Day 3 of Spring Garden Show 2017: Build a Terrarium



Saturday, 4.30.17

At 1pm, I went to Crate and Barrel, and I found out that the fuchsia seminar was cancelled. Instead, they had a seminar on building your own terrarium. I have always wanted to do one, but since I don’t have a green thumb, I want to do one with fake plants. I even have an idea of my theme—a coastal scene. I plan to browse in Michaels and Joanns for fake items to create my coastal scene as well as the glass bulb.

  1. You start with potting mix or cactus mix, if you are using real plants.
  2. Soil covers include desert sand, pearl stone, river rock, polished stones, and sheet moss. Cactus plants don’t require much water. The rocks are just for drainage.
  3. Inside a glass tilt bowl, start layering items in your bowl. The first layer is the rocks. The 2nd layer is the pre-moistened soil covers the rocks. The 3rd layer involves placing plants and filling soil around the plants until you cover the root balls of each plant. The 4th layer involves adding small white pebbles. The 5th layer involves adding the sheet moss.
  4. Charcoal helps prevent plants from getting bacteria. Place charcoal at bottom, with the rocks. It is important to water at the root ball, when the plant is completely dry. The water at the bottom of the bowl should be higher than an inch.



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4 Nutcrackers and 1 Dead Mouse

Saturday, December 17, 2016

I woke up late today, at around 1pm, and suddenly I realized that I had an event to attend later at 5pm. I forgot all about it because I forgot which Saturday it was on. When I went downstairs to feed Gumby and eat my brunch, I checked the art reception postcard and I noticed that this reception is for this afternoon from 5pm to 8pm. So, I plugged my iPhone to recharge, before going upstairs to get ready. I left my townhouse at 4:30pm. I noticed it is cold outside today, which felt very wintery and Christmasy. I decided to wear my knit gray leggings, knit pink and gray turtleneck short dress, short UGG-like ankle boots with pompoms, and denim jacket that I had decorated with gems, studs, pins, and patches when I was in my early twenties.

At the art reception, I end up doing a lot of videos. I did one video to display the artwork and the colored ribbon it won. And, other videos were of the OCFA awards.

At 10:15pm, while uploading my first video, I suddenly heard Gumby make gagging noises. So, I went to see if he is OK. He was sitting in front of a tiny dead mouse. I wonder where he found it because I have never seen mice or rats inside my townhouse. After my first cat died in 2006, I had mice or rats in the utility attic, which probably went there through the chimney on the roof or the pipes outside that are attached to the house. But after I adopted Gumby in December 2008, these rats magically disappeared because they smelled a cat inside my house. I don’t know where this tiny dead rat came from, all of the sudden, because I have never seen any mice or rats inside my townhouse, and I have been living in this townhouse since June 1986. I hope the parents rats aren’t going to come inside my townhouse looking for their dead kid. Maybe this tiny baby rat came inside my house from the garage, when I drove in at 8pm tonight, and it sneaked inside the house when I went inside my house.

This dead mouse or street rat reminds me of the Nutcracker story. I do have one broken nutcracker that I accidentally dropped in my garage a couple of years ago when I was putting it away. One arm broke off, but I creatively and successfully glued it back on with chewing gum that I chewed until it was soft and sticky, and then applied it to the shoulder area of the nutcracker to keep it in place. So far, it is sticking, until I might need to redo it in the future with a new stick of gum, if it falls off again. The gum worked better than crazy glue because the gum was much thick, like a bandage for a wounded nutcracker soldier. I eventually fixed my wounded nutcracker, but today a dead baby rat appeared inside my townhouse. I just hope there is no more because I do have a cat, and Gumby is the one that found this very tiny mouse or rat.

After I uploaded the first video, I realized that many of my videos have suddenly changed their status to non-monetized. So, I had to go through each one, on six pages, to remonetize them again. Youtube must have gone with some kind of changes, which messed up the status of my videos.  By 3:15am, I finally finished going through all my videos, and changing background music to make sure it can be monetized. I think I did it for most of them, but a couple gave me a hard time. I don’t care anymore. I did what I can. I will finish uploading Saturday’s videos later.


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Changes to Move On…

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I drew two pages today, and around 4pm, the Cox guy came to check my TV Box. He gave me another new box, in which he states is even newer than the new box I got two or three months ago. But it was still the same issue. IFC and Sundance indie wouldn’t come on my TV anymore. So, he called his office, and the person said that Cox made changes to the movie channels recently, and IFC and Sundance were transferred to the Essential movie package, which is a bigger package. I am on the startup movie package, which is simple but it includes independent channels, and it is enough movies for me to watch. But, now, I have two indie channels less, due to their weird sudden changes. Oh, well. I guess I will be busy working on my graphic novel and going on hiking meetups. But, what a mess! Maybe this is just the change I am looking for…out with the old and moving forward with the new, whatever is coming into my life next.


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Nutcracker Village and Festive Holiday Events

 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Around noon, actually 12:12pm, I decided to drive to the town center by my house to check out the Nutcracker Village event. They are promoting local young dancers for holiday events and shows. Some were kids, and a few were adults performing at the UCI theatre. After browsing the booths, I decided to do a couple of videos until my iphone’s battery went low. But I got enough videos and snapshots. I checked out the new boutique, Nectar, which has bohemian fashions. It looks like a store I am likely to shop at. I also tried some samples at the booths, such as GNC and Cha for Tea. There was a coloring table for the kids. I noticed that Cha for Tea restaurant went through a remodeling phase recently, and they don’t serve food anymore. Now, they mostly serve drinks and snacks. Many stores and restaurants are going through many changes.

At 3:33pm, I was on the internet again, blogging and checking out different sites, like Seen.life, which is another social network site, but it doesn’t have censorship, for all the people who are already sick of Facebook’s spying . I ate my lunch, which included raw vegan oatmeal, from the oats I soaked in water last night. This morning, I poured out the water, and I enjoyed a bowl for breakfast, along with mixed nuts topping, homemade sunflower seed power, and cinnamon power. And, this autumn, I am enjoying a cup of hot cacao with a vegan marshmallow. It just feels festive and fun for the holidays.

Now, I am recharging my iphone so that I can upload my videos.


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Autumn Art 2016 videos

 

rihaij / Pixabay

Saturday, 11.5.16, at Showcase Gallery, from 5pm to 7pm art reception

Part 1 video for Saturday’s November 5th art gallery reception at Showcase Gallery. Autumn Art 2016, Part 1 depicts autumn scenes of nature, abstract art, travel, landscapes, and ghost towns. I decided to add cinematic music, Autumn Day, by Kevin MacLeod, which is 3 minutes long for the beginning of this 9-minute video, and the rest of the video is for silence meditation on the artworks. The music just covered the featured artist’s work.

Part 2 of Saturday’s November 5th art gallery reception. It is shorter, and it is mostly about the art gallery party of socializing, discussing art, listening to music, and enjoying the refreshments.

Susan Cole displayed her acrylic painting, “4 Corners Mantra,” which costs $325. Sue Cong displayed 5 photographs, each cost either $250 or $300, and they consist of Afternoon Fun, Catching Dinner, Sea of Blue, Tranquility, and White Mountain. Lauretta Davis displayed 3 acrylic paintings, each costs either $150 or $250, and they are Alone, Ripples, and The Walk. Eileen Ezmunt displayed 2 acrylic paintings, Blue Lattes & Cronuts and Roll me over Tokyo, and each costs $225. Todd Kanney displayed 5 acrylic paintings—Blue, Cool, Fall, Love, and Park, and each painting costs $575.  Veronica Kortz displayed 4 oil paintings—Murietta Hills South, Olvera Street North, Olvera Street West, and Riverside Bridge East, and each painting costs either $400, $450 or $500. Kim Lac displayed 6 Photos—Autumn is coming, Old Time, Orchid, The Fence, The Wheel of Time I, and The Wheel of Time II, and each photo costs either $180 or $250. Maureen MacDonald displayed three artworks, which include a mixed media, a print on fabric, and a photograph—Some Red Rocks, “UT, CO, AZ, NM,” and Rocks, and these artworks cost from $80, $95, and $150. Donna McFarland displayed an oil painting—Sedona Sunset I—and it costs $300. Mary Ann Nethercutt displayed 2 ceramic sculptures—I see corners many many corners and My Precious, and they are both NFS. Elizabeth Nguyen-Espinoza displayed an oil painting—Fabric of Friendship—and it costs $795. Maureen Nolen displayed 2 watercolor paintings—Dance the Night Away and Ladies Night Out—and they cost $295 and $450. Vartan Ohanian displayed 2 oil paintings—5 Corners and All That Jazz—and they cost $1500 and $2100. Roger Reading displayed 4 photographs—Depot Balcony Keeler CA, Depot Windows Keeler CA, Depot Doors Keeler CA, and Rest a Spell Cashbaugh Ranch—and each photo costs $250. Tom Sherwood displayed a mixed media and an acrylic painting. Hit Parade costs $50, while Land Scape costs $100. Jim Van Eimeren displayed 3 digital print artwork—4 Corners, Four Red Corners, and Storm Engine—each cost $225. Maycha Vang displayed a photograph—Unnatural Object, which costs $95. Nancy Villere displayed 2 photographs—Desert in Bloom and Sleeping Giant, and each photo costs $125. Kathy Worden displayed Gyotaku art—Big Fish—and it costs $325. Maria Espinoza Yepez displayed 4 oil paintings—Grapes 1, Grapes 2, Grapes 3, and Grapes 4, and each painting costs $50.

 

 


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Marketing Resources and tactics for Photographers

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I went to Canon Experience Center to check out another seminar about Standing Out & Getting Hired by photographer Steve Anderson.

1st Step:  You need to get awareness of your work from the right people who are actually interested in the style of photography that you do.

2nd Step:  Once you got some people’s undivided attention, you need to get them interested and hooked into your work.

3rd Step:  If they are really interesting in your style, then they will contact you to hire you.

4th Step:  Loyalty is all about keep these interested clients interested in your work enough so that they keep calling you back and rehiring you more.

5th Step:  Advocacy is when they like you and your work so much that they start referring and recommending you to other people.

Standing out and getting hired is all about marketing. Know how to answer certain questions in an interesting way by communicating your abilities, skills, and passions for your photography. Display enthusiasm and passion with excitement.

Practice answering two specific questions:

  1. What kind of photography do you do?
  2. How much do you charge?

Photography Resources:

  1. Commercial photography includes Agency Access, which charges a fee. Book of List is online, and you can download the mailing list, which has many categories but less detail. It will take them around 5 to 15 minutes to make up their mind if they are interested. The first step is calling them, making an appointment, and presenting them your sales pitch. OC Business Journal is another magazine to check out because it has a list of Ad Agences, but this magazine costs $25.
  2. Marketing Retail Industry includes networking at wedding conventions, conferences, and organizations. FGI, or Fashion Group International, has a fee. It is also a good idea to join photo events and network.

You need a website to display your photographs, or you can create youtube videos of your photographs by grouping your photos in categories. Place around 20 to 25 of similar photos in a video and create a storyboard. Your website should have a good template, be easy to navigate, and be simple to enter because it takes three seconds for people to lose interest and attention. You also need a calendar to keep track of your daily work and contacts. Also, make business cards, and postcards. Every two months, send a postcard to interested clients. You can do postcards as low as $1, and if you get a bigger one, you can add three photos on both side of the postcard, along with contact information and your name and brand. Or, make small postcards of your photographs, and place them inside a CD or DVD case.  The annual calendar organized your day by writing down everything you do on your marketing journey, jobs you get, and what you need to do next to grow. During the holidays, send your clients mugs and other items with your name and contact information. Make sure the item is something useful in some way.

When contact people at an ad agency, note if the decision maker changed, which is an indication that they might be looking to hire a new photographer.

Mag Cloud prints your photos into a magazine form for $5.

Chatbooks are instragram feeds.

Social media is very powerful for marketing purposes.

Make sure your photographs have excellent quality as well as professional. Also, make sure each photograph you promote is unique and creative in order to make you stand out among your competitors.

Photoshelter Blog is free, and it is a good place to browse on a daily basis to download PDF information about photography.

If you need some creative inspiration, then check out Wired and Startup magazines because they have artistic, creative, and unique photographs that get awareness.

On Photoshelter Blog, check out Heather Elder, Adweek, and Seth Godin’s page for inspiration and information.

Overnight Prints is an OC-based company, where you can print photos overnight for a good price.

Check out Wedding Photojournalism Association, if you are into networking for wedding photography jobs.

AIGA is for Graphic Artists

Found Folios has a “talent pool” of photographers hanging out and displaying their photos.

 

 

 

 


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Printing Like a Professional Photographer

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Richard Villa talked about printing from a Canon printer in tonight’s seminar, From Capture to Print. He started out by briefly stating the difference between ILC cameras, the AT-1 from 1978 and EOS 70D from 2015, besides that obvious, which is the AT-1 looks like a vintage camera. The EOS looks like my Minolta 5000 camera, in which I bought in 1987. Although this seminar is mostly for Canon cameras, printers, and papers, I will write my blog in a more broad and generic way so that people might try to use the ideas with whatever camera they own.

Printers use different inks, whether Dye Ink or Pigment Ink, and each ink will create different effects, depending on what kind of photo paper was used. Dye ink tends to soak into the paper, while pigment ink tends to lie on top of the paper. Pigment ink is better for glossy photo papers.

Printing photograph sizes include 4 x 6 to 14 x 17 as well as to 17 x 22 and 13 x 19, but certain printers will print certain way. For borderless prints, you can print 4 x 6 to 14 x 17 prints. But if you want to print 17 x 22 photographs and larger, than it is recommended that you use a professional printer.

Pricing on prints depend on ink quality, ink costs, paper costs, and printer. The total print costs for a print will likely be between $2 and $4, depending what was actually used. It is therefore important to list everything used in a particular photograph in order to correctly price the photograph as well as make some extra profit without really ripping anyone off.

Generally, 4 x 6 photographs cost between .35 to .60, 5 x 7 photographs cost between .50 to $1, 8 x 11 photographs cost between .85 to $1.55, and 13 x 19 photographs cost from $1.35 to $3.35.

ICC Profile is the layout of all the colors before printing a photograph, and it is used for more color accuracy because there are many colors and shades used.

But, importantly, whatever you decided to use, make sure the photo paper, print ink, and printer are from the same manufacture, or at least compatible so that the colors and photograph will turn out right.

Downloading drivers is sometimes required in order to update your older printer so that it prints accurately. It is recommended to go to the printer manufacturer’s website to download appropriate and required drivers.

Color management for JPEG photographs includes Adobe RGB, sRGB, and wide gamut RGB. It is recommended to use the Adobe RGB because it has the most colors. but the file size will be much larger.

There might be some issues with your printer if you don’t print often because the ink expires. You need to print a couple of times per month. If you don’t do a lot of printing each month, then the printer and ink could cause clogging. (I am currently experiencing this with my HP Photosmart 7510, and I am trying to figure out how to fix my printer to print normal again, like when I first bought it, which was probably around 2012.

And, always remember that different photo paper will react different to different ink, which will give different photo effects.

Rendering has to do with editing, and it is usually in the settings. You have a choice between Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric. In Perceptual, the colors will change, but still look more natural. In Relative Colorimetric, the photograph will be flattened, but the colors are more accurate.

Print Studio involves editing, choosing photo paper, layout, copyright information, correction, soft proofing, and other editing and manipulation that you might see in Photoshop. Some printers have a plugin you can buy, which tends to override Photoshop settings in order to make sure everything will print out correctly and the chose photo paper. It is also recommended to use Clear Coat, Contrast Reproduction, and Soft Printing. In the Layout section, you can arrange and align photographs, as well as resize, position, and set margins. You can also add in your copyright information with your name. Correction section has to do with customizing your photograph with pattern print, brightness, contrast, and adjusting CYM color balance.  You can do Soft Proofing through a driver or Gamut Warning. You will need to adjust settings, depending on your photo paper, printer, and ink.

Some photo papers are double-sided and Fine Art paper, and others include lustre, glossy, matte, Brida—heavyweight photo paper, and different color of photo papers.


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Changing Lens for Different Effects and Perspectives

tpsdave / Pixabay

blickpixel / Pixabay

Friday, July 29, 2016

At 6:30pm, I drove to Canon Experience Center to check out a photography seminar. George K. talked about using different lens to create “Change of View,” from 35mm to Cinema Lenses.

You can use zoom lens to bring the background scenes up-close without changing the focal lengths. It allows you to change the view.

50mm, F1.2 tends to have shallow depth of field. It is important to have a Depth of Field calculator because it is an important tool for photographers.

90mm telephoto camera allows you to restrict what you don’t want displayed.

14mm wide angle lens is not good for portraits.

He displayed some photographs by a 20mm lens of aircraft drones.

Focal Length is the length from the camera to the focus point. 300 to 600mm lens is used for faraway scenes and landscapes.

How do these tools really work?

Macro Lens has a Stabilizer. After turning on the Stabilizer, choose a Stabilizer Mode from 1, 2 or 3.

There is also Automatic Focus, Manual Focus, and Partial Focus. (I mostly use AF, but I need to practice using MF for certain scenes, mostly nighttime photos.

Limiter is used by Sports Photographers to capture action shots. They use either Full or a particular mm.

Focus Preset puts the focused point into memory.

Fisheye Lens is similar to a regular Wide Angle Lens, but they each create a different result.

Aspherical Lens is used to “eliminate spherical aberration in a range of applications.”

Tilt Lens is the most versatile lens because you can do many perspectives by moving the lens up and down as well as shifting the lens. But you are moving the lens within the image circle. Architectural Photographers use this kind of lens.

You can increase the Mega Pixels by shooting up and shooting down, and then combining both later.

Changing the focus by tilting the lens allows you to increase the depth of field. You can also use tilt and shift together.

50mm 1.2 is low light lens, while 85mm 1.2 is good for portraits.


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Designing Logo Tips

Sunday, July 17, 2016

When considering designing a logo, the first thing you need to think about is font. Go through many fonts and pick the ones you really like, before decides which ones of the ones you like best fits your business, service, and/or personality. Then, decided if you want to use monogrammed initials or the full name, or even business title. Then, doodle different ways of writing that font, as you tweak it here and there to fit it with your business, but still making sure the letters look clear. You might consider infusing the letters with a particular plant, flower, or fruit that symbolizes your image, business, style, or service. How do you want people to see you or associate you with? Don’t be afraid to use a little bit of color, as long as you don’t overdo it by using too much. It is best to use a maximum of three colors, which include two colors that complement each other, and the third color is the accent color. It is similar to fashion coordination of an outfit. For example, you might want to design a black and white logo, but add a red accent somewhere, whether the type, a graphic drawing, or just a part of it in red that you want to make stand out as the main emphasis.


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Canon Photography Art Reception

Friday, July 15, 2016

At 6pm, I went to Canon Experience Center to check out a photography gallery by guest photographer, Taili Song Roth. The photographer art reception was from 7pm to 10pm. We ate snacks and chatted, as we check out her photos, which is mostly of celebrities being themselves in natural poses, but most of these celebrities were dressed up for a red carpet event. All the photos were posted on a lighted wall frame, in which the photographs were lighted up and stood out against the background. Some people printed their photos into a larger print, but I wasn’t aware that people were going to print any photo. When I arrived home at 10:15pm, I realized that I had my disk of photos with me in my purse, and I could have printed another photo with other people. But I just forgot and my brain wasn’t working. I was mostly socializing and chatting during the whole time that I wasn’t really thinking about anything else. I should have printed my Fashion Island pond photo. Oh well, maybe next time! I think sometimes I am absent-minded.

But it was an interesting three hours of mingling as well as checking out other people’s photographs. The photographer, Taili Song Roth’s work is on the internet, if anyone wants to check it out.


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