spent the weekend in japan town in san francisco for my sons early birthday. my wife had the idea of booking a room at hotel kabuki since she knew that this was about the closest we were going to get to the real japan with the new baby and all. it's always good to get away from home and venture out and stay at a hotel even if it is only 30 minutes away from home sweet home. we got to just kick back and relax, ate a bunch and did some shopping. i definitely want to take mia traveling but theres just so much work behind traveling with a baby at such a young age. i think this was for sure a good way to ease it in for all of us; luckily we have an amazing daughter who is just a blessing who's always down for anything just like us.
I have a question about your photos. I'm fairly new to photography and I recently got a ae-1 program and I'm curious as to how you get the digital at such a good quality? I know some places do it for a fee but they sometimes have restrictions on their resolutions etc. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! -Jose
congrats on your ae-1 program. I remember when I picked that camera up and I must say, it's definitely the camera i recommend to everyone who is just starting in 35mm film photography. as far as getting your film scanned, i let The Dark Room handle all of my film developing and scans. They give you resolution options; standard $11 (good for 3x5 prints and most of web-use), enhanced $15 (good for prints up to 11x14) and super $20 (good for large format printing). I honestly just stick with standard scans since most of my use for my film photos are for my blog and small prints. the good thing is that if i ever do decide that i want higher resolution scans or to print large format, i have the developed film in hand to do so. I have uploaded 2 photos to show you the difference between standard v. enhanced but the choice in film also has a lot to do with the quality.
want to ask me something? ask away.
it's without a doubt that 2016 was a grand ol' year. i take a look back at all that I was able to do and see, and all the places i got to visit and experience; no other word in the dictionary can describe it but blessed. at the beginning of 2016, my wife and i decided that we should try for a baby. i really didn't know how to absorb something like that; it's such a grown up decision. i've never been faced with something that made me really sit and rethink my entire life like this did. it's truly a life-changing moment. I mean, there's a ton of choices in life that can alter your life but there really isn't any other choice like this one. it's just crazy to me; we legit planned to have a baby. like we really said to ourselves that we're are going to attempt to conceive a life. not one of those oh shit, i accidentally.. uh... yea... we planned this. well, my wife did all the planning, i just did my part in the process i suppose, haha. it's one of the best decisions i've ever made. most rewarding, at that. i know a lot of people are scared to have kids, or just waiting for when the time is right but i've always believed that there really isn't ever going to be a time where things are right. it's those people who hang on to that belief that someday, all the stars will align and hold up a sign that says, "hey, it's time to have a baby." and even if that were to happen, it's not as simple as going to the store and swiping your card and bam, there's your baby. i know people who have waited and when they finally decide to have kids, it's too late. i've heard some sad stories about the stress that comes with many failed attempts at have kids, or ivf's not working, which are hella expensive by the way. i thought to myself at that time,
hey, i'm in my late 20's, 30 is right around the corner, i don't own a house, i don't have a steady income, i really don't know how we are going to handle 2 kids with no family around to help, but shit... we can figure all that shit out a long the way. fuck it, let's have a baby.
it was a tough choice to put away my travel bug. it really took some convincing, that this is way more important. it's not like i've never travelled. hell, i've done quite a bit of traveling around the world and i think that's what made it easier for me to make the decision. i've got to see the world and experience so much diversity outside of the states. although i know there's so much more out there to see and do, i am 100% content with putting a bookmark where i left off and pick up this new book and start this new chapter of my life. i think the change in pace will do me some good honestly. it was my dream to travel the world and get paid for it; i did that.
now it's time to follow through with another dream of mine, to have and raise a daughter, to raise kids, to raise a family.
cv r3m + cv 40/1.4 nokton on kodak ektar 100
cv r3m + cv 40/1.4 nokton on kodak ektar 100
finally got around to sorting through this roll from the same Yosemite trip. this roll was shot on the fujifilm fujicolor 200. It's not that bad of a roll, especially considering the price. you can pick these up at just about anywhere, i got a pack of 4 rolls for only $10 from CVS, so I can't complain too much. it holds color very well, heavy on the blue side, great contrast but too much contrast for my personal taste. I like the very faded look which is why I won't use this film as my first choice. so if you see me shoot on this film, it's probably because I ran out of other films and I got desperate at CVS... anyhow, this was en route to glacier point, while making a stop at mirror lake. we came to mirror lake a few years ago, and hiked before sunrise to get here to only find that the lake was completely dry... we were literally walking in the middle of the lake, with no freakin clue that we had arrived to the lake already. so it was pretty awesome to come across and actually witness the lake this time around. awesome place, awesome reflections.
cv r3m + cv 40/1.4 nokton on fujifilm fujicolor 200
after hours and hours of driving the night before, we had intended to just take quick nap around 3-4AM and wake up at 5:30AM to start hiking in order to reach our 4 mile destination but we ended up sleeping right into the storm that pounded the roof of the car in the middle of the night. there was no way we were going to be able to survive hiking in the pitch dark in freezing weather in a heavy dump downpour... without hesitation, we made the chief decision of... sleeping in. i woke up after sunrise in the back of a SUV with a dude on each sides of me, uncomfortable af after sleeping on what felt like planks of wood (pause). we decided to just drive around and head back into the valley, grab lunch and cut out since the weather was so shitty but the more and more we drove, the better and better the weather conditions got. that feeling of completely losing track of time and chasing location after location cause the views just get better one after another...
cv r3m + cv 40/1.4 nokton on kodak portra 400
I shot a couple rolls of portra 160 going into yosemite, here is the first one. i personally love the look of portra film, especially the 160 rolls. it just holds a certain amount of blue-green colors that really gives off that nostalgic film look. i know that nowadays, that film-esque look is very easily imitated using Vsco, and they do a damn good job at it. vsco is actually one of the main reasons why i love portra so much to begin with. i remember having bought all the vsco packs for lightroom, and i would always find myself back at the portra filters. i just loved the colors to gave off, and from there i basically adjusted and tweaked a bunch of stuff to finally get my own style and look that I was happy to call my own, but without a doubt, the roots came from the portra filter sets in vsco. so of course, portra film is always stocked up in my camera bag.
so back to yosemite. driving in is always exciting. it's foreal driving into a world of its own. yosemite definitely holds a place in my soul because its just that damn breathe-taking. as soon as we got into the park, we were on a mission. we knew exactly where we were headed for sunset, taft point. the shitty part was that even though we had got into the park at a certain time, we knew that taft point was still a good ways to go, about another hour. that just goes to show how massive Yosemite national park really is... but on the way, we made a quick pit stop at tunnel view, then made our way to taft point trailhead, hiked a bit and made it just in time, for what was going to be an awesome sunset.
cv r3m + cv 40/1.4 on kodak portra 160
cv r3m + cv nokton 40/1.4 on kodak tmax 400
although i rarely travel to los angeles much unless its for work or visiting family, this hotel is always my go-to. Line hotel is always super accommodating when i stay, definitely takes care of all my needs. everything about this place is just awesome. it's like a place of its own in the heart of korea town, which is also a huge plus for me since one of my wife and i's favorite korean bbq is right around the corner. the aesthetics of this hotel is just everything a photographer could ask for. so if you're ever in town, make sure to check this place out.
voigtlander r3m + cv nokton 40/1.4 on kodak portra 160
in case you guys missed out on the video I posted on my facebook on finding out what the gender of our new baby is, you can watch it here. fast forward, we had got a cake made for us by my wife's favorite bakery and inside the cake, was the reveal of the gender of our little one in the oven. we had a ton of cake left over, and it was up to us to finish it so every single night, we ended up chipping away at the cake until this night, we decided that it had to be gone or else it was going to be wasted. we huddled around the cake with forks and all went to work but we were still left with a lot of cake so my son decided to go ham and slam his face into the remainder of the cake and devoured it like a true caveman. it''s like he just discovered cake.
voigtlander r3m + cv nokton 40/1.4 on kodak portra 400
I've owned and shot with a Canon AE-1 for a few years now but a few months ago, I came across a pretty mint AE-1 program for a really good price so I went ahead and bought it. I've got to say, if you are someone who is looking to pick up film photography as a hobby, this is definitely the camera to go with. AE-1 is cool but you definitely need to know how to shoot manual, and that to some, is daunting. A lot of people are so used to shooting auto on digital cameras these days, they don't even know how to balance exposure using shutter speed and aperture. there really isn't such a thing as cranking ISO up or bringing it down for getting the correct exposure in film. The beauty of shooting on the AE-1 Program is that you can shoot it on program mode which is essentially, auto. All you need to do is focus, and the camera will determine the speed and aperture for you in order to nail the perfect exposure in the current light conditions. it's really that simple.. And once you get the hang of that and feel a bit more brave, take control and shoot full manual. the set-up that I had was perfect. The AE-1P paired with a wide 24mm 2.8 and a motor drive which helped me auto wind the film. It was the ideal build for getting shots on the fly, especially on my trip to Arizona when we did all the activities outdoors. I had no time to fiddle around the settings to get the right exposure. Sadly, I recently sold this build because as easy as it was to use, I really enjoy the challenge of shooting fully manual. Having program mode so easily accessible was too tempting so I did away with all of it. I'll talk about my new camera in a future post. In the mean time, if you are looking for a Canon AE-1, I've sold a few on our FleaMrkt Instagram account. If you need help finding one, hit me up!
few weeks ago, nikk had asked me to roll with him on this toyota shindig, all expenses covered. well shit, how can i pass that up. we went with no expectations at all on what this event was or how it will turn out. little did we know, this shit was fucking amazing. we were treated with probably one of the most luxurious glamping experiences that we will ever encounter. we had tents built out for us, with heaters, mattresses, down comforters, snacks, chefs, toilet tipi's, and the list just goes on. i know, you're probably thinking, "well that aint really camping".. well, yes it technically is.. there is a tent, and we did sleep in the tent, therefor, we camped. lol. toyota really set this up smooth, we had a full-day itinerary of activities like motorbikes, mudpits, 30 ft free jumps, mountain biking, and my favorite, the can-am's, we also got to test out the brand spankin new toyota tacoma's, aka the Taco. we got to meet so many good people here and everyone was just so chill.
what a fuckin experience, thank you toyota.
canon ae-1 program/ kodak portra 400
i grew up in a nice suburb area in ohio which means i had a ton and ton of flat, smooth and well paved black top roads to skate on. the likeliness of eating shit from running over a small pebble on the road was pretty slim, not saying it never happened, but it was very very slim compared to how the roads are now here in California. I find it damn near impossible to skate on these streets and sidewalks here compared to how it was for me back home, which really sucks. I can imagine how hard it is to learn how to skate with these road conditions. Rocks, pebbles and glass everywhere. Potholes, cracks and just a bunch of shit everywhere makes it super unsafe to take my kid out to skate but now at our new home, we live about 20 yards from the beach which has a long paved path for people to use for running, biking, etc... So of course, we use it for skating.
canon ae-1 program/ kodak portra 400
much has happened in the past couple of months, lots. one of the biggest changes was moving into a much smaller apartment with my family. now that i think of it, from my very first place on my own to living with my family, my "homes" have gotten smaller and smaller but i've realized that it's a good thing. with all the space that i had before, it only encouraged me to hoard and keep a bunch of shit that i really didnt need. i bought stuff, collected stuff, and never got rid of anything just because i had the space for it. i think after every move, i have gotten rid of so much junk that just took up space. things i just had a hard time of letting go, but for no apparent reason except for the typical hoarders excuse "i might need it when this happens" which rarely ever does. traveling to japan with my wife these past few years has really taught us a lot about simple living. japanese only have what they need, nothing excess. at first, we were of course at a lost but after a while, you begin to realize that you really can live off of only a few things in your home versus having everything for the sake of convenience. our little apartment now is still a work in progress and its a bit of a challenge being that we work from home, have an 8-year old child and expecting another in a few months.. most important, it's a happy home.
ilford xp2 super 400
Lately I have been feeling a huge disconnect from my sony a7. uninspired, unmotivated, just downright uninterested. After my return from Alaska, I was excited to sift through the photos, until I loaded all my photos into Lightroom and saw that I had over 3,000 photos to go through. Then excitement quickly turned into dread. I had realized that I had taken multiple shots of the same subject, over and over again in order to get the "perfect" shot. This is a problem that I feel that digital photography has created. It allows the user to shoot over, and over, and over again until they have nailed down that shot. That's great and all, especially in the commercial world but for me, it definitely started to take away from my passion in photography. I've always loved the anticipation of film photography for the fact that you don't know what you've got until you have completely finished your roll, which can be weeks or even months down the road. The element of surprise is what most gratifies, but I've found myself dependent on the instant gratification of digital photography. And that is what's caused me to put my digital camera up on the shelf for the past few months. in my digital hiatus, i've found myself DIVING BACK INTO FILM AGAIN. ONE THING I LOVE MOST ABOUT FILM IS THAT I DONT CONTINUOUSLY SHOOT THE SHIT OUT OF A SUBJECT, ITS ONE OR TWO SHOTS, THEN MOVE ON. THE PHOTOS I GET WILL BE A RESULT OF EXPERIENCE AND CONFIDENCE. SOMETIMES THEY TURN OUT THE WAY YOU WANTED, SOMETIMES THEY DON'T. BUT EVEN AT TIMES THAT THEY DON'T, it CAN REALLY SURPRISE YOU.
Kodak Portra 800
It's been a while since I've last updated my blog on here. With all that's been going on, I've definitely neglected it. My focus has been on just about everything but, which needs to change. I spent the past hour or so just going through my blog and realizing that this is something that I not only want to continue, but need to continue especially with the next chapter of my life right around the corner. Almost 5 months ago, I had just returned from my trip to Alaska. As soon as I had just got into the house, I immediately started unpacking and getting situated and when I had opened up the closet, there was a surprise. My wife had left the little sheep Chucks with a date on it, "October 2016".. The fact that we had bought these shoes years and years ago before we had any plans at all to have a baby, like real plans. It was just one of those instances where we were joking and being funny but in a subconscious type of way, it was life's way of telling us there we were meant for this. In October, my wife and I will be expecting our first child together and I can not be more fucking stoked.
UMEDA SKY BUILDING