All posts filed under “personal

YiChing-Fuji 400H film scan (4)
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Portraits of Yi

Pictures have the magic power that they bring you back to the time when they are taken. These portraits are taken on rolls of Fuji 400H film in the spring early this year, but I haven’t got them developed until recently. When I picked up the photos, they brought me back the memories and times back then. It occurred to me that I come here to share some personal updates during my absence from this blog, and start to resume posting photos and words from now on. (I have so many photos to share later on…)

In the beginning of this year, I was putting so much hard work into job hunting that I needed a break. As a result, I spent a quaint weekend in Aptos beach. I picked up my camera after I had put down for two month because of job hunting, asked my friend Yi to take a walk on the beach. We chat about many things in life and encouraged each other, and then I snapped these portraits of her. It was such a lovely time together, and these photos shot on the film just made the memories even more special.

The hard work turned into a good result. I have started working full time since April and I really enjoy what I do and look forward to the future. At the same time on the side, I am busy more than ever on the weekends fulfilling my artistic dream – traveling to beautiful places to document weddings and love stories.

This is what I have been up to for now. The transition seemed so smooth that it felt like it was meant to be. I feel happy, content and grateful. Later on, I can’t wait to share so many photography works I’ve been working on. To top it off, I am excited for the Washington and Kauai trip in November and December to mark a perfect period to my wonderful 2014!

YiChing-Fuji 400H film scan (1)

YiChing-Fuji 400H film scan (3)

YiChing-Fuji 400H film scan (2)


Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (8)
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trying films

The last time I took pictures on a film camera was back in the first year of high school on an exchange student program in Australia . My dad finally allowed me to steal away his big fancy camera with me, alone, to another country. I carried 11 rolls of film, and I carefully allocated the number of frames for each day so that they would last me the entire 3 months. Regardless of what my dad had educated me on how to use this film camera of his, I believe I was on P mode the whole time…

15 years later, I picked up  a film camera again with a mixed feelings and purposes, a little intimidating, a little dumb, and lots of unexpectedness. I tried to slow down, to just take random pictures, to enjoy the anxiety between metering and releasing the shutter, and the best part,  to be surprised by the scans. First roll was experimental, since I was figuring out this new camera and the new procedure. I had no idea that the camera battery died right after the last frame. I was supposed to hit the rewind button but nothing happened…. So I opened up the back of the camera…to check it out….  Yeah, I blown out the last few frames. One photo got lucky to have a partially “light leak” effect. “So this is light leaks…that’s……kinda cool…” I said to myself when I stared at the results of my malfunction.

Films are addictive when looking at them. These photos were just random things, with not much story behind them, but somehow I can stare at them forever. My eyes search from the deep profound shadow to the soft delicate highlights, and the smooth gradient between both, almost like an amazing voice singing from Contralto to Sopraninos beautifully and effortlessly. Film bares a quality that’s so lovely and sophisticated, a quality that’s been long gone in digital.

I love shooting film, and I can’t wait to see how the following rolls turn out. After all, it is the fun part of it, isn’t it?

Nikon N8008 | nikkor 35mm f2| kodak portra 400

Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (1)

Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (2)

Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (5)

Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (4)

Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (6)

Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (3)

Nikon N8008 Nikkor 35mm f2 Kodak Portra 400 film (8)

California oak tree
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Follow me down to the oak tree

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follow you down to the red oak tree
as the air moves thick through the hollow reeds
will you wait for me there until someone comes
to carry me, carry me down

see I have not, I have not grown cold
i have stole from men who have stole from those
with their arms so thin and their skin so old
but you are young, you are young, you are young

then somebody laughs like it’s all just for hell
as though we could not be saved from the depth of the well
but the cloth that I make is a cloth you can sell
to pay for the gossamer seeds

names get carved in the red oak tree
of the ones who stay and the ones who leave
i will wait for you there with these cindered bones
so follow me, follow me down
follow me, follow me down
follow me, follow me down
follow me, follow me down


California Oak trees


California Oak

California Oak

California Oak trees at sunset



The Garnet Lake - John Muir Trail photo
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Escape to a fairy tale wonderland beyond Yosemite

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The Garnet Lake - John Muir Trail photo

[ Garnet Lake ]

Behind Yosemite there is a beautiful world I’d like to call fairy tale wonderland, accessed only by walking and felt only by pausing to listen.

It is such a remote and rare place that it conjures up nostalgia, however that’s exactly the kind of spell that High Sierra Nevada casts on me. From the moment that first patch of turquoise breaks forth from the Inyo Forests after a long day’s hike, the lakes and mountains fasten themselves to me in a way that’s almost visceral—bringing forth my fondest memories with the loved one. Though Yosemite is speechless magical, it is the quieter high sierra that’s captured my heart. No matter how chaotic our lives get, we squeeze time to take weekend wild trips to cultivate and grow the bonds with each other under the starlit night sky.  There’s nothing like hitting the less traveled trail all by feet to get the creative juices flowing and to be more introspective about our lives. Our feet stepped on the rolling terrain as we listened to the sound of water touching the bank. The sunlight shining through the trees and their shadows dancing on the trail ahead, beckoning us to places unknown. It is so good for the soul.

Oh, John Muir Trail… 221 miles in 3 weeks. We had only tasted 16 miles of it last Sunday and we have already being excited about taking the entire trail next year. There’s no reason or excuse, we simply have to do it.  Meg Cabot said: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the belief that something else is more important than fear.” I have yet to understand what is “that something else”, but I am sure I will next year at the Whitney Portal, the end of John Muir Trail traverse.

I am a wanderlust.

I’m gonna walk two hundred miles.

Because nature is calling.

1000 Island Lake - John Muir Trail photo 1

John Muir Trail photo (2)

Rainbow Fall photo (1)

[Rainbow Falls]

Rainbow Fall photo (3)

1000 Island Lake - John Muir Trail photo 1 (3)

Devil's Postpile photo (3)

[Devil’s Postpile]

Devil's Postpile photo (1)

Ruby Lake - John Muir Trail photo

Explore Agnew Meadow to 1000 Island Lake | (lien direct)

Baby and mommy b&w photo
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Love for Mom from the other half of the Earth

Baby and mommy b&w photo

Mother’s day is coming. This is that time each year for warm thoughts and fond memories, for expressing the feelings and words that often go unspoken, for telling the special people in our lives that they are loved and appreciated, always.

I don’t want to say the least to the one I love the best, and hope my thoughts are understood although they’re unexpressed. I know it means so very much to say how much you’re loved, Mom, each day throughout the year.

Things I remember on top of my mind when I think of you:

The first thing you used to ask me every day was what do I feel like to eat. Then you went to get grocery every day and cook my favorites for every meal.

When we went out together, people would say we are sisters, because you look so young for your age. And you will always be!

You used to ask me every time over the phone if I need money to buy books or to eat well, during the time I was studying abroad, and you kept wiring money for me no matter what.

You would sit cheerfully and patiently in the karaoke room listening to my singing for a constant three hours and clapped after each song.

You always stood by my side, whenever I had a big argument with Dad. Thanks Mom!

You always think ahead of me of my personal needs as if you could read my minds. You would do anything to make me smile and worry-less.

You don’t understand one English words but flew over the pacific ocean by yourself just for making me a warm soup, only because I said I feel lonely.

When we Skype, I see that I become the line on the corner of your eye, and you become the teardrops on my key board.

The greatness of a mother often hides in the most unrecognizable moments in a child’s life.

Let us not leave our love for Mom unspoken. Pick up the phone or run to the kitchen now, tell her we understand her unconditional love for us and we love her more than anything in the world, forever!

Happy Mother’s …

Also, let’s tell each other what are the things you remember when you think of your Mom?