Friday, June 27, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

First day of summer!

Although there are many exciting things about the summer, I can't help but to be a little sad on the first day of summer. It's an acknowledgement that the amount of daylight has reached the peak for the year and the days are going to be shorter and shorter from that point for the next 6 months. Last evening I decided to go out on a walk for a while and enjoy the longest day of the year.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Union Sparrows

While wandering around Union Station, I decided to stop outside and sit on one of the benches in the courtyard for a bit. Moments after I started digging in my bags, I realized I was surrounded by house sparrows. These guys seem to be well trained by visitors to Union Station to beg and be cute. I took advantage of their tameness and shot some photos of these guys (ok, mostly girls!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Union Station Instant

Union Station, downtown Los Angeles, CA w/ instax mini, 6/13/14

This past weekend I took Amtrak up to Merced for a baby shower for a long time friend. Unfortunately, there were major delays on the Red Line from my home to Union Station (way worse than my anticipated worse case scenario), so the 30 min padding I had given myself wasn't enough & I missed my bus out of Union Station to Bakersfield. Luckily I was able to change my ticket to the next (& last) train for the day, but I had to wait an extra 2 hours. While I was waiting, I wandered around Union Station a bit and took advantage of the the fact that I had 4 (!) cameras with me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

a bike cannot smile

..but a bike can make me smile!

A few weeks ago I rode a road bike for the first time! We were at Open Roads bicycle (a kinda crazy bike shop in itself run by a very passionate owner in Pasadena) looking at bikes. After feeling somewhat intimidated by all the serious bike around me, I went through the interview process by the owner & he suggested I try out a women's Bianchi bike. It was a bit scary to be on a road bike at first after sitting so upright on my hybrid bike - my face seemed a bit too close to the concrete and my body weight was distributed in weird places on the bike, but I knew it would be weird at first and was reassured by a few people it would get more comfortable.
 After testing out a few different bikes and going back to take out the Bianchi a few more times and thinking about it (and talking to people about it way too much) and reading a coworker's blog post at an opportune moment, I decided to put down some money on the Bianchi. I waited a couple days for a few things to be tweaked, including adding in inline brakes, and then brought home my pretty new bike a couple weeks ago!

So far I've still been using my hybrid as my main daily bike, but then going out on my road bike on longer trips around my neighborhood in the morning or evening. I'm still working on tweaking some settings, I picked up some gloves and I've simply been getting used to the experience of riding the bike, but it's been fun! The bike itself is super smooth and nice to ride and makes my hybrid Trek feel like a brick, but they both have their times & places! I am a little sad that this year's model of this bike is white with just some stripes of the legendary Bianchi Celeste color on the frame instead of being completely turquoise-ish, but obviously it wasn't my main concern. I look forward to going out on some longer rides and to some different places. I definitely recognize that it's MUCH easier to ride faster and longer distances on a road bike vs. a hybrid. At the same time, my hybrid is more comfy in some ways and works well for errands and cost less than half as much, so I feel a little less wary about leaving it locked up. Regardless, you justify things like having multiple bikes when you don't have a car... or something.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

meaty lady

Nearly 7 years ago now I created this meaty lady collage with special features. Although I once upon a time scanned it or something, it's true potential was generally only enjoyed in person. Until now. Thank you free stop motion software.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

then, instantly

Considering the number of cameras I have at this point, one thing I didn't have at all was an instant camera that was... normal (the one I have is very specialized & I haven't used before. I'm somewhat of an old-film camera magnet from the people around me.) A few years ago, I was wandering along a river in Napa taking photos when I kept running into a woman shooting polarid photos. Ever since then, instant film has been in the back of my mind. This past Christmas, I checked out Instant Love from the Pasadena library. It's a pretty fast read about a variety of instant camera basics and had some of the similar appeal of simpler cameras like the Holga. I knew it was a matter of time before an instant camera would find it's way to me.

A few weeks ago, I finally broke down and bought an Instax Mini 8. I was a little sad, since I later found out about lomography's instant camera that's on kickstarter, which has some better controls and flexibility, but who knows... maybe I'll end up with one at some point. (I also remind myself that it's not available until November anyway.) For now though, I'm enjoying my Instax. It's definitely been a learning experience. At first, I kept forgetting the film was 800 speed, which means some of the outdoor shots were a bit over exposed. I'm also not a huge fan of the flash and am considering covering it in some way. I'm getting a better feel for when the camera works and how to compensate for the viewfinder vs. lens position though (you have to frame your photo, then move the camera slightly to the left and down.) I'm looking forward to taking it along on some of my adventures!

This is the most recent photo I shot. I was walking home from voting yesterday when I noticed this older car parked on the street. I really like the resulting photo - on one hand if it wasn't for the newer cars in the background, it would be hard to identify this as a photo taken in 2014. At the same time, I wish the new cars weren't there, but it is what it is and that's how photography works sometimes!