A little Christmas spirit in San Francisco… on a double decker tour bus!
I rarely do touristy things in San Francisco since I grew up around here, but this was a great first experience that was blended in with some nostalgia. From the Macy’s in union square (although this year was filled with a lot of distracting messy views of construction around) to the Embarcadero Building Center Lights to the views from Treasure Island, it only needed some white snow to top it off!
SIX more days until Christmas. Continue on with the non-stop Christmas music, Christmas light shows, and bottomless hot chocolate.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays Holla Days, and Happy New Year!
You know that saying, “Normal is boring”? Well, this shows you what that doesn’t look like.
My dude Toreno (whom I shot with earlier in this blog) hit me up this summer asking to do a fashion shoot for him and his friend Jasko, who designs and embroiders his own clothing, and his friend Dav. These jawns are WILD and they’re guaranteed to turn your head all around. I’ll just stop trying to describe it and you can check for yourself.
This was the first time I got to bring out the super duper wide angle and it is ridiculously wide. Emphasis on the w i d e. It made it effortless to capture everything around the subject, and sometimes a little too much around the subject. The hardest part for me was composing with the wide angle and isolating the subject because I was so used to the 50mm perspective, but it was a new challenge (and challenges are a MUST in the world of fotografie) and absolutely fun to experiment with new focal lengths to stretch my “eye”.
I think the 35mm is the best length for this portrait and street mix.
ALSO, I can confirm after this shoot that yellow is my favorite color.
Introducing your 2017 NBA champions… theGolden State Warriors!
There aren’t many things in this world that will get me up at 4 in the morning, but this is one of them.
The 2017 Golden State Warriors Championship Parade! Man… I’ve been waiting for this redemption since that horrific game 7 blew 3-1 lead finals choke loss.
I went with a few friends and family and took Bart and got there at 5:30. Then, we walked toward 22nd St. and Broadway to look for a spot. Initially, we chose the turn, but I wanted to have Paramount Theatre (an Oakland landmark) in the background so we set up right before 21st St. In the morning when the sun rises, lighting is obviously at a different angle and generally more even with less shadows, but it changes throughout the day and I totally did not consider that… because why? Because 5:30 AM.
So when the parade finally started at 10 AM, lighting was pretty bad on my side. We had to deal with lighting through trees, highlights off of Paramount, and shadows on the subjects of the parade. I had to continuously adjust quickly back and forth between shadows and highlights through the whole parade so it was a challenge to say the least.
But here it is, the championship parade through my eyes from the beginning to the end, and enjoy the Golden Era. Go Dubs!
A couple things I learned for the 2018 championship parade (mark my words 😛 )… Next time I’ll probably use a zoom lens, preferably 24-70 or 70-200, because it’s so much easier when you are only able to stand in one spot, and everything moves so quickly so you don’t have much time to switch lenses. With prime lenses (single focal lengths like the 50mm), you’re required to move towards your perspective and you can’t do that in the parade because you are blocked by people crowded up behind you and the barrier in front of you. The other thing is light. Plan accordingly because light and its angles change throughout the day, DUH. Stupid me.
Earlier this week, I was SUPER fortunate to be able to attend a community event featuring the Warriors organization and Kevin Durant for Oakland Chinatown thanks to an invitation from my friend Theresa (shout out to Theresa)!
Kevin Durant and his charity, KD Charity Foundation, have been building and refurbishing indoor and outdoor courts around the country, and Oakland Chinatown was their latest community to give back to. My friend signed me up as 16 and surprisingly I passed (good thing I shaved that morning) LOL. I got a free shirt. I got to sit with the kids in a special section. I got to shoot and do some drills on the court that the chaperones could not do. It pays to look young I guess. 😀
Perhaps one of the biggest class acts off the court, Kevin Durant gives back to all the communities he has been in. In Oklahoma, and now Oakland, he has always worked closely with the underserved schools and continues his close relationships with them by lending a helping hand during the busy NBA season.
I got to see Wanda earlier this year, and now I got to see her son as well. This year has been pretty cool. 🙂
I’ll be the first to admit, the quality of my shots went down and I was more biased with the shot selection simply because of the subject (a superstar NBA player) that is in it. I’m like, “Oh cool shot, Kevin Durant!” when in reality it was a boring shot because I am distracted and I forget about all the technique and composition. I think that happens with all of us depending on what we’re shooting. I was so starstruck, and at the same time, I was so preoccupied with trying to take in the experience and trying to get the best shot I could possibly get of one of my favorite players all simultaneously, and that is a recipe for spraying and praying. You shoot many more shots than you need to, while the quality of your shots goes down because you don’t really take your time. I only used a 50mm because of convenience and portability, but I wish I had a zoom lens for this occasion.
Every photographer knows there are certain shots in photography that make you even more ecstatic than the other shots. It’s THE shot out of all the shots you got that day or month. It’s the shot that required a little bit of luck and ridiculous placement and timing. It’s the shot that captures your personal vision together almost perfectly. While there is “no such thing as a perfect picture in photography” (as quoted by a famous photographer named Phil Stern), these are the shots that come extremely close to it for my eye and taste. This is that shot for me that I recently took last week in San Francisco. I’ll explain why I love this so much below.
What makes me admire this image so much is the symmetry. The subject (cyclist) is dead center, well almost… to the eye she is centered, but if you wanted to calculate length from side to side she is closer to the left than the right. However, the shadows, the trees and their dark, contrasting trunks give off the impression that she is centered in between, and the subject is not covered by any of its leaves making her perfectly clear. There is also some light that graces her back that brings her out slightly rather than just a dark silhouette. Thankfully, she wasn’t wearing green either…
In my perfect world of perfect pictures, I would’ve removed all the trees in the background and the leaves on the left border.
You never know what you’re gonna get each time you go out, and that’s one of the joys of photography. It will surprise you with its unpredictability. I love control, but you don’t get much of that in photography unless you stage everything; and that is what irritates me, but it’s also the most exciting factor.
Last week, I got to catch up with my good friend Albert from high school. Our plan was to go to Marin Headlands, but I missed the last exit before the toll and ended up crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. So, we ended up going to Golden Gate Park and Sutro and this is what I got that day…