Instagram.

Well, I did it. I joined Instagram. Astute readers and close friends will realize this also means I finally got a smart phone. Yes. True story. No worries though, my number is still precisely the same. I fought this smart phone thing for a while, but you know what? It's actually kind of cool. And so is instagram (except that I really don't understand why so many people are posting photos of their nail polish...it's nail polish...I don't get it... are we supposed to be seeing something special about the nail polish...am I missing something?...I'm confused). I'm also really enjoying this hashtagging thing. Apparently it's pretty big with the kids these days. I guess all you do is put the # symbol in front of stuff and people think your witty. Seems easy enough.  Anyway, you can follow me on instagram now as "hiredlens". And make sure to check in every Tuesday to see my new weekly addition to #tuesdaytaxidermy. Can you believe no one had used that already? Weird, huh? Enjoy.

Bones of the Land-Online Gallery

Can't make it all the way up to Ashland to see Bones of the Land in person? No worries. You can see it online right here. Or click on the images below to see a larger version of each print.

Bones of the Land-Reception Today!

Do you like art? Do you like science? Do you like when the two meet and at first it's kind of like an awkward middle school promenade where the boys and girls stand against opposite walls of the gym, but then the music builds and Art and Science come together in a magically beautiful breath-taking dance? Yeah, me too. I like it when that happens, too.

So, great. We'll see you this afternoon at 4 p.m. in the Dexter Library for the opening reception of Bones of the Land.

** PLEASE NOTE: There will not actually be any dancing. That was a metaphor. I'm sorry if it was misleading. There will probably be some cookies though. And you can stand by one of the walls and not talk to anyone if you want to. Totally your call. See you there.

How I name files for optimal work flow.

And why no one should care...at all...ever.

I got an e-mail recently asking how I name files and organize folders to archive my photos. It's not the first time someone's asked about that, and as an avid reader of other photo blogs I've seen a lot of posts about similar things: Name your files to optimize work flow, what's the best program for photo sorting?, how to archive your photos.  Some are helpful, most are not.

Over the years I've found good ways of doing things, and bad ways. I've improved my own process and habits to make my work flow more efficient. I've tried this and that. I'm a big believer in sharing information so when someone asks a questions, I'm happy to share what I do. If you really want to know how I number files in a project folder I can tell you. And you, in turn, can fall asleep and drool on your keyboard. That's fine, but to be honest, no one should care at all about how I or Joe McNally or Annie Liebovitz (do you like I how I lumped myself in with that group, pretty sweet huh? You get to do that when you have your own blog) name files. Ever. And here's why: it doesn't make the photos any better.

At the core of these questions (and a lot of other questions I get about photography) is the the underlying notion that there is a right and wrong way to do it. There is a way all the professionals do it and that's what makes them professionals. Let me reveal the big secret: there is no wrong way.

There is only what works for you. And what doesn't. Figure out the difference and stick with the first one. This applies to all kinds of things. Don't like carrying around all kinds of lighting equipment, get good at shooting ambient. Don't like processing images in photoshop, set your profiles to your style and shoot straight to JPG. Don't like telephoto lenses, shoot everything wide. Astounding images have been made in every way you can imagine, and probably some that you can't. Your file names are not your limiting factor.

Want to get better at photography? My best advice is to spend more time shooting the things that you love to shoot. Become obsessed. Then when you're famous, let your assistant figure out how to organize the files. 

 

Nature film? Yeah. I'm workin' on it.

Do you ever ask yourself: gee, what happened to that nature film Bob was working on? Probably not. But if you did, the answer would be this: "LAY OFF ME! I'm working on it, OKAY? God, some peoples kids..." Or something like that. As last year got busier and busier with paid work, this personal project got pushed to the back burner, but it certainly didn't disappear. As items on the back burner tend to do it's been percolating softly. Just plugging along in the background. Now that I've gone through a full cycle of seasons, I'm going back and getting more footage of things I missed the first time around. Filling in the blanks, as it were. More ice, more fish, maybe a couple birds if we're lucky, better light, better sound. Not to mention a bunch of new help from friend, photo aficionado, and wildlife biologist Travis D. Bartnick. Ha, I said it. Now you're really committed, Travis. It's public. That means all 6 regular readers of this blog now know that you agreed to help. Can't back out now, amigo. Just kidding...I only have 5 regular readers.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Stay warm.

The New Year.

Wow. I blinked for a second and it was 2013. Right before I blinked it was Thanksgiving 2012. I was eating turkey and little carrot tarts and sweet potatoe pie and then BAM! It was 2013. And it's not like it's January second or something. We're well into it. It's the eighteenth. Damn it, now it's the twenty-first. How does that keep happening? Well, a much belated Happy New Year to everyone. (P.S. Pretty glad that Mayan-Calendar-End-of-the-World deal panned out for the best. Congrats on that one, everybody. We handled that one really well...for the most part.)

Every year, that little patch of days after New Years and before the year gets into full swing is my time to reflect. It's introspective and centering and it puts my whole next year into perspective. I look back and figure out what went well, what didn't, what I intend to differently this time around. That sort of thing. Turns out 2012 was a kind of a big one. My business grew (maybe more than I was ready for, but that's another story); I expanded my offerings to include graphic design, logo development, and illustration; my truck passed the 200K milestone and kept rumbling along, I became an uncle. And, oh yeah, I got engaged (see above). That was kind of a big one. Snuck that in right at the end of the year. For any one that knows us: yes, it was about time. I know. **Sidenote: Not bad for a self-engagement portrait, right? Do you think I can shoot the whole wedding myself? I think I can do it. Sarah is dubious.

Already, 2013 is shaping up to be no slouch of a year either. For one thing, we bought a house. Okay, we're buying a house. Turns out that's sort of a long process, but we're into it now; accepted offers and inspections and insurance quotes and everything. All the crazy things that come with being a home owner. I'm going to be a home owner. I am alternately ecstatic and terrified. For the most part, I still feel like a little kid and I can't believe that people are letting me do all these things that real grown ups do. For example: I still can't believe that they let me drive a car. And I've been doing that for well over a decade. I have these sneaky little moments where I think I better not mention it to anyone because for some reason I'm getting away with it. I don;t want to ruin it. And then I remember that I'm almost 30. THIRTY. 3...0. And that sounds like the age that a real grown up would be. So I guess I must be a real grown up now. Weird. Who saw that coming? To those that know me: yes, it's about time. I know.

Well, I'm mostly rambling at this point and frankly I'm even losing the coordinates a little. I guess that's what happens when you get to be my age. My real point is this: 2012 was Awesome. 2013 will be Awesomer. I can't wait. Stay tuned for some great new stuff coming up in the next couple weeks. More design, more photos, more awesome.