Blog: rsmithing.com

rsmithing.comMy blog, rsmithing.com, is a home for my thoughts related to photography, social media, public relations, technology, music and writing, published monthly, more or less.

Sometimes, I get crazy and do as many as a couple of posts a month when I’m not busy creating art. That hasn’t happened in a while, but there are several hundred posts over there you might find interesting if you’re reading this right now.

Occasionally I also post images related to the creation of my photomontages, sometimes referencing the source material for the final compositions featured here.

Click the titles below for the most recent full posts at rsmithing.com. I encourage you to share your thoughts or say hello in the comments, and I’ll comment back.

Single Image Saturdays – Toddler On The Run

Posted: April 15, 2017, 3:30 pm

What I Like About Surrealism

What appeals to me most about surrealism is a sense of connection and transcendence – or even just the possibilities of their taking place. I think we’re all looking to transcend in some way, to explore or become part of something outside ourselves. And yet mostly we go about our routines amid similar scenery so […]
Posted: November 15, 2016, 11:39 pm

CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival – My Art Takes Part

Two of my artworks are featured as part of the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. As stated at its website: The CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival celebrates the medium of photography and its cultural influence by engaging the (North Carolina) Triangle community with exceptional photo-based works and artists. The […]
Posted: October 11, 2016, 4:21 pm

How to Exclude a Post or Page from WordPress Search Results

I needed to have one post in a site I’m building not appear in search results. I came across this handy bit of code that totally does the trick, and it works for a page, too: /** Exclude from search */ function mySearchFilter($query) { if ($query->is_search) { $excludeId = 199; $query->set('post__not_in', array($excludeId)); } return $query; } […]
Posted: August 17, 2016, 3:59 pm

Single Image Sundays – Type, The Hand That Feeds

Shot via Hipstamatic in Winston-Salem, NC. Musical accompaniment here.
Posted: July 31, 2016, 5:42 pm

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To A Support Ticket

No ticket – not an option!  Buh-bye! My web hosting company, Bluehost, has opted no longer to offer tickets for support. Instead, they are seeking to focus on chat and phone as primary communication channels for website issues. As someone who has run sites for nearly two decades now, this is unheard of. On one hand, […]
Posted: July 8, 2016, 3:57 pm

Single Image Saturdays: Two Feet Ahead

Posted: June 25, 2016, 1:22 pm

What Do You Do When A Song Is Stuck In Your Head?

I experience music looping in my head on a regular basis, and I’m sure you can think of several times this has happened to you. I’m also a self-taught musician, having learned to play guitar by ear from an early age through careful listening, so, I have a hunch my brain is more active in […]
Posted: June 21, 2016, 1:09 pm

Space: Within our Reach… or, Redefining iCloud

A while back, I saw this news item about Lenovo & YouTube’s Space Lab project, and was reminded of an equally, if not more-so awesome father-son team who sent an iPhone into space by themselves. Best of all, they have video of it from start to end. It’s truly inspiring, gives iCloud a new meaning, and is worth […]
Posted: June 13, 2016, 7:29 pm

Keith Richards’ “Life” Audiobook Review

I just revisited the audiobook of Keith Richards‘ autobiography, Life, after having first listened some time ago. For me, the best parts were his thoughts about the magic of performance and songwriting, along with hearing the intimate details of how some of my favorite records like Exile on Main Street came together. The parts where he gripes […]
Posted: May 31, 2016, 2:03 am

Single Image Sundays: Momentary

Two unrelated moments make sense for a moment here. This is made from a photo of a faux stone figurine of a child sleeping, from Pier 1 Imports, in Greensboro, NC (taken with Hipstamatic John S. lens & Rock BW-11 film), along with a photo of a steel pole with peeling paint in the Church […]
Posted: April 25, 2016, 2:58 am

Improve Your Writing Immediately: Synonym Finder

There are plenty of books on improving your writing, and here’s one that works immediately. It’s more direct than a thesaurus and is instantly applicable for deepening the breadth of your vocabulary in the moment, while you are writing. Whatever word you’re thinking of using, check it out in the ol’ Synonym Finder and you’ll […]
Posted: March 27, 2016, 3:35 pm

Single Image Saturdays: Spring is Springing

From today’s afternoon walk around town. Shot via iPhone using Hipstamatic with Libatique 73 lens and Ina’s 1969 film. Full-size version over at Flickr.
Posted: February 27, 2016, 10:47 pm

Advanced Level Invisibility

For those interested in the Advanced Level Invisibility course, Professor Gus here will be focusing on three key areas: 1) stealth poses, 2) blending in with your environment, and 3) utilizing furniture.
Posted: January 3, 2016, 10:52 am

Recent Musical Obsessions

Here are some songs I have been obsessed with lately. For one reason or another these tunes have been on repeat in my brain and in my iPod consistently the last several weeks. “Baby Blue” by Badfinger Ever since the final episode of Breaking Bad, like millions of other folks, I’ve been obsessed with this […]
Posted: December 1, 2015, 2:59 pm

How to Automate Tweets

For the past several weeks I’ve been experimenting with auto-populating my Twitter stream through RSS feeds and automatically tweeting updates. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” Yes, I know social media is about interaction and connections, but here’s why I’m OK, philosophically, with this approach: I normally share news items I find interesting all the […]
Posted: November 4, 2015, 10:32 pm

How Do I Print My Screen?

Press the Print Screen button (PrtSc). On a Windows PC this captures what’s on your screen, ready for Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, or anywhere you can paste an image. After pressing “PrtSc,” go to your document and click “Ctrl+V” or go File > Paste to place the image. You can then click & drag the picture’s […]
Posted: October 19, 2015, 7:24 pm

International Literacy Day

Can you read this? Not everyone can. My own father was an educator for over three decades, many of which specifically involved helping grade school students improve their reading skills. He positively affected many lives this way, something I’m proud to have a tradition of myself, having tutored English as a second language and grammar […]
Posted: September 8, 2015, 8:46 pm

Music of 1984

I’ve often thought 1984 was an incredible year for music. So many iconic releases. Such an exciting time for entertainment: movie soundtracks, MTV… break-dancing. So I was very happy to see this list of the 100 best singles of 1984, complete with YouTube links to each track (where available). And the writing accompanying each track is exceptional. My favorite has […]
Posted: March 25, 2015, 4:40 pm

Top 25 Mobile Photos of 2014 at Flickr

My photo, “Summer’s Requiem” is one of the 5 best black & white mobile images of the year at Flickr – woohoo! Well, this is quite an honor. Of the billion+ photos uploaded to Flickr in 2014, one of mine was in the mobile top 25 according to the Flickr blog (#14, shown below), along with 24 other really great images […]
Posted: February 27, 2015, 9:32 pm

We Can Land A Probe on a Comet, But…

We can’t seem to get the hang of text transcription. In a mind-blowing feat of scientific achievement, the European Space Agency successfully landed a probe on a comet this week. That’s amazing. In its video coverage, the Wall Street Journal assembled a video wrap-up with a transcription that was well, interesting… The transcribing robot is clearly on something and needs […]
Posted: November 13, 2014, 8:01 pm

Jimi Hendrix: Hear His Excellence And Legacy

Here’s nearly two hours of Hendrix music and compelling interview clips in support of the release of a previously unearthed batch of recordings. It’s a fascinating listen. As a guitarist growing up, it didn’t take long for me to fall under the spell of Jimi Hendrix. And to this day, decades later, he’s cemented in my mind as the […]
Posted: October 31, 2014, 5:33 pm

Poetry For A Moment In “The Witness”

The Veteran, by Dorothy Parker: When I was young and bold and strong, Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong! My plume on high, my flag unfurled, I rode away to right the world. ‘Come out, you dogs, and fight!’ said I, And wept there was but once to die. But I am old; […]
Posted: August 25, 2014, 5:13 pm

Outstanding Modern Surrealism

Check out the inspiring creations of these seven modern surreal artists working in collage and photomontage I’m constantly scanning for examples of inspiring art. Every so often, the work of a certain artist consistently demonstrates extraordinary talent and style — in a way that appeals to my fondness for surrealism. I’m a fan of a certain kind […]
Posted: August 19, 2014, 8:49 pm

That’s Not What I’m Here To Discuss

Also known as “No Comment” Here’s some PR analysis from Matt Wilson at Ragan.com on a recent interview with former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. As reported at Mediaite, after MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell posed a question about spying, Oren’s earpiece (conveniently?) had “technical issues.” Coincidence? Another approach could have been to state, “Sorry, but I’m […]
Posted: August 6, 2014, 4:48 pm

Is Kodak the Next PBR?

Could a flavor for the vintage be a win for Kodak? Full disclosure: my first camera was a Kodak, both in film and digital. And their business allegory is one for the ages in terms of a Shakespearean rise to dominance and a spectacular fall from greatness. So it was with keen interest I noted this story […]
Posted: July 31, 2014, 6:23 pm

Stuart

This is Stuart, the neighborhood cat. He technically lives (i.e. gets food) a couple of houses down, but really, he lives where he, himself, lives; does his thing where he gets it done; and sleeps where he sleeps – in this case, my porch, which happens to be in his territorial patrol. He always has […]
Posted: July 30, 2014, 3:32 am

New Music: Dessa. Thanks, Night Vale.

Sweet sounds from a surreal podcast: “Call Off Your Ghost” by Dessa I’ve long been a fan of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Part of the broadcast is a segment called “The Weather” where music is featured. I’m not a huge fan of this part in general, however, a recent episode proved to be a […]
Posted: July 18, 2014, 5:39 pm

If Facebook Can Experiment, So Can You

Change up your own social algorithm and see what happens. The world has been aghast lately at the revelation of Facebook’s creepy social experiment. Sure, it’s weird at best and borderline unethical, but it got me thinking: what if we took a cue here and did some experimenting of our own? Can something good come […]
Posted: July 7, 2014, 5:03 pm

Tweet Composition 101

Browsing some of my favorite tweets recently, I came across this and thought it too funny not to share: *writes tweet *rewrites tweet *re-rewrites tweet *edits tweet *re-edits tweet *re-re-edits tweet *polishes tweet *reads tweet *deletes tweet — Uncle Duke (@UncleDuke1969) March 7, 2014 I sometimes mark tweets as favorites as a reminder to myself to […]
Posted: May 23, 2014, 7:08 pm

The Dark Horse Project: Music Lives On

Here’s a band/artist I came to know by seeing them perform at The Garage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina a few years ago: The Dark Horse Project The gig was part of a record label showcase, and the band gave an very solid performance. The show was so good, I picked up the group’s debut CD, and I listen to […]
Posted: May 2, 2014, 9:45 pm

Twitter PR Win For Sainsbury’s

This is a particularly good Twitter PR moment from a while back for UK grocer Sainsbury’s I happened upon lately. It works because of the follow-up, and also for the brief interjection of personality and humor: Dear Sainsbury's. The chicken in my sandwich tastes like it was beaten to death by Hulk Hogan. Was it? — […]
Posted: April 15, 2014, 2:48 am

In The News? LinkedIn Knows!

Perhaps you have a role as a spokesperson for your business or your public relations clients that sees your name, or their names in print, broadcast or on the web. If this is the case, then you’ll want to be paying attention to LinkedIn more closely. LinkedIn is rolling out a new feature where you […]
Posted: March 28, 2014, 5:14 pm

Olloclip Macro Lens and Quick Clip Case for iPhone Review

Macro, close-up photography via smartphone opens a whole new world of detail and interesting possibilities for mobile photographers. And for the more committed practitioners, I definitely recommend stepping up to the Olloclip macro lens. I happened upon Olloclip’s booth at the SXSW trade show recently, and after a hands-on look at the lens and accompanying […]
Posted: March 21, 2014, 6:57 pm

7 Street Art Shots from SXSW 2014

In-the-moment around Austin Click for locations and full size views via Flickr: I had the good fortune to attend South By Southwest this year in Austin, and I made it a point to document interesting street art wherever I found it. Above are the best random examples I discovered in walking about the city. This […]
Posted: March 16, 2014, 2:24 am

Inside McDonald’s: PR 101

As one who pays attention to the public relations world, I often notice especially good or especially bad examples. One especially good example I noticed recently was McDonald’s CEO, Don Thompson, in a brief CNBC piece, Inside McDonald’s. CNBC fires several tough-ish questions at Thompson, all of which he answers in plain English, followed by […]
Posted: February 26, 2014, 2:19 am

Tonight the Streets Are Ours: Recent Musical Obsession

Creativity’s Spirit Romanticized via Street Art This track has been haunting me the past several months. Like most people, I first heard it behind the closing credits of Exit Through the Gift Shop, the Academy Award-nominated documentary of sorts by British artist Banksy. Not only do I love the wall of sound timber of production; […]
Posted: February 12, 2014, 4:53 pm

In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran – Audiobook Review

I just completed the audio version of In The Pleasure Groove: Love Death and Duran Duran, narrated by John Taylor, bassist and co-founder of Duran Duran. The band have long been one of my favorites. In fact, the very first record I ever bought with my own money was Seven And The Ragged Tiger. On […]
Posted: January 24, 2014, 4:45 am

Anchorman 2: Mediocrity, Alas

So I just saw Anchorman 2. Meh. Sure, there’s no way any sequel to the classic original could live up to almost a decade of expectations, but this film really felt like pandering to the lowest common denominator. And I feel like a chump, having spent the ticket money. Sigh. Still, Anchorman 2 is not terrible. It’s […]
Posted: December 30, 2013, 4:29 am

Lost At Sea by Jon Ronson: A Review

I’ve just completed Lost At Sea by British writer Jon Ronson. This is a great compendium of idiosyncratic, engaging stories. Ronson has appeared several times on This American Life, one of my favorite radio programs. Having already been a fan of Ronson’s stories there and his work elsewhere, and also only now getting into audiobooks, I wondered […]
Posted: December 20, 2013, 4:30 am

Saturday At The Gas Station

Family Fare BP, Winston-Salem, NC I’m here several times a week. Neighborhood c-store. One night, the perfect photo op presented itself. Love it when that happens. Leading lines, lighting, lack of interference, and a moment to realize. Art is everywhere; we just have to notice it. What do you think? Ever noticed beauty in ordinary […]
Posted: December 8, 2013, 4:35 am

Rob Ford Time Bomb Has Taken Months to Explode

It’s obvious what a public relations debacle Rob Ford’s situation is, and plenty has already been written on it. As one with an interest in PR, there’s a particular aspect I find very interesting. It’s amazing to me that the situation taken this long to detonate. I remember reading in Gawker six months ago about […]
Posted: November 22, 2013, 9:51 pm

KISS in M.I.A. Sample

Matangi & KISS’ Heaven’s On Fire on New Album Listen to the first 5 seconds of both of these songs… “Matangi” by M.I.A., 2013 “Heaven’s On Fire” by KISS, 1984 Cool, huh? Share this on Twitter! What do you think? Ever recognized a sample? Are you a KISS or M.I.A. fan? Let us hear from you in the […]
Posted: November 21, 2013, 5:45 am

Get Thee To The Getty

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The only thing wrong with my visit was that it wasn’t long enough. Besides the many great works of art there, The Getty’s architecture and the grounds are a thing to behold. Here are some shots I […]
Posted: November 11, 2013, 3:46 am

Fomer NSA Director Interview via Amtrak. Thanks, Twitter.

Train conversation further cements Twitter as a social media/mass media, real-time, citizen-journalism news outlet. Amtrak passenger Tom Matzzie live-tweeted an on-background interview between news media and former NSA director Michael Hayden (also ex-CIA director) from a commuter train known as the ACELA. It was fascinating to watch this play out, minute by minute on Matzzie’s Twitter feed, and […]
Posted: October 30, 2013, 8:42 pm

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin: A Review

Note: The folks from Grammarly graciously offered to sponsor this post. I use Grammarly for proofreading online because it can free up more brain power for enjoying music. Music is everywhere, especially when it has to do with our emotions. Music has the power to move us, physically and spiritually. It is familiarity and exploration simultaneously […]
Posted: October 27, 2013, 8:14 pm

A Good Man Is Hard To Find Read by Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor reading her short story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” My all-time favorite author, Flannery O’Connor, reads here one of my all-time favorite stories, A Good Man Is Hard To Find. It’s so interesting to hear the creator of such a widespread work (the story appears in many college “English 101” college […]
Posted: September 23, 2013, 2:22 am

Pontiac Introduces Smart Watch

If you’re a Gen-Xer, there’s a chance you might have had a favorite TV show back in the early ’80s, Friday nights on NBC: Knight Rider. Sort of Dukes of Hazzard meets “the future” with David Hasselhoff as a renegade crime fighter…. with a smartwatch! Not to be outdone, Nissan has just introduced a smart watch of its own (yes, […]
Posted: September 9, 2013, 3:07 pm

Secrets In The Trees – Single Image Sundays

Posted: August 18, 2013, 5:02 pm

Two-Dollar Poems

A typewriter, a cardboard sign, some note paper, a skateboard to sit on — and you’re in business. Met this fellow at Venice Beach offering on-the-spot poetry. He asked for a topic and about a minute later produced a poem. Definitely worth two dollars. I snapped the top photo with Hipstamatic and added solarization via […]
Posted: August 11, 2013, 4:33 pm