I’m making a newsletter!

As a fun project for 2017 I am going to making a newsletter about the things that I like and the projects i work on. It will be similar to the content of this blog, but a little more humorous. Each issue will also be more of a hodgepodge of each subject rather than sticking to a specific subject like I do with posts here.

I am calling it Traversing the Mindscape Landscape! If you want to sign up you can do so here: http://tinyletter.com/daveskull81

A couple of years ago I tried my hand at making my own podcast under the same name, but I didn’t stick to it as, honestly, it was poorly planned. I want this newsletter to be in the same vein of bizarrely funny content, but also talking about the things I find online that interesting and / or cool. This will give me a chance to exercise some silly thoughts that I haven’t done in awhile. Doing it in a written form also should help to make it more manageable which should lead to a more successful run.

With my podcast I really just didn’t plan it out well. I was trying to do one episode a week, but didn’t give myself enough lead time to create an episode. I was trying to make an episode for the coming Friday on the Wednesday prior. It ended up being too much work to keep up and I stopped making episodes after only a few. This time around I am going to plan it better. I will be spending the next month or so planning out issues and promoting the newsletter. I will be launching it sometime in February. This should give me enough time to get good ideas together for future issues.

I will only be putting out one per week at most, so it shouldn’t be too spammy and I should be able to keep it up with the right planning. I really hope that you subscribe and check out the first few issues. So, if you are into writing code, making coffee, taking photos, or poems about bears made of cheese all while wanting links to cool internet stuff subscribe here.

Huzzah!

Focusing on mobile photography for now

The other day I wrote about how I was using Instagram again and starting to post photos there more than other places online. As part of that I am also focusing on using my iPhone for the photos I take over my DSLR. I have an iPhone 7 and really like the pictures it takes. Also, I find that it is much easier to have it on me all the time. After all, isn’t there some kind of quote about the camera you have with you being the best one or something?

I’ve tried bringing my DSLR along with me, but it ends up being in the way which ends up keeping me from using it. Taking photos with my phone allows me to quickly take pictures of whatever catches my eye as I’m out in the world. I also find focusing and exposing the shots easier using a touch screen. Plus, it is a really fun challenge to take interesting pictures on a mobile device. I’m also trying to edit the shots on my phone as well with apps like VscoCam.

To help me take some better pictures I got some accessories from my favorite online shop for photo stuff, Photojojo. I got their Iris lenses and some other things to help get the most out of my pictures. I’m really excited to take on the challenge of mobile photography again. When I got my first iPhone 3G I took pictures all the time and it was lots of fun. I have seen some really cool results with pictures taken by iPhones and hopefully I will get some myself.

Trying out Instagram again

I’ve started to use my Instagram account again. So far it has been fun to post pictures there. I do feel like I get more interaction with people talking about photography there than on other social platforms. Commenting on pictures I like I get replies back more often and can ask about how the picture was taken. Plus, more people seem to be seeing my photos that I post there which is a fun bonus. This coupled with the fact that I am more into mobile photography and taking pictures with my iPhone lately makes it a lot more fun to put pictures there. So, for now I will be posting the pictures I take there.

I’m still using VSCO films to edit my pictures as it is my favorite way to edit digital photos, but these are done with VSCOcam and edited on my phone instead of in Lightroom on my computer.

If you want to follow along with my photos you can do so at my profile here.

Here are a few of my recent posts. Let me know what you think of them.

Instant self-portrait because I’m artsy

picture I took of myself in a mirror
That’s me in the mirror

I took this picture in 2012 or 2013. It was with my Polaroid Impulse camera and I snapped it looking into the bathroom mirror of the studio Cassidy and I first got when we moved to Seattle. I was home alone on a day off from work and had a few shots of film that I took by pointing my camera at odd angles and clicking the shutter.

The old Gas Plant turned into a park trick…

old gas plant factory at a public park
Gas Works park in Seattle

I have talked about Gas Works park being one of my favorite spots to take pictures in Seattle many times here because it is true and I like doing it. I took this shot with Impossible’s black and white instant film. I believe it was with their generation 2.0 of the film, which works really well and gives some great results. I really enjoy shooting with it in my vintage One-Step. This particular shot has an awesome ethereal feel with the soft focus on the plant. I have grown to really like the inconsistent focus of the camera and the results I get from shots. It adds to the randomness that is instant photography.

Expired black and white instant film and Thanksgiving

dinner table set for thanksgiving


This year Cassidy and I joined our friends Adam and Ashley at Adam’s parents house for Thanksgiving. It was a fun time and a good change from our most common Thanksgiving event of watching all three extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It takes roughly twelve hours and is totally worth it if you’ve never done it. I brought along my Polaroid One Step and my last pack of Impossible film. It was a box of their first generation of black and white film that expired in February of 2015. I thought it would be a perfect time to snap a few shots and see what happens. Also, to be honest, having a camera to get behind helps out a lot when I’m amongst a group of people. It is a conversation starter and and allows me to relax more.
I took this picture of the dinner table after it was set before everyone sat down. This and the other images I got came out better than I expected for the film being expired. I have had it stored in our fridge the whole time I’ve had it, so it kept pretty well.
I scanned this shot with the Impossible Project’s iOS app rather than my scanner. I really like the results. I also tried out Google’s new photo scanning app and the Impossible app got more details of the photo. The scans I got from Google’s app lost details in the foreground of the image and it was hard to see the forks and knives on the table. With Impossible’s app I was able to get more of the detail that was captured by the original photo. I think I am going to start using their app all the time to scan my instant photos for sharing them here.

Screencapping a panorama

While we were in New York City I tried to play around with taking pictures on my phone as much as I could. I took a few panorama shots. One in particular was on a subway platform while we waited on a train. I was looking at it the other day, zooming in to get a closer look at it. As I got to the end I liked how the long distance down the remaining platform looked. It had this feel that something wasn’t right, but one couldn’t tell what. I took a screen capture, edited it in VscoCam, and this is the result. I really like how the repeating 33 looks in black and white.

New York City – Subway saxophone player

Processed with VSCO with p4 preset

On our recent trip to New York City we used the subway to get everywhere. It was awesome to see the various performers in the subway playing music. It is something that I’ve seen in movies and on television so much that it doesn’t feel like it happens in the real world. But, it does and it is super cool. I really admire anyone who has the guts to post up somewhere and perform for anyone and everyone. It is rad to see people putting themselves out for the world to see.

I took this shot on my iPhone 7 of this saxophone player while we waited on a train. I edited it on my phone in VscoCam.

Lake Union in Black & White

gas_works_view_of_lake_union

I took this shot with my Polaroid One Step on black and white Impossible film. It was shot from Gas Works park looking out on Lake Union.

Green and black film under a bridge and how I feel about the world right now

under_bridge_at_troll

I took this while standing under 99 facing down the hill away from the Fremont Troll with my Polaroid One Step on Impossible Green & Black film. It was a weird and fun film to shoot with as I didn’t really have an idea of how it would come out. I tried to over expose as it seemed like the green would darken everything and shooting under a bridge doesn’t have much light anyways.

Being uncertain of how things will come out seems to the general theme in my thoughts lately. I didn’t vote for Trump because I didn’t want him to be President. I think his hateful rhetoric will divide this country even further. Already there have been many reports of people getting harassed and attacked as targets of hate and he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.

I’m not sure yet of exactly how I want to help, but I know I want to help. I’m a straight white male. If I wanted to I could ride this out and come out relatively unharmed except for paying more taxes, probably. But, equality or the lack thereof has always struck a chord with me. It boggles my mind that anybody who lives in America would think that someone else is less than human based on something that makes them different. Our differences is what makes us stronger and betters everyone’s life. Moving to Seattle and seeing the world differently has opened my eyes to a lot of things I knew little about and I am better for it.

Not being willing to hear each other out is what has gotten us into this divided state. I will admit that I have shut down the idea of hearing out those who disagree with me politically because I couldn’t understand their point of view. The thing to do now is to listen to each other, to find those that disagree with us and hear them out, to debate with them our own view, and to find somewhere we can meet in the middle.

Unless your view is full of hate, racism, and misogyny. I can’t meet you in the middle there. That just has to go. I don’t have to respect that opinion because it has no basis in reality.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post. I just felt like saying something because saying nothing is part of the problem.

I’m going to start saying something. I haven’t been one to post much about politics, but I’m going to start being part of the discussion now. Call me a social justice warrior or whatever all you want. But, I want to be part of the process and have my voice heard.

Right now I’m going to start with donating to organizations doing work I think is important like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the EFFFight for the Future, and others. I know I can contact my Senators and Representative to let them know how I want them to vote and represent me as a citizen and I will do that.

I also want people to know that they can be safe with me. If you are feeling victimized because of your race, gender, religious beliefs, or anything else you can come to me for help. I will believe you and I will do what I can to help.

Playing around with Hipstamatic and drinking coffee

Yesterday morning I made some coffee in my Chemex and sat down on the couch to enjoy it. Cassidy was out with some friends for the morning so I sat quietly and enjoyed the coffee as I looked outside. I ended up playing around with Hipstamatic and snapped these shots of the coffee table in front of me. I’ve used Hipstamatic since I got my iPhone 3G. It is pretty fun to have used an app for so long and to have seen how it has progressed over the years. I’m starting to really like the newest incarnation and taking photos in various formats like 16:9 and other non-square shapes.

It was a nice distraction from thinking about the historically absurd day we are sure to have tomorrow in the United States. Good luck everyone.

New York City Subway

Taken with my iPhone 7 while waiting for a subway train in New York City. Edited in VscoCam. 

View from the Empire State Building at night

We went to the Empire State Building while we were in New York City. It was early in the trip and we were relaxing for the evening and were debating if we should go out or not.

Before the trip we decided that we wanted to go to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, but couldn’t decide whether to do it during the day or at night. We got a few recommendations from friends to do it at night.

We decided to make the most of our trip and headed out. It was totally worth it. The view from up there is awesome and at night it is breathtaking. I took this with my iPhone 7 and edited it in VscoCam.

Rainy day at the Statue of Liberty

On our trip to New York City last month we went to the Statue of Liberty on my birthday. Have I mentioned that? I was pretty excited. Even though it rained while we were there it was still awesome. I took this shot with my iPhone 7. Thanks to it being water resistant I was able to take pictures with it. I edited this in VscoCam on my iPhone as well.

View of South Lake Union from Gas Works Park

seattle_south_lake_union_space_needle

Last weekend Cassidy went to meet a friend to hang out. I hadn’t planned on going out for photos, but Cassidy messaged me to let me know that it was really nice out and would be a good photographic opportunity. I’m sure she just wanted to make sure I leave the house since I am very good at turning into a hermit and staring at my computer when she isn’t around.

I looked outside and agreed that it would be a great time to go Gas Works park and snap some shots. I walked down there and took 111 photos in about an hour or so. This is one that I got from the water’s edge looking out at South Lake Union.