hug a lot of people. Every person I hug, I take their portrait and ask them the same question: What is it you do or make only for yourself

    Including this wonderful woman.