Friday, April 30, 2010

April "Monthly" Dinner

I went to dinner with the Asian Animal Lovers meetup group at the Dumpling House in Arcadia today. The group had a monthly dinner last month, but I wasn't able to attend it. Anyway, the food was good, the conversation was good, and I enjoyed the company at dinner.

The group is mainly for Asians, however, the organizer won't discriminate non-Asians given that everyone (Asian or non-Asian) show respect. We get together because we love animals, rescue/adopt pets, foster until they are adopted out and/or do volunteer work at animal shelters.

Day 74 Of
365 Project:

I'm not good with architectural photography, but wanted to take a picture of the outside. I did take a lot of food photos though. Click here to see.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Relay For Life

Relay For Life "is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease." This isn't for any specific kind of cancer, but this helps raise funds and awareness to those who were affected by cancer.

In June of 2010 at the local high school, there will be a Relay For Life here in the town that I live in. We have this event at the end of June every year, however, I haven't participated in the event since I don't know anyone who were survivors or lost the battle to cancer. The event volunteer workers have already started putting up purple ribbons all over town to help bring awareness.

Day 73 of
365 Project:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nothing Is Free

I saw this "message" on the back of someone's truck on my way to Karate training earlier this evening. This was taken while waiting at a red light, so don't "drive-by shooting". I thought that it was the funniest message that I had ever seen. Also, at the same time, nothing is free...seriously.

Day 72 Of
365 Project:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Squishy Ball

I don't have a gym membership with Bally's. I got this squishy ball when they were at a job fair at Fullerton College in Fullerton, CA last year. I didn't get the job that I wanted, but that's ok. It's not the end of the world and life must move on.

I went running with this squishy ball one time. It was the greatest thing I had ever used during a run. I only have one of these and I have two hands, but it still made me feel less tense in the shoulders and upper back. I need to run with this more often because I really did feel better squishing it while I was out running. I also need to use this during times when I'm not running. Lately, I've been getting stressed out and frustrated with things. It also didn't help that I had been pretty busy during the last few days. So, I need to use this ball more often. Squish, squish, squish!

Day 71 Of 365 Project:

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Homecoming

I met with my friend, whom I had known since high school, at Camp Pendleton (Marine Corps Base) in Oceanside, CA to take pictures of her and her family waiting and greeting her husband and father of her kids. He had been deployed in Kuwait and after 16 months of deployment, he is finally home!

I felt really honored to be surrounded by so many Marines, especially on a day like this. Some of them were still on base and they helped keep "the fort" down while organizing the homecoming for the Marines who were coming home to their families.Thanks for serving and protecting the country.

Day 70 of 365 Project:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Maternity, Children, and Family Portraits

I attended a group photoshoot with the Los Angeles Shoot This! event photo group today. The theme was "Maternity, Children and Family". While there were adult models who didn't have any children of their own included in this event, there were plenty of "models" who were parents or kids. I opted for the parents and kids who modeled for us because I'd like to include more maternity, family, and children portraits in my portfolio and I absolutely love children and family portraits!

By the way, photography group event organizer who is also my photographer friend also managed to get the L.A. Shoot This! event photography group branded water bottle. Isn't that cool?! You can't get this branded water from anywhere. It's exclusively for the group only.

Day 69 of 365 Project:

To see photos from today's event, please click here and visit my other blog.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

High School Reunion

I went to a high school reunion this evening at Applebees. It wasn't organized by the school and we graduated from high school in different years ranging from Class of '94 to Class of '96. There were seven of us (eight if you included a significant other who was engaged to someone). I don't think I knew everyone there when we were all in high school, but I only remembered three of them. I haven't seen them in fifteen years! Facebook bought us back together. It was nice to see them again after so, so many years and we plan to have another get-together in a year or so.

I did take a group picture for the purpose of safekeeping, but I also wanted to work on my food photography.

Day 68 of 365 Project:

Dinner: Asiago Peppercorn Steak with Roasted Herbed Potatoes and Vegetables
Dessert: Chocolate Brownie Meltdown

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jabari's TKD Belt Testing

My friend, Leilani, invited me to her son's belt testing for Tae Kwon Do in Fullerton, CA. It was held today and he was promoted to red belt. My martial arts background is in Kajukenbo (Korean Karate, Judo/Jui-jitsu, Kenpo, and Chinese Boxing (Kung Fu)) and this is the only style that I have ever practiced/trained in. Today was the first time that I had seen how the instructors and students of Tae Kwon Do (or other martial arts styles) do their belt testing, so to see how a different style do things for belt testing was an interesting experience.

Day 67 of 365 project:

I have a few new readers. To update you, I have a second degree black belt and 15 years of experience in a mixed martial arts called Kajukenbo. I was recently promoted to second degree black belt. I also don't teach martial arts, but I occassionally will volunteer to teach friends.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dramatic and Gloomy

I always take "sunny" photos. It's time to take gloomy, dramatic ones now. I think I realized how much I'm actually not good at taking dramatic, gloomy photos. I can take certain kinds of dramatic photos, but not for bad weather.

So anyway, right when I decided to walk Kiko so that I could take photos of the sky and how dark the clouds looked, it started to sprinkle. I didn't turn around to return my camera. I kept on walking and hid my camera under my clothes for fifteen minutes. It didn't rain enough to soak my clothes, so my camera stayed dry.

Day 66 Of 365 Project:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sitting Duck

I noticed a duck in my pool this morning. It was making a lot of quaking noises and it was hard to ignore. I knew that it was in my pool because of how loud the quaking noises were so I ran out with my camera to take a picture. I don't know why this duck was so inclined to sit in my pool. I have a few neighbors nearby who also have a pool. One of these neighbors also has chickens/hens and a rooster in the backyard, yet the duck chose my yard/pool. It's very rare to find ducks in my neighborhood. I'm not sure where they would come from. There are some creeks in the town I live in, but they are at least one mile from me. Sometimes, I see ducks at these creeks, but at least, these creeks have food for the ducks. A swimming pool is not meant for a duck considering the water is chlorinated (that I hope didn't poison the duck) and clearly, there is no food in swimming pools. I think it was a year ago when I saw a duck in my pool before.

Day 65 of 365 Project:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers. Ok, so I don't remember the last time that it rained in Southern California in the month of April. It's been so long ago that it doesn't seem normal for rain here at this time of year anymore.

Luckily, it had stopped raining long enough this afternoon for me to walk Kiko. Luckily, it stayed that way until after we returned from our 30 minute walk and it started to pour after that! So, while I was out on a walk with Kiko, there were many things that were still wet from raining minutes before we headed out. I took a photo of the rain on a car's hood. I've seen other photographers' versions of this and I quite like mine.

Day 64 of 365 Project:

By the way, remember how I posted about an SLR film camera that I got from someone at work a few weeks ago? I finally finished one roll of 24 exposure film. You can view some of the photos by clicking here. These were not developed in a darkroom. I didn't have access to one and I really have no idea how to develop film anyway. I would have really messed up the photos by developing them myself because of my lack of knowledge on film development. Since shooting in manual mode with this SLR film camera is not an option, I need to just have fun taking photos without worrying about composition, etc. I worry about how they will look that only nine out of twenty-four photos turned out ok. Since I can't really view the photo(s) immediately after taking a photo and I have to wait for them to get developed, I think I can take better photos if I just have fun with it.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I actually don't know the name of the fruit or what kind it is. If anyone knows what this is, I will greatly appreciate the help! It is on the tree in my neighbor's yard which is located right next to my driveway. This is the first time I have seen the tree grow any fruit and my neighbor has had this tree in the yard for two years now.

Day 63 of 365 Project:

By the way, this was unintentional and I didn't realize this until I was editing the photo and uploaded it for viewing that I managed to use the backlight for some flare in the photo. Also, usually you can't get this kind of lighting except in the morning or in the evening, but I'm just learning that at the right angle with the right background, you can get flare in the photo(s) at almost any time of the day. This was taken at 1:20pm (during the harshest lighting of the day)!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Santa Monica Pier

I went to Santa Monica, CA with the L.A. Night Photography meetup group this evening. Our main objective was to take sunset photos on the beach and night photos of the Santa Monica pier. I have taken sunset photos at the beach before, but not in Santa Monica and I have never taken night photos of the pier. Unfortunately, it was overcast when we arrived to the beach even though it was nice, sunny and clear during the day. I had been wanting to go Santa Monica to take photos of the pier, but it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. I would still take a client here for a photo session though.

Day 62 of
365 Project:

click on image for more

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Carney's Train Food: Chili Cheese Fries

Dave and I originally planned to try a Thai restaurant in Thai Town - Los Angeles this evening, but the parking situation was terrible. So, we opted for dinner Carney's Train which was a resturant in Hollywood, CA, several miles from the original restaurant. We had been to Carney's a few times, so we knew that the food and service were good. The resturant is held in a real train car and it is known for its chili fries, chili cheeseburgers, and chili cheese dogs. It's basically like Wienerschnitzel, only Carney's is way better.

I ordered the chili cheeseburger and Dave ordered the Thai chicken wrap. We also shared some chili cheese fries and a drink. Oh, how I missed chili cheese fries and chili cheeseburgers. I'm still trying to learn food photography, so my chili cheese burger didn't look as good as it did in real life. The chili cheese fries looked so good/tasty yet so gross at the same time.

Day 61 of 365 Project:

P.S. Many more food photos coming up in the future! So be prepared to come hungry or be grossed out. ;-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Food From Jack-In-The-Box

Jack-In-The-Box was giving away free small fries today...for today only. I don't usually like to eat fast food very often, but once in awhile, I like to take advantage of free offers that fast food places are giving away. I got one small fries and a bacon ultimate cheesburger.

This also gave me a reason to try food photography. I had always wanted to try food photography but felt awakward and strange that I felt like I would take bad photos of food. I don't know why I felt like this since I had never taken photos of food before. So, I need to get over myself and start trying/practicing if this is something that I want to try for myself.

I took the food home and took a photo. I think it is easier to set the food or product for photos at home or at a studio because you can control the lighting and the background. When you are at a sit down resturant, taking photos there is a different scene. I definitely have never taken food photos at a sit down resturant before, so that will be a whole different story.

Day 60 of 365 Project:

By the way, it took me several hours to wash the "after taste" of this out of my mouth with water. It tasted good while eating this, but it left a gross taste after finishing it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tree Trunks

I like looking at different tree trunks. They all look so different with how the bark peels off. The one kind of trees that I don't like to look at is a young one. They haven't been around to show their "age" and they haven't started "peeling" yet.

The tree in the photo below was blown down by strong winds sometime ago (maybe last year?)and the remaining tree had to be chopped down because the fallen part of the tree was blocking the walking trail. The base of the tree wasn't rooted out, so it remains in the ground. I still like how the bark was on the base of the tree trunk.

Day 59 of 365 Project:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I hope no one has a phobia towards bugs, particularly grasshoppers....

I was walking Kiko this afternoon when we found a grasshopper on the trail that we were on. I had seen grasshoppers before, but never had a camera with me.

I didn't have a macro lens, but I did have a long/telephoto lens. This lens was the more appropriate and useful one to use without scaring it away because Kiko saw the grasshopper and wanted to pounce/capture it. I didn't want Kiko to jump on it and take a dead grasshopper home with bug blood all over her mouth.

Day 58 of 365 Project:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I had plans to meet Will and Chris (both professional photographers) for dinner this evening. They came from New York City to attend a photography seminar here in Los Angeles near the Los Angeles airport. I wasn't able to attend the seminar because it was too last minute to sign up. Things got discombobulated when Will decided at the last minute that he wanted to attend a workshop involving actual shooting/photographing in the evening. He sent me a message on facebook, but well, I was already on the road and halfway to the hotel he was staying at. I did see him through passing when he was on his way out to the evening workshop. So it wasn't a total loss being unable to meet him at all. Chris didn't want to attend the evening workshop, but we didn't have luck finding each other. I think we would have had better luck finding each other at the hotel if we were facebook friends before he arrived in Los Angeles.

Since Will and Chris stayed at the Marriott which was extremely close to the airport, it wasn't a waste of a trip trying to visit them while they were in town. I have a fascination with commercial jets taking off or preparing for a landing and seeing all the activity on the air strip. I also love to see how huge and massive they are! I don't visit this part of town very often and I certainly don't visit airports much either, so I knew I had to find a spot to take photos. I got excited seeing jets flying overhead either taking off or getting ready to land while I was driving on the freeway, on my way to meet Will and Chris. I did manage to find a spot near the airport to take some photos of the jets coming in for a landing before Will and Chris came out of the day/afternoon seminar. I was at the wrong side of the airport to see any jets take off, but I was still like a little kid in a toy store when I saw the jets coming in for a landing. There were several airlines that came in, but I was only able to identify SOUTHWEST (the only airline I was able to photograph). I didn't recognize the other airlines.

I had been wanting to take photos of these jets landing or taking off for a long while, but I never got a chance. To me, seeing a commercial jet is more exciting than a small, private jet. Also, when they're so high in the sky, they're not really fun to look at because they're so tiny. When they're really close to the ground after a take off or preparing for a landing, it's easy to see how huge they are and I'm so amazed at the size of them. I also enjoy seeing what they use to manuever the plane for a take off or preparing for a landing. So even if I didn't get to meet Will and Chris for dinner, I got what I wanted from an airport.

Day 57 of 365 Project:

Monday, April 12, 2010


It had been raining all night until very early this morning. It wasn't raining when I walked Kiko this morning, but I think I felt some rain drops here and there. It cleared out by mid-morning though. Today was the first time I actually took my camera out with the sky so dark and cloudy. I was afraid that it would rain, but luckily, it never did.

Day 56 of 365 Project:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Social Bowling

I ended up not going to the Cherry Blossom Festival in downtown Los Angeles-Little Tokyo today. From the way the sky looked this morning when I went running, it was dark and cloudy, and it looked like it was going to rain. I didn't have a waterproof case for my camera and I didn't want my camera getting damaged from the rain. Rain to my camera is like kryptonite to superman. I'm not ready to upgrade my camera yet, but more importantly, I can't afford to get another one right now either.

So, instead of that, I went bowling at the Block (a mall) in Orange, CA with the OC 20-30 Something's Women Meetup group. I haven't gone bowling in such a long time and I actually had fun. I also got a chance to work on flash in very low lighting in an indoor venue. I need to learn where to point the flash or get a better lens with an f2.8 aperature, but I didn't do too bad.

Day 55 of 365 Project:

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I had planned to go to a local/nearby regional park tomorrow to take some pictures of people running until I remembered that I had already planned to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo - Downtown Los Angeles instead, and I could have taken some runners/running photos today because running is something that I enjoy doing. Whoops! Since I had everything backyards and didn't get out for any good or inspiring/creative photos today, I got bored and was stuck taking photos at home.

Day 54 of
365 Project:

P.S. I don't know the name of this flower. I used to know what it was, but not anymore.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Morning Light

I usually photograph subjects during other time of the day and although I like sunset lighting for the warm coloring, I also like morning light and playing around with it. I need to play around with morning light more often.

Day 53 of 365 Project:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kiko At Play

I was starting to think that I was bored from not having anything to take pictures of. I was afraid that I would have to get in the car again and drive 10+ miles out of my home town/city to get pictures of something....someplace that I hadn't been to in a long time. Luckily, I found something that entertained me for the time being before I got bored again. I just don't feel like getting in the car and driving.

I didn't take Kiko to a park. So instead, I threw the ball around in the yard for her to chase after. The yard was small and I didn't know how I'd fare in photographing her while throwing the ball around for her to chase after in a yard or at the park. It was much different having someone else throw the ball for her while I took her picture(s). While it was difficult being a photographer AND a ball thrower, it wasn't as bad as I thought even though she didn't return the ball back to me like she usuaully would. She usually was interested in returning the ball after it had been thrown because she'd like to continue chasing after the ball for awhile. She didn't care to return the ball and managed to entertain herself without me. I was ok with this when I noticed that she was throwing the ball around for herself!

Day 52 of
365 Project:

On a side note, I walked Kiko twice already today. She still needs to get walked later this evening, but someone else will be doing that. Dave called me while I took her out for a second walk. He thought that it was strange to walk a dog three times a day for "bathroom breaks". She will NOT do her business in the yard at home. Dogs need their exercise, but more importantly, they need to get walked for bathroom breaks. If she didn't get walked in the middle of the day, she would have gone 12 to 14 hours between walks without a bathroom break. I asked him if he could wait 12 to 14 hours without going to the bathroom. He still didn't understand that it wasn't natural for dogs to go that long without a bathroom break. So, I'm a bit peeved at how ignorant some people can get on some things.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Echo Park Lake

I went to Echo Park, CA today and took some photos of Echo Park Lake. I haven't been to Echo Park Lake in five years. I think visiting the lake was more exciting five years ago because there were more people and it was my first time there too. Today was a work day, so naturally there would be less people. There was a section in the pond that had lily pads five years ago. I didn't see those today, so I wonder what happened to those?

It seemed really interesting to visit five years ago. I think I will still take a client here for a photo session because it is still scenic and I like water/ponds/lakes/streams/creeks in the background when I photograph people, but it's not really fun to take photographs for personal purposes anymore.

Day 51 of 365 Project:

Echo Park Lake with Downtown Los Angeles in the background

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dog Beach

I went to a dog beach in Long Beach, CA without Kiko. Unfortunately, Long Beach is a bit of a drive (45 miles) from home and she can't handle "long" distance driving over 20 minutes (with or without traffic). I went in hopes to talk to people and take pictures of the dogs...only I didn't talk to anyone. I just took pictures. I still need lots of practice with taking photos of dogs running around and playing.

Day 50 of
365 Project:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Photographer Friends

Today, I met some of my photographer friends who came to town from out of town. Two friends (husband and wife and both are photographers) were Chris and Oiao (they do a lot of weddings together) and they came from Washington, D.C. I met with Chris and Oiao for lunch this afternoon. Oiao's brother also came along to lunch with us and he was from out of town also, I think. We had lunch in the town that I lived in which was about 30 miles or so from downtown Los Angeles. Chris has a cousin who also lives in the same city as I do, although she didn't meet us for lunch. I have been friends with Chris for over two years (maybe three?) now. Even though Chris and Oiao were recently married (December 2009), they have been together for longer than Chris and I have been friends. Oiao and I recently became friends. Oiao, Chris, and Oiao's brother were great people to meet with, and I hope to hang out with them again.

I also met with Junshien for coffee after I had lunch with Oiao and Chris. Oiao and Chris wanted to meet Junshien, but they had other things to do. Junshien couldn't meet earlier for lunch because he also had stuff to do before meeting me for coffee, and couldn't make the drive to where we had lunch due to his schedule considering that he was staying in Hollywood and I don't live that close to there. Junshien and I have been friends for five years, and this was the first time that I've met him in real life. He was a great person to meet and he gave me some good suggestions/advice.

Day 49 of
365 Project:

Junshien and I
This is the first "self"-portrait that I took even though there is another person in the picture. I call it a "self"-portrait because the camera was in my hand and I took the picture. I need to work on how I feel with self-portraits. I'm quite ok with someone else taking my picture, but I don't like taking my own picture. I get self-concious for some reason, but this is where I need to work on myself (and using what I learned from the recent seminar on "Self-Analysis"). I also need to work on taking better self-portraits. I always think that I somehow not correctly positioned in the photo.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Doggy Social

I took Kiko to a "Doggie Social at a Park" in Arcadia, CA for the "Asian Animal Lovers" meetup group this afternoon. After all, I am Asian and I have a dog, a hamster and a turtle. This group was for Asian people who owned pets, loved animals and/or wanted to adopt.

Kiko is almost four years old. She is a rescued dog and she was adopted by my family over two years ago.

I'm always open to meeting new people and making new friends with people who have a common interest as I do. More importantly, I would like for Kiko to be more sociable around new people, other pets/animals, and make new friends. One of the meetup members attempted to throw the ball around for Kiko as she loves to fetch balls and toys, and chase after things. Kiko normally acts very shy around strangers, especially at dog parks or on the leash, but she seemed to do ok with a new person throwing the ball around for her! I attempted to take action photos of Kiko running for it and returning the ball. The fact that she was fine with someone else throwing the ball, this gave me an opportunity to take some action photos! While I do enjoy taking action photos, I'm not very good at it and I still need to get a lot of practice in.

Day 48 of 365 Project:

P.S. There were about six or seven people and five dogs. While we were hanging out together at the park, there were a minor earthquake that rolled through San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles County, including cities like Las Vegas, Nevada and Pheonix, Arizona! The epicenter was 20 miles southeast of Mexicali, Mexico which was right next to the Mexico/US border (southeast of San Diego, CA), and it was a 7.2 on the richter scale! While a lot of my friends, including Dave, felt it, my doggy group and I didn't.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I had planned to go an Easter Egg hunt that was being held at a local park in town this morning, but I wasn't feeling really well. So I stuck to walking my dog close near home. I found some flowers that looked really nice and pretty to me. I don't know what kind of flowers they are, but they certainly caught my eye.

By the way, after sleeping half of the day and eating some food, I'm feeling better.

Day 47 of 365 Project:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Railroad Tracks

I met up with a model friend at the Pomona College in Claremont, CA. She will be graduating from there this year and, while she does model when she has the time, she wanted senior portraits done. After all, she is graduating from college this year! I'm still in the process of editing the photos, but if you're interested in seeing the photo set, you can visit my other blog.

Anyway, after we were done with the portraits, I went to the train station that was a few minutes away from campus. There were some nice, scenic things to photograph there...I like photos of passing trains, but I like taking pictures of railroad tracks even more for some reason!

Day 46 of
365 Project:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Water Drops

I took a picture of a rose from my neighbor's yard after her sprinklers watered the lawn...the rose was right next to my driveway, so it didn't seem so suspicious, weird or awkward to take a photo of it.

Despite all the rain that we had in the last few months, I've never took any rainy/gloomy photos. I didn't have a waterproof case or any other waterproof material for my camera, and I didn't want my camera to die from the moisture. After the spinklers watered the lawn, I took a photo of the flower because it had water drops on it. I had been wanting this kind of photo for myself and I finally got one. I'm also quite pleased with how this photo came out too.

Day 45 of
365 Project: