I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Day 20 - A Storm is Coming

Today at school and also this evening we had rain. When it rains in Thailand, it doesn't mess around. The wind picks up, it starts thundering and lightning, and suddenly it starts pouring. Buckets. Mouse is really afraid of storms, as the few we've had recently are the first in her short life. I took her outside, just to see it from the porch and she freaked out a little bit.

I took this picture right before the storm started, down a little alleyway at school. I decreased the clarity in Lightroom and evened out the exposure a little.

Day 19 - The Palm Tree Outside Our House

These are different views of the same tree in our front yard, It's really quite amazing, standing probable 25 feet tall, and not having any trunk at all. Instead, these fronds (is that the right word?) radiate from the base and eventually become palm leaves.

Day 18 - At the Computer

I've been spending the past few months coveting a dedicated macro lens, but I just can't justify the expense, given that my photography serves no practical purpose, and I haven't even put the tools at my disposal through their paces yet. Tonight, just to see if I could get it out of my system, I screwed on my 'macro close-up lens,' which isn't even a lens, it's more like a filter. It lets you focus closer, yes, but the focusing range gets much smaller and the DOF is practically non-existent. I was just reading this, and to a great extent I agree, but sometimes that just doesn't help.

Anyway, the 100mm f/2.8 is still in my (somewhat distant) future. Until then, I'll just photograph things from normal distances, or use my P&S, which has a pretty decent macro setting.

Thanks to Evan for being my hand model here!

Day 17 - Sunset

I took this over the fence into our neighbor's yard during sunset.

Later, I attached my super cheap fake fisheye lens to my camera and took a few shots of Mouse. Still waiting for the perfect shot where I get her nose dead center and no blurring. And yeah, the lens created that annoying circular vignette around her.

Day 16 - The Motorbike

I liked the radial symmetry of the wheel on our bike. Wish I had moved the watering can from behind it before I took the picture, though.

I know I'm a little behind on the posting . . . but I'm going to get completely up to date today. The important thing is when I took the photos, right?

Day 15 - Slow Day

Today was a slow day for photography. Here's a picture of part of a piece of driftwood in our garden. It has lots of little plants artfully arranged around it.

Day 14 - Evan and the Screen Door

I was shooting in the garden (again!) when Evan came to the screen door. I thought the effect of his face through the screen was pretty cool, so I took a picture.

Here are some mangos across the canal from us.

And here is a flower on our banana tree, which is just beginning to open. It is about two feet long, and those petals, or whatever they are, are huge as well.

Day 13 - The Garden At Dusk

So, there seems to be a garden theme so far in this blog, but I promise this won't last forever. Tonight at least I took my nifty 50mm lens off the camera, even though it is super fast and great in low light, and swapped for it my 55-250mm IS lens, the poor woman's zoom. I had forgotten what a big difference the IS makes, I was handholding at shutter speeds where I usually get blurry photos. So thanks again, Canon, for taking my money. I hope you're enjoying it.

I wish I knew the names of everything in the garden, I have no idea to call the little spiral above. It's a new leaf on some sort of flowerless plant we seem to have several of, scattered in pots around the garden. The potted plants are the ones who really seem to suffer from our haphazard watering, because they have no hope of sucking up some groundwater. Still, this one's doing well enough to bring out a few new leaves.

I think the next picture is a kind of Bird of Paradise, but I'm not sure.

While I was out, a huge black bee-like insect started gathering nectar from our white flowering tree. He was hopping pretty quickly from bud to bud, but I did get a couple shots, thanks to the zoom I was using. Check out the furry legs, I do think it is something like a bee. I wouldn't want to get stung by one of those! It was easily 2 inches in length.

That's all for today. See you tomorrow!

Day 12 - Night in the Garden

Evan and I accidentally fell asleep this afternoon and slept until it was dark, so I went out into the garden at night to find some inspiration. This plant is on our porch in several iterations. I believe it is always supposed to be green, but we are no good at watering, so this particular stalk is brown.

And here is a panorama Evan shot last night on our walk that I stitched together and edited tonight. Too bad the horizon isn't even, but otherwise it shows the amazing sunset pretty well.

Day 11 - Sunsets

I finally got Evan to come watch the sunset with me over the bridge tonight. It was pretty spectacular. I'm still shooting raw, so I'm trying to limit the number of shots I take a little more than in the past. Still, get me in front of a sunset like this and I'm clicking away like a pair of castanets.

Day 9 - Evan is a Dork

Shortly after we moved to Thailand, Evan bought this miniature helicopter (1500 baht, about $50), which he then proceeded to fly every day for about a month, while we were living in one room together. Yes, he flew it indoors. And it's a little noisy.

I shot this with the Lensbaby wide open, at f/2.

Day 8 - Scrabble

I only took a few pictures of the scrabble board today, when we played in the office between classes, so they will have to suffice. The narrow depth of field seems to be emphasizing certain words, does it not?

Day 7 - Cats and Cutlery

Usually we don't take Mouse outside; she seems pretty content inside with us (more accurately, it's rare that one of us walks from one room to another without her following). But today was nice and cool, so I took her outside for a sniffing spree. There's something about the concentration on her face here that I just really like. Plus, she's out of her element, and yet so curious about everything at the same time.

Also, I think I may have discovered where sporks come from.

Just kidding. See you tomorrow!

Day 6 - Side Lighting

Today I even brought the camera to school with us, but nothing was inspiring. Then I tried taking some pictures of the pineapple we had after dinner, but they were terrible. Because of the blue tile our house is covered in, everything ends up with a terrible blue cast to it, and blue pineapple is not something you want to see. It's just not very appetizing.

I've been reading Strobist, a wonderful lighting blog, if you're into that sort of thing, and I looked at my tripod, and saw the interesting shadow it was making. I shot it in RAW format, so I could choose my white balance later (no more blue cast).

Tomorrow I will shoot some street Thailand life, as I am sure you are all eagerly waiting for.

Day 5 - Oranges

Some oranges in Thailand are not orange, for some reason, they are green, even when ripe. I got out some candles tonight, turned out all the lights, and took some pictures.

Day 4 - Danger Cat!

Today we just hung out at home, so here are two shots of Mouse, and one I took through the louvered glass windows in the kitchen to create the light and dark stripes. Tomorrow I'll be more creative, I promise.

Day 3 - Revisiting the Garden

Went out into the garden today again. Managed to catch a snap of a butterfly and another picture of those red bushy flowers.

Day 2 - The Garden

I went shooting in my garden today, and I came up with a shot of my plumeria and this other flower that I have no idea what it is, but the tree out front is suddenly bursting with them.

The plumeria is overexposed, but I think that adds a delicateness. I shot both of these with my Canon 50 mm f/1.8.

I know I'm breaking the rule that says no white parts of the image should touch the edge (and I'm breaking it a lot), but that's what art is about, right? Breaking rules.

My New Lens, Baby

Evan, after two years of missing Christmas and birthdays, finally gave in, and bought me this lens. We had it shipped to my mother's house in California, and she brought it with her when she came most recently (thanks mom!).

Unlike most lenses, the Lensbaby doesn't focus on a plane, but rather on a spot. You can move the in-focus spot (the 'sweet spot') by tilting the lens, and then you have to focus manually on your subject. And to change the aperture you switch in and out little metal discs. The wider the aperture, the smaller the sweet spot, and the more blur you have in your photo.

I also sprung for the creative aperture kit, which has a couple blank aperture discs and one heart and one star. This makes all the out of focus light spots in your photo turn into hearts or stars, respectively.

This lens is difficult to focus, so it's hard to shoot moving subjects with, and a lot of times I settled for less than optimal focus while using it, but when you get a great shot, it's so worth it. It makes photography feel so creative. And Evan really likes to take the camera from me and shoot with it when I put this lens on.

Here are a few shots of downtown Siem Reap with the star aperture. I haven't edited them at all, and I don't think I would, except for maybe straightening the second one a little.

Day 1 - Cheaters Never Prosper

I spent all day thinking about this blog post, planning how to make my first honest day work. I didn't bring my camera to school, because I didn't think there would be shooting opportunities there, and I figured I would have plenty of time while the light lasted after school was over.

But, after school was over, we went grocery shopping and then we had a flat tire on the motorbike . . . so it was dark by the time we got home.

And since I haven't sprung for an off-camera flash yet, all that remained as a possible light source to pin down my remaining subject, aka Mouse, was (gasp!) the dreaded on-camera flash. According to Lumiquest this is "perhaps the most unflattering light source in photography."

So, I decided to change the photos to black and white. It helps a little. Tomorrow, onward and upward!

Day 0 - Cheating

It's the first day, and already I'm not playing by the rules. I did not take this photo today, it's from the most recent trip. My excuse? I didn't see anything worth shooting today. I've spent the day trying to catalog the 5700 photos I took in the last two weeks, and didn't really spend much time away from the computer.

So we'll call it Day 0. It doesn't count. From tomorrow on, I'm on the straight and narrow. I swear it.

Thanks for understanding, guys.

Editing: I cropped this, because I was shooting with a 50 mm lens, and I wasn't really as close as this looks. Because the lens is manual focus only, getting the focus just right was really hard. Fortunately this guy was just sitting there chillin' or I would have been stuck with one of the 15 shots I took before I got this one. It was a little overexposed, so I darkened it a touch, added some sharpening and a little bit of clarity, and that's pretty much it. Here's the original for comparison:

My New Month (Half Month?) Resolution

I was reading the Photoshop Insider Blog yesterday, as I often do (even though I am by no means an insider when it comes to Photoshop), and from time to time it has some really great photography links. Well, yesterday it had the link to this blog, where the guy puts up one photo a day for a year, all straight from the camera, no editing. Some pretty nice pictures there too.

I thought, 'What a great idea! Why don't I do that?' But . . . a year seems a little long. And I really enjoy the editing process, plus it's useful to know how to bring a photo to its full potential.

So, not a year, but a month. Starting today. And not unedited, but I'll use only Adobe Lightroom, and I will explain all the edits for each photo I post. Also, every photo I post will be taken on the day I post it. It should be a fun project, and a good way to try some new things with photography. If it works out, who knows?

Plus, in unrelated news, Evan and I just had a fantastic ten-day trip with my mother, so we have plenty to post about that. Together we all took about 5700 photos in ten days, so I have some organizing and editing to do before I start putting together posts on that. Hopefully I'll get that under way in the next few days.

Anyway, let me know what you think about my new photo plan. If you're all unanimous that it's boring and a waste of internet space, I'll consider dropping it.