Wednesday, August 24, 2016

UPDATE

It's amazing to me how one can have every intention of keeping something (i.e. a blog) up to date but some way or another time just "slips" by so quickly, you don't realize just how bad, until a year or so has gone by. WHAT?!!! Incredible.
I'm sure it has something to do with bad habits and such. Still working on it.
Anyway...
Creatively, I'm afraid I've managed to create a GIANT backlog for myself. I've been wanting to do many things and have managed to do a few, but then I haven't been able to manage my time effectively to finish them.
There are a couple of photoshoots that I've yet to process. I have managed to sit and work on one image of the last photoshoot I did.

I had the pleasure of working with beautiful Elvira Troger. She was so much fun and had such a bright personality, I can't wait to get another chance to work with her again.
There was another model I shot before Elvira, but the images from that shoot will come later.
And the shoot before the afore mentioned, I did manage to work on a couple of the images. This is Olga. And like Elvira, Olga was amazing.



I feel I'm making a bit of progress regarding my photography skills, but it's discipline and diligence that I also need to work on.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Been a while

Wow! It really HAS been a while since I've posted anything here. For shame! Chalk it up to "life" and not prioritizing posting as much as I should. This will NOT be a post where I catch everyone up with everything that's happened in the past few months. I have created a few new images, one of which I'll share now. It was taken with my kit lens 18-55mm but it was reversed with the help of a very inexpensive adapter. What this does, when you turn your lens 180 degrees, is it makes the lens behave as a macro lens. So, I grabbed my lens and camera and asked my daughter to sit by the couch and stare out the window. This is was I was able to create. I hope you like it.

Amanecer (Dawn)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My first pinup

My first crack at it.

Thanks to iDiivil for the killer pose!

Different worlds, same crap

This could be anywhere in the world... you'd find it's got stories you're already familiar with.

Tonight I was talking with my Thai masseuse. Normally I don't like to speak while I'm getting a massage; I don't seem to be able to relax if I have to listen to what someone is saying. But for some reason, I didn't mind talking tonight. It turns out, I'm familiar with a lot of her story.
She told me her Thai name is Na (this is how I'M going to spell it). I asked, but she didn't tell me if it meant anything. She's almost 39 (or like she said, almost 40). She's a mother of two; a 14 year old girl and a 6 year old boy. They live in Thailand still. Na's parents are taking care of them. Na's been here for at least a year and a half.
As a parent myself, I can now understand what it means to leave your children behind. Or at least, I can imagine. I can imagine how hard and heart wrenching it must be and it's something I don't wish to experience first hand. Ever.
My mother is, however, familiar with this story. Due to a number of circumstances, she had to make that choice many years ago when I was still a kid. I was eight.
My father had travelled to the US back in 1979. Pursuing the promise of a better a life, not just for himself, but for the rest of us, he set out to try his luck. Lady luck proved to be hard to attain.
In 1984, my mother made the same journey, but try as she might, she was only able to get a travel visa for herself. As gut wrenching as the choice was, she had to endure it in order to survive.
I recall the day she left, not with fondness, of course; it still makes my hear sink. Literally.
As a man, I wager that women are, in fact, stronger than men. I say this because I can't imagine doing what my mother and Na did. The thought of leaving my two kids behind while I travel to a far off land for an uncertain amount of time kills me inside. It really does. I couldn't do it. I simply could not do it.
As Na was telling me her story tonight, I shared with her that my mother had had to make the same sacrifice years before. I  knew that what my mother had had to do was nothing unique to her. It's something that happens everyday around the world. Unfortunately.
It's just one more proof that try as we might, we're all more similar than we are different and we often share similar fates and experiences.
I told Na not to give up. She's working to help her family back in Thailand and save a bit to start her own little business here in the US. She has a good attitude. She said she talks with her kids over the phone and through Skype sometimes, but it saddens her. I can only imagine.
It sucks that we live in a world where sometimes, being far away from your flesh and blood is often the best solution to help provide for them. Just think of all that both parties are missing! A mom missing all the little milestones in a child's everyday life and a child living without his/her mom nearby.
May God watch over both mothers and their children all over the world. May He grant them the strength not to give up and not let this world get the better of them.

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 500px Photo Walk in Culver City


If you've never visited 500px.com then do yourself a favor; stop reading here and go there now.
There... feel better now? 500px is a cool site. It gives photographers a sort of social outlet for their photographs. You post your pictures, they pop up in public and the public gets to "vote" on your images. The more likes or votes your image gets, the more exposure it gets. It's a cool way to gauge whether your image strikes a chord with the masses.
500px holds annual "photo walks" (well, two so far.) Yesterday was the latest. I suggested one for Culver City but was not able to lead it. Someone else stepped up and came up with a path through downtown Culver City. It was cool. Though I only made it through the first half of the walk, I was able to come up with some cool images. If you want to see the images, which were shot in cities around the world, search 500px for #WeAre500px and/or #500pxCulverCity.
Shot with my 5D mkIII and a Canon 50mm 1.8.









Thursday, July 10, 2014

40


Today I turned 40.
Man, what a trip. I don't know exactly what to think of this, except that I'm fortunate I've made it this far. I hope I'm at no more, at least, than halfway through my journey. I'm blessed to have such a beautiful wife and kids and the rest of my family. I'm thankful for the life I have and hope I don't screw it up. I'm far from perfect and I hope to take the necessary steps to become the man I want to be. I pray I can make my life count.
Here's to another 40.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Group Shoot

A couple of weeks ago I trekked out to Upland, California. Mind you, I've lived in Southern California most of my life, but I had never had a reason to travel to this area. It's far! (About 50 miles!) Not terribly, but enough for me NOT to want to go there again. The reason I drove out there was Maidens in Paradise. This was a photographic group shoot of various Model Mayhem models hired to pose for some 30 photographers. The venue was someone's home; a nice, spacious house someone was kind enough to volunteer for events like this to take place. There were various "settings" available: a bedroom for "boudoir" style photographs, a bathroom with a large shower for, er, bathroom photos(?), a pool, a hot-tub, and various spots around a lovely yard. The models were all female, fitting, since most photographers were male; only one was female. Most of the models were, of course, young and very attractive. I must admit it was bit weird. When I drove up to the house and entered, I encountered a large group of mostly retirement-age men. Two of which were the organizers of the event, the rest "regulars" to these sort of events. There was a lot of photographic equipment. Cameras, lights and strobes of all shapes and sizes. After payment (about $80) we proceeded towards the back yard. Soon, a couple of girls in swimwear and/or lingerie started to mingle with some of the photographers and soon situated themselves in some part of the house. Shutters quickly began to be clicked and the models shuffled through poses after volleys of shutters died down and started up again. As the models began to run out of poses, they began to disrobe and cycle through the set of poses again. As weird as this sounds, it actually felt like a typical life drawing class… if you've never attended one, well, I suggest you do. It's a little weird the first time, but then you get over it. The models were actually very cool. Very friendly and seeking your approval and guidance. I noticed this when I began praising them for nice pose or smile. Any way, I walked away with two thoughts… one, I enjoyed taking pictures. I enjoyed having subjects to take pictures of. And I've enjoyed going through the many pictures I took and finding "treasures" I was not aware of. Here are some that I liked:
Alexis
Marley
Rebel
I approached my pictures initially as a study in portraits. After all, the girls very pretty, I thought they'd make great portraits. I hoped that some of the pictures I could "conceptualize" in some manner. Here's one that I thought would look cool with "wings."
Dark Angel
I hope to able to do some fun, creative things with at least a few more of other pictures.

The second thought I came away with was what to do with all the nude pictures I took. It wasn't like I asked the models at some point to get nude… they just… did. And, since I was there to take pictures, I did. When I got home I found myself dumfounded. It looked as if I had gone to a Playboy shoot. I was a bit shocked, felt a bit pervy, but not ashamed since it was through no fault of my own (rather inexperience with these events) that I ended up with these images. I made these as tasteful as I could of course.
What do I do with this?
This previous images is a case in point. I got a relatively well lit shot, basic composition, beautiful model, interesting setting, and a nice set of… "cans." I mean, if I was in the nudie magazine business I'd probably know what to do, but seeing as I'm not, I'm at a loss. Could I take a few of these and call them "Fine Art" perhaps? Maybe if I turned them black and white with a little vignetting?
Fine Art… right?
There. Is that better now? Less "real life," more "artsy?" I don't know.

For my next outing, I hope perhaps, with a little better planning, there'll be an actual concept or theme. Perhaps some costuming or props or interesting setting. Like I said, I really had fun running around taking pictures and I'm really glad some actually turned out ok. And as much as I like a nude pretty girl, I realize some pictures there's not too much I can do with.





Sunday, May 4, 2014

Free Comic Book Day



So, every year, on the first Saturday of May (May 3rd for 2014) there's a thing called "Free Comic Book Day." It's a day when comic book publishers allow certain issues to be given out "free" to whoever attends participating comic book stores. It is done in an effort to get newbies started reading comics and allows them to experience different types of comics (superhero, zombie, emo, kids, manga, etc) and encourages reading in general. This year, my family and I went to our local comic book store, Dreamworld Comics and got a chance to pick 8 comics per person (out of 62 that were available). The image you see above are the ones I picked out for myself. So far, I've only read "Guardians of the Galaxy" and I must say, it's piqued my interest. I really don't read comics; I've always wanted to, just wasn't motivated enough. Because of the upcoming film, I decided to try the comic and maybe learn a bit about these characters. It was perfect. The writers I think had the same idea in mind and this issue is sort of an introduction for those unfamiliar with the mythos. The artwork is great, the characters entertaining and I'm curious to see where this story goes. If you missed this year's Free Comic Book Day, mark down in your calendar for next year. You got nothing to lose!

Thanks to Comicbookgirl19 for the heads up on this!

Q