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


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


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


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?

Spring Decor: Fresh 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.

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

On Writing…

I’m not a writer because I went to journalism school, did writing internships, or spend an insane amount of time writing about electronics recycling and the environment. I’m a writer because I can’t imagine not writing.

For me, it’s a form of sanity. We’ve all had those nights when it’s impossible to sleep because there is just too much to think about. For me, writing is one of the few things that lets me stop thinking. Once I’m in the “zone,” the words just flow and I don’t have to think about it too much. Maybe that’s why I do my best writing at 2 a.m. when I’m sleep deprived and just a little insane . . .

Late Night Ramblings

I haven’t blogged in months and I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been off living this glamorous life.

In reality, it’s a combination of things. I’ve been busy at work, seeing friends, with life… I’m tired when I get home and I can’t blog at two in the morning unless I want to be exhausted the next day. But the biggest reason why I haven’t been writing is that I want to take this blog in a direction that I can be proud of, but I don’t know how to do it.

Anyway, I was just about to go to bed and I realized that I had to post something or I’d never do it. So I’m sitting here at 1:00 AM writing. Like I used to. But I’m not going to edit this post like I usually do.

So here’s my post… I have no fabulous explanations or grand promises to offer. All I can say is that I have no plans to abandon this blog and I truly love writing.

If you’re still reading my jumbled up thoughts, thank you for your patience.  Like I said, I think that if I stopped to edit this, I wouldn’t have posted it.

Excuses or Good Intentions?

I’ve officially failed the Post a Day 2011 challenge.

I can make excuses: I just moved. I didn’t have internet for a week. I write all of the time at work…

But you know what they say about excuses. Or was that good intentions?

I will continue to post under the tag so I can see how well I end up doing, but I know I can’t maintain the challenge. (Unless, of course, you count the blog entries I write for All Green.)

Excuses, excuses

I feel like I’m stuck between idealistic and realistic. I honestly planned to do a post a day here, but at the same time, I don’t think that’s very realistic. As you might know, I already post 5 times a week on my company blog while doing other work for them. I try to write posts on the weekends and evenings, but I don’t always have the time or energy to.

I’ve also been sick–first with a cold, and now an infection. And I’ve been packing up my childhood room and shopping for my apartment. I move on Saturday, so I expect I”ll be quite busy until then.

I have some planned social media posts and book reviews, all I need is time.

Maybe it’ll be easier to jump back on the bandwagon once I move. I can be an idealist sometimes, right?