Sep 30, 2011

Good old instant gratification

I don't really use the polaroid back for the Contax all that much because the focus is a bit off on mine, but as I have a bunch of rolls of film to send off, I was impatient to see something NOW. I love the dreamy quality it produces.

Happy Friday all! I'm working most of the weekend but should have something très exciting to share with you all later on Sunday. Not photo related and I can hardly wait. :D

Sep 29, 2011

Rain on your wedding day

Today I had the privilege of shooting the lovely Miss Kayla's wedding to her man, Tiho, at City Hall. We were all a little worried about the weather but things looked good when we got out of the hall. The sun was even shining. As we headed toward the Brooklyn Bridge, the sky started turning black as night and the air got thicker. We forged onward, determined to get some bridge shots.

Of COURSE it would start torrentially pouring on us around then. We had no cover near us and no umbrellas. Kayla kicked off her shoes and we scurried back. We finally made it under the safety net of this building and we were all still in pretty good spirits despite our wet rat state. Kayla and Tiho - you guys were the best sports EVER. It was such an experience and I'll never forget it!

Aren't they so darn cute? I made this little gif after we got soaked. And now we play the waiting game for the film shots!

Sep 28, 2011


I always walk by the cute storefront of Cloak and Dagger in my 'hood but have yet to step inside. I'm sure it's chockfull of charming finds.

Kodak Portra 400 on Canon 1V (cropped to square).

On that same block is this great antiques shop with killer finds, The Upper Rust. I would love to just take home everything from that place.

Apologies for lack of content on the blog recently. As other things are picking up, I'm losing time to shoot for myself. I was cleaning out my harddrive the other day (was down to like 20GB of free space, eek!) and it's amazing how much J and I used to squeeze in on a weekend day. Just following along with the pictures, I was reminded of how many new places we'd check out and photograph every weekend. Nowadays, weekends are weddings and errands and bumming in the downtime. Alas, I am only human.

Sep 26, 2011


Fun with a dark background and some flowers I have around.

Sep 23, 2011

About as tame as friday nights get

Watching this kid on youtube while being somewhat oblivious to J's attempts at shooting me with off-camera flash. He was muttering something about trying to achieve a sort of rim light on one side of me. Meh, flash, shmlash. (Ok that isn't fair - it'd be great to learn how to use off-camera flash effectively, I suppose.)

Sep 22, 2011

Seeing red

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw these tiny ranunculuses at Sunny's the other day. I did a triple take because I didn't think you could find them at any florist at this time of year! You can't really tell from this picture, but these buds are eensy weensy. Ah, and so very dreamy. :)

Shot with a +2 close-up filter on the 50mm f1.2. I eventually stopped down to about f/3.2 on this one, because otherwise I'd have half a petal in focus and the other not!

They look just as cute through an Instagram lens.

Obviously my obsession continued from there and I grabbed a few on film too. Oh AND I shot a few on the x100. I was looking for my Polaroid too but it seems to be MIA since the move. Yikes.

Sep 20, 2011


On Saturday I attended the Food Photography for Bloggers workshop run by William and Susan Brinson (House of Brinson). I knew their space was going to be awesome from the photos on Design Sponge, so I was extra excited about seeing it with my own eyes. It was quite a space! It pretty much made me want to toss out all our furniture and hunt down unique antiques. :P

I wanted to learn how to take moodier and darker food photos. A lot of it is in the right props, so I will need to find myself some dark linens like the awesome burlap cloths I used below. Seeing how simple black and white foamboards and even small black cards placed strategically affected the overall mood was very interesting. Of course I had read about such techniques in books but it made a huge difference to actually see it in person and to try it myself.

Man they make it look so easy! I'm still most comfortable with candid restaurant food photography but this kind of careful styling and the real good stuff is something I want to improve on, especially as I hopefully start cooking more... erm, yeah, about that...

Some shots I took at the 'shop. Yes, we got to sample the foods. :D

Thanks to the Brinsons for a great experience!

Sep 19, 2011

Treats for the week

Nothing like a dozen colorful macarons to make the upcoming week look pretty damn good. These babies are from bisous ciao in the Lower East Side. I'm looking forward to the blood orange with dark chocolate ganache - one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations.

I think I'll serve with a little Darjeeling or Dorian Grey for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Sep 16, 2011

Sweater weather

Happy Friday and thank you all for your sweet comments on yesterday's post. And to those who commented for the first time - hello and it's so good to hear from you! I have been very lucky to have your support and kind words.

So the temperature dropped something like 30+ degrees in two days and I think we're all pretty excited to bust out the boots and blazers and scarves.

In very happy news, I have a properly working Canon film 35mm SLR again. I shot a test roll and here are two frames. Yay, no focusing issues! Well except for my own mis-focusing in some of them. I found the auto focus to be a bit flaky, which is odd because I think it's supposed to be better than on the digital system.

The Canon 1V is HEAVYYY. I mean with the 50mm f1.2 on it, I felt like I was carrying a hunk of bricks. I guess what's great about it is that it's weatherproof. I'll have to take her out during the next big storm we have. :)

Sep 15, 2011

Mornings, lately

Some snippets of the apartment taken on Tuesday morning. It feels so good to have film work to show again. I stopped for a while because it was getting to be frighteningly expensive, but seeing film results always make my heart flutter in a way that digital cannot.

It's been busy busy busy over here and lots of priorities have shifted. I remember I used to spend at least a few hours shopping every week - yes, EVERY week. Now of course there is no time (and no money) for that. It's been hard to put together another his look/her look post because my style/wardrobe has been the least of my concerns and focus. I recently had the strangest sensation that I couldn't wait to be in my 30s (when I've usually feared that). Maybe then I will be finally secure - in this saturated competitive industry and in myself and what I'm doing. Of course, it'd be great if I could achieve all that while still in my 20s. ;)

I try not to complain too much on the blog because it's my happy place, but shit, this is HARD. Having to handle the business side of things and producing all the creative work and trying to be PROFITABLE after everything (the insurance, the equipment, the upkeep of equipment, the film!, misc. random costs that you never think about when you decide you to make the jump into the freelance world) - it is a lot to swallow. I mean, do I regret making the leap and pursuing photography full time? HELL NO. I knew it wasn't going to be all fun and games. I knew tears and sweat would be shed. I knew I would probably never shop at Saks again (:P), but I also know that my eventual success and achievements would be a DIRECT result of the work and effort that I put in. I would produce things that I could call mine. And the little triumphs along the way are so much more meaningful than, say, a promotion at some job or a shiny new office could ever be to me.

I'm chugging along because there's something good (no - great) to be had out of all this. Day to day, I'm happy and I love what I'm working towards, but just wish I could learn the ropes better and faster. What a crazy ballgame this all is.

(And to think this was just going to be a post with pretty morning light photos! Oops.)

Sep 13, 2011

Thick as the night

I thought I'd share some unpublished film scans from Hawaii today because I'm really craving another trip out of the city. This bamboo forest in Maui was ridiculous. The bamboo was so dense it was nearly dark as night in the forest. The two shots below don't even depict the thickest and darkest part of it - (can only do so much with ISO 400 film - slide film at that!). We were even told by the park ranger to make sure we headed back before 3pm because it would get so dark that people would get lost finding their way back.

The real lovely part was the gentle sound of the canes knocking against each other in the wind and the leaves bristling about. What a sweet soundtrack to accompany us on our little hike.

Sep 12, 2011

Neighborhood eats

It's been a while since I've had a proper dining out, but here's some recent fun with the x100 and nearby food. I have some issues with focusing on this camera, but otherwise, it's a nifty restaurant camera that isn't quite as ridiculous and imposing as the 5D.

Chorizo benedict (left) and chickpea hash (right) from El Cobre's brunch menu. J and I went again two days ago. Safe to say we're going to eat through the whole menu soon.

My haloumi salad + Lauren's mozzarella sandwich and Ian's smoked salmon (I think?) sandwich from a lazy lunch at Cafe Orlin.

As far as unpacking goes... well, it hasn't. I ache for the day all cardboard boxes are out of sight. How do other people manage to get settled in to a new place so seemingly effortlessly!

Sep 11, 2011

Ten years

I'm a bit late to post on this today, but it feels a bit strange to not acknowledge it at all. I dug up these shots of my parents in July 1990 across the water (I was two and still in China at that point). I'm grateful we have these memories in pictures.

I love this city.

Sep 8, 2011

Fun in the upper west

Some recent fun times with Ashley and Brian in their neighborhood. I had a blast shooting them! It's always a wee bit intimidating when another photographer trusts you to take her portraits. I love the variety of her many expressions. :)

I just can't get enough of this girl. Some film shots from the session to come soon hopefully!

Sep 7, 2011

Scenes from another night at otakara supper club

The Friday before the eve of the hurricane, I headed once again to Otakara Supper Club to shoot some scenes and food. See July's post here. It got dark a lot earlier this time around, as you can see in the dinner table setup shot. They sure know how to create an inviting mood there, complete with live music and all.

In other really cool news, I started interning at Serious Eats this week as a photo intern. It's totally exciting because I feel like I've been following the site since my freshman year of college (2006, eek!) when I discovered the world of food blogs, and now I'll be producing content for it. :) Hip hip hooray.

In yet other news, I am really bemoaning the fact that I haven't shot much film recently. I think once the office is a bit cleared up and I can set up a makeshift studio space, I'm going to whip out the Sinar 4x5 and really go to town with it. Big ambitions here.

Sep 5, 2011


Painfully and slowly digging myself out of boxes. Spent a good half hour or more with both me and J tearing up the apartment looking for the X100 charger earlier today. This is the only remotely presentable part of the apartment so far. Gerberas (thank heavens my favorite florist in the city is finally back from summer vacation) on my new office desk.

Insanely busy week ahead (a good thing!). Hopefully I can get back to regular posting though.

Sep 2, 2011

A post-moving snack

We're alive! The move went pretty well overall. It's the after-move that is a bit harrowing. They are still working on cleaning the place from the previous tenant, so we have no bathroom/kitchen access until they are done. So yeah, I'm more than a little gross right now. While the bathroom was getting painted yesterday evening, I desperately had to use it, so we headed across the street to El Cobre for a quick drink and snacks. This place has really great happy hour specials from 5-8pm. Something like $5 house punch (yesterday's was a deliciously boozy fish house punch) and $5 appetizers. Something tells me we're gonna spend a lot of time here. (Never mind the fact that I clumsily knocked over and broke a water glass on my way out...)

Some more shots with the x100. I love this thing!

Scraggly sweaty post-moving me.

We've got lots of work on our hands this weekend. Boy oh boy.