Monday, January 31, 2011


Day 31/365: Broken Glass Remains

These shards of glass are all that remain of my wine glasses after last night's disaster. :( Actually, there's a few more pieces but I didn't like the way they looked in the shot. I might just keep the glass pieces for future shots. You never know what might come in handy. Guess I'll have to buy some more wine glasses.

Strobist Info
SB-600 snooted at 85mm, full power, behind and above glass

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Day 30/365: First Refraction

It's 30 days into my 365 project and I have to say that I am feeling confident that I will finish the project. I'm excited that tomorrow will be one full month!

It took a few tries to get this shot and then disaster struck!  I was hand holding the flash and when I moved, the flash cord knocked down my backdrop and took the glasses with it.  All broken...all over the floor.  Guess I'll do something creative with the broken glass tomorrow to make a positve out of a negative situation.

Strobist Info:
SB-600 24mm, 1/2 power behind glasses from above

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Day 29/365: A View Over a Plate of Scampi

Yesterday was so much fun that today I decided to go for an encore. I captured this view from Steamers restaurant in Pismo Beach where I was eating a plate of shrimp scampi over mashed potatoes. It was so delicious! Hence, the title of today's photo.

It was actually very cloudy. We have a storm coming in but thru the magic of Photoshop, I was able to bring out all of the amazing colors.

I started my day at the Guadalupe Dunes. Then I headed up Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), towards Pismo Beach. Along the way I stopped and checked out the butterflies at the Monarch Preserve just below Grover Beach. I stopped at Grover Beach for a little while and then headed to Pismo Beach. It was a very cloudy day but I didn't let that dampen my mood. The ride back was peaceful and relaxing. It was a great day today. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011


Day 28/365: Sunset at Morro Rock

Today I took a day trip to San Luis Obispo. I don't usually take the opportunity to venture up north so that's why I decided to go. I felt that my trip would not have been complete without catching a sunset at Morro Rock.

I started the day just driving around SLO earlier enough in the day before the traffic got on the road. I ended up at Avila Beach and the San Luis Port where I was able to get close to some sea lions. At first, I spotted them in the water from the pier. They were asleep together in a group just floating in the water. Then a lady told me that I could walk down to where they were sleeping on the bottom of the pier and she told me to be careful because they would bark at me. I also noticed the sign on the gate that said,"Be careful and don't get too close. Sea lions will bite you." They didn't bark at me at all and that made me feel special. haha

I headed into downtown San Luis Obispo where I overindulged at Powell's Sweet Shop. Don't worry. I won't be eating all of the candy by myself. I'll be sharing most of it. Time flew by as I walked through downtown and the next thing I knew, I was close to missing the sunset so I hurried over to Morro Bay which seemed like it would take forever to get to.

The first time I really paid attention to Morro Rock was when I went there with my friends Allen and Bea and I wasn't too pleased with the photos of Morro Rock I took on that trip. So I felt the trip would be incomplete without a visit to Morro Rock especially during sunset when my Flickr friend Beth Sargeant takes some of the most amazing photos of Morro Rock. I have to thank my friends Allen and Bea for taking me there once again because I totally overlooked The Rock years ago when I went to San Francisco.

Well, that was my day trip to SLO. Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Day 27/365: Dolphin Statue at Stearn's Wharf

I captured the dolphin statue at Stearn's Wharf after leaving my friend Shera's birthday party. I want to revisit this statue later in my 365.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Day 26/365: Skill Level: Black Belt

My friend Ede is a super kick ass martial artist so I dedicate this picture to her.

Strobist Info
SB-600, 24mm, 1/4 power +0.7 thru reflective umbrella at right of subject

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Day 25/365: Bombshell

I received Victoria's Secret Bombshell as a Christmas gift from my youngest sister and I've been in love with the fragrance ever since.

The fragrance is a blend of purple passion fruit, Shangri-la yellow peony and vanilla orchid. Ah!

I almost didn't take this shot tonight. I was so exhausted and really wanted to go to sleep so I took another shot first but that shot  didn't challenge me and was just a cop out. However, I persevered through exhaustion to get this photo and I am so glad I did because I like the way it turned out.

Strobist Info
SB-600 (snooted) at 85mm 1/64 power, positioned up and behind camera

Monday, January 24, 2011


Day 24/365: Sometimes I Miss You So Much

I was listening to one of my favorite songs in my iPod tonight. I was listening to it over and over again. The song calmed my mind and soothed my soul and then this picture found me.

Thank you Z and Apple.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Day 23/365: Fish Out of Water

Whew! I finally got a photo up before evening! I went for a ride today and stopped off in a small town called Los Olivos. Of course, I had my camera on me and captured this huge fish right outside Women's Tin Roof Boutique. The original images were rather drab so I decided to kick it up a notch in Photoshop. I hope it's not overdone. Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Day 22/365: Sign of Bue Skies

This is the sign of the Blue Skies Trailer Park in Santa Barbara. I stopped on the side of the street to grab a picture of this sign on my way back from LA today after celebrating my friend Bea's birthday with her husband/my friend, Allen, and some of their other friends. I want to do some other shots with this sign but I was short on time tonight. Therefore, while I was in my car with the emergency lights flashing on the side of the road, waiting for cars to get out of the frame, I captured this shot handheld.

Allen & Bea told me that I have to help them with their night photography.  I'm writing it on my blog so that I don't forget.  Maybe I'll pick a place for our next photo excursion that is great for night photography.  :)

Cropped in Photoshop.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Day 21/365: Meet Noodles

Allow me to introduce Noodles. Noodles is a 14 month old Great Pyrenees/Border Collie mix. I didn't know her age so I had to ask her Mom. She's my niece and I didn't know her age which her Mom kindly gave me a hard time for. :) Noodles has two sisters and 2 brothers.  One sister is a cat, the other a a dog, a brother that's a cat, and a brother that's another dog.  Don't let the sweet face fool you. She can really be a handful at times but her Mom, Dad, and I love her so much.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Day 20/365: Upon My Return

Boy, oh boy! I was eager to return to Santa Barbara for specifically one get back behind the wheel of my Z. When I returned yesterday, I started my car and all was great in the world until this morning. When I went to start my car this morning, I got the disappointing sound of a failed start. No problems and then bam! Unbelievable! It's in the shop now so hopefully, I'll have my sweetheart back very soon.

While I was looking online for solutions to my car problem, I found this funny video: Car Broken Down

This photo is later than I'd usually take a shot and upload because I've been catching up today on Flickr.  I'm going to get around to Blogger too.  (I haven't forgotten about you, Bea.)  :)

Strobist Info
SB-600 fired from behind camera directly in front of subject thru shoot thru umbrella at 35mm, 1/4 power

Lightspot edited out and Brightness/Contrast adjusted of Gogo Crazy Bones toy in Photoshop. No adjustments made to car or background.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Day 19/365: Drink Vegas Style

I'm back from Vegas now.  :(  Sad face because I really miss Vegas.  Lots of fun!  All the lights make for great photo opportunities!  Needless to say, today I was a bit bummed when I returned home only to have street lights and stop lights as the highlight of my night life.

So since I couldn't, or wouldn't, let Vegas go, one of my friends suggested that I take a picture of my Vegas souvenirs to wrap up my Vegas trip.  So I decided to gather all of the drink souvenirs I've collected from Las Vegas over the years for my picture for today.

Strobist Info:
SB-600 front left of subject, 35mm, 1/4 power

Exposure compensation, vibrance, and brightness/contrast adjusted in Photoshop.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Day 18/365: Sirens of Treasure Island

I've been coming to Vegas for at least 5 years now and this time, I finally caught the Sirens of Treasure Island show. Every other time the show was canceled because of weather. I got really lucky to be able to get next to the rope to grab these shots.   This image was captured handheld.  A crop was the only post processing done in Nikon ViewNX2.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Got a great photo coming. Might be a late might in Vegas. Check back in the morning.

Ok it's morning now & I finally got the picture uploaded.

Day 17/365: Eye in the Sky from Paris

Whew! I finally got this photo uploaded! It's past 3 am now that I'm updating this blog...been trying for two hours. You can read the rant over on my blog.

Anyway, I took the Eiffel Tower incredible view from the Eiffel Tower from the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Their Eiffel Tower is 50 stories high, half the nearly 100 stories of the real Eiffel Tower. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect. I went around the entire observation deck to capture every angle and this was the shot I loved the best.

I moved to a different hotel which offers free wireless and I thought my uploading problems would be over but I was completely wrong! When I turned on wireless connection, Nikon ViewNX couldn't open. Then when I finally figured out that problem, Google Chrome went into the dreadful "Not Responding" state so I had to open Firefox which did the same but it was better. So I got the photo uploaded, decided to update the blog, and now hopefully I'll be able to get some sleep. God night folks!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Day 16/365: Las Vegas Sunset

As I was leaving the Venetian today, I could see this beautiful sunset from
the parking garage. So I stopped to photograph it and other people came
over to see what I was doing and started taking pictures on their cell
phones. :)

Sorry there isn't an aerial photograph of Las Vegas today. I had the wrong
seat on the helicopter for photos and the wrong lens on the camera body but
no love was lost. I still enjoyed the helicopter ride!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Day 15/365: Walking into the MGM Grand

I walked into the MGM Grand today & noticed this piece. The movement of the colors struck me so I decided to capture it. I'm not able to do any post processing so this is SOOC. Tomorrow, I hope to get a nice aerial view. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Day 14/365: Under the Sahara Dome

If you haven't guessed by now, I'm in Vegas! For the time that I'm here, the challenge will be to create great pictures in an environment I can't control.

I also had to come up with a creative way to upload my pictures. Verizon wants to charge $40 to tether & the Sahara wants $12.99 a night for internet. Yeah right! Like I'm paying either one of those. So I'm taking the pictures with my Nikon, adding them to the memory on my phone, & uploading to Flickr that way. Problem solved.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Day 13/365: Tangerine Blossom

Today, I went to Whole Paycheck, ahem, I mean, Whole Foods and while I was there, I picked up four tangerines. One of my friends calls it Whole Paycheck. I thought it was so funny I've been using it ever since. hehe

Anyway, I just love tangerines! I think I'd have to say that I'd pick them over oranges because they fit in my pockets and are much easier to peel.

Today, I realized how hard it is for me to photograph food that I really want to eat. This tangerine was so juicy and smelled so good that I couldn't wait to get a shot that I was happy with so I could eat it. Needless to say, after I finished the shoot, I ate the tangerine and it was good!

Strobist Info
SB-600 left at 35mm 1/8 power thru white shoot thru umbrella

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Day 12/365: 5000 Kelvin

Tonight, I decided to use light as a subject and as a tool. What do you think?

Strobist Info
SB-600 to the left of the subject snooted, 85mm, 1/2 power. White reflector to the left.

The daylight balanced bulb is on. Could you tell from the shot without me telling you or can you tell now that I've told you?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Day 11/365: Burn

I wanted to make a photograph with smoke today not just photograph smoke. I hope I have accomplished that. Gather what you need to let go, let it burn and let it go.

Strobist Info
SB-600 (snooted) left at 85mm, full power

Monday, January 10, 2011


Day 10/365: Sleep Standing Up

On Sunday, I couldn't get myself out of bed. I didn't wake up until 1 pm. By that time, I felt like most of my day was gone. I am the "official" photographer of the FC United Manchester team in Santa Barbara that my friend Ricky plays for and their game was supposed to start at 11 am. I was so bummed because I thought I had missed the first game of the new year until I talked to Ricky today and found out that the game was cancelled.

I took a melatonin sleeping pill to try to regulate my sleep last night and it didn't happen. I woke up at 3 am this morning! So this was me by the afternoon.

I'm hoping for a more restful sleep tonight. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Strobist Info
SB-600 at 85mm, 1/64 power +0.7

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Day 9/365: New York City

New York City is definitely one of the loves of my life. In college, I bought this moving picture so that I could have a piece of New York with me always.

I wanted to duplicate what my eyes see into a photograph to share with all of you. This was done using HDR and Photoshop.

This shot always reminds me of an episode of Sex and the City when Carrie is on a date with one of the sailors who has come into town.

Excerpt from Sex & the City:

Louis: I have to say, this is my first trip to New York...not for me. The garbage, the noise, I don't know how you put up with it.
Carrie: Thanks. I had a great time.
Louis: Wait, you're going home alone? It's rough out there.
Carrie: Nah. It isn't so bad.
Carrie (voiceover): If Louis was right, and you only get one great love, then New York may just be mine...and I can't have nobody talkin' shit about my boyfriend.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Day 8/365: Railroad Sunset

It's been a very busy, long week. Today was even busier. I started working as soon as I woke up. So to unwind, I took a drive up north today on Highway 101 and caught this beautiful sunset on the way back. Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Day 7/365: No Tears

I've completed a week of my 365 project!!! This picture is straight out of the camera (SOOC)!

Strobist Info:
SB-600 (snooted and diffused) at a 45 degree angle left and above the subject at 85mm, 1/64 power

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Day 6/365: Lightly Whisk

Goal of this photo: Strobist Lighting 102 Assignment: Cooking Light

I spend hours on David Hobby's Strobist website and in the Strobist Flickr group. Visit his site and you'll see why. I am sort of skipping my way around and through Lighting 101 and 102. I've always been the type of student that flips through the book before buckling down on one lesson. I think it's because I've got to see the big picture before I actually commit to doing something. Sometimes I hate to start down a path and get to the end only to find out I took the wrong route. (Other times, the journey is much more fun than the destination so it doesn't really matter.) I hope that I've succeeded at the Cooking Light assignment. You know what would be really cool...David Hobby coming across my blog and letting me know if I did or not. I could just send him a message and ask him but they're not actively doing Lighting 102 at the moment and I'm sure he's super busy.

Guess what. Tomorrow, will be a week into my 365 Project! Hooray!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Day 5/365: 'Oath of God'

It's so interesting how this candle came to be the subject of today's photo.  I started out trying to do a strobist setup but unfortunately, the batteries died in my speedlight after hours of trying to get a great photo.  So I was sitting in front of my computer watching the time creep closer to midnight when I noticed my candle was sitting there right in front of my face.  The caption was so ironic because today like everyday, I have a great will to succeed but I couldn't get a shot I was pleased with.  Then after I read the second line, I just knew I had to photograph the candle.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Day 4/365: Let There Be Light

It's just day four and I'm already starting to feel the pressure. As I told you before, one of my goals is to keep a conscious mind to encourage creativity. I think I'm off to a great start with that goal and this shot. At least, I hope so.

Strobist Info:
SB-600 (snooted) camera left set to 85mm, 1/64 +0.7

Monday, January 3, 2011


Day 003/365 [01-03-2011]: I flip my hair back and forth!

Gosh, I really wrecked my brain trying to figure out what to photograph today. Then I remembered that I needed to wash my hair today so I figured why not have some hair flipping fun. The process pretty much went like this:

- Wash my hair in the shower
- Wrap my hair in a t-shirt so I don't drip water on all my gear
- Put some of the world's hardest water in a bottle to keep rewetting my hair
- Set up the camera and the flash
- Take some test shots
- Rewet my hair
- Flip my hair over and over again while pressing the remote
- Ignore the pain from my hair slapping me in the face
- Stand straight up and stop feeling dizzy before walking over to the camera to check the shots

I couldn't wait to get back to the computer to post process my fun hair flipping shots. I hardly ever delete a shot in camera (unless it's an obvious flop) because all the photos look much different on a computer screen than they do on the mini camera displays. Even after all of that, I still wasn't pleased with the shots. Go figure!

I had to take a break from the photos, come back and take another look at them before I really started loving them...I blame it on only getting a few hours of sleep last night. So I needed time to recharge before I could throw myself back into the post processing.

I went for hard light for this photo. The SB-600 was positioned directly to the left of the camera and set at 80mm at 1/4 power. It was also fitted with a snoot. In photoshop, I brought up the shadows a bit and added a cooling filter and a black and white filter.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Day 2/365 [01-02-2011]

2011 will be the year that I really invest time in learning more about photography. I was reading a post on called 10 New Years Resolutions Every Photographer Should Make and I thought, "What a great idea!"

I have certain goals that I want to accomplish in photography this year so I put together this little list.

1) Make a conscious effort to be more creative.
2) Become better at composition.
3) Learn some post processing techniques.
4) Become a better strobist.
5) Explore a range of different genres in photography (macro, highspeed, etc).

I was going to list 10 but I didn't want to overload myself right off the bat.  Besides, I'm just getting my feet wet.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Day 1/365 [01-01-2011]: Toast Life

Happy New Year everyone! Today is the official start day of my 365 project! I am very excited about this project but I am also very nervous. I know how hard it is for me to continue to do the same thing every single day other than what's absolutely necessary. I know how sometimes I just want to stop doing something when things get tough. I know how critical I can be on myself. But I also know that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I also know that I've pushed myself through some tough situations and I can do it again. And I also know that while I have had my D-SLR for almost two years, I really didn't have a lot of time to devote to photography until now and I can't expect to come straight out of the gate as a professional. So I'm going to take this journey one step at a time.

This morning when the new year came in, I had a glass of Korbel champagne and decided that would be my subject. I stayed up past 2 am in the morning to post process and upload.

To practice lighting, I followed a tutorial by Nick Wheeler called Light up the Floor - A Floor Lit Table Top Studio Project.

I didn't have everything that Nick had in his tutorial so I improvised a bit.

Stobist Info:
The glass is sitting on a glass table that has a cardboard box underneath. Inside the cardboard box is my SB-600 set to 85mm at 1/64 fitted with a snoot and fired using a 1/8" cable. A black felt piece is on the back side of the box to create the reflection. The black background is about 3 feet behind the glass. I used two lamps with daylight balanced bulbs and diffused the light using a white trash bag that I cut in half to place each piece over the light.

I did lots of dust removal in Photoshop and I also used a Selective Color layer mask to darken the blacks.

Thanks to Nick Wheeler for the tutorial and thanks to my friends, family, Facebook fam, and Flickr family for supporting me.