Ramblings and Reflections

My Chinese Zodiac is the Dragon, and 2012 was the Year of the Dragon, so I almost expected things to go a little more smoothly for me than before. While I did make a lot of great memories and had some fun, it just was not my year at all. Between losing jobs, family drama and everything else going on I even lost all my motivation to pursue the things that do make me happy. Things aren’t much better now but with the coming of a new year comes a sliver of hope that the worst has passed.

Calico Hello Kitty Maneki Neko Lucky Cat

A lucky cat above my bed for wealth, happiness and hope. The first cat I was ever really attached to was a calico named Maggie, so this is extra special to me. Plus it’s Hello Kitty. Bonus points.

I got a new lens for Christmas and that has seriously helped rekindle my love affair with my camera. I was in a serious slump about the quality of my photos for a long time, and I felt that I had outgrown my D4o too much to get any joy out of it anymore. I know I can do better, and I know a better camera would solve a lot of the issues I’m flailing over right now… but it shouldn’t have affected my overall love of taking pictures.

I have two good cameras (a Nikon D40 with a great new lens and a Canon Powershot S90), four if you count my Galaxy S3 and iPhone-turned-iPod. What’s really holding me back is my personality. I’m pretty shy when it comes to taking pictures in public. Even around my friends I’m usually sneaking pictures of food or other interesting things.

To hell with that. I’m tired of looking back on trips and events and thinking about all the pictures I missed but could have caught if I had just picked up my camera. Any camera.

Crab and cheese potato croquette at Izakaya Honda-ya in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

Crab and cheese potato croquette at Izakaya Honda-ya in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

I just want to take pictures, and I’m really going to try to take more. It’s not just a New Year’s resolution. I want to change a part of me that I’ve been irritated with for a long time.

I hope I can.
I’m really cripplingly shy sometimes…

mochi ice cream

Mochi ice cream at Beard Papa’s in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles

I’m looking forward to a hopeful 初夢 (hatsuyume).

A Disney Kind of Night

I’ve had this sitting on my harddrive since October, oops. I took this while we were at the Annual Passholder Soundsational Parade event. The event was late at night and this section of the park was mostly empty so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, tripod or not. I settled my camera on the railing surrounding this pond, hoped for the best and this is the best one that came out.

There are definitely things wrong with it that probably would have been avoided if I had my tripod (story of my life), but stupid me didn’t even considering bringing it to this event. I am a terrible photographer~

Funny story: my boyfriend and I loitered around this fountain for a good 15 minutes while I took pictures. We went back a few months later with some friends as and we passed this again at night it started this neat little light show in the water. We all stood there gaping at it and after it had finished my boyfriend and I turned to each other and said “Where was this when we were taking pictures of it for 15 minutes!”

Spring in the Orchards

My city is notorious for only having two seasons: hot and cold. The only real sign of a traditional spring is the blooming of the almond trees (I think they’re almond trees anyway). I’ve always wanted to go out there for some photoshoots and to just get some pretty flower macro shots but was always afraid of legal issues and scary farmer men chasing me down the road. So I just opted to enjoy the drive, sometimes slowing down if it’s windy to marvel at the road washed white with blossoms.

However, this year I was welcomed into another group of local photographers and models, and as I watched them plan photoshoots and take clients to the orchards I figured it was more-or-less alright to go in for a personal shoot. So I grabbed a couple friends to go with me and just hang out, shooting whatever we wanted without any real agenda to get done.

It was really nice, considering lately I’ve been lacking inspiration and motivation to go out and just take pictures.

I originally intended this to be an HDR image and keep all the detail in the slightly overcast sky, but it just wasn’t working out so I decided to take the overexposed bracket and run with it.

I liked it at first, but now I’m not so sure how I feel about it… maybe I’ve been staring at it too long. (Update: I’ve made this image available for purchase at both Red Bubble and Fine Art America.)

Bonus portrait!

My friend Raquel is awesome. She’s always willing to pose for portraits to help me beef up my portfolio and get more practice. She’s super supportive too, and such a hard worker she makes me feel tired just listening to everything she does! Crazy lady, but you’re cool so it’s okay.