Saturday, January 26, 2019

Jupiter's Moon


When I finished graduate school last year and decided to continue pursuing science full-time, some people were confused.  "I thought you wanted to do photography."  "Weren't you going to be a photographer?"  A woman can do both.  Whilst I was doing small gigs in Pasadena, I haven't heavily pursued photography out in Seattle.  I think I work best when I am doing photography as a hobby.  That's not to say that I don't enjoy all my photoshoots (including for hire), because I do, and each one brings a new challenge for me.  However, the photoshoots I am most excited to edit are the ones whereI can create freely without restrictions in mind.  These are the shoots that light a fire under me, that have me editing for hours immediately afterwards (I zone into the work completely!).  What this tells me is that I'd rather keep my photography as a hobby and not as a job.  I'll do the odd gig here and there, but I don't ever want this to feel like work.  Does anyone else feel like this?

Soliloquy aside . . . let me bring your attention to today's post!  This is one of several photoshoots I've done with Jupiter's moon, AKA Io.  I've worked with her before and she is genuinely one of my favorite models with whom to collaborate.  We typically pick a location and just go with the flow.  I never really "finish" editing all the frames from a day either because there are SO. MANY. useable shots.  Here are a few of my favorite edits from the last shoot!  If you're curious, the locations in Seattle we used were random streets in Capitol Hill and Volunteer Park.  Maybe a front stoop here and there . . .


Moving forward, I think I want to keep doing more of these portrait/fashion/lifestyle (?) kind of shoots.  It's tough for me to label; I like to think that I focus more on capturing the person than trying to sell "fashion" or "lifestyle" moments.  Things I want to work on in the future: incorporating more body length shots into my frames, changing up my style of editing, and seeking out different models.  I think I've gotten very comfortable in my editing process and need to change things up.  Life begins outside of your comfort zone, right?  Right!

Saturday, June 09, 2018

La princesa en el laberinto


Remember when I mentioned that I've had a 33% success rate in finding models in Seattle?  Here is Io, the 33%.  Turns out we'd been following each other on Instagram long before I moved here and I recognized her when I was out one day.  Of course, I asked her to model and one of the locations we at which we worked was Gas Works Park.  The park is host to a retired oil plant and now features green pastured hills with views of the Seattle skyline.  I was mostly drawn to the industrial backdrops which I think provides a nice juxtaposition of old:new and weathered:youth.

The first working backdrop was a set of stone arches which I used to frame the model.  As I was editing, I definitely got a feel of a princess in a labyrinth.  I'm trying to edit differently and get out of comfortable aesthetic habits.  I deliberately edited the first photograph in this post to be darker and more moody.  What are your thoughts?  Yay or nay?


We found some of the abandoned rigs and took photos there as well.  Like most people who grew up with it, I love America's Next Top Model and was always jealous of the cool backdrops on the show.  We got a lot more photos than are shown here, but I loved the old metal rigs!  My running joke was that everything in the park was pretty much walking tetanus. 


The last location at which we worked was by the water's edge.  The nice thing about Io is that she's game for anything and engages completely with her surroundings so she does things I wouldn't normally ask models to try.  Because of that, we got one of my favorite photos where she dangled over the water's edge!  Having a model who is so dynamic means I can focus most of my energy on framing and composition in place of directing.  For more, you can check out my photography Instagram, @alyseliangphoto, where I've posted additional images from this day in my feed. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Alaskan Waters

Glacier Bay, Glacier, Glacier Calving, Lumiere and Lens, Lumiere Lens, Glaciers
Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Hello from sunny and 77° F California!  It's almost December and it's hot enough to go swimming out here.  It's Thanksgiving today and we've got the oven on to cook a 27 lb turkey in a house with no air conditioning.  Since it doesn't appear I'll have cold any time soon, I'm sharing these photos of Alaskan waters and glaciers from my trip this past June.  Yes, yes, definitely long delayed!  However, I'm sitting here in a tank top and shorts, so I'd really rather reminiscence about colder places.

We took a boat (the Baranof Wind) through Glacier Bay and went right up to the border of the Canada, where the Grand Pacific Glacier is situated.  As global warming is a thing and climate change is real, we were greeted by bare earth with a completely melted glacier.  The waters by the glaciers were dotted with small icebergs from the calving glaciers, which is when ice cracks and falls off.  In fact, Margerie Glacier (shown above) was actively calving!  A crew member fished an iceberg out from the bay for us to touch.  It was very smooth, very cold, and definitely smaller than the one that took out the Titanic.

Grand Pacific Glacier
On board the Baranof Wind.

 South Marble Island, a wildife hotspot (top).  Sea lions lounge on the rocks (bottom). 


We passed South Marble Island during our boat ride.  The island is considered a wild life hotspot.  There were sea otters, sea lions, puffins, and gulls.  There was also a humpback whale swimming in the waters.  Occasionally, he would surface to spout and dive back under, flipping his tale above the water.  Look at the beautiful color of the sea lion coats!  They were certainly more vibrant than our California sea lions. 

Islands recovering after glacial retreat are covered in moss, lichen, and young trees.
Glacier Bay

We passed islands that were covered with moss, lichen, and young trees.  The growth of lichen helps prepare the earth for the forest to grow as the land eventually recovers after glacial retreat.  As we traveled North towards the glacier heavy, thick trees gave way to more moss.  Eventually, we saw more rock than green.  When we finally reached the Canadian/Alaskan boarder, the waters were smooth like glass, with small ripples on the surface.  The air was cold, crisp, and clean.  Heaven is a place on Earth and it was these calm, beautiful waters.