vsco cam

Experiencing & Learning

I usually don't write about stuff until after factual, tangible positive things have happened because I'm... superstitious? I want to keep a good image? Whatever you want to call it. But I thought I'd share some of my most recent experiences and some thoughts on the future as an exercise.

I was invited by The Asian Magazine to be their photographer again. This time, it was for coffee shops that they're interviewing around Dallas. That was a challenging experience, as I felt confined about what I could/could not do. I've also never drunk that much coffee before. It felt like the world was coming to an end.

I think I need to loosen up and shoot as if I'm shooting for myself. I wasn't happy with a lot of photos that I took that day; only a few stood out to me. I was mostly trying to shoot with a mindset of "what shots would a magazine use?" rather than "what's aesthetically pleasing to me?" -- which is both good and bad. I got noticed by the magazine for my style, so why try to switch it up? Well, because I also want to be able to shoot for others when asked. I can see both sides, but I don't really have a mentor to turn to. So, after plowing through post-processing with a caffeine hangover, I felt a bit disappointed in myself.

An image I took as we left the coffee shop. It was a relief to not think about coffee anymore and just press the shutter button.

Speaking of getting noticed, I got picked as one of the Dallas Instagrammers in InstaDFW's first monthly series: #6ToWatch ("highlighting six local accounts that are unique, interesting, and excel in their specific style"). It's very refreshing to hear what people like about my shots instead of just seeing a "like." They're a pretty big photography community in Dallas, and they've been constantly upping my visibility. So grateful!

I also got some photos chosen for the VSCO Grid for the first time. FINALLY! I've been using VSCO for awhile, but I didn't realize that I should actually upload to my VSCO grid (click through if you want to see my pre-IG images haha)... So inspiring to see my photos among all the talent out there.

The next 4 weekends, I'll be in Austin, Houston, NYC, and Seattle. I'm hoping to hone my skills with the E-M1 in these cities. My biggest challenge will be Seattle. I plan on hiking, and I've rarely done landscape shots. I've been reading up a lot on landscape and nature photography as well as reading more about my camera in general. I just learned about focus peaking and how to turn off noise reduction on my camera (thanks, Patrick!). Isn't that embarrassing? I want to learn to shoot purposefully.

Thank You! + Instagram Thoughts

First of all, I'm thankful for all the support from my friends! Photography has been a fairly recent interest for me. I love learning new methods & tricks and seeing things with a new perspective. It's taken some time, but I feel that I'm slowly improving.

At Method: Caffeination & Fare

So today, I tested my camera at Method: Caffeination & Fare, a super cool and fairly new coffee shop in Dallas (try the peanut butter toast). I also tried the camera + phone wifi connection for the first time, and I love it. SO quick and easy. I experimented with iPhone vs E-M1 shots. This was mainly for Instagram purposes because that's where I post all the time.

As some people may know, I LOVE VSCO Cam. I even got the VSCO Film for Adobe Lightroom! So after editing with both, here are the results:

Taken with E-M1, uploaded to computer, and edited with Adobe Lightroom.

Taken with E-M1, uploaded to computer, and edited with Adobe Lightroom.

Taken with iPhone 5S and edited with VSCO Cam.

Taken with iPhone 5S and edited with VSCO Cam.

Ignore the fact that I didn't up the saturation in the second photo. But obviously, details are sharper with the E-M1, and I get more in the image with my wide angle lens. Other than that, they are practically the same if posted to Instagram. In conclusion: who gives!

The phone definitely feels more like snapping on the go whereas the E-M1 is like, "Um, excuse me stranger, I promise I'm not a creeper, I just want to take a photo of you and upload it for the world to see."

Anyway, I will not turn the E-M1 into an expensive Instagramming machine. I'm still waiting for opportunities to take some bokeh-licious photos.

And here is the newest meant-for-web photo.

And here is the newest meant-for-web photo.