"Yahweh" Single by Jameil Walls

Jameil's new single, "Yahweh", is coming out on March 30th. Him, Olivia and I collaborated on a project to get some promo material and it was a lot of fun! We did it at the church and it was my first time working with lighting. We used a large box light and I was able to take my time to experiment point it just right. Here's one of my favorite shots.

"Yahweh" is now available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

Falcon Heavy Test Launch at Kennedy Space Center

After years of development, it was finally time for SpaceX to send a Tesla Roadster into space. I got "Feel The Heat" tickets and waited my way through lines of people at Kennedy Space Center to get a front row view. Bill Nye was the guest speaker.

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As a rare and special treat, we got to visit the KSC landing strip. Even the bus driver was excited. Then we made our way to the viewing area. It was a beautiful day out and I had plenty of good conversation with fellow photographers. A few bald eagles flew by as if it was a sign saying, "AMERICA" and also, "yes, this rocket will launch today and you won't have to come back tomorrow".

When it launched, everyone was so excited. It was slow moving - an illusion of the angle and a reality of it's size. It was loud. It was awesome. I didn't "feel the heat", which was actually a relief. When the Falcon Heavy was mid-air, the entire viewing area got quiet... because after all, this was a test launch and the safety message was replaying in our heads about how we are in an inherently risky zone. Oh right...

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Once the rocket disappeared, we waited a few minutes for the booster landings. The sonic boom happened right about the time they landed and it sounded like loud fireworks in the distance. Mission accomplished!

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Biker taking a break from traffic on the NASA Causeway

Biker taking a break from traffic on the NASA Causeway

Lower Antelope Canyon revisited

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Usually I don't like moodiness when it's muddy or sad feeling. However, when I experimented with these images, I was in awe. Yes, changing them to black and white removes the gorgeous orange color. But this time, I'm okay with it.

It's been a couple years since I visited Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona. There is an opportunity for me to head out West again this year so I looked back on old photos for inspiration. Lately, I've been feeling a shift towards experimenting with moodiness. 

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Butterfly World

There are few places like Butterfly World. It's exceptionally better than a butterfly garden or a mini exhibit that you sometimes see at zoos and festivals. The amount of exotic butterflies flying around is so incredible, and most of them are imported or rare species. I had trouble capturing them since they are so fleeting! This is one of those places where you can sit on any number of benches and enjoy a nice day in an enclosed environment (which means no unwelcome bugs, thank you very much). 

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All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. They were scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California

Magic Kingdom On Film

Merry Christmas! I took my Hasselblad to Magic Kingdom about a month ago to get some ideas out of my system. The sun was a little shy that evening so I had to work quickly. I tried different angles of Cinderella's Castle as an experiment and ending up liking more shots than I thought. I love how in one hour the scenery and colors changed so much. 

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My focus this time was seeing how the colors would render. I've found that I'm so used to my editing style with digital photos that initially I felt unimpressed by the scans, again! But after examining them and putting my favorites into this post, the magic of film reawakened inside of me. There is a value in the consistency of shooting one film stock. Even though each shot is different, they work together in an beautiful way.

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The Seven Seas Lagoon at night - I rested the Hassy on a guard rail for stabilization

The Seven Seas Lagoon at night - I rested the Hassy on a guard rail for stabilization

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. They were scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California

Hasselblad 503CW First Images

Happy Thanksgiving, all! I took my first shots with my new Hassy on the 500th year mark of the Reformation, which happens to be on Halloween. I went to Crane's Roost to catch the last few minutes of daylight to at least take one shot of the Majesty building and totally forgot about the trick-or-treater traffic! So I didn't make the sunset but at least I had a few minutes of dusk left.  

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The Boathouse at Disney Springs - the 6x6 format really covers the whole scene

This being my first roll of 120mm film, I tried several experiments. Mostly I tried overexposing by one and two stops, but I also tried shooting hand held at low shutter speeds. Since Daylight Savings Time (DST) happened, the sun sets around 5:30pm, which leaves my beloved golden hour of shooting quite elusive for me. I actually took two images of the Majesty building, shot on two different days. In the first photo, the sun was still above the horizon but I maybe overexposed it more than I should have and lost some definition of color. However, you can see the pinks and purples picked up in the waterfront.

Initially I was a little disappointed with my images as a whole, mostly because I accidentally only took 10 out of 12 photos (??? learning curve...), and most of my shots were during overcast skies or at dusk. I did find however that the shots I liked the most were the ones that I actually metered for. I have an okay/bad ability to guess my metering (lol) but I didn't receive my meter until half way through my roll. I feel comforted by the fact that I can get predictable images when I plan correctly, and otherwise...well... I get what I 'pay' for.

The fortunate thing is that since this was my first roll, all of my mistakes are easy to be corrected for. I'm still building a relationship with my film lab, I'm still defining my ideal look, I'm still waiting for DST to happen again so the clocks will change back. I tried to squeeze this roll into my everyday life so I could get some quick feedback and it served it's purpose. Now I'm excited to take what I've learned and apply it with even more intention. Patience is certainly a virtue with this craft...a painstaking one... but photography wouldn't be the same without it. Ahem, cell phone cameras.

My first shot - the sun had already set below the horizon - (handheld)

All images were taken with the Hasselblad 503CW and the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80 on Kodak Portra 400. They were scanned and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California

Welcome, England Rose!

She's here! I had such a great time shooting Olivia's maternity shoot, and just a few days later England Rose was born. Phew!

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This was my first newborn shoot and it was an interesting journey. Everything was on England's terms since she obviously doesn't respond to commands yet or even really know whats going on at all. After all, she was only about 12 days old in these photos.

I was excited to get so many "one of a kind" shots of her making expressions and bonding with her parents. It was also a relief! By now she has already changed and grown so much and I'm pleased that I was able to capture her how she came into the world.

Dusk at Animal Kingdom

I like to travel light at theme parks so I brought my RX100iii along. These images were all taken around sunset and dusk. The camera shot at pretty high ISOs on the Kilimanjaro Safari but I appreciated the ability to shoot higher shutter speeds while the truck bounced around. Not bad for a point-and-shoot.