Joe Is a Jesus-lovin, picture takin fool from banks, oregon. His other hobbies include climbing, hiking, fixing his vanagon, and pretty much anything slightly dangerous or far from the ground.

With an enormous love for life and people, joe brings a smile to everything he does. this blog is a small glimpse of his view on the world and the things created in it.


Snobsville and the Snow

Snobsville and the Snow

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
— John Lennon

I'm not sure what it is about this season, but it wasn't until last week that I started getting excited about Christmas. I'd say I was more disenchanted by the season actually. A large part of it was due to the area I work by (dubbed by some as 'Snobsville',) and all the horrible entitled attitudes of the people I deal with around here. Also, the Christmas music. It's the same 40 songs over and over and I'm sick of hearing them in the lobby every single day.

The snow really turned my attitude around last week though (False - it's not the snow - it was my friend Celia,) and I'm really excited it's the Christmas season now! I'm still jaded of the music, and I'm frustrated with people's entitled attitudes, but I am happy. All the time! All the time I am happy now. Yes.

So as ya'll know now my license was suspended. However. I recently got a permit to drive to and from work, which - while helpful - hasn't really made a difference with this weather. My tires look like doughnuts they are so bald, I have two wheel drive, and I live on the top of a very steep hill! There is no way I'd be getting home. Thankfully though, I have amazing bosses and I work in a hotel!

I took the room no one likes (Handicap Accessible Double Queen, on the first floor) because it is MUCH larger than any regular double queens and has vaulted ceilings. I also had a couple gift cards to Claim Jumpers, so I spent the better part of those three days eating awesome food, staying in an awesome room, and climbing at my gym. I also completed two v8 projects I had been working on! 

So this leads me to yesterday. The snowstorm hit hard, causing literally EVERYONE to call my hotel for rooms. It was frustrating and stressful at first, until I decided to embrace the thousands of phone calls by leaning against the wall with my thumb on the receiver. It was quite comical. I would take a phone call - tell them we don't have rooms - and then push the receiver button down with my thumb and lift again, keeping the phone on my shoulder the entire time. I went through call after call after call, and I swear there were some periods where I didn't take the phone from my ear for 15 minutes straight.

To make things better, our hotel had sold out around 3:00pm. Meaning, I didn't have a room to stay in. Thankfully I have awesome coworkers! Tara set up the projector in the bridgeport room so I could watch me some Arrow, and Jeff moved a rollaway bed in there so I wouldn't have to sleep on the chairs. I finally got off shift at 11:00pm, and alleviated the stress of work by skyping with Celia while I watched/had-playing-in-the-background-but-really-wasn't-focussing-on Arrow. It was wonderful. DAS IST WUNDERBAR. I didn't know I could spend so much time in conversation with someone, but wow. These last few weeks have been awesome.

After over four hours of wonderful conversation, I decided I had far too much energy to go to sleep. I laced my boots, grabbed my camera bag, and headed out after Celia went to bed. Yes, your math is correct. I was leaving for a photoshoot sometime after 3am. And yes, I need sleep, but I have a really hard time sleeping when my head is full of so many happy thoughts. And frankly, when reality is better than my dreams I really don't want to sleep anyway. 

So I decided to return to that bridge I shot last time, since now it would be covered in snow! I told Celia I was hoping to get some really high contrast black and white shots, and to be honest, I didn't have high expectations for the night. I was suprised then, with the results: 

This time around I tried some new stuff out for my post-processing! I usually do things manually in Lightroom, but Sleeklens sent me some of their preset filters and brushes to try out! I wasn't sure what kind of difference it would make on my process, but WOW! SO EASY! Once the presets are installed, you just slap them on your pictures and make whatever adjustments you want to them to suite your style. Here is an example. This shot literally took me less than three minutes to go from raw file to final image. I just applied a B&W filter, used two different brushes, threw a graduated filter on there, straightened, and then made some minor adjustments. I'm excited to use this stuff from now on, it's so simple! 

You can find the presets here and here, and if you want Sleeklens to edit for you, go here.

Also this week, I had two things stolen. A package, and my card number. How exciting! Thankfully, there is an awesome officer in Sherwood who is returning all the packages that were stolen from the UPS truck mine was on, and I already have it back. The card however is a different story. I was doing some grocery shopping with my mom when my card declined upon checkout. I had plenty of money! I also just got paid! There is no reason it should decline. 

Sure enough, I discovered the huge purchase from my account to the online Adidas store. I know it was fraud. I would NEVER purchase something from Adidas.

I called the bank and they will credit me the money, which should be back in about 8 more days. My new card is still a couple days away though, and the only way to get my money I still have is to go to the bank. Which I can't do because - get this - I can't drive to the bank! Yayyyy fun stuff. 

So I'm currently sitting in the Starbucks chair as I write this. No, I don't have a coffee cause I don't have a card, and I can't drive anywhere because of the ice.

Hey everyone, have a great day. Don't take anything for granted, tell people you appreciate them, and spend some time realizing what things actually matter in your life. Please.

Yep, Another Year

Yep, Another Year

Griff, Nick, and the Multi-Pitch

Griff, Nick, and the Multi-Pitch