Friday, December 15, 2006

The Silver Beaver Award! Finally!

I just got a call from Huber who sits in the Silver Beaver Award review committee. He gave me the good news that I'll be one of the 2007 Silver Beaver Award Recipient. Wow, that's really good news because I've been working hard as BSA leader for the past 17 years, and finally I being recognized by the San Gabriel Valley Council.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nathalie and Ronald Zuletta Engagement Photos

I had the pleasure of photographing Nathalie and Ronald Zulette today at the famous USC Campus. Even though USC was upset by the Bruins yesterday, things are quite quiet on campus. We had a great shoot because they are such a lovely couple and so photogenic.

How they found me is through their brother-in-law Terry Chan! Yes, there's another Terry Chan out there and he was my client. They were so happy with my wedding photography service for Terry, they decided to hire me as well for their wedding in Feb 17, 2007.

They actually hired another wedding photographer but she filed bankruptcy and had to give them bad news late November. Needless to say they also lost their deposit with her. When I heard that, I thought "WOW!". I never thought that a wedding photographer can do something like that. It had not occurred to me that our clients put a lot of trust into us when they signed the check and on the dotted line.

Well, all I can say is that it's unfortunate that it happened to these nice people. I'm looking forward to photographing them because they are so photogenic together, and they are such nice people. I enjoy my work so much more when I'm working with nice people. After all, I'll be spending many hours with them. That's always a bonus for me. :-)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Harvest Moon

Tonight is what we call Harvest Moon. It's part of a long history of Chinese Culture. We celebrate this Moon Festival every year. The legend has it that tyrant Emperor wanted to live forever so that he can rule China forever. However, the Empress knows that he is not a good Emperor, and his people will just suffer for generations to come. So, the Empress stole the Emperor's longevity potion and drank it herself. While being chased and hunted by the Emperor's soldiers, the Empress ascended to the Moon for safety. That's why every year around this time, we eat Moon Cake and look at the moon wondering if the Empress still lives on the Moon.

During 1969, the landing on the surface of the Moon by Neil Armstrong reported that no one was on the moon other than him and Buzz Aldrin. Even though I was very young, I remember I was very disappointed that he didn't see the Empress.

Lan particularly like looking at full moon every month because she thinks it's so romantic. And tonight she thinks the Moon is rounder than usual. Initially, I thought that's silly. How can anything be rounder than usual. :-) After thinking it through, I think looking at the moon and the emotion that brought out tonight my Honey is correct. The moon is truly rounder when I have her in my arms. :-)

As for photographing the moon, you will need a tripod, the longest lens you have in your possession, and a spot meter. I used my trusty Gitzo Carbon Fiber tripod, and my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L lens. I spot metered and bracketed my exposures. Sure enough, the slightly under-exposed photo produced the most detail of the moon. Many photography hobbiest, do not know to underexpose the image to gain details of the moon. Many of their photos is a black sky with a round white dot with no details. So, for next year, if you want to try photographing the moon, tryout some of my suggestions above.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Arizona Trip

This is one of my favorite images I took from my trip with Lan to Arizona. This is a panoramic image of the Grand Canyon. I photographed this with the Canon 24mm TSE (Tilt/Sift) lens. This lens was designed for architectural photography to straighten lines and reduce keystoning. However, it's also an ideal lens for panoramic photography as it shift the 24mm lens left and right without parallax effect. It's nice and flat so there's no distortion. The only draw back is that it's manual focus lens. It's really not that big of a deal as most of these panoramic images are focus set to infinity. This lens is so portable, I actually hand held these two images without a tripod. I photographed it in raw format and export it out to jpg. I then stitched these 2 jpg images in Photoshop's Photomerge. Photoshop did the rest. I like this photo so much, it's going to be the banner of this photo blog.

Here's another panoramic image of the Grand Canyon, a little bit further down the South Rim. you can actually see Indian Garden Campsite which is about halfway down to the Canyon floor. I camped there for a couple of nights back in 1997.

Here's a panoramic photo taken at the crack of dawn at the Monument Valley in Utah.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dinner with Brian @ Ti Amo Resturant

After the engagement session at Laguna Beach. Brian and I bumped into a restaurant called Ti Amo Restaurant. We had to try this restaurant because it's the same name as our photography studio.

The food was magnificent and the staff was so courteous and professional. In addition to that, the decor of the restaurant is unbelievably quaint, with touch mediteranean style in every corner you turn... including the washrooms. :-)

Below is the address of the restaurant.

Ti Amo Ristorante
31727 South Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Telephone: 949-499-5350

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Phase One Road Show @ Renaissance Hotel

I attended that Phase One Road Show at 2 PM Renaissance Hotel today. It was a good show. Phase One showcased many of their products which includes digital backs for medium format cameras, and their famous raw conversion software Capture One. I learned a couple of new trick to enhance our images in Capture One.

It was strange to bump into Kamau Mubarik. We had a recent disagreement and it was awkward at first but we managed to be cordial to each other. I guess we're both bigger men and let by-gones be by-gones. Come to think of it, it was a silly disagreement which involves in flash photography with Canon vs. Nikon camera system. He couldn't win the argument so he had to insult me personally to save his face. Anyway, I'm cool with him now. I can't really hold a grudge against anyone. It's a choice because I don't want to live with the heavy burden of hating someone. In the end, it hurts no one except for myself. So why torture myself. I guess that's part of growing spiritually.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Ashes and Snow" exhibit at Santa Monica Pier

This afternoon, I waited over 3 hours under the hot sun of the Santa Monica Pier to purchase tickets to Ashes and Snow exhibit. Thank goodness I have my brand new Video IPOD to keep me company. However, I forgot to bring sunscreen and a baseball cap. I was severely burned on my forehead. Today is the last day, and I must go see it before it moves on to another city. Needless to say, it was phenomenal!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bought my Video IPOD today

I've been trying to avoid purchasing and upgrading to yet another IPOD for quite some time now. There's nothing wrong with my current IPOD except it can't play video. I finally succumb to the new video feature and bought the 30 GB version today. It's really slick and I love it. I'm glad that I finally got one.