Rediscovering VHS

Sometimes when things are too easy, we fail to do it. We take living in the modern day world for granted. Just because we can Facebook message a best friend from 10 years ago, doesn’t mean we will. But if I discovered her address in one of my old journals, I would be filled with joy just to see her name again. I would then, go on an adventure to find the perfect stationary and write her a letter. (Yes, I’ve actually done this.)

How many bloggers out there who haven’t written a post in weeks? ME! How many photographers out there who haven’t picked up their camera in months? ME! I still enjoy taking photos, and I do miss writing, but I know I can do it tomorrow.  Usually when this happens to me, I need a new medium to fall in love with again. I need to rediscover the beauty and curiosity I once had.

Today my 8 year old self leaped for joy when I saw this beauty at the thrift store – a VHS RCA video camera! I’ve envied the father’s at birthday parties would bring their video cameras out to film. I would sit there not singing Happy Birthday, but day dreaming of all the movies I could be making if I had one. Now more than twenty years later, here I am given the chance to relive the dream of, “Let’s make a movie!” 

The joy of rediscovering. mmm Now time to create.

California Road trip – Hollywood

Growing up my parent’s idea of a holiday is staying home. This summer because I wanted to save money, I was about to do that too.. but just couldn’t stay home for a week doing nothing! I talked Gus into doing a road trip with me but this time focus on California. We made our first stop in Hollywood to visit a church. After we went around the blvd and captured some photos and video. Gus shot and edited a travel series of our trip. I’m so happy to share the videos here along with my photos. Keep in mind, I am awkward in front of the camera! Next post – Santa Barbara!

Project Movie Scene

I notice my photography gets better every time I do a shoot. Its mainly because I keep on shooting, even when no one hires me out, I still pick up my camera and shot. Why? Because I love it.

What I really love is to edit. I want to edit films one day and even make them. How and when? Who knows. To be honest, I want to make movies now.  I want to learn the art of storytelling, editing, directing and everything that goes in to capturing a scene. The best way to learn this is to do it. I am apart of a very lucky generation. I own a great camera, editing software and have a massive audiences called the internet. The only thing stopping me from making a movie is me.

I came up with the idea to film a scene that would be in a movie every month, more often if possible. I will gather a few actors, give them the storyline and have them act it out. By doing this I will learn how to communicate, how to shoot, and edit a scene. Here I will make mistakes and learn from them.

I filmed the first of Project Movie Scene this evening. I can’t tell you how much fun I had doing it. It seemed to re-fuel my passion for filming.

Its called, “I am a Kid.”

Photography is Video’s Friend

The reason why I got in to photography was to help with my video work. Before photography came in to my life, my video shots were random, shaky, and slopping.  My color grading was horrible. I didn’t know what to look for when adjusting colors in after effects. Here is a screen capture of one of the first videos I did at the Rock Church.

I’ve been learning about photography and color correcting for the past three years. I edit my photos in Lightroom and love the set up. I’ve been reading up on color correcting and been collecting color graded videos that I like to keep as color reference.

I recently filmed a wedding with my Canon 7D, and today I edited it together. I am now color grading it in After Effects and for the first time I know what to adjust to give me the color that I want.

It feels great to know all the work I’ve been putting in to photography has made me a better camera operator, video editor, and color corrector. I highly encourage you to put in the good work in your craft. One day you will have a moment where you see how far you’ve come along. You can read my post on how to color grading here.

The Mini Diana Camera

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My friend bought me the Mini Diana Camera for Christmas.  Two time I tried to use it I had some trouble with loading the film and rewinding it. I was so mad that I lost those photos but I decided I would give her one more chance. Saturday I tested it out for the third time and I finally figured it out.

I thought I’d make this video so others wouldn’t have to go through the heartache of missing up their film. Hope it helps.

Here are my shots. The next roll should be better.. I hope.

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Camera girl for Hillsong United

Ever since I graduated college from Hillsong in 2005 I’ve gotten the opportunity to do cameras when the team comes to Los Angeles. Last night the youth worship band, Hillsong United sold out the Staples Center.

It was exciting to work with some of the most creative bunch of people I know again. During one of the songs, the director asked me to fix my framing according to the middle screen, when I looked to fix it, my mind got confused as their was a duplicate on the left of the screen with the image upside down. It was a funny moment that made me say, “Oh yes, it’s United.”

Something that worship leader Joel Houston said is that it’s not about the lights and stage but about Jesus, the one who paid the cost for our sins. As a person who loves God and production this is something I tell myself often. I have to remind myself of the Cause.  He also said how they were once a small worship band for their youth group in a little suburb in Australia and here they are in Los Angeles at the Staple Center with a sold out concert worshiping God with thousands of people.

During one of the song transition, we faded everything to black and at that moment the crowd of 20,000 people started to sing all by themselves the next song, “With Everything”. The sound echoed though the Staple Center. It’s kinda neat to think of all the events that have taken place at the Staples Center but I’m pretty sure nothing out beats that moment.

Congratulations to Hillsong United for a sold out concert at  one of Los Angeles largest venue.

Here is one of their videos on youtube so you see for yourself.

I love my film camera.

I love my film camera, or should I say LOVED.

Today I found out this amazing camera of mine, officially doesn’t work. Surprisingly, I wasn’t sad when I heard the news. Instead  I know that a new season of photography is about to begin for me.

A year ago I took the risk on this old outdated thing called film. Since then I have grown as a photographer and as an artist. I have finally discovered my personal style. I am one of those young artists who was schooled before I was able to explore my creativity. Photography started out as a personal outlet for me. It was in photography that I was able to be me, to take photos because I like to. This camera also helped me see the art of capturing personal moments that life gives us all the time.

And now I finally believe in myself. I believe in myself enough to invest in myself. I have saved the hard earn dollars and finally purchased a digital SLR. The Canon 7D. This large purchase wouldn’t have been possible without the risk of the purchase of the vintage film camera. Whoever the photographer was that owned this film camera, passed on their love and gift to me. They had to let go in order to go forward on their journey. And so I close my journey with this beloved camera and start a new one with the 7D. I am excited to learn and I’m ready to make mistakes. But one thing is for sure, I will always remember to use whatever God puts in my hands.

I do admit, I will keep an eye out for another great film camera. Because FILM IS NOT DEAD.