Project Fi An Anecdote (now Google Fi) by Jared Groneman

About two years ago I signed up for Project Fi. A little known beta service from Google that provided cell phone service on select devices with a very simple cost structure. $20 a month for cell service and $10 per GB of data you use over that cell service. All data used on wifi is free. I thought it was a cool idea and looked a little cheaper so I signed up and got the at the time new Nexus 6P. Once I received my phone and got it all hooked up I didn’t notice much of a difference in coverage or quality. It has to be noted I live in a well covered suburban area very close to a major city, so lack of cell service was not one of the aspects I worried about.

Here are a few things I found out:

1) I saved money. Over the 30 months I had the Nexus 6P and Project Fi I averaged a monthly cell phone bill of $33.42. If we included the cost to buy the phone we get $54.48. My highest monthly bill (without the cost of the cell phone) was $52.48 and my lowest was $7.04 (but that was a weird month carryover so I would count it as $27.30.

2) I’m rarely off of wifi. I found myself avoiding things like Instagram, Youtube, and other data heavy apps when I was “roaming” or not on wifi (wow, that’s a throwback). This allowed me to get those cheaper monthly bills.

3) I need to swap phones before 30 months. Around the 24 month mark that phone started becoming borderline useless. Between 3-4 hour battery life (mostly standby) and dust getting into the camera lens (yes, I said inside not on top) the phone really was close to unusable.

4) I wasn’t able to take advantage of my favorite feature. Same price for data while traveling internationally. My travel has been relegated to the US so I couldn’t take advantage of this one, but that same rate for data internationally is really appealing if you’re a big traveler.

Ok, so that’s one outcome and three things about my own cell phone usage pattern. So what. So it was a pretty good deal. Now that Project Fi has become Google Fi and they have opened the program up to many more devices, even iPhone, I hope many more people save some cash. Keep in mind though, it’s all about how you use your cell phone.

PS - Use this link to save me some dough if you’re going to sign up :)

PPS (not a thing) - One thing that bummed me out about the new program is it coincided with the release of the Pixel 3 and I immediately pre-ordered to get away from my Nexus 6P. Only a few weeks later the price of that phone dropped hundred of dollars, Google even had a buy one get one on the Pixel 3 and it killed me. I definitely should have waiting until the holiday season to upgrade. FYI

Over the Edge with ABC2 by Jared Groneman

Oh... oh man. It's been over a year since I've updated my blog. That's... that's not good. Yeah, my bad. Here goes.

I've been very fortunate to work with some fantastic organizations with Istrico Productions and ABC2 (Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure) is no exception. Their Over The Edge event is a wonderful metaphor illustrating the challenges facing brain cancer patients, their families, and the healthcare/research community. That, and they get to repel off a building! For more info go to

[Updated] Lightroom 2015.2 - New Import Dialog is Not Good by Jared Groneman


[So... after the next update of Lightroom they reverted it back to the old style import dialog. Yay internet pressure!]

Lightroom got a not so good facelift with version 2015.2
3 Quick Critiques:
1) The new interface is poorly designed (reminiscent of Final Cut X)

2) More importantly one of my favorite features allowed a user to easily see where files were going to be copied/moved to in the previous interface (subfolder or by date). This is now not available.

This was very helpful to see where your photos were going.

This was very helpful to see where your photos were going.

3) If you do import to the wrong folder there is no move option anymore when selecting existing files.

Missing Move

Missing Move

Not a step in the right direction. Software programming is hard and you can't please everyone. If you want to make the interface simpler, that's great. Just don't completely remove useful features users need. Learn from FinalCut X's mistakes Adobe.

If you agree here's a link to the feedback forum

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015 Update Woes by Jared Groneman

As excited as I am to see great features like Morph Cut and the new Lumetri Color Panel in the new 2015 Release of Creative Cloud I can't help but get anxious when I hit that upgrade button in the CC app. I started a project yesterday 6/15 with content on I shot on a Panasonic AG-AC130AP. Today 6/16 I upgraded that project to the new PP CC 2015 which immediately gave me the dreaded red screen of what?!?

Don't panic, don't panic. It's just offline media, it'll be fine.

Doh!! But it's the exact same file. Maybe it's the codec. Let me try to import my footage from today (used the same camera and settings).

It imported fine (see day 2 in the first photo). Moral of the story, be cautious when upgrading your software. Adobe's updates always bring great new features and functionality to their software, but it shouldn't come at the expense of breaking what's already working.

PS - I'm sure they'll fix it soon CC 2015.1

WoodWorking Project 1 - AJ's Cutting Board by Jared Groneman

I've recently become obsessed with wood and woodworking. I decided, as I do with most things, to jump head first with no regard for proper tools, supplies, or education. Armed with YouTube videos and the helpful people at WoodCraft I started project 1, a cutting board for my cousin AJ. AJ's A&S Custom Woods have been making 2x4 based tables and benches for a while now and it got me thinking maybe I could do something similar. I picked up a Cutting Board Kit No3 from Woodcraft and got to work.


Walnut 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 16"
Cherry 3/4" X 1 1/2" X 16"
Purpleheart 1/4" x 3/4" x 16"
Yellowheart 1/4" x 3/4" x 16"

Of course, I had to complicate matters by doing more than just gluing the wood together and sanding it down (I blame Frank Howarth and mtmwood). I split the boards into two groups and glued them together. Afterwards I took a miter saw and made small slices of each of the two boards. I was going to turn them on their ends to make an end grain cutting board, but my hand sanding skills had left the tops of the pieces uneven making end grain a no go. I ended up making a pattern out of the pieces and gluing them all together.

Finally I glued together the two halves, sanded it flat, rounded the edges, and finished it with General Finishes Satin TopCoat. This is how it came out. I call this "cutting board on grass"

click for more photos

click for more photos

Shots: DC United vs Toronto FC by Jared Groneman

I recently got tickets to attend a DC United game, that of course meant I needed to inform Leanne Elston I would be attending the game. Leanne's a friend, DC United Fanatic, and a contributor to Black and Red United. She introduced me to the PR team from DC United and the next thing I knew I found myself with a pass to take photos on the pitch. Below are a few shots from the game.

Click here for more photos from the game

It was a great time. I got to talk to some other photographers with massive lenses and experience shooting what next to nature photography has to be one of the most difficult subjects to capture. I must say there were moments where I lost focus on what I was shooting being more interested in if they were shooting. In the end DCU was not able to pull out a win, but I'm looking forward to the next time when they do.