Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 30: Seasons Are Changing.

Good bye summer, officially.

Today is the last day of the month and any remnants of summer is slipping through our grasps. With this new time change a new challenge is presented to us, lighting. Photo sessions become limited because we are losing light very quickly.

All these months of taking the long days for granted are coming to a halt. No more photographing leisurely until 8 pm. Photo projects will have to be planned out better and we cannot delay projects.

I welcome fall with open arms. It is one of my favorite seasons. I wish we had more trees here that changed colors. The photography shots would be fantastic, I can't wait to see what colors I will be photographing this season.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 29: Immortalized

At the end of it all, we don't want to be forgotten.

Why do we mark things that are not ours? Why do we need to see our names etched into something? 

I have concluded we are ensuring that when we leave this world, we have made some kind of permanent imprint and we will live on through these etchings. In passing someone will read our names, our messages and will wonder who this person was. In that one small moment, we are thought of. 

I wonder what will be remember of me, what will be left of me when my time is over. I wonder if this blog will remain, if my written and online journals will be found and I wonder what kind of contribution I will have made, who did I touch, what kind of difference have I made and what of mine will live on. I wonder if my pictures will be discarded, my negatives scattered and my writing forever erased. I hope that whoever finds this years and years from now, they will see the passion I have for the things and people I love. 

I hope that whatever of mine, whether it be physical and or a memory, will make a difference in someone's life. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 28: Portraits

One of my ongoing goals is to take portrait pictures of all my family and friends and compile them into books over the course of my life. Whether it happened in a big or small way, they are people who have touched me and have made a difference in my life.

I honor them by capturing them in that moment.  They will always be a part of me and I want to remember that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 27: Let's Never Forget This

We take pictures to remember when our memories cannot. 

I love the effect water cameras have on our pictures. Nostalgia is instantly engrained.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 26: What's Your Style?

It has been mentioned before that I have developed a certain style when in pictures I take. I really enjoy creating perspectives and angles in my shots. I also seem to prefer the lower right hand side more than the left side. I like to use the rules of third as well. 

What style have you developed?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 25: Inside Looking Out

Today, I am letting the picture take the stage.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 24: Lines and Perspective

I like this shot because everything behind the boy is unfocused, the line in front of him is pulled to to the back of the picture and he is the main focus. The shape of a triangle takes place in his picture, with him being the pinnacle point.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 23: Split Filters

This picture was part of a series in which I used two filters to develop in the dark room. It was a major learning experience for me and I am so grateful to have been shown how to use multiple filters to develop a range of tones.

The original problem I had with developing this shot was the lighter tones did not have a chance to develop and many details were lost when exposed for a short period and the dark tones became to dark and the details were also lost if I extended the exposure time for the shot to develop the lighter areas.

I was then shown how to use two filters to fully develop details for all the tones and I am very satisfied with how the picture was developed. I always refer back to shots from these series as a guide for splitting filters.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 22: Primary Colors

Primary colors will always be the most vibrant to me. Perhaps because they represent originality and that the colors do not require another color to exist, they exist on their own.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 21: Film Speed

At times, don't think about film speed when I take pictures, especially indoor. All I want to do is just compose the shot and capture it. I then hear the inevitable slow shutter and I think, oh yeh, my film. Like I mentioned before, we grow so accustom to the digital age, especially with our nifty point and shoot, the thought of worry about film speed and shutter speed seem to be lost.

I have been experimenting with film speed and shutter speed. Some moments have been successful, other times, I just have to throw away the whole set of pictures. This is something that I am focused on learning and really understanding as time goes on.

This shot was taken indoor and I believe it was ISO of 400. As you can see her, hands are blurry, but I decided I like this shot because it shows the movement of getting ready for a night out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 20: Sometimes it's the Small Things...

I was able to walk the Brooklyn Bridget the last time I was in NYC. It is an amazing piece of structure and the history behind it is fantastic. I took about two rolls worth just walking across to Brooklyn and back.

The cable lines, the height and distance were all accounted for. However, it wasn't until I took this shot did I get that satisfied feeling you get when you know you took a shot you really care about.

The city is captured, but is not focused and you are able to see the wear and tear over time this bridge has endured. It's so easy for us to see the overall big picture, but sometimes, just getting down to the details is just as beautiful.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 19: Drop Your View

Picture taking for me used to be: bring camera to eye level and click. It was until later that I learned what a major difference moving the camera down can be. I used to think people were crazy crouching low to get a shot, then when I did it, I was amazed.

It is amazing what kind of movement can be captured when you just drop about 1 foot or lower.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 18: Moments In Time

Childhood is such a magical time for everyone. It's when you're discovering so many things and the world feels extremely big. Your hopes and dreams are endless and you feel as though you can grow up and be anything you want to be.

I captured this one on a Sunday morning in Central Park. The lighting for this shot was perfect to me and I think it captured the moment exactly how I wanted it to be. I love the feeling of anticipation and hope that I feel when looking at this.

What do you feel with your shots?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 17: My New Camera

Hello Beautiful....

After much contemplation and some research, but mostly help from some very knowledgeable people about the medium format camera, I have purchased my very own Yashica D.

The Yashica D is a twin lens reflex medium format camera. This particular model was produced around 1966. It produces picture sizes of 6cm x6cm and weighs 6lbs.

After a few weeks of searching, I decided to get this model and I was very excited to track the shipment online and it be at my door when I came home. I know we are all moving towards digital, but I will still gladly invest in something like this.

My camera is a little bruised, it's been marked and claimed, the viewfinder is a little stubborn to open and the whole thing needs a good clean up. However, I know I'm going to love this camera and take many pictures with it, once I figure out how to use it. I've seen pictures being produced from this camera line and they are gorgeous. I can't wait to produce my own.

I'm going to look into some additional lens for this camera and once I get rolling, I will post up some pictures. For now, here are some pictures of this little guy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 16: Decision Has Been Made

New Jersey, Digital.

A decision has been made. I am going to do my ongoing project on shoes and it will have the theme of "Walking A Mile." 

I have decided to do an environmental portrait featuring the shoes. For example, I would photo a ballet dancer twirling across the dance floor, but the shot would be from upper knee with focus on the shoes. I think this would be more interactive for the viewer.

I am excited to get started on this, but first I need to make a list of people I can photograph and places I can go to find them. It will be a mix of family, friends and strangers. I will do about 20 people to allow myself the luxury of choices. I am eager to see where all this will take me.

Maybe I can do a short trip across the country to find shots or stay in my backyard. The options are endless and I can't wait to pick a camera and start.

My next mission, to find a Medium Format Camera, 120 film, in excellent condition. I found one, but I will wait and see.

Let's walk together and see where this goes...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 15: Captured

California, 35mm SLR
When you think you have a shot, just take it, don't question it. 
This is one of my favorite pictures because of the color contrast of the focused blue sky framed in the mirror with a person inside against the lush green and yellow that is out of focus. 
With the 35mm, I hesitate at times for the shot because I am thinking about how much film I have left. Sometimes a shot will pass me by as I stand there and contemplate, and sometimes time shot looks even better because I waited and framed it. 
Using film has definitely taught me the art of patience and I have grown to truly appreciate what it means to compose and frame a shot. Using 35mm will help me segway into using the 4x5 camera and how very limited shots we have with that. 
However, I thrive on limitations and believe that through it, creativity can thrive. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 14: Shoes Shoes Shoes

San Diego. Digital 
If you gave two people the same pair of shoes and then see the shoes again after 6 months, you will see that although the style is the same, the wear in them is very different. Overtime the shoes have molded and formed to the living style of the person.  Everyday activities affect this and it is shown in their shoes.
I always drive with my heel pressed into the floor and this is apparent in all my shoes, as you can see on the right shoe in the picture. I also have a habit of kicking my toe into the stairs when i walk, but only my right foot as well, so the tip of my right shoes have a small tear in them over time. 
Shoes of people I could photograph are dancers, basketball players, runners, construction workers, servers, students, business people and so on.
Problems I foresee with this is how do I get these people to take off their shoes and stand there while I spend time photographing them? Who do I talk to in advance to get these pictures? Maybe I am depending too much on others for these shots and this could hinder my progress. These are the things I have to factor in. 
What should I do?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day 13: Compose it!

Digital. Huntington Beach

I am forever grateful for having taken years of art classes because it was through those classes did I learn about composition and really think about the shot and what I want the viewer focus on. At the time I was the one creating with my paintbrush, now I try to integrate those rules into shots I take.

For a while, I admit I did discarded the rules I had learned and was just taking shots. After getting that out of my system,  then I focused more on what kind of shot I wanted it to be, what kind of feelings I wanted the viewer to have and who or what my subject was and how I can make that apparent.

I want to get better in composing my shots and like all things, it takes a lot of practice. One of my goals is to work through the rules and practice them so over time they become second nature. So, I hope to do at least a few shots a week to show a rule and work through it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 12: Film

Huntington Beach, 35mm
There really isn't anything like film. I grew up taking our film rolls to the drug store to get them developed and it was always exciting to open the outer envelopes and pull out the freshly printed pictures. It was a surprise each time to see what we had captured. We would laugh and reflect, remembering the moment it was taken. 
The best moments are finding an undeveloped roll of film and not knowing what is on there. "Was this the roll from grandma's birthday?" or "Was this the roll from the camping trip?" 
Times like that are hard to come by now with the digital cameras, phone cameras, and so on. We are living in a time when everything is so instant, reflective moments with pictures are cut short and at times not done at all. 
Film takes time, composure and patience. The practice of taking, developing and printing is an art and craft. Film is temperamental and any small thing can destroy all your hard work. So many things to factor in while developing the rolls. I say a small prayer each time I put my film into the dryer. I hope I put the right amount of time into rotating and shaking the canister, I hope I washed it long enough and I hope that it dries right. However, all that fades away when I develop the contact sheet and I get that same excitement I had when I open the photo envelopes. The time and patience it takes to get one right exposure can become tedious and aggravating, but when I get the right filter and time, it is all worth it. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 11- Ideas ideas

405 freeway. iPhone.

Today is the anniversary of 9/11. It has been amazing to see how we have evolved from that day and have managed to move forward as a community, nation and world. It is not that we have forgotten but we know that the only thing we can do is rebuild in all shape and form and continue on.

After much contemplation, I have decided to narrow my ideas down to either portraits of hands or shoes. I am very interested in how both are reflective of each individual.

What inspired me for hands traces back to when I was little. I remember holding onto my father's hands and seeing how the wedding ring covered a small part of skin that was untouched by the rough nature of his machinist hands. I remember tracing my fingers over the deep lines set in his palms.

Our hands are so integrated into who we are and what we do. Just as we have our mother's eyes or our father's nose, our hands features reflect our parents as well.

I am still debating between hands and and possibly shoes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 10: Time to Focus

This blog has been quite sad for a while as I have been going through some things and it's been on my mind and I didn't want to deny what was going on and post something that I wasn't feeling. Thank you for following and showing your support during that time. It has been quite a journey that I am and will be continuing on.
However, it is time to move this blog forward and work out my thoughts about photography and what I am struggling with.

Yesterday was our first day in lab and we were shown how to use the 4x5 camera. When it was first pulled out of the box I was quite intimidated by it, but after learning about all the components and having the chance to work with it, I am excited to get started with it. It will be quite amazing to work with such an antique piece of equipment and I am looking forward to seeing what I can produce with it.

It is challenging and limited in the sense of how many exposures I will have a chance to make. I would only have about 8 exposures each time I take it out to shoot, this is a significant drop from my 36 exposure film.  With limitations creativity is pushed further and that is part of the challenge. It will force me to consider my shot even more and truly concentrate on my subject matter and compose a significant shot.

Another thing I have to consider is a major project I will be working on throughout the semester. It is called the calendar project. I am to take pictures throughout the semester with a medium format camera and from those rolls find 13 images that are part of a theme and turn them into a calendar.
Here are some ideas I  have. Please let me know what you think:
  • Photograph people's hands and see how it has matched their profession over time. 
  • Photograph temples, but that's on my low list. 
  • Photograph glass bottles .... yeah, don't really know where I'm going with this. 
  • Photograph shoes.. again with the wear and tear over time...
Anyhow, any ideas are most welcomed! Please help!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 9: Framed life

iPhone. Huntington Beach
As you can tell, I really love HB. I remember the day I fell in love with it. It was June 24, 2008 and we just randomly picked it as a mini vacation spot. I remember driving down Superior lane and as we're coming down towards PCH, I see this huge body of water in front of us and the sun is hitting the water and I was amazed. I could not believe that I've lived my whole life in California and I did not know beauty like this existed. 
I have grown so much after living here for a year. I came to HB at a time in my life when I was ready to go and explore and do things on my own. It provided me the vessel to do such things and I am grateful for it. 
Although I have to move away from it, I will never forget it. Nestled in between the sidewalk cracks and grains of sand, I have left a part of me there. I have created memories in this place that I will not forget and I will always love this place for what it was for me, for us. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 8: Hello Sleepyhead

Digital Camera. Huntington Beach.

Calendar Girl- Stars
If I am lost for a day; try and find me
But if I don't come back, then I won't look behind me
All of the things that I thought were so easy
just got harder and harder each day
December is the darkest and June is the light but this empty bedroom won't make anything right
While out on the landing a friend I forgot to send home
Who waits up for me all through the night
Calendar girl whos in love with the world Stay alive
Calendar Girl whos in love with the world Stay alive
I dreamed I was dying; as I so often do
And when I awoke I was sure it was true
I ran to the window; threw my head to the sky
And said whoever is up there,please don't let me die
But I can't live forever,I can't always breath
One day I'll be sand on a beach by a sea
The pages keep turning, I'll mark off each day with a cross
And I'll laugh about all that we've lost
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world
Stay Alive
Calendar Girl who is lost to the world Stay Alive
January,February,March,April,May I'm alive
June,July,August,September,October I'm alive
November,December,yah all through the winter, I'm alive
I'm alive 

We sang the whole album on this day and I remember holding back the tears as I sang this song with you. I will miss those moments when I always missed the mark with the singing and you just laughed and said it was okay. I was always off key, but you never stopped.

I will miss the sleepy time music and singing alongside with you.

Thank you for the Stars.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 7: When you're going through hell, keep going.

(Costa Mesa, 2009) 

When going through some rough moments, I find comfort in knowing that everyone has experienced the sense of of lost, lost of love, heartache, shattered dreams and so on. We've all been there, and we have all survived. I just hold onto the fact that it does get better and with time all this will become a distant memory.

Cherish the good, learn from the bad and keep going.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 6: Splash!

35mm SLR Beginning of summer
This picture sums up the desires we have when it is scorching hot outside and all we want to do is just get wet! 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 5: Shared and Satisfied

This picture was taken after work when we decided to meet and share a fountain drink and each eat a slice of pizza from our favorite pizza place off of PCH. It was our last time eating together as we were and it was so unceremonious. If you looked in on us at that moment it would seem as though it was just another day, another couple, another few slices of pizza and another sunset. Another, another another. There just won't be another you and me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 4: Fond Memories

Too many things happening today to really sit down and think and reflect. This picture was taken with my 35mm SLR. We are on our way to Yosemite and it ended up being an endless game of trivia and it went straight into boys vs. girls. This proved to test close bonds between couples and bring out the competitive nature in all of us.

We all learned some new facts, we fought hard for each win, but the girls came out as winners. I laughed so hard and I love that we still talk about that day.

It's fantastic to have moments like these to look back on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 3: Summer of Change

This was the day I realized that everything I thought was true and right in my life was all about to change. I remember walking down to the beach and absorbing all the sights and sounds. The sun was setting, but people were still in the water. Kids laughed and screamed as waves chased them into shore and couples moved closer to each other as they watched the setting sun.

The water was very warm, warmer than I had expected and warmer than water during the day. I wore jeans and had my sandals in hand, I wished at that moment I had the ideal swimming attire and as I wished this, a wave caught me off guard and my jeans were soaked. And so it was, not ideal, but it happened and I enjoyed it. At that moment, I wished it was how it was before and I wished that you were there with me.

This was one of the happiest and saddest summers I have had. I've realized what I want, my limits, who I want to be and the extent of my feelings. I have gained and lost and have come out a little torn, but I am putting myself back together.

I will always love Huntington Beach and I will always love what it meant for us. I hold on dearly to those memories and I know that in time, we will heal.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 2- I <3 Disposable Cameras

Today's picture is from a disposable camera. I took this about a month ago in Huntington Beach. I always loved the way the smoke stacks looked as though they were cloud machines and I wanted to capture the moment. The sun was setting and I only had a few minutes, I pulled my car over and parked in the red zone, put the emergency blinkers on and got out the car. The streets were empty and I stood up against the fence, making sure the lens was not blocked by the chain links. I took the picture with a slight prayer that it will show up. 
I am very happy with how this picture came out. It captured more than I had anticipated. I love the mysterious element of 35mm now that we live in a world of instant  satisfaction such as with the digital camera. With 35mm, I think about my shots more and I take my time. With the disposable, I don't mess with the focus, what I see is what I capture, and sometimes more. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 1- Morning Of

The fires in Pasadena are more apparent today. The sky is grey and the air is still. It almost feels ominous. I pray for everyone's safety and for those who are affected to have the strength and courage to get through it.

My photo of the day is the break in the grey skies. I looked up and saw this.