think dark

think dark button pin design in illustrator

“think dark” design, inspired by Jennifer Hood‘s comment on my recent post. Both of us coming from the print world, we know the importance, and frustrations, of “rich black” in the CMYK processes, although all the credit of “think dark” has to go to Jen.

Designed in Illustrator 5 and 100% vector.

Photo: year 29 || day 3


Like a kid whose parents just got him the new Lego pirate ship, all I wanted to do when I unboxed my EF 75-300 lens was shoot. First day out of the box and excited to play with some low light situations, Frankie (my cat, aptly names after Frank Sinatra) was my inspiration. She was sitting by our back door begging to get out on the balcony and sitting in just enough light scattering through the window blinds for me to roll across the room on my swivel chair and open this new treasure up to it’s maximum zoom length. Snap. Done. The only photoshop work was to B&W everything but the eye.

Photo: year 29 || day 2


A clear choice for my #2 image post was the Chucks. How is it that Chucks go with everything? Hell, I was best man in a wedding where all the groomsmen wore brown and baby blue high-tops with their suits. Originally designed for basketball, adopted by the punk scene, snatched by the skate crowd and still finding ways to hold market share in this overly saturated market we live in. I salute you Charles “Chuck” H. Taylor. Thanks for the Chucks that we all know and love.

And so it begins; Photo: year 29 || day 1


Under the guise of “lets go for a bike ride”, I took the opportunity to take my Canon T2i out to some old railroad tracks near our apartment for some much needed photo-therapy. There’s always been a fascination of mine with old railroad tracks, possibly stemming back to the nights in Rosamond when the distant thud thud, thud thud, whoooooo-whoo of the mile-off train would put me to sleep. Or maybe the familiar heat from the elongated face of good old Abe when we’d tape him face down to the railroad tracks anxiously awaiting the next graffiti art show to come screaming by. There really is something about destroying a bunch of pennies with your childhood friends that tickles the nostalgia nerve. Ahhh, memories. So, to get to my point, and to start this countdown (or is it a count up?) off right, here’s photo #1 of my soon-to-be-gone twenties.

New Found Glory, err Passion…

Well well well… Blog being neglected, check!

Mail going unoppened for weeks at a time, check!

Girlfriend being neglected, check! (hey, I’m not proud of it!)

Work taking a driver’s seat… always… BUT, I’ve managed to find a new spark to make me feel like I’m being creative again. About a month or so ago I entered the world of digital photography, again. My previous dabble involved an over priced, underperforming Nikon point and shoot (god help me if I ever have to buy another Nikon) and I thought I was hot shit with my infinite depth of field and complete inability to take a decent indoors shot without blowing everyone away into a red-eye haze of pretty little spots against they’re closed eyelids… Yeah, I was hot shit. Watch out birthday parties because those memories you wanted to save just might be a little to intimate when grandpa slices off little billy’s finger because he’s blinded by 8 watts of pure single-bulb action while cutting the birthday cake grammy made! Ahhh, what a scrapbook moment it would make.

Anyhow, I digress. Bashing Nikon wasn’t my intent, but instead bragging about my brand new Canon T21 was! This camera makes me feel like I actually have a hobby again… Been a while, I know. My inner child has been on mind-numbing Ritalin and number crunching in Excel spreadsheets for far too long! The first week all I had was a kit lens (18-55mm), a battery that seemed to never die and a New Found Passion (see what I did there) for something, well, new! It felt amazing to look at trash in the street or someone’s lip-crusted old cigarette butt and think, “ART!”. Like I do when I find anything I like, I latched on… and HARD! Within the first month now I’ve amassed 3 lenses, a tripod, a backpack camera bag and a loathing from my girlfriend every time I just “test out the settings” on her. (Side note: I think it’s my super power to catch the most beautiful people in some of the most unflattering facial expressions… I should bottle and sell this skill!) I think I’m on the right track.

So, as always, my hope is to start updating more frequently and actually get some of my work out there for the world to see. I mean, really, I’m hot shit again!


Tutorial: 5 simple steps to give your images some punch

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Working in the graphics design/publishing field I come across at least 10 photos a day that could use some drastic help. Washed out, overdeveloped, under exposed; These are all things that we’ve all had to deal with with our photos. Well, Here’s some simple processes you can follow to punch up those colors and get your images back to looking the way they should, GREAT! Inspired by the new little ducklings that have recently hatched in our back yard, we snapped some shots on a point and shoot Canon. As you can see from the original image, it’s good… but i thought it could be better. The following steps to enhance your photos shouldn’t take you any more than 5 minutes, and once you learn the procedure you’ll be editing your photos in no time!

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OCMETRO Cover, 1-09 ECOnomics Report

Title: January OCMETRO Cover, The ECOnomics Report, Special Green Issue

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop CS2

Time Span: 4-8 Hours

About: OCMETRO’s first “Green” issue. They wanted something to capture the feel of the large green movement in Orange County.

Designer Notes: Thanks to online tutorials (via PSD Tuts), this cover was not only fun, but also a huge learning experience. The client loved the idea from the start.

Portfolio: CEO Centerfold, Lincoln Salazar 2-09

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Title: February 2009 OCMETRO CEO Centerfold, Lincoln Salazar

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop CS2

Time Span: 2 hours

About: CEO Centerfold spread pages for OCMETRO, Photography by Tracie Spence.

Designer Notes: This was my 6th design of a CEO centerfold for OCMETRO magazine.

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Portfolio: OCMETRO Cover, 12-08 Best & Worst

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Title: December OCMETRO Cover, The Best & Worst Issue, Tiger Woods

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop CS2

Time Span: 2-3 Hours

About: Cover design for OCMETRO’s Best & Worst Issue with a special Tiger Woods feature. The Tiger Woods Learning Center was featured as one of the ‘Best’ events in Orange County California, 2008.

Designer Notes: Getting to work with a cover image of a well-known, famous face really opened the perspective up to produce a great cover.

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Portfolio: CEO Centerfold, Clarissa Ngo 1-09

Title: January 2009 OCMETRO CEO Centerfold, Clarissa Ngo

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop CS2

Time Span: 2 hours

About: CEO Centerfold spread pages for OCMETRO, Photography by Tracie Spence.

Designer Notes: This was my 5th design of a CEO centerfold for OCMETRO magazine and third in a horizontal layout.

Portfolio: CEO Centerfold 12-08, Chris Hite

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Title: December 2008 OCMETRO CEO Centerfold, Chris Hite

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop CS2

Time Span: 2 hours

About: CEO Centerfold spread pages for OCMETRO, Photography by Tracie Spence.

Designer Notes: This was my 4th design of a CEO centerfold for OCMETRO magazine and second in a Horizontal layout.

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Portfolio: OCMETRO Cover, 11-08 The Hot 25

Title: November 2008 OCMETRO Cover, The Hot 25: Revealed

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2

Time Span: 6-8 Hours, concept to completion

About: Annually OCMETRO chooses it’s “Hot 25” business people of Orange County California. This year we wanted to try a fresh new look, with a feeling of anonymity to appeal to the readers and grab their attention.

Designer Notes: I really got to strech my design wings with this cover. Working for a business related publication, design like this is a tough sell. The image pleased enough of the decision makers and i got the green light to go ahead with the cover and cover story.

Portfolio: CEO Centerfold, Leila Entezam 11-08

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Title: November OCMETRO CEO Centerfold, Leila Entezam

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop CS2

Time Span: 2 Hours

About: CEO Centerfold spread pages for OCMETRO, Photography by Tracie Spence.

Designer Notes: This was my 3rd design of a CEO centerfold for OCMETRO magazine.

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Portfolio: OCMETRO Cover, 10-08 Obama-McCain

Title: October OCMETRO Cover, What’s at stake for Orange County? Obama – McCain

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Illustrator CS2, Photoshop CS2

Time Span: 4 Hours

About: The cover story told of ways that each presidential candidate could effect Orange County, since we’re a hyper-local magazine media company.

Designer Notes: I wanted the cover to look vastly different than anything we’d produced in the past, bringing techniques and ideas which Churm Media hadn’t explored before. The idea of adding in the Orange slices was to really bring the hyper-local aspect to the cover, and to get a nice bright splash of colors.

Portfolio: CEO Centerfold, Andre Filip 10-08

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Title: CEO Centerfold – Andre Filip, OCMETRO 10-08

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop

Time Span: 1 hour.

About: CEO Centerfold spread pages for OCMETRO, Photography by Tracie Spence.

Designer Notes: This was my second CEO centerfold design for OCMETRO Magazine, and the first ever horizontal layout for the section.

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Portfolio: OCMETRO Cover, 9-08 Tito Ortiz

Title: September OCMETRO Cover – Tito Ortiz

Client: Churm Media, in association with OCMETRO

Program(s) Used: Quark 6, Photoshop

Time Span: 4 Hours total project

About: October Issue cover design for OCMETRO

Designer Notes: This was the first issue of the re-design, and my first cover for OCMETRO (Previously i’d been designing OCFAMILY & Inland Empire Family Covers & layouts)