Saturday, August 15
One of my photo instructors told me to avoid "chimping" -- ooo-oohing over the photos you just took -- because they could cause you to miss the opportunity to photograph something even more interesting. In this case, chimping actually helped me. I had set out to take some pictures of the very tall stalks of purple flowers in our front yard, and while I was sitting a little ways from them, I idly took a photo of some of the flowers from below. After taking a peek, I realized that vantage point was much more interesting than anything else I'd taken so far. The lesson also illustrated another piece of my instructor's advice: try to take photos from unusual angles.
This is another late night desperation photo. On my way home from San Francisco, I stopped a couple blocks from my house and decided to shoot whatever my headlights illuminated. I like that you can see the fall-off from where the beams are more intense.
My summer roommate, Danika, had shoulder surgery a few weeks ago and has been entertaining herself through her recovery by doing an incredibly difficult 1000 piece puzzle. I liked the stark differences between the separated brown and blue pieces, so I stole a few for a photo shoot. Don't worry, I returned them.
Thursday, August 13
My coworker grew up with a paradise in her backyard -- giant trampoline, zipline, climbing wall, three-story tree house, rock climbing wall, giraffe sculpture, and two rope swings. She hosted a summer barbecue on a very hot day, and we all got to enjoy her childhood for ourselves. I opted not to bring my DSLR, and this photo is the only clear one I managed to take with my point and shoot. Fortunately, it's a pretty fun action shot.
I found myself in the parking lot of the Stanford Shopping Center at sunset and decided to see what I could get if I used the roof of my car as a tripod. I like the contrast between the very clear and stationary car and the movement of the headlights rushing past.
Monday, August 10
This belongs to the "It's late and I haven't taken a photo yet!" panic series. In my desperation, I checked our bathroom, and my focus landed on our toothbrush holders. I like how it looks like I should be flipped horizontally while the rest of the photo is very much vertically oriented.
Sunday, August 9
This is a cropped version of a photo taken at the Coldplay concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. It was amazingly difficult to get a good photo that captured the lights flashing across the stage or that gave any sort of sense of the huge amount of the people in the audience. I like this one for the burst of blue light on the left and all the silhouettes it illuminates.
Wednesday, August 5
Since I'm working as acting lighting supervisor on the MvA Halloween television special, the Powers That Be (aka the producers) approved my request to travel to the Glendale studio to observe the color correction process applied once a sequence is out of lighting and to actually meet the people I've been seeing on monitors and hearing on the phone for the past few months. I flew down a day early and spent the bulk of the day at Cafe Audrey off Hollywood Boulevard before meeting up with some friends for dinner. Audrey Hepburn memorabilia was everywhere, including on the napkin dispenser. I'm really happy I included the tile in the foreground.
My other favorite photo from the day is of a parking meter outside the cafe. I thought it was really funny that "FAIL" was blinking on its display. No one from LA agreed. I guess it's one of those SoCal/NorCal differences. You can see it here.
Tuesday, August 4
Due to a late start, I didn't arrive at the Ferry Building Farmers' Market until a little after 11 am, not exactly ideal photography time. I thought the light would be bad and the colors washed out. I also expected the standard subjects: fruit, vegetables, maybe a cute kid or dog. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find not one but two quartets filled with all sorts of unusual instruments including an accordion and a lute. Both were playing with the Bay Bridge as their backdrop and were facing in just the right direction to get nice light and vibrant colors. I didn't even take a produce photo. Not one. You can see for yourself here.
When it came time to choose a favorite, a couple stood out, but I found myself coming back to this one. The expressions on their faces are just so ... for the lack of a better word ... interesting. The foreground violinist looks simultaneously intent and mysterious. It's a nice juxtaposition with the clarinetist who is distractedly and suspiciously looking right at the camera.
Back when I was at Stanford, my friend Andrew discovered a wonderful sushi restaurant tucked away next to a Safeway in Mountain View. Our group became regulars. We struck up a friendship with the staff. The owner made us special rolls free of charge. As the years went on, the restaurant became a little more well known, picking up the sushi contract for Google and soon after, Facebook. It was only fitting, then, that we would celebrate Andrew's return to the bay area for the first time in five years by going to that same Japanese restaurant.
Monday, August 3
My friends were running late for the after work screening of The Brothers Bloom, so I decided to be productive and use the waiting time for some photography practice. Luckily, this 1967 Pontiac Catalina was waiting for me right outside our front doors. Photos of the full car were kind of boring, so I'm glad I took a few of my warped reflection in the rear view mirror. The movie, incidentally, was fantastic. I highly recommend it.
Sunday, August 2
I was inspired by the 4th of July and summer in general to make the most summery of baked goods - blueberry muffins. They were delicious, both fresh out of the oven for breakfast and as a snack while watching the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra perform at Stern Grove.
This 4th of July was my first informed attempt at fireworks photography. I had read up on tips and tricks. I had a tripod. I did not have a remote, but thankfully I have a fairly steady hand. The results were AMAZING, far better than I could have hoped. This one was a six-second exposure, which is why you can see more than one burst at once. I am now completely hooked and can't wait until I get a chance to try again.
More fireworks photos are viewable here.
View On Black
Post-pedicure photo shoot. I have some other photos with our toes in the air, but this is my favorite. I think it has to do with the pebbles as the background and their contrast with our shiny, red toenails.
On a more personal note, I like this photo because it reminds me of my nail color victory over the woman giving me the pedicure. She didn't like the color I chose, but I refused to let her talk me out of it. By the time we were done, I had won her over to my side, and she was showing off my toes to the entire salon.