Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Escape to Santa Cruz

This weekend we visited Santa Cruz.  It was like coming home - suddenly I didn't look like the odd kid on the playground, but blended perfectly in the crowd.  The weather was magical, be it a little ominous in light of the snow blizzard that's engulfing the East Coast.  Temperatures in the low 80 confuse the heck out of my biological clock but I admit I enjoyed it.

Santa Cruz is an amazing place!  It is the land of the fifty year-old skateboarders.  There are beach bums, regular bums, and just people who look like bums but aren't.  Nearly everyone has tattoos and their hair is a bit too long, and they wear weird clothes.  Tie dye is very popular here.  So are VW vans in bright colors.  I saw an actual open top military Jeep pass by full of teenagers who were listening to Sublime as loud as they could.  The rich drive their vintage cars on Highway 1, and the not-so-rich ride bicycles and carry all of their earthly possessions on their backs.

There were a billion dollar view villas overlooking the Pacific, piercing parlors and record stores, liquor stores and cafes, souvenir shops, cotton candy and deep-fried everything on the Boardwalk, calliope music and arcades, yuppies and hippies, yoga moms, youths looking like gangsters, people smoking cigarettes and other stuff at street corners, beach goers and surfer dudes, and sunshine - lots and lots of sunshine!

And honestly, as crazy and unusual all of this seemed, I feel it's still more natural and organic than the wastelands of Suburbia.  In Santa Cruz there's a real sense of culture, of community.

We arrived at high noon so I resorted to taking photos countre jour.  I was shooting while pushing a stroller, so don't judge my composition technique too hard!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

iPhone 6 Showcase - Half Moon Bay

Things are busy and I haven't had the chance to feature many images from my iPhone yet.  Well, here are a few - we took a short last minute trip to Half Moon Bay this weekend and we had a wonderful time at the beach as the sun was setting over the ocean (one of the last images is from Foster City Lagoon).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.

~Duane Michals

Portraits of my mother-in-law, Muoi, who is a beautiful person, inside and out.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Smiles, Puppies, and Levitation

As you can guess from the title, I had a very fun shoot this weekend!  Thanks, Deb, for opening your home for me and sharing your beautiful family.  Here's a little preview - enjoy!

Boys Will Be Boys

Johnny, John and Julian in the good light during the golden hour.

Oh, and Julian finally got his first tooth!!!

Enjoy and happy weekend, peeps :)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

In the last day of 2014 I rented an 85mm Nikkor, f/1.4 lens and went down to Mountain View to test it.  Shooting candid street photography and taking portraits of strangers is one of my favorite pastimes, but between hanging out with my kids and doing family sessions I haven't had the time to indulge in proper improvised photo walks....

As you can see, the lighting conditions were not perfect; at high noon the sun beats very harsh even in the Winter.  The lens is a bit narrow for my taste, through its sharpness and speed makes up for it at least partially.  Next I really want to try one of the ultra-wide lenses, 24mm or so (or even a fisheye), again with such a large aperture.  Stay tuned!

P.S. My favorite image must be the jumping shot - thanks Jeff and friend (sorry, I'm terrible with names...)!