Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trying New Things

There are so many aspects to photography that I've recently discovered ie. street photography & 365 projects. On street photography I enjoy Eric Kim's blog since he is local boy in LA and he offers some interesting tips that are just enough to plant some seeds in my brain to try sometime soon.

I see all sorts of 365 projects where a photo is posted every day for a year. It can be a self protrait, theme of the day or whatever you come up with. I saw a guy on Flickr (sorry, can't remember his name) that used his wedding ring as the focal point in his photos, such as on the rocks by the ocean, on statues or anywhere. He is also a local but in the South Bay so it's neat to add a fun element to photography.

So that got me thinking...I would try to use some street photography techniques on Josh and Tyler to try and capture more of their personalities on a candid basis instead of my normal pose and smile. That is easier said than done but still lots of fun. I also have to "shoot from the hip" so my subjects are not aware that they are being photographed. So here are my first photo attempts.

Goof off with Dad

Goof off with Dad

The above photos are in the dance studio lobby while Tyler is in karate. Josh is goofing off with dad and playing sticks. I love that Josh is smiling and unaware of the camera showing those fun moments he has with Hector. :)

After karate, we headed over to Lucio's for some Mexican food. We read some good reviews on Yelp and it was just around the corner from karate. Tyler wasn't too keen on the idea since his experience with Mexican food hasn't been the best on his part but we convinced him that he might find something he really loves this time.

Lucio's is basically a hole in the wall kind of place but the waitress is friendly and fast. They had posole on the menu so Tyler decided to give it a go (he loves the posole from Liliana's).

Tyler trying his posole. He has such a mad look on his face probably from something I said.

Tyler realizing the posole is actually good and eating with gusto.

So that brings me to another fun project and that is photographing a 365 day project and I found the perfect subject....Monty Mole! He is a character from the Super Mario series and he pops out of the ground to take Mario out.
This little guy was out of a vending machine and I claimed him for me. He can be a cellphone dangler or if I want, I can unscrew the string from his head for some free form action. :)

So here are the first pics of Monty enjoying the food at Lucios.

Monty @Lucios
Monty about to try albondigas soup. It is quite hard to balance this little guy.

Monty @Lucios
Monty into the soup which was inevitable.

Monty @Lucios
Monty with his chips and salsa.

Monty @Lucios

Lastly we ended the evening with dessert at Fosters Freeze.
@Fosters Freeze
Josh with his chocolate dipped cone. I like how the shadow gives him that Phantom of the Opera look.

@Fosters Freeze
Josh enjoying the chocolate.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beach Day

Yesterday, we headed out to Torrance Beach to enjoy the afternoon. The weather was warm and sunny with a nice cool breeze. I fed the kids lunch before driving over and I intended to park in the pay lot but turned out that all the pay machines were out of order or just not accepting cash. I didn't want to risk a ticket so I looked for street parking. I circled around and found a spot between 2 trucks. I don't get to parallell park too often anymore so it took me about 3 tries to wedge myself in there but I did it.

The kids had a great time in the ocean although Josh can't last too long. This time I was prepared and had snacks & lots of towels to wrap him up in. We tossed the little football around and soon he was ready to brave the cold water again.

Tyler loves being in the water and could stay all day if I let him. I brought my little point n shoot with me so I took quick shots (that's why some are not level). Of course I was so busy packing everything we needed, I didn't bring my knitting! Oh well, next time...

Afternoon at the beach
Brr, cold ocean water.

Afternoon at the beach
The clouds were so pretty that day.

Afternoon at the beach
My view of the kids most of the day.

Afternoon at the beach
Tyler is great at catching sand crabs.

Afternoon at the beach
Enjoying some snacks and the beach.

Afternoon at the beach
I was taking a pic of the beach and this seagull swooped in.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

50 steps: outside

Today I'm outside enjoying the sunshine so I grab my camera to show you what's around me in 50 steps.

Future guacamole
My avocados are getting bigger.

Web nest of leaves
I thought this looked interesting where a slat is missing, an old spider web continues to catch things.

New birdfeeder
My new birdfeeder filled and ready to go.
Thanks for looking...

Btw, the kids have been scootering around and saw a friendly black cat with no collar so I told them they could adopt it if it was a stray. Later that afternoon they saw the cat again so Hector went to go check it out and announced that cat is pregnant and ready to have her kittens. Oh! Well, we'll see how it goes but there is going to be kitties...

Digital Darkroom

I don't spend lots of time tweaking my photos since it takes time and space on my hard drive but when I do, to me it really makes a difference even if it subtle.



I usually am happy with my photos straight out of the camera but I admit most could benefit from some slight adjustments to make it better. Now if I could only figure out RAW and the workflow that goes along with that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick beach visit

I took the kids to the beach for a quick time late Sunday afternoon. We have to come back during the day later this week because Josh cannot last very long in the cold water and the cooler air doesn't help him either. And then Tyler's time is cut much shorter since he can stay in the water forever....

They did have fun for the short time we were there.


Ready to face the waves

Kelp Flies
These kelp flies were gathered around the kelp and would buzz around if you came too close.

Trio of sailboats

Sailboat in the distance (and Tyler laying on the beach)




It's amazing what features and attributes I can see in my children. As babies, people would say they totally look like me (they did) with chubby cheeks and Asian features. I have brown eyes, black hair but I have some non-Asian features like the double eyelids etc (from the small percent of my Anglo heritage). Hector has hazel eyes and this is what my rambling is getting to. He has pretty eyes...we have confirmation from several sources. So when Tyler was born, we totally expected him to have brown eyes. It's basic genetics, right? Brown eyes= dominant gene. Well, I guess my recessive gene came into play with Hector's recessive hazel eye genes.

Sure enough, as Tyler got older his eyes got lighter. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me; sometimes it was more noticeable than others. Finally I had to ask Hector to confirm the eye color because I really wasn't sure. :) So the pretty man eyes continues....Tyler even got compliments from a 7 year old girl in his swim class at the YMCA. Yes, she thought his eyes were pretty!!

So Joshua is born...he'll probably get the dominant brown eyes. Nope. His eyes began to get lighter and they're even a lighter shade of hazel/green than Tyler's! He really does have gorgeous eyes (if I do say so myself).

So now I am outnumbered by the hazel eyed men in my life but I can happily gaze into their pretty eyes. I'm gonna have to get some close up photos of their eyes.

Not Josh's best expression but you can see his eye color.
Tried to take pics of each of the kids eyes which not the easiest thing to do!! It depends on the lighting and I took advantage of them while playing the Wii to take pics.



To me, it seems that Josh has more green in his eyes than Tyler but it just depends, I guess. :) You can totally see me in the reflection of Josh's eye. ;P

I guess more than genetics come into play which is more complicated...
Try this link:

baby eye color predictor

Sunday, June 26, 2011

50 steps: June

Time for another edition of 50 steps: I hadn't done this for a while but it is really fun to find things around the house.

I hit the kitchen, the boys bathroom and the master bedroom. Enjoy.

Hard boiled egg shapers

Fun hard boiled eggs

Shower Head


Diagonal Blinds

Friday, June 24, 2011


Hector kept the kids entertained while I was away at Mammoth. On Sunday, he took them to Legoland and took lots of pictures!!

Lots of Star Wars characters.
I have no clue who they are.


Tyler on the Knight's Tournament.
Water slide time.
Tyler makes a big splash.

Hector renewed our passes so I'll be taking the kids back for more trips this summer...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Try try again

This is what the guys do when I take off for the weekend. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Springtime Socks

Yay!! I finished another pair of socks to add to the Christmas pile. It is a pattern called Cranberry Biscotti that makes great use of all those little leftover balls of sock yarn.

I chose a teal, a coral, and a variegated yellow/blue/green blend of yarn to produce these spring season socks.

Cranberry Biscotti socks

Cranberry Biscotti socks

Cranberry Biscotti socks

I hope that someone will enjoy them!! :)

botanic garden

Yesterday was free admission at the botanic garden so I took the kids there for their first time. We had a great time looking at the different flowers and hiking around the perimeter. The kids were awesome at spotting wildlife; we saw a bunny, dragonfly and hummingbird. Things are a super fast and gone in an instant. Luckily, the bunny was probably used to people and stayed on the path for a long time while the kids approached slowly.

We had fun reading the placards naming the plants and flowers and overall, we had a nice time with some walking thrown in for good measure.

Hummingbird Sundial

Eyeball flower
These budding flowers reminded me of eyeballs.


Cow Tongue
Cow tongue cactus




Tyler spotted a bunny.

All these photos were shot with my 50mm 1.4 lens. Happy summer!!