Seattle Shiba Life 1

Trying out a “silent” video and Mozilla makes for a good subject.


  • First time taking the gimbal out. It’s really annoying to carry around, but the shots are great.
  • Shots are actually across a few days… debated if I should keep on building up more shots to tell a bit more of a story, but I decided to just stop here and go with it. Fairly satisfied with this short version.
  • It’s difficult filming Mozilla while holding a leash
  • Wish the day had a bit more clouds. The sun was really harsh, but I think the shots turned out okay
  • I added some light/flare effects to give some of the shots a bit more character and counteract the harshness. Fairly happy with those shots
  • I shoulda petted Mozilla closer to the camera
  • Maybe next time I’ll get a bit more travel/transit shots

Part 2: Las Vegas

Second part to the Phoenix/Vegas trip:

Vlog notes/observations:

  • Tinkered with some voice-over processing here a bit more… does it sound better? I dunno haha…
  • Holy shaky cam… I need to gimbal and/or get better at camera holding haha
  • Viraj is also a good main character
  • Really noticed auto white balancing messing with me at Bazaar Meat… will manually set it from now on
  • That said, I think I got a bit better at color correcting here… getting more used to FCP’s tools
  • I need to pause a bit longer on my food shots
  • Mentioned this in the last one, but I liked when I had some traveling shots in between locations and missed them when I didn’t… will try to be more intentional about grabbing those in the future
  • The transition from Bardot to pool time seems abrupt… seems like something in between could have helped
  • Similar for the one out of Shang… 🤔🤔🤔
  • I wish I had more footage of the yelling and of Janae going up/down escalators lol
  • I like the lighting at Esther’s
  • I didn’t pause long enough on the spaghetti pomodoro shot so I kinda hacked it a bit by slowing it down and then adding some camera shake effects… not sure how noticeable it is, but reinforcing my mental note to pause a bit more on each dish
  • Voice-overs are feeling a little more comfortable
  • There were a lot of different LEDs at Ichiza and I couldn’t find any shutter speed that would eliminate the flickering so I just gave up on food shots there haha
  • Mozilla needs his own video

Part 1: Phoenix

I went to Phoenix and Las Vegas with old friends to celebrate retirement.

Vlog notes/observations:

  • I originally intended on combining the whole trip into one video, but my friend Wendy suggested I split it, so I ended up doing that
  • Learning more about videos and general practices there, I’m not used to caring about shutter speed much, but I started to use variable ND filters to darken the image so I could use the desirable shutter speed/aperture/ISO for video even when it’s really bright out. In the plane shot here, I could really tell the downside of the VND as there’s some funky colorization going on.
  • I liked the intros I did in this video
  • Final Cut’s stabilization worked really well on the plane landing shot (while Sam is talking about lounges)
  • I don’t know why I didn’t brighten up Jen’s intro… it’s so dark!
  • Trying to find the balance between how I naturally talk and enunciating well and not slurring… I think I did okay, but some parts sound awkward to me!
  • I started to use different pieces of music and tinkering more with audio transitions… I liked the lead into Bacarona and the transition into Mark juggling his apple at Chase Field
  • Didn’t love the transition out of the baseball music…
  • I think I need to stop using auto white balance
  • I need to get better at color correcting with a bit more intent (rather than fumbling around with trial & error)
  • I wish I had a faster lens or something like the FX3… it was rough taking some of latter shots at Binkley’s cause it got so dark
  • Liked labeling each dish
  • Love the audio transition out of Binkley’s and into hotel breakfast. I just learned how to do that lingering echo from a YouTube tutorial and just happened to use it here to test it out and I loved it.
  • I thought I had my Sony ECM-B1M mic set to record from both the front and the back, but I messed up, so my voice is muffled… oops
  • Sam is a good main character
  • I should take more traveling/setting shots so I can better storytell going from one place to another

The Last Day

As I mentioned before, since retiring, one of my goals is to try vlogging and see how goes. I don’t really care for it becoming popular, but I do want it to be targetting somewhat of a general audience as a creative constraint. I’m somewhat of a digital packrat and if nothing else, vlogs are nice to look back in years in the future.

I’ve made a ton of videos on my personal channel over the years, but definitely very amateur. I don’t have any formal training in editing or shooting, so I’m mostly just winging it. With my recent vlog series, I’m trying to up my game a bit and learning along the way. I’ve been keeping mental notes of each video, but I figured it might be nice to just have an accompanying blog post to each vlog I release… kind of like some director commentary. =)

My first vlog was one I made on the day I turned in my laptop and badge to Stripe:

Some notes/observations:

  • Talking to the camera in public by yourself is weird!
  • I generally like the colors in this video
  • First time really doing voice-overs… I think I did ok?
  • I could probably get better at hand-holding my camera… a bit more jittering than I’d like. I have a gimbal but it’s such a PITA… maybe I’ll force myself to use it in future videos
  • In contrast to my predominantly Taylor Swift soundtrack from my personal channel, I started to use Epidemic Sound, just for the off-chance I do eventually end up monetizing the channel. I burned a ton of time searching for music. Content with the results for now.
  • Feel like I did alright with the edits/transitions
  • I could maybe smile more haha
  • Viraj had called me right before I headed to the Queen Anne library to congratulate me on retirement so I think that helped me appear a little more relaxed there
  • I like the Hot Tips?
  • Wish my camera had focused on “Dry Humping” a little bit faster


I pulled the trigger and had my last day at Stripe a couple weeks ago. It’s been an incredible ride and it sounds cliche, but literally life-changing for me.

I’m trying out retirement life and last week was mostly my first week settling into it. The week after I quit, I headed to Phoenix and Vegas with a bunch of the old crew to celebrate. As we get older, these types of trips seem more and more special and I’m glad everyone was able to make it.

I’ve also started up a vlog at @owiblabla where I’ve got an episode on my actual last day of work and I’ll have both Phoenix and Vegas up eventually. I don’t actually care that much if it becomes popular, but I’m going to make them as if they’re for a general audience as a bit of a creative constraint and see how it goes.

In talking about transitioning into a post-work life, I’ve mentioned that it feels a lot like graduation. There’s a big unknown ahead of me now and I’m excited about exploring it and seeing how it goes.