Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday #55: Focus on the Good

Hello, lovelies!  Hope you're all relaxing on this Sunday night.  Confession: this photo from Huntingdon Gardens is from last Sunday and not these past seven days, but I have my reasons!  I'm sitting on my couch, getting some rest after an eventful afternoon as our house watches Game of Thrones.  No spoilers, but it was NOT a restful episode.  


Eena, Nancy and I made plans to get food together this weekend.  We decided to meet at Arcadia Mall and . . . here's here it gets extra eventful!  I'm notorious for getting motion sickness easily.  Even though the trip up to Arcadia was only 15 minutes, I somehow managed to get overheated, carsick, and extremely nauseated.  Yours truly managed to upchuck twice in the multiple hours.  I had to cut the trip short and ask to be taken home by Nancy.  I spent the rest of the afternoon resting and trying to rehydrate.  I think it's mostly intense motion sickness, but it could've been something I ate, too.  *shrugs*

The dumplings at Din Tai Fung. 

It was really nice to see Eena and Nancy -- I appreciate hanging out with great gals!  I felt incredibly embarrassed and kept apologizing for putting such a damper on our girls day.  The real MVPs here are the two of them for being incredibly patient, caring, and making sure I was as fine as I could be.  I said it many times today and I will say it again, "Thank you and I really appreciate it."  Kindness is never taken for granted by me.  I'm also grateful to my other half who brought home saltines, Gatorade and ginger ale for me.  Let's focus on the good things!


Since we're focusing on the good things, I made some strides at work (science) this weekend (more if/when things are final) about which I am both excited and nervous.  In non-science related work, I've recently booked a regular photography client where I shoot images that end up on an online clothing boutique.  It makes peanuts because I quoted the client before I settled on my minimum rate, but she's a dream to work with and I'm getting commercial photography experience!  I also managed to see my friends Liz, Ana and Roberta so it's been a good week for nurturing female friendships.

Oleanders in my neighborhood.


I've been perusing some newer photography accounts and I have realized I am in a bit of a rut.  I always use natural light around golden hour.  How about if I challenge myself more?  Edit differently.  Shoot in difficult situations.  Be less reliant on soft light?  Here are images of Ana and Roberta that were shot outside of my comfort zone.  This time, they're both shot in poor, fading light and edited with more darkness in mind.  What do you think?  Next, I want to try challenging lighting situations at night.

I'm also forcing myself to take pictures on my iPhone because, if I am good, then I should be able to make great images on any device.  Right?  Right!

Here is a parting questionnaire:

1.  What did you do this week?  Highlights and lowlights?
2.  Do you want to read a post on photo editing?
3.  Are you watching the solar eclipse on Monday?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday #54: Sunflowers


Hello, friends!  I've been a little off the radar, but I'm back after two weeks of missed Sundays.


I've finally bitten the bullet and made myself a real photography website!  After consulting with some friends who suggested that naming my photography after my blog might be confusing, I've settled on Alyse Liang Photography.  There are quite a few things I still want to work out, but I think it's time I took this more seriously.  I've been building up my portfolio and have gotten a few (very small) photography jobs in town.  I'm making peanuts, but I'm chasing my dream, you know?  Here is some recent photographic work! 


This week, I got to spend time with a lot of my girlfriends!  Interestingly, all our time together usually involves food at some point.  On Thursday, I had Ana over for dinner and she was kind enough to get me the sunflowers you see at the top.  We went Griffith Park on Saturday to watch When Harry Met Sally on blankets, under the stars.  This evening, Roberta took me The Huntingdon to stroll through the gardens as the sun set.  It's funny how I do more "date" things with my girlfriends than my boyfriend!  

I've just finished Game of Thrones with my roommate and I'm heading to bed soon.  I've had a raging headache for most of today and I want to rest up before Monday.  How was your week?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Snapshots with Printiki

{I was sent a voucher for prints from Printiki.}

I really like the idea of Polaroids - instant film, a square snapshot, a capture of a moment in time.  What I don't like is the expense of film and a single function piece of equipment!  Call me a millennial who's been raised in the age of digital media, but I like the flexibility of multi-functional devices.  A phone that takes texts and takes photos?  Great.  A DSLR that captures both stills and moving picture?  Even better!  

Even in the digital age, however, I can appreciate the physicality of holding pictures in my hands and mounting them on walls so it was an easy yes when Printiki asked if I'd like to try their prints.  Those closest thing I have to an instant camera is Instagram (and I'm sure was the idea behind the original app).  I was offered 30 Square M Prints.  Once you're on the website, you have the option to upload photos from your computer, Facebook, Google, or Instagram.  I opted to get all my prints from Instagram because they're the perfect square, instant photograph shape!

Square M prints - 4 x 4 inches. 

The prints arrived about a week after I ordered them.  I like that they're printed on photo paper so they aren't flimsy to handle.  There is the option to put text on them when selecting photos, but I prefer to hand write my own.  The resolution of the prints were pretty decent, as you can see!  Your resolution will be correlated to the quality of your original image, but I had no problems with pixelation or blurriness.  I think the prints stayed fairly true to color and saturation as well.  One of my favorite photos taken of Manhattan Beach Pier (see above) turned out beautifully!

I'm waiting to move in to a new place to hang these prints up.  I'm envisioning a grid of friends, family, and pretty landscapes.  In some ways, like an Instagram grid brought to life on my wall.  I'm thumbtacking a few up on my cubicle at work as well,  I mean, look how pretty the images look just arranged next to each other!  I appreciated this collaboration a lot more in hindsight.  Almost all my photography work is in digital media; it becomes easy to forget how satisfying it is to hold real images in your hands.

Has anyone else tried Printiki before?  What do you think of have physical prints of your Instagram photos?  Let me know in the comments!