Chrome Niko Camera Bag Sling In Action

I'm so thoroughly impressed with the Chrome Niko Camera Bag sling that I bought over a year ago that I absolutely have to share. I've used it more lately, and especially most recently for our gigantic European adventure over the Christmas and New Years holiday to London, Paris and Madrid. It was my only bag used for the 3 week trip (with a small rolling suitcase that held my laptop). It held absolutely everything that I needed and actually made the long haul home even better by protecting some beautiful artwork by a Parisian street artist! I am just blown away by how much it held, how great it worked, how the buckle made it easy to snap around the pull arm of my luggage...seriously incredible. This small camera bag is a must have for anyone traveling with camera equipment:


ITEMS CARRIED, at the same time:

  • Joby DSLR Tripod
  • iPad Pro w/Apple Pencil (yay even the cap survived!)
  • Over the ear headphones
  • small moleskine reporter w/blackwing
  • gloves (flip over mittens with fingerless!)
  • Canon 60D
  • Shure Lenshopper DSLR shotgun (mounted!)
  • Osmo Mobile Gimbal (LOVE this thing!!!!)
  • Canon 24mm pancake lens
  • Zeiss 35mm lens
  • analog pencil case & sharpener
  • Peak Design camera strap (must have)
  • lens cloths
  • all the power cords ever (iphone, Apple Watch, Osmo, headphone)
  • charger and extra 60D battery
  • 2TB hard drive
  • California bear hat
  • Art from an adorable little man drawing along the river in Paris, outside of the Louvre.

The only small note is that I would like to see the heavy seatbelt Chrome buckle in black or even a smaller version for this bag--it got me stopped at several boarding gates because it makes the bag seem larger when over the shoulder because the chrome seatbelt is very prominent. They now offer a camo version with the black buckle but I would like the black on black option, I'm not into carrying camo at the airport, or really anywhere for that matter.


Viewmaster Remastered (for Download)

I had a crazy idea that I needed a Viewmaster slide for a lil video project. I started digging through our collection because of course, we have quite a collection. Not very surprising really. Anyway, the scanner let me down (bright colors, no texture) so I rigged up a viewmaster slide on a tripod. Took a picture. Composited out all the pieces I needed...and decided to share it, just in case others need it for similar random creative projects.  And as usual, if you use it, I'd love a credit and share the link with me. I love seeing something I've made, in action in other projects:

Jem Viewmaster slide


DOWNLOAD Template PSD and Viewmaster Slide Sound (recorded from a vintage metal viewmaster)

Stirring Around Our Workspace

I do this often. Stir the furniture in our apartment...I think it drives Mariela crazy. But it's how I was raised. My granny still moves her furniture around every few months. I just thought that's what normal people do! So I've taken it to the next level...and modified most of our furniture to add wheels. It's quite handy.  I think the needing to stir comes from our Native American roots. We can't move the tribe, so we shift stuff around. It gives a new feeling to a familiar place. Makes sense.  But she also kept a large knife stuck in the door because we lived around really scary people--within our house and the neighborhood.  So I've modified her model by using a magnetic knife rack by the door--but it holds keys, wallets, little dyke tools, camera remotes...etc. etc.

The latest stirring episode is because I've been frustrated with my photography lately. But I'm chalking it up to a few things: 1) I haven't really found my place here yet. Like a job or community involvements, but I know that will happen. Spring is in full bloom in Northern California and it's magnificent. 2) I'm used to photographing dingy urban stuff--usually weird & dark. Exactly the opposite of here. It's bright and sunny all the time and  much more suburban. I know that riding my bike on daily missions will kick me over into the groove again. And that will happen when I find my place/job, too. I just have to be patient and diligent with my own projects in the meantime.

The biggest projects we have going now:

  • pilot script
  • creating 2D puppet animations for storytelling
  • editing our cross-country move to Cali video

I've been hard at work on a video for my family that is finally complete! Mariela and I learned so many new effects and techniques, but the content is personal, but maybe I'll do a rough cut of some of the footage to share here. The time lapse of the family cottage is pretty terrific--if I do say so myself.  I had stayed up so late the night before--drinking wine at the dining hall, an unexpected nap, and then more ukulele playing and singing with the fam. But it was 4am and the sun was a'comin. I scurried to gather my gear and ran out to argue with my new time lapse settings in Magic Lantern. I got it. It's beautiful. It's quiet and serene. All the colony kids and vacationers fast asleep...I even managed to get the sun rising over the colony pool. Luckily, I had the forethought to get the cottage first and move downhill for the pool. So maybe a short cut to come soon.

We had a terrific weekend and really didn't get anything done on our projects, but sometimes it's nice to just enjoy the sunshine.  So we joined some new friends at Half Moon Bay for a fun day at the beach. I'm just still so stunned that the OCEAN is that close!  Luckily, my midwestern hickness is wearing off and I haven't referred to the Pacific Ocean as a LAKE in quite a while now. ;-)




This City is Ab Fab

A few weeks ago, we were exploring in the city--stumbling over all the amazing newness of San Francisco.  We had a little time to kill waiting for a friend when we found Crepes on adorable little crepe place that was open late with a nice, casual, neighborhood feel.  As we sat down we overheard a small group of women chatting away about Ab Fab.  One of the women was explaining all that is...PATSY.  She was doing a terrific job summing up her newfound excitement about this series we've obsessed over since the late 90's.  It was so refreshing to hear.  People talking about actually interesting things?  Hell, people talking at all is a huge advance from Chicago.  Everyone was so concerned with remaining invisible there--walking the streets with this vibe of please don't look at me, or even notice me.  I know, I know...we are a little over the top, so the difference was just so glaring. It just feels so right here.  I can't explain it in words... the friendly people waiting in line at the Treasure Island Flea...talking to you because why not

the courtesy driving--stopping to actually let you in

the way strangers instincts are to just smile at you

the way people dress and act exactly like they want, not looking for your approval...

It's extremely exciting to MOVE to a place you've never been!  It's a constant surprise.  I was so over living in the city (Chicago, that is).  I just didn't want the dirty filth of negativity covering me anymore. The sidewalks like treadmills of people looking straight down, ready to run right into you, and often times stepping right into your shoes!  I didn't expect to love San Francisco, not like this.  I mean, I knew we would find amazing adventure in it.  But this is pure love.  I didn't expect a city park that could dwarf a small town--the wilderness and life so blooming everywhere.  I honestly don't know what took me so long to make it here--other than my own fear of leaving home.  And yes, I miss everyone.  Everyone.  But I know that this journey is just beginning and each day that passes, it becomes more and more home.  I love building it here.

A few of our recent highlights, exploring the city with our new Zeiss lens:

We were lost in the Presidio, enjoying the smooth-vibe, driving of SF. The tunnels, the lights, the wilderness in a city...and BOOM--there was The Bridge.  We took an exit and there she stood, like she was waiting for us.  Quiet and still, nothing going on...but a beautiful spot to enjoy the Bay.

Since I was a kid, I dreamed of just seeing the studio where Stevie Nicks recorded Rumours.  Mariela and her outstanding sleuthing and navigating, took us right to her doors.  It was a small victory, but it just felt like we were finally here.  Amazing.  As I opened the windows and sunroof and kicked up my stereo playing the demo tracks from the Rumours outtakes, it was like you were transported to 1977 and Stevie was wearing her big headphones singing her heart out and the sounds filled the thick forest of trees in that little cove in Sausalito.  I'm sure Mick's drums filled that canyon, now covered in multi-millions dollar homes...

Sorcerer, Stevie's song, was actually demo recorded before Rumours, but we felt it fitting for this shot. Maybe our California plate will be a Rumours track! They are all fitting: Dreams, Never Going Back Again, Don't Stop, Go Your Own Way, The Chain, Gold Dust Woman...hahaha.

So as the weekend draws near, I get antsy anticipation to just breathe the air of San Francisco and I look forward to finding our way into her gates again...


And all drains to the bay around here.

Frame BY Endless Frame Time Lapse

I started thinking...what has been my favorite thing to film? I mean, so far. I have to say that filming time-lapse in Maine on vacation with my hilarious extended family. Sure, maybe it's because it was such a quiet, clean, calm morning at the colony--one of my very favorite places on earth.  It was my love of purist, photography --brought to life with motion. It's superb, while not true "frame-by-frame." So zooming in for higher resolution isn't an option! Fast forward to this week, I started in...fighting with Magic Lantern on my Canon 60D again. The problem has been audio with my Zoom h4n using the Sescom cable. I found the breakthrough that I needed (this helpful audio forum) and we set out for Treasure Island to record actual frame by frame time lapse (using the intervelometer of ML)!

It was the perfect end to a perfect day @ the Treasure Island Flea.


365 Days...

Grrr, I have so many projects going these days with trying to get my freelance business more off the ground, the demo reel that I'm working on, all the other short films, not to mention a giant documentary project.  So I'm feeling somewhat frustrated by the 365 Days photo project that I started. It's a combination of things really.  I guess I feel kinda silly that the pictures have to include me.  Don't get me wrong, I love posing for the camera, but it just seems harder right now.  So much is going on.  And a big part of it is that I have a new manual focus lens which means that it's almost impossible to pull focus on myself, from a far.  It's just too much.  I love photography, but I'm finding that I don't like rules with it.

I've been focusing so much on editing and motion design that I feel like a movie a week of something edited would be more satisfying, and still extremely difficult.  Or a doodle or drawing a day, now that my wacom actually has a tip that is perfect!

We'll see.  I hate being a quitter about anything, but I also don't want to spend a lot of my time posting pictures that my heart is not in...