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Frank McKenna

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Parkour and Flour

Published February 13th, 2013

Photographer Ben Franke recently published a series called Parkour and Flour. I found the work to be so compelling that I called my nephew and his cousin to try to take some pictures using the same techniques.

To take the photos required a little bit of preparation and materials. What I used included 1) 4 bags of flour, 2) an single Elinchrom BX 500 lighting unit, 3) Nikon D4 and 24-70mm lens, and 4) a reflector to bounce light back on the subjects.

To be honest having a second speedlight to fill the image with light would have been much easier and taking these images at night required that I completely operate in manual focus mode since there is no way, my camera could capture focus in the darkness automatically. I used my Iphone flashlight to light them up first, used autofocus and then locked that focus in manual mode. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t.

It took awhile to figure it all out. At first I wanted to try to light them by backlighting, but that didn’t wor ...

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Alessa Leigh

Published July 19th, 2012

The Alessa Leigh is a beautiful yacht. We took up the Robinson 44 to take some aerial photos of this beautiful sports fishing yacht which was recently upgraded and restored. It has almost 10,000 square feet of living space in this Yacht and it is a real diamond.

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The art of the cupcake

Published March 28th, 2012

Darla knows a thing or two about cupcakes. The niece of famous vegan chef and entrepreneur Erin McKenna she has the inside track on cupcakes of the healthiest kind. Her mom, Elizabeth, has ties to not one but two LA Babycakes locations and can routinely have a cupcake at the snap of a finger or two quick claps of her hands. Darla of course benefits from all of this and is currently fine-tuning techniques of how to eat the tasty little treats. Her motto is, "Keep bakin em gals, and I'll keep eaten em down as fast you make' em".

Darla routinely fine tunes her craft of cupcake eating by trying different techniques. Over the last 6 months she believes that she has turned merely eating a cupcake into something quite different- an artform. While spending the day with her in a quaint cottage on the outskirts of Los Angeles - she shared with me some of the finer points of cupcake art.

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The Magical House with the Fairy Garden

Published March 14th, 2012

After a long search of hundreds of houses across San Diego Tu finally found her dream house and moved into the beautiful home this week. Tu knew the instant that she walked into the fairy tale backyard of the house that it was her dream home. She called me to come over and take a look at the house. She never told me why. The minute I walked into the backyard I was instantly overcome by a sense of calm serenity and peacefulness. The backyard reminded me of a Japanese Tea Garden and at the center of the garden stood a Banzai Tree which was planted over 50 years ago. The garden was a complete masterpiece - a work of art and something that evoked emotion and feeling from the instant you stood in it.

Well, the backyard was not the only incredible thing about the house. The entire interior of this beautiful property was painstakingly remodeled from floor to ceiling. Hardwood floors, completely new kitchen, new appliances and entirely renovated bathrooms were the cherry on top of the ...

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The Trip

Published March 13th, 2012

I found it buried under a bunch of other books on the shelf next to my bed. The tattered copy of the 1990 South American Handbook was in my hands and it was bringing back memories of good times right after college when I just wanted to travel and explore the world.

As I opened the book, I noticed the sticky notes that were pinned on the pages of interesting cities, sites and countries. The notes were placed there by Bill my brother and myself. I had just returned from a long trip to Central America and he brought up the idea of the two of us taking a car trip from the top to the bottom of South America. He was ready for something different and new and I was itching to continue my travels. The book was our planing guide for the great adventure. The marked pages were places and things that we could drive to and see while we spent time touring through each country. As I turned the pages and saw the scribbled notes it brought back all the great memories I have of the time – the ant ...

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