Friday, February 24, 2012

Joy Ride

I decided to take my motorcycle out to the roads and highways that go through the outer edge of the Angeles National Forest.  There's lots of scenic stops along the way.  I thought I might share a couple quick snapshots.  Nothing serious; I've got no intention of entering the California mountain photography genre.

It's the roads themselves that are really cool.  
There's some beautiful scenery and racing around it really reminds you how big the world is. 

It could be nerve-wrecking at times .  I've become fairly comfortable on my bike now.  Heights, however, still freak me out.  It seems like a pretty rational fear when some of these curvy roads are on the edge of a gigantic drop.  You want to admire the view, but there's the immediate danger of taking a turn wrong on a constantly twisting road.  That said, I'm sure it's a great ride to be a passenger for, if you trust the driver.

It took roughly 30-45 minutes to get loop through the mountains.  In that time there were some cars in the opposite side of the road but never behind or in front of me.  I had it all to myself to go as fast or as slow as I wanted.

This is turning into a photo blog but it's not my intention.  I do have some other stuff in the works, but more on that another time.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Ever since I was 14 I had been going to school full time and working part time or visa-verse.  A whole decade!  Now I'm in the working world and it's a lot different than I thought it would be.  I found myself wondering, "Why didn't anybody tell me about this?  Why aren't there more movies focused on this turning point?"  You'd think it would have enough of an impact to inspire someone to want to touch on.  Then I remembered The Graduate (while floating in a pool, all by myself, no less).  Cue Simon and Garfunkel...

I first saw that movie when I was about 20 and I didn't get all the hype.  Years later I was re-living the 1st act (excluding the Mrs. Robinson equivalent).  I'd spent all my time studying and working towards something... then I got there and the world just opened up in all directions.  It's the opposite of a dead end.  Where to next?

After school, so long as you do your job and cover your living expenses, there is nothing else required of you.  It's a scary thought. If I wanted to sit around in my underwear, eat cereal, and watch cartoons all evening when I get home from work, there is absolutely nothing stopping me.

I feel The Graduate captures the dilemma really well.  That's right, the cereal/underwear/cartoon dilemma.  I would argue the graduate's lack of direction being remedied by a love interest is a bit of a cop-out.  "Surely, there's plenty of other thing to life than finding that other person" I told my single self.  You might be asking what this has to do with cooking.  Well, it's one of my alternatives to the love story fix-all solution.

I'm living on a budget and I have a lot of time, so learning to cook seemed like an appropriate choice.  Here's a few things the most recent additions to my food repertoire that turned out well.  That is, they were pleasing to the eye, and my belly.

Pancakes: Surprisingly easy to make from scratch, and inexplicably better tasting than the mixes

Pizza: Very easy to experiment and improvise.  For some reason, simpler to mix than the pancakes.

Also it gives me another thing to put hot sauce and ranch on.

Food photography has been a topic of conversation at work lately.  These photos are far from great food photography, but it is getting me to analyze the image differently and form better habits.

A majority of the other food I make isn't photographed because it still looks like the globs of food Calvin was forced to eat in Calvin and Hobbes.  Hopefully I will have better food, and photography of said food in the months to come.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Avner and Stevie

At Ringling it seems your film becomes your identity.  I imagine it works similarly in other film/animation-based art school programs.  Frequently, when talking about graduates, someone would ask, "Wait, who was that?" and you'd get, "You know, they made [such-n-such] film," and that would suffice.   Now that I'm in the industry people will often tell me about someone they work with and supplement their story with, "You know that short with the [noun] that [verb]s?  That was them!"

We put so much of ourselves into our films.  I wanted to show that by having everyone in my class reenact a fragment of their thesis.  I called it The Visual Credits and we played it at the senior show last year.    If you're friends with me on facebook you can watch the 3 minute clip-show in my videos, but for the sake of my classmates privacy I'm not sharing it here.

What I did want to share is a photo shoot I did with my two friends, Avner and Stevie after filming their segment for The Visual Credits.  I will assume you have given your eyeballs the privilage of seeing their senior thesis, Defective Detective

Well, here's the two behind it:

And a little behind-the-scenes Stevie snapped of yours truly.  In case you were wondering where that red light on Avner was coming from, if you look closely behind me...

Of course, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't share this gem of Stevie?  :}

It's hard for me refrain from getting sentimental and sharing more about these two.  They were amongst my closest friends at Ringling.  We were often classmates, and they were constantly setting the bar higher than I'd ever seen it before.  We were first-hand witnesses to each others struggles and triumphs throughout college- both of which were frequent, substantial and numerous.  When you wonder if someone understands you better than you understand yourself, that's when you know you've got a real friend.  It's a rare thing for me, at least, and that's why I feel so privileged to know Avner and Stevie.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Old Photography Assignments

I took a two photography classes while I was at Ringling and I must say they had quite the impact on me. A majority of the lighting knowledge that I use at work I owe to getting away from the computer and going hands on with a camera (and maybe some strobe lights too).

I took some pictures that I'm pretty happy with as well, however, for whatever reason, they slipped through the cracks of this blog.  So I decided to dig into the archives and share some of my old assignments.

My sophomore year, advertising and still life class:

This was taken in class with the assistance of Athena Torri.
It was a great opportunity to work with such a talented photographer.

For the final I chose to arrange and photograph still lives in the style of renaissance paintings

A few from my location lighting class, my senior year:

And lastly a couple of my friend Curtis, for whom a bad photo does not exist:

The class was my first time dabbling in portraiture.  I really enjoy it and I know I have a lot of room to grow.  In the future I hope to find more opportunities to work with very photogenic people.