Reviving My Photoblog

It’s now officially been over a year since I last updated my photoblog. It kind of blows my mind considering photoblogs should take a lot less work than a wordy blog like this does to maintain. The process should be quite simple:

  1. Take a picture
  2. Process the photo
  3. Write a few sentences about the photo
  4. Post the photo

Ocean-Beach-Sunset

Yet here I am, without a post in 12 months. What a mess. Luckily I’ve promised myself that I would put an end to not blogging and doing the things that really make me happy. Also lucky for me? I get so many wonderful opportunities to take photos and make art out of them. Or at least what I consider my art.

This weekend my mom flew into San Diego to celebrate my birthday a bit early. I turn 30 next Saturday… Wish me luck on that one. More on all that later, I promise!

This post isn’t supposed to encapsulate all the fun and adventures we went on but I did want to use it as a way to hold myself accountable of making at least five updates to my photoblog in the upcoming week. Oh, quick note, all of the following images were taken with my Pentax MX-1. The most hipster of seriously-cool range-finder-ish digital cameras.

Venice-Beach-Collage

Let’s hope I don’t fail us all! It’s time you all start holding me accountable! There, I’ve passed my failure onto you.

Speed-editing a Portrait in Adobe Photoshop by Aaron Nace

There are tons of videos on YouTube of people doing absolutely incredible things with Photoshop. Most of the time these videos are more impressive than they are practical. It’s pretty rare that I need to create a disaster scene from found photos, as amazing as the video is.

Today I stumbled onto a post from FStoppers featuring Aaron Nace speed-editing a portait for an editorial audience. The original image was shot by Aleksandar Jaredic.

Aleksandar Jaredic Before After by Aaron Nace of Phlearn.com

Aleksandar Jaredic Before After by Aaron Nace of Phlearn.com

It reminded me of a photo shoot I did last year. I originally was commissioned to shoot 5-10 executive head shots. When I got to their headquarters the plan changed to an incredible 45 head shots and an event shoot. In my head I was totally overwhelmed but I couldn’t let the client know this. I was working solo and given 8 hours to shoot 45 people and an event. Impossible right? Continue reading

How I Really Feel about Instagram

I am known in my circle of friends as the guy who hates Instagram. This isn’t really true, I don’t hate Instagram, I philosophically loathe it. That is to say, I don’t enjoy the way many people on Instagram treat the art of photography.

When I talk about Instagram I am often met with a rebuttal as strong as those over religion or politics. In the end we are all entitled to our beliefs. I have a feeling that a similar post as this was written by many film photographers when the first digital SLRs started hitting the market.

justex07-on-InstagramI’ll keep this brief but here is my gripe. People take ordinary photos, what we would call snapshots, what we would drop in a shoebox and forget about as quickly as we took them. These photos do not stand out like the ones we would put in a physical album, that we would pay to have printed or that we would submit to a gallery for showing. They are the epitome of disposable photography and there is nothing wrong with that.

What I have qualms with are people that elevate these toss-away photos to a level of importance not by context or content but by obscuring the banality and ordinary mundanity of the photo with a filter, sometimes to such a degree that the original content of the image is totally obfuscated. That is not art, that is glorified censorship. Continue reading

If a Blogger Doesn’t Blog, Does He Exist?

I’ve been on quite the blogging hiatus. My only excuse is that work has been busy but in reality, I’ve been busier and managed to write. I worry sometimes that I’m losing my passion for this blog. I’ll write reviews and articles and then let them site for weeks, even months.

Stunning San Francisco Sunset

I think when we last left off I was visiting New York City and Washington DC. There I had just an incredible time. I should thank so many people, Luis, Steven, Chemda, Lauren Hennessy, Ian, Scott, David, Joseph, Whitney, Rosa, Benjamin, Brandon, Landon, Dipal, Thomas, Anthony, Josh and Shannon, Bethany, Kramer, Justin, Lauren Reid, Andres and others. That will have to be a post all its own.

After that I went to Houston and Austin a few times. I even did a Houston Twitter Meetup (Tweetup). We had around twenty people show up and even earned ourselves a prank call from someone who called the restaurant where we were hosting the shindig. Huge thanks to Kristen for setting up the whole thing.

I hit up Florida again and had a wonderful time hanging out with Justin and Mike out there. Frank even let me crash in his room while he was out of town. Still haven’t met him! I even scored some time with Joey, who is visiting San Francisco soon along with Alexandra and Corey.

This weekend Ryan and I hosted around thirty friends over for hors d’oeuvre, wine and fondue. We had a blast and I think everyone else did as well. We love having friends over, sharing our home and chitchatting over drinks and fun food. Host Adjustable Wine Aerator and Esoterica Petite Syrah

We played around with a new wine gadget of mine. It’s the Host Adjustable Wine Aerator. It promises to age your wine through aeration simulating anywhere from less than 1 hour of aeration all the way to six hours of aeration. I am not one to trust wine gadgets but this one peeked my interest enough that I bought one from Kenneth Wingard.

But for what it’s worth, that is what has been going on. I hope to get out some reviews pretty soon. Here is a list of items on the list:

  • Bose QuiteComfort 15 noise canceling headphones
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50 studio headphones
  • Fiio E6 Headphone Amplifier
  • Das Keyboard Model S Pro
  • Enqueue
  • MEElectronics M6P headphones
  • ZAGGkeys PRO+ iPad keyboard case
  • ZAGG iPhone 5 bumper case
  • ZAGG ZR-Six in-ear headphones
  • ZAGG ZR-LE headphones
  • iFrogs Aura headphones
  • Host Adjustable Wine Aerator
  • Graze Healthy Snacks
  • NatureBox Healthy Snacks

So many things I have to review. I should do my best to try and do a review or two a week. In reality that should be totally doable. Let’s just hope I can commit myself to it.

I also have a post to write about Instagram. It’s actually a two-parter and it’s actually already done, I just need to re-work it. The first post is about Instagram and my thoughts on it. Most people understand me to hate the service and anyone who uses it. I mean to correct people. The second post is a belated in-depth piece about Instagram’s, and other web services’, use and user rights policies.

Eventually I’d like to get back to writing here daily, as I did for years. But let’s start with baby steps. I’m also working to be better at posting photos on my photo site, Justin Moore Scott. Photography is perhaps my greatest inanimate love. I have even recently purchased a handful of fantastic fine-art photography books.New Photography Books

I have a tendency of buying or receiving great photography books like this and then never taking them out of their cellophane wrapping. Maybe I’ll actually open a few of these up and find some inspiration to bring back the passion in my photography.

I suppose the only other thing that is notable enough for writing is that I started again the 4-Hour Body diet, aka slow-carb diet. This time I’m doing it with my friend Kevin. Since starting I’ve dropped over 5 pounds but this time around I’m not as worried about the weight as much as my muscle to fat ratio. So I’ll allow my weight to go up as long as I’m building muscle. Hopefully that will come as I’ve started personal training again. Sadly with a new trainer, my old one was amazing. I picked up a new one that didn’t work out but I have another new one that seems to be pretty awesome.

So there you go. You’re mostly caught up to date. Now I head to bed so I can wake up and be ready to have my body abused at the gym until I’m so weak, walking up the stairs is not unlike summiting Everest.

My Photography Site, Reborn

Photography is something that I am absolutely passionate about. I’m can’t think of a legitimate reason for why I don’t write about photography and art here on my site but perhaps that is something I need to look into. Meanwhile, I did want to let you guys know that my photography site is finally back online.

Back in 2008 I started my photoblog/gallery Piczar Photo. It was a pun on the obvious, Pixar, and the idea of being a “Photography Czar”. I think the joke was mostly lost on visitors to the site but that didn’t stop them from visiting. Between 2008 and 2011 my photography site found around 5,000 hits a month. Not a huge amount of traffic but enough to keep me posting regularly. Being in an active photography program at the University of Missouri certainly helped as well.

Sometime in 2010 my site was hit with a massive amount of traffic. I’m not sure if it was StumbleUpon or Reddit or a bot net but the traffic managed to corrupt my site’s PixelPost database and spell the end of Piczar Photo. I tried to relaunch it as part of It’s Just Justin but ultimately felt it was important to keep my photography posts distinct from the posts you find on this blog.

Well after years of dormancy, my site is back up and with a new motto, “Photography without filter.” Take that Instagram hehe. It is no longer Piczar Photo (that URL will forward eventually) but it’s back and it’s sort of better than ever. I’m now on a WordPress installation instead of PixelPost and my site has a responsive design (go ahead, resize the window). It isn’t perfect but I’m always working to make it better. If you haven’t already checked it out, here’s some of my latest work:

I am doing my best to upload a new photo at least once a week and sometimes I get on a crazy kick and get a photo up each day. I hope you find the time to visit the site at either PicsJust.in or JustinMooreScott.com. I would be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to David for helping me record a basic template to make the site fit my needs. David had a more hands-off approach this time around which is why it isn’t perfect but it would have been a mess had he not been so kind as to look at and help modify some code.

Right now I’m uploading photos from my trip to the Middle East and sprinkling in a few photos from other adventures. If you want to keep up with my photography, subscribe to my photo RSS feed and remember you can always click the Photography link at the top of It’s Just Justin.

As I have done with every site I run, this site features Livefyre for comments. Comments on my photography are incredibly important to me and how I grow my art. Back in college I had critiques with a professor and fellow students. Their insight and guidance helped direct me into the style of photography I shoot these days. It was truly invaluable. I hope you find the time and are able to share your thoughts on my work.

Some New Work on the Horizon

I haven’t really posted much photography work here in the last long while. Heck, I haven’t really been posting here with anything lately. Life has just gotten that busy I guess. I’ve taken hundreds, maybe even thousands, of photos in the last few weeks for work and for fun. It’s about time I start sharing them with you

Big Ass Fans

This one is actually one from a work shoot I just came from. These fans run at incredibly slow speeds. However, because they have such a massive blade span, they move some serious air, keeping a giant warehouse at a stable cool temperature. Also they are called Big Ass Fans, a name has never been more appropriate.

The Evolution of a Photographer in 15 Steps

It always interests me how an individual’s photographic style changes as they get more familiar with their tools and study the work of others. Photography is something that requires a real dedication of time, money and heart. If you really want to shine and standout, there isn’t a whole lot you can do besides shoot more, read and experiment.

Evolution of Photography
A brief showcase of my evolution in photography

The evolution of a photographer can be reduced to around fifteen steps. From the initial purchase to the clichés to the stunning work that can become their art. What follows is a loose order of how things typically go stylistically for someone who dedicates their time, money and heart to their photography.

Continue reading