Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 4

Sitting at Starbucks with a medium black coffee. Slowing decreasing my caffeine intake cause I'm pretty sure I'm addicted. Mom says we can leave Thursday. Also, one of my cousins in Vietnam just asked for a Nintendo DS. (That means I have to spend another couple hundred here to buy it as a gift for her.) But I'm happy to do so I guess :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 3

Day 3 in Ohio. Checked out the Air Force Museum. Wasn't that cool. What's left to do here for days 4, 5, 6 and 7?

The first picture is a portrait of the Vivian girls. You might remember them from this post. The second picture is JoeG's eyes. We were just sitting at Caribou sometime last week and I was playing around with my cameras. You can seem me behind my lens in his pupil!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 2 in Ohio

So I think my mom is pretty determined to stay a whole week. I have no idea what I'm going to do for a week in Ohio. I paid $25 for movie tickets for Richard and I to go to The Green Lantern in 3D. Richard's mom raised me since I was little, and I was around when Richard was first born, so its a pretty cool relationship. I might try to get Richard to jog with me today. He never goes for runs and I have a partially torn PCL, so it should probably even out. If anyone has suggestions for what to do in Ohio, let me know!

The picture above is by Tam Bui. It might remind you of this earlier post.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Just made it to the hotel. 13 hours on the road, I drove for 8 of it. Time for bed.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Off to Ohio

Well, first my mom said we were leaving a couple weeks ago, then she said last night, then this morning, now this afternoon. Whatever the case is, I'm pretty sure I'm leaving by tonight -- a long drive to Ohio where my brother lives.

Friday, June 24, 2011


So I still don't really know how to use my new medium format camera, and I'm too afraid to waste film to just learn by trial and error. It's like $4 per roll and $9 to develop...

You might have already seen these images below, but they were retouched and I wanted to share them (again)! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Packing for VN

Well. Both my parents are one of 10 siblings, most of whom are married with between 3-5 kids. That's a lot of cousins for whom to buy gifts. I'm only packing enough close for about 10 days, swimming trunks, and one formal outfit. I'm probably forgetting something, but the rest of the space is for gifts and camera equipment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This is a one light set-up. Just a single flood light that I diffused by bouncing it off the gold side of my reflector, positioned low camera left.

I've spent the day cleaning and fixing studio equipment I've found in that bulk purchase I mentioned yesterday.  I already put some of it on ebay.

Arb Burn

I think I must have forgotten about these Arb Burn pics! Many more to come.

One another note, over half the grant was already spent on air-fare and transportation. Good thing the cost of living is low in Vietnam because I just spent over a fifth of my grant today on photography equipment. I'm hoping to resell a lot of it -- stuff I probably won't use within the next 5 years of my life. I essentially purchased everything in a retired photographer's studio, including their medium format camera. So now I have backdrops (and all the studio equipment that comes with it), extra medium format cameras (Bronica sq-a and sq-ai with 120 film backs and a 150mm f3.5 lens) and some vivitar lights for sale! Let me know if your interested!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


After a few hours of sleep and my last night as Class Host of Carleton's Class of 2006, I came home and prepared for some portraits of ballet dancers. I came into it knowing I wouldn't have access to strobes and was a little nervous. I almost talked myself out of even showing up. I knew there would be other photographers there all with their own lighting equipment. All I have is light reflector and no assistant.

When I showed up, I took a while to find my set, figured out the lighting (e.g. lamps, windows, open doors), carefully propped the set, and was then told they were not looking for these artsy types of shots and that I had found a room we weren't allowed in. After that, I think I just started to feel intimated by the other photographers with their lights and this demand for a fast-pace shoot. I had learned to slow myself down in Paris, but I guess in commercial photography, clients believe lots of photos is an efficient use of time. Paris taught me to shoot for the image, not just to shoot images. I wished they had just given me more benefit of the doubt and respected my workflow (like Carleton does!), but upon reflection, I didn't go in confident, I didn't act confident, I didn't sound confident, and I didn't voice anything I mentioned in the post.

Long story short, I didn't believe I was the best photographer in that room. It doesn't need to be true, but to some degree, you have to believe your the best to produce the greatest results for yourself.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 3 of Reunion Weekend

About 7 hours after Class of 2006 finishes 6 kegs, 10 bottles of wine, a golf-cart full of bottles and cans of beer, and glasses of dinner wine, they line up in the Bald Spot at 9:45am for the Class Parade. There were some stolen kegs and stolen taps last night, but everything was returned by this morning along with a permeating stench of stale beer.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Class Host: 2006

Here's the other ant pictures (the ones I thought weren't quite as good as in this post). So today was my first day as class host of Carleton 2006. Being a class host is a lot more work than I thought it would be, so far anyways. But I can already tell how fun its going to be! An alumnus requested beirut (i.e. beer pong) supplies, so I called my manager. My manager called someone else and within the hour we have 500 solo cups and 30 ping-pong balls. 

Back to Nofo

I picked up my knee brace today from Northfield. It's pretty intense and seems troublesome to wear it whenever I do anything active. I also got my hands on a Kiev 6C medium format camera. Unfortunately the lens doesn't work -- the aperture blades don't move. I guess that means I have a 80mm medium format lens stuck at f2.8 with some scratches on the glass itself. I'm supposedly getting a refund, but I'll lose the $18 shipping and handling fee.

Oh, and I'm staying in Northfield for reunion weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Here are some of the ants' neighbors and friends. Headed back up to Carleton tomorrow night for Reunion weekend 2011. I'm hosting class of 2006!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Backyard Pets

I locked myself out of my house a couple days ago. Luckily I had my camera so I was able to kill some time. Here's the result of spending 2 hours in my back yard.

Knee update: I tried jogging yesterday and it hurt... Tried again today and its feeling much better. I can't take full strides yet, but I'll start jogging again every day till Vietnam at least.

SLP Water Tower

You can see more stars if you click the picture to enlarge it!

The 4th of July is about 3 weeks away. The last two years I've been trying to get one of my friends to climb a water tower with me to watch fireworks. No one has followed through yet, but another year is another chance. ...maybe...

Sunday, June 12, 2011


JoeG, an aspiring writer and son of two English teachers.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

City of Lights

Okay, so this has nothing to do with Paris or New York, but it did remind me of KKasi's City of Lights project. ...Except I don't remember any parking ramps in Paris. They were all underground. The first picture is more realistic -- almost straight from the camera. I just increased blacks and contrast a tad bit. The second is hyper processed. I guess because it reminded my of a series of painting, I made it more paint-like.

Friday, June 10, 2011


One of my friends, Tam, got 4th at Nationals this year in figure skating. He's partially sponsored, but needs some more funds to go to compete in Nationals again next year. He asked if I could help out on his fundraising plans. This picture isn't directly related, but his fund raising does include a series of portraits of Asian men. Tam Bui took this photo in ambient light in one of the new science buildings at the U of Minnesota.

Oh, and I own neither an iphone nor Beats by Dre headphones. I do however own white jeans.. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Two of my aunts (both of whom are my father's older sisters) came to visit me today bringing bags and bags of home-made Vietnamese food. The night before, I was sharing with my mom that a while back when a couple of my friends were over and my parents were talking in the living room in Vietnamese, my friends thought they were arguing. But then my friends realized my parents just talk really loud when there were suddenly bursts of laughter. I hadn't seen my aunts in a while and they caught me up on much of what had been going on in the extended family. Well, a very small fraction of the very large extended family -- both my parents were one of ten siblings. They told me in a very loud manner (. . . it was a little overwhelming) :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Better View

(1) View from the hotel window + (2) View from an outlook on the Rockies = (3) Better view from the hotel window

Back in Saint Louis Park for a few days, feeling as out of shape as I was by the end of my Paris trip. Just haven't really been moving since the second knee injury and haven't been eating the best during finals either. The knee is still swollen. That or its swelling up from my walking around campus. Still waiting on the insurance company to see if they'll insure my $500 PCL knee brace.

I've still been trolling ebay for medium format cameras. But the more I think about it, the more I realize I don't really need one (although it would be nice to have.) Professor John Schott recommended I get the Pentax 645D. Unfortunately I think it's about $9,200 out of my price range.

Avi Fine

Well, through a series of missed calls, naps, and can-we-wait-till-I-finish-this-movie between Avi and I, we finally got out onto the bald spot right at about sunset. Idk why, but other people who also use the school's D3 shoots on jpeg. I never shoot on jpeg. I just leave it on RAW and so I never check. In short, I accidentally shot this on jpeg, so good thing I got it all right in-camera :)

I probably shout have stuck with the 1-light set-up (top picture). There's a little too much in the bottom one. (I didn't think the light would spill so much bare bulb.

Right now its 2:45am and I'm about half way done packing ... although I've only spent about 2 hours packing. Most of it is just doing laundry...

Monday, June 6, 2011

And I'm Done.

Sent in my last paper about an hour ago. I'm done for the school year! :)
I guess now I should start looking into grad schools...