Stress, Pho, Breaking Laces and Cake!

     Stiiiiiillllll going and still excited… people tend to think I’m crazy when I’m seen climbing over things, laying on the flooring, getting extreme closeup and whatever other random odd positions I seem to put myself in to get a shot with my iPhone, but… the shots are coming out well and its still a ton of fun!

     So first up this week, I’ll pick up where I left off last week…. sitting at my desk updating this blog and watching the clicks come in on my bitly status page. 🙂 Nothing to big on this one, a little PhotoSplash to pull out the color and highlight the bitly window, and some tilt – shift to draw focus back over to the laptop on the desk:

Watchin my daily stats fly by on bitly. #thanksforclickin
Watchin my daily stats fly by on bitly. #thanksforclickin

     It was just a rough ass week too….. I have to say, while most people who know me would tell you, I’m a pretty agitated guy to begin with it does take a special kind of asshole to really send me over the edge like I was this week. The type of pissed off the lands you somewhere between after school special and slapstick comedy and it defiantly drove a bunch of the shots and situations I found myself in all week. This next one was taken while getting out of the building and heading to happy hour as fast as humanly possible after a solid day of fighting incompetence and stupidity! Some elliptical tilt shift in Snapseed, turned up the saturation a bunch and even applied a very light “grunge” filter:

"Situation: NO WIN! Rush for a change of atmosphere!!" #oneofthosedays #beerme
“Situation: NO WIN! Rush for a change of atmosphere!!” #oneofthosedays #beerme

     Shortly after came sweet sweet salvation. Nothing says relaxation like a few nice solid Belgian beers… this was another example of how a simple edit is all you really need…. don’t mess with it much, a simple shot, just pull it into PhotoSplash for the color highlight effect and that’s it. I think I upped the sharpness (detail filter) in Snapseed a bit, but that was it:

Problem solved! #beerme
Problem solved! #beerme

     Unfortunately all I got was the night to relax…. it was right back to grinding out long days at work the next day. So long that I almost didn’t get a chance to get my “one photo every day” entry in…. I found myself at almost midnight staring at my computer still working thinking I wasn’t going to make and miss I day, so I decided (with the advice of a friend) to just throw something together. She even said: “Hey, they can’t all be winners, at least you’re taking the shot and making an entry today”…. so, why not shoot what detracted me all day? My damn computer:

This is what happens when work distracts you all day! #photoadayfail
This is what happens when work distracts you all day! #photoadayfail

     Have I mentioned how much I love Pho?! I mean seriously…. its a bit of an addiction! So today when we took a lunch break out in Ashburn, VA one of the guys remembered there was a little pho place right near out datacenter that we had been to the last time they were out there and we jumped in the car and headed straight there. Granted this was a pretty simple shot, but I just love this bottle…. elliptical tilt shift  and the dramatic filter in Snapseed were the only things done for this image but the good part was: I did get some GREAT recipe suggests in the comments on Facebook after posting it!

Today it was a pho-king life saver!
Today it was a pho-king life saver!

     FINALLY…. we had made is past the hump. Wednesday was over and the end of the week had begun… thank god too cause it was all lookin up from here. A good friends band was in town, Breaking Laces, and I was going to see them both Thursday and Friday night. The next few images are from those little mini road trips.

     The first is from Thursday night out in Annapolis, great little spot called Red Red Wine Bar. A little tilt – shift, vintage filter and increased saturation and here’s what you get:

Here to see @BreakingLaces rock the house!!! #ifoundtherobot
Here to see @BreakingLaces rock the house!!! #ifoundtherobot

     Then of course, I needed a shot of the band too. This one was a little more fun, since it was SO dark in the venue, I used the SlowShutter app, then grunge filter along with the center focus filter in Snapseed to make the slight blurring from the long exposure look ok. Up the saturation a bit and give  funky frame and I think it came out ok:

@BreakingLaces at @RedRedWineBar!!! #killinit #godsintraining
@BreakingLaces at @RedRedWineBar!!! #killinit #godsintraining

     Of course there is not getting enough of this guys… so the next night, we hoped in the car again (thanks Jenny for driving) and headed up to Baltimore to catch them at Joe Squared – Power Plant and snapped a few more pics along the way. It always seems like I take more pictures when I’m in a good mood… not sure what that means, or if its normal…. any shrinks out there reading this with any ideas?? anyway….. I did just love the way the dash clock in Jen’s car looked so here it is too. Nothing but a dark shot with the grunge filter for some texture here:

Ridin in style to Baltimore to @BreakingLaces tonight! #rockintwonightsinarow
Ridin in style to Baltimore to @BreakingLaces tonight! #rockintwonightsinarow

     Got to the bar to see the band… tilt shift and nothing else here:

@BreakingLaces brought the house down!! As expected!!! #rockstars
@BreakingLaces brought the house down!! As expected!!! #rockstars

     and of course, after the show… grabbed some beers with the band. This shot had to be brightened up a little by increasing the ambiance in Snapseed, adding the tilt shift again and using the grunge filter for the nice gritty look:

Band is done.... Beer is on! @BreakingLaces was awesome!!!!
Band is done…. Beer is on! @BreakingLaces was awesome!!!!

     Then finally….. Saturday night was a little less travel, just down to Clarendon for a friends birthday and, of course, with a birthday comes…. birthday cake! This is just a perfect example of how a simple close up shot with minor tweaking can be kinda fun. Nothing in this shot but a little tilt shift and frosting:

Happy Birthday Matt!!! #everybodylovescake
Happy Birthday Matt!!! #everybodylovescake

     There you have it folks….. another week in review!! I hope you saw some things you liked and as always, I welcome questions, comments and suggestions! 🙂 Happy shooting!

 

The end of January was awes-warm!!!

     So…. in what could only be described as FREAKISH weather for the end of the month, mid 50’s and 60’s for the entire end of January, I got some great shots and had some great times to go along with them. I’m honestly having so much fun with this project I can’t stop talking about it, telling people about it, explaining the concept….. and for a “photo a day” project, I’m shooting WAY more than that and doing my best to limit myself so my week wrap-ups don’t wind up being a mile long! So here goes the first one:

     We’ll start off with my more artsy shots. Sometimes there are days that I’m kind of searching for something “interesting” to shoot, or really looking for something that’s important to the goings on of the day, then there’s other times when things just jump out at you with really not effort at all. The following to shots are exactly that. Its something about the rain, I’ve always found things around me far more visually interesting when it’s either raining, or even better, just after its rained. This first shot is rain drops pooled on the moonroof of my Audi parked next to my condo building, a great to play with even the limited, but real depth of field you can get out of the iPhone 4s, no after blur effects here:

"I can't see clearly now the rain is gone"
“I can’t see clearly now the rain is gone”

     The second of the rainy day posts randomly popped up when walking down Wilson Blvd this past Saturday night on my way to a bit of a train wreck of a social experience, but that’s another story for another blog! 😉 Just the way the street light reflected of the water on the bare tree branches was really cool. Again, no added blur, major editing or filters here, this is just really the way the world looks sometimes:

It's amazing how a little rain changes things.
It’s amazing how a little rain changes things.

     We might as well keep this particular night going and while the train wreck (a.k.a. waiting WAY to F’ing long for someone I shouldn’t have been) was going, I did fire off a quick little shot of the Ballston Mall. Sometimes I like framing iPhone shots with things obviously not intended to be part of the composition that I can blur out afterwards with the Tilt/Shift filter for that faux depth of field effect seen below. I also bumped the sharpness WAY up to give it that extra grainy, gritty look:

While waiting....... #aviewfromabove
While waiting……. #aviewfromabove

     Did I mention that all in one night I not only at a half smoke with chili and cheese, but I found wrestling panda’s too?! hahahaha While a friend was in town, and staying at The Fairmont in downtown DC, I headed to meet her there. While parking on the street near the hotel, I got out and notice the logo for something…… labeled “WWF” with a panda bear over and I couldn’t help by think how AWESOME it was that the Would Wrestling Federation was finally letting humans wrestle bears…. this, obviously, is great. Pushed up the clarity on this one again with the details filter in Snapseed, used the dramatic filter for a bit with very large center size and pushed the texture way up again for the nice heavy grain the stone facade of the building:

WWF!? Wrestling Pandas!? Awesome!!!!!
WWF!? Wrestling Pandas!? Awesome!!!!!

     As it turns out, it is for the Would Wildlife Fund, NOT wrestling pandas…. but I choose to still believe in the dream so much so that after a night of drinking away the pain of knowing we may have to wait a few more years before seeing Man vs. Panda on the Discovery Channel, we found ourselves, drunk, tired, and mostly…. hungry. Enter….. DC’s famous: Ben’s Chili Bowl. For this I decided with such a busy image I really wanted to bring focus to the name and the iconic sign, so first I pulled the image into Snapseed to do the cropping down to 1:1, then into PhotoSplash to remove the color from everything put the sign, window strip and bear statue, then back into Snapseed for the a light touch of the vintage filter.

After a few drinks and some panda wrestling with Moo..... A half smoke with chili and cheese please!!!
After a few drinks and some panda wrestling with Moo….. A half smoke with chili and cheese please!!!

     You might be asking: “Is all this why you worked from home on Friday?” No, no, no, it’s actually not. What had me working from home on Friday was not only a pile of documents that did not lend themselves to a single useable picture, but… the need to spend nearly two hours doing laundry and, my love Honey Nut Cheerios of Cup of Noodles! hahaha

     There wasn’t much in the way content for his next shot, just a good excuse to play with apps. Used Diptic for the frames, PhotoSplash again to remove all the color except the SpeedQueen logo and the Center Focus filter in Snapseed to fade the corners a little:

Speed Queen does lots of loads! Sounds dirty :-/ #itusedtobe #imverypunny
Speed Queen does lots of loads! Sounds dirty :-/ #itusedtobe #imverypunny

     And what do you do while working from home while doing what turned out to be like 6 loads of laundry…. ummm, EAT, Duh! First up, breakfast…… I got to work on what is potential my favorite cereal of all times: Honey Nut Cheerios. So there I am, laying on the living room floor, eye level with my coffee table, iPhone in hand, up close and personal with my cereal bowl. Turned up the saturation a bit in Snapseed, used the tilt & shift to push a little depth a field effect in and what do get? A laptop wallpaper worthy extreme closeup of everyone favorite (hearth healthy) breakfast food:

They should make honey nut EVERYTHING!
They should make honey nut EVERYTHING!

     Then right from heart healthy, we jump to sodium heavy….. Cup Noodles (note the of the ‘o’, ‘of’, or any other term connecting the ‘Cup’ and the ‘Noodles’, seriously…. I looked…. it’s not there! hahahaha) A little more use of Diptic on this one for the frames and a quick vintage filter over everything, but that was about it…. this was really more about just taking multiple shots so I could put them next to each other in the frame to be able to read the label “Cup Noodles”:

Working from home today... Eatin like I was still in college! #idratherhaveramen
Working from home today… Eatin like I was still in college! #idratherhaveramen

     Then, of course….. there was this weekends visit to “Another Planet” (a.k.a. Fairfax, VA) OUTSIDE the beltway, can you believe it?! I had a friend’s birthday to attend, and as we all know….. I’m a sucker for birthday’s, I just can’t say no. So, out to Dogfish Head Ale house we went. I have always loved the logo, and they just gave me so many good changes in this place to get a good shot, that I had to take one right by the table we were sitting at. Again, into PhotoSplash first to highlight the color on only the sign, back into Snapseed for cropping and some detail, but that about it…. it was such a fun shot I decided simple was better here:

Happy Birthday Jamie!!! Good choice on party spots! #90minuteiparules
Happy Birthday Jamie!!! Good choice on party spots! #90minuteiparules

     Then while on the way home (space flight) back to my home solar system….. I stumbled upon a dark parking lot (many dark parking lots…. the native peoples of plant Fairfax go to be around 5:37pm on Saturday nights) full of signs and for some reason combining these two with Diptic just popped into my head and here’s way you get: (and no, this wasn’t a strip club! hahahaha)

Signs in a parking lot working together! #teamwork
Signs in a parking lot working together! #teamwork

     And finally…. we wrap things up with a little late night conversation with as previously expected, one of my newest and still coolest friends and, or course, the heartburn and hell that my weekends tend to end in. 100% worth every bit of the pain too! The first shot is just as simple as it gets, no filters, no tricks, no BS, just deuces and coffee….. EXACTLY what I needed a 5am after a night of pretty mayhem:

This..... Is how you end a night in DC!
This….. Is how you end a night in DC!

     LAST but not least….. my saving grace, Superbowl Sunday Morning’s cocktail of choice, shot nice a close up! Pulled into Snapseed, strong dramatic filter, linear tilt & shift over the logos, then the dark center focus really pulls everything together. Wrap a nice little frame around it and it and the contents of the bottles was enough to cure some of my hangover so I could watch the Giant’s beat the Pats!!!

After this past weekend..... This was my Sunday cocktail of choice! :-/ #ouchies
After this past weekend….. This was my Sunday cocktail of choice! :-/ #ouchies

     There you have it folks… the first weekly updated to Project i365! More to come soon…… and hell, if you’re still reading this far in… use those follow buttons off to the right and sign up, you’ll get the updated mailed to you. Thanks for reading and as always, if you want to know more or have any questions or comments, go ahead and email me or leave them in the comments section below!

Off to a great start!

     Well this is just great. I’m so pleased to have gotten such great comments from friends on Facebook, Twitter, and here on the blog…. even some text messages and emails encouraging me to stick it out through the year, make sure I keep up with the project and to tell me they love the concept. Thanks so much to all of you for showing me that support so quickly, its great to know people are actually looking at the shots and checking out the site! Keep it coming…. you guys ROCK!!!

Huge grin on my face from all the great comments on the first day of the Project i365 site being up!
Huge grin on my face from all the great comments on the first day of the Project i365 site being up!