[Oh, Snap!] You Stay Classy, San Diego

Ron Burgundy on the origin of ‘San Diego

Don’t let the non-blonde hair or fact I can’t surf fool you, I’m a California girl true and true.  I was born and raised in the Silicon Valley of Northern California, found myself in Santa Barbara for college while I completed my Bachelors of Science and moved to Los Angeles shortly after I got my degree.  When I was in middle school and high school I was on a club basketball team that traveled around California, and it granted me the opportunity to visit and explore many sides of the great, Golden State. And to boot, my family loves to travel.  Combine those two facts, and that’s a lot of location scouting.  Within California alone, I’ve been to: Napa, Sonoma, Walnut Creek, Petaluma, Vallejo, San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Los Angeles, San Diego…the list could go on and on; but that’s not the point.   Each time I visited a new place, I would try and envision myself living there – and to this day, the more and more I consider San Diego, the more I’d like to give it a chance to woo me over.

The Gaslamp District at Night
Taken with my HTC Rezound; snazzed up in Instagram using the XPro 2 Filter.

The other weekend, one of my friends suggested a girls trip down to San Diego for a few days – and the offer couldn’t have come at a better time. Los Angeles, that magical city of sunshine and traffic, can grow tiresome if you don’t get the energy to leave every once in a while.

There’s a saying – ‘You never know what youve got until it’s gone.’ – and in a way, that’s how I feel about my city of angels.

 LA is wonderful for nightlife and experiencing different types of culture; from art walks to club experiences, and from warehouse parties to flea markets – LA is a mecca of different cultures that clash and meld all over the city.  But San Diego is equally diverse and spread out over a larger area of land; the air is so breathable – and the views are so stunning.

The Glass Door, San Diego
Taken with my HTC Rezound; stitched together with Diptic.

To be honest – we had thought long and hard about what sorts of shenanigans we wanted to get into in San Diego.  There were discussions of going to the San Diego Wildlife Park or the  Zoo for their Nighttime Zoo: China Celebration, and potentially going out and dancing at Voyeur and Fluxx, two of San Diego’s best night clubs.  But, instead – we had a nice girls weekend in the apartment; venturing out only for nourishment and exercise.

For brunch(/lunch) we consulted Yelp and Metrowize; there were so many great options that it was hard to narrow our sights on just one.  What caught our attention – this article about the Booziest Brunches in San Diego.  I’m a sucker for a kickass Bloody Mary, and let me tell you – this place does it right!  They not only garnish the thing with bacon but they also use bacon infused vodka; genius!

San Diego from a different perspective.
Taken with my HTC Rezound in Instagram; edited using the Lord Kelvin filter.

Oh Snap: Street Art v1

In every way of the word, LA is bustling with diversity, creativity and inspiration.  There’s as much diversity between the different cultures in LA as there are within them.  The creativity and inspiration of each subculture here is born out of colliding ideas.  And these ideas are translated into art, architecture, music, performance dance, and more – the key is knowing where to look; with street art, it’s no further than the wall of a dilapidated building,  a fire hydrant or billboard.

Over the past few months I’ve been taking Urban Nature Walks and taking pictures of anything that catches my eye and I can’t wait to share it with you guys through my Oh, Snap! series.  What better way to kick it off than counting down my top 10 pictures. All of these photos are taken with the Instagram Application for Android, and I’ll let you know what filters and edits I’ve used. Enjoy!


“The best thing to hold into in this world is each other” – Audrey Hepburn

Filter: Sierra
Location: Melrose


Sad Robot

Filter: Rise
Location: Melrose


Filter: Earlybird
Location: Melrose


Filter: Lo-fi
Location: Melrose


Doors of Perception

Filter: Hudson
Location: Venice


Robots with Heart

Filter: Amaro
Location: Melrose


Filter: Rise
Location: Venice


Where the Wild Things Are

Filter: Lo-Fi
Location: Melrose


“Where there is love there is life.” – Gandhi

Filter: X Pro 2
Location: Hollywood


Filter: Hudson
Location: Hollywood

Oh Snap: Sunset in Newport Beach

One word I’m not is camerashy.

From a young age, my step mother would show me tricks of the trade on her delectably powerful camera.  In middle school and high school, I managed to always have a disposable camera on me to eat up my surroundings. And, by the time I reached college and the post collegiate world, I managed to upgrade myself to some Canon PowerShot cameras.  And let’s face it, in this modern age even the cameras on our cell phones can far exceed what one can do with a simple point-and-shoot.  Regardless of what I have in my hand, I feel like I capture a lot of stunning moments.

Everyone could use a fun, new hobby and photography is at the top of my list. What I’ve learned about photography over time is that to capture the moment, and this goes for both the photographer and the subject, you yourself need to become part of the moment.  Whether its letting the scene take your breath away before capturing it, or making eye contact – through your eyes not the camera lens – and getting lost in the atmosphere – if you aren’t immersed in the moment, you might take an image, but you won’t get a picture.

The next best thing to taking a good picture is sharing a good picture – and that’s what my Oh Snap! segments are all about: I’ll get to share my favorite pictures, edits, tricks and tips as I go.   I currently bounce between using two different Canon PowerShot cameras, the SD1400IS and Elph 310HS, and my Droid Rezound which came with a stunning 8MP rear camera with 1080p video capture.  I have a few applications on the phone that I adore – and yes, not just Instagram (though it’s perfect for quick editing on the fly) – and with each snap I share, I’ll also let you know how I finagled it.

I spent yesterday down in Newport at a stellar boat party thrown by Harmonic Productions; after it ended, I wound up with a few friends at their hotel room – celebrating the gorgeous weather and a birthday.  As the sun went down, my interest in capturing it piqued – a good sunset can be hard to capture on camera.  I took the picture above using a Droid application called ‘HDR Camera‘ and using the Candy filter to make the pinks in the sunset pop.  Below is a picture I took within seconds of the first, instead for this I captured the picture in the Instagram application; I actually spent about five minutes trying to brighten the picture – by shooting from different camera angles and heights, I managed to make the entire picture brighter without losing the detail in the clouds. Within the app, I used the automatic brightener and the Sierra filter.