Work Hard, Change Fast

My motto this year:

Lay low and grind

unknown

I have been working REALLY hard on my other site and the YouTube channel I run with my wife…and it’s been paying off.

We have been fortunate enough to gain over 2,000 subscribers in our first year and I attribute that to years of me experimenting and the fact that my wife is a Historian…and figured out that people like history on YouTube. (niche down they say…and they were right)

I don’t have it figured out though

What do you mean? 2k subs in a year on YouTube is not easy!? What is your secret?

No secrets, just hard work and being willing to change. Change fast.

I love getting feedback as that is really the only way that you can change yourself or your product for the better. That and learning from others…but direct feedback is something everyone should seek.

To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.”

Winston Churchill

We released a membership tier and were pretty aggressive with the pricing at the high end. I worked really hard to make those products and I thought I might be worth more money. But then I saw a friend also release a membership…at a much lower, single price.

It hit me right in the gut.

Be Realistic

His YouTube channel is MUCH bigger than our (about 15 times bigger as of writing) BUT he didn’t offer as much as I do. (interactive maps are work to make!)

So I Changed…Fast

Even though I had just released a smooth and well written and logical 3 tier membership, I changed. I got rid of the low and high and merged my perks to the middle pricing. ($5/month for what we are giving is a freaking steal)

It’s ok to admit you are wrong.

What is not ok is to recognize you are wrong and not adjust…not change.

Change is good…so change often and change fast.

oh…and if you like history and/or travel…check out our patreon. (my interactive travel guides are pretty cool)

Walk With History Memberships are Live!

If you like History…you are going to LOVE this.

Worked like a crazy person to get this done. I have a lot to say about how I built this…but for now, see what all you can get with these brand new memberships.

To celebrate here is 20% off at our Gift Shop.

walkwithhistorygiftshop.com

code: VMCXBDA7QZ

(expires March 1st)

Would love to hear your honest thoughts on the membership options…especially if something doesn’t make sense or looks off. You can message me if you find something like that.

WHAT YOU CAN GET WITH A MEMBERSHIP:

*Stickers, coffee mugs, t-shirts (at no extra cost depending on membership level starting at $2/month)

**Behind the Scenes updates and member posts. (a lot of the stuff doesn’t make it past my editors cuts…)

***Episode Travel Guides! (particularly proud of this one) These are interactive maps that can take you to the locations we filmed at. These took (and will take) a lot of work so access depends on membership level….BUT THE FIRST 5 ARE FREE.

***walkwithhistory.net***

OR

search “Walk With History” on Patreon. 😁

Now I’d say I’m gonna relax and watch the superbowl…but on to editing the next video. 😉

New Year New You is Bulls#!%

And here is why…

Think about it.

New You?

What does that really mean? Taken at its most literal, it could mean that your old self should be cast aside for a new and better “you”. That your previous “you” is not worth keeping and only a “new you” is worth presenting to the world.

Which is a HUGE mistake.

Photo by Kinga Lopatin on Unsplash

What makes you better is not throwing away your years of experiences — the good, the bad, and the oh-so-ugly. It is precisely those experiences that make you better!

They have refined you.

Just as a sculpture needs to be carved out of an imperfect block of marble so do you need to be carved out of an imperfect shell of humanity.

Photo by Pavel Nekoranec on Unsplash

New Year?

I may be one of the few that has never been one for New Year resolutions — and here is why.

You should not wait to start something new. There have been countless articles written as to why New Years Resolutions Fail and I believe that is because when you pick an arbitrary date to start something…you never really wanted that thing in the first place.

New Years resolutions are an excuse to not begin today.

If you TRULY want to start something new START NOW!

Stop reading this article and act!! (you won’t hurt my feelings)

Photo by Caleb Miller on Unsplash

Not Built in a Day

Rome was not built in a day…

Do you know when that quote originated? Almost 1,000 years ago.

Yup!

The earliest known version of this expression is found in the collection of medieval French poems Li Proverbe au Vilain, which was published around 1190:

Rome ne fu[t] pas faite toute en un jour

(via phrases.org.uk)

For almost 1,000 years people have known that it takes a long time to build something beautiful. They didn’t wait until the New Year to start building Rome.

You can’t tell me that on January 1st you are going to start the “New You”…and why?

Because that is impossible.

YOU CANNOT AVOID YOUR PAST.

Your old self is part of who you are. It is that original marble block that only a select few saw the beauty within…heck…for many of you, only YOU SAW WHAT WAS POSSIBLE.

That’s ok. That is normal.

Because year after year, you have survived and refined yourself. That block of humanity took hammer blow after hammer blow — and only now is the world ready to see what was inside all along.

You Are Ready

Photo by Amy Burgess on Unsplash

There is no “New Year New You”…because today, right now, you are here and ready. Do not wait for tomorrow or some arbitrary date to act. If you do, you will always be waiting for that “perfect time to start”.

Start now. Fail. Start again and fail again. Learn from that.

Hammer blow after hammer blow…those failures will fall away to reveal a more refined you.

You got this…

Don’t wait for “New Year New You”…because it’s bullshit.

Starting a Podcast…on How I Started a YouTube Channel

First 3 episodes go live on Monday!

Ok. So there’s a bit more it it than the title may suggest.

The Talk With History podcast is a history based podcast that talks about how the past continues to impact society today and what it takes to produce a successful history based YouTube channel.

Elvis (2022) movie review by a Historian Talk With History

Our resident historian gives us her review of the movie Elvis (2022). We talk about the facts, what facts got stretched, and what was flat out false. For more visit us at: https://talkwithhistory.com (talkwithhistory.com) Want to have a question featured on our next podcast? We will be leading off each of our shows with a 5-star question of the week!!! Leave us a review and ask us your questions!! We look forward to hearing and interacting with you all and we'll talk soon! ——————————————————- This is a Walk With History production: Patreon: https://patreon.com/walkwithhistory Gift Shop: https://walkwithhistorygiftshop.com Website: https://walkwithhistory.net Episode Travel Guides: https://walkwithhistory.net/guides additional sound effects from https://www.zapsplat.com
  1. Elvis (2022) movie review by a Historian
  2. Ghost ship history and the Caroll A. Deering shipwreck
  3. First Black Medal of Honor Recipient Sergeant William H Carney
  4. Washington Crossing and how to say Hessian
  5. Hamilton, Yorktown, and Battlefield Sunsets

My wife and I started the Walk With History YouTube channel back at the end of February and we have been floored at the community that has grown around us.

Even more surprising we were able to monetize in barely 4 months!

To be honest…our 10th video on that channel got “picked up by the algorithm” and that got us to the required 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time required. It took me a little while to get in to the YouTube partner program so we have only technically been monetized since July/August timeframe.

Why Start a Podcast?

I was listening to the YouTube Creator’s Hub Podcast a couple weeks ago and Dusty Porter, the host, had a guest on that is big in the podcast industry and he was talking about how those who run a YouTube channel already have everything it takes to podcast.

They understand audio, storytelling, and the digital medium. And it’s a lot less work to produce a 20-30 minute podcast than it is to make a good video of the same length. (trust me…as someone who makes 12-15 minute videos every week…podcasting is WAY easier)

So this podcast fit right in line with what we are trying to do with the Walk With History YouTube channel…but in a different medium.

  • We have already done the research (as our podcasts will be in depth looks at our videos)
  • Barrier to entry is VERY low for podcasting
  • Audio is the focus…which I’d say is a bit easier than video
  • Podcasting is only going to grow and not even close to saturated right now

Pretty exciting huh?

Curious on how to start a Podcast or YouTube channel?

Drop me a comment below! I’d be excited to write more about everything I have learned. 😁

Oh yeah…and you can find our Talk With History Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else!!

The Ebb and Flow of a Personal Blog

Personal blogs are a different…no…special…part of the internet.

Has it been a while since you have posted on your blog consistently?

That’s ok.

Because it is yours.

Personal blogs are a different part of the internet. Special in my opinion. Some people write long enough (and well enough) to make some money…but many (like me so far) don’t.

That’s ok.

Because it is mine

Perhaps it is just my generation (I fall smack in the middle of Gen X and Millenials) but a blog/website that is mine and mine to do what I want with…has always felt special.

I have followed a blog by Greg Morris for some time now: gr36.com. I also follow Greg on twitter @gr36. I don’t remember how I came across his site but I have always been glad I did.

And I follow him for no other reason than I enjoy the thoughts he puts out in to the world through his blog…and I feel like if we knew each other in real life, we might be friends.

That’s it.

He has done things that I have done here: switch blogging platforms, turned ads on and off, tested features, pontificated on whether or not he should keep writing, etc. Greg has treated his blog much like I treat mine…as an avenue for him to write, create, think aloud, seek feedback…and he has done it for quite a while.

That’s ok.

Because it is his.

It is ok

The beauty of a personal blog is that (hopefully) people are there for you…not necessarily for an ever flowing feed of information, gear reviews, etc. It’s personal…it is yours….it is you.

And that means it is ok to step away and take a break every once in a while. It is ok to try something new, to write on a completely new and random topic…or to take a deep breath and think aloud…while writing those thoughts down.

Don’t worry about the optimal time to publish and there is no need to sweat the thoughts of how long a post is or if it has too many pictures.

It is ok.

Because your blog is just that….yours.

Let me encourage you my friend…the world is better when you are in it…and in this day and age a personal blog is my favorite way to contribute to the digital world we all operate in.

Start that personal blog…or keep the one you have going…make it yours…hit publish whenever you want to…it is ok.

Behind the Scenes Filming Flashdance Locations in Pittsburgh | @WalkwithHistory BTS

Go watch Flashdance…then watch this…or just watch this.

This is a behind the scenes look of us filming an episode of Walk With History in Pittsburgh, PA. We went around to the filming locations for the classic 80s movie, Flashdance.

Super fun day…and a beautiful afternoon spent in the Steel City!

Rokinon (Samyang) 14mm f2.8 RF – 1 Month Review

Last month I posted about my new purchase of the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 lens for Canon RF mount cameras (ie. EOS R, R6, R5).

I was pretty excited to discover this lens as I have always been a fan of wide angle lenses. I took a wide angle lens to the UK on a vacation I took quite a while ago (2010)…and the pictures I got are still some of my favorite pictures to this day.

Wide angle lenses are the only way to get those castle and cathedral HUGE ceiling shots.

I believe I owned a Nikon D90 DSLR at the time and was using a Tokina 10-17mm lens. (I loved that lens)

Canon RF Mount Lens Options

Even though the EOS R has been out for a couple years now, there are not many third party options for the RF mount that Canon will be using for the foreseeable future. Yes, you can purchase their “fast” RF lenses…and they are fantastic…but they are also expensive!!

Canon RF 15-35 f2.8 – $2,500

Canon RF 24-70 f2.8 – $2850

Canon RF 70-200 f2.8 – $2,900

Canon did just come out with their RF 50mm f1.8 lens for only $200…it’s a great lens and that classic nifty fifty option, but 50mm is pretty limited.

Don’t get me wrong, if I could afford to buy these expensive lenses I absolutely would.

But I can’t…nor can most non-professional photographers/videographers I would imagine.

Third Party Lenses for Canon RF Mount

Rokinon (aka Samyang) RF 14mm f2.8 – $629 (currently) – can find it for less if you look around

  • All the others (lots of brands I’m not familiar with and many are manual focus)

There are a few…but none of the typical names you see associated with Canon like Sigma or Tamron. I will say though…Rokinon’s RF 85mm f2.8 lens for Canon looks VERY nice…probably a great deal if you’re considering that focal length (popular for portrait photography).

Rokinon 14mm f2.8 Initial Impressions

  1. It FEELS like a quality lens – I know that isn’t a real metric…but if you have owned enough cameras and lenses you probably know what I mean. This lens is MUCH heavier than my old Canon 10-18mm EF lens…but to me that means this thing is well built. I just feels like it will be able to take a beating and keep on ticking. (heck I’ve already used it in light rain with no issues…thanks weather sealing!)
  2. It is bigger than I expected it to be You can see the specs on paper, but until you start using it you won’t know how big it feels. It’s nice though…especially with the R6…feels like a pro lens. When taking pictures or video I don’t hesitate to grab the lens for balance.
  3. Autofocus is still fast –Canon’s new Dual Pixel Autofocus is amazing and super fast…and I haven’t noticed any slowing of that with this lens.
  4. Image quality is FANTASTIC – I haven’t had the chance to take many pictures with it yet…but I filmed a video for our Walk With History YouTube Channel on Washington Crossing that comes out on 30 June…and here is a quick teaser clip from that video that I filmed with this lens and my R6.

that little bit of shake is my handheld technique (or lack thereof)

The image is sharp from edge to edge…the Canon “colors” feel so natural (that I don’t always see with Sony images)…and I just love the wide shot I can get with 14mm on a full-frame sensor.

Expectations Going Forward

For someone like me who is a wide angle fan, I know I am going to get some serious mileage out of this. Not only do I enjoy the kind of photography that you can only get with wide angle lenses..but with the vlog style videos I make for my personal YouTube channel and now for mine and my wife’s channel…this 14mm lens is perfect.

I did also purchase the Haida Rear Lens ND Filter kit since this lens does not have front filter threads; rather, it has a rear filter set up…which has its upsides and downsides. (more on those later) I have only used the filters once so far, so I need some more usage before I can reliably write anything on them.

Rokinon (Samyang) is on to something with these RF lenses and I am not the only one who thinks that.

If you are interested in buying this lens, here is a link to it on Amazon.

Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD: My New Favorite Power Bank

This thing will be going everywhere with me…

Regular readers here know that I am a quality over quantity kind of guy. Sometimes to a fault, my wife would say. 🤣

My wife also loves me and lets me splurge every now and then…so for Father’s Day I bought what is now my new favorite power bank…the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD.

This isn’t the first power bank that I own. A couple years ago I purchased the Anker PowerCore+ 26800mAh PD…and it is arguably better in some ways. The Anker power bank gives you the same capacity and also comes with a 60W charger for faster charging of the power bank. (the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD does not)

The Anker is great for traveling and saving every bit of space you can, it feels VERY durable, and just works.

BUT…

The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD has wireless charging.

I didn’t think this was a feature that I would care much about but now that I’ve used it a few times…it’s my absolute favorite feature. I don’t have to dig through my multitude of cables for the right one – some USB-A, some USB-C. I just press that blue “wireless” button set my phone on top, and BAM! it’s charging my phone. It’s not the newest, fastest wireless charging that comes with Apple’s new wireless chargers…but it works consistently and very well.

Plus the Goal Zero has the battery read-out that tells you how much charge is left in your power bank.

Should You Get One?

Now that I own this Goal Zero power bank…I am surprised at how much I use it, even at home. I can be working on my laptop and see my phone needs a charge and just set it on top of the Sherpa 100PD and know that when I pick my phone back up, it will be charged.

It is a bit more expensive than its Anker competitor, so if $199 for the Goal Zero is out of your price range, you can currently get the Anker over on Amazon for $129.

BUT…I can now highly recommend the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD power bank. It’s definitely a quality piece of gear and I expect it to last me a very long time and throughout many upcoming travels.

It is my new favorite power bank and worth every penny.

Sunseeker – Know Where the Sun Will Be for Your Photo Shoot

I recently received a comment on my (currently) most viewed YouTube video about the Goal Zero Yeti 200x and Nomad 50.

The commentor mentioned that the wattage gained from the Nomad 50 was much higher in Panama than here in the United States.

Kake then went on to recommend the app Sunseeker.

Sunseeker

This app is amazing!

If you look at the screenshots above, you can look up a location (or your current location) and see where the sun will be in advance. The more I have filmed over the years, the more I realize that I need (or want) to know where the sun will be when I am shooting.

Some of the reviews talk about how useful it is when/if you are looking to buy or rent a new house…as you can use this to see when the sun hits your house at various times of the day.

If I am not going out to shoot at golden hour, then this app will be in my tool belt for sure. It does cost $9.99…but for something so useful, I think it’s worth it.

If you want to download it or are curious, I recommend at least checking it out.

Download on the App Store
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