Wednesday, March 31, 2010

35mm Film SLR Camera

I recently got a 35mm film SLR camera - Canon EOS 750 - from a friend. This camera is very old school and came out in the late 1980's, but was only on the market for a short period (two years). This camera will only be used strictly for fun like landscapes/nature and totally random stuff because manual mode is not an option with this camera. At least, I can change the lens, however, my friend didn't have any other lenses to go with it and I doubt the newer ones are compatible with it. I really doubt I will ever use this camera for a paid photo session with a client...I don't think I would even use this camera for a tfp/unpaid shoot either. I don't want to be wasting money on a roll of film if 95% of the photos come out really crappy/bad/terrible when used for a paid/unpaid photo shoot. I'd like to have more than one good photo for both parties (me and the person being photographed). Even if I was an excellent/awesome/great photographer, I would still want to shoot in full manual mode because I need to be in control with how the photos come out in the end results. I also think that I would only use this camera to take outdoor photos. Since manual mode is not an option, I'm too scared of what the photos will look when the camera is used indoors. I don't want the photos to come out blurry or dark without the flash or be overexposed/too bright with the flash.

The last time I had a 35mm film camera (not an didn't even have a zoom option) was six or seven years ago. At the time, I really didn't know how to take photos at all and I didn't know what I was doing. So now that I have a better idea how to take decent/good/nice photos and I'm better than last year, I'm very curious what kind of photographer I am with a film camera and whether I can take a decent photo now with it.

After I stopped using film cameras, I "upgraded" to a digital point and shoot camera. I used this for five years before I "upgraded" to a DSLR camera. When I was using the P&S camera, I thought I was good. I really wasn't. Now when I look back on my photos that were taken by the P&S camera, I have the following facial expressions: Those photos were ok to look at for anyone who just wanted to get a general idea of my surroundings, but definitely not what you call good or nice. I'm pretty sure my photos from when I was using a film camera weren't any better, but my "so-called" talent at the time is so far from where I am at now. My style/preference has also changed in the past year. I still have much to learn, but I've learned so much from fellow photographers and I think I am better than a year ago.

So anyway, I just want to have some fun with a film camera.

Day 44 of
365 Project:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Lighting" Things Up

I took a photo of the full moon last night. Luckily, it was clear skies because it's cloudy/overcast tonight. It wasn't the first time that I had ever seen a full moon or noticed how bright it was. It was bright enough that I managed to handhold the camera and keep the moon in focus. I don't have the right lens for the details of the moon to come through though, so that's too bad.

Day 42 of
365 Project:

So while the moon wasn't as bright as the sun, it still lit up the ground in its own way. Sometimes, I love to see a bright moon, but at the same time, it's bad because it creates light pollution and I can't see any of the stars.

Today, I wanted to experiment with some lighting from the sun and create "flare" in the photos. I failed. The sun was still too high. I should know better than this because I have done this before when I'm with other photographers, but I still personally like the photo with the backlight that I took (below).

Day 43 of 365 Project:

So now, I'm caught up on my days for the 365 Project.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Venice, CA

I went to Venice Beach yesterday for a photography event with the L.A. Shoot This! event where we photographed models at the art walls, on the beach and surrounding areas (within walking distance from the art walls). I think the theme was "urban with funky graffiti".

Painters aren't allowed to paint without permits, but it seems that there are a good handful of painters because these walls get painted over pretty regularly.

I still have quite a bit of photos from yesterday's event to go over and edit. I'm also a day behind on my 365 project and will be up to date with it soon!

Day 41 of
365 Project:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Car Ride

Dave and I took Kiko out for a short car ride. I attempted to take a picture of Kiko in the mirror. For some reason, I couldn't take a picture of what I had visioned, but thought this picture was cute.

Day 40 of
365 Project:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Henna Tattoo

I met up with my photographer friend to do some location scouting in Venice Beach, CA. We were looking for some areas on the beach for this Sunday's photography group photo shoot event. For backdrops and a meeting location.

After we walked around for ideas and took some photos, my friend decided that she wanted a henna tattoo. I got one for myself, but didn't take a photo of it...yet. My friend said that it was a good idea to practice taking photos of henna tattoos being applied to someone's skin. Because eventually, I will have clients who get henna tattoos done. So, I took a photo of my friend getting a henna tattoo.

Day 39 of
365 Project:

Thursday, March 25, 2010


In the last few days, I have been without a car. Being without a car is like being cooped up indoors all day long and you just want to get out! I've been bored and feel like I need to get in the car to get out of the town I'm in, so I can take pictures of something.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this picture (excuse the pun), but this is just me experimenting and getting creative. Clearly, the skateboard is not new...after all, my brother found it somewhere instead of getting/buying it new.

Day 38 of
365 Project:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Low Light Photography

I was experimenting with flash in low lighting outdoors. Outdoor low lighting being right after sunset where it wasn't quite dark, still some daylight, but at the same time there wasn't enough light that it would still make photos turn out somewhat dark without the flash. Eventually, I will have to know how to use the flash properly during this time of day and even after dark like the back of my hand, so I have to practice a lot.

I still have much to learn and get in a lot of practice before I am good with flash photography in low lighting. Using the flash outdoors is totally different than indoor flash for me. With indoor photography, I can bounce the flash off the wall or ceiling (if it's low enough) and can figure out what looks good. I still need to learn the settings and know what looks good with flash in low lighting outdoors.

Day 37 of
365 Project:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bird House 2

My other next door neighbor also has a bird house in her yard. There are no little kids that live in the house, but perhaps her grandchildren had some influence when they were visiting. I had never seen bird houses in my neighborhood before this month, and it's nice to see these bird houses "springing" out all of a sudden. I don't know if these bird houses are meant to hold food and attract the birds, but sometimes it's nice to see a cute "decoration" or something cute/nice in someone's yard.

Day 36 of 365 Project:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bird House

My neighbor who lives right next door to me has a bird house in the tree in the front yard...near the sidewalk. I'm sure this was store bought. It looks that way unless the two little kids (both under age eleven) that live in the house are extremely good at putting together such a craft and are very artistic.

Either there is no bird food in it or just my presence scaring them away, but I never see any birds going in or out of the bird house.

Day 35 of 365 Project:

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It's the second day of Spring. With all the new growth and all new things blossoming, my allergies are picking up. It's the only downside with the beginning of Spring. On the other hand, Spring brings new life. This gives me an excuse to get out and photograph new plant life.

Day 34 of 365 Project:

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Today is the first day of Spring. I was going to get some "Spring-y" type photos while out taking Kiko for a walk until I saw a squirrel "posing" for us after it chased after another squirrel. I see squirrels all the time, but none had ever stopped long enough for a picture or were too far away for a good picture. This one stopped long enough to stare at Kiko and I, however, I think it was really fixated on Kiko for some reason. Kiko didn't notice because it was high up in the tree.

Day 33 of 365 Project:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kiko On Board

I was looking for some props to take photos of. I found a skateboard that my brother found from somewhere. I don't know where he got it from, but he is not a skateboarder and he does not know how to ride...neither does any other members of my family.

Kiko doesn't know how to ride it either, but I remember seeing some show on tv where an English Bulldog was propelling itself on a skateboard or surfboard. So while I don't know how to train Kiko to propel herself on the skateboard, I stuck her on the board and took a picture.

Day 32 of
365 Project:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

L.A. Smug Meeting March 2010: Rob Nicholson

A SMUG is a place where a photographer can learn, teach and meet up with other photographers who share the same passion. It's also how everyone can tell their friends what's happening in their world and discover what's happening in others. SMUGs are a great way to connect with other photographers and add a few weapons to his/her creative arsenal. SMUGs are always free and open to photographers of all levels.

I attended a Smug meeting at the
Global Cafe in Studio City, CA tonight. The speaker was Rob Nicholson and the topic was on "Self-Analysis", and how to grow one's business. "One's strength is only as strong as one's weaknesses will allow." It was an interesting topic that I could learn from.

Day 31 of
365 Project:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dwarf Hamster

I hope everyone is having a nice St. Patrick's Day. I don't care to wear green anymore and I don't plan to do anything related to St. Patrick's Day. I don't drink and I'm not Irish.

Instead of going outside to take photos and enjoying this nice weather, I took pictures of my dwarf hamster. Unfortunately, I don't remember its name, its gender, its age or anything else like that. Technically, this is my brother's pet since he is the primary caretaker. I also wasn't going to photograph this pet, but I'm also running out of photo ideas.

Day 30 Of 365 Project:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Party Favors

I got bored, so I started experimenting with the flash on the party favors that I got from my cousin's wedding back in December 2009. After all, the main reason for this project/challenge is to learn, practice and try new techniques. These party favors were really cute. He had an Asian version and an American version for his wedding guests. Each guest either got the American pair OR the Asian pair.

Each pair of "little people" were in their own cute boxes with ribbons on the top/lid/front and the "little people" were looking out of a plastic window. I got frustrated with the plastic window because the light from the flash was bouncing/reflecting off of it, even though the flash was pointing up and bouncing off of the ceiling. I didn't like the light reflecting off the plastic window, so I took the "little people" out of their boxes. Product photography is fun (for now), but I still have a long way to go before I perfect it...if I don't get bored with it. But then again, this is probably only fun to me because I'm just goofing off and experimenting. It was hard to get the "little people" to look straight ahead or slightly at each other because of their round bottoms and it took me awhile to position them how I wanted them, but I still failed and they're looking off in the wrong direction.

Day 29 of 365 Project:

Monday, March 15, 2010


Mia is a six year old Yorkshire Terrier and she is one of Kiko's friends. Her owner is also one of my neighbors. Mia isn't one who likes to sit still long enough. Dogs, like Mia, are hard to photograph, but I managed to get a few shots of her before she ran away and here is a decent photo of her.

Day 28 of 365 Project:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flash Photography Lesson

I met up with a few photographers this afternoon for a mini-photoshoot in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Matthew Saville who is a professional photographer invited some photographer friends along to a last minute photo shoot because he rented some wireless flash units that he wanted to try out. Rachel Amara was also the model who was gracious enough to let us practice on her, and I got a flash photography lesson! I left feeling good, knowing that I learned something new today.

Matt and I were originally "xanga"/online/internet friends and he was one of the first professional photographers I met in person who helped me get started with photography. There were a few other photographer friends that I met through xanga, but through Matt, I made many more photographer friends in real life.

Day 27 of 365 Project:

P.S. I updated my wordpress blog with Rachel's photos.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Walking Trail

I like taking Kiko out for a walk on a nearby trail. Where I live, there are several miles of trails throughout the city for people to walk or run on. It's very scenic and people seem to take advantage of the scenery on the trails.

Day 26 of 365 Project:

Friday, March 12, 2010

What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas

Dave and I went to Las Vegas, Nevada during the last few days. We departed on Wednesday, March 10 and returned home this morning. We stayed at the Rio Casino/Hotel. We arrived in Las Vegas late afternoon and didn't do much on day 1. We grabbed a bite to eat and did some gambling, though. On day 2, we went to Red Rock Canyon Conservation area. We did some more gambling. On our last day, we did do anything except wake up early and head back home.

Day 23 of
365 Project:

The hotel we stayed at

Day 24 of 365 Project:

Red Rock Canyon

Day 26 of 365 Project:

State Line on the way home

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Red-Eared Slider Turtle

Besides having a dog named Kiko, I also have a red snapper turtle. The turtle's name is "The Turtle". Yeah, very creative and original. *sarcasm* I also have a dwarf hamster, but I don't know how to take it out for a proper photo without it running away to a out-of-reach hiding place like behind a couch or something. The turtle was easy. It was actually curious with its surrounding since it's usually cooped up in a tank/container most of the time.

Day 22 of
365 Project:

By the way, I've finally edited the photos from this past weekend's engagement session. Click here to view!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great Egret

I can be wrong about the type of bird this is.

I was walking Kiko on a trail this afternoon when we came across this great egret feeding on a lizard. We don't really see this kind of bird in town, especially in part of the town that doesn't have any water. There are several creeks that run through town, but there wasn't any creeks nearby at all where I saw this bird.

Because this egret was somewhat distracted and occupied with eating, I was able to get within 100 feet from it. I didn't make any sudden, crazy moves that would scare it away either. It would usually fly away from something or someone that got too close. So it was nice to capture a photo of it.

Day 21 of 365 Project:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

First Karate Lesson

Talk about stress with the weather. The rain held out long enough for my engagement session yesterday afternoon. It started sprinkling after we were done and then it started to pour an hour and a half later after we were done! What timing!

The weather forecast called for rain this morning. I was actually scheduled to teach a lesson in Karate/Self-Defense to a
meetup group at 10am this morning. Who knows when the rain had actually stopped raining this morning if it did at all, but the sky was semi-clear by the time the Karate lesson started! There were eight people (including myself) from the meetup group, who rsvp'd yes, and only there were only three of us that actually showed up. The weather had scared everyone else away. I was actually more relieved that I only had two students instead of seven. I volunteered my time to teach and while I was nervous, it was a good experience for me.

I have to get out of my comfort zone to "grow up". I'm used to my own Karate people where I'm just a black belt student and I don't have to teach anything in my own Karate training. Sometimes, I lead a class for my instructor, but most of the students there already know what they are doing and I don't have to teach them anything new.

I'm not the organizer or assistant organizer of the meetup group, but the organizer is letting me teach another lesson for the group. The weather will be better next time, and I will have more people showing up. I think by voluntering my time to teach people on a regular basis, will help me build my confidence. I don't know if I will ever go into paid teaching, but at least, I won't balk and run away at the idea of actually teaching (paid or volunteer) anything to anyone in the future. I also think that by teaching people will help me become a better photographer. How? I'll be forced to talk, direct people, and be/get creative. Photography people/clients need feedback and directions (on how to pose, etc) too.

Day 20 of
365 Project:

My first two students at my first time ever teaching my own Karate lesson

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Dave told me on Thursday that it would rain today. My response to that? "NOOOOOOO!" I had an engagement session scheduled this afternoon with a bride and groom. I took a "crap" shot of the sky on the way to Union Station where the engagement session was at, even though I was still about 20 miles or so away. The sky looked promising during the drive and luckily it stayed dry long enough for us to do our session! In fact, it started sprinkling a bit after we were done and it started pouring down an hour and a half later!

Day 19 of
365 Project:

P.S. I keep telling people that taking pictures while driving is really not recommended, but I keep taking pictures while driving. There's no law against this, but perhaps California should start this law?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kiko's Many Faces

As you can see, I'm running out of ideas and topics for this 365 Project because I'm taking too many pictures of Kiko. I'm starting to get bored because I ran out of ideas.

One person can only do so much with a dog, especially if that one person has a camera and is trying to take pictures. I didn't know how to throw a ball or toy around for Kiko to play with while holding a camera in one hand and trying to take a picture of her running after a toy or ball.

Now, Kiko isn't sticking her tongue out at me on purpose. She was licking her nose/lips right when I took the picture, but this picture sure is funny to me.

Day 18 of 365 Project:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Is Almost Here

It's not rainy here today, but it will on Saturday. I'm not sure how many more rainy days we'll have after this weekend, but Spring is definitely almost here. There are some blooms starting to "spring" out!

I've actually been enjoying the cold/cool days, especially in mornings, everyday because it feels so nice for my morning runs. However, I'm also looking forward to the longer days and seeing everything in full bloom! While I'm looking forward to the longer days, I'm not looking forward to the blast of heat from the Summer. Let there be no humidity this year!

Day 17 of
365 Project:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's All About Capitalism

Taking a picture of Kiko's side profile is not always so bad. Once in awhile, I'd like for her to look towards the camera so when she passes away, I would still have pictures of her and remember what she looks like. The best way for me to get her to look towards the camera is by holding some yummy doggie treats near my camera. If it wasn't for the food, she would just look the other way and ignore me until I put the camera away. It's all about capitalism!

I took Kiko's picture during the "Golden Hour" which is basically within 20 minutes before the sun sets. During this time has the best lighting for photos. I wonder for "cropped" close up shots on subjects with a "long" snout/muzzle, is it better to have the nose or the eyes in focus? Or is this a personal preference?

Day 16 of
365 Project:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Funny Faces

I went outside to take some sky/clouds pictures. The sky looked nice. Kiko likes to follow me whenever I go out to get the mail, get something from my car or do something in the yard. After taking some photos of the sky, I took a few pictures of Kiko just for the hell of it. It's usually hard to get a good picture of her without bribery. I wasn't going to put up any of Kiko's pictures until I took one that made me laugh. Her snout/muzzle is out of focus from moving her head because she was trying to avoid having her picture taken. She hates having her picture taken. I think she's trying to stick her tongue out at me for taking her picture.

Day 15 of 365 Project:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Karate Practice

I still go to Karate training regularly, 2 - 3 times a week after getting promoted to second degree black belt last December. Tonight, I attempted at taking photos while two of my Karate classmates were practicing. It seems that I'm lamer at sports/action photography. It's fun to try, but it's harder than it seems. I took a few pictures with and without the flash. The pictures without the flash came out better than the ones with the flash. I think I have a hard time understanding what settings the camera should be on for fast-paced movements in an indoor location, and I have a lot more practice and work than I think I do with flash photography. My reflex isn't that good for fast-paced movements either.

Day 14 of 365 Project: