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

New Cards!!

My new business cards from moo arrived a couple days ago, and I love them! The quality is really superb, and the tiny format makes them great conversation pieces. Everyone I've shown them to has just had to take one, and of course look through the box for their favorite one! Interestingly enough, the faces are less popular than the flowers, cityscapes and cookies. And I was hesitant to include the non-person photos as I would really like to be moving in the direction of shooting more people. You know, show what you want to be shooting and all.

Shooting more people. Um, yessss. You know, with a camera. Please Internet police, don't take me away!

A View Past

Sunlight, when it appears on frequently foggy San Francisco afternoons, is harsh and unforgiving. Rays can be blinding. But the warmth of the sun while we have it is to be enjoyed. I was walking near Golden Gate Park today when I saw this street view (all the way to the bridge!) and I just had to have a photo. The bicyclist and the pedestrian just added to the mix.


This butterfly landed right in front of me. I was so surprised, but very grateful!

Another Splash!

Getting Closer

After holding my breath last week, I decided it was time for more. More holding my breath, more macro till I'm cross eyed. And this is a pretty good cross section of the methods available to me. The first one I took with the reverse lens macro technique, using my slightly broken 50mm and my 55-250 on the camera. This method is hard! And it makes me strain my eyes trying to figure out what's in focus. But there is something I do really like about the shot below, so maybe it's worth it.

This one I took using the Lensbaby Composer and the +4 macro lens.

The last two are the Composer and the +10 macro. Turns out that the +10 is a lot easier to use if there's enough available light. I took these mid-afternoon in open shade - some of my favorite light.

There's something about yellow and dark blue that just gets me as a color combination. Maybe that's why I like these shots so much.

But it's weird, even looking at them makes me feel a little out of breath! Maybe I should really start using my tripod.

Anyway, you might see a few more macro shots from me in the future, so be prepared!

Do you think you could spare just a piece of that delicious...

...whatever it is you are eating? I haven't eaten in days. Well, I mean, it feels like days. Except for my regular food, but it's so boring.

Could you just throw me a piece? A small piece. Or maybe a little healthier sized. Or the whole thing would be fine too. Or maybe could you walk away from the plate for a moment? Don't you need to visit the room with the large water bowl?

Oh, yes. Thank you for dropping that. Oh. Delicious. Wow. Mmmm. Better than I expected.

Do you think you could spare just a piece of that delicious ...

Dear Sweet Early Morning Light

Dear Sweet Early Morning Light,

I know I'm not usually an early riser, and I often don't see you. Also, I may not always be in the best mood when I do, not having had my coffee and all.

But I just wanted to let you know that you.are.amazing. And I love the way that you make even ugly things look beautiful by just shining on them. If only we all could do that.

Always yours,



Are so lovely. In all their forms.

A Token

We all pick up things on our travels. I have scattered souvenirs in various boxes, or stuffed somewhere in my closet. And although I've been living a bit like a nomad for the past few years, living out of boxes and bags in various locations around the globe, whenever I come across something from my travels it makes me stop and smile, and remember.

Unfortunately this particular souvenir I can't claim as I've never been to Venice. (I know! Shameful!) Evan's mother picked this up on her trip to Venice last year, and I just think it's stunning. And although this might seem just like a straight shot, I had quite the difficulty in shooting from just the right angle to keep all the parallel lines parallel.

(Plus, I almost had a heart attack. My camera spent ten minutes yesterday telling me it had no card in it, even though it did, through a huge number of alternate cards, and I had almost given up when it finally decided that yes, in fact, oh-I-see-it-now, there is a card in me. I don't know what I would have done had that continued, no way to take pictures if the camera thinks there is no card.)

Holding My Breath

I know I've been talking a lot about my gear lately. A new 17-55, a slightly broken 50mm.... It's just a lot more difficult to photograph anything without gear. Also, I may be a little obsessed. Anyway.

I have another new toy that I actually bought a few months ago but haven't really used yet, partly from inertia, partly from having too much photography stuff already, and partly from not knowing exactly what to photograph with it. It's the Lensbaby macro kit (which mysteriously they name AMACK as well, if anyone understands that maybe they can explain it to me).

Anyway, it consists of two macro filters which I screw onto my Lensbaby. One is +4 which makes you able to focus a bit closer, and one is +10 which makes you able to focus on things a lot closer. Since I like to try things in reasonable steps guess which one I tried first? Oh yeah, the +10.

And man! SUPER shallow depth of field. Like maybe one millimeter. I have never before noticed how much I sway in the wind when I take photos. I mean, I like to think of myself as pretty sturdy, all things being equal. I can handhold for a few seconds with the right lens. But this. I would find focus, then move imperceptibly and the focus was gone. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. And then repeat again. It also may not have helped that I was using the last of  the daylight for this exercise. My shutter speed was never above 1/80s which just never seemed quite fast enough.

So, basically, I was out in the back yard, holding my camera inches away from this flower for about 10 minutes, taking shot after shot and holding my breath the entire time (for maximum picture sharpness, you know - a tried and true technique). I may have been a little light headed by the time the thing was over and done with. Hope I didn't kill too many brain cells!

Thoughts on Black and White

Ever since the advent of color photography, people have debated whether color is an asset or a distraction in photography.

I am 100% on the asset side, by the way. As if anyone would guess otherwise. And although I've been known to post a black and white image or two, the vast majority of my photos stay in color. Which, in my opinion, is as it should be. Colors are so gosh darn pretty! And the world (as we see it) is in color.

However, my feelings on the topic started to shift a bit recently when I downloaded a (sadly expired) trial version of Nik's Silver Efex Pro, widely regarded as the leading black and white software in the industry. And I realized that there are times when I do really want to see the world in black and white, and not in color. There is something a little more refined about it, more soothing as well, and if you can get the tones right, the pictures have a sort of depth that color photos only aspire to.

All of this to say, I see more black and white images in my future. Consider yourselves warned!

Souvenir Foto

Some of you may be familiar with the quirky, prone to charming hyperbole Miss B of Blah Blah Blahg notoriety. If you are not familiar with her, I suggest you become so, as her blog is a light and charming spot on the internet, a surefire way to pleasantly waste a few minutes of each day.

A few times a year she hosts a Flickr-based photo project, called Souvenir Foto School. It is free to participate, the only requirements to participate are that you actually do so (non-participants are thrown out of the class!). Currently the assignment is to photograph the entire alphabet from September 4th to October 4th at the pace of one photo per day. I am having a LITTLE difficulty with the pace (being that, you know, there are only 24 hours in each day) but so far I am hanging in there. And it is nice to have a real need to shoot every day.

Below are the photos for F (Falls), W (Window) and T (Triad). I'll share more with you as the class goes along!

Shutter Not So Speedy

At this time I would like to give a shout out to my lovely, amazing 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens, mostly to the IS part of the lens. I handheld this image with it, while the shutter speed was 1 second, at f/8. One second! Amazing. With a non-IS lens, if I really pushed it, I could maybe handhold at 1/15 of a second. Maybe. So this lens is magical. And it does not help with my tripod-avoidance-syndrome at all!

The Blue Hour

I always loved the blue hour, even before I knew it had a name. Photographers gush over the golden hours, that time just after dawn or before sunset when everything is a soft amber color. And don't get me wrong, I love me some golden hours too. But the blue hour is my favorite. Especially in a city, when you can contrast the blue with the yellow and red tungsten city lights. Mmmmmm, delicious.

I remember the first time I really got it about the blue hour. Evan and I were in Myanmar, on a bicycle ride near Inle Lake, and we had taken a little too long at the small outdoor restaurant where we had stopped for tea. Consequently we were racing the light to get back to Nyaungshwe where our hotel was. On a small country road in Myanmar there are no streetlights, and there are many potholes, so we were serious about getting back in time. But it was so difficult because with each passing second the light just got more and more beautiful. I swear Evan must have aged a few years waiting for me to take my photos every time I stopped and pleaded, "Just one more?"

This was clearly not taken in Myanmar, but the light was no less beautiful. I shot this from a friend's hotel room in Soho during my time in New York. There is nothing more stunning than Manhattan during the blue hour.

Great Blue Heron

Took this near Russian River a couple of weeks ago.


I was on a walk last week in the beautiful hour and I saw these buildings being gilded by the sun and creating this gorgeous blue and gold color pair. So naturally, I pulled out my camera and immortalized it all. Incredible. I just love the clarity of the San Francisco light. I also love the duskiness of the Southeast Asian light - they both have their strengths, but there is something just so perfect about this light, and these buildings, and these colors.

I Have the Best Boyfriend Ever

Recently, I decided that I needed some new pictures of myself. Not being one for self portraits, I decided to enlist the help of the ever eager to help Evan (ok, actually I had to twist his arm a little, I'm not going to lie). We went for a walk. And so I thought, I'll frame the shot with him as a stand in for me, and then I'll hand him the camera and he can push the shutter button. Kind of like boyfriend-as-tripod.

Unfortunately, Evan has a will of his own, and this method didn't really suit his style. He insisted on taking control of the whole shoot. So the whole time I'm going, "Don't shoot up on me! How is the light? I think the light's too hot!" And then he'd ask me to step into the sun and I'd be like, "No direct sun! What's your aperture?"

So, a little backing and forthing, yes. But who cares when the end result is some photos like these? I love them! (And actually, that direct sun thing turned out ok!)

The Girl Who Cried Wolf (a cautionary tale)

So, a long time ago (in blogging time, in real time about a year and a half) I announced that I had broken the auto focus on my 50mm f/1.8 lens. The cheapest lens I own, but also one with the most beautiful image quality. I mean, who doesn't love a 1.8? That soft, luscious bokeh (out of focus area for those not initiated into the photography geek club) is a small miracle. So, a minor tragedy. Minor because it wasn't much out of pocket to replace the lens, tragedy because, you know, one of my favorite lenses was broken.

Since not much of anyone read my blog at the time, no one really commiserated with me. And so when Evan discovered that my lens was fine, it was just a firmware (software) bug with the camera body that was causing the problem, I did a private little dance of joy and forgot all about it. And so did everyone else.

Now, in general I just might be a little hard on my camera gear. I have taken most of it to at least 10 countries, you know. I change lenses when it's dusty if I have no other option. Some salty spray has reached my camera body, and yes, from time to time I just throw a couple lenses in my everyday bag. Because, just in case I need them, you know? I might. It might be a life and death scenario where if I didn't have my telephoto things could get hairy. And I always always always carry my camera body with me.

Until recently, no harm no foul. Not even any scratches. (And let the record state that the lens caps and end caps are always attached to the lenses.) Until the morning when I stuck my hand into my bag and pulled out... half of my 50mm lens. Heart palpitations ensued, I fished around and pulled out the other half. Best I can guess sticking it into the bag with the lens hood attached was not such a good idea, as this created the opportunity for enough leverage to pull the lens into two pieces. So there I was with my lens in two pieces and still needing to get to work on time.

I put it down, tried not to cry, and went to work. What else could I do? I figured it was a good excuse to pony up the money for a 50mm f/1.4, but not for a few more months at least, when I could maybe convince myself that I deserved a new lens after treating my old one so badly.

After work, I showed Evan my sad two pieces. And he..... popped them back together. Somehow. And now there's this disquieting grinding sound when the lens focuses, but it kind of works. Amazingly.

So anyway the moral of this ridiculously long post is this: treat your lenses well. Thank them. Coddle them. Embrace them. And if you must throw them into your bag, take the lens hood off first!

Press Pause

Today is September 11 and I wasn't planning to post about it. In general I let the holidays and important days go by without comment on the blog. I'm not a pundit, and photography isn't politics or marketing.

But after a bit of reflection I thought I would say a few words.

Yes, this is a day of extreme sadness. Nine years ago the world changed in a few moments, and not for the better. But in my opinion it doesn't help anyone to use that day as an excuse for hatred or violence. We can do so much better than that.


I love backlight on grasses. It makes my heart sing.

And I love having the chance to go for a walk in the late afternoon, with no other purpose than to look for the beautiful light. And once I find it, just wallowing in it. Evan is very patient on our walks. He is getting used to me stooping down for no particular reason and taking ten photos of a blade of grass. I honestly couldn't have a better or more understanding boyfriend.


It's been a busy past few months for me. Which is why when Evan asked me if I wanted to take a long weekend at his family house near Lake Tahoe, I immediately said yes. We came up on Wednesday night, and it's been really wonderful to have a chance to get all my proverbial ducks in a row. And, you know, relax a little. The peace and quiet here is tremendous.

Plus, I got a chance to try out a cookie splash photo, which I have been dying to attempt. Yes, dying. And now I will pull through. Thank goodness!


A couple of images from today... It was a nice day, relaxing, finally.

Street Portrait

I was photographing an interesting texture on a building when this man called out to me and asked if I wanted to take his portrait. Heck yes I did!!!!

My Mouse

I found her on the playground when she was a few weeks old. "Please, can't we take her home?" I knew that life on the streets in Thailand was pretty short for a cat. Evan said no and I knew he was right. It made no sense. We weren't ready for the commitment of a pet, we had no idea what diseases she might have, and we weren't staying in Thailand forever. There was no way that we could take her back to the states with us. So I left her there.

Fast forward a few months and there's a scrawny cat begging outside of the lunchroom. Weak with hunger, it can barely walk, but it knows where the food comes from, and that the first graders are good at dropping morsels. I spied her and spent the entire lunchtime with her, fed her some pieces of chicken good vegetarian that I am!) and dreamed a little more about taking her home. But I knew it was impossible.

After that lunchtime, she showed up every day. And Evan was weakening. Finally he said that if she was waiting outside the teacher's room after school we could take her home on a trial basis. Bad luck for him, she was. We took her home, fed her, bought her some litter, food, and a soft place to sleep, and the rest was history. It took her a few weeks to get enough strength to jump up on the couch. And a few months more to completely settle in with us. She's still a little wild at heart, but she's completely ours. And I wouldn't have her any other way.

(PS For those wondering about the title, we named her Mouse. Strange name for a cat, I know, but somehow it just seemed to fit.)


I feel like I've been reading about these little cookies forever, without much desire to try them. Tafari obsesses over them. Helene bakes them, again and again.

I had never tried them, so I had no idea what I was missing. But finally I decided they would make a good photographic subject, so I bit the bullet and made my way over to Paulette Macarons in the Hayes Valley of SF and picked up a few. They are scrumptious! And, of course, photogenic. I'll have a few more shots processed for you tomorrow.



What do you think about it in black and white?

At Sea

All At Sea

A rather gray and foggy day at Ocean Beach today, but I did get this one shot that I enjoy.

Black and White

I recently downloaded the trial version of Nik's Silver Efex plugin for Lightroom (I have 4 days out of the 15 days left), and I have to confess to a completely new appreciation for the intricacies of a good black and white photo. I still have a lot to learn (and only 4 days to do it, better get cracking!), but there's something about the subtleties of the tones that just gets me. And I really enjoy trying out all the different color filters to see what kind of effects they might give me.

Anyway, here are some black and whites from a recent shoot, and then a few more color images to give a nice balance to it all.

As always, I am forever interested in your opinion. If you, like my boyfriend, 'don't really like the black and whites,' I won't hold it against you. I think.

Amazing dress, right?

Did the Mail Come Yet?