OK, so I cracked. I know my past year has been cleaning out all the sites that were not my blog, but this seemed like an important time in my life to do this. The reason is the beautiful people at Hearth Magazine. Hearth is my absolute favorite magazine to curl up on my chair with while enjoying a giant cup of tea.  I was honored last week when I was approached by Tonya and asked if I could be featured on their journal for their website relaunch!

To promote their re-launch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, they used one of my photos from my Woodstock trip (Leica M3 + Summicron 2/50 + Portra 400 NC + Richard Photo Lab dev).  Tonya asked to link me on Instagram, when I told her I didn’t have an account.

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Rebecca Lily’s Pro Preset III – The Tools

Today I’d like to hit on one more feature of the outstanding set of Lightroom Preset’s by Rebecca Lily. Yesterday, I reviewed the color presets as well as the B&W presets in two separate posts. I also gave an example how these presets can be used to bring uniformity to your look. Today, the tools get a turn.

Like with all Rebecca Lily sets, you get a mind-boggling plethora of toys – as you can see below, a plethora of tools as well.

The Tools

The tools are designed to be used in conjunction with the presets. Once you have applied your desired preset, you can go through her tools to fine-tune to your likings. Or, you can even use the tools on your own Lightroom adjustments to tweak things in a consistent manner.

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Rebecca Lily’s Pro Set III – Color Review

I was graciously asked by Rebecca to test her latest (masterful) Lightroom Pro Preset III pack before its release this month. I was blown away with the number of presets in here (120 in all), both color and monotone, as well as a full set of custom tools. For this review, I am only hitting the color presets.  The B&W (sub)review has been posted here for you as well.

Pastel – Epiphany II

I used to be pretty anti-preset.  I think it was the over-use of filters from Instagrammers and iPhoneographers that put me off in the beginning – all creating similar faux-vintage looks from a limited filter-set that just looked wretched in my book. So, I had always thumbed my nose at the idea of using these things and wrote them off as silly annoyances.  Well, I have to tell you, Rebecca really turned me around – especially when she created my custom color set last fall. Since that time, I have a new found respect for these high level presets. Rebecca took a great deal of time and effort with a masterful eye to color detail and tonal ranges to make these gorgeous, artistic, unique looks that are not filters – rather Lightroom Presets for one-click editing. (I still can’t look at the “filters” on Instagram).

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Rebecca Lily’s Pro Set III – B&W Review

Before you go any further, please see the Color Review here first. The color review has many details about the entire Pro Set III – this review only breaks out the B&W presets. Find out more about how you can get these presets on Rebecca’s site: Rebecca Lily’s Pro Set III.

With that being said, I wanted to talk about the B&W presets with portraits and landscapes.  I only used a couple images for this portion of the review – but like the color, have shown all possible combinations taken off a raw Leica file. For each iteration, I applied a one-click setting from the SOOC file on top.

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A Walk by the Lake

Today I decided to go for a walk by the lake with the intention of using a single preset off the new Rebecca Lily Pro Preset – Set III. Specifically, the Pastel | Cleopatra preset. The purpose is to show how a wide variety of lighting conditions and subjects can quickly and easily develop a uniform look for your needs. For all these images, nothing more than shooting with a Leica M-E w/ Carl Zeiss 2.8/35 and no post other than the one-click of Rebecca’s presets. See this morning’s reviews for more details.

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Weight Loss Progress Report

Caution: This post has nothing to do with photography.

I posted a photo a few days ago over on Twitter showing my 8 month progress in weight loss (52 pounds so far, 18 to go).  I was asked by a few to give pointers on how I got this far, so here it goes.

Lard-Lad – as posted on Twitter

In the images above, the “before” image was near my max weight (235.5) on December 6, 2013.  I actually managed to pack on 5 more pounds after that photo, before kicking it into overdrive on December 25th. The photo on the right was taken just now – August 16, 2014 – 8 months later.  So, what did I do?

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Visiting Woodstock

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to travel up north in New Hampshire to go camping. And one of our favorite destinations is a small campground in Woodstock.  Woodstock is a picturesque small town with barely 1,000 residents. It is nestled in the south-western corner of the White Mountain National Forest and has majestic views of the incredible Franconia Notch (see image above).

I have been reading Kinfolk, Cereal and Hearth magazines quite a bit lately and was inspired to shoot in that style. I gave Linda and the kids strict instructions to not “pose” for any shots.  I wanted to capture the vacation as it unfolded, retelling the story on film. In all, I shot 7 rolls of expired Kodak Portra 400 NC and about 1.5 rolls of Kodak 400 Tri-X. The NC expired in 2004 – so it was 10 years out of date and had no idea how it was going to come out.

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Richard Photo Lab: 1/4 Bind and Faux Leather Books

This is a really quick review of the new hardcover books from Richard Photo Lab that I picked up last week. As anyone that follows this blog knows, Richard’s is the only lab I trust with my film. And when I saw these new hardcover books, I just had to check them both out.

Richard Photo Lab – Naked Quarter Bind and Faux Leather

To test the waters, I decided to make two books. I made one from set of images shot with expired Portra 400 NC from my Salem, MA trip with the Faux Leather binding, and then a set of random film images (mostly Portra 400) with the Naked Quarter Bind. I played around with formatting and layouts and just fell in love.

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