Switchfoot Bro-Am 2010

June 29, 2010

This past weekend Bryan and I went to the Switchfoot Bro-Am. We first went to to this event four years ago but haven’t been able to come back until this year. The Bro-Am takes place in Encintas, the home town of the band Switchfoot, at Moonlight Beach. We got there around 7:30am during the start of the surf competition. As with most mornings at the beach it was very overcast and cold during the first few hours we were there. We watched multiple teams compete in heats. Teams included Hurley, Jedidiah, Billabong and other surf related retailers. The main heat between the guys of Switchfoot and the editors of Surfrider magazine was by far the most popular. While Bryan took a lot of photos of the other teams I grabbed the camera to shoot some closeups of the band getting ready for their heat. While all the press gathered around the Switchfoot guys I couldn’t help feeling like paparazzi. Although we didn’t stay for the whole event this year there was still lots to see. There are many vendors on the beach selling food, band memorabilia and giving out free samples. The best part is that there is a concert that goes on most of the day which includes many different artists with Switchfoot being the main performer at the end of the day.

Besides the fact that this event is put on for the local charity Standup For Kids, this is a family event for the guys of Switchfoot. I saw the whole Switchfoot clan gathered around cheering for the guys, from wives to kids to grandparents and local friends. It just shows how down to earth these guys are and that they have never forgotten where they came from, after all Moonlight Beach is the place they grew up surfing at when they were kids.

Tim, Jon and Chad from Switchfoot

Rob Machado

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Chad Butler of Switchfoot

Moonlight Beach

Photo 191: A Series Of Fortunate Pictures

June 11, 2010

For our final project in our digital photo class Niel brought in a jar of fortune cookies. He asked each person to pick two cookies and told us to create a series of photos based on the fortunes inside. We could either combine the two fortunes or use one of the fortunes as our theme. Bryan and I both chose to do only one of our fortunes with his fortune being “Keep up the good health habits you already have.” He interpreted his project very literally and shot photos of activities he normally does such as walking the dogs, riding his bike and going to the gym. He added a twist to his interpretation by shooting all the photos from his perspective. Everyone in the class thought his idea was very successful and I totally agree.

The fortune that I chose to do was “Pick up some litter and help keep our world beautiful.” My idea for this project was to show beautiful landscapes with huge amounts of trash in the foreground. Generally beautiful places do not have large piles of garbage strewn about and that’s where Photoshop magic comes in. Because I had a plethora of nice landscape photos that I have taken I decided to focus all my energy on getting pictures of large piles of trash. I naively thought this would be easy, I tried going to local landfills but apparently these places do not allow you to photograph their trash so I had to look for other means. Unfortunately, the area that I live in is very clean so I couldn’t even find trash lying about in the streets or near the dumpsters. I realized I had to do something I dreaded, I had to use stock photography. I found a website that allowed me to use free images of garbage, I composited those images onto my own landscape shots and Viola! I had the “shots” I wanted. My only regret is that I relied too heavily on Photoshop for this project despite the fact that I am not a Photoshop whiz. One criticism of my final project was that although the landscapes were beautifully lit the stock images lacked the same quality and you can very much tell that my final images were composited.

Stock trash photo by Chiara Marra

Stock tire photo by Simon Film

Stock trash photo by Editor B

Stock trash photo by D'Arcy Norman

Stock trash photo by Xerones

I would definitely say we learned a lot in this class, not just about Photoshop but about creative thinking. I learned how important looking at a subject from a different perspective is to creating your own style of photographs. Anyone can take good photos, but it’s the way you interpret a subject that can be the difference between a good image and a great image. I personally have been anti-Photoshop for a long time because I see a lot of people over doing it and relying heavily on it which I was guilty of in my own final project. Ironic huh? I learned that a little post processing can go a long way to enhancing a photo and that good Photoshop is all about subtlety. We ended up ordering Photoshop CS5 for ourselves and have since learned all of the interesting and useful tools it had to offer. Photoshop is definitely a powerful tool and Niel reminded us all of the famous saying “With great power comes great responsibility”.

IVHS Dog Walk 2010

June 1, 2010

Last weekend was the 9th Annual IVHS Dog Walk which took place at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. We have participated in this event on and off for the last five years but this year was really special for us because this was the first year we were officially dog owners. As with previous years we joined Team Natasha and began fundraising very early in the year so we would again be the top fundraising team of the event. Our team ended up being quite large with over 20 walkers and of course our team leader, Natasha was also celebrating her 4th birthday at the event. Our plan was to bring both of our dogs to the event however the weeks leading up to the walk proved that Maxx and Pearl could not possibly behave together when presented with the opportunity to meet so many new dogs. Although it saddened me we decided to leave Maxx behind and only take Pearl to the Dog Walk. Without Maxx around Pearl significantly relaxed and was mostly a good dog for the entire event with the exception of when she tried to fit The Wizard’s face in her mouth, but no dog is perfect.

As with previous years our friend Sarah went all out for this event. She and the girls baked dog biscuits which they passed out at Natasha’s birthday booth, she also made cupcakes with little pictures of Natasha and the dogs on them. She also made us name tags out of yellow and red duct tape that looked like rocket ships with a stream of flames, these were to go with the theme of this year’s walk A Pooch Odyssey. Natasha ended up raising over $1400 which not only made her the top fundraising youth but got her some awesome prizes including a hydration backpack and a car sunshade which she carried with her during the entirety of the walk. Naturally we ended up winning top fundraising team with our total donations reaching nearly $3000. After we collected all of our prizes we gathered together and headed out on the walk. This year we actually did the whole 3 mile round trip, the weather was great during the walk and Pearl was a total champ. One of the best parts of the walk is getting to see all the different breeds of dogs that people have. I think Bryan and I agreed after doing the walk that we wanted a St. Bernard and a Great Pyrenees. 
We came back from the walk tired out but ready to eat some cupcakes. Even Pearl and the other dogs got to have birthday cupcakes. We all had a great time at the walk and can’t wait to start planning for next year!
Check out our photos from this years walk below:

Natasha's Team minus a few people

Natasha painting her own dog bowl

Bryan and Pearl

Ready. Set. Walk!

Natasha's Team

Pearl met another White Shepherd named Rose

Mark took this photo of Bryan, Pearl and I.

Aisha, The Wizard and Super Tramp

Puppies should no be allowed to be this cute

Yes, someone actually did this to their dog

Birthday cupcakes

Party favors made by Sarah

Pearl enjoying her cupcake

Yet another group shot, it was the end of the day and we could not coordinate anymore. This was shot by the IVHS photographer with our Mark II.

Bryan edited a video he shot with the Mark II of us setting up for a group shot. It was the first video he did in Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. Check it out.