Oh, Snap: Stunning Sunsets Vol1

Over the last decade, I’ve developed a knack for capturing events ‘in-the-moment’: confetti at concerts, priceless interactions between friends and the nuanced emotions of animals.  You name it, I’ve probably at least attempted to capture it.  The only difference between me then and me now is experience, age, wisdom and dedication; so, kind of a lot.  You’d think that with so many moving pieces, shooting people and animals would be on the more difficult end of the spectrum – but that would be completely false.  With animate objects, you can engage them into acting, or even reacting – either way, they engage the camera in a symbiotic relationship.   When you’re trying to take a picture of a dandelion or mural – you can’t exactly ask it to shift into the light, or angle themselves in another direction.  It’s all up to you to be creative, which is where I shine.  I love taking something that exists and manipulating the image into something bigger: bolder, colorful, lively; and I feel like sunsets are the perfect subject to demonstrate this.

LA Skyline

Newport, CA

Dallas, TX

Hollywood, CA

San Diego, CA

Echo Park, CA

Downtown LA

Newport, CA

Sunset Spot

Malibu, CA

Coachella 2011

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.