Christmas Lady

This picture was taken a day or two before Christmas 2016 inside a Right Aid.

I forgot what I went into the store for, but as soon as I saw this lady, I knew I had to get a picture because of her shawl and hat. I walked passed her as I got my phone ready to snap off a few pictures and then circled back again.

I took a few pictured of her smiling and then, all of a sudden, she turns around and I snapped away. It was not until I got home and looked at the pictures that I realized I got her unintentionally scowling!

What does one shop for in a pharmacy the day before Christmas?

The King Eddy 2017

I had spent a few minutes trying to get some good pictures of the signs on the outside of this saloon. I was not happy with any of them, so I moved on. As I was about to cross the street, I turned and snapped a few pictures and this was the result.

I ended up using the iOS app *Retouch* to remove the man with the green shirt. I did a terrible job removing the guy in the green shirt — notice the weirdness of the old man, “King Eddy”, and his right arm.

I really like the sense of confidence this man exudes. Also like that I was able to get both feet and the cane on the ground. This adds a sense of frozen motion and somehow a feeling that this man is deliberately walking this way, with purpose.

An Inside Look: The Color Changing Pink Wall in DTLA

I actually like both of these pictures. This is from the famous Pink Wall in Los Angeles at the Paul Smith store.

I of course wanted to get some pictures of this building because of the giant, all pink wall. It’s basically on every Los Angeles photographer’s (or aspiring model) todo list.

While the giant pink wall is undoubtedly cool, I was more interested in the people who go there to take pictures of themselves.

I was able to capture that with the girl in the center of the picture taking a selfie! I also like how the guy is looking at his phone, perhaps looking at his selfies or getting ready to post it somewhere. The last girl seems to be rolling her eyes at the selfish idiocy of it all — her hand resting on her hips gives me this thought.

I do like the color version of this picture, but the black and white version seems to go beyond the trendy into more of a statement piece. It feels more powerful.

An Inside Look: An LA Story 2017

I’m driving to Downtown Los Angeles one typical May Grey morning, excited to roam wherever the pictures take me.

After exiting the freeway and crossing the Fourth St Bridge, I could see this mural approaching. I fumble around for my phone and blindly open the stock camera app in hopes of getting a picture of the mural.

As I drove closer, I glanced in my rear view mirror to see if there were any cars behind me so I could slow down to get a better picture.

Four cars behind me and three in the lane to my right unnecessarily increased my speed and urgency!

I reach across my chest and grab my phone with my left hand, ducking it under my right arm and hand holding the steaming wheel.

Just after I clear my left hand past my right arm, there is all of a sudden tension, then the phone flies out of my hand.

Luckily, my window was rolled up!

I grab my phone and push the button to roll the window down. I compose my shot as best I can driving 54 miles an hour (I can’t drive 55, like Sammy Hagar).

I snap off three or four shots with my thumb not knowing if I got anything good.

An hour or so later, while eating a yummy Big Dipper from Cole’s, I look and see that three shots are in focus. The second shot was the keeper!

I am a bit annoyed that the mural is not perfectly centered. However, as an English teacher, I am certain I can come up with some sort of symbolism.

I later put the picture into Hipstamatic’s wonderful Tintype app. I tend to use that app with murals and street art.

An Inside Look: Lady DTLA 2017

I almost do not even remember taking this picture! I do know I was in the Downtown Los Angeles Toy District.

I sat on this picture for awile because I knew it could be a great picture, I just did not know how I would edit it to bring out its potential.

The original picture was i color but I ended up putting the picture into the wonderful black and white iOS app Noir and once I dialed in the settings, I knew I had something.

It does seem to me that when looking at a thumbnail of the image, the highlight around her face seems more dramatic, halo like. However, when I look at he picture at its “normal” size, it seems fine.

Very proud that this image was selected by the editors of the JJ Westcoast community to be featured on their Instagram feed.

An Inside Look: Geisha DTLA 2017

There is a striking piece of art on the side of a random building in downtown Los Angeles. I had seen this piece of art the last three times I went to DTLA and had always wanted to do something with it. This time, I decided to “work the scene” and find some way to capture this art and do it justice in a picture.

The original is in color and simply perfect in form an execution. I felt I would be copying the artist if I posted a color picture without adding anything new or interesting.

So I ended up doing some editing in Hipstamatic and converted the image to a D-Type Plate and Tinto 1884 Lens to give it an aged look. Then I added some blur to the edges to drive the viewers eye to the lady’s eyes.

An Inside Look: Hailing a Bus DTLA 2017

I saw this man from across the street waiting at the bus stop. As I ran across the cross walk, the scene seemed to slowly set itself up for me: Bus coming down the street a block away; the man slowly standing up, getting his balance as the bus moves closer. After passing him, I turn around and take one or two pictures.

Then I see him raise his arm to hail the bus.

A few more pictures.

I did not notice until I was home the “Maui” on his hat and that the right side of his face is just barely lit. I am also very happy that there were no other cars passing by.

I did no editing on this shot. This is how it came into the camera.

An Inside Look: District Track Finals 2017

I took this picture at the 2017 AUHSD District Track Finals. I was crossing the track and realized I needed a cool picture of the track (I already had many of students)…As I was taking the picture, I noticed the lane lines coming through the small space between each hurdle. I snapped off a few pictures focusing on centering the lane line.

I really liked all the leading lines and angles.

The picture was originally in color, but I put it into the amazing black and white app Noir and was able to fine tune everything.

I then had to put it into SKRWT to straighten the horizon line.

My wife really liked this edit and I did, too. However, It felt like it was missing something. So I put it into Hipstamatic’s *Tintype* app and simply fell in love with it! I love the blurry, dreamy quality in the distance. It feels like a more powerful picture.

My wife and everyone else I showed the picture to liked the first edit more than this last one.

I ended up posting the first edit.

An Inside Look: The Broad


I live 45 minutes away from Downtown Los Angeles and love going there to take pictures whenever I am not teaching. 

I always stop at the Walt Disney Concert Hall snap a few photos of that incredible building. 

Next door is The Broad Museum and it is equally stunning. I have tried taking photos of this building in the past, but they always turned out just like every other photo of the building on Instagram. 

Wanting to take a different type of photo of The Broad, I looked up and took a few photos. 
The original photo was in color and taken with my iPhone 6. 

I used SKRWT to fine tune the top of the building, making it straight. 

Then I used the wonderful black and white app Noir to convert it to black and white. 

Finally I put it into Snapseed to adjust the contrast which made the black get darker. To further highlight the darkness, I added some vignetting.