Photo a day, day 60. Dakota jazz club, Minneapolis, July 2014.
Back home in Minneapolis and catching a jazz show. My time was tight today because of travel so I had to take a photo at the show. It was too dark to take people pictures, and I didn’t want to take a simple performance shot. I came up with the idea of shooting the performance through my cell phone screen after I saw so many people taking photos and videos with their phone. I also didn’t have access to my computer so I did the post processing on my phone using VSCO cam.

Photo a day, day 59.  Venice Beach, July 2014.

I have been waiting for about three weeks to photograph this street performer.  When I first saw him I knew I wanted to get a shot, but I didn’t want to just take a picture of him performing his act.  I opted to wait for the right situation to present itself so I could add a little story to my photo.  I always had a idea of how I wanted the photo to turn out, and it included a child on their parents shoulders in the foreground.  All I had to do is wait and today my wait finally paid off.

Venice Beach, CA, July 2014.

When I was taking an evening walk on the boardwalk, I noticed a bright spotlight coming from a building that would perfectly highlight a subject in a photo.  I stopped, got my camera out, and started waiting for subjects to pass through the light.  As I was camped out with my camera, I heard a strange voice shout, “Do you give two forks about the homeless!?”  I looked over to see a sunburnt man, Michael, approach me with and grin and two forks tangled together.  We chatted a bit, and as we were discussing his graffiti art I noticed am unmarked police vehicle approaching us.  As it passed though the light I jumped behind Michael to give the photo a bit of extra context and story.

Photo a day, day 58.  My kitchen, Venice Beach, July 2014.

Sometimes interesting photos come to you.  I was sitting at my desk working and Yuki, my lovely dog, decided to rest in a bean of sunlight under the kitchen table.  Looking over, I liked how the chair and table framed Yuki and the beam of light really made her stand out.  I set my exposure so Yuki was properly exposed and the rest of the scene was underexposed, set framing, and took the shot.  

Behind the scenes video I did for Crystal Kay’s “Dum Ditty Dumb” music video.  I filmed the majority of this with the Sony A7 and used a GoPro for the opening time lapses.  I edited and color corrected the video using FCPX.

Photo a day, day 56.  Santa Monica, July 2014.

While walking around Santa Monica I spotted a man on a bike that reminded me of something I  commonly saw when I lived in China.  When I see an interesting character, I just shoot away.  I was using an 85mm manual focus so I was only able to get off three shots as he rode by.  This is the photo I like best of the three.

Photo a day, day 55. The ever present police at the Venice Beach pier. July 2014.

One thing I have noticed after living in Venice for about a month is the massive police presence on the beach.  Instead of tuning them out, I always am looking to get photos showing how the LADP is always watching us.  When I was meeting some friends at the beach, I noticed this officer surveying the beach from the shade of the pier.  I liked how the pier and supports framed him so I excused myself from the conversation with my friends to sneak up on him to get this shot.  

Photo a day, day 54.  Venice Beach Pier at 8AM.

I have taken to advice to always have a camera with you to such extremes I even carry it on my morning runs.  Not only do I get some morning shots I would not otherwise get, the chance to get a good photo motivates me to leave the house and run.  

Sometimes I run to the Venice Beach pier in the mornings.  Whenever I do, I see Erving at the end of the Pier fishing.  We talked a few mornings and built up a rapport to the point he was comfortable with me taking his picture.  

Photo a day, day 53.  Venice Beach, July 2014.

I always seem to find cool light when walking around at night.  I liked how when cars would drive though this alley they would silhouette whoever was in front of their headlights and bounce light off the pavement and walls.  All I had to do was wait for the right scene to unfold and manage to focus with a 85mm wide open at f1.4. 

Sunset a Venice Beach, July 2014.

Another picture I got because I always carry my camera.  When walking back from dinner I stumbled on a scene that perfectly captures the spirit of Venice, long haired free spirit types slack-lining between palm trees at sunset.  I took about 10 photos and exposed for the sky to silhouette the subject and trees.  This is the photo I like most.

Photo a day, day 52.  Biking Dog Salesman.  Venice Beach, July 2014.

A lesson in always having your camera ready.  I turned around at an intersection while waiting for the signal to turn and saw a puppy in the front basket of a bike driven by a smiling man.  I didn’t have any time to think about composition, so I just tired to follow the rule of thirds as best I could and set focus on the cute dog.