Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Downtown Long Beach

Last Saturday I took a little stroll to Downtown Long Beach for a little photo session that ended up being a long time. I walked a total of seven miles and I burned the hell out of my balding head, face and arms. It was excruciatingly painful with nothing but a cold water shower to cool my skin. No fun.

I took the Metro Green and Blue lines which are always an exciting experience and I always have wierd stuff happen to me. Apparently my likeness has turned into the map of the entire Metro rail system. I got like three or four people asking for directions! I keep trying to look like I dont know what I'm doing but it never works.

Once I hit Long Beach I got off the Blue line and attempted to find the only places I'd been to, the lighthouse and the Vault 350. The Vault has been closed for at least a year or two, and seems to be under a remodel. I had a hell of a time trying to find it and ended walking about 5 blocks past it. The lighthouse on the otherhand was ridiculously easy to find. Its just a bit down Pine right next to The Aquarium of the Pacific and across the canal from The Queen Mary.

Unfortunatly, the only picture I got of the Queen Mary and a few of the other better looking buildings were all washed out and crappy looking so they werent included in the set above.

I think I will be back in a few weeks to check out Congregation Ale House.

If anybody is going to come to Southern California are, check out Queen Mary and The Aquarium of the Pacific. Really fun places, and the Queen Mary is supposedly haunted which would be even more fun.

Check out my other photos on Flickr and DeviantArt

Monday, May 28, 2012

Staying on Topic/ Future Purchases

This week, I took a trip down to Long Beach, CA. I copied my pictures over to my computer and I made a big realization. I keep getting off topic. Well, in this case I never had a topic to begin with.

It's really frustrating when I look at my results and I don't seem to be getting what I was looking for. I think from now on I need to set goals or come with a list of places that I'm going to shoot and just go with those. And maybe I wont burn the hell out of my scalp from all the walking next time.

/end rant

In other news, in anticipation for my next semester at school, I'm thinking about picking up a sheet film camera. The main candidate seems to be the Graflex Crown Graphic. An incredibly versatile camera that has two different ways of focusing, ground glass + loupe and rangefinder. These large format cameras are fairly intimidating though. You have extra ways of focusing with the front slides and tilts and the lenses are ridiculously expensive. I'll post a how to on how to use this incredible camera when I pick one up closer to July.

I should have black and white chemicals by then, and I saw a great article on using Resin Coated (RC) paper instead of dishing out 35 bucks for 25 exposures of 4x5 film.

I'll be posting the spectacular shots from Long Beach on Wednesday.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Heritage Park

Check out my photos on Flickr and DeviantArt

I have a strong fascination with parks and nature centers found throughout dense city centers and highly populated areas. In this day and age, its getting harder and harder to find nice nature retreats and beautiful locations to relax. I think its even essential for children to discover these places so they know they can find somewhere to get in touch with nature and experience wildlife without having to worry about being mauled by bears, bobcats and mountain lions.

In this series, I will introduce parks, landscapes and just fun places all around that you and/or your kids can just escape the city life for even just one hour in a week.

This week, I traveled to Cerritos, CA to visit Heritage Park. An interesting place that has a Boston and a Revolutionary War theme. There are canons, a little town, a city hall, a mock warship, and big Paul Revere statue at the entrance. Its a very difficult place to capture on camera because it isnt a small place, but it isnt huge at the same time.

The little town is a couple of small buildings that are connected with stairs and walkways and slides. A little indoor mini playground with a foam floor for safety. The city hall has a huge slide going out the side of it that you can kind of see in one the pictures above. The rest of the park actually looks like a normal park, with a softball diamond and another playground on the side.

While there isn't too much nature, its one of those parks that you have to go out and see at least once. Its on Bloomfield, just south of the 91 freeway in Cerritos. Directly across the street from Cerritos High School.

Any interesting parks or nature centers in your area? shoot me an email at

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slideshow Issues

Ever since I started this blog back in February one of the major issues I've been having on a consistent basis is how to share my pictures. I thought I fixed this problem when I started using Flickr and making slideshows on there, but I forgot about a big demographic, Mobile Users.

I just took care of that issue and have converted all of my older slideshows into HTML5 compatible slideshows so they are view able on all mobile devices like Iphones and Ipads.

Update: The whole point of this post was to mention the service I switched to for the slideshows. It's called SlideMyPic. There are a few different options it offers such as 3 different styles, background color and music sync. Plus all of my pictures are loaded from the same sets I made on Flickr so I don't have to upload to a completely different site. Pretty cool.

I have a new set of pictures that I took last week that are gonna be posted tomorrow morning

And I'm thinking of traveling to downtown Long Beach for my photo session this week.or somewhere in that direction.

In the meantime, Check out my photos on Flickr and DeviantArt

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Annular not Annual

Sunday was an important event if you are an avid fan of astronomy. We had an annular eclipse that spanned from South Eastern Asia all the way to the Midwestern United States.  This was a first time occasion for me. So, like a retard, I stood outside looking right at the sun to see if I could see it with my naked eye, not to mention the few times I took a peek through my SLR lens. Eh... in the long run, it was more fun to watch than my personal health was worth so I took the risk.

Up above, I put together a little slideshow from the few pictures I managed to take after I got a bit smarter and set up my tripod. It wasn't really that dark, I just had my aperture stepped down to F32 which was the slowest I could go and my shutter speed was at 1/4000. I didn't have any special lenses or sunglasses so that was the best I could do. You can actually see the whole circle of the moon even though we didn't get the whole ring of fire apocalypse view here in LA.

What was your experience watching this eclipse and have you seen any better ones?

Check out my photos on Flickr and DeviantArt

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Website Planning: Hosting

Check out my photos on Flickr and DeviantArt

I started this series before and my first post that this is replacing was utter crap. So, as my 2nd attempt I hope it shall be better.

As you all know, I am a photographer and the most important tool in any photographers arsenal is their portfolio. Now of days you can still keep your physical portfolio for job interviews, but how do you get to the actual Interview? Let's skip past all of the cold calls and luck, Its by having a good digital portfolio.

There are several options these days for making and keeping a portfolio online. A few are free and others take time, skill, and a web savy programming guy to keep. On this post, I am just going to mention a few of your options and the series of posts that follow, I will describe the process I am going through for making my website.

The easiest options available are through free services such as DeviantArt and Flickr. Both sites have a strong presence and have an extensive amount of forums where you can ask any kind of question imaginable and get a decent answer. Both of these sites offer extended services for an extra price such as detailed statistics extended space for storing more images and videos. DeviantArt also offers the ability to order your prints with the commision going to you, and the ability to make a custom portfolio with your own web address.

A couple other free services that are fairly easy to setup is by signing up with free blogging services such as and They only take minutes to setup, choose your color scheme/template and to get rollin. With either of these options, you can mesh it with Flickr and make a set/slideshow on Flickr and then post it on your blog. Its a bit harder to go this route because there is a bit more you have to worry about custimization wise, but if you are more of a computer oriented person, It should come more naturally to you.

And the last option is to do what I am doing which is building my own site from scratch. This is the hardest  of the options because you have to know some programming. At the moment, I know I am going to be building my main site using Flash, but I have to check and see what my options are for having a mobile site.

If you are looking at building up your portfolio check out some of these links:

Sign up for DeviantArt

Sign up for Flickr

making a portfolio site using wordpress

making a portfolio using Blogger

Great resource if you want to build your own site

What are some of your experiences with starting your web site, and have you found any success

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beerfest, Studio and Stock; This Week in a Nutshell

The first slideshow above was from the Orange County Beer fest which took place at Irvine Lake. It wasn't as fun as my first beerfest last year. I need to learn how to do street style photography because I was still too nervous about shooting random people doing whatever.

The second set was from my class this week. I was able to hit the studio on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was one of the most fun times I've had at school. I already learned what I did wrong and that I need a fill flash to fix the dark shadows on the toy cars. I'll definitely remember when I decide to take a lighting class.

So I've been looking for ways of officially getting in the photography business and it doesn't seem to easy. I just got my digital camera but I'm still lacking lights, a backdrop, a serious fill flash and a couple of other things so I can do product shots or portraits. While I was doing my research I came across a great post talking about stock photography.

I read a little about it aver the last year and some of the places that I had checked out were a little strict. I would have to submit at least a thousand images that are all good quality, they would have to be vetted by the stock company, and I would still have to provide 100 to 300 images per month to stay active. Wow!! That is a lot of pictures. I think I will be trying out this other agency called Shutterstock. I only have to submit 10 initial pictures and there isn't a quota to remain active.

I wonder how hard it is to get my pictures sold once I get my images on there.

Friday, May 4, 2012

OC Beer Fest Time

This weekend I'm going to the Orange County Beerfest at Irvine Lake. On the website for the event, there were at least 50 different vendors that will have their beer for tasting. If it is anything like last year, it will be an incredible experience.

If anybody is interested in going, it starts tomorrow/Saturday May 5th at 2pm.

Pictures on Monday.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My First Digital

After about two months of solid research, I finally picked up my first DSLR. I went with a used Canon EOS 10D. I was looking at the 20D but circumstances out of my control prevented me from getting that. I got it in the mail yesterday and it looks almost Brand New, or as close as a used camera can get for an 8 or 9 year old item.

I wasn't all too worried about the amount of megapixels as I was about the cost. More people care about how many megapixels they have or how high the ISO can go, but I could care less. 6MP gets me sharp enough prints if I ever decide to print them out as long as they are exposed correctly. With the ISO levels, mine goes to  up to 3200 but I think 1600 will be enough for when I shoot concerts. It's fairly heavy, especially compared to my film slr.

 I could have easily have gone with a Rebel T1 or T2, but I wanted a dedicated PC flash port for when I jump into lighting instead of a hot shoe sync. With my 10D i can use both a hotshoe attatchment and the PC terminal at the same time for double the fun, and extreme blinding lights.

What model of digital camera was your first?