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"I took the one less traveled by"

Published October 15th, 2012

I am a story teller. You can call it a disease or just a reckless obsession, but I go where my instincts scream "caution," because we all know that stories have to be pretty spectacular to be worth telling. Like you, ever since I was young I've wanted to live a life of adventure, but the warning signs and the human instinct to stay alive, often turns me towards safer options. But no amount of word smithing, flailing of arms, and camera magic can make a story great without an amazing journey.

Ever since I knew what a poem was, I've remembered "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. Remember the days when you first read and analyzed this poem in class? That was the first time I used my brain for taking inspiration through a story and realized the story behind it could become a mantra important enough to carry with me throughout my life.

To this day, on all my photo walks I look towards the road not taken. I'm always looking for cool new vantage points or difficult trails to stage my pho ...

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Klo and Family

Published September 10th, 2012

As geeky as it sounds, I met Klo through Instagram. I used to sit next to the founders Mike and Kevin when we were both at Dogpatch labs starting our companies a few years ago, and have been hooked since the beginning. After following @klodid on Instagram, I discovered her incredible talent for photography in even her iPhoneography.

Since then I've learned a lot about Klo, her photography, and her absolutely beautiful family.

After we met up to talk about wedding photography, we went to the Berkeley Marina for a quick little family photo session. Being a pro and amazing photographer herself (pro not being a measure of photography chops, I will assure you she has incredible skills and talent), she's not often in her photos of her family. Perfect opportunity to try to take a few photos up to her standards.

It was a bit cold and the little ones being a little under the weather, we found a spot that was shielded from the wind and were able to grab a few photos before it was time to c ...

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Tran and Adam - Wedding Prep

Published August 31st, 2012

One of my favorite things to photograph is the wedding preparation. The quiet moments and the interactions of the bridal party are playgrounds for photo journalism. Give yourself an assignment, and get that shot.

I had a wonderful time photographing the wedding prep of Tran and Adam.

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Light Painting

Published February 22nd, 2012

Light painting is a whole other category of photography, in fact, it's almost only half photography. It's always fun to draw in midair with different light tools, but really getting it nice and interesting is difficult. Merge that with some awesome backdrops, and you get dramatic and "HOW DID YOU DO THAT?" comments.

Here I found my way to the east lake shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada. This is where the bonsai tree rocks are. After sunset, we decided to paint some flowers and get the magical landscape as well.

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Ya-ting and James Wedding

Published January 26th, 2012

James was my very first best friend I've ever had. From the days of going to his home to play with legos, which was really a decoy to go do word problems with his dad, to running around Cornell elementary, all the way through high school, we always were good friends and I've literally grew up with him.

It was an honor to be able to witness this amazing event of his, and a bigger privilege to photograph his wedding with the wedding photographer Timothy Mak!

Here are a bunch of outtakes! More official photos and slideshows etc will be coming from Tim =)

What a great wedding. It was a lot of fun!

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Sarah and Kiely - Chicago Engagement

Published December 23rd, 2011

I've been finding it hard to find the words to describe my weekend in Chicago shooting Sarah and Kiely's engagement session. The keywords that popped up in my head include: epic, amazing, surreal, hysterically fun, exciting.

Kiely had planned this shoot way before he even proposed to Sarah. It's incredible the amount of preparation and planning he's put into all of this, and it really goes to show how much he truly loves Sarah. Actually it really just shows how cheesy he is ;)

Kiely flew me out to Chicago, which is Sarah's favorite city! What a priveledge to have witnessed the proposal (which was a huge surprise), and now such a great honor to be able to photograph their engagement session.

I consider Sarah family, a sassy little sister that always has a contagious smile and a positive attitude about her. Seeing how happy she is with Kiely, and seeing how amazing Kiely is to her, absolutely makes the world a better place.

Friday morning, around 4am, I hit snooze on my alarm. ...

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Hawaii 2011

Published November 8th, 2011

I have the great opportunity to be able to work remotely whenever I can. When I don't have any upcoming in person meetings, or have larger group projects, I can basically take off and utilize skype/facetime for all my interactions.

Last week I decided to skip the cold weather in San Francisco, and head to Hawaii. I worked some pretty long hours, but spent most of the time working from a lanai on the 16th floor of my friend's apartment, overlooking Honolulu, Waikiki, and the beach.

In the afternoons and weekend, I headed out with my camera and captured some fun shots. Looking forward to the next outing!

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Oahu Photo Walk

Published November 2nd, 2011

Last year, I took a super spontaneous trip to Hawaii with +Win Min. We literally decided to go within 12 hours of being in Hawaii. We worked a lot in the mornings, then took 3 hour lunches, then worked all afternoon and night on our startups. In between I was able to get a few snapshots and run around on the beach.

Today, I am embarking on another trip to Hawaii. This time it's a little more planned! I will be working the same shifts, but in the evenings and this weekend I will be looking for great photos to take.

If anyone is in Oahu and would like to go on a few photo walks let me know! Otherwise, if you have some good recommendations I would love to hear them as well.

I will be meeting up with a few guys from Flickr, but hope to see some of you too.

Saturday, November 5th

Oahu's North Shore (Sunset Beach, etc)

All day

Sunday, November 6th

Open to suggestions

All Day

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San Francisco Photo Walk

Published October 24th, 2011

Yesterday I attended the Haight Ashbury photowalk put together by +Thomas Hawk, it was a blast. Met a lot of really cool people like +Diana Ly, +Trey Ratcliff, +Tom Anderson, +Anna-Marie P, +Bryan Nabong and more! Also always good to see +Dusty Garrison and Kieko.

Then today we went on another photo walk with +Dusty Garrison, Kieko, +Jon Bauer, +Andrew Ng, +Bryan Nabong, +Kevin Curtin, +Timothy Kuan, +Abel Lin, and more! We started at AT&T Park, made our way through UCSF Mission Bay campus, past some boat houses, through a bunch of furniture stores, 21st amendment, Mandarin Orient Hotel (got kicked out, but got in by asking two ladies to pretend we were their friends, but then got kicked out again), Fairmount where +Andrew Ng, +Bryan Nabong, and I figured out how to get onto the roof of the old Fairmount, then later went to the Crown Room on the 24th floor for more shots.

Finally ended the night at The Big 4 with +Andrew Ng, +Jocelyn Tran and +David Fung . Had a few good drinks and f ...

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52 Week @ Home

Published October 17th, 2011

I'm starting a 52 week project shot entirely at home. The challenge here is to really find photogenic things around the house. Doing this will really make your home a bit less routine and probably force you to keep it clean.

Let's do this! Who's in?

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ISO 500 iPhone App

Published October 11th, 2011

New third party 500px.com iPhone app called ISO 500 just came out. A very simple way to browse photos from 500px. Lacks anything beyond that, but it is a nice solution for it. Not sure if 500px is a pure mobile app right now anyway, as it caters to more serious photographers who may not use 500px like you would instagram and the likes. The interesting thing about this app is the use of a rotating wheel as navigation. Harder to use than a traditional navigation. Makes me shudder with the feeling of the Color app. I think it's good, but not a huge breakthrough. Good start though, wondering where it will go next.

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500px iPad App Splash Screen

Published September 13th, 2011

Here's my entry for 500px's iPad app splash screen!

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Nic and Christy with one on the way

Published August 14th, 2011

Do you remember this couple? It was already quite the honor to attend their wedding, and I had the honor today of photographing their maternity shoot. (Wedding photos: http://flickr.com/gp/kinetic/A0596g/). Nic and Critty are great friends of mine that are just an incredible couple. They are always happy, smiling, and laughing.

Nic and Critty got me out of a recent photo slump. These two have reminded me what photography is all about. I can't express how much I enjoyed shooting these two and processing the photos. It's been so long since I've laughed out loud while processing the photos, and my smile muscles have had quite the work out. This is why I do photography, so I can be with amazing people, and capture the emotion and lives of the people I love.

I can't thank them enough for making photography awesome for me. Their friendship is priceless.

SEE ALL PHOTOS FROM THE SHOOT: http://flickr.com/gp/kinetic/o94N57/

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85mm All Day

Published August 12th, 2011

I'm almost doing it already, but I'm going to switch to my 85mm lens, and not take it off for a few months. All my shots will be from the 85. I've learned a lot, but it's time to really master the 85mm focal length.

Eventually I'll switch to a 35mm f/1.4 for a few months. This should be fun =)

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Photo Blog Platform

Published August 10th, 2011

I have always looked for a blogging platform that was very photo centric. I've used various blogging systems like Posterous, Tumblr, Wordpress, etc. They are all fantastic for posting blogs, rich text editing, and have HTML abilities for embedding photos. 500px blog takes it a step further and allows you to upload your photos straight into the blog. It still lacks a ton of features that all the other platforms have, and I think it would be a losing battle to try to compete with other blogging platforms.

What if you took, for example, the Posterous blogging API and integrated it? I'd love to be able to blog about the photos/collections I have on 500px easily, but still like the rich text editing, the ease of posting via email, etc.

The reason why I use 500px blog right now is because it's on my 500px profile. I also understand that a blog system can be an entire company's focus already, so trying to build it out completely is a hard task.

Features I'd love to see:

- Easy embedd ...

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Bad photo day

Published August 10th, 2011

Ever have one of those days where you've been waiting for it for weeks, and afterwards you have really not come out with any great photos?

Had a fun photoshoot with two models last weekend, but I wasn't thrilled about the photos I took. Nothing that awesome, nothing to be proud of.

The models were great, but I just didn't find the right shots. Maybe it was just the situation I was in. We were low on time, I was rushing, there were two models instead of one, I think I was a bit out of my element.

The shot I did get that was great was further back of the Golden Gate Bridge of the photoshooting. I set up my camera with a 9 Stop Hoya ND filter stacked on a Circular Polarizer to get the cool looking clouds and semi-long exposure to get some ghosting of us running around. That was my favorite shot, the others weren't that great.

At least I got one shot, but none really of the models.

Maybe I'm in a landscape mood these days.

Anyway, any of you guys ever have one of these kind of d ...

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Summer Portraits

Published August 6th, 2011

Going out with Kathyln this weekend for another model shoot. I'm thinking of a summery theme, but unfortunately San Francisco is foggy and cold right now. Kind of lame, but on the other hand, the disparity of it is kind of interesting. Photography is all about breaking stereotypes and showing how damn cold SF really is.

I think we might hitup some museums in Golden Gate Park, starting with deYoung Memorial Museum. Looking at the photography policies they have, it seems like a we will fall within most of the rules. It's not commercial photography, I won't have any flash, no tripods, and we will be wearing a shirt and bottoms hopefully. What I'm most excited about is the tower! That's gonna be quite awesome with all the lighting around. If it's foggy, it will be a great 360 degree softbox.

The museum itself, if I recall correctly, is pretty dark inside. I'll shoot with a 35mm and a 85mm at 1.8 and 1.4 to try to get the right shots. My thoughts are to follow Kathlyn through th ...

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First Impression: Chrome Niko

Published July 16th, 2011

Let's be honest, the mainstream camera bags look super dorky. They're designed by dorks, worn by dorks. In dorktown, they are considered cool looking, but for the vain who love the travel outside of town, there aren't too many options.

Oh, and to be clear, I'm also a dork.

Chrome bags are known in San Francisco to be "Hipster," which is usually a bad thing, but let's care a little less about what the world likes to label people as, and just know them as making really high quality stuff that looks good.

My first impression was that the bag looked great. Simple clean lines, really black (not some weird cheap #77777 grey that lowpros and others always come in), and really sturdy material.

The size is similar to my old LowePro 100AW slingshot bag, except it doesn't have the strange arrow shape, and is a normal rectangle.

The strap that goes around you fits great, and is really well padded. The "vent" mesh on the underside of the strap is awesome for long term wear.

I could care l ...

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San Francisco Bay Area Shooters "Post Card Shoot"

Published July 16th, 2011

Organized a "Post Card Shoot" tomorrow with the SFBAS group (http://flickr.com/groups/sfbas). If you guys are in SF and wanna cruise around with us, let me know! We're gonna hitup all the touristy spots for fun, and see what kind of rendition of the typical SF landmarks we can get.

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About Me

Published July 15th, 2011

Day

I am an entrepreneur with a background in software engineering. Most notably, I founded a company in 2009, Fanvibe.com, backed by investors including Y Combinator, which was acquired in 2011 by beRecruited.com. I am now the Lead of Product and Engineering (fancy title) of beRecruited.

Night

I have a passion for photography, but I fear that if I get paid for any type of photography, it will lose it's magic forever. The magic is a sense of making history, of capturing a moment into a piece of art that doesn't exactly represent the moment in a realistic form, but translates the feelings I had at that moment. Sometimes I just like how pretty I can make something look.

Weekends

I love volunteering for good causes, and if it involves taking photos to help then that's even better. I've done lots of photos for the American Cancer Society, an intense project for the San Quentin Prison here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and other organizations locally. I hope to do more soon.

Life

I ...

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Chrome Niko

Published July 14th, 2011

I'm looking into getting a Chrome Niko camera bag. It's simple and minimalistic. I always carry just two lenses and my camera with a few accessories, so this might be perfect.

My current Crumpler 6mil bag is OK, but the constant velcro is starting to really annoy me, especially during weddings in a quiet church.

Anyone have this yet?

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Awesome

Published July 13th, 2011

Decided to upgrade to get the awesome badge. I'm really starting to like the service, the community here is pretty amazing. I'm seeing myself able to connect and talk with a lot more people here than on Flickr. I'm not sure how this is possible, as I always thought Flickr really nailed the community with their groups. 500px allows for discovery better than Flickr, which I think is really powerful.

I'll keep trying this out. I could upload photos in parallel with Flickr.

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500px

Published May 11th, 2011

I like the clean layout of 500px. The extra features over Flickr are interesting, but it lacks a bit of the Flickr community. No groups etc.

I do see a nice way to discover popular photos, but still have yet to find a service that helps discover photos that aren't yet popular.

Also no mobile solution.

I'll try out 500px for awhile and see how I like it.

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