Stella messes with Sam

(if you usually see my blog posts on FB, I am pretty sure they don’t carry over Youtube embeds, so come to the blog to see the videos)

If you’re an only child, you don’t know what it’s like to have to live with your kiddie tormentor. Growing up, the three of us each alternated as the aggressor and the aggrieved. As Stella proves here, you don’t have to the the oldest to be the one causing issues.

Creating VSCO-Like Photos with RawTherapee

Lots and lots of people ask on Reddit every single day how to get photos that look like they were created with VSCO. Basically – crushed blacks and split-toned. Everyone always gives instructions on how to do it in Lightroom. But no one ever talks about how to do it in RawTherapee, so I decided to create this little tutorial.

Take what you learn here and adapt it to fit your style.

Older Siblings vs Parents

(I don’t know why uploading this to WordPress has ended up with the video upside down)

There’s a story about my childhood my mom is fond of telling. My dad asks Daniel (the brother born after me) to do something. To my father’s consternation, he refuses because it would make me mad. It’s funny to see a similar situation going on with the twins and Scarlett. Part of it is familiarity – Scarlett is home with them every day; but the kids will smile or laugh more easily with her than with me. This video is an example of that which I found amusing. We’ll see if I find it amusing if I find myself in a situation similar to my father.

Exploring Photography with Eric: Ep 01- Gels on Speedlights

I’ve been watching Gavin Hoey’s GREAT series on studio lighting. While he has a better studio than I do, he still has a small home studio so I find his advice and tutorials match what I’m able to accomplish. When I saw this video ( I really wanted to try it out.

So join me as I figure out what it takes to replicate the results in my home studio. My intention with the Exploring Photography series is for you to see me figure out how to accomplish my task. I figure that by seeing me figure things it, it’ll help you learn instead of me just telling you what I’ve done without showing what didn’t work and why it didn’t work.

Thanks to the guys or gals on reddit who helped me know that I was on the right track and help me figure out what to do on my second day. (…)

Here are the images from the video:

Removing an Object from a Photo in GIMP

You might remember the photos from Scarlett’s birthday party. For some reason Dina wanted to hide when holding Sam. Her shoulder and back ended up being incredibly distracting in the photo. It would have been better if she would have just stood up and held him normally rather than pretend he was sitting on his own. Since we weren’t planning for this shot, I didn’t have a corresponding shot of the blank wall. Because she was not surrounded on both sides by the wall, it was hard to use the healing brush. So the guys over at helped me figure out this technique.

Two-for-One Racism

I was watching Gold Diggers of ’49 the other day with my daughter as we made our way through old cartoon shorts. That’s how I grew up – on Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the other WB shorts along with the Disney shorts. Sometimes, late at night, they’d show the black and white cartoons like this one, but I mostly found the black and white cartoons boring. They came from a time when animation was very experimental and new so people were impressed that these drawings could move around. There often isn’t much in the way of plot and the jokes are usually broad gags carried over from vaudeville.

Of course, something that carried over into the color cartoons way long than it should have was racist humor. The crazy thing is that I remember seeing blackface gags when I was a kid in the 80s. So it took a LONG time for people to realize it was not exactly a great thing. There’s also a crazy amount of asian racism in cartoons. The asian version of the blackface gag (you get sprayed with ink or something and now you’re black) is usually the cymbal gag – a cymbal falls on your head and now you have asian eyes and maybe even more stereotypes.

But it’s so rare to see a two-for-one racist joke like I saw in Gold Diggers of ’49.

What’s so weird is that our ancestors (culturally if your ancestors didn’t grow up here) actually found this amusing. My wife asked why the blackface gag is even funny and I couldn’t articulate a reason because it’s not. It’s just weird, even if you’re not considering the racist aspect of it. When I was a kid, I never understood. I just thought it was a thing – Wiley Coyote can walk off a cliff without consequences as long as he doesn’t look at the ground and any character that is hit with ink says “Mammy”. It was bizarre to me and, even as an adult that understands the history of blackface, it’s no less bizarre.