Announcing Photoshop Week!

Hi everyone! Having spent several weeks in Eugene, Oregon, we just moved a few hours north to Portland. I’ve been mostly focused on some work projects, and the vintage bus project. The big news this week is that we just announced Photoshop Week! Photoshop Week is the first conference-style event to be held at creativeLIVE, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. This is a live, online event, going on from Feb. 25th through March 2nd. With 12 instructors and over 40 classes, it’s going to be a great experience for all Photoshop users, whether you’re a photographer, graphic designer, or both.


Here are the sessions I’ll be teaching at Photoshop Week:

Photoshop Efficiency Boosters
Learn how to fly through Photoshop features with the utmost efficiency by taking advantage of all of Photoshop’s shortcuts, presets, customization and automation features. In this session you’ll see how to access the majority of Photoshop’s features using your keyboard and how to customize the features you use the most for greater efficiency. You’ll also find out about many hidden features that can increase you efficiency in Photoshop.

Getting Started with Actions
Learn how to automate repetitive or complex tasks by recording them as actions in Photoshop. You’ll learn everything needed to get started using Actions today as well as learning the most common issues that prevent them from being effectively implemented. You’ll learn how to troubleshoot and optimize any action as well as modify existing actions to customize them to your personal needs.

Intermediate and Advanced Actions
Learn how you can push actions to automate overly complex or difficult tasks. Use subroutines to make customization of complex actions easy. Learn how to implement the new conditional actions feature that Adobe introduced in late 2012. Also, get a glimpse of how you can overcome the limitations of actions with scripting.

Mastering Blending Modes
You’ve seen that menu… the one that includes choices like Multiply, Screen, Overlay and Hue. It’s found in many areas of Photoshop including at the top of the Layers panel. Learn how that single feature can open a new world of possibilities in your photo-editing tasks and design projects. Once you understand how each mode works and how they all relate to each other, you will see that blending modes are one of the single most useful features in all of Photoshop!

For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.


In other news…

… my vintage bus project has been seeing consistent progress.  The vent fans in the ceiling have been installed, all the engine-to-dash wiring has been cleaned up and mounted to the side wall to keep it out of the way, and the overly large rub rails that run down the length of the bus have been removed. They don’t go with the paint scheme I have planned, but might be replaced by small rub rails that are more similar to those found on Flxible Clippers and Visicoaches. The refrigerator that will be used in the bus also arrived this past week. I’ve been posting constant updates on the Creative Cruiser’s facebook page, and you can follow those HERE.

The new fridge for the vintage bus just arrived. It’s an Italian model from Vitrifrigo that features one drawer for freezer and one for fridge, as well as the upper fridge area. It offered the largest storage volume within the limited height/depth of the vintage bus.

And finally, I wrapped up the week in a very festive way… by attending the birthday party of my friend Kirsten, who happens to live in Portland. Kirsten works at Lensbaby, so I always see her at photography events and tradeshows, but hardly ever get to hang out with her outside the work arena. She had a great little shindig, where we got to catch up and celebrate.

Me and Kirsten at her birthday party in Portland. Kirsten shares my love for IPA-style beer, and she had some on tap at her party!

A Vintage Bus Week: Planning & Lightpainting

Hey gang! If you read last week’s blog post, you know that we’re hunkered down near Eugene, Oregon. That’s where my vintage bus is awaiting work on its interior. It’s completely gutted at the moment, and is located in the shop where the interior project will take place. The guys at Paradise Coach just wrapped up their last bus project, one that they’ve been working on for about two years! That bus, a 1947 Silverside coach, just rolled out of the shop on Saturday, which means that my 1963 Flxible bus is next in line!

I’ve spent the past week working on the 3D model of the bus’ interior and will meet with Larry of Paradise Coach this week to start collaborating. I’d like the interior of the bus to feature a streamline design style, which should be a good mix of vintage and modern. That’s one of the things I’d like to convey to the gang at Paradise Coach, and I’ve been pulling out all my favorite books on the subject to use for reference.

Some of the streamline design books I was researching for my vintage bus project.

I’ve been working of the closet portion of the bus’ 3D model.

Aside from planning MY vintage bus, I did some lightpainting of that Silverside vintage bus that just rolled out. On the night before it was to leave the shop, I arranged a photo shoot and did a lightpainting of both the front and back. What’s interesting about this Silverside is that it’s one of the kinds of buses I was interested in buying back when I was in the market. I just like the overall look and style, and I think the lightpaint came out pretty darn good!

Speaking of lightpainting, we added a new workshop to the 2013 roster! This one is called Mastering HDR & Lightpainting and will be March 11-15 in Los Osos, CA. This unique course will be a double-feature week, combining my two photographic specialties. Once you feel comfortable with HDR and Lightpainting, then you’ll be able to expand your shooting range beyond the standard golden hour and capture idealized images regardless of what time of day you encounter an interesting subject. Click here to learn more about this workshop. If you can’t make the class, remember that you can learn lightpainting from my e-book, The Fine Art of Painting with Light (only $9.97).

This coming week, Karen and I will be flying to New Jersey to spend the holidays with her family, and then we’ll be flying to Hawaii to get married! More to come…

A week with my vintage bus

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Monday travel update. Karen and I finally moved on from Portland and relocated to the Eugene, Oregon area. Eugene is just two hours south of Portland and it’s where my vintage bus will be getting its new interior installed. In case you’re not familiar with the project, I currently live in a modern motorhome/bus conversion but am currently restoring a vintage bus that we will eventually live in. The exterior will look vintage and the interior will feature a modern, streamline design style. To learn more about the project, check out the Creative Cruiser site.

This past week, we’ve actually had both buses parked together in paradise… well, Paradise Coach, that is. That’s the shop that will be doing the interior of the vintage bus. What’s funny is that we’re parked next to a beautiful Silverside coach, which is the other brand of vintage bus I was considering before I purchased my 1963 Flxible Starliner. The Silverside is in the final stages of restoration and when it’s complete, the gang here will be able to focus their attention on my bus.

I’ve spent a lot of time this past week planning out the interior of the bus. Having the vintage bus within 20 feet of my current bus makes it really convenient to do measurements and such. I would go back and forth between the bus and my computer so that I could create the 3D model of the bus’ interior. Then I would spend time researching the right appliances that would fit into the space. One of the tricky things about the vintage bus is that the roof is very curvy so any cabinets or appliances that have to be fitted on the ceiling take some extra consideration.

Above you can see part of my 3D model showing the kitchen area of the vintage bus.

Here I am getting measurements inside the vintage bus.


Aside from working on the vintage bus, Karen and I actually went to a few movies this week. The first was actually Pulp Fiction.  (yes, you heard that right) There was a one-day re-release of the film that included interviews and special trailers hand-picked by Tarantino. We both really like Tarantino flicks, and Pulp Fiction is pretty much a classic, so we had a blast. The second movie we saw was “Lincoln,” and it was equally enjoyable. The actors were all extremely impressive, especially Daniel Day Lewis, and the lighting was very well done. Karen and I would both recommend seeing it.

Finally, we met some fellow full-timers this week (meaning folks that also live on the road like we do). Steve and Kristen own a GM bus that had its interior done here at Paradise Coach. They’re back here for some maintenance things and we got some time to hang out and get to know each other. It’s always fun to see how other RVers do what they do. Steve and Kristen have their priorities set on hiking, climbing, biking and other outdoor-related activities, so they made that a priority when designing their lifestyle and their bus. The four of us went to dinner at Ubon Thai in Eugene and we just loved it. It’s run by a husband and wife team. The wife is the cook, and she’s straight from Thailand. Yum!

From left, me, Karen, Kristen and Steve.

We’re most likely going to be spending the next week in the same area and I’ll be working more on the vintage bus and other projects. More to come…


New Gear & Vintage Bus Progress

Hi from Portland… again! Karen and I usually relocate every couple days, but we’ve been hanging in Portland for a while now. We’ve got no complaints though. Portland is a good town for us. It’s got a funky vibe, and the local flavor suits us. This has been a pretty mellow week, but I do have a few fun things to report.

First of all, I ordered some new gear! I had been waiting to order Canon’s new 24-70 f2.8 II lens, but being such a new product, stores were having a hard time keeping it in stock. I finally was able to order it from B&H. I haven’t had an opportunity to shoot much with it yet, but as soon as I do I’ll be posting images here. I also ordered some new Canon speedlites (the 600EX-RT) and radio transmitters (ST-E3-RT) with plans to use them for some more elaborate lightpaintings and some daylight lightpaintings.

My new Canon 24-70 f2.8 II lens arrived this week, and I cant wait to start shooting with it!

I also ordered three Canon 600EX-RT Speedlights with ST-E3-RT Radio Transmitters.

In my last post, I mentioned that my vintage bus is now located in Eugene, Oregon at Paradise Coach, where it will be getting its all new interior. It’s going to be a long project, but progress started this week. Larry, the head of Paradise Coach, started pulling out the old floorboards and inspecting what’s underneath. The floorboards will be replaced and then the interior built up upon that.

This is the interior of my [gutted] vintage bus. You can see that the floorboards are in the process of being pulled out and the stainless steel holding and water tanks below the floor.

While I spent a lot of time working this week, I was able to process a few of the images I shot while driving the vintage bus from Tennessee to Oregon. You can see two of the panoramas below. We also replaced a lot of the lighting in the current bus. The lights that go around the windows and ceiling have been dubbed the “disco lights” and are now LEDs. We’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Not only were the old lights energy suckers, but many of them had burnt out.

Since I’m on the topic of buses, I wanted to post a video that was just posted from the Travel Channel’s Extreme RVs show. This segment features Flxible buses, the same brand as my vintage bus. This past July marked the 100th anniversary of the brand, and the video was shot at the bus rally commemorating that milestone. I have met the bus owner featured in the video, Bernard, who also happens to be Jay Leno’s mechanic (and if you’ve ever seen Leno’s garage, you know that’s a big job!)

This week, Karen and I will be flying to NJ to spend Thanksgiving with her family. More to come…

The Vintage Bus Run: Take Two

Hi gang! It’s time for the good ol’ Monday travel update. This past week has been all about my vintage bus. If you’re familiar with me and this blog, you know that I live full-time in a motorcoach/bus and am also restoring a second, vintage bus (that I will eventually live in).  You can read more about the project at the Creative Cruiser site. You’ll also learn there why this post is titled “Take 2.” This past week, I picked up my vintage bus at the shop where it was stored in Chattanooga, TN and started driving it to  the shop where it will get its new interior put in. The bus has a brand new engine and transmission but the interior is completely gutted. The next shop, Paradise Coach, is located in Coburg, Oregon, so needless to say, I’ve got quite the drive!

Early in the week, I flew out of Portland, Oregon to pick up the bus. When I arrived at the Chattanooga shop, there were a few things that needed to be dealt with (like a new battery) but I was able to get on the road relatively quickly. I decided to take a more southern route to avoid any intense weather during my drive. You can see the route below. The rest of the post is a visual depiction of my journey so far. These are all iPhone shots, but I was photographing the vintage gas stations with my DSLR as well and will be processing those soon.

My general travel route. The white dots are vintage gas stations that I want to photograph.

Here’s the vintage bus during a rest stop in Alabama.

After my first day of traveling, I crossed paths with two RVing friends, Shonda and Michael, who are also full-timers like me. It was great to catch up with them as we hadn’t seen each other since Mardi Gras 2011!

Sunrise from the Alabama RV park.

There were a handful of vintage service stations along my route that I’ve been wanting to photograph, and I love getting my vintage bus in there too!

Here’s another one, in Mena, Arkansas. As you can see, I’ve been using the iPhone’s new panorama feature a lot lately!

This one is in McAlester, OK.

One more, in Skellytown, TX.

I stayed at this funky motel in Tucumcari, NM. They even had retro stuff in the rooms!

As you can see, I covered a lot of ground in the first few days! It wasn’t until I reached Tucumcari, NM that I had any kind of mechanical issue. I’m not sure why, but the bus lost a lot of power and I was only able to go 55 instead of 75. I’m hoping this is a simple fix, like a fuel filter and will look into it first thing in the morning. While I flew out to pick up the vintage bus, Karen flew over to visit her family in NJ. Now, she had to extend her stay because of Hurricane Sandy so I might make it back to Oregon before she does!

Hopefully, I’ll make it to Coburg in the next couple days and will report back with a new update next week! More to come…