Friday, December 31, 2010

To HDR or Not to HDR?

I think this is my favorite one of the sunsets from last week.  The first one is just a little increased contrast in the post and some deeper blacks.  Then I figured, I need to see what it looks like in HDR (image 3).  And image two is just a composite of 1 and 3 -- a middle ground if you will.  In the end, image 1 is still my favorite, which makes me smile to know that HDR didn't win this one.

Oh, for those who don't know what HDR is, it stands for high dynamic range.  In short, it is a composite of three or more images of the same shot at different exposures (e.g. -1, 0, +1.  In other words, a little too dark, perfect, a little too light).  Then it compresses that greater range of light all into one image to get the effect you see above in image 3.

4 Months Later

Most of you probably don't care, but this is how my hair looks after 4 months without a haircut.  Just got back home today, a few hours ago.  Happy New Years everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I walked the 5 mins from my house to the Notre Dame (probably less than 5 mins, but I was going really slow) to find a line stretched out for a couple blocks.  But I could already see the sun starting to set.  SO I walked back, more quickly this time, and got up on my roof.  I spent the next hour or so up there.  Then it got a little cold...

The last one is my favorite.  The "stairs" in the bottom right corner is actually the tin roof of the corner of the building.  One amazing thing about Parisian sunsets is that because most of the buildings are roughly the same height except the monuments, at one point, the sun sets a warm glow on top of all the rooftops with nice shadows cascading as far as you can see.  And then of course there is nice Rembrandt lighting on the monuments.  I just couldn't move the camera off of Montparnasse though.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Only a few more days in Paris.  I'm wondering if my photographic paper and film will survive customs at the airport.  If its anything like last time, they'll just tell me to put everything through the x-ray anyways.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Between the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower

So with everyone gone, I've been soaking in Paris on my last few days.  I'm not really doing much, just kind of walking around and appreciating the beauty of the city.  These two pictures are opposite sides of my roof.  On the left side of the top picture is the Eiffel Tower, and center stage in the second picture is the Notre Dame.  It was really windy and really cold, and I was trying to shoot them at f32 which gave me a shutter speed of 1/60th, so sorry if they are a tad blurry.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

First I wanted to apologize for some absent posts.  I just don't have reliable internet anymore (Don't be too surprised if I miss a few more from now until the first week of January).  The picture above is my "entry" to the street photography giveaway.  Of course, I am not eligible to enter, and hence the use of the quotation marks :)  This is the best contest so far!  Great entries and thanks to all those who participated.  We'll start with honorable mention:

And the runner up:

It was a close one and unfortunately I could only choose one winner.  I think I'm just a sucker for awesome clouds... Merry Christmas Christopher Kosednar, hai-lights' Vernissage Celebration Giveaway winner!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

23rd of Dec

Here's one from the top of my roof a couple nights ago.  It was super foggy/cloudy.

Walking Around

As I mentioned yesterday, I shot and shipped my first and last roll of Kodachrome the other day.  Here was one of my digital shots to meter the light.  I amped up the contrast a ton in the post production.  Unfortunately though, I think by the time I took it on the Kodachrome, the clouds had moved in front of the sun...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Quick Recovery

Well, I'm already feeling better, but my pictures are getting worse... :/  Kaamna convinced me to go ice skating in front of Hotel de Ville yesterday.  I only fell once, but it was a hard fall.  I thought my knee was bleeding.  It isn't feeling great now... :)

I shot and shipped my first and last roll of Kodachrome 64 today.  Postage was only about 3 euros and development was about $15 in total after return-shipping, etc.  However, I just realized that its around the holidays and its almost certainly going to take more than a week (which is roughly the deadline for the last Kodachrome films to be developed) for a package from France to get to Kansas.

Lastly, the deadline for hai-lights' $35 Giveaway Vernissage Celebration: Snapshot Street Photography is in less than 4 days!  Submit before it is too late!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Suddenly became ill last night.  Nausea, fatigue, and chills.  :(

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Emptying Out Paris

The pictures above are compliments of Nikky Monttesclaros.  It tells our story of Versailles pretty well.  A lot of walking in perfectly diffused light and some touristy picture taking.  I finished my first 50ISO film sent to me by Davey Bendickson there.  Paris is starting to feel a little more empty as everyone is starting to go home.  I should probably start packing things up soonish myself... but that's no fun...  I'm hoping I can keep up the quality of photos to post for you guys now and when I get back tot the states.  Internet right now is really unreliable, so if I miss a couple days, that's why.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Parsons Paris

Well, before I say good bye to Parsons Paris, above are two pictures from today's trip to Versailles.  Maybe it was just the weather, but I think I prefer the grounds at Fountainbleu.  Versailles was just a little too constructed/too symmetrical for me.

After the vernissage yesterday, I must admit that I feel a little empty.  This entire term has been a gradual crescendo from my first roll of B&W film, to working with a make-up artist in the studio, to curating an exhibition.  And now its all over.  Regardless of my complaints, Parsons Paris has given me quite a lot.  Probably the most valuable thing is has given me is the confidence and determination to pursue a career in photography.  And more specifically, fine arts photography.  In my final critique, I was told I should look into using large format film for my low-light work to pick up finer shadow details.  I am still very much a novice in film but I suppose everyone, even André Kertész, had to start as a novice.

Finally, just a quick reminder, the $35 Snapshot giveaway is still going on and it is still anyone's game at this point.

Friday, December 17, 2010

17 Dec 2010

Here's a couple more from Berlin.

The show today went well in my opinion.  I had a great time giving tours of the gallery and talking about my work.  Everytime I give the tour and try to make my sentences just a little more percice, and each time I learn a little more or something becomes just slightly more clear.  It was nice to hear what everyone liked and how many people chose many different things about the series to comment on.  My guest book is filled with comments to sustain my inflated ego for a while longer.  Today is my last academic day at Parsons Paris.  Although I had my complaints, Parsons Paris has offered me so much.  I'll go into more details tomorrow.  Just finishing some final prints.

Oh.  The second edition of Kristian Kasi sold today making it my best selling picture to date :)

Already starting to miss Paris,

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I've been working on refining work that I already have so much that I don't have much new stuff to show.  Here are some from Berlin.  Oh, and a great start to the show today.  Sold two first editions:  Kristian Kasi and Sasha Swedlund.  One was to a teacher who appreciated the work and wanted to encourage me to continue.  The second was to a student who is also a mom.  I imagine she also wants to encourage me :)  And well, my ego is pretty inflated right now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Final Critiques

Although I have already finished all my final prints for B&W, I finally found time to look at my latest scans.  I'm quite pleased :)  HP5+ at 400ISO.  The first shot was on a particularly bright day, and the 2nd one is a 15 or 20 min exposure.

I have my final critiques today.  But first I have my last Motion Graphics class and then 3 more prints to print. Afterworlds, I get to set up for my vernissage.  Things are looking great!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


hai-lights invites all its viewers to the vernissage this Friday on the 17th of December, 2010.  I must say, this is a wonderful way to end my studies here at Parsons Paris.

Invitation designs by Kristian Kasi (the person in the first image).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vernissage Celebration: $35 Giveaway

In celebration of my first solo-exhibit vernissage in Paris, hai-lgihts is giving away $35!  I was looking at flat screen TV stands as a potential gift for a friend, but when you search CSN Stores on the web, you'll find over 200+ stores where this $35 can be used.  They sell everything.  Just everything.

To enter, submit up to 3 snapshot street photography images to before Christmas, December 25th.  All mediums and all form of post processing qualify.  The winning photograph will be chosen based on first impression, technical details, and overall creativity.  Good luck!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The first picture is the portrait that's gets printed really really small on cheap paper for the brochure.  Just a quick 3 min shoot in the studio with help from Michas Vanni.  The second picture is Kaamna Patel, whose picture is from my CLEAROBSCURE series, and is probably one of my favorites.

Artist Statement for CLEAROBSCURE:

For me, art is one of many ways of thinking, and my thoughts are always reflected in my works.  There are the conscious elements I have put in my art, but there are also elements waiting to be realized.  I try to bring my thoughts to a stopping point, but I know there is never a true end.
            I wrestle with the possible answers that pass through my mind, all of which I understand can be proven otherwise; similarly, I wrestle with everything that I can and cannot control in every photograph.  Photography embodies the struggles of thought and expresses it in the same relative manner. 
            In an endless search for conclusions, answers are merely fragments of thoughts fitted together.    Although each person and place is intentionally selected, the individual photographs are of an atmosphere, and altogether CLEAROBSCURE is a thought process.
            Every crafted image is the potential for growth and self-discovery.  Not only is it a means for me to articulate my thoughts to others, but to myself as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Solo Exhibit? Me?

Well, let me first clarify by saying these three pictures above has nothing to do with the title of this post.  They've been sitting in my to-be-posted folder for a long while now, and I figured its time to post them :)

This morning in my 8:30 Market Place for Art and Design class, I was offered a solo exhibition in Parsons Paris.  I accepted of course.  Its officially being called an introspective.  The work on display is my Atmospheres for Emotions series (just finished shooting it today), which has evolved and morphed at many levels.  The title is now Clearobscure.  More to come as things become finalized.

10 Dec 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Day at Parsons

I figured I was due for some more film scans.  Here's some Kodak Porta VC shots for a little while ago.  Just some street photography.  I haven't built the confidence with film to shoot studio with it yet.  ...also not having auto focus is annoying and, for me, slow...

I just realized I saved a psd file when I down-rez'ed (lowered the resolution for online use) ... so now I have to redo the post processing on it.  :/