Wednesday, September 29, 2010


There have been quite a few posts lately round these parts about being energy-efficient and cost-effective. I'm not an expert like my better-half, but I have been trying to do a few things myself to help the earth and our pocketbook.

We are one of the lucky few who have a washer/dryer in our apartment. After putting up with sharing laundry facilities in our parking garage for couple of years, we happily gave up a dishwasher for a washer/dryer. It's not ideal that they are located in our kitchen, but it's quite efficient for house-keeping. Once Matt started his saving-energy crusade, I looked around at some ways I could cut-back as well. The dryer was the first thing that came to mind. I found this drying rack at Target (on sale at the time) and now I hang my laundry until it's about 80% dry, then I throw it in the dryer for 15 or so minutes. Most people would say that they don't like the way materials feel when air-dryed and I would agree! But I haven't noticed a difference at all- even if they air-dry the entire way, I still fluff them a bit in the dryer. I've also started using Method laundry detergent. From the picture, you'll notice that it's a pump. I love that I can just pick it up and pump the soap right into the washing machine. However the best part is the packaging - much MUCH less plastic wasted than the other brands. Now... this option isn't cost-effective, as it costs a dollar or two more than the leading brands (unless you find it on sale!).

Back in May, just before my birthday, Matt and I were taking a stroll around Costco when I noticed these Snapware glass containers. I was oo-ing and ahh-ing and explaining to Matt how great these were, because they wouldn't leave stains! I must have made a pretty big deal about it, because a few days later I unwrapped them as a birthday gift. :) At first I was mostly impressed that he had listened to me... but as time passed, I was (and am) so grateful that he listened! I love these containers! They come in lots of sizes, perfect for leftovers and taking food to work. However the BEST part is that they're helping me use less plastic. Since I received them in May, my usage of Ziplocs and Saran wrap has decreased by 99.9% at least!

That's all for now. We've both been making efforts to leave lights off and using natural light during the day. I also have caught myself thinking twice about paper cups and utensils, examining packaging of products, and we stopped buying bottled water over a year ago. I highly recommend the documentary "No Impact Man" - I guarantee you won't go to the lengths this family does to unplug from the world, but his hope is that you'll at least do one of the things.

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Friday, September 24, 2010


You just never know what life is going to give you.  Sometimes it's lemons.  Sometimes it's puppies.  In our case, it seems to be the latter.  Sometimes you're just walking along with your husband and dog, enjoying being off work early due to a high Jewish holiday (mazel tov!), discussing life and dreams and goals and plans, and sometimes these discussions can be frustrating if you and your husband don't seem to be on the same page.  But it's amazing how quickly your demeanor can change when a little puppy peeps from around a tree and says hello.
To make a very long story short... we now have a new puppy named Penny.  After a few days of hanging signs, looking around the neighborhood for signs, posting ads on Craigslist, and even taking her to the vet AND finding out she was chipped AND calling the owners who denied that she was theirs.... we decided she should live with us.  She and Barkley are getting along just fine.  Occasionally she gets a bit rough with him, but this is getting less and less by the day.  Mostly she loves him and loves to snuggle and give him kisses... and he tolerates her.  We always knew that someday we would add to our family of three... I just assumed it would be of the human variety.  But Penny fits in our family just fine and we love that Barkley has company during the day.  Last week Matt set up a "puppy cam" by leaving the camera on my computer open, and we were able to spy on them from work.  I'd say the day looked something like this: 80% sleeping, 15% looking outside, 5% chasing each other/wrestling.  It was pretty cute.  The worst part of it is the realization that we have become one of "those" couples.  The couple with TWO dogs.  Two super cute dogs who are like our children and we are obsessed.  And yes, they will be coming home with us at Christmas, so get ready.  Penny is ready to chew on some Christmas presents!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Film: Silver City Mountain Resort Timelapse

This is my latest timelapse project.

I have realized that my camera, a Canon T2i with kit lens, seems to give me a better picture on the LCD then it really captures. I think it is partly due to the fact that I test all my shots in the middle of pitch darkness and every little light (star) just pops on that LCD screen. I assume that it is all properly exposed and then realize after I download the hundreds of photos that the pictures are always very underexposed. This creates a huge problem because I then have to go into my editing programs and push the photos to their limits to gain exposure. This highly degrades the images and creates a multitude of digital noise. I need to try and always overexpose what I am actually seeing from the camera, however they still look really cool.

I am always fine tuning my expertise. :)

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Silver City: Our Return Trip

Silver City Stream
Katie and I spent the weekend at the one and only Silver City Mountain Resort.
I have been asked to do some web videos for the resort in exchange for free stay. Eventhough I hate not being paid I love the outdoors and couldn't pass up an opportunity to return to the outdoors a handful of times over this next year for free!
Katie and I filmed the annual Thanksgiving dinner which Silver City offers every year. They do a early Thanksgiving due to the resort being closed during the actual Thanksgiving date.
While we were here I took several photos with the idea of creating some funky HDR (High Dynamic Range) images.
You basically set your camera to bracket your exposures. I bracketed mine for 2 stops in both directions and ended up with three identical photos all two stops away from each other. Using an application like photoshop or photomatix you can create some killer images that are very abnormal and interesting.
Here are a few I worked on today.
The watermark is still there b/c I haven't bought the software and am using the trial version.
Silver City Stream 2 
Silver City Store

Silver City Storefront HDR #1

Silver City Storefront HDR #2

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Camera Lust: Fuji X100

I love this camera and want it very badly.
It combines the latest in pocket camera technology with the sensor of a full size SLR (APS-C) and the old school looks of my antique camera collection.
It reminds me of the all too expensive Leica cameras but will hopefully fall in my price range...
I look at this camera and it makes me want to take beautiful photos, which is unlike the Canon 5D Mark II, which makes me want to make incredible films.
Gotta love it when companies surprise you with just beautiful design. wow.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Quick Film for a Friend.

Doug and Brynn Holzapels are two of our very good friends here in Los Angeles. They are the couple that have the beautiful baby, Lyla, who you would have seen in my reel and other videos I have posted on this blog.
Doug is an incredibly talented musician who teaches lessons on the side. One of his students, Paulina, has quite a following on YouTube and she and Doug post their duets all the time. Recently I pursuaded them to allow me to shoot one of their videos to provide some better camera footage. It was a very simple setup and I am very pleased with the outcome.
Doug also used some of his high end music recording equipment to record a live session that sounded as if it were in a studio. The combination of the better camera and audio really make these two artists stand out.
Anyways, I hope the best for the both of them.

Here is their latest video:

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Director of Photography: U Smile by Rochelle Diamante

My great friend, Aaron Huisman, and myself DP'd this music video. We did all the beach footage and I am very happy to see how it came out.
The artist was very friendly and very talented.
I loved this project because all I had to do was film it and didn't have to worry about editing it or anything else. Since filming is my passion I loved this because I didn't have to worry about all the other parts of production.
Here is the Music Video:

Here are some photos of Rochelle I took in between shots on the beach at Santa Monica:

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hello iPod Nano. Hello my new watch.

I have lots of passions in life.
One is my faith
One is my wife
One is my family
One is my dog... maybe dogs (later post)
One is my love of tech
One is my love of bags
One is my love of watches...

And that is what I am going to talk about today: my love of watches.
I have always loved watches probably because it was a piece of technology that you can wear with you 24/7! I had a collection of watches growing up and still do today. I clearly get this passion for the tickety tocks from my mom who takes this love to another level! :)
Fossil's Palm OS Watch
One of my favorite finds, and one that I had to be patient on for a couple of years, was Fossil's line of watches they created in conjunction with Palm. They were basically little Palm PDAs on your wrist! So cool but very limited in functionality and tough on batteries. They were also very expensive! Finally the lack of interest brought the prices down like crazy and I snagged one for around $75! Never really wore it but it is part of my tech colection. I was contemplating selling it a year ago to raise some money for Katie and Me but, surprising to me, Katie convinced me not to sell it. I am glad I didn't. It is a very unique watch.

I always have my eye on a couple of different watches and am always looking for that sale, clearance or ebay deal.
Casio PAW5000 Pathfinder
Recently I have been eyeing Casio's latest Pathfinder watch, the PAW5000. These pathfinder watches were always cool in my eyes but not very attractive. Great for camping but for everyday life they never worked. Well they just released a new Pathfinder which, I believe, is their first to include an analog face and a metal band option. It looks great but has a steep price tag for my budget. It will soon come down though... you just have to be patient.

Lately I have been fascinated with the idea of turning Apple's latest iPod Nano into a watch. I am positive that many companies are figuring this out because I am seeing more and more companies talk about this and even coming out with some early products. In all it is pretty easy because you just basically clip the Nano to a watch band and viola! However, I am not so easily convinced and want to see a totally new product that fully integrates the iPod Nano into a good looking band. I would love to see some kind of Metal band the continues the styling cues of the nano. To me, this could be a refresh of what fossil tried to do with palm. Granted, the nano is a locked device and apps, currently, can't be written for the new Nano but maybe a jailbreak process could create some cool apps that would allow you to access your calendar and/or your address book... who knows.. I am currently being patient and waiting for the write product to make it to market.
Here are a few current products or adaption of products already on the market:
If you click on the pics they will take you to the corresponding company.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

A Look into the Future

I am in love with all things technological.
My mother tells stories of me as a baby sleeping not with a teddy bear but with the families hair dryer. I loved taking things apart and figure out how stuff works and have a box somewhere at my parents house filled with broken speakers... walkmen.. cd players... and other mechanical things all in a state of disarray.
I also have a serious problem hoarding wires and cables. Katie knows this all too well. I just can't throw away old speaker cables, usb cords, or my plethora of fire wire cables because I have this fear of one day needing them and the knowledge that I once had the item of need but threw it away is just too hard to bear.

All this to say... I love technology and when people write or create pictures of the future and how we might one day live and interact with technology just makes me giddy! I love movies and books that deal with a possible look into our a future.

Here are a couple of videos that give you a peek of what the future might hold.
One is from Apple in the 80s, one is from a new company, and the last is a video I made for my University depicting a possible future for the iPhone and educational integration. We developed this film knowing nothing of a future "app store" nor "face-time."



ACU's Connected

Part I

Part II

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The New Apple TV - A Disappointment

I wanted apps! Where are my apps?

To me, apps would totally revitalize the Apple TV and make it a truly have-to-have ipad/iphone/itouch accessory!

Developers could create simplistic/addictive games for the Apple TV utilizing the included remote and also create more intensive games utilizing the ipad/iphone as a remote. I'm just so confused why they wouldn't create an iOS enviroment for this product.

I'm so confused, disappointed, and upset.

I've been waiting for something great exactly from this product and was let down again. The only thing that has REALLY changed is the addition of Netflix.

Also, can i expect to see an update for my current Apple TV? Do I get Netflix?

Lastly,  the airplay thing is cool but still doesn't make up for the lack of apps.

Lastly Lastly, I hope people can hack the heck out of this and really push the A4 chip to its limits! Lets see some jailbreaking action for the new Apple TV!!

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