Posts tagged “black and white

Skyline High School Jazz Band @ Yoshi’s Oakland

If you ever wanted to eat great sushi and listen to an amazingly talented jazz band, you should have been at Yoshi’s in Oakland. Led by their teacher Vincent Tolliver (Mr. T) the Skyline High School Jazz Band played two shows last monday. I myself had never heard them before that night and was very impressed by the concert. It’s easy to hear “high school band” and have low expectations but these kids, though they are students play like pros. So it was no surprise to me when I learned that they took first place in their division at the Reno Jazz Festival last year. Looking back I wish I had tickets for both show so I could put down the camera and really enjoy the show.

This year the band hopes to return to Reno in April to prove their stuff and the only way they can do that is if they get some help. Right now the band is trying to raise the $7,000 needed to play at the Reno Jazz Festival. You can help by writing a check to Skyline High School Jazz Band. Prints of the show are available on my gallery and proceeds from the photos goe to the band.

California Paradise: Death Valley

A few weeks ago some friends and I took a trip to a place we had been planing to go to for months. That place was Death Valley National Park of course. To someone who has never been there you might think “it’s a desert”, and you would be right. One of the hottest, driest and lowest deserts on earth, but also one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. We happened to go at the perfect time of year. It was no hotter than 60º F in the day time. The forecast called for a chance of rain but there was none. Only clouds and 50 mph winds at night which made trying to sleep an adventure of it’s own.

The first place we went to was a large flatland known as the Racetrack. It was a most interesting place. The rocks that you see in the photos all come from the large rock formation called “The Grandstands”  and they move the great distances only by the force of the high winds. The light out there made for interesting portraits. Even with a back-lit subject and direct sunlight, the shadows were not overpowering. The next day we visited the sand dunes and it was my first time walking on any dune. It was very cool and I am glad to have gotten some shots off before the winds picked up and I got a face full of the valley’s golden goodness.

In just the few day it was clear that we hardly scratched Deaths sandy surface. I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to go and I certainly won’t let my life go by without going again.

On our way out of the valley we found that the incoming storm left a fresh layer of snow on the other side of the pass. Nothing like topping off a trip to the desert like throwing some snowballs.

Coincidentally, a friend of mine happened to be in Joshua Tree National Park. You can see the photos he took across the Mojave Here

Local Johns Vol. 1

One of the projects that have currently been on the top of my list is this one of toilets. It started from an idea of making prints of toilets to have hanging in a bathroom. Originally I wanted to photograph grungy bathroom, but when I got into it I quickly moved to the idea of toilets of notable locations when I got to the Oakland Museum of California. This first installment of photos is kind of a mix between grungy and notable johns of Oakland, Ca.


Redwood Heights Recreation Center, Oakland, Ca

Redwood Heights Recreation Center, Oakland, Ca

Valero Gas, Oakland, Ca

Valero Gas, Oakland, Ca

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, Ca

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, Ca

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, Ca

Friends Forever

Best friends are not something I ever thought I would be taking photos of, at least not until a couple of weeks ago when these three asked for best friends photos. It might sound a little odd, but not for these girls. If anyone stands a chance of life long friendship it is they. It was a beautiful day in the Tilden Park Botanic Garden where we took the photos. I couldn’t have asked for better light as I did not bring an assistant or lighting equipment.


A Wedding Rehearsal

Last month I had the pleasure to be a groomsman in my best friend’s wedding in Williamsburg Va.  I was not the photographer for the wedding, but I had my camera and took some photos of the rehearsal.  It was a very chill wedding. I can’t remember ever feeling so relaxed, even when I have been just a guest.


Life of a Cemetery: Vol. 1

This is a project that I have always wanted to do. It might be a tad on the strange side for some, but for me, there is something very fascinating about the idea of the dead and how they are remembered. So I decided to go to Saint Marry’s Cemetery

Walking around a place that is designed to house the dead has a different feeling to it. Not a creepy horror movie feeling, but more of a surreal “I’m the only one here who’s alive” feeling.

These are just a few photos from the experience. The whole cemetery is so large that I will need at least a couple more trips so see the entire thing. So there will be more of these to come for sure.

Live at Bottom of the Hill

A friend of mine started a quest this year to see more live music and has taken a few of us along with him. Last weekend we went to see Shearwater at Bottom of the Hill accompanied by Wye Oak and Hospital Ships.

These are a few of my favorites from the night. I didn’t go with the goal of taking photos, but hey, why not?