But it’s not too late to join us and get in on two incredible days of education and fun. There is a first-timer orientation today followed by a pre-conference session with the one and only Rick Sammon on “What makes a great Outdoor Photo.” Please watch official trailer below (it’s short) and see if it’s right for you.
Hope you can join us — we’ve got an incredible team of instructors, and I’ve got some really cool post-processing techniques to share, too! Here’s the link for tickets, along with the full conference schedule.
“The Grid” is on Hiatus This Week
The conference will still be in full swing on Wednesday, so we’ll have to skip this week’s episode of “The Grid” but we’ll be back again next week, so thanks for hangin’ in there with us while we’re on break this week.
Get on The Love Train!
Want to start your Monday off right? Take just a couple of minutes and watch this video below. It’s the O’Jays appearing live on the TV show “Good Morning America” doing their awesome 70s hit “Love Train” “and the theme for the show is the 70s, and the crowd is all dressed in 70s outfits and doing 70s dancing, including a Soul Train line, and it’s just a blast. Also — check this out — these guys are around 80-years old, but they’re dancing and singing and living their best life. Give it a quick watch — it’s just the best way to start the day. :)
I wish you all good health, happiness, and good health. A big welcome to everybody joining us for the conference, and we’ll see you online. :)
This week my buddy Terry let me know that there’s a new official entrant in the “Chicken Sandwich Wars” and it would potentially be a formidable one — Church’s Chicken (a real, honest-to-goodness yummy chicken place) has introduced their version of Popeye’s incredible chicken sandwich (the one that started the war in the first place). They offer it in both regular and spicy. So, yesterday I made the drive out to the nearest one (about 20+ minutes each way), But it was worth the drive. So here’s my quick review:
It’s Actually Very Good, But….
It’s considerably better than McDonald’s new chicken sandwich (which is just an improvement on McDonald’s old chicken sandwich). It is almost on par with other top new chicken sandwiches from Burger King or KFC. The bun is really lovely; the chicken itself is crunchy and quite yummy. The pickles? Sublime! And their sauce is so good, and you could probably call it great.
So, why is it only “Almost on par” with the others?
Taste-wise, it is actually is on par with the top picks, but the physical size of the chicken itself is much smaller. The sandwich I got looked nothing like that Church’s photo above from their website. It’s more like the size of a McDonald’s chicken sandwich, so it’s missing that awesome “bigness” that the KFC, Zaxby’s, Burger King, and of course Popeye’s all have in common. No chicken was sticking out the sides of the bun, and it was about half as tall as that photo above makes it look. If you want to go against Popeye’s, you gotta go big (like most of the other entrants did), but sadly, they didn’t.
There could be legit reasons for this
I could have just gotten a smaller chicken patty by the luck of the draw (they can’t be all the same size, right?), and the person right after me or before could have gotten a big ol’ honkin’ piece of chicken, but I can only go by what I was served. A friend suggested perhaps they’ve cut back on their size because of the chicken shortage. Still, I don’t think they’d let the size and quality of a new product drop like that — I think they’d rather say “we’re sold out” than “we’re shrinking the size to keep from running out” But, again, I could have just gotten a rare smaller piece, but I’m concerned that’s not the case, and that it is just a smaller sandwich overall.
So, in the context of the larger war, where does Church’s rank?
I’ve always liked Church’s chicken, and if the chicken in their chicken sandwich were bigger, I would rank it right up there — probably at least tied with Burger King and KFC, and with such a great sauce it might have even over-taken them (Church’s sauce is better than both KFCs and BKs). However, based on the sandwich I received, I would have to rank it below Burger King and KFC (with Zaxby’s still way on top, along with Popeyes), but above McDonald’s, and so far above Wendy’s that I can’t even include them in this with a straight face. I just don’t know what happened to Wendy’s in this war. (They brought a knife to a gunfight).
So, in short, Church’s has a solid entry into the war. That being said, I wouldn’t make the long drive there again, passing by Burger King’s and KFCs and Zaxby’s along the way. Note: just a friendly reminder: Chick-fil-a is NOT in the Chicken Sandwich war (they did not create a new sandwich to go against Popeyes, who started the war). Yes, we all love them, but it’s “its own thing” with its own unique taste (and small size, and no sauce unless you add it yourself, and just one pickle, etc.,) but for many people, that combination is magic, and I get it. So, no need to defend them or mention how “Chick-fil-a is the best” down in the comments (or, more likely, over on my Facebook page). If you’re drawn to defending it anyway, read this first.
Next week, Join Us At The Outdoor Photography Conference
Here’s the official trailer (I haven’t had a chance to share this yet — hope you dig it).
It kicks off next Monday with a pre-conference session, and then it runs all Tuesday and Wednesday in two separate training tracks. Remember — you get full access to all these sessions for an entire year after the conference, so even if you can’t make it next week, you can watch it any time in the next full year, which is awesome.
Terrific video today from the super-awesome Terry White on one of those most-requested topics, and he’s got a couple of different ways to do it, and most importantly, how to set yourself up for success.
PROGRAMMING ALERT: I’m the guest this week on Steve Brazill’s highly acclaimed “Behind The Shot” podcast, and we’re talking about composition, timeless photos, and all sorts of fun photo photography stuff. If you’ve got a sec, I’d love it if you checked it out. Here’s the link but I also embedded it below (and a big thanks to Steve for having me on again. Truly an honor.
OK, onto this “Photoshop Tip Friday!
This is a super-handy selection tip for selecting something that seems like it should be really simple…and it is, once you learn this tip. Check it out:
Pretty handy, right?
If you’re new to Photoshop, this online course can really help
We just released one of my new classes, and this is one expressly for Photoshop beginners. Check out the official trailer below (it’s short).
Here’s a link to the course — you can watch it right now (if you’re not a member, you can unlock this course for just $29).
Thanks for stopping by. Have a rockin’ weekend, everybody!!! :)
P.S. The Outdoor Photography Conference is almost here — coming May 18 & 19, 2021. It’s two full-days, two simultaneous training tracks, all online, and super affordable and features one of the greatest teams of instructors we’ve ever assembled. It’s going to an incredible event — Here’s the link for tickets and info.
This is just a quick little video, but besides learning the background effect, you’ll pick up a few handy little Photoshop tips along the way. Give it a quick look below:
Hope you found that helpful. :)
The Outdoor Photography Conference is just two weeks away!
It’s coming up May 18 & 19, 2021 and we’ve put together one of the greatest teams of instructors we’ve ever assembled. It’s going to an incredible event — two full days, two simultaneous training tracks, all online, and super affordable. Here’s the link for tickets and info.
Here’s wishing you an absolutely kick-butt week! :)
Mornin’, everybody! I have an update for you in the on-going chicken wars (important, since it is a proven fact that many photographers and Photoshop user consume chicken sandwiches). Since my last post, I wanted to re-test some of the top-tier chicken sandwiches in the battle and see if after a few weeks I still felt the same way (especially about Zaxby’s being the winner, being at least as good if not better than Popeyes). Briefly, here’s how it went down:
I’m moving this one up a spot in my rankings, perhaps even over KFC’s excellent new chicken sandwich, but primarily for one reason: Burger King’s sauce is better. KFC’s is more like just mayo, where Burger King went more the route of what Popeyes (and Zaxby’s) is using. It’s a very large, very crunchy chicken, and I’m thinking this has moved into the #2-ish spot (behind Popeyes and Zaxbys who are tied are very close to tied. More on this in a sec).
I just retried this one yesterday and it was actually pretty tasty overall, but it’s losing the war here for two reasons: (1) The chicken patty itself is really small. The whole sandwich is small in comparison to the other. My sister-in-law nailed it when she said “It looks like it should be on the value menu.” It’s similar in size to a McDonald’s cheeseburger (not a Quarter Pounder, a regular cheeseburger). And (2) it’s called the Crispy Chicken Sandwich and it’s well-named. It’s just a bit crispy. It’s not crunchy like Burger King’s, Popeye’s and Zaxby’s. So, while it’s fairly tasty, it’s not “big and crunchy” which kind of takes it out of the running in the Chicken Wars. However, I read an article yesterday about how much people are liking the new chicken sandwich and how it’s helped McDonald’s sales, so it is definitely an improvement overall, which is a good thing.
I revisited a local Popeyes and it’s still really great any way you look at it (and they’re the reason the war started in the first place). I still do think it’s their bun. They’re something magical about it. They could put their bun on the menu by itself and people would probably order it. Their side dishes are kind of ‘meh’ but their sandwich is still pretty incredible.
There are over 400 locations out there, but sadly mostly East Coast and Midwest, and there’s a few in Utah for some reason, and that’s about it, which is a shame because I gone back (a few times now) and I’m telling you — if I had to pick one, even over Popeyes, it would be Zaxby’s. They have it all, and they are taking the Chicken Wars VERY serious (their staff uniforms are camouflage. I am not making this up). Their sauce is the boss — their bun is great. It’s big and very crunchy, and all these restaurants were lined up beside each other so I could choose any one, including Popeye’s, I would still go to Zaxbys — double and triple re-confirmed as the winner.
This one moved down a notch swapping spots with Burger King (who moved up). Their chicken is top notch — the bun is great — the pickle sublime — it’s big and crunchy, but their sauce is (as I mentioned earlier) kinda boring. Still, a great choice (even with the boring mayo-like sauce, because their chicken and bun are top notch, and size and crunchiness are on point). If they offered a different sauce choice, I think they could win it all. Plus, KFC’s sales of these new chicken sandwiches are reportedly up big-time, so people are super digging them!
So, that’s a quick update. I get lots of emails and comments (and people telling me, “You need to try that particular one again…” so I made another pass, and there was only one change — Burger King is on the rise, which is not easy for this Non-Burger King fan to say, but they have a great sandwich and there’s a Burger King fairly close to my house, which is not a great thing because it’s a tad too-convenient.
This is only sandwich I did not re-try. I had tried two already — I bought a 2nd one because I thought there must have been a mistake with the order on the first one and they gave me their old chicken sandwich. When I bought the 2nd one, I kid you not — I took two bites and threw it away. It’s awful. I don’t know what in the heck you have to do to a chicken sandwich to make it awful, but Wendys (whom I otherwise love), somehow found a way. Yeeech!
Here’s two music videos of the same great song
Kalebra and I love Bruno Mars — his music, his dancing, his lyrics, and his joy while he’s performing. He’s just incredibly talented (I surprised Kalebra a few years back with a birthday trip to Vegas to see him perform live, and he was just fantastic!) Well, he teamed up with Anderson Paak to create the group “Silk Sonic” and their single (which has been out a few months now), called “Leave the door open” is just awesome! It’s like an old 1970s Chi-Lites song (Have you seen her?) or the Spinner’s “Could it be I’m falling in love” or the Manhattan’s songs (like, Let’s just Kiss and Say Goodbye), kind of in that genre but with today’s recording technology.
Beside and musicianship and incredible vocals, but lyrics are kind of hilarious (in a good way), as is their performance (it doesn’t come off as silly, it’s cute) and their personalities really come through in both videos.
First, here’s the official music video (note: it already has 176-million views!).
But after you watch that, watch this performance from the recent Grammy Award’s show where they totally nail the Temptations style choreography and overall 1970s TV show performance vibe, look and feel. You’ll dig it (and you get to hear a really great song again).
There’s only 11 copies left in stock of my book, “It’s a Jesus Thing”
I wrote a book about Jesus a while back (video above), and Amazon does have the print version in stock, but there are only 11-copies left in stock, so if you know someone who might get a lot from a book like this (a book for “Wanna-believers”), or you think you might want a copy for yourself, here’s the link (of course, you can always get a Kindle version since they are always in stock). If you watch the video above, one of the bonuses is you get to see what I look like with more hair and an Ibanez guitar t-shirt that somehow I lost, and now I’m kinda wondering what happened to it, and now that’s opened a whole can of worms and I won’t be able to sleep tonight wondering what happened to that shirt.
Have a really great weekend, everybody! Here’s wishing you good heath and happiness (and some great tunes to take you into the weekend). :)