Your Next Screensaver

I'm not really one for selfies (except for the occasional Snapchat that I sent to a select few), nor do I take pictures of myself while on vacation like, "Oh, here I am in front of this building." And, instead of taking pictures of the famous sites, sometimes I just find what I think is pretty and snap that. This definitely was the case on my trip to England (very spur-of-the-moment trip), and you probably couldn't tell where I was from the pictures I took. This time around, there a lot of "screensaver" worthy shots. All unfiltered.

Island Life

Took a much needed week-long vacation to Oahu. I didn't take as many photos as I had wanted. Actually, I only took 3 good ones. Instead, I shot daily vlogs. Enjoy!

New beginnings

This blog certainly has been neglected, hasn't it? Let's change that (hopefully, I'll actually stick with it this time).

I recently joined Hit Record and by "recently" I mean "this morning." It's a community-sourced production company that's kind of the brain child of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Yes, that Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Hit Record encourages artists of all types - photographers, writers, actors, animators, etc. - to just be creative and collaborate. You don't have to be a professional, just passionate. You don't even have to be that passionate. Just mess around with whatever art form moves you, and upload it to the site. Or just explore. No pressure.

Well, I browsed around and checked out what they call "Creative Challenges," which are essentially prompts for scripts, poems, pictures, whatever. And, I just started uploading some old photos from my computer based on the prompt. I have to say (not to toot my own horn, but...) I'm surprised by how good they actually are. Just completely unedited, random stuff that I had shot a couple of years ago when I first picked up my camera.

So, I'm just gonna post some of that stuff here. Just a couple of throwbacks, if you will.

Let me know what you think and maybe I'll do this once a week and call it a... weekly rewind? Or... something better?

These were taken somewhere a little north of Half Moon Bay, with my Nikon D200 50mm lens.


Sorry for being M.I.A.

I know, I know -- It's been a while.

I put this blog on the back burner more often than I'd like, and the excuses go on and on. I'm too tired, I'm not motivated, I just don't feel like it.

Plus, I don't want the posts to be forced in a way that I'll eventually churn out meaningless post after meaningless post. But, maybe that's what I need to start doing?

Sometimes I wonder if there's anyone even reading this and if this is something I should continue to pursue. Then I get the nice surprise when I check in on the stats page and see that there's over 2000 page views. I know it's not a lot, only a couple hundred per post, but it's significant to me. And it's so cool to see where the readers are coming from. Mostly U.S., but I see some from Russia, the U.K., France, and Singapore. And that's awesome.

[[ Where am I going with this? ]]

I don't have any photos to show in this post, unfortunately, because in my absence, I haven't been taking my camera out as often. However, I've started posting videos to YouTube. Mostly silly vlog-type videos. The main goal of the channel is to teach myself how to edit. But, the second, unexpected goal is to find my voice. So, I got the Canon G7X, the same camera that all the popular YouTube stars are using to vlog. It's a great camera, pretty compact, but does exactly what I need it to do. Keyword, it's compact.

Hopefully, vlogging and posting these videos to my channel will inspire me to be more creative and get "out there" and pick up my DSLR again.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Here's one of my videos, let me know what you think!

In Bloom

This time of year, I find myself watching commencement speeches from various universities around the country. They invite historical figures, political leaders, and industry trailblazers to inspire, to challenge, to give hope to the graduating class. The speeches are filled with words of wisdom, and they're also filled with metaphors that are a bit out of a reach, or worse, a cliché.

"You're a ship embarking on its maiden voyage," "Be true to yourself," "Follow your passion/heart/dreams/fear."

But, I guess they're clichés for a reason. As corny, overused, and unoriginal as they sound, these phrases tend to have a big impact on those who are standing at the precipice. They instill a sense of grandeur that is supposed to empower you to make more out of your life, become more. It's as if these commencement speakers are handing over the reigns to this country's future, for you to do with it what you will. In essence, they are. They challenge and champion these barely-twenty-year-olds to find a way to make a difference and change the world.
"History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you." Apple CEO Tim Cook at George Washington University
No pressure.

I equate it to sitting at the beach, or standing on a cliff, and staring out at the horizon. That feeling of openness and emptiness at the same time. Open because there are just so many possibilities. And empty because there are so many possibilities. Where do you start? And, how the hell are you going to get your butt to that horizon?

The speeches paint a pretty picture. Some promising that if you stay true to yourself, you'll get there. Well, I'm four years out of college and I'm not sure if I'm "there" yet. I don't even know where (or what) "there" is.

"I don't know" is often an unacceptable answer, especially at 25. Though, age is relative, right? To some in my industry, I'm a baby. To others, they're wondering why I'm not having a baby. (No thanks, for now.) And to others still, I'm at the ripe age to take a giant leap of faith and just go for it. Go for what it is that I'm truly passionate about. Go for that "there" on the horizon.

Some would wonder why bother with all this? They argue that I'm already doing really well for myself. I have a steady job at an important company, doing important things with an impact on thousands of people every day. Some would even kill for what I have.

That is true, and I'm so grateful. But every now and again I put myself back into the mind of college-me, high school-me. This time of year is a time of reflection, as if I'm still wearing my cap and gown, and I ask myself: What do you want to be when you grow up?

I think back to how I had imagined my life to be. What more can I become? What more do I care about? Do I have more to give?

More, because I refuse to believe that this is it.
"You discovered a talent, developed an ambition, and recognized your passion. When you feel that, you can't fight it. You just go with it...You aren't just following dreams; you're reaching a destiny." - Actor Robert De Niro at NYU Tisch School of the Arts 

Motivate Me

I had started this blog with the intention of learning about photography. It had always been an interest of mine and I thought blogging about it would help me stay honest with this new hobby. Plus it was a great way to track my progress.

At first, my voice was that of a novice (which I am), taking slow, wary steps into the world of photography, seeing it through a fresh lens (pardon the pun), hoping to glean some sort of insight from it all and perhaps -- in some miraculous way -- change my life. It's still the case, but ever since my dad passed four months ago, I've put the blog and photography on the back burner. I had zero desire to continue. How could I when my family needs me? Family, and work -- Those were my two main points of focus.

Even now I feel guilty thinking about my passions. How could I even begin to imagine my future when my present is still crumbling? But in my attempt to "be there" for my family, I've lost sight of my path, and I don't know what my motivation is anymore -- with this blog, and everything else.

Maybe that's what this blog is going to become. Not necessarily my journey with photography, but my journey. Period. My search for...whatever it is I'm looking for. And I hope, for the few that read this, you'll stick with me along the way.

I saw an affirmation on Pinterest the other day: Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. 

I want to know what that is for me. I want to be inspired. That's my new goal.

2015 Winter Wonderland

First off -- to the handful of you who actually read this blog -- my apologies for the temporary hiatus. Some personal family-related problems have stolen my attention these past few months. But, I'm back now, and I'd like to take things back to February when we in New York were in the height of the Winter snowstorm. It was quite possibly the longest winter I have ever had to endure. For most, it was a nuisance - having to shovel and salt the sidewalks, only to do it all over again in a few hours. For me, it was a nightmare... to shoot. So. Much. White. But, when you look past all the hardships and obstacles, you can find something so pure and simple in the world around you.

"In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more than reality." - Alfred Stieglitz