Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Calendar Contest Winner

One of my favorite websites, Smashing Magazine, holds a monthly contest where users can submit calendar designs for computer websites. Last month I downloaded one of the awesome designs for my own desktop.

For April, however, I decided to design my own and submit it. I thought I was one day late, but alas, I just found out today my design was chosen!

Now, I wasn’t the only winner, as they pick a slew of designs to feature each month (click here to see all the winners this month). But I’m still excited that such a prestigious, world-famous multimedia website would feature a design by me!

So, without further ado, here is the design I submitted (their only rule is that you showcase their logo somewhere and include a calendar in the design for only one month).


By the way, that photo of the squirrel was taken with a borrowed Canon Mark III during my fellowship at the Poynter Institute. I still firmly believe that any single person can take phenomenal photos with that camera.

If I can do it, anybody can (here are some of the others I shot with that awesome camera).

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Website

Jake Web

I finally started building my Online Portfolio ( For real this time – and not just another Wordpress template, either. This one is alllll me!

But the keyword here is STARTED.

All I have is a landing page at the moment, but I created it from scratch. All by myself. This can still direct you to my temporary blogger site holding my graphic and news design portfolio, as well as my writing portfolio on another blogger site.

You can also access many of my social media outlets along the bottom (you have no idea how long it took me to make those buttons “pop” when you hover over them).

So let me know what you think. I have a feeling the rest of the site will be based off this.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crown Point

On Wednesday I was going to drive out to Cannon Beach for some photos and spend the afternoon with Holly. Well, imageunbeknownst to me, she already had plans – so, I was going to go alone. But after thinking about it, I really didn’t want to. Besides, the coast was supposed to get rainy in the evening and I wanted a sunset photo anyway.

Instead, I waited a few hours until close to twilight and drove up to the Crown Point Vista House, roughly a 30 minute drive from our house. Now, the only reason I even knew about this building and the subsequent stellar view was from this photo on Flickr, taken by one of my new favorite photographers, Andrew Curtis.

I wanted to capture something similar, but alas, the cloud cover would not allow it. Rather, I was able to capture these three little beauties:

I never thought I’d be able to get the clouds look so nice during a sunset. After seeing this guy’s shots of the sunset at Fenway Park in Boston, I really had the itch for it. So, obviously an HDR was the only way to go and I’m fairly happy with my results.

A nice little 15-second exposure of the building and moving clouds. The moon was peeking through at moments, but my favorite part of this photo is the red light on the security camera screen. It’s easier to see when viewed large. You can also see some stars poking through in the larger version.

Vista House 
This is actually three images merged together. Since I was so close to the building I couldn’t get the entire window set and moon in the frame. I really like the cloud movement in this, but I’m not so sure about the way the building is slightly rotated in the frame. I was on my hands and knees in a parking lot with cars driving close behind, so I didn’t have much safe time to experiment.

Monday, March 22, 2010


A while back I shared a photo that I shot after being inspired from others on Flickr (here is the shot that inspired me). Anyway, in the comments under that photo somebody recommended I try a photoshop plugin called Topaz Adjust.

So, I did. and while I really think the newer version looks better, it still looks too much like a cartoon. But I guess that’s how most HDRs look. Oh well, here are the two different versions. The first one is my edit with Topaz adjust, while the second image is the original.

I guess that my favorite part of topaz is that it really brings out the contrast in things, like the clouds and the wooden pillars.

Portland HDR (edit)

Portland HDR

Friday, March 19, 2010

Holly Cooks!

Holly (out of the blue) decided to make homemade pizza the other night. Not a regular cook, I was perplexed by her decision, to say the least.

But then I saw her pie! It looked great, smelled great and tasted excellent!

So, last night we decided she should make another. And this time I set up my camera and laptop to catch her in the act:

Holly in the Kitchen from Jake Donahue on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Counterintuitive, maybe?

Thanks to my good friend Heidi via Google Buzz (still not sure how to even use Buzz, but I seem to get notifications from everybody else), I noticed this retarded little goody: Solar-powered cell phone covers.

Like the author of their article even says:
"I have no idea if the environmental cost of making these things cancels out the benefits..."
My point, exactly! I have no doubt that every sandal-wearing, paper-recycling, hipster-wannabe in Portland will be toting these contradictory phone covers around by summer. But there is no way these things do more good for the planet, especially with an $80 price tag. Assuming they only make a marginal 25% profit off of them (and they're probably marked up much, much more than that), they would cost the company roughly $66. In reality, it's probably closer to $50 per cover.

There is no way they've been churning these things out sans a huge electricty-guzzling factory.

But here's the real kicker: It takes a 2-hour sunbathing session to garner enough power for only a 30-minute charge. If you're going to spend $80 for something to just charge your phone for 30 minutes, why not buy a spare battery? Wait, it's an iPhone? Damn... You can't even touch the battery.

(Want a spare iPhone battery? You have to do this).

I've got a better idea: Take that $80 you would have wasted trying to "go green" and put it toward cancelling your AT&T contract.

Go to Verizon and get a Blackberry. Then kick Luke Wilson in the head.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Portland Photos

I keep seeing awesome photos on Flickr that were shot around Portland. This only inspires me. It’s gotten to the point that I think about taking pictures more than anything else. When I grab my baseball gear for Little League practice I contemplate bringing my camera “just in case.” Just in case of what? I have no idea.

Anyway, here is some of the stuff I’ve been up to lately:

Click here to view this larger (it looks much better big). I went down to the waterfront again last night after seeing some sweet shots online. It had been a while since I shot a pano, let alone a waterfront photo of Portland.

I had driven up to the Pittock Mansion to test out some new settings on my camera one night. When I walked back to the empty parking lot after a heavy fog rolled in, I was greeted with this. The back lights of the Jeep flashed a few times because I pressed the unlock button on my key.

This didn’t come out the way I wanted. I will go back soon.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky this day! I’ve been meaning to get down to the waterfront so I can snap a nice evening photo with lots of clouds flying around, but this was a pleasant surprise. It was so incredibly blue and clear I was just as happy.

I shot this on the way back to my car after shooting the one just above it. It’s hard to see, but there are cars flying by the freeway bridges in the background (as well as the busy road to the left of me as I shot this).

Yet another waterfront photo. This huge yellow tree has always intrigued me, but this attempt didn’t come out as nice as I had hoped.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Catching Water Drops

I recently downloaded a program called CHDK for my camera. It stands for Cannon Hack Development Kit. What it does is offer options on my camera that were previously not available. For example: Before I installed the hack my Canon S5 IS could only take a photo with a maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds. Well, when the CHDK firmware hack loads onto my camera from the memory card, I am able to shoot photos with the shutter open for over 30 minutes!

Conversely, while the fastest shutter speed available before the hack was only 1/3200 of a second, I now have the option to capture photos as fast as 1/100,000 of a second!

Thus, you can imagine my excitement when I realized I could probably shoot one of those famously popular water droplet photos. You know, when you catch a single water drop frozen in air over a pool of water. So, I set up camp in the kitchen this morning. With the black dishwasher as my background, I set a glass of water on an end-table and set up my tripod. A few shots into this experiment, and voila!

I promise that I didn’t alter either of these photos at all! All I did was bump up the brightness/contrast in Photoshop, increase the vibrancy a tad, and that was it!



Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I’ve been wanting to shoot some night photos lately, especially after seeing some of the most amazing photography I’ve ever witnessed. is friggin’ phenomenal! I could watch his videos for hours, even though he only has two.

Anyway, after researching quite a bit online how to do it the past week or so, I finally snapped my first shots of the stars. Since I’m in Coeur d’Alene, far away from the bright lights of Portland, the skies were much more clear. Even more so since I was out at my grandparents’ house in the woods:

This one was only about a 30-second exposure, I think.

I left the shutter open for 17 minutes on this shot, that’s how the stars look like they’re streaking across the sky.

Both shots came from the back deck of my grandparents’ house. Tonight I’m going to try and tether my camera to my laptop and shoot a timelapse video. But who knows if it will actually work. At least I have fun trying!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Eugism No. 1: Stupid Turkeys

Well, it didn’t take long following my earlier post that a Eugism reared its beautiful head!turkey

Euge was laying in his bed at the hospital surrounded by a few family members. I had just arrived with Holly from his house, where we narrowly missed a group of turkeys crossing the road just outside their driveway.

Of course, I shared the experience with him as soon as I entered the room.

“Damn stupid turkeys,” my grandma immediately quipped.

Well, it wasn’t long after that Grandpa raised up a bit, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, glaring across the bed at his wife.

“Stupid?” he asked. “They walk around and shit in the yard, but THEY don’t step in it, YOU do! Who’s the stupid one now?”

For a moment, at least, everything was back to normal in the world of Euge.

Monday, March 8, 2010


That’s pronounced YOO-JIZ-IM.
As in a Eugene Matchett “ism” (as in pretty much anything my grandpa says or does).
So, at the request of many around me (and after a huge reaction to the post I shared earlier about a conversation between my grandparents), I’ve decided to start chronicling as many Eugisms as I can.
If you have a Eugism you would like to share, e-mail me at Of course, this assumes you’ve actually met or heard of my grandfather. If you have not, you will soon. I have a goal to collect as many Eugisms as possible – maybe enough for a separate blog!

Back in the Blogosphere

Well, it’s not exactly a secret that I’ve been neglecting my own little corner of the web over the past few months. With what’s been going on in my life lately, it hasn’t exactly been on the top of my list (or on my list at all, rather). Between Little League and my grandpa, trips to Coeur d’Alene and working, I’ve been spread a little thin, to say the least

Here, take a look at this nifty little graph I just whipped up in Excel (God’s gift to man!):


Starting in January 2009 and running through last month, you can see how much I’ve posted each month. Since October of last year it’s pretty much been a downward spiral!

Well, no more; I’m back, baby!

And while more often than not I utilize this page for nothing more than fulfilling my own egotistical mindset, whether sharing photos or just listening to my own voice, I do know of some people who have shown a small affinity toward Jakewood.

Welcome back!