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Love the one you’re with

The best camera you can have, is the one that is with you.

Lets talk digital.

As a self-proclaimed poor person who can’t really afford the latest and greatest photo equipment, I’ve come to really appreciate the equipment that I can afford and I’ve always tried to make do with what I’ve got.

luckily the ancient digital camera had a long shutter-speed setting

My first digital camera was a $40 used Canon Powershot that literally looked like a silver brick and had only 3.something megapixels.  That powershot was so old it used real batteries, compact flash instead of SD cards, and if I decided to use the flash on the camera there would only be enough juice for about 10 shots.  I’m talking some serious lo-fi here.  I was really grateful to have it though because before then I was using my cameraphone which at the time was a crappy Nokia…the kind that had JUST been released in full color…wow I felt old typing that.  As bad quality as that silver brick was, I still managed to take some great shots with it.  Some of those photos are my favorite to this day.


grandmas house

When I got my new computer I decided it was time to upgrade my digital camera too, and because my partying days were becoming more frequent I needed something I could actually fit into my purse.  Enter: 8 megapixel Canon Powershot. Like the first digital camera I had, I still had all the fancy options I needed without the cost of a DSLR, plus some way better video capabilities than my first digital camera and way better quality than my quickly upgraded cell phones (sidekicks & now moto droid).

In keeping with the above quote, I still snap artistic photos on my cellphones when I have no other option and though I would never rely on them to be part of my professional portfolio I still love them the same as my other photographs.  I guess its just a sign of the times, right?


Its only a matter of time before I hatch a plan to buy a DSLR. I’ve been wanting one for a while, and after traveling with one abroad I decided digital isn’t that horrible.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some film and lots of darkroom time but last year on my NZ trip I lugged around 4 cameras…it was just…too heavy.  I had the point and shoot for my drunken adventures, I had 2 35mm film cameras, one loaded with b&w film and one with color/infrared film, and finally my friend Nathan’s DSLR… To be brutally honest, I ended up using almost exclusively the DSLR.  I did use the film cameras but only twice when I was getting serious about taking photos at this beautiful church (that I ironically lost the digital copies of the same church).

Right now I’m perfectly fine with my film camera and the point and shoot, but a lot of photography jobs I’ve been looking at doing part time require a DSLR…again, sign of the times.  I’m sure I’ll eventually get a DSLR because heck, they sure are convenient, but for now I’m making do with what I’ve got and I feel like its working pretty well for me.  Having only 24-36 chances to get what you need makes your eye better trained at taking the perfect shot everytime.  I feel like with digital its too easy to snap 400 pictures in one sitting and only pick out 3 great shots.

But we will save that rant for another day. :)

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Friday Postcard: Big Hill Lookout

Union Valley Reservoir, El Dorado National Forest - 35 mm Kodak HIE Infrared

I try to visit my favorite area of mountains at least twice a year or more, this year I only got up there once.  I was hoping to go up for a day before winter kicked in but California has really unpredictable weather sometimes and before you knew it summer turned straight into winter.  Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to wait until the thaw at the end of May.

PS.  My scanner sucks, so all those dust spots?  Yeah, pretend they aren’t there.  Its bad enough I had to scan in my original 11×14 in halves on my 8×10 scanner and then put them together in photoshop.

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Friday Postcard: I’ve driven down the highway one, just hoping that I’d see you soon

somewhere between Monterey & SLO, highway 1 (Nikon d40)

Its not artistically creative or perfectly exposed or even film, but this is probably one of my favorite photos from the road trip I took with my good friend Nathan and his best friend Artimeo down highway 1.  We hit up San Jose, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and ended it in San Luis Obispo, it was a fun trip and I would totally do it again.

Ps. Anyone who can tell me where the title lyrics are from wins a cookie.  <3


**If the postcard idea seems familiar to you then you must follow twenty-something too (amazing travel blog)! That’s where I got the idea for this post and future Friday postcards post, so unfortunately I can’t take the originality credit.**


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a little nugget of culture

Happy November everyone! Today across Mexico and other countries, people begin celebrating the “Day of the Dead” or Dia de los Muertos, honoring their deceased loved ones.  I think we’ve all established that I have some sort of fixation on death already so it is probably no surprise that I think this is an awesome holiday.  No, not cause I’m Catholic but because I think its just a beautiful part of my heritage that I don’t get to celebrate – lets face it, I’m a 3rd generation Mexican-American…that means I’m pretty much American.

my grandmas house

Anyway, I love this colorful and respectful holiday, people put up shrines (ofrendas) to their loved ones covered in colorful flowers, sugar skulls (calaveras), candles, and even sweets (pan).  If you’ve ever seen a Mexican cemetery you know they can be quite beautiful and decorated for this holiday.  I would probably have a field day.  I think my heart is pitter-pattering as I type.

Lately I’ve realized I want to travel to Mexico to celebrate some huge holidays in the country my family came from, I love history and I just think it would be amazing to see it all in person and experience it for myself.  Ideally I’d like to be there for Mexican Independence Day on September 16th and stay til Dia de los Muertos which is on November 1st and 2nd.  I feel like I could squeeze in a ton of culture into those short months and sight seeing, not to mention photo taking.  There is just so much culture and history that I can’t travel anywhere else without hitting up my own backyard first and learning where my ancestors came from, and I feel like this is really important to me.

But enough about me, are there any places significant enough to you that you feel the need to travel there soon??

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Cemetery Post #3 – Happy Halloween

Last year I went to New Zealand for almost a month to blow off a little steam, visit, and hit up a couple cemeteries whilst being a tourist.  During my visit we (my friend Will and I) took day trips around Christchurch and this little gem of a city is hidden behind the Port Hills through a mile long tunnel.  I feel like this city has won the place in my top 5 favorite cities across the world because it has a very awesome creepalicious cemetery perched on the hills overlooking the harbour.  Its also one of five remaining locations in the world to find a timeball!

So here you go, Lyttelton Cemetery, New Zealand…and a short time-lapse from the video of that day trip- about halfway you see the cemetery.  The photos were taken with a Nikon D40, yes digital, I know…  Enjoy!