Lonely beach chair

Maybe it’s the video game rotting that my brain has been through for the last 25 plus years, or maybe it’s all the new 3D movie craze and “wall-e”-esque movies that have given my mind the craziness ability to give an inanimate object life and feeling. From a simple, lonely beach chair stranded in the vast sea of piping hot sands, this is the struggle and trial of this poor, lifeless metal and mesh friend.

Sun beating down, heating, bleaching. Trapped. I can’t help but to think this is the beginning of the end. My owners have left me. Never had I thought I’d miss the salty, sweaty caress of that one-piece bathing suit pressing, stressing my frail, aged ribs. Never had I thought I’d miss the soft cradle of the ice chest crushing, sandwiching me between the rusted trunk of the station wagon and it’s own wet sandpaper underbelly. Never had I thought I’d miss my flashy rainbow colors that garnered all the tease from my solid-skinned brothers, now fading, vanishing in the UV rays. Have they forgotten all that I’ve done for them? All that I’ve suffered? It wasn’t them that waited for 3 years in that attic panicked, scared each year when the wicked, vile black widows would make their dens in my bones. Or when Christmas rolled around and the holiday abuse came. Shoving, tossing, anything to get me further into the darkness to make room for all the new joy-bringers. I was their protector, their savior. How easily they’ve dismissed my purpose, my reason for being. How long until the air eats away at my weakening body. How long until the sun finally takes it’s last lashing.

I suppose there’s nothing left…

Maloof Money Cup Hang Time

Skateboarder getting some major hang time at the 2009 Maloof Money Cup. Hosted at the Orange County Fairgrounds, the venue set up an entire ground course, half pipe and “big air” vert wall. Most of the competitors this day were in the 25 and younger crowd, but they could still tear it up like the pros.

Kristen on the Queen Mary

Working at a media/publishing company often comes with some much appreciated perks. One being the opportunity for travel articles. Kristen Schott, Web Editor at Churm Media, was given the article lead for a piece on Hotel Maya in Downtown Long Beach, California. Within walking distance is the historic Queen Mary. Stopping for a blood sugar test, I seized the opportunity for this low light, wide-aperture shot with my 50mm.

Retro lighting

Retro culture still shines bright. Seen here is the chandelier-esque lighting in the Orange Lucky Strike Lanes. Bulbs that dimly glow like my 70-year old neighbor’s 5-year Christmas lighting that seems to be year-round weather proof. Sun beaten for years until any pigment and paint is stripped off the glass to reveal the simple clear and amber glow of the low wattage lighting.

R.I.P. ‘Smudge’ Hodsdon

Today I found out that my parents had to put their 8 year old cat, Smudge, to sleep. Often the butt of many jokes, he was a tank among cats. He was weighing in at a startling 22 pounds this Christmas and roaring with the mousiest meow I’ve ever heard from a feline. He was not much for social interaction, unless of course, it was on his schedule, at which point you’d better be ready for some serious ear scratching because this little guy loved it rough and tough. Leaving behind his cohort and companion, Mercury, no one will soon forget the love we’ve all felt for such a wonderful, unique friend. Rest in peace, Smudge.

Wine bottles

Photography has been a growing passion of mine since I purchased my T2i almost 2 years back. Working for a media company, I’ve been given some great opportunities to hone my skills and take some photos of some OC elites. In 2010 I was hired as a freelance photographer to shoot the OCMETRO Green Team event at the Great Park in Irvine. Event photography is never really where I saw my talents being utilized, but a paying job and a passion to shoot makes any opportunity a growing experience.

Huntington Beach pier, now with barnacles

Find a photographer and you’ll probably find a shot of a pier in the coffers of their portfolio. Serving as an inspiration for the depth they create and the lines their structure brings to the lens, photographers around the world fill their viewfinders with the crashing waves or the still waters of a lake. Being a pseudo-photog myself I’ve got a plethora of these shots myself, from Huntington Beach to Long beach and soon to be Alligator Point, Florida.

Huntington Beach curfew

No dogs on the beach? I think they should really be concerned with cats on the beach. Those little devils find any excuse to turn sand into their own personal litter box, or shitbox if you will. Dogs just keep it on the surface, not land mine you with little kitty roca™ surprises!

year 29 || day 65 – wall ride

Maloof Money Cup Street comp wall ride

Sitting in the stands of the Maloof Money Cup I was able to get some nice shots on the street course without having the impressive “press pass”. My 300mm zoom lens made quick work of the course as I chased down the skaters, lines them in my focal zone and snapped their heads off. You know, something like that. The wall rides were a particularly nice shot because with the judges and ramp for size comparison you can see just how high these amazing athletes were able to nail.

year 29 || day 64 – let’s play a little word association

OCMETRO Hot 25 Honoree cookie from Wonderland Bakery

COOKIES! Somehow, still one of the funniest parts from Van Wilder. If you don’t get the joke, don’t worry. Wonderland Bakery in Irvine made these delicious, not that I ate any *wiping crumbs out of the keyboard*, treats for this year’s OCMETRO Hot25. We sent out intern couriers to each of our honorees with these cookies and an invitation attached, because who doesn’t love getting some free sweets!

year 29 || day 62 – the ugly organ

Depth of Field Piano Keys

An ode to Cursive album, “The Ugly Organ”. Shot on the visitor’s deck of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, the history can nearly be felt. So many hands have traded tunes on these ivory blocks and played to scored of cruise ship visitors. Supposedly haunted, The Queen Mary is said to be home to numerous ghosts and spirits that project themselves to tourists and workers on the regular. Hoping to slip off and find our way to the boiler room where some of the most spottings occur, fear overcomes and the thought is quickly dismissed. Not sure how I could handle seeing a ghost. I believe, but question my reaction if I were to ever be confronted. Screaming like a little girl might be a dead giveaway to the crew that We’d strayed from the tour.

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Shutter: 1/80
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • ISO: 100
  • Tip: For a shallow depth of field use a wide aperture (smaller number) and increase the distance between your focal point and the background. With a telephoto lens, be sure to keep a good distance from subject to backdrop, otherwise you will be hard up to create a nice shallow depth of field look.

year 29 || day 60 – Maloof vert

Maloof Money Cup vert ramp skater

I got some pretty awesome shots at this year’s Maloof Money Cup at the OC Fair. I also found a new respect for action sports photographers. There’s so much going on that needs to be watched and the added pressure of not wanting to interfere coupled with the reactions and sounds from the massive crowds. It’s not something I’ll ever aim to put on my resumé, but I wouldn’t mind vacationing there from time to time. Luckily for these shots I was able to post up on a nearly empty halfpipe catwalk so I could avoid having to use my “cheap” telephoto lens. Sure, it’s great for slow moving objects when I’ve got a tripod, but for fast-action excitement I’ll gladly use my 50mm.

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Shutter: 1/4000
  • Aperture: f/1.6
  • ISO: 100

year 29 || day 59 – surfer lomo

Huntington Beach Surfer

Blog is back in action. Thank the gods. Only a 1-day downtime with the problem working itself out … I must have done something right in a past life. ONWARD!

A day at the beach with camera in tow. Shooting the sandy shores of Huntington Beach and the surfers as they tackle the white caps. A pretty slow day though. In general the waters are filled with board jockeys all fighting to catch that perfect wave, braving the barnacle covered pier supports. But today was a different case. Just a portion of the ocean with boards and a pretty empty beach too. A slow day.

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 37mm
  • Shutter: 1/400
  • Aperture: f/11.0
  • ISO: 100

year 29 || day 58 – back on track, now with elephants!

Kristen Schott riding on the back of an elephant at the OC Fair

Ahhhh, finally, all caught up on the blog. Now to stay on track. Just need to keep telling myself that the Candyman will get me if I break blog form again!

“So, what did you do this weekend, Kristen?”
“Ohh, you know. Went inside Weird Al’s brain, drank vineyard select wines and rode on the back of an elephant.”
“Hmm, acid trip?”
“Close. The OC Fair!”

Kristen and her entourage decided the last thing they wanted to do before checking the OC Fair off their bucket list was to hop on top a Hawaiian lei’d beast. Personally, I feel sad for any animal that gets treated like a ride at the fair, but at $10 a head I have to believe these animals are being treated to the best peanuts since George Washington Carver.

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Shutter: 1/50
  • Aperture: f/3.2
  • ISO: 1600

year 29 || day 57 – mischievous, no?

Young girl at the IPSF iJam concert

This photo is a little bit deceiving. She looks as though she’s got a mischievous plot cooked up in that young brain of hers. Ready to cut left and make a mad dash towards the popcorn machine. Or maybe a bolt into the maze of air filled fun jumps where she can hide from her mother who waits patiently at the exit. In actuality she was playing a game of tag with some of the other kids at the iJam concert and this was her chance to refrain from being “it”. I’m sure with all the running, that Jamba Juice ended up being a washing machines nemesis later that night.

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Shutter: 1/3200
  • Aperture: f/2.0
  • ISO: 100

year 29 || day 56 – School Gyrls rock out

Mandy Rain of School Gyrls rocks out at the IPSF iJam concert

Despite my ignorance of having never heard of School Gyrls every little kid with the Disney channel was way ahead of me. Singing their teeny-bopper tunes on the IPSF iJam stage, the crowd of children was going crazy. In this shot Mandy Rain, somehow I doubt that’s her real name, reached out to one of her fans as she belts the chorus to their most popular song. I can only imagine the feeling those young ones got when they got to meet and see their Mickey-eared pop star idols. I remember being a fanatic too … but mine was more for G.I. Joe and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Beat that Gyrls.

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Shutter: 1/800
  • Aperture: f/4.5
  • ISO: 100

year 29 || day 55 – nom nom nom

OCMETRO's 40 Under 40 Carrot cake desert

Busy taking photos the whole night, I missed my opportunity to #nom on one of these delicious looking carrot cake samplers. The buzz from the crowd was enough to make me miss the sweetness too, as I watched multiple people going back for seconds, and some, thirds. Luckily I’m not a huge desert fan (I know, who doesn’t like deserts! freak!) so I can tell myself I didn’t miss out on much. Now, chocolate chip cookies and/or brownies … that’s a different story. Not quite falling into the “desert” category I let them pass my test. They’re more of a “lifeblood” category. Nom nom nom!

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Shutter: 1/60
  • Aperture: f/1.8
  • ISO: 500
  • Note: To get this shot i didn’t use a flash, just the natural light from a nearby window. Without a nice lighting setup, finding ways to use natural light will produce a more “realistic” looking image, since it’s what the viewers eye would be normally seeing.
  • Tip: Use a large aperture (smaller number) so that you can get a nice depth of field to the images, focusing on one singular item.

year 29 || day 54 – green team award

OCMETRO Green Team Event Award

This year’s OCMETRO “Green” issue was accompanied by the first-ever Green Team Event. When searching for awards the OCMETRO team wanted to find something environmentally friendly, but still unique. They found these recycled glass awards made from melted down glass and formed into these etch-able pyramids. I’m not sure if there’s an added dye or if it was the process itself, but the blue hue of the glass was a perfect offset to the etch marks made into the face.

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Shutter: 1/60
  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • ISO: 100
  • Tip: Use a large aperture (smaller number) so that you can get a nice depth of field to the images, focusing on one singular item.