Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas time, family time.

A few weeks ago, I did a photography project about "creepy Christmas," and it turned out great. Now, as awesome as this project was... Christmas isn't really creepy at all. 

Actually, Christmas is a warm, loving time of the year. Images of candy canes and family members and Christmas evergreens are some of the first things to pop into my mind when I think of this festive time of year.

A few days ago, I received a new lens for Christmas from my mum and dad... a fixed 50mm. These are just a few of my first shots with my new lens.

I'll admit. I'm still getting used to shooting with it. But for the most part, I'm pretty pleased about what I've shot so far...

...especially since my background of the lovely Canadian Rockies is so picturesque.

I guess the only thing left to say today is...Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Home sweet home

Growing up in a town called Sugar Land, the phrase "Home sweet home" is a bit ironic.

See, there used to be an old sugar mill in my town, which operated for a long time, but it closed down when I was about nine years old. I spent many an afternoon by that sugar mill, learning to play softball, smelling the sweet smell of burning sugar...

Ah, childhood.

Before I head up to Canada this Wednesday, I'm going to try to set out to shoot near the sugar mill. Its so old school, its ridiculously cool and a photographer's dream when it comes to portrait backdrops.

Until then, just enjoy flipping through some of the cool photos on the NYTimes photography blog, Lens. Its how I waste all my time. When I'm not doing school work, of course. Or on reddit.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baking and Wordpress.

First thing's first.

I have very important information to share with you all...I'm officially DONE with exams! Wahooooo!

Now that THAT is out of my system, I'll tell you a bit about a few of the projects I'm working on over this winter break.

1. Bake copious amounts of delicious Christmas treats for all my friends before I go home to Texas/Canada.

For example:

2. Learn Wordpress & convert one of my sites to Wordpress. Gulp. I figured this was an important step for me in my web designer education, especially since I'm going to be working as a web intern for Planet Forward next semester. See, I know how to code in plain HTML/CSS, but I want to learn how to create more dynamic pages without actually having to learn PHP myself. Hence, Wordpress. Plus, with Wordpress, I can create sites and hand them over to people to edit themselves once I do the initial set up. As of right now... I can't do that.

3. Get a new lens. I'm thinking a fixed 50. Ideas? This will be my first "additional" lens I've ever bought for my Nikon D5000.

4. Sit on my couch. This is the most important one, obviously.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Or, I could become the president's videographer

Remember a few weeks ago when I  posted about the movie I watched about Pete Souza, President Obama's official photographer? Well, my friend, and fellow blogger, Kelsey Rower, just told me about someone with an even more amazing job.

The president's official VIDEOGRAPHER, Arun Chaudhary. Le gasp! He does video, too!

(NOTE: picture from, I do not have the skills nor connections to take this)

Um, I think I found another occupation to add to my list of dream jobs.

As if following the president around and snapping photos wasn't cool enough, being able to create weekly video packages (West Wing Weekly) about his on-goings actually sounds like heaven. See, this sort of gives college paper multimedia reporters like myself some hope in actually finding a job in the future. And a cool job.

But until then...

Hey, Mr. Chaudhary, need an intern?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

National Christmas Tree

This past week I headed off to the National Christmas Tree with a few of my friends to enjoy some holiday cheer before final exams really set in.

Now, if you've been to the National Christmas Tree, I know what you're going to say, its so small, I thought it was going to be bigger. Blah, blah, blah.

But I beg to differ.

See, what this tree lack in size, it makes up for in character. The lights are amazing, there are 50+ smaller trees surrounding it... and I just... love it.

I brought my camera along. And took some shots of my friends and I enjoying our time there.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Creepy Christmas: Art Project

Hey guys, look! Its my final project for my art class this semester. But don't worry. I'll of COURSE keep posting. This blog is sort of like my real-world art class anyway...

Artist Statement

Christmas is a joyous, wonderful time of the year filled with warm greetings, delicious snacks and colorful bright lights. But sometimes the images that make the holiday season seem so bright can be seen in another way. After watching Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, I realized that many of the warm holiday visions that pop into my head are actually a bit… creepy. Santa clause, Christmas lights and Christmas cards are all well and good, but seen in a different light can be sad, scary or even depressing.

In this project, I decided to take what I love about Christmas and make it creepy, mysterious and scary. Manipulating light was key to achieving the eerie, empty feel I was searching for. Most of my images have two light sources- natural light and a candle. This combination of light gave a strange ambiance to my pictures and was the most crucial element in my project. I purposely kept my shots tight to focus the images on the details of the Christmas objects that can be perceived as dark and mysterious. Extreme close ups really helped me focus my attention to little details, like the twinkle of glitter or the glossiness of black paint.

Overall, I’m very proud of this body of work and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Have a Creepy Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Ah... the smell of pine needles and final exams is in the air. People are running around like chickens with their heads cut off and everyone is over-caffeinated in the hot, sweaty library. It must be the holiday season!

In the sentiment of Christmas, Christmakah, Hanukkah, Winter Solistice and Kwanzaa... I've decided to devote my final photography project for my art class on images of the holiday season.

Here's some of my best shots so far.

Just saying, all of the foodie ones make me REALLY hungry and excited to start making some of my favorite holiday treats, like these cookies!


P.S. I've also switched my look to match the holiday season... I'm such a sucker for Christmas

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A year ago, this holiday, I got my camera.

A year ago, thanksgiving holiday, I got my DSLR... happy anniversary, my Nikon D-5000! What an adventure it has been.

Its hard to believe that I didn't always have a camera stuffed in my backpack, tucked away and ready to go, just in case I saw something interesting and wanted to snap a shot. It seems impossible that a year ago, I didn't know how to take a picture on any other setting besides manual, and if you asked me to explain the concept of shutter speed and aperture, I would have laughed at you.

My my, how time has flown by.

Now I feel like I (sort of) know what I'm doing.

Well, at the very least, I know how to document my thanksgiving in a cool, artistic way.


This week my photos are about where I come from, the house I grew up in, and my thanksgiving holiday at home.  There isn't a real "correlation" between the shots, more of a random compilation of things that I walked by and decided... "Oh, that could be interesting."

A mask...

An orange...

Palm tree...


Trash can...

Light in kitchen...

My sister and mom...

Turkey day table ...


I know, sort of random. But sometimes, everyone can be a bit random.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The President's Photographer

I am constantly inspired by other photographer's amazing and seemingly innate abilities to capture otherwise ordinary moments and turn them into amazing images.

Take, for example, Pete Souza, otherwise known as the president's official photographer.

His job is simple: document everything and anything about President Obama's time in office. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong.

13 hour days, trips around the world and the constant pressure to document everything would be enough to turn any photographer away. But from what I've seen in the awesome PBS documentary, The President's Photographer, Pete takes every day as a challenge, eager to capture the "perfect" shot 365 days a year (see below for full documentary).

Watch Full Program on PBS. See more from THE PRESIDENTS PHOTOGRAPHER.

For someone like me, who is just starting out (and just starting to fall in love with the powerful ability to freeze-frame time with the click of a button) someone like Souza is pure inspiration.

Now, I don't think I will ever take on a photo assignment as grandoise as that... but watching someone like Pete work gives me hope that someday I will be allowed to shoot my own images for my GW Hatchet audio slideshows, instead of having to have a photographer come along with me.


Props, man.

You're pretty inspirational.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

When in doubt, video it out.

So. This week, seeing as I have been working on a video for the Latino Student Fund, I've decided that I'm going to talk about some of the best videos I've ever seen.

BTW, here's my video.

Sure, photos are moving, and I love them. But videos... inspire me. The sounds. The colors. The movement.

They're why I love being behind a camera.

Plus... I don't have enough finished shots to show you something new from my Henri Cartier project :)

Video #1:
Latinoamérica, Calle 13
I might be slightly obsessed with this song, but the videography... is breathtaking.

Video #2:
Exxonmobil infomercial
Yea, I understand. Infomercial? Really? But actually. The black and white, plus the split screens make a pretty cool 45 seconds.

Video #3:
This is just the trailer, but the entire documentary, besides being a good documentary, is really well shot.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New project, new inspiration: Henri Cartier-Bresson

So, in the world of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson is the "founding father."

Way back in WWII time, he started the phenomenon of what we know today as photojournalism and street photography...which is why I have selected his work as my inspiration for my next photography project!

I figured since I'm studying journalism... he was a photojournalist... why not learn from who started it all right?

Here's some of my first shots...

Also, weekly side note, I'm watching this movie called "El Sueño de Valentín", or "Valentine's Dream", for those who only speak English. Its actually hilarious... sort of "The Wonder Years"ish

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back to my basics... video.

So before I got behind the camera and started shooting stills, it all began with videography. I was taking SMPA 112 at GW when I realized that hey... I'm pretty good at this whole shoot video thing. So I joined The GW Hatchet' multimedia team as one of the first videographers on staff ever. Which, I've got to say, I'm pretty proud of.

This past week I went to Dupont to cover the 25th Annual High Heel Drag Queen Race for The Hatchet, and my video (I must gloat here) turned out pretty darn SWEET!

As much as I love learning about still photography, and capturing and image, there is SOMETHING striking to me that just sticks out about videography. Maybe its the ability to capture motion. A in interesting bat of the eye or flick of the wrist.

Who knows. I just love it.


Also, on a side note. I'm constantly amazed by the power of the iPhone's little camera.

Look at the quality of the photo a woman took of me after my 10K this weekend. Not to shabby for a phone camera eh?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Project #2... the results.

So for my last photo project, we had to shoot one subject for two weeks, and I chose to shoot a pumpkin, it being Halloween season and all.

Originally, I thought this would be an easy project. Pumpkins are colorful, dynamic and they rot.

But after shooting for two weeks, I've got to say... the project was definitely a little rough for me.

Here's my photos in an arrangement below.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Project 2 & Moldy Pumpkins

In the season of autumness, I've decided to make a carved pumpkin the topic of my second photo project.

The basic idea for this project is to shoot a subject over a time period of two weeks, which, when it comes to carved pumpkins... equals mold.

Much to my roommates' happiness, I'm almost done shooting for this project, but I've found that it is surprisingly difficult to shoot the same subject multiple times and still make it interesting.

My favorite shots of this project, by far, were from last night, when I plopped a candle in the pumpkin and let its jack-o-lantern smile glow.

Here's my best shots (pre Photoshop)

I really love the cool lighting effect the candle light brings to the orange glow of the pumpkin.

I'll give a more detailed update when I have a bit more time to write tomorrow!