Playing with Focus & Color

Playing with

I’m a firm believer that photo editing apps and programs should be used to enhance a photo, not to make a bad photo good.

That said, I have fun playing with photo editing apps on my iPhone. It’s fun to see what a few simple adjustments can do to an otherwise mediocre photo.

Original Photo

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This is the original photo, taken on my iPhone 5 with no editing or filters. I saw potential in it due to the angle of the photo. When it comes to iPhone photography, composition is key.

Enhanced Focus & Color Levels

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Here is an enhanced version of the photo. I used the Big Lens app to adjust the focus, and the Snapseed app to adjust the color levels and contrast.

Instagram Filters

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When I upload photos to Instagram, I like to flip through the filters to see if anything appeals to me. In this case, I thought the Inkwell filter gave the photo an interesting vibe. (Also, I’m a sucker for black and white photography.)

What are your favorite photo editing apps for the iPhone?

Quick Grammar Tip: Fewer vs. Less

Fewer vs. Less

Many people believe that fewer and less are interchangeable, but that’s not the case. It’s true that both words are used to describe a smaller quantity of something, but they aren’t used in the same way.

In general, people use the word “fewer” if an item can be counted, and “less” if it can’t be counted.

So you would say:

  1. I have fewer than ten items in my shopping cart.
  2. I have less respect for you when you behave that way.

Items in a shopping cart can be counted. Respect can’t be counted.

Although this rule works in many situations, it is not entirely accurate because there are several exceptions to it (money, time, weight, mass quantities, and collective nouns). A better rule of thumb exists: use fewer for plural nouns and use less for singular nouns. (Think: is vs. are.)

The following examples are both grammatically correct:

  1. I have less than $20 in my pocket.
  2. I have fewer than twenty $1 bills in my pocket.

In example one, you can certainly count the amount of money that you have in your pocket. But because we think of $20 as a single unit (i.e., you would say “twenty dollars is a lot of money instead of twenty dollars are a lot of money), we use the word less in this situation.

In the second example, the term “dollar bills” is a plural noun. In other words, you would say, “dollar bills are green,” instead of “dollar bills is green.” Because of this, you use the word fewer in this situation.

If you have any grammar questions, please let me know in the comments below!

Spring Decor: Fresh Flowers

Flowers

I’ve never considered myself to be a flowers kind of girl. I think that they’re beautiful, but why spend money on something that’s just going to die?

But, I felt inspired by all of the beautiful photos that I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. So when I saw a little bouquet of daffodils for $1.49 at Trader Joe’s, I couldn’t resist picking them up.

Unfortunately, I’m terrible at keeping plants alive and flower arrangements looking fresh. Despite following several tips that I found online, the flowers started wilting the next day! Oh well…it was nice while it lasted.

Do you keep fresh flowers in your home?

Ramblings of a Writer: Easter

Easter many years ago...
Easter many years ago…

Easter is a bittersweet time for me. Two years ago, my grandfather passed away the day before Easter. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but no one thought it would be “that day,” if that makes sense.

I am lucky in many ways. It’s very unusual for a person to be in their twenties before losing their first grandparent. I still have three grandparents who are alive and I am grateful for that.

Grandpa Bob, as I called him, was a great man. He was the kind of person who made friends wherever he went. That’s a quality that I admire because it’s not as easy for me.

When I’d visit him in the hospital, all of the nurses would tell me how much they loved him. People didn’t love him because he was charming. People loved him because he was genuine. He’d ask you about your day and really care about your answer. It’s easy to spot fake people, and he certainly wasn’t one.

I didn’t burst into tears when I heard that he had passed away. I think it took me two days before I cried. Not everyone reacts to situations the same way, and that’s okay. I think of him often, and wish he could celebrate with us tomorrow.

I don’t often write about personal matters on this blog, but I want to write about things that matter. He matters to me and to everyone else who loved him.

If you celebrate Easter, I hope you’re having a great day.

March 2015 Favorites: Tech Edition

Photo Credit: http://startupstockphotos.com/
Photo Credit: http://startupstockphotos.com/

Happy April! I’m excited to share some of my tech / digital marketing favorites with you. Check out this post for my February Tech Favorites!

Social Media Favorites


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My favorite social media network last month was Instagram. I love photography and it’s a great platform for sharing photos. It’s fun to look through various hashtags and see what people from around the world are posting.

But what I really love about attempting to update my Instagram more regularly is that it forces me to stop and notice the beauty in things. Without Instagram, I might walk by that pretty flower by the side of the road and not give it a second thought. But with Instagram, I notice it and try to find the right angle and filter so that other people might see its beauty too.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, click here or go to the app and search for @heyamyerickson.

Cell Phone: Apps, Accessories, & More

IFTTT

IFTTT is great simply because it saves time. I like to use it to share my Instagram photos on other platforms. Basically, you set up “recipes” like “If I do this, then do this.”

My current recipes are:

  • If I post a photo on Instagram, upload the photo to Twitter and tweet it.
  • If I post a photo on Instagram, upload the photo to Tumblr and save it in my drafts.
  • If I post a photo on Instagram, upload the photo to WordPress and save it in my drafts.

Blogs & Vlogs

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 12.58.32 PM

Taking photos on your iPhone comes with some challenges (especially if you’re used to a more robust camera). I recently discovered the iPhone Photography School blog and have been reading through their tips and app recommendations.

If you want to get serious about your iPhone photography, check it out!

What were your tech favorites last month? Are there any categories that I should include next time? Let me know in the comments below!

February Favorites: Tech Edition

Coffee & Computer

Happy March! I thought I’d try a new series out on this blog where I list my favorite things from the previous month. So here we go… my tech / digital marketing favorites from February 2015!

Social Media Favorites

Follow on Instagram and Twitter

I recently changed my Twitter and Instagram handles from @amye_ to @heyamyerickson. What can I say? The underscore was getting old.

Twitter wins as my overall favorite social media site for February. Although I’ve been on the site for years, it stood out to me last month because I feel like I connected with more people than usual. And that’s the point, right?

Cell Phone: Apps, Accessories, & More

Person Holding Cell Phone
Credit: DeathToTheStockPhoto.com

I did something last month that has been slowly changing my relationship with my cell phone: I turned off almost all of my notifications. I still have a couple of necessary ones on (text messages, phone, and WeChat), but everything else is off.

I still check my apps often, but I’m doing it on my own terms, not because the notifications are driving me crazy. And that’s a start.

Blogs & Vlogs

Saving Money In Your Twenties
Screenshot: SavingMoneyInYourTwenties.com

When I read blogs, I usually get frustrated because the lifestyle portrayed isn’t realistic for where I currently am in life. That isn’t the case with SavingMoneyInYourTwenties.com

The theme of the blog is that you can have anything you want, but not everything. If you splurge in one area of your life, you might need to cut back elsewhere. Ashley still enjoys eating out at Chipotle, but she saves money by cutting her own hair (which she shows you how to do!). Check out her blog for practical tips on how to save money!

What were your tech favorites? Are there any categories that I should include next time? Let me know in the comments below!

Using Memes in Digital Marketing

What is a meme?

An internet meme is usually a humorous image or piece of text that has been copied (with slight variations) and spread rapidly by internet users.

Example / Case Study: Hyperbole and a Half

Credit: Allie Brosh from Hyperbole and a Half
Credit: Allie Brosh from Hyperbole and a Half

You may or may not be familiar with Allie Brosh and her blog, Hyperbole and a Half, but if you’re an active internet user and/or pop culture junkie, you’ve probably stumbled across the “All The Things!” meme (among others). Without this meme, I might not have discovered her blog. But I’m glad I did, because she is hilarious and has great storytelling skills.

Brosh even has a published book (which I own) and merchandise based off of her blog. Due to the success of her meme? I think so…

Can I use memes in business marketing?

An important aspect of digital marketing (social media in particular) is staying up to date on pop culture and trends… including memes. Piggybacking off of popular memes and sharing the images on your social media pages is a great way to connect with your audience and make them laugh.

Creating a meme-worthy viral campaign is entirely possible, but there’s a good chance you’ll fail. And if something goes wrong, it can be a PR nightmare. But it might not fail. In fact, it might do very well. A meme that goes viral inceases brand awareness and drives traffic to your website – both great things that will ultimately increase sales.

Case Study: Nationwide “Dead Kid” Meme

Here’s an example of a recent meme that was inspired by Nationwide’s depressing Super Bowl commercial. I even made a few:

nationwide-kid-meme-get-well-soon nationwide-kid-meme-happy-birthday-1
nationwide-kid-meme-happy-birthday-2 nationwide-kid-meme-valentines-day

The commercial is said to be a marketing fail, but I disagree. It got everyone’s attention and we’re still talking about it days later. How many commercials can we say that about? How many commercials inspired memes?

What’s your favorite meme?

Rebranding & My 5-Year Blogiversary

Hello! My name is Amy and I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in magazine journalism.

I never imagined that I would be so encouraged to blog at the excellent program that the University of Oregon has for journalism! Yet here I am. I hope to add more of a personal touch to this blog, detailing my experiences and thoughts on the world.

 

Believe it or not, I wrote that just over five years ago. This blog / website started as a class project for Professor Melissa Hart at the University of Oregon. At the time, I was an aspiring magazine writer at the School of Journalism and Communications (SOJC).

I have this blog, and the SOJC, to thank for the path that my career eventually went down. Because of this blog, I started applying to social media jobs after college. And because of this blog, I landed one and launched my career in digital marketing.

My posting became sporadic as I entered The Real World. I was constantly blogging and utilizing social media for the company that I worked for. Sometimes, I just wanted to go home and unplug.

Moving on.

I’m not the same person that I was five years ago, and it’s about time my blog and social media channels reflected that. One of my goals at the moment is to rebrand my online presence so that it reflects who I am, not who I was or who I think I should be.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin