So I started things out this morning with a VERY simple question posted on twitter and Facebook: “I’ve heard that coffee with a few splenda & a splash of milk doesn’t count against a diet. Is this true?”
Wow oh wow the responses I got! Everything from “no, it counts” to “here’s options that are better for you.” First the highlights, then see the actual post below to read for yourself. From what everyone was saying, I learned a few concrete things:
1) Black coffee is better, no confusion.
2) Caffeine is a little rough on a diet, drink water to offset it.
3) There are a lot of sweeteners to figure out should you choose to use one!
4) I need to learn more about/try Stevia and Agave
There are just so many options out there for what to put in your coffee, it’s almost ridiculous. Sugar, cane sugar, splenda, equal, stevia, and agave. From what it looks like, everyone agrees, if you’re going to drink coffee… the calories count. So for today, since all I had available was splenda, I went with my cup of coffee, 3 splendas and a little cream.
I’m going to look up where to order some agave and stevia and give those a try first, we’ll see what happens!
I had been thinking about this for a while, losing weight that is. It’s a long overdue goal for me, and with an incredibly open, honest and motivating conversation late last night, I decided it was time to really get this moving. I’ve been here before though, trying, making a little effort, and always ending the same way: still fat.
I thought about it last night during our conversation and I realized, I not only hadn’t set goals, but I wasn’t sure exactly how much I weighed, or what my real measurements were. So for lack of a tailors tape measure, I’ll have to get that part another day, but for my current weight: 272lbs.
So there you have it… that’s exactly how much of me there is to love. 😉 Not that I’ve ever sought after being less of a person, but I think it’s about time. So I bought a new scale (you’ll be seeing a lot of it), got my treadmill out, tuned it up, plugged it in and I’m already moving forward. I figured what better way to start Day #1 of #OperationGetSkinny then to get in a workout.
So… where am I? Right here: 3 miles in 59:25 and 318 calories burned. (I’ve got a looooong way to go!)
Now for the important part! Goals:
1) Lose 60 pounds.
2) Run 3 consecutive sub-10 minute miles.
3) Drop inches! (numbers coming soon)
I knew I needed to know where I was starting out to judge where I’d need to go and how hard I’d need to work. Based on the math, I’m looking to cut my 1 mile running time down by 50% and lose over 20% of my body weight. I think these goals are attainable and I will be working every day to change how I live, eat, and exercise to reach them. Of course you’ll all be able to chart my progress here for work not to see! :-p
As you can imagine, even you skinny people, this isn’t going to be easy. I’ve already gotten amazing words of encouragement from my friends and family and with everyone’s support, I know I can beat this.
And by shots, I don’t just mean photos! So between work being a little crazy and drinking a little (read: a lot) to blow off steam, I’ve been slacking on the Project i365 blog posts. However, I do have a bunch of great new frames to post:
This first one was shot at American Tap Room in Arlington, VA. They have these amazing marble fire pits on the back patio which makes for an awesome background to any drink. Especially one in a snifter! It was a pretty simple also, shot with Pro Camera, put into Snapseed for the drama filter and yes, the depth of field you see really is the iPhone 4s. Awesome!!
So…. when you need friends at a coffee shop (Northside Social) on a Saturday night for beers, why not do it by candlelight? I have always loved the natural warm light from candles/fire and I just don’t find too many places where you can catch it with an iPhone. This was also show with ProCamera, sharpened in Perfect Photo, tilt-shift and framed in (as always) Snapseed.
A break from beer and food for a minute and over to another love… motorcycles!! This is from one of the most amazing experiences I have… every year. I won’t take too much time here to explain it, but if you’d like learn more about what it is, head on over to http://www.rollingthunder1.com/ and read up!
The lines in this one were amazing. 15 side by side, identical Harley Davidson Roadkings from the Montgomery Police Department lined up to escort us for the beginning of the ride! This was shot with BracketMode, pulled into Pro-HDR, then Snapseed to add the tilt-shift, color in the sky and the frame.
If you’d like to see some AMAZING that was on the some of the bikes at the event with us, check out the rest of the pictures I took with my dSLR: Rolling Thunder XXV
I don’t know why, but if its got lots of knobs… it must be cool! ProCamera for the shot, B&W filter with the grain turned up as well as framed in Snapseed.
And back to old faithful we go: Beer! Some Happy Hour action at The Getaway in Columbia Heights, DC. I will surely be taking more shots here, how can you not in a Steve McQueen themed kick ass bar?! This was shot with ProCamera and pulled into Snapseed for the drama filter and framing. I also used the selective adjust by the text to turn up the saturation and make the beer color “pop” a little bit!
What’s a photo blog post without a little food porn?! This was shot while grabbing dinner with some new friends this past Saturday at Tesoro in DC. Amazing food by the way, it tastes as good as it looks!! Shot with ProCamera, Snapseed for the tilt-shift, drama filter and a little saturation adjustment. Gonna go back ASAP and take a few more shots too!!
Also, don’t forget if you glance over to the right column, there is a link to the entire Picasa gallery. These are just a few of the highlights from the last few weeks, the rest of the shots are there!
So, while I haven’t been updating the blog that often, I’ve surely been shooting. I figured I’m long overdue for another update and here it is:
We’re going to go a little out of chronological order here, only because these first 2 are some of my favorite shots and I really want to highlight them. The first is from the Federal Triangle area and is actually of the front side of the EPA building I believe. It was shot as 11 independent images, assembled back together with AutoStitch, pulled in Snapseed for the Drama filter, tone adjustment, tilt-shift and framing. This was also the first time I used Perfect Photo to increase the sharpness and Impression to add a watermark!
The second one from the same day is meeting getting up close and personal with a huge statue of a rose out in front of this same building. First it was pulled into Perfect Photo to up the sharpness and really bring some detail into those scratches and scuffs. Then I used the Snapsneed Black and White filter to drop all the color and add a little extra grain. The depth of field you see is ACTUALLY the real depth of field from the iPhone 4s, no til-shift here! Pretty amazing for a phone camera huh?! That was about it for this shot, frame, watermark and post!
This shot is probably one of my favorites. Very simple shot, taken with my phone laying flat on the bar, pulled into Snapseed and used the drama filled first, pushed up the contrast and the tilt-shift to pull the pint glass into focus.
The next is a sunset I caught by accident walking to the gym on the roof of my building….. I walked past the pool door, not yet open for this season and caught the sunset at the perfect time to shoot it with Pro-HDR, pull it into Snapseed for the Drama filter and the framing… simply, easy, and I think its one of my favorite sunset shots yet!
Next up, Project i365 goes mechanical! hahaha So I had to stop at Auto Zone for a little oil since my Audi seems to burn through it like its going out of style, and as I was leaning over to pour the oil in, I caught some great light and thought it would make a fun shot. It was shot with Pro-Camera (to get the exposure right), then pulled into Snapseed to turn the saturation down to zero for the no grain black and white effect, and finally elliptical tilt-shift and a frame to draw the focus in to the warning: NICHT ÜBERFULLEN!
And finally, a shot I took a while back and recently decided to edit and post it. It was shot with Pro-HDR, sharpened in Perfect Photo, brought into Photo Splash to have the color removed on everything put the mirror, loaded into Snapseed, upped the saturation, used the Drama filter and finally tilt-shift to draw even more attention to the mirror and sunset!
That does it for this last update. I hope you like what you see, feel free to leave some comments and I’ll have some new updates up soon, Promise!!
Its been a while since I’ve last written to you…. I’m so sorry for waiting this long but life has just been a little crazy lately! hahahaha It looks like I’ve missed almost two full weeks of updates if not more, but not too worry, I surely never stopped shooting. I’ve gotten in a shot every single day except for one and, well, I kinda had a pretty decent excuse for that one! 😉 So lets jump right in, and since it’s a catch up post… I won’t do every single shot from the past 2 and half weeks, just the highlights. For the full set of all the shots, you’ll have to jump over to the gallery.
Well start off with a bang this time and go out-of-order, since how I got here didn’t create nearly as nice a set of shots as after I was already in trouble. So for those of you who haven’t heard already, I had a liiiiiiiiiittle trouble with the law regarding my car and wound up having to take the metro for about a week or so. Granted it was a major pain in the ass, and i LOVE driving, but it did result in some really awesome shots. The DC Metro is probably was of the nicest, most architecturally interesting public transit systems in the US. Check it out:
This first shot was after walking back from the tow yard in Southwest, DC…. it’s in the Waterfront Metro Station. First it was cropped in Snapseed, saved and pulled into PhotoSplash to the color highlight, the back into Snapseed for the tilt-shift to draw additional focus to the platform edge and tunnel entrance. Honestly, there isn’t much you have to do with shots of these metro stations. They’re pretty damn neat lookin’ on their own.
The next shot from the metro is on my way back from returning a rental car on M. St. in DC. This is the Farragut North metro station. Again the shot was pulled in to PhotoSplash to have the color highlight on the metro schedule sign and nothing else was done. It was cropped and posted as is from there:
Last from the “Underground Metro Series” of this particular week we have a shot from the Ballston metro station while I was waiting to head home from work one day. Pretty simple, just lined it up and shot from across the platform. This shot was really more about lining up the ceiling in the shot than any real editing. I was able to get it pretty close just from standing on the platform, but before cropping in Snapseed I did still have to use the “Straighten” tool to get everything to work out properly. Then it was cropped, a slight elliptical tilt-shift and pulled the saturation down to zero for the black and white effect.
Finally I had to get myself above ground and unwind a little bit. So last Saturday night a friend of mine got us tickets to see Jim Gaffigan at the Warner Theatre taping for his new special. HILARIOUS!!! As I was walking up I took a quick minute to snap a shot that turned out to be a little harder to get than I had originally thought. The camera app on the iPhone 4s just didn’t have the HDR range to get the whole thing in. So I had to use a new app I downloaded a few weeks ago and have playing with a bit: Pro-HDR. I was able to get it by using Pro-HDR in manual mode and using the “WARNER THEATRE” sign up top as one focal point, the the light up “JIM GAFFIGAN” sign as the other. Pro-HDR set the right white-balance and exposure for both light ranges, took 2 shots and combined them for me. From there, I pulled it into Snapseed for cropping, upped the contract a bit and again used the tilt-shift to pull focus into the sign and away from the overly busy lower crowd portion of the image.
After a night like that, what better way to continue the relaxation through Sunday Funday than lounging around all evening and watching the Oscars while eating solid Chinese food!! I was a little distracted at the time and needed a quick shot here to make my photo-a-day quota, so extreme close-ups with an iPhone usually come out pretty decent. I didn’t have to do much, took the shot, upped the sharpness and ambiance in Snapseed a bit, cropped, applied the frame and posted!
Last for this post, I’ll put up a little preview of things to come. At the end of March I’ll be traveling to Houston, TX for a friend’s wedding… so I’m sure they’ll be TONS of pictures from that and probably a special post to go along with it. For this shot I purposefully shot it with low light in my living room on a dark bridge table, nice and close with the invitation angled away so the depth of field you’re seeing is actually not my typical use of the tilt-shift filter in Snapseed, but here its the actual real depth-of-field from the iPhone 4s camera itself. Basically I just tool the shot, pulled it into Snapseed and applied the Dramatic filter, upped the saturation to give it that nice deep textured warm tone, applied the framed after cropping and that was it.
As always, I hope you enjoy the shots as much as I enjoy walking around taking them. I love the comments on Facebook twitter and the blog, keep them coming! Almost exactly 2 months into my Project i365 and I still 100% absolutely LOVE doing it!! As for the title of the post…. yes, it is my birthday this coming weekend, so I’ll try to special birthday shots to mark the occasion! 🙂
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:
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:
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:
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:
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!
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:
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:
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:
Got to the bar to see the band… tilt shift and nothing else here:
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:
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:
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!
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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”:
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:
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)
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:
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!!!
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!
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!!!
As the month of January draws to an end, I’ve decided I really do want to give this a try. I’ve seen a few people try things like “January photo a day” projects, or “365” projects where they’ll try to post something a day and I’m sure if allowed myself to include the chaos I capture with my regular camera every day, I’d make it without a problem. That just wouldn’t be could enough for me, I really wanted to twist this up a bit. Since I’m a huge nerd and I’ve really decided I have a little bit of an inappropriate tech crush on my iPhone, I made the choice that, in addition to the normal shots I take with my digital SLR, I would attempt to document an entire year of my life with at least one picture a day take on and completely edited with my iPhone 4s.
Even thought the blog is a month behind, the shots started right away just after the first of the year when I woke up a little hung over from my New Year’s Eve party to capture this image as I want out to get some food:
I’ll go over some of my favorite shots from the last month to start things off with a bang, then the idea is, at least once a week, I’ll create a new post and catch you up on the last weeks photos. Just a quickly little blurb about where I was, what I was thinking at a time, and maybe even how I made the shot look like that if I did anything neat!
The next few shots are from a quick trip I took to Minnetonka, MN for a few days, then an overnight stop in Chicago to get myself into a little trouble! The first shot below is a sunset I caught then leave the office my last night in Minnesota…
The next a view of downtown Minneapolis when I went out driving around looking for a late night snack….. turns out that’s actually much harder to find around there then you’d expect!
The following to shots are from the Thursday night and Friday morning I spend in Chicago with some friends. What a great city! I had an AMAZING view out of my hotel room, as you’ll see, walking around the city was beautiful, and needless to say there was surely no shortage of nightlife, awesome people, and things to be seen!
A few more quick highlights are below, more to come in future posts soon: