Sunday, June 24, 2012

Even a photographer can be a tourist

Sometimes, even we skilled photographers just want to sit back, relax and take a snapshot.

This past weekend I decided to put away my artistic style and just be a regular, normal L.A. tourist.

Some of my friends and I decided to hike up to the Hollywood sign and take a couple of "look-at-me-I'm-holding-up-the-sign" photos.  It felt a little cheesy at the moment we were taking the photos, but now, looking back, I'm extremely glad we took the pics-- they're great memories!

We also spent about 2 hours walking around the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which goes on for about 15 blocks (according to what my roomy's mom told us). It was a little bit strange walking around a place that I've only ever seen on TV or in the movies-- and I felt like every few minutes I was taking pictures, I was so excited.

Even though the Hollywood area was a pretty cool place to walk around and see for a day, it was also very dirty, and there were a lot of poor and homeless people begging for money in the streets.

It seems strange to me that a place associated with such wealth and fame can be the everyday home for some of the city's poorer people.

But then again, I'm not surprised.

Just think about the Capital.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oh those summer photo shoots

Normally when I write about I shoot, I get to show off my shots, but this time its a little different.

I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot a series of portraits/ headshots for my internship at The Nature Conservancy in Los Angeles. TNC is hosting an awesome internship program where they take high schoolers from the city and send them to Santa Cruz Island for a month long, paid, conservation internship. Pretty sweet, eh?

Basically, my job was to take shots of some of the kids in their "natural" habitat before they get sent off to the great outdoors in a few weeks.

This was the first time I've ever been on a shoot that wasn't for a newspaper or for my own freelance purposes, so its a bit strange to think that I really don't have the rights to my own photographs. I guess that's how the corporate world works, right?

Even though I can't show you the actual people shots I captured for legal purposes, I did grab a couple scenery shots of the kids' cool enviornmental-minded high school before I started the actual shoot.

Cool, huh?

I'll admit, I'm a bit nervous for the photo editor to look at my shots. But then again... a critique never hurt anyone... it only made them better.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Flower power

Even in the concrete jungle that is downtown LA, there is always a bit of nature. You just have to know where to look.

I finally dusted off my DSLR this weekend and headed to the Rose Garden off of the blue expo line near USC in the West Adams neighborhood of LA. I was lucky enough to have a gorgeous garden full of excited young families to shoot-- its not everyday you get a bunch of people, candid, near lovely scenery, a photographer's dream!

Here's some of my better shots: (no edits)

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I'm going to digress from my normal photo-based, techie posts and give a bit of a life update/do some promoting.

I've moved to LA for the summer to be the California social media intern at The Nature Conservancy for the summer, and today is my first day! That being said, I've started (yet) another blog about my experience as a southerner/east coast college kid in crazy California. You should totally check it out.

To segway off of my move, don't be suprised if all of my pictures/news stories/posts start to take on a new style for the summer- I completely plan on embracing my new location, and that means my work will start to reflect that change as well.

So much awesome to come!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Instagram, my new found love: the pros and cons of the picture-sharing site.

Its true. I've found my new summer fling. And that, my friends, is Instagram.

I tried for a good half a year to avoid jumping on the Instagram bandwagon, but now, I'll admit, I think its an excellent app and social network (which is probably why Facebook snagged it up for a huge sum of cash) that combines a new audience and lets users engage in a visual way on pre-existing social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

For someone with a passion for photography, graphic design and all things digital, Instagram couldn't be a more perfect fusion of everything I have a passion for.

Plus, the filter options can take an ordinary photo like this:

And turn it into an amazing photo like this:

The interesting thing about Instagram, as Sean Elliot talks about in his blog post, is the moral implications of Instagram in terms of photojournalism or professional photography. Elliot writes about a photojournalist that won a major award for a photo series that he shot on his phone and edited with the photofilters on Instagram.

Now, in a purely social world, this snap and filter method is completely legitimate (minus potential copyright infringement...but that's a discussion for another day), but in the photojournalism world, does it border on a breach of ethical responsibility for properly depicting the scene as it truly was? Or do they simply enhance the event in a way that still preserves the actual truth?

Pick a side, any side.