Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2010

Its Cold Out There

I don't like the cold.  When you see yourself knee deep in freezing water to get a shot, you're either stupid or crazy. I prefer the latter description.   ND filter (7 stops!) Its a Hoya multicoated. Fantastic filter. I "toned" like selenium (for you youngsters, its a darkroom thing) in LightRoom.  The cool tones makes you want to put on your wool hat. My foot slipped on a patch of ice on a rock dunking my leg into the freezing water.  Hopping from rock to rock in icy condition is not recommended to the uninitiated. For photographers, highly recommended! I used around 15 to 30 sec exposure. Iso set on 100 for low noise, around f9 to f11 for deep depth of focus, tripod, mirror lock up, 2 sec self timer so I don't shake the camera with my hands. This photosession is almost opposite of what I did on my last post. You do what you have to do to get the shot you have in mind. My 5d mk2 worked flawlessly in the cold. Battery life was good too.  Shooting in less th

To tripod or Not to tripod...

Usually, when I photograph nature, I take my tripod. Today, I challenged my own idea of using the tripod. I asked myself why do I need the tripod? Do I need long shutter speed because I'm shooting stopped down to f8 or more to get greater depth of focus? No. Is the light level very low? No. Do I need to compose with most precision? No.   I know that I can safely shoot down to 30th or 15th of second if I really brace the camera up to my forehead. I also knew that the park was full of jagged branches, so knocking them out of focus by using an open aperture was a good idea. If the aperture was open that means faster shutter speed, which means... no need for tripod, since I can hand hold. Shot with 50 1.2L. Worked in Lightroom to get the colors (split toning). Shot at f1.8. I'm big on capturing the mood. For me, a photograph needs a human emotion to come alive. I also wanted to work on getting an idea across to the viewer. I always think depicting an idea is harder than depictin

Around the Block

Spent Thanksgiving at my sister's place in Brooklyn. I like it up there. I walked around the block with my camera and my dog. Just used one lens, 50 1.2L. Mostly shot pretty wide at maybe at f1.6. The vinetting is not from the lens. I add it in post. I always like the darken edges. It pulls the focus to the subject I think. When this lens is shot open, it looks almost like a tilt-shift. I read somewhere that shoes tied like this signals a "crack house".  The tungsten light and the day light mix worked to get this extreme warm and cool colors.  Wet pavement. Always picturesque.  rows of rusty bikes on fence.  Does anything needs to be painted in fluorescent green? Texture is what I miss, living in suburbia of Northern Virginia. Here in Brooklyn, there's plenty of that.

My Fine Art Work

I just got my fine art site up and running! I wanted to showcase my fine art separately from my regular website since they both have different audience.  Nature Gallery Places Gallery Still Life Gallery Click on the images to go to the gallery. Thanks for visiting. 

Fort Mchenry in Baltimore

While I was in Baltimore, I made a quick stop at Ft. Mchenry. These big canons line along the most of the walls facing out into the harbor.  One of the view to where the canons were shooting at.  The 50 1.2L is amazing at controlling flare and keeping contrast. Love this lens. They were having a boyscout tour at the fort. Humongous flag makes for a nice background. Shot with 28 1.8 to get all the background in the frame. 

Smugmug gallery

My talented graphic designer wife won a book designing contest a while back. One of the prize was free membership to Smugmug services. Since she has not too much use for this service, she let me use it. I've just uploaded my gallery. I went to Baltimore MD. I went to school there some time ago and was always fascinated with the industrial parts of the city. Click on the image above to see more photos of Baltimore.

Bad weather... great for photos

I was at Assateague Island one weekend trying to shoot some video footage of the beach and things. But as soon as I've unpacked my gear, the wind was blowing 30-40 mph and started to rain. I went out to the beach anyway and got my face sand blasted. After about 20 minutes, I headed back to my car.  Shot this from inside of my car. The water was coating the window distorting the view, giving it an impressionistic look. It's not a photoshop filter. I used a small f-stop and focused on the window, not the scene. This allowed me to get the detail of the wavy texture. Tried to wait out the rain but it was not slowing down. So I decided to head out to a different beach, hoping that the rain would slow down by the time I get there. I was wrong and the GPS navigation system was wrong too. I got lost. But I ran into this! It was some kind of nature preserve by the coast. It was still raining hard but the long shutter speed hid the drops. I used a ND filter to slow the shutter speed s

My photo contributions to Delta Sky Mag

I've been a regular photography contributor to the Delta Sky Mag. I'll post some outtakes from the shoots and talk a little about each shot.   Georgetown, Washington D.C.   Middleburg, Virginia. These stories always start with a wide pano. This Middleburg pano was a challange because of the parked cars.  Modern cars are so bad for pictures!  The trees were also a problem. In an old town like this, trees are old too, so they're huge and covers the shopfronts. I had to stand on a small ledge so I can see over the cars to include both sides of the shops. I also placed the trees in between the two rows of shops. Sometimes you have to work with what you have. I enjoy shooting for these types of stories where I just roam around and try to depict the flavor of a specific town. Of coarse the businesses are notified before hand, but I try to get a perspective of a person who is enjoying the town. Middleburg is a small, cozy historic town located about an hour South East of Wa

Remembering Mexico

I was going through my pictures and I thought I'd post some photos taken during my Mexico trip in 2001 stay. I really like this photo of this young mother. Look at the wonder of the boy's face, seeing a foreigner for the first time. The mother's body curved around to protect the child. Her face is generous and welcoming. This somewhat symbolizes motherhood for me.  This was shot with a Mamiya C330 twin lens reflex medium format. I enjoyed shooting that camera. Very quiet shutter, and built like a tank.  This young girl's eye caught my eye. I liked the background with the bus and the people. I was waiting patiently for something to happen in the foreground.  The girl turned to see what I was doing. This was shot with a Hassleblad with a waist level finder.  The finder came in handy for this shot because it allowed me to raise up the camera so that I can show the group of people entering the bus.  A little girl running in a playground. Shot with a Hassleblad and 80mm

Some recent editorial work

I've had an opportunity to shoot Dan Choi, one of ex military personnel who is fighting for equal rights for lesbians, bisexuals and gays in the United States military.  Series of my photos ran in this magazine and also the Advocate Magazine. I brought my battery pack for the studio lighting for this shot. I chose to shoot without a softbox or umbrellas since I wanted to get the hard lighting effect.  Some light from the studio light spilled onto the marble background probably around 2-3 stops lower than the subject so that allowed the subjects to stand out from the background. Here he is sharing his support for family members and friends who were discriminated by the military for their sexual orientation. There were a lot of emotion that day in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington VA.  I grabbed this shot very quickly, as Dan and his partner was walking toward the area where I wanted to shoot the portrait. There were a lot of people walking about the area, so I had to

Night time is the right time

I've done some night photography in the past with my trusty old Hassy of mine. Long exposures slow BW film, pull process... It sure was fun but a bit nerve wrecking, since you have to wait to develop the rolls. I've always wanted to do nights in color but color processing in your own darkroom could be a bit hairy.  Now with my 5dmk2 I can finally explore the colors of the night... Well, colors of sodium vapor I guess. I've tried night shots with "older" digital cams like Nikon D200, but I wasn't too happy with the results. Overheating and battery consumption was some of the issue. But the 5d performed perfectly with long exposures (30 sec to 2 minutes) without any heating. Battery lasted almost 4 hrs. I think this was about a minute exposure.I got lucky with the almost full moon. I like to keep the iso setting pretty low to keep the noise down on the image. Of coarse a sturdy tripod is a must. You have to be careful sometimes, during a long exposure the tr