Thursday, June 19, 2008

In praise of Canvas on Demand

After the WPPI convention this year (which I did not attend :-( ), I ran across an ad in Rangefinder magazine from a company called Canvas on Demand offering a free 16x20 gallary wrap for only the cost of shipping.
This seemed to good to be true, but worth a shot as long as it's (nearly) free. I bit & took advantage of the offer with lukewarm expectations.
...And was I impressed with the result? Absolutely.
I work in tech/customer support by day and am sensitive to the level of respect and service that I get as a customer myself. I have dealt with some companies who's level of service was so poor, I would be fired if I worked like they did. With Canvas on Demand, I lagged in submitting my image, but I got friendly reminders that were well timed & non-obtrusive. As I got closer to the deadline, I failed to consider the aspect ratio of the image I submitted. For vertically oriented images, I compose full-frame, which creates issues if I need to print for standard sized images. Long story short...they caught this right away & E-mailed me back that they will print at 16x24 at no additional charge and virtually guaranteed a great image by saying " We just wanted to keep you very informed and ARE going to get started immediately. We will do a great job!"

And they did indeed do a great job.
I suppose than many labs can print this job as well as Canvas On Demand, but how many can give this level of service for free to only a prospective client? not many.
...and did I mention that they also gave me a $5 Starbucks gift card?

When the time comes to order another gallery wrap, guess where I'm going?

PicLens Rocks!

PicLens is a very simple to use and FREE application that is absolutely amazing for viewing images by.
It installs as an applet into your browser for easy access and whenever a page you are viewing has images, opening PicLens will display only the images (or video) in it's interface for an amazing way to view the images in a very mac-like manner. I love it enough to use it for easily showing-off images on the fly. The experience needs to be seen to be understood, but here is a sample:

Just try it!!

Marisa's Graduation - Photo of the day

Yesterday Sandy & I were asked to shoot "some quick portraits'' of our cousin Marisa before her high school graduation ceremony, along with here family and friends. Well, asking us to shoot some quick portraits is like asking a gormet chef to make a grilled-cheese sandwich. ;-)
Althoough we intended to use our strobes, the situation worked best for next to no lights at all...only fill-flash...but enough ablout us.
Marisa had a good turnout of family & friends to come see her graduate. The house was crowded with aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. If this is the turnout for a week-nite graduation, her celebration party next week will be very happening. We had a short time in which to get this done, but it all worked out well.
Congraduations Marisa.. we hope you like this image as much as we do....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's day blues

...So this is/was my first Father's day without my Dad.
For the most part I did OK. Personally, I see dad's/moms day, Valentines day, etc, as merely hallmark holidays that are created to stimulate the pocketbooks of greeting card, candy, makers of cheap novelty items & restaurateurs. That being said, I know it means allot to my parents & for that I will always partake, but now with one less holiday obligation.
I visited my Mom 'cuz I thought this day would be harder on her, but each day is the same for her this year as she is adjusting to life without the person at her side for 50 years. ( a fact that I am very proud of). I had planned on taking her to a church service with Earl Warren at addleback Church, but Mom overslept & I lagged this will happen next week.

Earlier in the day I had posted a reply to Becker's blog regarding his amazing version of spring cleaning in which he was practically giving away lots of neat stuff, including this purple chair that I look forward to using in our studio sometime soon:(photo by [b]ecker)

...So after vising with Mom, I get a call from Jessica Claire herself telling me to get this thing the hell out of the garage (...well, something like that), and so I did...but 1st I had to watch at least some of the Laker game. I'm a bad fan, 'cuz I thought they would loose...but an earlier prayer for my dad worked-out because the Lakers won!!!!!
It simply would have been a sacrilege for the Celtics to win the championship on our turf.
I asked Dad if he & Chick Hearn can see to it to not allow this to happen....and so it happened...The Lakers won!!!
Sure they will likely loose in Boston & their collectively arrogant fans will boast how great they are as they always do...but at least it won't be on our turf.

...And so the day ended in a manner that would make Dad happy....seeing that Mom is OK and chipping away at building a new business with other tasks completed not worthy of commenting on here, but I have been lagging on business building simply because it's been a tough year for me, but I will continue on, not only for Sandy & I, but in honor of Dad.

Happy Father's day, Dad
we miss you.

...and many thanks to [b]ecker & Jessica for the chair.
You rawk!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

King Kong - RIP

I had never been to Universal Studios before, but yesterday I finally agreed to go so that I could see the new Simpson's ride (which is sooo cool). I felt like such a tourist with my camera in my hand all day, but what the heck, it's fun. We took the tram tour & saw the classic attractions that they are most known for. I didn't care to take many pictures here because our seat had obstructed views. I did go ahead & shoot King Kong because I just wanted to see what I could pull off in these near-dark conditions. I knew I wanted to use the flash (the crappy on-camera one) to stop some motion, but this would also illuminate the backs of people's heads. So what, I was just playing and not planning to ever share these pictures publicly.
Imagine my surprise this morning when I find out that a lot of what we saw on this tour has been destroyed, including the King Kong exhibit! There is so much history in these buildings, it is so sad to see that these are gone. Sure, they will be re-built, but to have just seen these for the first time on the day before this happened makes it so much sadder.
So here is my picture of the day for 6/1/08. King Kong, I hardly knew yee...

...and on a more fun & positive note, here is Sandy & I with America's greatest family: