Net Neutrality Repealed.

1 year ago

Why would they do this? They say this is better for the country. How does that even make sense? I know I’m not backing up anything I’m saying, but I shouldn’t have to. The fact that these people and companies did this exposes their greediness. This will not only effect our country, but the world. We cannot let this last. We must act. There are steps that we as citizens of this country can take to stop this.


Gary Sinise was at The National WWII Museum again!

1 year ago

It's true! He was here again with Soaring Valor, a program that brings WWII Veterans to see the Museum. It was really cool to see him again.

Kalea Nani Villanueva

8 months ago

Austin and I got you in 2004. Mom and Dad drove us to Mississippi to get you. I remember we got you a week earlier than we were supposed to. You were so small. I remember going to the Gulfport Outlet Mall to let you walk around a little bit on the way home. You were our first dog. We were so excited to finally get a puppy. As all kids do we accepted all the responsibilities, not even close to knowing how hard it would be to have a dog. It’s all worth it. All the accident clean-ups. All the bites. All the scratching on doors. All the whining and barking. It’s worth it. We’re going to miss all the cuddling. We’re going to miss how you whined and shook right before we gave you your food. We’re going to miss the weirdest bark in the world. But it was your bark. I’ve never heard another one like it. Not even close. Kalea Nani, we love you; and we’re going to miss you so incredibly much. Have fun in Doggy Heaven.

Instagram Series

8 months ago

UPDATE (12/7/17): IT'S LIVE!

I’m going to start an Instagram Series where I use the same filter on each picture I post. I’ll hashtag each one with “#kekoaseriesD2.” I think this will be a cool creative idea that’ll be a fun new challenge for me. It’ll force a different perspective onto each photo.

The inspiration for this idea budded from just wanting a unique wallpaper for my phone. I’ve had some quality photos for a while for my wallpapers, but I wanted something different. I thought a simple solution could be to apply a filter that’s more extreme. I liked the result, and I wanted to keep doing it to more and more photos. That’s when I decided to make it into a series on Instagram.

I take a lot of my photos using an app called Obscura that can take RAW format pictures. Using this format helps retain a lot of the detail that’s lost during compression. It enables finer tuning and greater control in the editing process.

After I take the picture I run it through Lightroom on iOS. In the Photos app RAW pictures are a little blurry. Running it through Lightroom reveals the clarity and highlights the details that the RAW format allows. I make a few light and color adjustments, then I export it to my Camera Roll.

My next step is importing this photo into VSCO Cam. I apply the filter, and BAM! I’m done. Then I’ll export it and upload it to Instagram.

This process sounds easy—and it is—but that’s not the point of this series. I’m proving to myself that a filter can’t automatically make every photo look good and have the same effect. Each has it’s own color science that will react differently to the filter. I’ve already had a few failed attempts at this.

This will force me to take a picture in a way that I think will play nicely with this filter. I like this aspect of this series. This will be a fun experiment for me.

Rode VideoMicro

8 months ago

The Rode VideoMicro is my new microphone. I was using a lavalier mic for recording videos on my phone. It works pretty well. The sound quality is good for up-close things; however, the sound does get blown out for even slightly louder noises. That’s not ideal. I’ve had to redo several videos because of this issue. The VideoMicro can handle a wider variety of situations compared to my lavalier mic.

As a general nugget of information, make sure you get a TRRS auxiliary cable if you’re using this mic with a phone. It only comes with a TRS auxiliary cable.

I made the mistake of not getting that cable for myself, and I couldn't use my Micro for a couple of days after I received it in the mail.

The build is solid. It's all-metal, and I really like that. I was concerned with damaging it from taking the furry windshield on and off, but that will never happen. It's good to know I won't damage my mic unless something extreme occurs.

The shock mount works well. It’s more flexible than I thought it would be, but I understand why it’s like that. It's built with the foresight that the user will be moving it around a lot. I appreciate that consideration. It’s good support for the mic.

I’ve tested it multiple times in very noisy conditions. I made sure that they were similar situations where my lavalier mic failed to record usable audio. Even though the background noise is present, it’s not overblown; and I can still hear myself clearly. That’s such a welcome improvement.

The furry windshield actually works. It’s secure on the actual mic, but it’s also pretty easy to remove and attach if I want to. I like having that ability. I’ve used some smaller wind shields on my lavalier mic, and they only work a little. The shield that comes with the VideoMicro really means business. I vlogged at the Air, Sea & Land Festival. It was extremely noisy because of strong winds and planes flying everywhere and engines running, yet the Micro performed admirably. I’m more than satisfied with the results.

The sound quality is great. It’s much better than my phone’s microphones. It does at least as well with the up-close things as my lavalier mic, if not better. It does really well in wind and noise. I’m so happy with my purchase. I’d highly recommend this mic to anyone looking to have better audio quality in their videos without breaking the bank. You also do not have to turn it on for it to work; just plug it in. This is a great product.

The Glif

8 months ago

The Glif is my phone holder of choice. I first heard of it listening to the podcast “Thoroughly Considered” from Relay FM. Myke Hurley’s co-hosts Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt are the owners of Studio Neat. They talk about their design process on that show, and I thought it was quite interesting. When I started listening to that show, they were talking about how the making of the second generation of The Glif was going. Hearing about why they make particular decisions inspires me to think about workflows and ways I do things in my life. With that out of the way, here’s my take on the Glif.

This product is simply amazing. I don’t think there’s anything out there that’s better. I have another phone clamp that works fine, but it’s failed more times than it should have. It just has a spring mechanism to hold it in place. The contact area it has is good; however, the spring simply isn’t strong enough. My phone’s changed positions multiple times while in it, and that’s caused some videos I’ve tried recording to be messed up. That’s not good. Your equipment needs to be reliable, and my first clamp just isn't. I started looking for a replacement, and I became really interested in the Glif while listening to the podcast. I was so excited for it to come out, but I eventually had to wait to purchase it until I could afford it. It’s not the least expensive option, but I think the price is worth it.

The Glif comes with the option to purchase a wooden handle with an attachable wrist strap. This is another solid peace of hardware that I’ve also been looking to buy, so I thought it fortunate that it was offered with the Glif. It looks great; it feels great; and it works great. The wrist strap also feels solid; however, I’ve noticed with recording video that I can hear the jingling of the metal hook attachment. This isn’t a big deal because I can just hold it down. I’m so confident with this that I just let my whole setup dangle from my wrist. I know nothing’s going to happen.

You can attach a cold shoe mount to two spots on the Glif, allowing for a light, microphone or whatever else you want. I’ve taken advantage of this and put my Rode VideoMicro on it. This is yet another solid part of this product’s build.

The Glif is a remarkable product. The mechanism for tightening and releasing is genius. I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s so easy to use. It’s extremely strong. Most importantly, it’s reliable. I'm confident that nothing will go wrong while I’m using it. In the promo video a user is shown shaking it vigorously. I’ve confirmed that. It also shows a user trying to literally pull a phone out. I’ve confirmed that as well.

This product is exactly as good as I wanted it to be. I had high expectations of the Glif. It has not disappointed one bit. I see this as an investment. I’m going to use it for a very long time. Studio Neat has a really neat product in the Glif.

I still can't first-take it.

1 year ago

I'm still having trouble with recording covers. I love singing, and I love playing my ukulele. I'm happy when I do those things, and it doesn't feel like I'm trying when I'm just doing it by myself. The problems come when I start to record. I forget the words. I forget the chords. I get so nervous. I want it to be perfect. I try to calm myself down, but that doesn't work. I have to do multiple takes every time. I hate that. I tried recording one today and didn't end up finishing it. I messed up one of the last lines of the song. I need to find a way to calm myself and just have fun like when I'm not recording. I'll post about it whenever that happens.

I really love my new setup!

1 year ago

The Glif is amazing. It's so stable and sturdy. The mic is good too. I just tested it in a very noisy setting, and I could still hear myself; and it wasn't crackling at all. I'm so glad I got these. I'm inspired to make videos again!

Gary Sinise is at The National WWII Museum!

1 year ago

Gary Sinise is here! I'm pretty starstruck already, and I haven't even seen him yet!

Do Your Research

1 year ago

I was excited today. I ordered some things on Amazon, and they were delivered this afternoon. Of course it took me longer than usual to get home. I did an unboxing of my items, and set everything up. BUT one of the items didn't work. That's because I didn't get a proper cord that I needed. I thought I did enough research; apparently not. When I get the cord I need, I'll share what I'm talking about. I just really wanted to present this as a whole, so I'm waiting until Thursday. Stay tuned.

Cleaning House

1 year ago

It does something for the soul. My boss and I were talking the other day, and he said if I'm ever stressed out or overwhelmed, clean my house. He told me to revisit this subject afterwards. He's right. It really helps with that, and it really just does some good even when nothings wrong. Sarah and I are cleaning our house right now, and I'm really enjoying the progress we're making.

Picture Perfect

1 year ago

Working at The National World War II Museum has inspired me to take more pictures. I was a little out of it for a while, but seeing the sights there everyday has erased that feeling. I feel so lucky to work there.