NJROTC Annual Inspection

I went with the Executive Officer, Navy Information Operations Command Georgia to an annual JROTC inspection at a local school and the images were featured on Navy Visual News. This is one of few images of mine featured by big Navy. It motivates me to know that I am progressing in my work.

Navy News Service 130223-N-TD563--099

Navy Visual News 130123-N-TD563-099

Navy News Service 130223-N-TD563--099

Navy Visual News 130123-N-TD563-099

My article NIOC Georgia Sailors Take Part in Annual Tribute to the Fallen Run was featured on by the Navy Visual News. The event in the article was a lot of fun to photograph and document. The run is in it’s eight year and shows the armed forces dedication to their fallen brother and sisters.

NIOC Georgia Sailors Take Part in Annual Tribute to the Fallen Run

NIOC Georgia Sailors Take Part in Annual Tribute to the Fallen Run

Navy Chief Pinning Ceremony

I was recently given the opportunity to shoot a U.S. Navy Chief pinning ceremony at Navy Information Operations Command Georgia and the images were featured on Navy Visual News. It’s very exciting to get such global recognition.
Navy Visual News 20914-N-TD563-097

Navy Visual News 20914-N-TD563-097

FORT GORDON, Ga. (Sept. 14, 2012) Newly pinned Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Brandon Riggio receives his combination cover during the chief petty officer (CPO) pinning ceremony held at Navy Information Operations Command Georgia. Twenty-one new CPOs were pinned at the ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Robert A. Hartland/Released)

Navy Visual News 120914-N-TD563-049

Navy Visual News 120914-N-TD563-049

FORT GORDON, Ga. (Sept. 14, 2012) Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Steven Haefcke is piped aboard after receiving his anchors during a chief petty officer (CPO) pinning ceremony at Navy Information Operations Command Georgia. Twenty-one new CPOs were pinned at the ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Robert A. Hartland/Released)

Navy Cryptology and Technology 20914-N-TD563-097

Navy Cryptology and Technology 20914-N-TD563-097

The previous image was also featured on the Navy’s Facebook page.

Making an Idea Reality

Whatever your big plan is, whether you’re working on a big project, or you’ve had an idea for a while now but haven’t had the guts to implement it, you can make it a reality. To start off you simply have to believe in your idea. It may have been stewing in your head for a while, and therefore much of the finer details might already have been ironed out by now.

Believe it can be done – Generally the biggest hurdle we have is our own mindset. We believe that something cannot be achieved, and therefore we don’t bother giving it a try, and instead run off to play Angry Birds or PartyPoker. Believe in your ability to get something done, and it will happen.

Don’t be intimidated by it – We are all victims of doubts and fears. And sometimes the sheer scale of a project can be enough to put you off entirely. Don’t let it. Get more people involved to help out, and make sure you know every detail before you begin implementing it.

Plan out every aspect
– Planning is the most important aspect. When something isn’t properly organized, your idea can become a shambles. Write out contingency plans for every eventuality, brain storm every small thing that can go wrong, and plan each and every stage of implementation from beginning to end. That way if you go off schedule or have a problem, you at least know where you’re going with it.

Have a back-up plan – Things are going to go wrong. Have a back-up plan just in case your initial plans are completely infeasible. Having a non negotiable plan causes nothing but trouble, if you’re for example, designing.

My article How To Make Innovative Ideas Happen has been published in the new Smashing eBook “Modern Web Design and Development“. This eBook will be offered in the Apple Bookstore for just 99 Cents.


A note from the Smashing Magazine team about the eBook:

We’re seeing better interaction design and more aesthetically pleasing designs. And we’re seeing more personal, engaging and memorable sites, too. But what exactly is making the difference? What new directions is Web design heading in today? What new techniques, concepts and ideas are becoming important? This eBook contains 16 articles that cover current as well as upcoming Web design trends. It also includes facts on responsive Web design, improving Web security, useful coding tips and practices for HTML5 and CSS3, and much more! This eBook on ‘Modern Web Design and Development’ touches on what Web designers should be ready for to keep abreast of new challenges and opportunities. These articles have been published on Smashing Magazine in 2010 and 2011 and are known to be the best on professional Web design and development.
— Thomas Burkert, Smashing eBook Editor

Table of contents:

  1. Preface
  2. Responsive Web Design: What It Is and How to Use It
  3. HTML5: The Facts and the Myths
  4. Mastering Photoshop: Unknown Tricks and Time-Savers
  5. “What Font Should I Use?”: 5 Principles for Choosing Typefaces
  6. Persuasion Triggers in Web Design
  7. Designing for iPhone 4 Retina Display: Techniques and Workflow
  8. What to Do When Your Website Goes Down
  9. Commonly Confused Bits of jQuery
  10. Why We Should Start Using CSS3 and HTML5 Today
  11. Why Design-by-Committee Should Die
  12. The Current State of Web Design
  13. A Design Is Only as Deep as It Is Usable
  14. Web Security: Are You Part of the Problem?
  15. How to Make Innovative Ideas Happen
  16. I Want to Be a Web Designer When I Grow Up
  17. Making Your Mark on the Web Is Easier than You Think
  18. The Authors

After a long day of shooting the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro in Trestles (San Clemente, CA), I grabbed a few dozen images to share. The waves were smaller than usual but the bunch from Brazil managed to pull some amazing air maneuvers. From 360 grabs to Superman, I captured it all.

My article A Guide To Seamless Website Redesign has been published at Noupe.com! Read about the article below.

An inherent problem with owning a web site is that styles come and go on the internet fast as (or faster than) the real world. A web site can look out-of-date very fast if it is not being constantly maintained. Do you need to refine your online presence? A web site redesign may be just what the doctor ordered.


It was a shame that comments were accidentally closed by the publisher, so the comments are low on this one.

In the recent months I have had the opportunity to work on many projects, but recently broke some new ground with a mobile website for Cheeseburger in Paradise. This was an exciting project worth mentioning due to the fact that it only catered to smart phone users in coordination with marketing efforts at their restaurants nationwide.


In a national campaign, Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants partnered with beverage makers to run a promotional campaign using MS Tag. By scanning a flier at one of the restaurants 31 locations, users were directed to a video and additional information on contest entry. By ordering one of two signature drinks or joining in a photo submission contest, participants could win an all-inclusive trip to Cancun, Mexico. In addition, all participants qualify for a free appetizer card in the process.

The result of the campaign was great exposure to restaurant patrons, increased participation in the clients contest and the company’s first leap into the mobile realm. I am very proud of the campaign, the design and had a great time working on this project. Instead of doing a text only or downgraded experience, the website was packed with company branding and adjusted for landscape and portrait modes for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry. See the website design below.


Being Part of the Yelp Elite


During the last few years I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the Yelp Elite. This has increased my passion for writing reviews, put me in contact with other foodies and brought opportunities to party for free at Elite only events.

Why do you care? Some business owners and reviewers have no idea with Elite group of members exist and that Yelp partners with buisnesses to throw such events. Learning more about Yelp and it’s Elite members could help you or your business in the future. For more information, check out the links below.

I have been busy the last few months publishing a few books for personal use on Blurb, which is an amazing cost-effective resource for self-publishing. If you would like to take a gander, I have included some previews below. Using their service has been an amazing experience and even more overwhelming to hold a “coffee table” hardcover book with your own photography on premium paper in your hands. I am happy with my recent work and it has sparked amazing conversation when people come over and open the cover.

I encourage you to view the books in “full screen” by clicking the  expand icon to the left of the Blurb logo in the preview.

I was checking the news this morning and was delighted to notice my article How To Make Innovative Ideas Happen is the first top news article listed at Alltop Web Design News. This is an amazing accomplishment for me, considering how many readers there are for both Alltop and Smashing Magazine.

Article Tops Alltop Web Design List

It seems in addition to this, it has been passed on quite a bit through social media with over 800 Facebook ‘likes’ and 1500 Twitter retweets. Exciting news!


While this blog was never packed with posts, I find myself updating my Twitter and Flickr accounts with my latest actions and thoughts more often. I have jumped whole-heartedly back into photography and self-published a few books! This has been a grand experience and I hope to publish  more volumes in the future. You can find some of the beautiful images below.

In the near future I plan to redesign the Aether Design website once more as it is need of an effective way to showcase my photography with my other works of art. I feel that as a designer I am very well rounded and would like the expressed within my portfolio.

My article How To Make Innovative Ideas Happen has been published at SmashingMagazine.com! Read about the article below.

In one of his recent presentations, Frans Johansson explained why groundbreaking innovators generate and execute far more ideas than their counterparts. After watching his presentation The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas, my thoughts began to surface about how meaningful the presentation was regardless of a persons industry, culture, field or discipline. Anyone can come up with an amazing idea but how you execute the idea will determine your success.


I know it has been a while since my last update but I have been creating a few volumes of photography books, having my websites published in web design books, experimenting with Macro and HDR photography. As if all of that is not enough, I recently became a runner-up for a Hurley Clothing photo contest revolving around the Hurley Pro Trestles surf competition.

Rob Machado at Trestles Hurley Pro

I had spent the day snapping away at the top surfers in the world on one of the best possible days for surfing at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, CA. I have been to a few competitions int he past and was just looking to get a few great shots with my Nikon D90. Out of the hundreds of images taken of carves, airs and athletes, the above image of Rob Machado stood out to me. He has been wearing those sunglasses in every interview and video for the last few months, so much to the point they are part of his image. Being able to see the crowd reflect off of his sunglasses made this image amazing. In one capture you have the athlete and his fans. View my Hurley Pro Trestles 2010 set on Flickr.

In my recent dive back into photography experimentation I went up to Huntington Beach to enjoy and shoot images of the Hurley Pro US Open and eventually made my way to the Hurley Pro at Trestles (San Clemente). You can find some of my photos from the Trestles competition below. My favorite capture is of Rob Machado wearing his Dragon shades.

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Taylor Digital

[IDENTITY] This corporate identity package was created for a creative company. Included business card, envelope, letterhead, brochure, website and blog.

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[IDENTITY] This identity was designed to be included as a company brand and remain on all marketing materials.

My article Creative and Unusual Layouts and Navigation Designs has been published at Noupe.com! Read about the article below.

In this article, we’ll showcase website layouts and navigation structures that really break the mold. The designers of these websites have seen dozens of clone websites out there but have sought their own way. The unusual website layouts and navigation that results can either be very successful and innovative or disorienting for visitors. You decide. When you browse the showcase, think not so much about functionality as about why you design and develop the way you do.


Smashing Magazine Author

I have officially been published on the industry leading Smashing Magazine. My feature article “Getting Started With Content Management Systems” was published and four more articles are currently in the cue. I have been asked to become a regular author and have been approached by other industry leading online magazines to author articles. This is the beginning of new future that includes helping others build their talents.

Smashing Feature

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Involved in site conceptualizing and design for internal pages and member profiles. The design reflects a smooth style and displays controls in an intuitive way. www.weresicc.com

Freelance Availability

I am currently available for freelance work. Please contact me via e-mail at robert[at]mythofaether.com for work requests. I work in many mediums constantly and would love to speak with you over the phone about your potential project.

I am currently employed full time as a Lead Designer in San Clemente, CA. After hours, I can handle projects of any size from small to large.

I Love Print and Apparel.

Robert HartlandYes, its true! I love to design awesome print pieces and apparel. Seeing my creations come to fruition and being able to hold them in my hands is the best part. I'm a fast learner, easy to work with and put everything I have into a project until it is perfect. My other interests include surfing, snowboarding, my Miniature Schnauzer Mia Bella and my wife Sara.