Back in May, during our weekend stay in Palm Springs, I took a couple of rolls with the Rolleiflex SL66 and just got it developed. Since I got some weird stripes from my old online processing place, I decided to try another place. This place, The Darkroom, is awesome. They provide a mail-in envelope and is very reasonably priced. This time I tried out some TMAX400 film, and I'm in love. I like it much more than Tri-X!
Yesterday was Darren's high school graduation, the entire family/clan couldn't be more proud of him. It was a rather cool summer evening with good light and a joyous mood. It was awesome to find that Mr. Ziolkowski, one of my favorite teacher back in high school, was there to give a touching speech.
I started with the 90MEM to cover the walk-in, speeches, and the handing out of diplomas. Then I switched to the 50'Lux with a ND-filter to handle all the portraits. I did not dare to use f/1.4 too much because I needed to make sure everyone's faces are in focus, so I mostly stay around f/2.8, unless I see some opportunities to go wide-open. Here are just some select shots, you can see the full set [HERE].
Had a fun-filled day yesterday... We drove to San Diego for a birthday party (see [HERE]), then had to rush back to LA for a wedding reception (see [HERE]). Also, in the morning, took some portraits of my sister-in-law because she like the B&W conversion I did of her from a few days before. The trusty 50'Lux handled all of that. In the bright sun, I attached a 3-stop ND-filter so I can still shoot wide open, and in the evening, I bump the ISO up to 800 and hoped I have steady hands.
Here's a variety of shots from yesterday:
This evening, went to my son's spring concert. There was a natural spotlight on him throughout the performance, good thing I brought the 90MEM to grab some shots.
I needed a picture of myself to put on our company's corporate website. Instead of paying someone to take a studio headshot, I thought I try to take one of myself in the backyard with a more natural environment. So I setup the tripod at about 10 feet away from my standing spot and mounted the 90'MEM at f/4. I had a little bit of trouble with focusing so I asked my sister-in-law to stand in for me so I can get the right focus.
I made the suggestion of going hiking a bit too carelessly, and 7 other family members called my bluff. So there we were, woke up at 6am and hiked up Echo Mountain, just north of Pasadena. I wasn't too concerned about myself, since this is my third time here, but I wasn't sure if my 5 years old son could make it. Luckily, he's a good trooper and hiked up without too much complaining. It took us about 2.5 hours to hike to the ruins, the remains of a burnt down hotel, and about 1 hour to hike down. All in all, not a bad way to spend a morning!
Here are some selected shots, and you can see the full set [HERE].
Finally packaged up my app and submitted to Google to see they'll allow it for general release. For the submission process, I have created a page for the app, as you can see from the site menu. If anything, it was a good practice in android programming, and at least it'll be very useful for myself :)
A friend invited us for a weekend getaway in Palm Springs. Normally, a no brainer, right? Now consider the 105+ degree heat! Well, how can you say no to a vacation home with this backyard? I got up early the first day to catch the sun rise, then I just took some shots around the pool with the 90'MEM. I also shot a couple of rolls with the Rolleiflex SL66, but I'll have to wait a few weeks to get that processed to share. You can see the full set from this weekend [HERE].
We have this dangerously tall pine tree in our backyard. I suspect it's been there for 40+ years, planted by the first owner of our house. We enjoyed its look and shades, but it's starting to cause concerns. Its roots are lifting the ground causing cracks in the brick planter walls and the block walls between us and our neighbor in the back. Also, it's naturally leaning toward the house, so whenever there are strong winds, we're afraid that it will one day crash into the house. Yesterday, a landscape company came and removed it for us. One guy start off by trimming all the branches as he climbs higher and higher, then he finally start chopping the main trunk from the top in pieces. Finally, they bring in the root grinder, a heavy machinery, to grind out the bottom trunk and roots about a foot into the ground. Our yard looks bigger and brighter now, but I do miss the tree.