This is it. This is the one. I’ve found the one! Actually, the one found me! The Samsung NX1. If you’ve been holding out on investing in the mirrorless market because of your trepidations as far as performance as compared to traditional DSLRs, now’s the time to let go. It’s been exactly a year since Samsung invited me into their Imagelogger program, and in that short year, everything changed. I mean everything.Read More
pacific coast highway
So this is a quick one, but wanted to post an update to the National Park Service's annual "Spirit Of The Mountains" photo contest I threw a couple entries into last month. Well, on November 2, they announced the winners. There were 4 categories, and my image "Pole Position" tied for 1st place in this year's challenge category, "Variations On Light." It was quite thrilling to see that ribbon and hear renowned photographer Tom Gamache's positive critiques. Thank you to all who showed up and all those who supported me in this thing. I can't express how happy I was to get my first 1st place ribbon in a photo contest. (And special thanks to my Arcanum cohort forRead More
I woke up this morning a bit ragged. Today it was much harder to open the eyes, due in no small part to the fact that I was planning on making the drive back from Big Sur to Los Angeles. As I was unzipping my tent and cursing under my breath that I couldn't at least indulge in a cup of coffee on my final morning here due to the fire ban, there comes my aunt, as if on cue, straight out of the bushes at the other end of the campground, holding bright sunny fresh to-go cups of coffee! Boom!
She had made her way into town to come back and make our day! I took it as a sign.
There was no way I was leaving today.Read More
he next few days in Big Sur were nothing short of magical. We woke up the following morning, our first in Big Sur, and figured the most logical thing to do would be to hit the beach. And, well, who are we to argue logic? The universe led us down the 3/4 or so mile hiking path from the campsite, through a covered canopy of trees that straddles the Big Sur River, all the way down to the quaint cove that makes up Andrew Molera State Beach. We spent several hours here sunning, swimming, playing, fighting off the seagulls that boldly flew off with half our food, and watching the surfers slowly but surely converge at Molera Point as they anticipated the swells from Hurricane Marie, the category 4 that had hit Baja California earlier that day, to come ashore any moment. And boy did they!Read More
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” -Chinese Proverb ** There it is - This Week's Motivational Kick In The Yahoo! ** Move!
This is sweet!! There's a new company that just launched called Angeleno Artistry, who focus on showcasing 5 artists from the Los Angeles area each month, and they offer limited edition prints of a piece of work that we've created for them. Well, I am humbled to be one of September's five showcased artists, as a matter of fact, one of their first 5 artists ever, alongside the crazy talent of Marilee Spencer, Stephen Paul, KFiSH, and JD Higham. If you want 1 of 100 limited edition 36" x 24" prints of my piece 'Pole Position,’ and any of these other artists’ work, check it…they’re selling at AngelenoArtistry.com. They make GREAT gifts (yeah...that's coming...). They're only $40 bucks each. Pass it on…
So after the kayak melee in Morro Bay, it was time for Stephen Chiang, the photographer I was assisting, and I to drive up north to San Francisco for the job the next morning. Put two photographers in a car, give them the choice between A. a straight and direct, but boring route, and B. a windy, curvy, 2-hours-longer scenic route through Big Sur, and, well, you can guess which one they’re going to choose 11 times out of 10. So up the curvy Pacific Coast Highway we went, absolutely one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in the country.Read More
It began as a work trip. Well, sort of. I’m finding more and more and more these days I’ll fish for any excuse to leave Los Angeles...just the thought alone gets me excited. So when Stephen Chiang, a photographer friend that I occasionally assist mentioned he needed an assistant for a gig in San Francisco, I jumped at it. When he mentioned it would begin with a night of camping in Morro Bay State Park, and end with 4 nights of camping in Big Sur, that wasn’t just the icing on the cake, that WAS the cake.Read More
So this one is not a big story or intricate post, just a quick and simple one with an image I thought was pretty neat. A friend and fellow photographer was over this weekend and we figured to take a little drive through the hills above Pacific Coast Highway in the late afternoon to see what we might find. I've lived in and explored these mountains for half a decade, yet, somehow, have never run across this vantage point. This is overlooking a small portion of PCH just south of Point Dume State Beach, California. We got there just in time for dusk and managed to snap a few images. The above image is a 30 second exposures taken on my now trusty Samsung NX30. I likey. I hope you likey. Bye.
So I don't have too much to say about this one, really just wanted to share. This was one of the properties I was assigned to shoot yesterday for Airbnb.com. It was a chunk of land on a bluff off Pacific Coast Highway that housed an old vintage Airstream trailer that rested on a ledge in what seemed to be the most idyllic, picture-perfect mini-canyon on the California coast.Read More
So I know you've probably already seen enough of this set of images, but, well, too bad! Ha! An image from this series keeps getting around one way or another - this time absolutely humbling me by showing up on the homepage for Photofocus.com as this week's 'Featured Image.' This is Scott Bourne, Richard Harrington, Melissa Niu and company! It's madness!Read More
When you feel something, your mind and body are trying to tell you something. Listen. Don’t ignore. Today was just another reminder of that basic instinct that we so often and easily seem to lose touch with in our hyper-‘connected’ day and age. There were a few things going on that were weighing heavy a bit on my mind, and something just kept tugging at me saying, forget everything you're doing right now and just go. Doesn't matter where or what, just go. Get out of here.
But I had work to do, and I was on the clock, and so I kept pushing back..."No, no, you can't just go. What are you thinking?”
That practical, responsible nonsense went on for about an hour before I was too exhausted to fight it anymore and just gave in, figuring, if anything, at least it would shut my brain up for a minute. So I grabbed the new NX300 that Samsung put in my hands, jumped in my car, and headed the 12 miles through the canyon down to the coast.
I pulled off to the side of the road at Topanga Beach, stepped outside, and sat by the ocean for a while, watching an older couple try their luck with their fishing lines. My brain tried telling me I’m supposed to be making pictures, but, well, I wasn't feeling it. I know I could have forced it, especially as one of them caught a fish and they were taking iPhone pictures of their prize together, but still, I just figured right now, I'm better off just marinating in this moment with no purpose other than to take it in and enjoy it. And that was that.
After about 15 minutes, I figured the sun's about to set in an hour, I should find a nice place to sit down and soak it in, so I headed up Pacific Coast Highway away from the city, and just as the sun began making it's decent over the horizon, I found myself in front of Pepperdine University, which, if you've ever seen it, sits right on a gorgeous grassy knoll overlooking the Pacific. As I was pulling up, a group of cars started to slow down and the first thought I had (and if you’re from LA you’ll immediately understand) was “Damnit, of course. Traffic!” So I looked up to see how far ahead of me it stretched, and, well, I didn’t find traffic. What I found caused me to pull over, throw park, grab my camera, and jump out of my car.
If I kept working, I would have never caught this. If I stayed and forced shots with the fisherman and woman, I would have never caught this. If I didn’t decide to give in to that tug at the gut, I would have never caught this. I simply just let go and succumbed to my feelings, and 15 miles up the coast, this is what they led me to - some of my favorite images from the past couple of months.
All images were shot on the Samsung NX300.
In a strange sense, I feel like I'm preparing for something. I spend a lot of time alone, very little social interaction - isolated from the constant deluge of stimulation and media saturation. I'm left alone in my thoughts, in my being.
And I do it to myselfRead More
So it was one of those days, the thought process just goes into overdrive and begins to cloud any reasoning and logic. The past comes up, the future comes up, all of the baggage surrounding both start to rear their nosy and intrusive little lizard heads. Sometimes this would last for hours, then days, then weeks, but more and more you begin to see that there's a way out…well, at least temporarily.
You recognize it.
You realize it.Read More
So had a house I had to shoot this week for Airbnb. It was actually the second of two units on a property I shot before, but I hadn't seen the second unit as it was occupied that first time. Anyway, not important…so after I was done shooting the interior, I figured, no one was here, I was going to take advantage of the moment and just kind of chill for a minute. When you're standing on a deck with nothing in front of you but a gorgeous canyon that opens up to the Pacific Ocean (see image at bottom of this post), it's hard not to force yourself to take a break and soak it in. So as I sat down and took a few gulps of my warm ice tea that had been sitting the car since I showed up, I saw this ridiculously quaint and charming little candle holder with a pile of little rocks alongside it, being draped PERFECTLY by a grapevine. And when I mean, perfectly, it's as if it was staged. For some reason, my imagination took me to the Mediterranean coast, perhaps Spain, maybe Italy, I don't know, but my wanderlust got the best of me and I started snapping a few shots of it as if I was actually on that coast. So when I got home and started processing, I began doing what I normally do…Lightroom…Develop pane…etc…and I just wasn't feeling it. None of it. To top it all off, my favorite shot as far as composition wasn't exactly exposed too well. But I figured, let's see what we can do with it anyway…let's hit the 'reset' button.
First step..grab a glass of scotch and a chunk of smoked gruyere cheese (hot damn, if you haven't had smoked gruyere cheese…you haven't had cheese!).
Second step…lean back a bit and let's look at this from a different set of eyes.
Third step…NO! Not a different set of eyes…let's look at it exactly with the eyes that I was looking at it with when I snapped the shot…my imagination.
Fourth step…refill scotch.
Fifth step…get crazy.
And what you see up above here is what came of the madness.
Yeah, it has a lot of filters, yeah, it's super processed, and yeah, I added a flame! But I had to remind myself that it's okay!
So my favorite composition of the thing was one of the poorer exposed shots. So I felt the need to do something to 'cover up' what otherwise would have been a throwaway. But that's only one way of looking at it...
The other way is that, if I processed it the way I normally do with my normal workflow, then perhaps it wouldn't have worked, and if it did, I would have had a decent image, but not the image that was in my mind as I was taking that picture. It took me having to find a way to 'cover up' a poorly exposed photograph to tap into the creative side of me and find a way to get closer to that visual I was envisioning as I was shooting it.
I guess my lesson here is to not be afraid and not really give a mouse fart about what anyone might think or what any purist might criticize. I get so wrapped up in what's 'right' and what's 'proper,' I often forget that, well, there's really no such thing in art.
I suppose certain things do happen for certain reasons. This time something happened to remind me not to take things too seriously and to do what got me so passionate about photography to begin with…have fun.
And c'mon...you have to admit, that final version of the image above is kinda Mediterraneany...
A few recent gradual revelations are telling me that perhaps part of me feels like I'm coming into my own in a lot of respects as far as photography is concerned. And I suppose it's really just a matter of perspective and paying attention rather than just letting life happen and allowing the monotony to take charge of the psyche. Day in and day out I'm editing photos robotically for a website, and many of the photos are photos I'd never think to take myself - small, close-up details, seemingly devoid of context.Read More
I almost didn't do it, but I'm sooooo glad I did. So every now and then, I shoot photos for Airbnb.com, the vacation rental website where people can rent out their unused spaces for extra income. Sometimes it's a guest house, sometimes it's a room in a house, sometimes it's a tent on a roof of a house. Luckily, since I'm in Topanga Canyon, my radius of 30 miles for assignments covers some of the most ridiculous places ever. I live in a 600 square foot shack of a house, but the hills around me are surrounded by Malibu, Pacific Palisades, that sort of thing...so you don't have to work your imagination too hard to understand what exists in these parts.Read More