Started 4 years ago (2015-06-08T11:00:00Z).
Ended 3 years ago (2016-06-10T11:00:00Z).

Take and upload at least one picture per week.

Recent submissions (26 total)

Didn't get enough time to edit all the pictures this week. So, I'm going to cheat and upload one from two weeks ago. I took this around Lake Merritt during the evening.

  • 1/3200
  • f/8
  • ISO100
  • 18mm

Shot with my Sony RX100 & lots of post Lightroom shadow noise reductions.

  • 10.4mm
  • 1/30s
  • f1.8
  • ISO 250

This is an HDR shot composed three different exposures using auto-bracketing. I just happened to walk into this beautiful sunset on Thursday night. :) I've been experimenting with Lightroom's HDR photo merge feature. Here are some random tidbits I find useful when taking HDR pictures:

  • bracket your shots at 1.5-2 stops; this ensures that your camera captures most of the dynamic range you'll need.
  • if you use auto-bracketing, put you camera on high-burst mode so your camera can take all the exposures in one push of the button; this minimizes the delay between shots and, therefore, minimizes ghosting.
  • when using Lightroom's HDR merge, skip the auto-tone checkbox. It's much better to tweak the shadows and highlights yourself. You can still use the auto-tone feature by clicking the "auto" button under the "basic" Develop module.
  • you also don't need deghosting if you shot with a tripod as it tends to introduce weird artifacts.
  • if you're using Lightroom, group your different exposures into one "stack"; this makes managing different HDR pictures much easier.
  • HDR pictures are especially great if you want to shoot into a backlit subject but still want to capture all highlights and shadows.

Lightroom's HDR merge is really one of the simplest HDR tools out there. I personally don't prefer over-processed HDR images. I like HDR pictures with a more "natural" look. With Lightroom's HDR tool, it simply extends the dynamic range of my picture and gives me a lot more room to play with the shadows and highlights. It's easy to use and works great with my workflow.

Waited at Kerry Park in Seattle for a chance to get a shot of their skyline. We lucked out since it's not too common to have such a clear day like this where you can see Mt. Rainier in the back. The most difficult part about this shot was that I didn't bring a tripod on the trip so I had to freehand this with a slow shutter speed.

ISO 1600




Continuing on street photography journey this week. I was using my Rokinon 85mm manual lens. It was definitely a challenge to nail focus with this lens especially shooting at f/1.4. It's still a learning process for me.

My first 4th of July in Tahoe! I had a great time shooting the fireworks and playing with sparklers. : ) Realized the lake is drying up though with the long rocky beach at Commons, that used to be under water. : (

Fireworks: Lens: EF-S18 -135mm | 1.0 sec; f/3.5; ISO 200

Sparkelers: Lens: EF-S18 -135mm | 2.3 sec; f/3.5; ISO 200

Sry, couldn't resist posting some of my favorites.

Wanted to shoot some street photography with my kit lens this week but didn't end up getting too many shots. This picture was taken on my way home at the Montgomery BART station.

  • Canon 70D
  • EF-S18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens
  • 18mm
  • f/3.5
  • ISO 250
  • 1/25 sec

there was this little island covered in trees, and some light coming through the clouds making a spot of ocean glow. i zoomed in on it and hit the shutter. changed the white balance to 'cloudy' in lightroom since i heard if your pics are too blue everyone can tell you're an amateur. i also cropped it a bit, as i tend to do.

how do i late submit this for week 4 though?

This secret tunnel connecting BART to Montgomery 44 was a much talked about subject this week at work. I figured I'd check it out myself. I had already seen some pictures of the tunnel on Flickr, so I had an idea of the types of pictures that I could shoot. This picture captured the mood I wanted to show for the tunnel. It has been edited quite a bit in Lightroom to achieve its look. Before I shot this picture, I tried to visualize the look I'd like it to have after editing. For better or worse, digital editing has definitely change how I approach a picture in-camera.

  • Canon 70D
  • Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 dc hsm
  • 19mm
  • f1.8
  • 1/40
  • ISO 250

Happened to be around the ballpark when the skies turned pink so I pulled out the trusty iPhone 6 and took this shot. No filter/editing.

This is my favorite shot of the week. I took it during an evening around my neighborhood. It was a combined shot of two 30-second consecutive shots using my Canon 70D's in-camera multiple-exposure. The Canon 70D has a slowest shutter speed of 30s without going into bulb mode. By using an averaged double-exposure, I was able to captured an 1 minute exposure without the need of going into bulb mode with a remote or using an ND-filter. This longer exposure allowed me to capture the movement of the clouds as well as couple of cars driving by. These elements made an otherwise boring picture a bit more dramatic.

  • Canon 70D
  • Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 dc hsm
  • 18mm
  • f/16
  • 30s

Went home to LA last weekend. I grew up right next to Runyon Canyon, a park with awesome hiking and views

Unfortunately its only really clear in LA after it rains, but this pic of downtown attempts to show LA's smog.

I camped at kirby cove two weeks ago...its heaven for wannabe photographers like me. Theres nothing particularly fancy about the technique in this pic, but i thought it captured a cool moment / scene so here it is.

edit: i'm gonna cheat and upload a few more pics i liked

This week I set out to learn about double-exposures. The picture was taken using in my Canon 70D's in-camera double-exposure mode and edited in Lightroom. Finding interesting silhouette and background to combine was definitely a challenge. I'll need a lot more practice with this technique. For now, this is the best picture I got for this week.

If you're interested in learning more about this technique, check out these videos:

Stumbled upon the Tiburon Classic Car Show after a hike this weekend and this Ferrari race car caught my attention.

ISO 100




I don't have anything exciting to share this week, but awhile back I got the opportunity to shoot with Joe Azure, an incredible bay area landscape photographer. We met up with the entire Smug Mug crew at Kirby Cove to shoot the sunrise. It was 5:30am and it started to rain for about 30mins, we were all standing on the beach in the dark scrounging to find waterproof bags to protect our cameras. After the rain stopped and the clouds started to separate, we knew that we may have all the right ingredients for a beautiful sunrise. Sure enough the purples and pinks appeared in the sky and we all started firing our remote shutter release cables. This picture was taken with a 17-40mm lens, at a 2 minute exposure, and I made a few lighting adjustments in photoshop.

I'm thinking about going back there this weekend to do another early morning shoot, that is if I can convince my fiancé to walk in the dark with me down the mountain at 5am! ; )

Taken at Dolores Park during the 2015 Bubble Battle in the Park.

  • D5100
  • 70-300mm
  • ISO 400
  • 280mm
  • f/5.6
  • 1/1000
  • processed in lightroom

This week I wanted to emphasize on "filling the frame". My unofficial theme was composition simplification through magnification. You can find my weekly progress here. All the shots were taken on a 55-250mm macro lens. Even though I tried to focus mostly on abstract compositions, I couldn't stop myself from snapping a few street shots here and there...

Of all the pictures, the one below was my personal favorite this week. Our office has always had a very nice sunset. As I was walking out of the office this particular day, I spotted the Sun setting behind a tall building, creating a glowing backdrop. I took a few sample shots through the window. They looked amazing. I quickly ran out of the office to look for a better angle. Few minutes later, this picture was taken. I was lucky enough to have caught the sunlight peeking through the building. It's the reason I picked this photo as my picture of the week.

My eye was caught this morning by the ceiling in the Asby BART station. I like how the inconsistency of the lights interferes with / conflicts with the regularity of the ribs, making the uniqueness of each stand out more.

I'm tempted to tweak the framing by cropping it a bit, and I may play with the color treatment as well before considering it 'final', plus I'm curious to see if it's actually as sharp as it looks since I hand held it at 1/6 sec. But in the interest of the streak, I'm posting it raw!

But I'm glad that I actually carried my camera this morning and chose to whip it out even though I then had to scramble to make the train :-)

Canon S110, manual mode, ISO 80, F5.6, 1/6sec (handheld!)

I went on a hike on Mt. Tam this weekend. Don't remember the name of the trail, but caught a few awesome bay views, including this one of San Quentin State Prison and Richmond Bridge.

I've been having a lot of fun playing with bokeh, for this shot i wanted the trees sharp and the background blurred. I cropped the pic so that only a bit of the trees are in the shot, and san quentin is more prominent. I also raised the saturation a tiny bit to make the trees greener and the background bluer. I wish I had gotten the trees in the foreground a bit sharper.

The photo was taken with a sony a6000, with the 16-50mm kit lens. I don't remember the settings at the moment, but but I was shooting with a small f-stop

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