Aaron Courtland - Digital Media Artist
Based out of Houston, Texas
Multi-media Focus - Digital Video & Photography, Graphic Design, Music - Composing, Songwriting & Production
|Posted by anonymous on September 11, 2012 at 9:40 PM|
So, there's this fun quirky company called Photojojo...
They publish a newsletter on photography. But it's not just any photography newsletter. They've got some creative quirks that keep me reading, learning more about my craft and searching the new gear they're constantly adding to the online store.
More specifically, they do the research to find the very best Photo tips, DIY projects, and Gear.
This summer I made travel plans to explore new cities and states across the US. This sense of adventure gave me a great amount of anticipation. One morning while reading emails, a week or so before leaving for the first road trip destination - Santa Fe, New Mexico, I saw a new product (The iPhone Video Rig) that I figured would add some extra awesomness to my iPhone 4s. It’s my default camera now to capture all those memorable moments along the way. It was hard not to purchase a few more items while cruising the Photojojo online store but I kept reminding myself the trip was only a week away and to, save, save, save!
I had been plotting in my mind all the ways it would come in handy and prove to be a great, fun investment. But, my iPhone Video Rig wasn’t alone. This was odd... It had a protector… a companion… a tiny plastic toy Parasaurolophus dinosaur. I’m not sure if these tiny creatures accompany all of the packages sent out by Photojojo or if they send out different genus of Cretaceous dinosaurs but I decided to name mine ‘Passion’ or ‘Pash’ for short. I decided that it would only be appropriate for her to join me during my summer travel plans. She’s small enough to fit in any pocket or carry on luggage and she would remind me to stop! Take in my new surroundings, take some photos and help me save these new experiences as memories. So here are some shots of Passion from Santa Fe, NM, the New Mexican Desert, to and through New York City including Times Square in Manhattan!
|Posted by anonymous on June 8, 2012 at 8:25 AM|
So the much anticipated opening for H&M Fashion snuck up on us about a week ago. Baybrook Mall stlll seems way out of the way but it's only a 20 minute drive from Downtown Houston.
As I mentioned before I had a lot of built up anticipation about H&M opening in Houston. There had been so many rumors and personal experiences shared to me by friends who had been bit by the H&M bug. I just wanted to find out what all the hype was about myself! Leading up to the opening on May 31st, 2012 I had been chatting to friends about my excitement and a small group of us started to form. We would all go and hold each others hand during the opening day ceremony which was to take place at 12pm on a Thursday. We left downtown Houston around 11am to arrive at Baybrook Mall by 11:35am. I had already read on Facebook about how people had been lining up the Wednesday before at 5:30pm. That is so ridiculous, I was eager but not that eager! Once we arrived to the Baybrook Mall parking lot we immediately saw the white modern structure attached to the mall that read H&M. We also noticed the line outside the door and it was suprisingly shorter than any of us had expected. This made us all very happy that we had decided to venture out all that way. Away from our inner loop bubble to Baybrook Mall...if only we could find a parking space! Off and away from civilization we found a parking space. I grabbed my bag of fruit and water and we hurried inside Macy's trying to beat the heat. Plus by this point the official opening was in only 15 minutes! As soon as we left Macy's and entered the Mall area the sea and tenticles of people overwhelmed us. And as we continued to walk through the mall looking for the interior entrance to the H&M store, it seemed the lines of people continued forever in no comprehendable order... We knew we were getting closer as the sound of music got louder and the sceaming teenagers counted down from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6... This was incredible, like nothing I had ever seen for a retail store opening. There was easily 3000 people there for the opening! Again, I was eager but not eager enough to wait in that kind of line. I quickly approached the group and expressed my concerns. My impatience wasn't capable of standing in that kind of line for who knows how long! So since we were halfway to Galveston where one of my favorite restuarants on the island called Mosquito Cafe is located, I suggested we go there for lunch and stop back by H&M at Baybrook Mall on the drive back to Houston. Everyone quickly agreed and we made our way back to the car to continue on our spontaneous road trip.
There was no long line at Mosquito Cafe and parking was easy to find. By this point we had definitely worked up an appitite and I know Mosquito Cafe could fulfill that space in my belly. If you're ever on Galveston Island be sure to check out Mosquito Cafe located at 628 14th Street. One bite is all it takes!
Ok, so back to H&M! Once we finished our delicious lunches we hopped back in the car to return to Baybrook Mall. The drive was short because we knew where we were headed. Parking was still difficult to find but good'ol Macy's had that cold AC and clean restrooms to use as we prepared ourselves for the residual lines of people left over from that morning. As we walked through the mall we noticed normal mall traffic but all the lines of people had dissapated. This made us happy again that we decided to venture out all that way. Once we found our place in line it took us 5 minutes to get into the store. We barely had time to take a group photo!
We should have taken a before and after photo because we were all successful with finding at least $50 worth of quality modern fashion at a great price! Just like the tag line says, just as all of my friends had told me before. I was so happy with all of my purchases which included swim trucks for $12.95. Some great blue and green shorts for $12.95, a couple of pairs of $12.95 shoes and a shirt or two. As you may notice my magic price was $12.95. I'm typically a cheaper weeper but how could I resist these prices and for such great fashion styles. I immediately knew I'd need to clean out my closet at home and plan another trip back to that magical place. Plus there were still too many people in the store to see EVERYTHING! After signing my reciept I couldn't wait to get back home to try on my new buys. I wasn't going to wait in the long dressing room line on opening day. Plus the prices are so great, you might as well keep it unless you plan on going back. Which I was already planing on doing and I hadn't even made it home yet! My mirror fashion show lasted about 20 minutes. Everything fit my body and felt so well. The quality of the fabric and the european fit flatters the body so much more than the boxy american clothes I'm used to. Over the next few days as I mixed and matched new and old clothes from my wardrobe I was constantly complimented on what I was wearing. Which gives one such a sense of confidence knowing that they left the house that morning in a good fashion forward state of mind. Some days we don't have it all together but wearing my H&M I feel cool and fashion forward!
Several days later I convinced a friend to return with me so that I could get a look at the items blocked by the lines of people days before. We made it up to Baybrook Mall before the store even opened and one of the managers let us in early. This made me feel even more special! On the short drive I had insight as to how H&M could change a persons life! Mine is a testament in the process. Studies have shown that well dressed people tend to be more successful and gain more promotions in the workplace. They also tend to be more popular and better looking. I think this comes from feeling good and confident in your own skin and knowing your own personal style. Confident personalities shine bright and are expressed through the clothes we wear, the company we keep and the way we treat others. This is where it gets deep, a person who comes from simple means without example of how to be more prosperous than generations before them can easily end up exactly where they started. Not striving for opportunities, not knowing self worth, and not giving time of day to imagining what life would be like with more than what they witness day to day. A store like H&M with such affordable fashion forward clothing could boost a young impressionable persons confidence giving them the courage to try new things and make an impression on those around them and the world. How does it get any better than that?!
During my second shopping trip I noticed a graphic on the wall that read, "get it today, it may not be here tomorrow!' That was all I needed to convince me to buy some highlighter yellow denim jeans. One thing I can't say I've ever owned or know how to wear really. Those pants make a statment and what statement was I going to make wearing such bright pants?! I had my finger on my chin contenplating saying HMMM to myself...is that another interpretation of the store name, H&M? "Let me just try them on" I convinced myself. They suprisingly looked really good on me so I bought them because I may not have another opportunity. I'd figure out how to wear them later. I left the store that day with another pair of shoes, shorts, yellow pants and a big smile on my face. Plus I signed up for updates on their website which got me 20% off any item of my choice ($25 Yellow Denim Jeans) what a great deal! I know this sounds ridulous but, I couldn't wait to go back again and we hadn't even made it to the car to leave yet. Feeling a little obsessed I kept that to myself. They need to get some new merchindise in first!
So this is my experience and I'm still in the moment. I'll keep you updated, I still need to find an occasion that calls for bright yellow jeans! Know of any good summer lemonade parties coming up?
|Posted by anonymous on May 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM|
It looks like there are some long awaited fun road trips on the horizon this summer!! I'm looking forward to capturing lots of footage along the way.
Here I come!
I've never been to most of these cities with the exception of Galveston which is so close to home I travel to the island for lunch some times.
|Posted by anonymous on May 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM|
I've been on this organic fruit sorbet kick for a couple of weeks now and I've got all kinds of ideas for new recipes.
So far I've made:
Cantelope Ginger Mint
Honeydew Ginger Apricot Pear
Honeydew Ginger Lemon Mint
Pineapple Ginger Banana Apple Mint
They have all been so tasty and delicious, naturally!
Next up for experimentation is Lemon Ginger Mint and Lemon Watermelon Mint.
Speaking of Lemons I'm also considering experimenting with Limoncello and these Swing Top bottles would be perfect for the freezer once they're ready! Check out the bottles here. Priced so affordably I may want to buy a few and give some away as gifts!
Here is my Evernote Food breakdown of the recipes as well.
|Posted by anonymous on May 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM|
Edge of Awakening Instrumental track used as soundtrack to Artist Nicola Parente's documentary for his solo exhibition at the Manuel Felguerez Abstract Art Museum in Zacatecas Mexico.
|Posted by anonymous on March 8, 2012 at 3:30 PM|
This is a short 3 minute documentary created by Nicola Parente and myself about his solo exhibition at the Manuel Felguerez Abstract Art Museum in Zacatecas Mexico. Such a beautiful city and museum, it was an honor to witness great art, culture and food!
Project shot using Canon 60d and iPhone 4s.
|Posted by anonymous on December 6, 2011 at 6:40 PM|
Listen to my new song Pretty Lady
Aaron Courtland Music 2011
|Posted by anonymous on November 10, 2011 at 5:45 PM|
I'm looking forward to Art on the Avenue this weekend. I have two of my photography pieces up for grabs. Saturday tickets only $20 advance purchase or $25 at the door. Entry includes food, cocktails, art, and live entertainment. Bring your friends!
Both of my photos are printed on metallic paper and feature a sound bite that is activated when the bottom center of the frame is pressed. The sound clip lasts for 10 seconds and features noises I've collected when out and about in the city like, traffic and car horns combined with my music.
Fly at Intersection of Life - Aaron Courtland Photography
Save a Life - Aaron Courtland Photography
|Posted by anonymous on November 10, 2011 at 4:10 PM|
What a neat idea Emerites airlines came up with. This Musical Journey sweepstakes is worth a try!
Can you imagine traveling around the world to destinations like San Paulo, Cairo, Namibia, Dubai, Sydney, Hong Kong, London and New York!! One can dream right?!
I have a friend who just traveld to Dubai via Emerites airlines and he had a fantastic experience.
Take a look at my Emerites Musical Journey by clicking here, http://www.emiratesmusicaljourney.com/index.html?journeyid=1204
|Posted by anonymous on August 21, 2011 at 2:40 PM|
You may or may not know that I capture lots of images using my iPhone. The apps make it twice as fun and though I have my favs, Diptic is one that I love and use often.
Another iPhone app I love is myFilm. It's got some of the easiest options with great effects for tilt shift photos.
Isntagram is a free app that allows you to share your photos and add effects with a community of friends or followers.
Dynamic Light is a my go to app for adding high pass filters to images.
Photo Transfer App is used often for transfering images from my iPhone to iPad. Sometimes the screen is just too small on my iPhone and I'll edit images using the same apps on my iPad.
VideoPix is cool. It allows you to slow down a video and take screen shots. I turn those screen shots in to photos and then apply effects using the apps below.
Give these apps a try and let me know how they work out for you. I know you'll have as much fun as I do!
Have fun and enjoy!