I have to say that I did not expect this weekend to turn out the that it did. It started out with a great concert with the CSULB Percussion Department and a wonderful audience, followed by a last minute photo shoot at Cal Poly Pomona, and ended with getting soaked while photographing the LA Marathon. I can’t wait to share all the pictures with everyone, but I took thousands! It’s going to take a while to go through them carefully.

But because I couldn’t resist, here is a preview. Detailed post about each in later posts. (I still have to finish drumline pictures from Aliso Niguel, and the light in that gym is proving to be even more challenging than I initially thought.)

First up, World Percussion Concert:

Second, Photo Shoot Out:

Finally, LA Marathon:

I’m really looking forward to spring break so I can just power through all the pictures I need to go through. I know many of you are also anxious to see what I’ve shot, but this will have to do for now.

See everyone in a week!

PS. In case you didn’t know already, this semester is my Junior Recital semester. Despite this, I’ve made it a personal goal to substantially shoot every week(end) and post and share pictures with everyone via this blog as frequently as possible. How well do you think I’m doing so far? Good? Slacker?

When it comes to composition, I am pretty obsessed with the Golden Ratio. There are plenty of resources about it already, so I won’t do that here (just Google it if you’re curious).

I first came across this concept on a blog post by a photographer named Christian Rollinson.

But enough of that, on to the Golden Ratio.

The most basic form of the Golden Ratio: divide the frame vertically and/or horizontally.

Slightly more complex: divide diagonally.

Even more complex: variations of diagonal and vertical/horizontal.


I’m still having trouble seeing the diagonals. I was off by 4º here, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s quite noticeable.

The most advanced form of the Golden Ratio is the Golden Spiral, which I have yet to achieve. It is so hard to see it! One day, I need to just go on a quest to find and only shoot the Golden Spiral.

This is the underlying concept behind most of my composition, but it is also the thing I struggle with the most.

What composition techniques do you use?

Last Thursday was the CSULB Symphonic and Concert Band Concert.  We got to play in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, which is always fun to play in (not so fun moving gear there though).  Unfortunately, no pictures of the concert because I was playing on almost every piece and the CPAC doesn’t allow photos to be taken anyways.   The music we played for this concert was really fun and hopefully the repertoire for the next concert will be even more epic!

After a fun but exhausting concert on Thursday, some of us percussionists when to Shin-Sen-Gumi to get some Ramen.  I am never disappointed by this place.

Brought out the 50mm this time because it was darker inside.  Lens isn’t nearly wide enough though, so in hindsight, maybe I should have taken the kit lens.

On a different note, I’ve recently been considering getting a micro 4/3 camera, like the Panasonic Lumix GF2 or the Olympus E-PL2.  I’ve never used one so I know nothing about them.   Time to go figure out how to test drive one of these.

Reasons for getting one?

  • Smaller & Lighter- So I can take it everywhere.  It isn’t so practical lugging a dSLR everywhere I go if I want to take pictures.  It’ll also be less intimidating to others if I am photographing them.  dSLRs are scary to some people, really.  Also dSLRs are heavy, this isn’t.  It’s pretty much a pocket camera (at least guy pockets).  If I end up liking it, a micro 4/3 will probably be the camera I always have with me.
  • Quieter – No mirror flapping around means it’s quieter.  This will be handy whether I’m photographing a musician or am in a museum, or wherever.  Sometimes, an SLR is just too loud.

I know that it won’t be as powerful as a dSLR, but I am more than willing to make that sacrifice for the portability factor. Besides, it doesn’t cost as much as a professional dSLR. It’ll also be my personal fun camera, rather than a work camera.

The reason I’m thinking about getting this camera is because, right now, I am pretty content with the photo gear I have right now. I don’t feel any urgent need to upgrade anything or invest in anything new. The benefit of getting a micro 4/3 camera is that it will (hopefully/maybe) make me shoot more. It’ll be a fun way to make sure I keep practicing and help me improve my craft.

Anyone who has had hands-on experience with a micro 4/3 camera have any wisdom to share?

Pictures from a dinner for Viet School.

Brother won a blender to n having dinner with family and friends.

Birthday was on Wednesday. But due to a busy day of rehearsals as usual, dinner was postponed until Saturday.

We had Thai food at Chaiyo Thai Cafe in Westminster. Thanks Noriko for introducing me to this place. I always enjoy eating here, and went here last year for my birthday dinner too.

Took the 7D and Nikon 50mm in to take pictures of course. I actually didn’t take that many pictures though as the camera was being passed back and forth between my younger brother and best friend. Dinner and dessert was fun.

We also realized that Chaiyo has some of the best Thai Tea in the area. None of the Asian tea shops nearby even come close to this place.

There was some cheesecake waiting at home for when we finished dinner. Costco Cheesecake is amazing stuff, in case you didn’t already know.

I don’t know what I was doing in the last photo.

Thanks everyone for the Birthday wishes.

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