UC Berkeley

Some Madness Required

This is a text heavy post, but it has multiple photos! Feel free to skip over the text. I know nobody besides my family really cares about what's going on in my life, but whatcha gonna do? The story laid out below simply serves as the context for all of the images. 

The last few days have been rather hectic. On Thursday, my first class was normal. Then I went to my second class, Yiddish in Theatre and Film, a history class. It was the final day of lecture, which meant it was time for our final project. There are only 9 people that are actually in the class, so instead of writing a big final paper, the class did a joint project at the insistence of our professor. He wanted us to do a Yiddish dance, so we came up with the choreography on Tuesday and then performed it on Friday. Our professor participated in the dance as well. The best part is that I think that ends up coming out to about 40% of our grade. So you know, there's that. Immediately after that, I headed over to rehearse for a scene that I was performing the next day. My scene partner was 30 minutes late, but whatever. We rehearsed for a bit and then I believe I headed over to the Campanile to do some portraits for a friend friend with the carillon. 

Fun side note about the portraits: This is the first time I've had the opportunity to really test out my new LED light panel and it works really well. Perhaps I'll do a review of it soon, but I just want to say that it's super helpful.

On we go. Friday morning, I left my place around 9:00 to head to class. It was fine and at the end, my professor said that she might put me on a Room 7 show in the Fall. After that, I went to my section where I was supposed to have a presentation but we ran out of time so I didn't have to go (hooray!). Then I went to rehearse my scene a final time, popped home for less than an hour to grab some equipment for later, and then went to my next class really early to get everything set up for the scene. The scene went fine, and immediately after class ended, I went to the next building over to run tech for a friend's a capella group. I shot this on the way home from that because I was also filming the show so I had my camera with me.

The next day, it was time for me to do photography for the 7th Annual Queer and Asian Conference at the request of a friend. I was there from 9:15 in the morning until 5:00 at which point I left to go do tech for the second night of the a capella show which ran until around 9:45. I stopped at home very briefly to drop off my gear and then I headed out to meet some people to see The Amazing Spiderman 2 at 10:30. It was pretty good. Much like the first film of the reboot, it was better than the previous Spiderman trilogy. Then I was offered the option of free food, so I naturally opted for that road which resulted in me staying up all night and re-watching Black Dynamite. I finally went to sleep on a couch at around 7:30am, and woke up at 11:45.

Lunch Line at QACON

At that point, I ate more free food, and then went home briefly to wash my face before I headed back to the Campanile to listen to my friend's final recital and then go check out the very tippity top of the tower. For whatever reason, I thought it would be super smart to run up the equivalent of ~20 stories of stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. On the plus side, we were exactly as fast as the elevator, on the down side, I very nearly fainted which was a new thing for me. Sleep before heavy physical exertion, kids. At least the top was worth it. If you ever happen to be up there after an end of semester recital and you see a ticket stub for The Amazing Spiderman 2, it's mine. 

Tip top of the Campanile

I got home around 5:30, finally thinking it was over. I cleaned up my place that had become a hideous mess over the last month of not being home much, I ate, and I sat down to do my take home final. After completing that, I started last night's episode of Game of Thrones (S04E05 for those in the future). I only got halfway through when I heard a knock on my door. From there, it turned into YouTube viewing, a video chat, and an unannounced free pizza delivery. At 3am, I finally laid down to sleep. 

Thus ends my tale. But before I depart, I shall leave you with a parting gift. It is fun, much like that other song by the same band that I put on my previous blog post. 


I posted this on Instagram the other day but this version doesn't have that stupid forced square crop! In other news, the two of you that make it to these posts may have noticed that you haven't been able to click on the image to make them larger lately. Wondering why that is? Well don't ask me. Do I look like I know?

And look! Some more media! I didn't make it but you should listen to it anyway because it's fun.

Two Sides

I really hope I have the time to go out and shoot some pictures soon. 

I want to share something that I saw on Tumblr the other day as well. I think they are gorgeous and deserve to be shared. I want to stress that I DID NOT CREATE THESE. I'm linking them to the original source as well. 

EDIT: I don't know if it's just me, but the link to the original artist's website that I put on the pictures isn't working.

The Garbage Pile: A Compilation

We are nearing the end of the semester so I figured I'd do a review of the shots I've taken this semester. I'm starting not with the best of the semester, but rather a group of photos that I think aren't good enough to show on their own, but are good enough that they should be shown, photos that entertain me, or photos that I think had potential, but were executed poorly. 

So you feel like you got something out of this post, I'll throw some fun facts out in the event that you're disappointed by the pictures. 

If you recall, a few weeks ago I put up a shot from a cemetery in Oakland, the Mountain View Cemetery, that I was at for an archaeology project. Well, I'm now finishing up that project (I haven't left my room it two days because of it!), and during one of my research tangents, I discovered some of the notable people that are buried there. Fred Korematsu is buried there (he was born in Oakland after all), along with Domingo Ghirardelli the chocolate guy, J. A. Folger the coffee guy, Charles Crocker the railroad guy, Elizabeth Short (also known as the Black Dahlia), Henry J. Kaiser the ship guy, and dozens of other governors and famous people and stuff. Expanding upon that last name, Henry Kaiser, we all probably know him as the guy that ran all of the Kaiser shipyards in the bay during World War II, some of the most productive ship yards in the world at that period (the four Kaiser yards in the bay produced 747 ships during the war). But we already know all of that. What I didn't know until today is that Kaiser Permanente had its beginnings in those factories with health plan that covered the workers at the Kaiser factories, and a Kaiser hospital built for the workers. Neato!

Okay, enough with the history lessons. Here are some photos that range from pretty good to mediocre. I've seen much better photographers put up much worse photos, so I figure I can get away with it.


It's so abstract

Much horse

I actually can't tell if this is good or not.

Poor execution 

Okay, this one is actually pretty good.

Wow. Such a rebel.

I actually like this one too. It's pretty neat.

I guess this is pretty cool too. In fact, did I already put this one up?

I know what you're thinking. No, I've never put this up, it's just really similar to that other one. That's why it's in the heap.

I had to. She'll probably never see it anyway.

So close

I feel like there are several issues with this, but I couldn't tell you what they are.

And finishing it off with a boring and uninspiring picture!

The Power of Editing

This is kind of a touristy shot, but whatever. That's not really the point. Actually, I guess it should be. Oh well. Anyway, I've noticed this odd fear of editing in my photography class. Maybe fear isn't the right word, but some people in there act like it's the devil and seem think that as soon as a photograph has been edited, it is no longer any good. I don't really think that's a good way of looking at it. The only sort of editing I'm opposed to is cutting and pasting entirely new bits into a picture, because at that point it's not as representative of the scene or the moment which is what I personally love about photography. Anyhow, I edited today's picture four different ways (the first is unedited) to show how the mood can entirely change based on the edit and also to show how dull the unedited shot is.

Now, it's certainly quite possible to capture a photograph and have it look good without any editing at all, but I personally think that any picture can be made to look even better with at least a little editing. Even if it's just a slight boost in the contrast and sharpness, or a little saturation bump. 

#1 (yawn)





Also, just because it's funny:

Sky High

I haven't really been out to shoot lately because of rehearsal and projects and all, but I'll try to get out next week. Maybe. Here's another photo that is already on Instagram but not on here. At least I'm pretty sure it's not on here. It's pretty low quality because it's another Nexus 4 photo, but I still think it's kind of neat. While I am somewhat satisfied with the image quality of the phone, I can't stand the lens flare that occurs with most cell phone cameras. Something about it just drives me nuts, but I'm also just picky about lens flare.