Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

LA Pigeon Show 2015

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Last Friday, I got woken up by two separate friends texting me to inform me that there is a large pigeon convention happening on the weekend. So they had heard on the news. Naturally, I moved my dentist appointment and made it happen. I spent three hours looking at hundreds of pigeons and taking pictures. I also learned a few tidbits like the word grizzle, “almond” to describe pigeon color, and how to properly pronounce the word Jacobin (JACK-obin).

A lot of people don’t know that pigeons are bred to compete, much like show dogs (except they just sit there and look pretty). There are so many cool recessive pigeon genes that come out when they’re selectively bred over centuries. The pigeons looked healthy and happy for the most part. There were only a few breeds that I felt bad for; they had some difficulty moving around. These were only a small portion of the birds.

The pictures were hard to narrow down. So many of the pigeons had so much character and posed well for photos. So, I put the rest of the pictures in a Flickr album. Go look!











If you like these photos, you’ll love the book Extraordinary Pigeons by Stephen-Green Armytage. I like it so much that I have two copies (one I bought myself, one gifted to me by a friend). I keep one at home and one at work!

Self-Portrait 12/10/14

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Self Portrait 12/10/14

Sometimes, it comes out perfectly the first time.


Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


Millenium Park, Chicago. September 20, 2014.

Happy Pigeon Appreciation Day

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Pigeon Next to Ashtray

Okay, you got me. Pigeon Appreciation Day was June 13th, two days ago. I celebrated by feeding pigeons at a duck park, the only place where it’s socially acceptable to feed pigeons ’round these parts. My plan was to take beautiful pictures of the pigeons, but the pictures didn’t turn out great. Instead, I’m sharing these (more beautiful) photos I’d taken while I was visiting Istanbul in March.

Expectant Pigeons

My mom and I had come for our usual coffee at the terrace of Bebek Otel, which faces the Bebek Cove within the Bosphorus. It wasn’t too warm outside, so it was just her, me, the pigeons, and a seagull.

Layers of Birds

The pigeons weren’t afraid to come up close and personal. I was delighted when they flew onto our table and shamelessly paced toward our faces as soon as we sat down. So friendly!

Handsome Pigeon Pose

This white splotchy guy was my absolute favorite.
Blobby Pigeon

How did you celebrate Pigeon Appreciation Day? If by some strange reason you missed it, you should add it to your calendar for next year. Shame on you.

This Seemingly Beautiful Photo of a Dove Will Horrify You Once You Notice This Tiny Detail

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Look at this photo. Isn’t it pretty? I captured this shot of a dove’s nest on a windowsill just below my grandma’s window when I was in Istanbul. I was pretty proud of myself, as this was the first time I’d visited Turkey since upgrading my camera last year, and I was trying to be artsy. I smugly grinned to myself as I admired the image composition and how sharply I’d captured the dove’s features.

AND THEN… something weird caught my eye.


The Perfect Haircut (For Now)

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

After a year of premeditating and pinning, I finally got my hair cut in an angled long bob, and it’s exactly what I wanted.

It seems like an insignificant event, but let’s review some background information. Having curly hair is tough; there aren’t as many options out there. I don’t like huge, poodle-like volume in curly hair, so my go-to style has been long and sleek curls for years. I don’t like how most long-haired women get their hair layered where it’s shorter in the front and extremely long in the back, and I also don’t like the un-layered cuts, because it makes my hair flare out like a pyramid. And straightening (either daily blowdrying or chemically straightening) has always been out of the question.

My hair hadn’t been this short since 7th grade. I got a medium-length cut a few years ago, but I hated it; it was just so boring. When I got my previous haircut last spring, I cursed myself for not going shorter. Even worse, I was too lazy to get another haircut for another year, so I admit that my hair got a little out of control over the past year. Below is a recent image of me looking fancy with my long, beautiful hair blowing in the wind, but I’m actually annoyed as I push it out of my face.

The other thing that bothers me about long hair is that, though it’s beautiful, I never know how to place my hair. Sometimes I get frustrated and throw all of it behind my shoulders, and other times I gather all of it in front of my shoulders, which probably looks weird from the back. I often pulled half of my hair back, which allowed me to wear my hair down and still have peripheral vision. I’d been tired of feeling like I was carrying a “pelt” on my back at all times, so I love that the back is short now. It’s one less thing in my life to worry about.

There are lots more I can write on hair, including how hair length is perceived on women in a professional setting, and how Felicity’s ratings plummeted when Keri Russell chopped off her hair, but I’ll leave that for another time.

New haircut photos taken by me, long-hair photo taken by Rotem Eren-Rabinovich, and haircut is courtesy of Ouidad Salon.

Profound Loneliness

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Yesterday I put some coffee in my thermos and walked down to the beach to watch the sunset. There were several people, either by themselves or in groups, who had gathered along the water to watch the sun dip behind the neverending waves.

I sat along the edge of a sand dune, about 30 feet away from another person in a hoodie, who was watching the ocean for a while, but then lay on her back and alternated between looking up at the sky, napping (?), and looking at her smartphone. She seemed relaxed but had no interest in watching the momentous occasion of the sun setting.

I had chosen an unfortunate location, because directly in front of me there was a guy who was standing with his feet in the water, facing the direction of the sun and taking it all in. Occasionally he’d look around and take pictures, but he stood firmly there for at least a good half hour. I watched him, a screaming child running along the beach, a pair of friends taking a walk, and the sun. The guy finally turned around to leave once the sun set, which meant I could take pictures without him obstructing my view.

The guy walked over to where his shoes were, and I realized that he and the girl with the hoodie had come here together. They exchanged a few words and walked away together.

Even though I had come here alone, I felt that the guy felt more lonely than me in that hour. And, I thought, that is how I would describe profound loneliness.

Golden Kale

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

My college friend Marta came to LA for the first time, so of course I needed to show her Venice Beach. While browsing, we came across a street vendor that made gold/silver/copper plated leaves. I couldn’t choose just one, so I bought three. Below is my favorite item, the gold-plated kale leaf:

I just love the shape. It’s so abstract and asymmetrical.

You can find the vendor yourself here:

Real Leaves Jewelry
1309 Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach
Located one block north of the Sidewalk Cafe

See more photos in my Golden Kale photoset.

Fall is here!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

I’m not obsessed with squirrels or anything, but I saw this squirrel munching on a pumpkin in Descanso Gardens in Pasadena and I had to take its picture.

Spotted Ground Squirrel

Monday, October 28th, 2013

I’d been studying for the Professional Engineering exam for the past two months. I basically spent the weekends cooped up in my room, solving practice problems and going crazy. A week before the exam, I promised myself that once the exam was over, I’d drive up to a park in Malibu and spend some moments to reflect and write in my journal.

I took the exam last Friday. It was a relief to have it over with, but the following day, I knew that I couldn’t completely destress until I fulfilled my promise to myself. So I took some coffee in a thermos and hit the road. First I spent about an hour driving through the winding Malibu canyon roads. Then I stopped by Malibu Bluffs Park on the way back. My parents and I used to go to this park often, but I hadn’t been back here since my childhood. As with most childhood memories, the park turned out to be a lot smaller than I remembered, but it’s a fantastic lookout onto the ocean, and the trees and bushes were exploding with birds.

I spent some moments staring off at the ocean, sipping my coffee, as I caught glimpses of dolphins swimming past. Then, walking down the little path, I noticed several ground squirrels going into and out of their little nests in the ground. I had a bag of hazelnuts and almonds with me, so I tossed a nut towards a squirrel to see if he’d take it. He didn’t come back. I sat myself down next to one of the nests where I’d just seen a squirrel go in, tossed a hazelnut near the entrance, and watched. Nothing happened.

The squirrel didn’t come out. I gave up on him ever coming out, but I didn’t feel like getting up, so I started experimenting with my camera and taking pictures of boring little objects on the ground. I must have spent at least fifteen minutes sitting there, eavesdropping a little on people’s conversations as they walked past behind me. I focused on the ants crawling around, and was taken back to my childhood, when I used to spend long periods of time watching ants and building bridges for them; lame introverted only child entertainment. Diverting my attention from the general scenery of the park towards something on a very small scale felt refreshing and helped clear my mind. As I was reflecting on that, I heard a squeal.

The squirrel had poked his head out and was making noise to ensure that I wouldn’t come near. He emerged from his hole, took the nut, and went back in! After that breakthrough, he came out each time I tossed a nut in his direction, which allowed me to catch some nice shots of him. Bonding with the little fellow was well worth the wait. I’m glad I didn’t get bored sooner and walk away.

I never did get a chance to take out my journal and write in it, but what was I thinking? What I ended up doing turned out to be much more relaxing and satisfying.