Week 52/52 The End


......and I am finished.
This project has been pretty fun. The challenging part of it was knowing that I had a week to come up with ideas, so I couldn't slack off nor complain that I didn't have time to come up with something cool. I hope you enjoyed my project! Thank you to those who followed me the whole way through. :)

For now, I have self-portraited myself to death. Can't wait to take a break!

What the dentist said to me

The other day, I went to my new dentist for the first time. Before he scraped at my teeth and gums while I sat there in silent agony, he asked me a few questions to get to know me. He asked me, "So what are you majoring in?" When I said, "Film and media studies," he responded with, "MEDIA STUDIES? Why not biology?" to which I simply said, "I'm not interested in it."

He then went off to tell me that I had picked a major that did not reap in a lot of money, that it was hard to find a job in the industry, and that he himself had forced his daughter to choose a biology major rather than a Middle Eastern studies major.

First off, it always irritates me how misunderstood UCSB's film studies department really is. When I tell most people that I'm a film major at UCSB, I have to make sure to note that it's all reading and writing intensive. Being a film major at UCSB doesn't mean we look through a camera all day. After learning about classical film theory, analyzing theories about the narrational strategies of film, and writing countless numbers of papers, we then gather together by ourselves to make films because we like to. Most of the films I work on are student made and student run. We put our own extra time and energy into making projects. Then early the next morning, we go back to class and read more about the theories of one of the most influential mass media today. Then we write another paper.

My dentist told me that if I didn't know exactly what I was going to be doing the minute after I graduate, that I was going to be in trouble. Most importantly, he emphasized, I wouldn't be making enough money.

Sure, I may have chosen what he believes is a "non profitable" major as compared to a degree in which one could go on to become a doctor, for example. I could follow the road of becoming a doctor by going to college, passing the MCAT, apply for medical school, and then get into residency programs.

But I didn't go there. Instead, what I can get is this: Learning how to be a self-starter, finding the opportunities for myself, succeeding or failing yet nevertheless learning things about myself as a person, and feeling fulfilled in that I am striving to do what I love to do. Also, with my background in self-taught photography, I learn firsthand what it takes to form one's own business and market myself to an increasingly competitive marketplace. In addition, with my education at UCSB, I've honed in my critical thinking skills, writing skills, and media literacy.

And those qualities, I feel, are some of the most important qualities one could ever acquire. And I am so lucky that my parents trusted me enough to know that no matter what, I would make it, because as a person, I can find my own way.

It wasn't a coincidence that when I was not even two years old, I cried when someone was playing "my piano," or when I wasn't allowed to hold the camera.

Christmas 2011

I had a lovely Christmas with family :) Hope you all also had a great one.
Here are a couple of my favorite images of the night.

Week 51/52 Whatever Feels Right


Okay, I haven't done this my entire 52 week journey, but I'm switching out my "Home Stretch" image for this one. I like this one much better, and I've shot it within my 51 week time frame, so here it is. :)

I can imagine how much better this might have looked if I used off-camera flashes with a shoot thru umbrella, but natural light will have to do for now.

Home Stretch


This was from a small meet up with a couple photographers in Palo Alto. Got the chance to meet up with a few cool people, get my makeup done by a makeup artist, and just generally bask in each other's passion for photography.

For the widows in paradise


Late in posting, but this was for last week's 52. I'm in the midst of finals for the second to last quarter of school. It's much too exciting and scary at the same time.

I am excited, however, to have more time to do the things like being on set or shooting. Over the next few months I will be very migratory between LA and SF until I decide where I want to stay for a while.

Self Portrait of Substance

This week's 52 self portrait is based on Rodney Smith's short blurb about smiles in portraits and the false sentiment it evokes.
"The truth is no portrait of substance has people smiling. Look at the history of painting, Rembrandt, Titian, Goya, Velasquez, Sargent, Vermeer, DaVinci, etc., the subjects gaze to the viewer is neutral at best, neither inviting nor forbidding. It is there for the viewer to see and feel.
Smiling is like much of American popular culture, superficial and misleading. It is part of our vernacular, but it should be expunged in photographs."

A little bit of self loathing


I cannot wait to be done with this 52 Weeks. I am so tired of shooting myself.
Generally have not been feeling fine and dandy lately. I don't care much for school right now, my photography is sporadic and unrefined, and I am too close to official unemployment in the next few months.


Kissing Margery Clean Day 3

We worked in the sound stage all day that day. UCSB really isn't a film production school, so this sound stage is very new. Everyone is always excited to work in it :)

Week 45/52 Joker

I temporarily lost my tripod base plate, so I'll have to do my 52 weeks without a tripod for a couple weeks... eep!

New 85mm f/1.4D!

Tyler found us an amazing deal for an 85mm f/1.4D for only $900. The list price goes for about $1400, so I knew I had to snag it! I also wanted to take new portraits for some portfolio material, and Tyler was happy to oblige. This lens is absolutely AMAZING. It's solidly built and has a nice, weighty feel to it. It definitely deserves its nickname as the "cream machine" as it definitely just smooths out backgrounds. Enjoy!

Tyler took a few shots of me, but it was really windy and my hair wouldn't cooperate, so I shot him instead!

Week 43/52 Untitled

no title this 52 week. things are crazy yet unnervingly quiet. a bit anxious of what's to come

Chan Teas

"When you drink tea in solitude, it makes room for self-awareness and self-reflection. When you pour tea for others, it brings people together and facilitates a real human connection."
-Chan Teas

The Hidden Gem of Isla Vista

Pretty things besides the beach also exist in Isla Vista. You just have to look around.

And a pretty neat shot from on campus. :)

Week 39/52 Storm Chaser

This past month has been an absolute blast for me. This week, I got lazy taking a 52 Weeks because I've had a special someone who takes amazing photos of me. More pictures to come soon. I got him a Nikon N80 for his birthday present :)

The last days of summer...

Things have been a bit quiet around here because I just moved into my new apartment, was without internet for a while, and my final year of college has just started!

But anyway, here are a couple snaps from the last time I was up north. The light was beautiful and the scenery was amazing, and I even bumped into someone who recognized me from my photos on flickr! While I was up, I did a small video gig and met a few cool people and visited an amazing photo studio. I really like it up north. It might even be grounds for a potential post-grad spot, who knows.


Olympus 35RC

I've rarely ever shot film, but when I did, I used the Olympus 35 RC rangefinder. {see what I did there? :P} It was pretty fun, just a tad challenging though. It's near impossible to focus with that thing! Using the double images in bright daylight? Not too bad. But try shooting indoors? Forget it. The battery in the Olympus 35RC I was using was dead, so we had to meter with the DSLR we carried around. Then after a while we made it a game to meter ourselves, guessing the aperture and appropriate shutter speed with the given ISO400. Here are some of the results! The black and white film we used was  Kodak Professional BW400CN and the color film we used was an old, really shoddy Kodacolor 400.