Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 59: Because It's 1, 2, 3 Strikes You're Out.....

(Oakland, October 2009) 

Baseball was not a big part of my childhood like many other children. I knew what the sport was and we had played t-ball and softball in elementary school, but we didn't have outings to the baseball games and my dad did not throw the ball around with me. We did other sports and other activities. However, I was always drawn to the crowd of baseball and the excitement of it. It isn't fast pace like football, which I grew up watching, but it definitely has its exciting moments.

Two of my favorite childhood movies were centered around baseball. The first was The Sandlot and every time I watched it in day care, I remember feeling that desire to join a create a neighborhood team and play baseball all day. The second movie was A League of Their Own. I saw the women as strong and powerful and I wanted to be like that.

I didn't attend my first baseball game until I was about 20 years old. I remember thinking, this is exactly how I had envisioned it with all the sights and even smells.

"Ice cream for $4! Lemonade, get your cold lemonade! Peanuts! Get Your Peanuts!" All these moments cannot be captured at home watching baseball, that's why I really enjoy watching the games live.

Another fun part of attending the games is seeing who attends. It always warms my heart to see a family taking time out on a sunny Saturday to enjoy a game and each other's company. Those children will have fond memories to look back on when they're older.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 58: Old World Photo Shoot Day

Today we shot the Old World Portrait. It was my first time working with Tungsten lights and I thought it went well. The clothes, hair, props and mannerism came across exactly how I had envisioned it.

This image is from instant film using the 4x5. I'll post the final one when I develop it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 57: Making Pies Fly

(San Francisco, October 2009) 

It's not the big landmarks that makes a city special to me, it's moments like these.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 56: Tungsten Assignment

We were assigned our next assignment last night, a portrait using the Tungsten light kit and it would have to be in the studio.

For this project I wanted to shoot a male so I asked my friend Matt to be my model. Matt has a an urban street feel to his style, but also enjoys hitting unpaved trails to hike. He embodies hip hop music and incorporates it into his style of dress. These were all the aspects I had in mind to capture.

Before shooting him next week, I put together this image board to serve as inspiration for my shoot and it also gives him an idea of what I am going for.

Looking forward to this shoot!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 55: Over Propped

Today we turned in our CD covers and had a critique. Although a lot of people were receptive towards my picture, the instructor thought it was heavily propped which took away from each element that was in there.

After stepping away from it and looking at it, I can see where she was coming from. There were so many things going on, it was hard to appreciate one thing.

I learned a lot from this assignment. Learned that I am good at finding props when needed, so there may be a future in styling and props. I learned to step back and look at the subject in various ways, sometimes the best shot is the one where there is only one thing. I learned that I am capable in envisioning a scene and seeing it all the way through. This has been a problem for me even when I was doing art. I didn't allow myself to sketch out ideas for paintings and I never saw the value in it until now. I was able to see understand my abilities and I appreciate them much more now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 54: Old World Run Through and Idea

(Westminster, October 2009)

A few weeks ago I did a test run with the 4x5 camera for the Old World Style Portrait assignment using the instant film back. I was able to try different poses and lighting styles and see them right away. This also helped me become more comfortable with the camera. It is indeed a gentle giant and requires an immense amount of patience.

Doing the run through also helped my model, my roommate, become more comfortable with the setting.

The theme for my old world is Old World Vietnam during the early 1900's which was during the later years of the French Colonization of Vietnam. During this time Catholicism was introduced to the country.

My portrait centers around the idea of holding onto tradition and religion which will be portrayed through the model wearing the traditional ao dai and holding the Buddhist prayer beads and prayer book.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 53: CD Cover Photo Shoot

(Newport, October 2009)

Today was the photo shoot for the CD cover assignment. Our assignment was to create a CD cover based on listening to the song twice in class and the words we associated with it.

When I first heard the song in class I visualized a box of emotions due to the rapid change in the music composition. I felt sadness, happiness then excitement and mystery. I then thought of Pandora's box and wanted to use that as my inspiration. I then thought of a treasure chest containing this being found on the beach with it's own world locked inside it. My original idea was to have a world of trees, birds and water inside the chest. However, as I gathered my props, the idea evolved a little.

I started my day early, wanting to make sure to shoot when it was still overcast, this would allow me to have the best lighting, especially shooting outside. My friend Shannon met me to assist during the shoot and she did a fantastic job.

It was a lot of fun setting up this shot. I haven't done still life for awhile, since art class and I've never set up still shots for photography.

Everything came out exactly how I had envisioned it. Whether or not it is what the Art Director wants, we shall see. I am happy that I was able to plan, sketch, find and execute this shot to almost exactly how I and envisioned it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 52: Origami Folding

(Westminster, October 2009) 

I worked on some origami last night as props for my CD cover photo shoot. I think I only folded a crane once in my life and that was when I was 8 years old. I pulled out my Japanese Paper Art book and got to work.

There were many half folded cranes and flowers because I could not figure out the folding for a while. After a few failed attempts, I made my first crane, then flower and I was folding like a pro before the end of the night.

I'm excited to see how this will look once it comes together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 51: Guess What I Found??

(Costa Mesa, October 2009)

My very own treasure chest for my CD Cover shoot... Thrift store find.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 50: This is What I'm Seeing...

(Westminster, 2009)

Leaving home is never easy and although it's been a year, I have days when I get incredibly home sick and miss the days when I can eat my mother's cooking or call my friend to go drive around and talk.

Staying connected hasn't been difficult due to the internet and cell phones. And from this, my friend Xochi and I would text each other pictures as a way to keep in touch. Pictures have vary from what we're eating, doing or buying and so forth. As of recently, we have been taking pictures of sunsets or sunrises. I would mostly send her pictures of sunrises because I wake up earlier.

I truly cherish these moments. Although we are hundreds of miles a part, we are still a part of each others lives.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 49: One Day

(San Francisco, October 2009)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 48: This to Me Is Beautiful

(San Francisco, October 2009)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 47: Race Day

(San Francisco, October 2009)

20,000 Runners, never alone on the race track. Amazing route.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 46: Enjoying the Weekend

(San Francisco, October 2009)

I'm in San Francisco this weekend for the Nike Women's Half Marathon. The weather is great and the energy is contagious.

I was nervous about running this race because it's only my second half marathon, but it is so inspiring to see all the people who have flown across the country to participate. It is also a very well organized and it benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I am honored to be running in a race that is so popular participants are picked through raffling!

The city's energy is always so uplifting and when I'm back, I just want to stay there and walk around and take it all in. I've always been in love with San Francisco and have had a great desire to live there, even as a child. One day...

We started the morning with tea time at Lovejoy. I've never had tea time before and it was very cute with the mini sandwiches and pots of tea. Lovely time with wonderful friends and mini cucumber sandwiches.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 45: CD Cover Inspirations


I have been trying to find inspiration for my CD Cover and after flipping through some books and thinking more about the song I found images and ideas I want to incorporate.

Things that inspired me:

-Treasure chest of feelings... which then led to Pandora's box of emotions
-Origami ... delicate and intricate
-Strands of jewelry
-Clear Glass Vases

These are all images of things I found and took pictures of to create an overall theme for my still life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 44: Hello Hassy!

(Westminster, October 2009) 

I fell in love with the Hasselblad when I first held it in class. I found this beauty on eBay and it is beautiful!! The previous owner kept it in perfect condition and I am honored to have it. I can't wait to see what we will create together.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 43: Studio Work

(Costa Mesa, October 2009)

Yesterday I helped Shannon do a run through to practice working with lights and getting her model and friend, Megan comfortable with having her picture taken. We used instant film back which is very helpful to get more practice with using the 4x5 and seeing how the lighting looks. Digitally it doesn't seem to come out the same.

This practice was for our "Old World" project which is take a portrait of someone with the 4x5 camera and stylize it to feel as though it was taken before 1920's.

The idea for my portrait is to feature my roommate who will be wearing a traditional Vietnamese dress sitting at a table. I will post up test shots once I get them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 42: Where Do We Go From Here?

(Seattle, May 2009) 

We have been presented with a new project. The project is to create an album cover for a new artist. We were only allowed to listen to the song two times, write down any emotions we have about it and base our photography off that.

We were not given the artist's name or any background. The song was also in a different languages. Talk about mini challenges. We were also not allowed to have people, guns, drugs, sex, alcohol and texts in our picture.

This project calls for us to set up a still life and shoot it to create a cover for the album that would appeal to people in the U.S.

I was panicked at first by the lack of time I will have to work on this. Both weekends have been booked, so no weekend work. However, I took a deep breath and just told myself I will have to readjust my schedule and make it work. I don't fail on projects and I will pull through.

Now, I just need to come up with some ideas before tomorrow to go over them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 41: Sunday Memories

You love your parents when you are younger, you appreciate them when you are older.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 40: More Lighting

 I like the way the light filters through the leaves and onto these patrons.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 39: Calm in Chaos

(San Jose, September 2009) 

After a week of readjusting my schedule and life to focus more on photography, I can say that I haven't felt this passionate or happy about doing something for a long time. I don't look at this as a chore, a project in which I dread, but force myself to do. This has grown far beyond being a hobby for me. I want to pursue this and continue to do this for a long long time. I know I have a great amount to learn and try, but I am ready.

I have become obsessed some may say with all this and I don't look at my projects as dreadful, but as challenges in which I know with dedication and effort I will be able to do.

In the past I dived into a good number of activities, done my best, reached a peak then shelf it. I felt comfortable knowing I had the skills  should I need them.  I always told myself I would come back to it.

WIth this, I don't think I'll be doing that. I have found something that I have integrated into the fibers of my being and I feel this is what I am to be doing.

(San Jose, September 2009)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 38: At The End of It All

(Lake Tahoe, September 2009) 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 37: What I've Learned About Lighting

(Joe, Lake Tahoe, September 2009) 

Last night in class we learned about lighting and how we as photographers need to learn how to work with it and sculpt it in a way that will allow us to get the shots we need. Lighting tells the story and by understanding the light you are in control of your story.

Things I learned:

Kelvin (Color temperature)- I needed to understand this a little more so I wiki'd it and this is what they said: "Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light that has important applications in lighting, photography, videography, publishing, and other fields. The color temperature of a light source is determined by comparing its chromaticity with that of an ideal black-body radiator. The temperature (usually measured in kelvins (K)) at which the heated black-body radiator matches the color of the light source is that source's color temperature; for a black body source, it is directly related to Planck's law and Wien's displacement law."

Two Principles of Light: 

1- The Rule of Fall Off: The closer the light source is to the subject, the quicker the light falls off the subject. Also, the closer the light, the more drastic the difference between shadow and light will be.

2- Angle of Incident- Angle of Reflection. If you want to light up a subject on the right side of the wall, but not put a direct light source on them, then direct the light on the left side of the wall. By doing this, the light will reflect directly to the right side. Up to down, down to up, right to left, left to right and so on.

Three Rules of Lighting: 

1- Side Lighting: The light source is either on the right or left of the subject and the camera is directly in front of the subject. This creates a drastic shadow on the opposite side of the light source on the object or person. Exactly half the object is in the shadow.

This type of lighting is used to create mystery and drama in the photo.

2- Rembrandt Lighting- The light source is above and on either the right or left side of the subject and camera is directly in front of the subject. The shadow that is cast for this is a perfect triangle on the opposite side of the light source.

The side in which the light is cast affect the subject. The left side is called the Short Rembrandt, this is used for people who have a rounder face. The right side is called Long Rembrandt, this is used for people with a long, narrow face with a defined jaw line.

3- Paramount Lighting (Butterfly lighting)- This is the most flattering of lighting. The light directly centered   and above the subject. With the light shining down, shadows are created under the eyes, and nose, which makes the facial structure especially the jaw line more defined. The camera is also directly in front of the subject.

Props to Help Sculpt Lighting: 

1- Silk Screen- This is a screen made with white silk. We use this to diffuse the light which creates a softer glow on the subject. The shadow lines are more diffused.

2- Black Board- Cuts the bounce of light off. This is to prevent reflection of lighting.

3- Fill Card (White board)- This bounces the light and is used to fill in the shadows.

4-Cookaloris- this is a board that has amoeba shapes cut into the board. This is used to break up the light and can help highlight the subject. This is reminiscent of sunlight filtering through the leaves on the tree.

5- Scrim- this is mesh like material that is used to change the quantity of light.

6- Flag- A board that blocks the light, this can be used to only light one side of the photo and not the other.

7- Snoot- Directs the light into a spot.

8- Barn Doors- Placed in front of the light source and shapes the light.

Other Points to Note: 

1- Direction of shadow=Direction of lighting
2- Definition of Shadow = Intensity of lighting

The most important thing I learned was that all these concepts and tools does not just apply to studio lights but all light sources. It's how I work with the light I am given that can make my shot. We don't need expensive equipment to get the shot, we just need to understand light and with a little imagination and hardware, we can create our own props to sculpt the light.

After learning this, I am less intimidated by lighting and with some practice I will be comfortable to work in the studio. I can't wait to get out there and practice  shots with lighting.

Below are some sites I've found to help me understand more: 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 36: Peace

(Lake Tahoe, September 2009) 

Although Tahoe is known for their beautiful blue water, I still decided to use black and white film. We went after the summer season was over and it was quiet and peaceful.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 35: Good Morning Good Morning

(Westminster, September 2009) 

Our assignments are starting to stack up and each project takes a lot of time which has me making some changes in my schedule to accommodate the limited light we have after work. I have decided to get to work between 6:00 - 6:30am to leave early and get in about 3 hours of sunlight.

I have enjoyed this very much because it is peaceful in the morning, the roads are relatively clear and I get to see the sky light up. I chose this picture because of the lines and the muted colors.

I don't think there's anything as beautiful as sunrises and sunsets.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 34: Passion

(Huntington Beach, July 2009) 

That's the beauty of America. We can say what we want and be protected by it. I don't necessarily agree with the extreme ways these groups of people take to get their message across, but I sure do admire their passion about it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 33: Fenced In

(Bolsa Chica, October 2009) 

I am greatly intimidated by my Yashica D because I don't want to take bad shots. However, I have to remember, we learn through our mistakes and I can't expect my first roll to be perfect. So I will just get to shooting my first roll and practice, practice, practice! It's the only way to get over the fear.

Have you been intimidated by your camera?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 32: Lighting

(Huntington Beach, Summer 2009) 

I haven't had a chance to manipulate lights for photos. I still have a tough time handling flash because the subjects in the picture end up being highlighted, the skin tone unattractive and it looks unnatural.

I prefer natural diffused lighting. However, this limits me to the time of day I can shoot and where I can shoot. I am looking forward to learning more about using studio lighting and practicing with taking pictures in the studio.

Do you prefer studio lighting or natural lighting?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day 31: Nature's Paintings

(Lake Tahoe, September 2009) 

I picked up my rolls of 35mm today and I couldn't decided between these two pictures, so I am posting both.

I took this as the sun was setting in Tahoe and the clouds were coming in. If you ever get a chance to go to Tahoe, you should. It is incredibly peaceful with all of nature's beauty surrounding you. You can get a lot of thinking done, or not think about anything.

It's humbling when you go to places like Tahoe. You realize how big the world is and how small we are. Problems and worries will fade away and you realize beauty isn't in the latest trends, cars or homes, beauty is in nature.

(Lake Tahoe, September 2009)