Friday, December 26, 2008

Frustrated with your ClearPlay breaking down? Bugged that CleanFlick got snuffed? Here's an alternative.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

On this eve of Christmas in which we celebrate the birth of the Savior, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Photography by Mark Mabry: Reflections of Christ.

Reflections of Christ DVD

Don't slip on the ice, it hurts

Famous Footwear sent me a card for $5 off $5 or more. So I thought I'd stop in the store and get some free socks. Instead, I used the card to reduce the price on a pair of Yaktrax for my wife. And of course I had to put them to a test. I walked a couple miles in them after it dumped a couple feet of snow. I walked on ice. I walked on compacted snow. Verdict: awesome. Pretty much like walking on clear ground. I think I'll grab a pair for myself.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Letters from Mojave I and II

These are my most recent photographic images, having worked on them over the last couple of days. I find it often takes several different sessions of work to complete an image, making an adjustment here, an adjustment there. Coming back after even two minutes time can help to see it fresh again, to see what needs adjusting. This is true for something more produced as are the following two images, as well as for a straight photo without obvious manipulation, which still requires adjustments to saturation, contrast, hue, etc.

The original image that these two images are products of, I thought looked pretty good after the initial lengthy work session. It didn't look so good when I did a second one. That second one needed quite a bit of tweaking, and then the third one, too, needed a bit of tweaking. These final two images are the results, with the original image being scrapped.  These two may get altered again after time has passed allowing me to see something I don't like, but for now, I'm kinda liking them.

I initially titled them Letters From Nowhere I and II. I was thinking that the joshua tree indicates desert, and the desert is "the middle of nowhere," but that seemed too negative. So I changed it to Letters From Mojave.

The envelope that is blended with the joshua tree image is from 1929, if I can read the year correctly. My wife received it when she purchased a set of old postage stamps. The joshua tree image is from near my aunt and uncle's home in California. I photographed it nearly a year ago, during one morning of my final trip to visit my grandfather, my dad's dad, before he passed away.

Soon to be available at etsy, they are now available here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The perils of CF card readers

A while back I posted about Photorec, file recovery software that I found to be stellar at recovering corrupted photo files from my CF card. Not only is it good, it's free. (Although, if you use it, and love it, the software author does accept donations.)

But, how do files on a CF card ever get corrupt anyway? Although my investigation didn't provide the exact answer, I did find enough info to be of help.

Why do files get corrupt?
The answer: card readers.

The two times I have experienced corrupt files on my CF card has been when I have used a card reader to try and upload photo files to my computer. Not all card reader use has turned my files unreadable, but two of the dozens of times that I have used the card reader, files have been corrupted. Not sure why, or how, but that was my experience, and in my brief investigation I found a few other people across the internet who had similar problems when using a card reader.

The solution: use the camera and it's USB cord to upload any irreplaceable photos.

I still use my card reader all the time. I use it to transfer files easily from one place to the next, or when I am uploading photos from a photo shoot where moving the camera would ruin my set up, and the photo is easily replaceable since I'm doing a studio photo shoot. But if I have wedding pics, or a location shoot to transfer to my computer, I ditch the card reader, and connect my camera to the computer using the USB cord. I have uploaded photo files using my camera's USB cord hundreds of times without a hitch.

If you're concerned about this sucking your camera's battery, consider buying a spare. A spare battery will give you extra juice for file uploads, while still having enough power for shooting Billy's birthday party.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Karleigh hits 100, I hit One (then two)

Pretty nifty. My wife, Karleigh, reached 100 sales at etsy the other day. That same day I got my first real* etsy photo sale, a print of the Grand Canyon. The day after that I sold my second print. In time this will be routine, but for now, it's pretty cool. 

However, I have been featured in the gift guides at etsy, twice now, in the last month, thank you very much. Both were longstitch journals I listed in Karleigh's shop, and both sold. This one, and this one.

*Prior to this print sale I had previously sold two postcards, kind of as a mercy buy from someone, so they don't really count - the mercy sales came due to this forum thread my wife began (how long do these threads stay in etsy's archives?). 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Etsy Gift Guide, Yet Again

So, one of my longstitch journals was again featured in the Dad Gift Guide on etsy. Second one in a month. This one, however, sold in short order, within a few days or less of being featured. It's great to be featured, but to further improve the experience I wish etsy would inform sellers when they have an item here. The first time I went on a hunt because the views of the journal were so unusually high. This second one Karleigh discovered it when she just happened to be browsing the guide.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So it appears I make better books than...

... I make pictures. The week before Thanksgiving I began making a few longstitch journals to put into my wife's etsy shop, but looks like I should have started making them sooner.

In the last five days seven long stitch journals have sold, going back to 12/7 for the first sale. (The longstitch are the rustic looking, folded leather journals.) Compare this with the number of sales here. One of my first listed journals was even featured in etsy's gift guides for fathers. This is a huge deal, as all the items in the gift guides are picked to be featured there by the etsy administrators, and there's a great increase in hits to the items and shops of anyone featured. The items are remain in the gift guide pretty much until they sell, which this one did today after being there since the end of Nov.

My wife, Karleigh, on the other hand, has sold well not just in the last few days, but over the last several months. Her work is quite good. Consider one of her latest custom orders here, and one of my recent favorites, a "Macbook" journal (which is an idea I sold someone on who was looking for a gift for her husband, and then Karleigh made it). Forget the photographs, I'll join forces with her to work on our evil plan to flood the world with handbound journals. Mwah, ha ha ha. (Sorry it's late.)

The window of increased sales will probably close here soon, but it's been fun the last few days.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Free Prints for Everyone! Well, half of everyone.

One of Every Two Will Win - Through Dec. 31st

Here's the deal. I wanna sell some fine art prints. And you want them for free (who wouldn't?). So this is what we're gonna do. From now until December 31st of this year, if I sell 10 prints, half of all those who purchase them will have their money refunded. Capice? Capice. 

Check out my etsy shop, find what you like, make the purchase, and you got a 1 in 2 chance of getting it free if you're one of the first 10 customers between now and December 31st. Them odds ain't shabby. 

What if 10 sell? What then? Then the names are drawn, five people get free prints, and the count starts over again, and the second set of 10 prints that sell are part of the same promotion up until Dec. 31st. Sweet action.

Small print:
  • Limited to Kodak Endura prints,  $18 value or less. Which allows from 4x6 up to 8x12. If the size you want isn't currently listed, contact me and your wish will be granted.
  • All images in my shop may be printed on Kodak Endura. If it isn't currently offered, please convo me and your wish will be granted.
  • Offer available for prints only, not frames and matting. If you purchase a frame and win, your print price will be refunded, but not the frame price.
  • Shipping will not be refunded. Shipping is a flat rate of $5.95. Need it asap? Next business day is $10.75 (allow one day processing so it should arrive in two business days. Note, if you wish me to sign the print (available on request) I cannot ship next business day, but there will be a delay of about three business days before I ship to you.
  • Limit per customer? None. You could, in fact, buy 20 prints rightnow and half of them will end up being free!
  • I may make further changes to this fine print to reflect my intended purpose and rules of this promotion, but in no way will I renege on what is fair and true to the intended rules of this promotion.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What is the Christmas spirit?

At this time of year I find it easy to lose the meaning of what this time of year is all about. The following words help keep the spirit of Christmas with me:

“True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.

“It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means—good will toward all men.” David O. McKay

Friday, December 5, 2008


It's been sometime since the last post here. Busyness elsewhere has put this project on the back burner, but I now plan to write once weekly, if not more, but at least weekly.

I've spent a lot of time at lately. If you don't know what etsy is, check it out. It's one of the coolest sites on the web. While you're there you can see my shop, and my wife's shop, and our son's shop, and you'd be crazy to pass up the chance to see Corinne Barker's shop which my wife and I are managing for her. Her work is phenomenal. I'll talk more about etsy another time. For now, check it out if you'd like, and if you'd like to see the twenty-eight year old founder talk about his creation check out the following videos and article. At the time of writing this, the embedded video here gets cut off on the side due to the layout of my blog. If it bugs you, you may click here to see it uncropped.

Over at there's another vid and an article about etsy's Rob Kalin.