*Moving onward and upward! A new recurring retouching project for the blog w/ @alienskin software.

IMG_7323As many of you have figured out, we stopped our monthly flicker photo blog challenge, much to my dismay.  Flickr’s desire to dumb itself down, into little more than a mobile app proved to be the death rattle for our monthly project which was going really well, bringing in hundreds of submissions for our monthly contests.  C’est la vie.

Well, with these lemons, I’d like to make lemonade because lemonade is awesome, especially if you only use half the recommended sugar and watch your unsuspecting friends, and young children drink it.  

I’ve been in conversation with my friends at Alien Skin Software, and have had the great fortune to be both a contributor to their blog, and a beta tester for many of their programs over the years, the newest of which is the yet to be released, Exposure update.  As a long time fan of Exposure, I’m excited to see the final version.  With this new project, I’d like to gauge interest in having a retouching tutorial, where by I process and retouch submitted images using Exposure, which may then be shared with many, many thousands of viewers here and through the Alien Skin blog.  Come on in for more details, and my hope for this collaboration…

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*Brand new, TRP Vector strap available, and giveaway winners!


TRP Vector Straps available now

The brand new, hand built Vector straps are now available via the TRP Camera Straps Page HERE for $27 delivered ($33 outside of the US).  They’re light weight, low profile and comfortable wrist straps for any camera.  Utilizing very high end materials, I’ve chosen to build these with both comfort and function in mind.  They’re great when wanting to keep weight and bulk down, comfort up all while maintaining a casual, modern look.

The Vector Straps are now available along with the Garda and Cascade Straps.  Come on in to see who won free straps from our social media giveaway…

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*Social media giveaway! Be one of the first to get a brand new TRP Vector camera strap #trpcamerastraps


The new TRP Vector straps are low profile, lightweight wrist straps made from blended, 24 plait braided line utilizing high end materials like Vectran, Cordura and high tenacity Polyester.  Strength, style, fashion and function.  Used in high performance, professional sailing, this rope is built to last.  I personally, hand build each and every strap, and I’ve been testing these for the last 6 months.  They’re dialed.  The brand new, Vector straps will be released next week, and for a chance to win one, shipping included, I’m going to try something newish (for me and the blog anyway).  

We’ve done a giveaway with each of the other straps, and this time, I wanted to also start up bit of a reward for helping me get the word out, guerrilla marketing style.  Being that I hand build each and every strap myself, I want to do my best to keep costs as low as I can to both make enough money for this whole venture to make sense, but to keep the delivered price as low as possible to make sense for you as well.  The more I can sell, the more I can invest, etc, etc.  Kind of my own kickstarter so to speak, except you don’t have to put money in to get this going, I’ve already done that.

The idea here is getting the word out, and figuring out a way to reward those who help me do that.  Here’s what I’m thinking…

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*Shooting Portland’s newest, whiskey-centric bar, the Bit House Saloon for the @ELKcollective


There is always an emotional transition when one longstanding bar transforms into another.  The Eastbank Tavern was a stalwart on the industrial east side in Portland, at least for as long as I can remember.  One of those bars along Grand that you’d pop into after heading back across the river from a show downtown for a nightcap.  The smell of smoke and fried food, lingering in the air engrained into the DNA of the establishment, like a good, working class bar should.  Times though, they are a changing.  The neighborhood is now looking to appeal not just to the growing group of more astute imbibers, but to the younger, newer Portland crowd.  A population that values aesthetic over quirk perhaps, and sees the quality of their surroundings as important as the quality of their drinks.  A trend happening not only in that MLK/Grand corridor, but all over the city.  Evolve or get left behind as it were.  While there are many venues I’ve visited in town, I feel too many of them aim for a wine bar feel for those with a champagne budget, too easily classified as gentrificated snobbery which is totally out of place to many who have watched Portland transform over the last twenty years or so.

The beauty of this new iteration is that is still holds much of the Eastbank’s character, but has helped move this saloon into the new age of more discerning quaffers.  This newer, hipper, fancier version of Portland that has followed in the wake of the boom over the last decade has asked these venues to offer up a bit more ambiance.  What I love about the Bit House Saloon, is that it has taken the rough, grimy portland, and like many of its longstanding residents, gone from damp carpet, PBR and flannel, to wood, whiskey and leather, and well, $1 High Life Ponies for those of us looking for a back, or no frills option.  I’d always seen Portland as a working class town even if Fred and Carrie have shown us that retirement can be achieved early as long as we’re willing to not do much of anything, and it’s good to see that there can exist a bridge between this new era of craft cocktails and earlier, perhaps simpler times.  Change doesn’t have to happen entirely overnight…

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*Shooting the Multnomah Whiskey Library’s new, Green Room w/ @ELKcollective

The Green Room at the Multnomah Whiskey Library

What do you do when you’ve become one of the most popular libation destinations in the Pacific Northwest?  Build a satellite bar, that’s what.  For those who’ve tried to get a table at the Multnomah Whiskey Library, you may have found it difficult over the last two years since it has opened.  I’ve been in there a few times as a photographer, but never as a patron, much to my chagrin.  While the apparent exclusivity seems a bit off putting, what is really going on is a bar that has chosen to seat fewer people in order to provide a far better experience, assuming you can get in to experience said experience.  Still doesn’t help those of us incapable of waiting for an hour or more to have a drink and bite to eat, that is until now.  The Green Room offers a pared down selection from the library, with some signature design holdovers, all while providing an entirely unique space in its own right.  The Green Room gives us a palate whetting for what we are in for, but may just end up being a destination in and of itself.  C’mon in for more shots…


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*Might be close to the last chance to grab a GX7 kit on super sale @adorama


Currently, and while they last, Adorama is selling the GX7 with the 14-42 kit zoom for $547.99 which also includes a $50 Adorama Gift Card.  This might be the last cache of new GX7 kits as they make way for a replacement later on this year.

The GX7, while heading toward the sunset, and rumored to be replaced this Fall, is a killer camera.  It still has the current Panasonic sensor used in most every Panasonic camera from the last couple years, which is a great sensor, especially for RAW shooters like me.  If you’re looking for a good, all around body that incorporates IBIS, an integrated tilting EVF, WiFi, Focus Peaking, 1080p at 60fps, and a slew of other bells and whistles, this is a great deal.

You can find them via Adorama here:

Black GX7 + 14-42 kit with $50 Adorama Gift Card HERE

Silver GX7 + 14-42 kit with $50 Adorama Gift Card HERE

I’ve been a big fan of the GX7, and feel it has been the best overall, micro 4/3 camera yet… for me at least.  Great ergonomics, great features, direct external control for everything you need along with an intuitive and logical UI. It has a very good balance of size reduction while being very comfortable in the hand, even with larger optics, and I like mine very, very much.  

A great camera for a great price.

If interested in why I’ve grown to praise the GX7 quite as much as I have, you can read my personal reviews and comparisons via these following links:

GX7, an evolution Part 1

GX7, an evolution Part 2

GX7 vs EM5, round 1

GX7 vs EM5, round 2

GX7 vs EM5, round 3

Happy shooting, 


*A shoot for Mettle Cycling, soft goods for hard people.

Mettle Cycling

I get many a kick from seeing friends succeed doing something they love to do.  It’s inspirational, and helps put my own lofty goals into perspective, making them seem more reachable, less silly sounding while echoing around the empty space in my brain bucket.  Today I get to share one of these success stories, and how we turned an informal Sunday morning shoot into something that both of us came out feeling stoked about.

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