Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Excursions Into Film Photography

My roommate lent me his Canon AE-1 SLR this summer with a roll of ISO 400 black and white film. He recently developed and scanned the film because I was being a real slowpoke about the process. Here are a few of the shots that turned out alright.  I definitely struggled with the proper exposure and focus; I haven't shot film photography since high school! 

I do dig the grain and old-time vibes from these images.  I haven't done any editing because I wanted to present the images in their raw form.  What is it about back and white that seems to add more to a picture?  I think the grain fits the masculinity of the subjects.  Overall, I think my film skills leave room for improvement! 

What are your forays into film photography?  Do you prefer digital or film media?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday #58: Heaven Is A Place On Earth With You

Snapshot from a botanical garden.

I'm on a real Lana Del Rey kick this week, loves, in case you can't tell from the title today.  I've always liked her and I've had her new album Lust for Life on repeat which means my house got to hear me belting her all of Saturday morning.  Sorrynotsorry.  Am I listening to her as I sit in my office this Sunday?  Yes, I am.


My social life is very touch and go at the moment.  I think the social lives of most people go right into the la basura towards the end of their degree programs because there's simply too much to do.  Not to mention that our stress levels rise through the roof!  Any social outings have consisted of spontaneous food and coffee breaks!  I haven't seen my friend Ana in quite a long time; we had planned to do a coffee/study date, but I was caught up in the frenzy of cell work so it turned into dinner.  We went to Bone Kettle in Pasadena for meat and bone broth (Go. There. Now.) before ending the night watching The Big Sick at my house with my roommates.  Oh, we might've squeezed in a quick Sephora detour somewhere in the night as well because, you know, that's important.  As always, time with Ana is relaxing and full of good vibes!

Me and bb!


My friend's baby turned one this week so a whole bunch of us went to his birthday party this weekend.  I've never been to a birthday party for a baby, let alone shopped for one, so Friday evening was spent at Westfield Santa Anita mall with a friend picking out presents.  After perusing a whole bunch of stores, we settled on some stuffed animals from the Disney store.  Every kid likes Disney, right?  At the party, we had a lovely homecooked Chinese dinner, played with the baby, and generally, had a really great time.  There's something beautiful about the pure joy and excitement of a tiny human!  By the way, I learned that running after and watching a one-year-old is a lot of work.  My upper back is a little sore now from doing the elevator with the baby!


Other highlights from the week: (a)  I reunited with a friend who I met during graduate school visiting weekends about five years ago.  She's completed her doctoral degree and is now a scholar at the university I attend.  It's nice to see another familiar face!  Also goes to show you how small the world of academia really is.  (b)  My new coworker and I have been hitting up the nearby bakery for macarons the entire week.  Delicious, sweet, probably fattening.  YOLO.  (c)  Watched The Imitation Game with my other half yesterday and we're going to have delicious steak for dinner tonight!

I've been trying to catch up with your blogs -- forgive me if I'm spacey or miss posts!  I don't get as much time as I'd like to get on here nowadays.  Certainly, my time for creative photography has suffered as well hence the paucity of posts!  Just to change it up a bit, this Sunday's question is: What's the song you've had on repeat this week?


• Nat wrote a really timely post (personally) for the job hunting process.
100 Images From Cassini's Mission to Saturn.
• Best skincare deals at Sephora.  Just treat yoself, okay?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday #57: Gone Baby Gone

Photo by Jake Kim.

Hello.  It's been about three weeks since I've written here, hasn't it?  I haven't really had a full day off from lab in the past few weeks.  I'm working a lot more and even photography outside of my one regular client has taken a backseat as of late.  Thanks for the nice comments you've all been leaving.  I feel guilty that I haven't been as active with reading and replying recently!  I'm hoping to be better about it this week. 


I'm starting a new avenue of research that's required I learn brand new skill sets.  For the last three weeks, I've been completing some rapid training from my friend and colleague.  He's returning to his home country soon so it's been a crash course in the transfer of knowledge.  Burnout towards the end of your PhD is a real thing, but I've been really jazzed with my new scientific venture!  Last week, I got to work off site out in a different part of Los Angeles.  Mini-travels, new science, and renewed excitement?  I'm all for it, though it was wonderful to be back in my own bed by Friday.  


My friends/colleagues took a short trip down to Santa Monica during one of our long time points this week (it's where the photo above was taken!).  We walked on the pier and beach, taking lots of pictures along the way.  While we were exploring under the pier, I spotted a pregnant couple and their family.  I love the concept of family and having never done a pregnancy shoot before, I asked them if I might take their picture and they said, "Yes!"  Here is my favorite photo from the day, possibly from all this year so far. 

On the technical side, I wish it had turned out sharper and I'd taken more care with the settings instead of rushing.  On the other hand, I think the moment and emotion are more important than taking a technically good photograph.  In any case, they liked the photos so much that they asked me to photograph the baby when it's born!

Afterwards, we went to grab dinner with Stout Burgers & Beer before heading back to lab.  All in all, it was a fantastic day.  We spent a lot of it talking and laughing until our sides hurt.  I'm definitely going to feel the void when my friend leaves the country. 


I logged a few hours at lab today and got lunch with my beach-mates/colleagues.  Afterwards, we purchased macarons at our favorite bakery for dessert.  Yes, macaron addiction and love still going strong.  Later in the evening, my boyfriend and I had a double date with one of couple friends.  Now, we're just relaxing before bed with the new season of Bojack Horseman.  I guess running around all the time is pretty tiring, even if it's fun!  I have quite a bit of science/application work to do tomorrow before heading off to a photo job.  Hope Monday will be productive! 

Here's to a new week!  Since I've missed so much, tell me about yours, leave me your links, or any tidbits I've overlooked in my absence.  Hope you all had a lovely week.  Talk soon, 'kay?