26 March 2017

Sunday #40: 750

Green tea, new props, and makeup (Canon 750D).

Hello, hello! It's Sunday evening and I'm currently writing this up before we go food shopping for the week.  The image above are some things I've been loving lately: a new wood backdrop, the Rimmel London Kate Sculpting and Highlighting Kit (in 002), my bullet journal, and this sea urchin skeleton my boyfriend got me from Texas.  I thought all the objects looked pretty together and couldn't resist snapping it with my new Canon 750D.  


That's right, my Canon 750D arrived this Friday!  I love the reduced noise at higher ISO speeds, expanded ISO range, the increased frames per second, and improved image resolution.  I've taken it for a spin around my campus and out with friends.  I finally managed to nab photos of my beautiful friend with fiery hair!  I also did some water blurring near the bridge that we've been hanging out on lately.  I'm making an effort to get interesting photos from the ordinary places I see everyday.  Much like my old Canon 1000D, I think trying to work past my limitations helps me grow creatively.  


Ramen Tatsunoya is one of my favorite restaurants in Old Town, Pasadena.  Every other Wednesday or so, I go out to dinner after lab with Liz and we tend to crave ramen because of how "cold" the winter has been in Los Angeles.  We went again this past week and stuffed ourselves to the brim!  Ramen Tatsunoya specializes in tonkotsu (pork) ramen.  Fresh noodles are served in a fatty pork broth with mushrooms, scallions, and slices of fat pork.  We also got the Tatsunoya Roll which is like sushi, but with pork instead of fish.  Mmmm.  Just take my money!  Reason #535435 I can never do low-carb.  On Saturday, my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to get ramen so I went again.  #NoRegrets. NOT SORRY.

Ramen Tatsunoya, Ramen in Old Town, Ramen in Pasadena, Ramen, Tonkotsu ramen
Tatsunoya Roll (Canon 1000D).
Ramen Tatsunoya, Tonkotsu Ramen, Pork Broth
Decor, Jun Tonkotsu Ramen, and patrons (Canon 1000D). 


I'm a very picky person about entertainment; I'm often so indecisive and uninterested in new pieces that I tend to just rewatch old favorites.  However, I've been loving some of the new standup specials on Netflix.  First, I want to recommend Trevor Noah's Afraid of the Dark special.  His impersonations are spot on.  Not to spoil too much, but my jaw dropped at his Obama impression.  I've also been loving Dave Chappelle's new specials on Netflix.  Is he politically correct?  No, but he's one of the best comedians I've ever seen and had me belly laughing this week.  Last, but not least, Cristela Alonzo (Lower Classy) is an absolute riot and incredibly relatable for immigrants to our country.  


•  The notion of a "revenge body" is reductive and toxic.  I loved Amanda Richards's prerogative on shedding people who will judge based on looks.    
•  Ria shares her thoughts on flawed celebrity feminism and the need for intersectionality.
•  The President and the Big Boy Truck.  I'll just leave this here.

How was your week?

21 March 2017

One of Those Days

Today has been one of those days. 

In the morning, I wore the wrong shoes to lab and realized it halfway on my bike ride to campus.  I changed into my backup shoes in my office and realized I'd forgotten my laptop charger.  At noon, I bought a banh mi sandwich from the campus cafe, only to realize that the chicken meat was suspiciously pink when I opened the container.  After settling for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, my colleague and I walked to get the Pringles I was craving from the campus convenience store, but it was closed for remodeling.  On top of all this, the samples I'd hope would be done freeze drying for an assay today were still not ready by the end of the day.  

Le sigh.

However, I persist in looking on the bright side which is the stroll my colleague and I took through the campus gardens after our failure to attain Pringles.  Spring has fully arrived in Southern California, as the blooms and my allergies will confirm.  In addition to the greenery, which have received much needed rain this year, there are pink, white, and purple flowers blooming all over campus.  Don't ask me what they are; I'm not a botanist.

I go to this garden during coffee breaks sometimes because the sound of water running through the pond is soothing.  There are also koi fish and turtles who always look grumpy.  Sometimes, I observe the local families who bring their children to our campus during the day.  The children like to look for turtles and lick bricks (saw this with my own eyes).  

All things considered, I suppose the day wasn't a complete loss.  I snapped these photographs on my old camera, assembled all my materials for tomorrow, and planned out experiments to run.  I managed to hit the gym for the first time this week and am now enjoying a dinner of linguine with mushroom sauce.

Tomorrow is a new day.

19 March 2017

Sunday #39: Frames Per Second

Hanging by a fountain this week with my lab face.  Photo by @bigboiquach

You know what I like most about Sundays?  Starting my morning in a nest of blankets, sunlight streaming in from my window and with coffee in hand.  I had a lab meeting on Saturday so I'm taking a break from lab today.  Who doesn't love a slow, simple start to a Sunday?  I hope your morning was peaceful as well.


Last weekend, I provided complimentary professional headshots for the women in my academic community.  I gave the organizer a three week timeline, but I was so excited about post-processing that I sent the final images off on Thursday.  Since then, I've had lovely emails and positive feedback from people who are quite happy with the work I did!  One woman even asked me to do an engagement session!  I'm currently putting together images for a portfolio though I'm not sure if I should go with Carbonmade or Squarespace. 

I was also tapped by a videographer (Lost Art Creative) on Instagram to do some artistic portraits this weekend.  We did most of the photoshoot on his Sony a7SII.  It was my first time using that camera; it was an interesting (and initially disorienting) experience to work on high end mirrorless equipment!  Here are two of the final images.

Photos shot on a Sony a7S II (left) and a Canon Rebel 1000D (right). 


The limitations of my dear old Canon 1000D have become increasingly apparent to me as I've gained photographic experience.  I firmly believe that it's the photographer who makes the image and not the camera.  However, my Canon 1000D has outlived its usefulness in terms of producing the quality of images that are up to the modern standards.  It shoots at just 3 fps, exhibits apparent noise at higher ISO speeds, and is just 10.2 MPs.  I finally bit the bullet this past weekend and purchased a Canon 750D body as a refurbished product directly from the manufacturer!  I got an additional 15% off so it was within the budget I had set.  In a perfect world, I would've liked a full frame camera, but it's a good intermediate until I can afford a professional model.  I'm so excited for the new camera to arrive; it has 24 MPs AND shoots HD video!  Perhaps YouTube videos are a possibility for Lumière & Lens.  What do you think? 


Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie -- I always loved that Belle wasn't shallow and read books.  My boyfriend and a few friends are going to see the live action version tonight.  We're leaving in a few minutes and I'm quite excited!  I know it got pretty decent reviews so I can't wait to tuck in with buttered popcorn for a few hours.  If you're seeing it (or have), do leave me your thoughts in the comments!

Update: Beauty and the Beast was okay.  Pretty hyped, a little bloated in parts, but entertaining.


•  Plugging my posts from this week: homemade apple pie and my complexion heroes.
•  Cherie talks about the cookie cutter culture in the blogosphere and I thought, "SHOUT IT, SISTER!"