Tag Archives: portrait

Ramming speed


Our tabby cat, Monica, was trying to get into the bedroom through a door that was slightly open. (Thick carpet, so it’s difficult to move the door.)

She kept pushing her head through the door opening. Arms flailing. Pondering.

Finally, she shoved her way through like a battering ram.

It was like watching a butterfly break out of its cocoon.

The second time was less eventful. I would reference a clip from The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In scenes where the, um, young protagonists (heroes) would morph into Power Rangers, the shot has them jumping from an invisible platform and onto the ground.

With enthusiasm.

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One year of marriage

Me, Amy, and a couple macaws

Amy and I have been married for one year, two months, and 26 days. It’s been amazing to share our lives together, and we’ve learned so much about ourselves.

Our big goal is to get out of debt. We continue to have fun budgeting once a week — it’s really fun! At the current rate we’re putting towards debt, we’ll be debt–free in just under nine months from now. Incredible! It’ll be excellent to reach Baby Step 3 with the Total Money Makeover.

I’m looking forward to many more years with my sweetheart!

(Photo taken at Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.)

Close portrait with an iPhone? Try a panorama!

Gail and Amy

While enjoying breakfast at Peach Cafe with Amy and my mother–in–law, Amy wanted a photo in front of the large heart artwork on the wall.

But, a few problems:

  1. I was four feet away from the artwork. How could I get it and them in the frame?
  2. The restaurant was full, so I wasn’t going to stand up and take a few steps back.
  3. I only had my iPhone, not a DSLR with a wide angle lens.

Solution: Use the panorama feature in iOS 6!

If you haven’t used it in the default Camera app:

  1. Tap Options at the top.
  2. Tap Panorama.

With my iPhone in landscape mode, I tapped the arrow so I’d start taking the photo at the bottom, then asked them to sit still for a few seconds before I pressed the shutter button and panned up.

Note: You don’t need to get to the very end of the “route” when panning to capture the panorama. Just press the shutter after you’ve captured everything you need.

I started the panorama at the bottom of the frame to minimize any movement from them in the final image.

When I processed the photo in Lightroom, another bonus was that the aspect ratio was super close to 3:2. This means we can print a 4“ x 6” photo with minimal cropping.

Most importantly, they loved it! :)

P.S. Props to Ryan Brenizer for the idea, which he uses regularly with the Brenizer Method, who was just named American Photo’s Top 10 World’s Best Wedding Photographers for 2013. Congrats!

I’m a zombie! Thanks to my lovely wife, Amy, for this awesome makeup job after watching several makeup videos. It consisted of glue, bathroom tissue (a.k.a. toilet paper), fake black grease, and fake blood. Time to apply: about 25 minutes, including pointing a blow dryer (warm, not hot) to my face for ten minutes.

This was also her first time applying this kind of makeup. How cool is that?

Despite the rough lighting that makes me appear sinister, I really liked this photo that Amy took of me a couple of months ago. I did my best adjusting the white balance, then I realized it doesn’t matter that much.

Fuku Burger

Amy and I drove to Hollywood for dinner at Fuku Burger last week. I had a Tamago (egg) burger, Amy had the same with the falafel patty (no meat), and we split the garlic fries.

We both thought it was extremely tasty.

On a side note, the waiter called me “Mr. Fancy” since I ordered a glass of Merlot. (Why Merlot? It was a change of pace from beer, plus it was on my mind because of “The Yada Yada” Seinfeld episode.)

I thought the restaurant wallpaper combined with a cool Camera+ filter would work well here, so say “hi” to Amy! :)

James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011

James Huff at WordCamp LA 2011

For the first time in five or six years, I finally met James Huff in person at WordCamp LA. I’ve known him for about seven years. In addition to being a talented musician and all-around helpful guy, he’s a Happiness Engineer with Automattic.

Since his Gravatar is from his wedding three years ago, I demanded politely asked for a portrait. ;)

Thanks for the good times, James!

Edit: Thanks, Amy, for suggesting that I reword my post. To clarify, this was my first time meeting James.

Meet Brian

Meet Brian

The first day I went into Downtown Philadelphia, I waited at the airport for the SEPTA train to Market East Station.

An older man walked up the steps, onto the platform, and asked if this train would be going into town. I assured him it would, but not before warning him that I wasn’t a local.

Apparently, he’s lived here most of his life, but hasn’t used the public transportation system.

For the next hour, we chatted Brian told me his life story.

At six years old, Brian and his parents got into a huge car accident. His mother was 33. His father, Bernie, was a captain in the Philadelphia Police Department.

Sadly, his mother lost both of her legs from that accident. He remembered the firefighters trying to pull him out and being confused, unable to compute that his mother’s legs were being amputated within the wreckage.

Both parents recently died at 90 years old.

Brian’s eyes welled up with tears. There was so much pain. There wasn’t anything I could say. He took a breath, apologized, and continued.

Brian theorized that he was probably bipolar after that accident.

For forty years, he was an alcoholic until a horrific vision snapped him out of it. Two feathers are in his wallet as a reminder, and he’s been clean for 18 months.

During Brian’s alcoholism, he had a three-year relationship with a girlfriend, then married her for six years. They had a son and grandson. Sadly, they got divorced because “she wanted to stop partying and he didn’t.” (He hasn’t seen his son or grandson in years. Sad.)

Brian is good with numbers, so he was an electrician for a long time. Now, at 57 years old, he’s trying to get his commercial driver license (CDL) in Philadelphia to be a trucker.

Brian currently lives in Las Vegas, but plans to move to San Diego, CA. He still has two sisters, but I can’t recall if he mentioned where they live.

As Brian spoke, he was calm, peaceful, and positive on life. I was overwhelmed with emotion.

Compared to him, I can’t complain. I was heading on an epic journey around Philadelphia, with my camera, lenses, and Twitter to keep me company.

As quick as the conversation started, he arrived at his station, shook my hand, smiled, and said goodbye.

Good luck, Brian.

Note: If you’re wondering, I took his photo before we boarded the train. I wasn’t sure if he’d keep talking to me, but he did.

View photo on Flickr