Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The beginning of the holidays

So this post is a long time coming. Sorry about that!

Honestly though, I've been so busy, I just haven't had a moment to sit down and write a new post... but also at the same time, I haven't had that much to write about. The past few weeks have been the type where you are so busy, you just can't seem to find a moment, but at the same time, you can't specifically say what you were so busy doing.

I'll consider them a wash, and share a couple of videos I've been working on lately.

Post Buzz: Holiday gadget guide
Everything you need to know about the Ukrainian protests
Channeling the force
The Takeaway: The Redskins are over

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The best is yet to come

As I'm typing this, my computer is slowly dying. I think my wonderful MacBook Pro is reaching its last legs after four loyal, wonderful years of creative adventures in life.

'Tis the cycle of life, I guess.

You know, lately I've been thinking about that a lot lately. The cycle of life, I mean. And just how fragile and wonderful life is.

I'm working pretty intensely on a big project that is going to run over Veterans Day weekend about war coverage, so I've essentially spent the last month looking and and studying images and film of the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries.

 Sometimes, I feel guilty with how I feel when I look at these images. The photographer in me sees these images, these photographically beautiful images, of such terrible, horrific things. And I'm emotionally torn. The beauty and the juxtaposition of what the images are actually of pulls me in two complete different emotional positions.

 But mostly, I think how lucky I am to have never had live or visit an area of the world that is so broken, so torn by conflict.

 Maybe some day, I should visit one of those places. Maybe I should understand the pain, and horrible agony behind the images that move me.

But for now, I'll look at the images. And pray for the people torn by the agony that moves me.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The bustle of fall: ICYMI

Yikes! How long has it been since I've written? Too long, that's for sure.

Well, I partly blame the shutdown, partly blame my training for the races I've been running, and partly blame my move across town-- but don't worry, I'm back in action.

In the Twitterverse, there's a hashtag for the phrase "In case you missed it" aka #ICYMI. So here's my #ICYMI update on my latest projects and adventures.

Consider it my long, long apology for being so neglectful of my blog.

So here's what I've been up to :)

Just a little busy :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

The final countdown... to a shutdown

Well, as the minutes tick down to the official beginning of the "maybe" government shutdown, I thought I'd share my latest video on the subject.

Now, like a good little journalist, I'll keep my political convictions to myself on the subject matter, but let one thing be clear. The idea of not being able to go and visit the Smithsonian museums on a whim does not please me... one bit :(

Monday, September 23, 2013

The good, the meh

Howdy friends! I've got some new videos to share with you. One of which I would consider "good" and another which I would consider "meh."

This one, an interview with Daniel Pink, I shot myself. However, I was having a really hard time keying out the black background because the velvet material of the curtain kept catching light, hence, the lightness of the background. Even when I increased the contrast, I couldn't get it to a point where I was pleased, but I needed to be published. Le sigh.

This next one is a mini episode of Post Buzz (which is now resurrected as a segment I will produce and shoot!) about the new iPhones. I think the quality is much better here...
Which one do you like more?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

To fight, or not to fight

Normally, I don't get the opportunity to jump in on many super political retrospectives, but this week, I had the lucky opportunity to team up with some of the Post's In Play team to produce this piece about past presidents selling the case for military action.


With President Obama making the case for Syria, this look back seemed like a nice historical take on the larger case he is bringing to the table.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My latest: The critics' picks from the Washington Post's Fall Arts Preview

A lot of my friends have been bugging me to post more of my videos that I've been working on at work on my blog, so, here's my latest!

Its a video version of the Post's Fall Arts Preview. Just listening to all the critics talk about the local arts scene makes me want to trek to a show or two (or five) over the next few weeks. The one downside about this video (or triumph for my quick thinking?) is that it was shot off of my iPhone due to time constraints, but it turned out alright.
BUT... I do think, now that I'm watching this at home, I'm probably going to go into work tomorrow and make a few small edits:) But enjoy in the mean time!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

And finally, it's here, my first film from overseas: "Myanmar in Motion: The Climate-Wise Development Approach"


In February 2013 Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) collaborated with Yangon based NGO, ALARM, to offer a week long pre-training program for 45 mid-level government officials from Burma's line ministries with portfolios most likely to be impacted by climate change. 

The Myanmar Leadership Institute on Climate Change (MLICC) was designed to build capacity at the national level on mainstreaming climate change into development policies. The objective of the pre-training was to introduce the officials to what PISA terms, climate-wise development (CWD). CWD seeks the advancement of the community in tandem with responsible management of natural resources, investment in human capacity, and good governance. 

This methodology seeks to mitigate the tension inherent in development policies that seek rapid economic gain and the need for longer-term environmental and political stability.
So remember when I went to Myanmar, like, way back in February (if you don't click here to read all about that trip)? Well, here is the final project from it-- my film that I made in collaboration with PISA about their climate change policy conference and work in Myanmar. It was an amazing opportunity to work and travel with PISA... and a lot of work production wise once we arrived back stateside. I definitley learned a lot in the process, and know how to improve my next project to be even better! I also realized that the next time I plan on shooting abraod, I need a little equipment update (or a big one >_< )!

That being said, as with every project, I do have some big names to say thank you to in this process. Thanks to Fuzz Hogan for introducing me to Suzanne and Linda at PISA, without the introduction, I would have never had the opportunity to travel to Asia for the first time. Thank you to PISA (and Andrew in particular) for helping organize the logistics for my trip and helping me feel comfortable and prepared before setting foot on the plane. Thank you to Planet Forward for generously allowing me to use a SD card to store all of the photos and videos I shot. Thank you to all of PISA's generous supporters-- only with your help was I able to travel to record the important work that PISA does. So thank you for allowing me to help PISA.

So yes, it was fantastic, and a big group effort. Now go watch the film!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

And ode to the end of summer

I can't deny that the seasons are starting to change. Every now and then I catch a cool breeze in the air. My air conditioning isn't set as low. My windows are staying open more often. I even prance around the city with a little sweater in my bag. The dog days of summer are just about to end...

But like every summer (I have this philosophy that life is marked by summers), this one was truly something special. After spending summer '12 in the perfect weather of California, and the summer of '11 in the beauitful (yet chilly!) Argentinian winter, this was really the first summer in almost 3 years I felt like I had felt the hot, sticky sweetness of a long summer day.

You know about the days I'm talking about. THOSE kind of summer days-- The days when you wake up not from your alarm, but from the heat outside beckoning you to get up. The days when all you want to eat is watermelon and bbq, and a cold beer in the afternoon seems like a sacred gift from God. Those days when you play a game of softball, laugh over dinner with friends, and eat way too much ice cream. The days when evening cookouts turn into crazy late night parties, and nobody actually makes it home until the mid-early hours of the next morning. Yup, this summer was filled to the brim with THOSE kinds of days.

The past few summers I've felt blessed to be surrounded with a new crop of people, who challenge me to become a better version of me in all different ways. And this summer, the summer where I "stayed home," turned out to be no different. Even better, in 2012 and 2011 I was expecting a summer full of newness, but this season, it just seemed to spring up on me. So thank you, all my summer friends, from work, from softball, from backyard parties, from bars, from long lost college days, from random, unexpected corners, it was wonderful to meet you.

How lucky was I to spend a summer with new and old friends, exploring my 'hood, and learning to love my concrete jungle home I have a notoriously love-hate-type relationship with? I really do believe that people come into your life at certain times in certain places to teach you something about life, and I believe that this summer was no different from that.

So now, as the leaves change colors, my student friends hit the books, and I dig into my job, I'll remember this summer as one to remember... but I'm so EXCITED for the fall to come ;)


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Down, down in the depths of D.C.

Now, this is one of the COOLEST videos I think I've ever worked on. Partially because of the story, partially because of the role I played in putting it together, and partially because, well, I just love it.

Behold: my video story about the Tiber Creek sewer.

The lovely video footage is courtesy videojournalist Brad Horn. The reporting and narration is courtesy John Kelly. And the graphics, organization, editing, and production is via yours truly.

Man, I really do love my job.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Marching for freedom, 50 years later

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. 50 years? Wow. For someone like me, who grew up in a time when racial equality has taken leaps and strides in the right direction, its really hard to believe that there was ever a time when there was such a divide over civil freedoms in our country.

I had the lucky (sometimes my job really is lucky like this) opportunity and assignment to live cut clips from today's commemoration events. As I sat in my desk at the Post, listening to greats like Rev. Bernice King, Rep. John Lewis, and even President Obama speak about the past and future growth of the civil rights movement, I couldn't help but feel inspired, humbled, and challenged to hold my generation to a higher standard of overall equality that my parents' and their parents' before never achieved.

You know, as a news person, my job is to be impartial, keep my opinions to myself (for the most part), and provide only the facts. But on something so simple as freedom and equality... I find it hard to not express at least a little bit of personal hope for my generation. A positive outlook that we will push a little further, dig a little deeper. And maybe, just maybe, we will learn truly what Dr. King's dream was really all about.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Panda-monium hits D.C.

I've always wanted to use that headline. Seriously. Since, like, last year, when Mei Xiang had her cub that passed away.  But hopefully this new panda, the National Zoo's latest cuddly creature, will have a bit more stamina and will live and long, happy life.

For being such a serious, wonk-filled epicenter, I've gotta say, I've heard more about the baby panda this weekend than I heard about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. But hey, the civil rights movement wasn't that important anyway, right?

(Side note: For those that didn't catch my sarcasm... I'm not being serious. The civil rights movement was obviously one of the most important historical events of the past two centuries. You should go to sarcasm school.)

Regardless, here's a charming video I helped put together about the little guy...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Filming Charles Bolden, learning about NASA

As a kid growing up in Houston, TX, trips to NASA were about as special to me as eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They were something that I did almost every year in school-- probably to fulfill a STEM-related field trip requirement I was too young to even know existed.

When I was was younger, the trips were all the same: a trip to the kids' flight simulator, a nice mid-day space-themed IMAX movie, and, to round the day off, some Dippin' Dots icecream (if you were lucky). But when I got older, the trips, along with my interest in science and how things worked in the world around me, grew into something I looked forward to.

I remember a trip in grade five in particular-- not to the Johnson Space Center proper, but to a mission-control like center near Brazos Bend-- where my classmates and I got to reenact a space mission. I, unsurprisingly, was chosen to help run the communication center between mission control and the "space crew." Besides remember that I made a complete fool out of myself via a short-wave radio system, I also remember the thrill of the "mission." The idea that we, the 5A class, were trying to accomplish something real, new and scientifically innovating.

Real astronauts, the lifeblood behind the great entity we call NASA must have felt something like this back during the space race. It must have been their driving force during those eager moments before landing on the moon, sending a rover to Mars. And now, looking forward, beyond the budget cuts and red tape... what is next in NASA's book?

I had the lucky opportunity, as part of my filming duties for the Post's On Leadership series, to be in the room while Lillian Cunningham, the On Leadership editor, and Joel Achenbach, one of the Post's reporters, interviewed NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and asked him all of these questions.

Joel, along with a team of awesome producers, produced this fantastic piece a few weeks ago about NASA's new deliemma.

My video is in there too.. but the whole story is really worth looking at:


"NASA is looking for a rock. It’s got to be out there somewhere — a small asteroid circling the sun and passing close to Earth. It can’t be too big or too small. Something 20 to 30 feet in diameter would work. It can’t be spinning too rapidly, or tumbling knees over elbows. It can’t be a speed demon. And it shouldn’t be a heap of loose material, like a rubble pile. (...)"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Windows and joysticks: the happy and the sad

One of the joys of being a video editor and producer at the Post is the opportunities I get to work with our fabulous reporters and photographers in the newsroom. This kind of collaboration not only makes me a better visual storyteller, but also helps me to understand the pulse of the newsroom in a better and more complex way.

This past week I had a couple of video pieces roll out that I'm quite enamored with. Not really because of the quality of the video or photos that went along with the stories, but rather the storytelling aspect of the pieces themselves.

This one, 'Painting windows of joy,' is a sad story about a woman who lost her daughter to cancer, and is now back at the same hospital her daughter was at, painting the windows for current patients. I think what struck me about this story (you really should read the print version by Michael E. Ruane) is the ablity of Michael to convey a sense of complex emotion. Sometimes, particularly in emotional stories, that's really difficult to do, especially via print.

The other story, 'The joy of the joystick,' is much more light-hearted and fun-- something John Kelly is known for. I always love reading John's columns about D.C. He makes this city, a city that some days a love, and some days I hate, come alive in a way that I never would have imagined.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventures and mountians and sunburns... oh my!

Summer is for adventures, making new friends, and spending time outside. In the past few weeks, I've managed to do all of that and more. Oh, and of course, I took pictures along the way :)

A few weeks ago, a few friends and I headed to the Billy Goat Trail area to hike along the Potomac, which was pretty awesome.

 

The next week, I headed to Old Rag Mountain in the Shanandoah Valley... which was pretty amazing as well. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.





Well... where do you stand?

This is one of the more thought provoking stories I've worked on lately... where do you stand?

 --

Meet Milton, a veteran Marine, who also was a greencard holder. He lived all except 3 years of his life in the U.S. But Milton committed a felony and was deported to Mexico-- all non U.S. citizens can be deported if they commit a felony, even ones with greencards.

Even veterans.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

News can be sad, very sad. And it can just get sadder. But then, there's hope.

You know, working in news, I often have to read headlines about death, destruction, peril, and all the other awful things that go on in our world. And yes, it is very sad. And yes, I try to tell myself that it is my job, that it is okay recognize the sadness, but I must not let it effect how I tell stories.

And yes, that self-information makes me, very, very scared that someday, when I'm older, and more experienced, and have been in the newsroom for awhile, that I will simply... be numb. To sadness. To happiness. To any emotion, really...

But then I get to work on stories like this. Where yes, the story is sad, but there is a hidden element that I have always believed can take even the most upsetting stories and turn them around. And that, my lovely readers, is hope.

Friday, July 19, 2013

So about spectrum...

I had the awesome opportunity of working with Hayley Tsukayama on an awesome little segment called "Post Buzz." Normally, one of our other fantastic producers works on this regular segment, but due to workflow circumstances I got to take the reigns on this week's segement, which focused on spectrum policy.

Take a look:

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Royal Baby? Oh yeah. Got it.

Friday side note. I made this really fun video about the royal baby... who isn't even born yet. Ahead of the game? I think yes. :)


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New York, New York

Oh the Big Apple. The concrete jungle where dreams are made of... and where Sandi Moynihan's go crazy with their cameras.

I opted for a black and white theme to emphasize the urban landscape.

Here are some of my best shots from my 4th of July weekend in New York:





#Egypt: Using social media to record the images of history

Happy July my lovely readers! So let's jump right into it, shall we?

This past weekend I had the chance to work on one of the coolest videos I've had the privilege of editing since I started my time at the Post. It's a piece showcasing and exploring Egypt from June 29, 2013 to July 5, 2013 via the lens of video shared over social media outlets like Vine and Instagram. Now, not only was this the first dual screen video I produced, but it was also the first time I worked with people only using social media as a means of communication-- not to mention the fact that all of the people I worked with were an ocean away. Pretty cool, eh?

Here's the video I made:


Now, I know its not perfect... but it makes you stop, pause, and look at Egypt's political and social situation in a different light that breaks away from the hard news angle, which is what I was aiming for. In retrospect, I think I should have planned a bit better in terms of balancing the sides of the story, but honestly, the idea was simply to show that this political situation is being discussed, shared, and recorded in real time in a way that not even Arab Spring can compare to.

And that is a story worth telling.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

So much for posting every week...

I know, I know. I've said it before, I'm a terrible lying person. I saw I'm going to write every week with new photos, and I never do. Pinch me for being bad. But this time I actually have a legitimate reason!

See... I got a full time job as a video producer at the Washington Post after interning there over the winter, so I've been a little busy settling in to my new schedule. Yay! I also went to Canada... And, I've also managed to officially graduate from GW, not that my diploma I got in the mail in February wasn't legitmate. Needless to say, I was a little busy.
See, I graduated.
But, in the meantime, I've managed to work on a couple really cool video projects at work, one of which was this project I worked on with the wonderful, talented photographer Nikki Kahn, who shot this gorgeous footage so I could edit it and weave the story together. Its a beautiful, sad story-- worth the watch.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I like me some conferences

First of all, lovely readers, happy summer. I know that it doesn't officially start until the end of June, but in my book, its summertime!

As for me, I've spent the large majority of my summer working on some really cool projects, a few of which should roll out in the next few weeks. One hint: dirty jobs.

On another note, the Washington Post video team, now dubbed Post TV, has won a number of awards for excellence, including a Murrow award and a regional Emmy-- I'm so proud!

I've also had the lovely opportunity to work as a freelance photographer again for PISA, who I traveled to Myanmar (erm, Burma) with in February. They were hosting a two week conference for diplomats from Indonesia and I got to snap a few shots during thier time in the Capital.

I know conferences aren't exactly the most visually stimulating, but I think I managed to do a pretty good job. Take a look at some shots:






Sunday, April 28, 2013

Texas Wildflowers

Last weekend I headed back to my hometown of Sugar Land, Texas to visit my family and had the unique opportunity to capture shots of one of Texas' famous spring beauties: the bluebonnet.

Its funny, after growing up there for 13 years, this is the first time I had ever pulled out my camera and snapped a picture of the famous state flower.

I guess some things aren't really appreciated until you leave them, right?

Anyway, here's some of my shots.














Monday, April 15, 2013

Holi holi holi

All during my undergraduate years at GW I always wanted to go the awesome, colorful event known as Holi. However, being a student athlete in season, I never had the chance to play around in the colors... until this year!


See, this is why more people should graduate early. You get the benefits of being a student without paying the tuition or dealing with homework and classes. #winning

Anyway...

For those who don't know what Holi is, it is the Hindu spring festival of colors, but many other cultures have adopted it recently in addition to the Hindu community. The GW student community hosts a Holi event every year, and this time, I got to jump into the color rush.

My lovely friend Rachael Burton let me put down the camera for the day and step into the frame, and she captured these amazing shots! Seriously-- I was blown away at how awesome these pictures were! Photographer in the making? I think so!





Oh and it was my birthday too.  :)

Pillow Fight!

A few weeks ago, when I trekked down to the national mall to shoot the cherry blossoms, I also snapped a few great shots of the giant pillow fight going on at the national mall.

Before getting wacked in the head, I managed to snag some pretty great shots!

Here's a sample:




Monday, April 8, 2013

Cherry blossom time

You would think that after living in DC for almost four years, I would have gone out to see the cherry blossoms on the National Mall at least once, right? Blame it on college athletics, homework, or laziness, but this year was the first year that I actually decided to trek down to the national mall and see the blossoms for myself. Now, they aren't quite out yet, but still... they were quite lovely. Here's some of my best shots:




Oh... and a spatula.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The beginning of baseball season

Its the most wonderful time of the year folks: baseball season is back!

I fully predict a summer chalk full of afternoon games, $10 cheap seats, and Sunday series closers in my near future. Sunshine, foot-longs and cute baseball players... what's not to love?

Although I grew up playing softball, I spent a lot of my free time with my family watching baseball. Mainly, the Houston Astros. Now, I know the good ole 'Stros aren't too great of a team (minus the awesome seasons they had in '04 and '05), but they were a lot of fun to watch as a kid. From watching them play at the Astrodome to seeing them today in Minute Maid Park, they were a great team to follow as a budding fan.

However, now that I'm based in D.C. and have no sense of loyality when it comes to baseball teams, my baseball-loving heart has been captured by my awesome, fantastic Washington Nationals. Oh the Nats. I'm so glad you're back.

Anyway, the reason for my little baseball rant is this awesome piece I got to edit together for one of the Washington Post's video journalists. Its a sweet piece about opening day at Nationals Park. Check it out!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Videos, videos, videos

I know, I know. Its been too long. Really, way too long. What can I say? I've been a little busy doing work, creating awesome video projects, sorting through all my Myanmar material, and living my life as a young professional.

I'll try not to neglect you, dear readers, for so long again.

During my blogging hiatus, however, I did make quite a few awesome video projects for my internship at the Washington Post and I thought I would share a few of my favorite projects. Here's my favorite 2 so far:

I made this video mashing up State of the Union rebuttals from the past ten years the week before President Obama gave is speech. It was quite a bit of work going through all those speeches and picking them apart, but I did learn a lot in the process. I even got to sneak a few clips Michelle Bachman's 2011 response in there!
I just finished this sweet little kicker piece this week about a VCGU basketball fan video, "Dunk City," that went viral over the past few days. It's a fun little piece!

I'm really learning a lot from the video team at the post-- web video is a really exciting field to

Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 8 in Yangon, Myanmar & the Yangon, Singapore, Hong Kong, and San Francisco airports

NOTE: This blog post is meant as a more informational account of my trip-- look out for some social commentary/analysis posts to come when I get back.

Well. Its over.

Right now I'm sitting in the comfort of the San Francisco airport, half awake, waiting for my red-eye flight back to DC, writing this post and thinking about all the different airports I visited today.

Its hard to believe that less than 24 hours ago I was waking up in, of all places, Yangon, Myanmar.

I still can't believe I had the opportunity to travel to Myanmar at such an interesting point in its changing history. Not many people have had the chance to go and I feel quite lucky that I was able to make my first visit at such a young age.

Anyways, I'm not going to attempt to write anymore. I'm not even sure if I'm making much sense through the jetlag and fogginess (I know my text messages make 0 sense right now-- shout out to my family and friends for putting up with me). However, I will leave you with something I don't normally share-- photos of myself. In Myanmar.

Enjoy!