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Ok I’m back. Now what?

God, so much can change in a couple years. When I first started this blog it was the third platform I’d blogged on (RIP & livejournal), people were actually making money (easily & not me) from blogging, and readers actually left comments. This was a prehistoric time where sharing posts via FB and IG weren’t really used to promote blogs yet and growth was organic, community-based, and people actually had attention spans longer than 6 seconds.

After taking a lot of time off of my art and blogging I decided I missed word vomiting all over the internet too much and now I’m back here. It’s 2018, blogging has been declared dead by all, I haven’t produced a single piece of art in over 2 years, and I spend most of my creative energy at my full-time job. I still have things to say. I still have loud opinions. I’m still here and you’re here too.

Good to see you again.


bodegabaywinery (1)
Driving down from a Bodega Bay winery this past spring at the end of a very cold camping trip.


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BBF: Bodega

A couple months ago I took one of my usual day trips to Bodega, toy camera in tow and as I was sitting on the beach eating lunch I just had to snap a couple pics. I really wish I was back here again. I love Bodega.

Goat Rock Beach, Bodega [Kodak Gold 200, taken with BlackBird Fly toy TLR]
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The Wonderful World of Wide-Angle

So remember how I mentioned earlier how I came into a whole set of lenses recently? Well Saturday I finally took out the new camera to shoot and chose to play with the super wide-angle lens first. I don’t know how but until now I’ve only ever shot with 35mm-80mm lenses and currently the only lens I have for my Canon is a zoom 35-70 which has served me well over the years. Needless to say I was excited to experiment and break out of my comfort zone.

I strapped up with the Minolta & headed to Bodega for the day and only ended up shooting a handful of photos but I loved what I ended up with. Last time I was in Bodega this church was being remodeled and wouldn’t have made for a great photo but this time around the renovations had been finished, yay! Because I was so used to my zoom lens I started off really far away because usually thats what I have to do to get an entire building in one frame, but I seriously got a good 15 feet (or less) away from the church and got the whole thing. I was amazed and officially enamored with the super wide-angle lens.

I'm still in awe that I was standing SO CLOSE to this and still got the whole thing!
I love the distortion of lines you get with the super wide angle lenses!

I really feel like getting that Minolta & lenses opened me up to a whole new realm of my photography and I’m really excited to see what I can play with. This gift was exactly what I needed to expand my craft and continue to improve my work.

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank my support system of my family & friends, because without them I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I have had this past year and a half.  And I want to give an extra special shout out to my Mom for constantly pimping out my blog to her friends/colleagues and to David for this wonderful gift.

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Long Overdue

messages from the sidewalk, just a few steps from my apartment. i <3 midtown

I haven’t really been around lately, half because I’ve been busy, the other half was obviously laziness. So here’s a not-so-quick update!

  • In the midst of the instagram drama with the facebook buyout,  I created an account for ironic purposes- clearly the message was missed by a few. More on that later, because its a hilarious and ugly rant that deserves its own post.
I believe my original captions tags were #fuckinstagram #filmforever LOL
  • My mom’s 5 year breast-cancer-survival anniversary was 2 weeks ago and to commemorate her and many others fighting, or losing their battles Momma Dee, My sister Moni, & I got matching breast cancer tattoos. My mom and I chose modern cute bows instead of the traditional ribbon & my sis went with a traditional ribbon with the word Hope written on it. It was a nice bonding moment, its just a shame the tattoo place we went to sucked (lesson learned, never try a new shop). Also another lesson learned, you MUST eat before getting tattooed even if its tiny, I thought I’d be okay with my OJ and power bar since my tattoo was small, but I WAS NOT, about a half hour after we left I nearly passed out as we were eating at Jimboys and freaked out my mom and sis LOL, whoops!
pix from the Droid 2 Global, edited with the Photo Grid app for Android
  • Realized the book concept for my portfolio I wanted to do wouldn’t work because my photo scans aren’t high-res enough & I’m not proficient with my personal film scanner yet; thus no book because I’m a broke-ho and pro scans cost up to $30/frame.
  • Got a new camera with THE WORKS, as a gift from a family friend who got it from a NASCAR photog. Its a minolta x-700, with a serious assload of lenses:
    – telephoto
    -a proper macro lens (not just a filter)
    -zoom (30-80mm)
    -super-wide angle (17mm), my favorite so far
    Not to mention it also came with a flash (which I badly needed and couldn’t afford), and a power winder (which basically allows me to shoot several frames per second). Needless to say that was the highlight of my month so far. Thank you OJ! :)
ignore the budlight, thats my dads, i don't touch the stuff with a tenfoot pole.
  • THE wedding is in less than a few days and my entire family is on stress-out mode, so I’ve been keeping my distance until the big day, ah the perks of living downtown. :)
  • Also, just realized aside from pix that were taken on my phone (all of these in this post too), I’ve moved completely to film in the past 3 months. I haven’t used my digital camera at all so much that I’m not even sure what pictures I currently have on my memory card, and my battery is completely drained. OH well. And to think for a minute I was seriously considering buying a Nikon DSLR …
  • Went to Bodega on saturday, it was much needed and ended up being more of a wildlife sighting more than anything. I got to see cows, cute deer, a whale (!!), and even a hawk just chillin’ soaking in the sun. (btw, there were 2 deer grazing not even 20 feet from this guy and I wasn’t that far away either)

  • Also, if you want to keep up with me whenever I take my unexpected hiatuses, I post regularly to twitter, and twitpic.

It felt good catching up guys, I’ll see ya’ll soon.

<333 val

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First day of summer, first day of 100

400 speed, 35mm color Fuji Superia film

Today is the first day it’ll be 100 degrees in Sacramento since last September, and where can you guess I wish I was instead today?? Right up there, Bodega Bay, doing what that guy is doing… takin’ photos and cooling off. But where am I? Right here, in my 90 degree apartment (I wish I was exaggerating lol), sippin some iced tea to help me cool off. Its okay though! I got an SOS text from my friend Danny and we are going to hit up the coast this weekend, thank god. I need to breathe some salty air.