Sometimes it can be so easy to get caught up in gear, lights, backdrops, lenses, and all that jazz when trying to get good photos of your knives.
This evening as I was finishing up in the shop, I wanted a few decent photos of some knives I just finished. With all the shop lights on, things were looking pretty blahzay-blah behind the lens. Remembering photography is all about light, I decided to try the less is more approach. I killed the shop lights, grabbed my diffuser and used one task light as my main light source. Leaving the blades on my black worktop, and softening my light was all it took to completely change the images I was making.
As far as post-production goes I desaturated the images to black and white and done. That’s it, that’s all.
Simple is better. Very often that is true with photography as well.
Just something to keep in mind when you’re struggling with getting decent photos of your knives.
And what a shame. I love blogging. Over the past several weeks I’ve been perusing through one of my old bicycle blogs and remembering how much fun it was to just write about stuff. And share pictures. In a similar line, sometimes as a YouTube creator, I want to share stuff, but don’t always feel like making a video. Or at least a certain kind of video. You could either do a “talking head” video where you’re just babbling in front of the camera. You could do a cinematic piece where you compile a bunch of supporting footage to help build up what it is that you’re sharing. Or there’s the vlog style video but sometimes those take a little more energy and time than I have on tap.
That is when I think that the blogging could come in handy. I had previously been using this blog in a supporting role and essentially it was an announcement page for what was happening on the YouTube channel. But I’m thinking that might change. Maybe this could be more. More of the backstory or some additional information to a video. And maybe even some completely independent content from the channel itself. Maybe…
I like to watch videos sometimes. I also like to read. I like to make videos. And I like to write.
I guess that’s where I’ll leave this for now. It is my plan to get more content put up here. Mostly just because I like to.
Well, for the past two months I’ve been doing my best at daily vlogging the YouTube channel. It has been a lot of work, but I’ve sorted out a lot of tips and tricks that have made filming and editing much more efficient and streamlined. That is a huge bonus. At the best of it, I had 56 consecutive days of uploading a video to YouTube. That’s a lot of work.
One issue that kept creeping up, is that I would get behind on my knife orders, and then kind of rush the video and at the end just stopped making videos for days in a row until I caught up with my knife orders again. And then I’d be back on the daily videos but at the same time again, losing ground on keeping up with knife orders. I realize that this is kind of a vicious circle that I don’t see a way to get around. Daily videos, and full-time knife maker. They just don’t go smoothly together and still give some sense of a life for me and my family.
I’ve decided to shift the focus of my energy. I’m going to concentrate on one build video per week, as well as still doing viewer’s knives and maybe a weekly update vlog. The idea with the weekly vlog is a single video where I can dump any of the interesting little bits that happened during the week. This should allow me to focus a few blocks of time during the week to filming a knife build, free up the 3-5 hours per day that it took to produce the daily vlogs, and still allow me to keep with my knife orders.
I’m not saying this is how things will stay for sure 100%, but part of life is changing, adapting and trying different things until you find something that works well. And then eventually you’ll probably have to go through that cycle again and again and again. So we’ll try this. See how it works. See if this is a better fit. I hope so.
One other benefit is that it might free up a little time to actually work on this blog a little more. I love writing and blogging. I blogged long before I ever made YouTube videos and I still love doing it, but it just seems so hard to post here after I’ve spent hours posting to YouTube.
Tomorrow I will post a video on YouTube explaining all of this but figured I might as well post it here first.
I’ll close this post out with two of my last daily vlogs where I made a minimalistic EDC. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Cheers👍
Ah! I’ve forgotten to update posts here as the new YouTube videos have been coming out. But the videos are coming out! With some of the changes to the new YouTube algorithm, it seems that YouTube likes to give favour channels that update very regularly. Like, daily.
So that’s the new game plan. Daily videos. It’s a lot of work but I’ve made some changes to my schedule that are really helping me accomplish the goal of daily videos, while still have a bit of a life. The secret: EARLY MORNINGS. I’ve been getting up at 4:30am to edit the footage, allowing me to be done with editing by around 8am. That way I still have the whole day to make knives, shoot new video and still have evenings free to enjoy some R&R and hanging out with my sweet wife and wonderful kiddos. Balance. I’m incredibly productive in the mornings and everyone else is sleeping, so starting nice and early really is the perfect way for me to squeeze an extra few hours out of the day.
Anyway, to play catchup here, these are the videos that I’ve forgotten to share here on the blog. Have a look. Watch one, watch them all! Either way, thanks for stopping by.
Last week I received the TSPROF knife sharpening system. The Wranglerstar kit. I’ve had a chance to look at it a bit and here are some initial impressions and a quick look at the sharpening system. It certainly looks promising, and I know a lot of you are probably thinking: but how does it compare to the Wicked Edge? Well, next week I’m going to do a sharpener shootout video comparing my 3 main systems. The paper wheels, the Wicked Edge and the TSPROF. In the mean time, check out this video on the TSPROF sharpening system.
Full disclosure, I received this sharpener free of charge from TSPROF however I was not told I had to review it and I am not being paid anything to show this. Cheers👍
Just uploaded a new episode of TRIPLE T, on the metal lathe. A metal lathe is an awesome addition to any shop it has allowed me to make all sorts of jigs and fixtures that I use not only in my knife making, but also for all sorts of other projects around the homestead. From bringing hair-brained ideas to life to making simple repairs that otherwise would require buying (often expensive) parts, having a metal lathe at your disposal opens up a whole world of possibilities. If you’re patient, you can find HOT DEALS on used ones. Check out the video!
Life is busy. Fast paced and busy. Finding a little balance can be challenging. Several years ago (in my bike blogging days) I learned about a really cool little concept called micro-adventuring. Pondero is a bike blogger that really practices this concept well. I now follow him on instagram, and he is still getting out for little bike tours and a cup of coffee. He does S24Os as well (sub 24hr overnight trip) but he’s a champ at the micro-adventure or micro-tour.
The idea of micro adventure makes a lot of sense. With a little creative thinking, it’s amazing how you can incorporate them into a busy lifestyle. Where you live will impact the type of micro-adventures you can get out on but ask your self; ‘where could I micro-adventure near me?’
My in-laws happen to have a nice little lake on their land and while there are no fish in it, there are lots and lot of ducks, swans, geese and marsh birds. It’s not a deep lake by any stretch but it will float a canoe.
So we made a plan to head out just for a quick paddle yesterday. It was about 2 1/2 hrs altogether and that is the beauty of the micro-adventure. They can be squeezed into an afternoon or morning. They don’t have to be epic or have the most amazing scenery. They just have to be done. A little paddling, a little sitting around relaxing, kids shooting their pellet guns, slingshots and chopping some wood. It’s nice to just be enjoying the outdoors at a slow pace as a family.
I’d encourage you to think about micro-adventuring. Where can you go in your area that takes you out of your regularly fast paced and life and lets you just slow down and relax while still doing something. Add your favourite people on earth and you’ve got a great time!
I’ve been getting more and more into leather work and now offering leather sheaths available for most of my knives. That’s a great option but it also means some upgrades to current tools/processes.
One thing that is super handy if you are doing a lot of leather work is a stitching pony, or stitching horse. It’s basically a clamping tool usually made of wood that hold the piece that you are sewing so that you can have both hands free from the leather being sewn. It also helps keep the leather rigid and prevents it from flexing while sewing.
I checked out a few options that are commercially available and decided it would probably be cheaper just to build one . All in it was a 3 hr project (made good use of my milling machine) and it’s going to save so much time! There are easier DIY versions of a stitching pony out there but I wanted something that was a little unique, and I wanted to find a way to use only materials that I had laying around and not have to buy anything for this build. Check out the build video!
If you’ve followed Simple Little Life on YouTube for a while, you probably know that I like to celebrate milestones by doing giveaways! Well, I’m keeping that trend going and we are coming up no one hundred thousand subscribers! 100K! That’s nuts! Never did I ever think this would happen, and I am so excited and honoured to be a part of the maker community on YouTube. More than just a number, it represents a growing community of friends, idea sharers and people wanting to learn to make things, make knives and just improve their skills over all.
For this GAW, I reached out to Foredom Electric Company, and they have donated a Foredom power carver set to be given away once we hit 100K subs on YouTube. Huge thank you to Foredom for getting behind this GAW and supporting the channel in this way. I am so grateful and amazed at their involvement.
I love my Foredom and use it in so many projects, including every knife that I make.
Here are two videos you can check out; the first is the GAW announcement video (please note, this is not the video that you enter to win on, that one is coming soon😀) and the second is a Tool Time Tuesday I did on the Foredom.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the support that you have shown in the past year that have made this channel grow, and it is such an amazing community to be involved in. Hopefully we’ll be launching the GAW soon and get this awesome tool into one of your hands!
First of all, thanks so much to everyone for all of the notifications and messages about the situation. It is an amazing feeling to have so many people looking out for us and very quickly letting us know of what was happening. Thank you.
Recently the Simple Little Life has joined the Studio71 Network, and this hack was a complete hack accross all members of the Studio71 team. Including some really big YouTubers like Good Mythical Morning, Roman Atwood, Wranglerstar and many many others.
We’ve been told YouTube is working on fixing the situation and we should have all of our titles, descriptions and everything else back to normal within a few days. Apparently this hack is just a way of #OurMine flexing their muscles and proving that there are security issues. Which obviously there are. Uploading new content is still working just fine and from what we’ve been told the hack has been neutralized.
So now it’s just a matter of waiting until everything gets put back to normal. Again, thank you so much for all of the heads-up messages. They are most certainly appreciated.