Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dr. Brown's 1-2-3

Ok photogs. Stay sharp. This is a tool you should definitely look into.

Dr. Brown's scripts are absolute lifesavers. They take any menial file-saving task you can think of and they automate and expedite it. Every picture I've put on the web since 2008, I've done thanks to Dr. Brown.

I assumed that all the photographers in the world knew about these scripts, like everyone knows Photoshop or what a Shutter is. I learned during my weekend at Ragnar that many people don't have any idea who or what Dr. Brown is. Read on and prepare to have your mind blown and your workflow speed dramatically increased!

In a nutshell, the 1-2-3 process script for Photoshop and Bridge gives you the option to save any open or selected photos up to three times in three different formats without using any of your precious brainpower. Just a few clicks, run the script, and sit back while the computer works.

Let me show you what it looks like:

Dr. Russel Brown's website

Selecting photos to save directly from Bridge

The script UI

A lot of the functions that Dr. Brown does, you can create using Actions in Photoshop - but trust me, the good doctor does a much better job, and he does it faster, and he does it directly from Bridge!

When would you want to use this? Well, anytime you have more than say... one image that you'd like to save, in more than one format. For instance, I generally open my saved high resolution files from Aperture into Photoshop. I then use Dr. Brown's 1-2-3 script to save them as high res JPGs and again as lower resolution web-ready JPGs. You may notice that most of the photos that I post to the internet have a small (1px) gray border around them. That is courtesy of an action I built in photoshop. Dr. Brown gives me the option to apply any action I want while it is going through the images - so I tell it to apply the action *after* it resizes the photos. Lifesaver!

1-2-3 also makes it really easy to save an image to long-side pixel dimensions. For example, the photos I put on this blog are generally 1000 pixels on the long side and 72 PPI. You can see that setting illustrated here under the "Resize to Fit" section on the right.

Here's a link to a semi-quick video showing what the script can do.

Also - here's a link to Dr. Brown's site, where you can find scrips and tutorials for the several newest versions of Photoshop.

This post is about the scripts available for Photoshop CS4, but the CS5 scripts are just as great and readily available!

Questions? Comments? Let me know in the box below!

Friday, June 24, 2011


If I had a theme in mind during my Indiana vacation, it was probably serenity.
The idea of being alone, interacting with your surroundings strikes me as very appealing, especially since I rarely get the opportunity to do so myself.

One of the techniques I tried to use in my photographs over my vacation was to create some anonymity for my subjects. Not for any noble reason, but to enable the viewer to relate to the image and to perhaps place themselves as the subject. Not an original idea, but I think an effective one.

I didn't shoot much on my vacation, but when I did, I managed to get some shots that I really like.

Today I'm packing up my stuff after a month of living out of my backpack and preparing to drive back to Flagstaff tomorrow!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Event photos from RAGNAR Wasatch Back Relay

These are my top picks from the actual event. Rock on!

42 hours of shooting: RAGNAR

I had one heckuva weekend.

I flew from Fort Wayne, IN to Salt Lake, UT on Thursday afternoon with three of my three cohorts from thevisualCollective. We drove to Logan, UT and got approximately three hours of sleep.

0300 - Wake up call.
0330 - Breakfast
0400 - In the car (Dodge Journey)
0430 - On set at the start line of the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay Race.

What is a wastatch back relay race? It's a 192 mile run. Teams of 12 people take turns running for more than 26 hours straight. Very little sleep. Hot. Cold. Rain. Wind. Sunshine.
How many people participate? This race had nearly 1,200 teams, totaling nearly 15,000 people. As part of a four-person photography crew, our job was to photograph as many of those people as possible. We had an absolute blast, and got almost no sleep. Between driving and photographing, I had 2 hours of sleep over a 44 hour period.

Taylor and Andrew at the finish line

Me and Genevieve and the PhotoBunnies at the finish line
(photo by Taylor Mahoney)

I shot about 1,000 frames and posted nearly 700 to the website Total, the four of us uploaded nearly 2,500 pictures to the internet in the last 24 hours. Thank goodness for free hotel wifi!

Very little of my time in the last few days has allowed for personal space, privacy, cleanliness, or the ability to photograph anything other than relay participants.

Sunrise on Sunday morning, however, I was able to muster a few non-race pictures. I don't think they are particularly great photos - That wasn't the point at all. The idea was simply to shoot something that wasn't a runner.

Whew. Last night we got 8 or 10 hours of sleep. We're cleaning up the hotel room now and flying out of  Salt Lake City this afternoon.

Hopefully more bloggage to come in the next week!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I hate using the term "Work" to describe photography, art, music, or anything inherently creative. I hate it so much I cringe when I hear it. I metaphorically cry a single tear.
To me, photography is the exact opposite of work. It's freedom. It's play. It's self-expression. To me, when I think of "Work," none of those things come to mind. Work is something you have to do. Work is the unfortunate consequence of playing for too long. Work is what responsible people do. Work, as I think of it, is something I fully intend to avoid.

Don't take that to mean I expect to eat Cheetos on a couch and live in my parents' basement forever though. The fact that I hate work doesn't mean I don't want a job or I don't want to be successful. It just means I want to have FUN while I make money.
You see, photography is fun. Working through the challenges at thevisualCollective is fun. Editing images on my computer, formatting hard drives, cleaning camera gear - it's all fun to me.

Don't call my photography "work," because I guarantee I haven't worked a single minute on any photograph that I care about. I've played, experimented, failed, succeeded, and created... but not worked.

I asked a question via Facebook the other day: "To all my photo friends: why did you get into photography?"

I got a great variety of responses, but none really hit on my intention for the question. The whole reason I do photography is because I love it. I got into photography because I want to show people how I see the world, because I want to express myself, because I have an innate desire TO CREATE.
Same reason I got into music and played in a rock band. Same reason I sang in choir as a kid. I exist to create. Without creation, my life has no purpose. Without creation, life isn't FUN. Instead, it becomes work.
A lot of people go into a field because they enjoy it, but instead of enjoying every minute of their immersion, they find themselves going to "work." For that very reason, some of my good friends chose to get jobs in a completely different field than what they are truly passionate about. Their logic makes sense to me - If I want to continue to enjoy my passion, I have to keep it as a hobby, separate from Work.

Thought it makes sense and I understand why people choose that path, I refuse to do it. I will play every day of my life until I have played my life away.

Don't call my photography work. I guarantee, I haven't worked a single minute on any photograph.
Remember to have fun. Leave work behind and enjoy life.

All images in this post are from the 2010 archives.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sloth: Indiana

For the next three weeks, I'm on Oliver Lake, just outside the tiny town of Lagrange, IN. My family has a cute little cottage and a few boats out here.

I'm in total vacation mode. No work. No real brain activity. 
I've taken this week off from shooting except for the occasional frame that catches my eye. Eventually I will get around to shooting some action - the likes of which you can see HERE. If you're that interested in what I'm up to, there are a few more photos of my surroundings HERE.

Because we are in the middle of nowhere, we don't really have internet access. Using the mobile app, I discovered my cell phone data connection is the same speed as dial up. DIAL UP for crying out loud. 

As it stands, I expect to come into town once or twice a week to grab coffee and Internet access. Aside from that, the web will have to go on without me.

My amigos at thevisualCollective are running things in my absence, and they're rolling out some really sweet stuff. I recommend you stay up to date by checking out  - OR - by joining our new mailing list!  

Until the next time I can get Internet....