Monthly Archives: October 2015

Mike Makes a Rolling Truck Bed Slide

Shane needed a better system for organizing the tools in his truck. We decided to build a DIY bed slide for his pickup (Ford Ranger) out of plywood, 2x4s and casters.
So far it’s working great. It’s not nearly as strong as the commercial versions (you could break it if you wanted to) but it’s still holding several hundred pounds of tools without a problem. We could have made it stronger by framing all four sides of the slide out, but Shane didn’t want to loose the space.

Traveling the Most Expensive Country in the World on a Budget

This will be our last video about our trip to Norway. Since we share all of our financials in our monthly newsletter, we wanted to break down the costs of gear and travel in this video.

If you’re thinking about going to Norway, our number one tip is to avoid restaurants. Everything else is actually pretty reasonable. (Note: A lot of that has to do with the current exchange rate being more favorable than in the past.)

Mike’s First Attempt at Photography

I’ve always been jealous of professional photographers.  Not bored housewives with $600 DSLR cameras on auto-mode, but artists who can turn any scene into something worth looking at.

Most of the technical knowledge I’ve gained from making videos directly translates to photography.  Setting up a camera to properly capture light comes naturally now.  What doesn’t come naturally is composing good looking shots into a single frame.

Before leaving for Norway I decided I wanted to hone my photography and editing skills. Landscapes seemed like a good place to start and who could ask for better landscape than fjords, glacial rivers, and sandy beaches all in one trip.

My hope going into the trip was that I would come out with 3 or 4 photos that accurately represented the country. I’m happy to say I think I accomplished that goal.

Photo 1
sunnyrock
I think this one is my favorite because it came out looking so natural. Some of my other pictures look more “processed.” It’s interesting, though, since the sun beam and rain drops in this one were enhanced dramatically (see original).

Photo 2
shipwreck
This is a ship wreck at low tide in Tromso. Editing this image showed me how versatile shooting in RAW can be. The original was really underexposed to capture the detail of the sky and mountains in the background, but I was able to brighten up the ship without any problems. This turned out a little too sharp in my opinion. I need to go back in and fix it at some point.

Photo 3
mountainside
This one is definitely the most print worthy. As we came around a bend in the road this mountain side village revealed itself. The road was a series switchbacks with no real place to pull off so I quickly put on our blinker, jumped out of the car, snapped this picture and kept driving. The original looked amazing by itself, I just adjusted the colors and added a few highlights.

Photo 4
beachhouse
This photo was taken from the window of the car. We were exploring the Lofoten Islands and saw this barn sitting on what looks like a tropical beach.  We’re actually above the Arctic Circle. (Original)

Photo 5
northernlightsWe’ll remember two things from our trip to Norway forever- The glacier hike and the northern lights. I increased the exposure and adjusted the white balance to more accurately reflect the colors we saw. In the original, the lights were greener than in real life. They were actually more of a teal-ish color like in the edited photo.

I hope you enjoyed! I learned a lot in this process about taking and editing photographs. By the end of my editing session I had a much better understanding about RAW files, dodging and burning, and finding interesting subject matter.

Why Norway? (Road Trip 2015)

Many of you were probably wondering, of all the places in the world to travel, why Norway? Initially it was because we found round trip tickets for $375 and wanted to see the northern lights.

But after going it ended up being one of the best trips of our lives. We tried to capture just a few unforgettable moments in this video.

Glacier Hike – https://goo.gl/3uvW4l

We’re Back! (And a Quick Channel Announcement)

We’re back with a quick update about DIY videos and the introduction of Lauren’s baby videos. Happy to be making videos again!

Progressive Video Links:
Does moving in together really save money? – http://goo.gl/X2XwMb
Living together before marriage? – http://goo.gl/IT0f8Q
Who pays for the moving truck? – http://goo.gl/W894N6

We Climbed a GLACIER!

WE’RE BACK!!! We had an amazing trip and didn’t plan on posting a video today, but as we were sorting through our GoPro footage, the clips just fell into place. We had an opportunity to hike up a glacier in Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norway.

As it happened, we got a private tour of the glacier with our own guide for about an hour longer than normal. It was the real deal with ice crampon shoes, pick axes, harnesses, ropes etc.

Yes, Lauren is 4 months pregnant in this video but the guides were confident she would be fine. She was glad they let her come because it was a once in a lifetime experience!

Videos should resume as normal shortly 🙂