Monday, February 21, 2011

Photography :: Santa Barbara, CA

Some snaps from one of my favorite places. :o)Enjoy!

Okay, I lied...a few snaps from Ventura first!




Now on to Santa Barbara!






BEST bbq chicken pizza EVER!!!





Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gear Review :: Bag Lady

Hi, my name is Soupy, and I have an addiction to camera bags. The following are the bags that I have owned (and retired) and ones I currently own. I'll say a little bit about each one to give you an idea of how and when I use each bag...because YES, in case you were wondering, I do need all these bags!!!

This is the Jill-e small bag. I thought it was cute, but eventually the boxy rectangular structure of it just wasn't comfortable. I might've taken it out 2 or 3 times because of this reason. I liked the idea of the bag, but it just wasn't functional enough for me.


This is the Lowepro holster. It was functional, but I realized that when I used it, all I did was detach the strap that came with it, and stuff it inside one of my purses. It didn't allow me to carry all my other items (wallet, make-up, keys, etc) along with my DSLR. I eventually sold it on ebay.


This is the Tamrac velocity 7x. I bought this for a trip to New York City. It worked great, but it was kind of small for all my stuff. I didn't want a huge bag, and I wanted it to be hands-free. I found that whenever I'd reach for something, I had to almost pry it out of the bag. Perhaps I should've bought the next size up, the 8x. I sold this one on ebay also.


These are bags I currently own and use. This one's my gear bag. It's the Jill-e. rolling case. I love the way it looks, and I love that there's a compartment for a laptop that's padded well. When I take short trips, I'll use this bag for my clothes and toiletries as well. I use half of it for clothes, and the other half I keep configured to hold my camera gear. My laptop goes in the back along with any magazines, and I'm good to go! Definitely recommend this bag for cuteness factor and versatility. :o) Jill-e. Bags

285/365 - jill-e goodness!

This was one of the first camera gear bags I bought when I got into photography. I still use this bag for hikes, or day long phototrips where I want to shoot without worrying about my gear slipping around my side. The Tamrac expedition (I think it's the 6 or 8) is a great small backpack, especially for shorter people like me. :o)


This is the Lowepro messenger bag. This bag costs about $30, and it is a great value for the money. I use it for casual shooting days. It's not really padded well, which means it won't weigh you down. However, if you need your gear to be really protected, this isn't the right bag for that. But for $30, and the ability to keep your camera in it with the lens attached, it's pure awesome!


I bought this bag recently. It's the Lowepro sling. I saw a video on it on Amazon and wanted it right away. It has a removable (great feature!) padded compartment that your camera(with lens attached) can fit into, along with an extra lens. You can also store extra gear on the side of the bag, as well as in the outside pockets. There are two small accessory pockets inside as well. I love that the padded part is removable. I can use this bag for a day trip shopping and put all the stuff in there that I want's expandable by 30%. What a genius idea! :o)It comes in black, olive, and blue.


I use the Shootsac mainly when I do portraits or weddings. It's not really functional for a photo trip because sometimes you want to put your camera away and not carry it. Since I am using the camera constantly when shooting, it's a great shooting bag that allows you to change lenses very quickly. I love the compartments that let you store accessories and miscellaneous items, as well as the option to change the cover. I have a nice little collection of covers to go with some outfits which is a great selling point. Shootsac Lens Bags


Low and behold!!! My latest bag addiction. This is my new *emera bag. It's so cute, isn't it? A friend gave me the link to this, and I stalked this bag for a good week or so before I finally gave in. So far I love this bag. It functions great as a regular purse, a laptop bag, and/or a camera bag. It holds EVERYTHING. There are a lot of bags out there made of "fake leather", but this one feels like real leather. I really want the canvas one they sell as well...but for now, this is keeping me happy. :o) Emera Camera Bags


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hermosa Beach Engagement :: Jennifer + Jordan

This past weekend I had the pleasure of shooting this gorgeous couple in Hermosa Beach, CA. Actually, it didn't start out that way...because, well, I went to the wrong beach hehehe. Yep, my worst nightmare. We had planned for a shoot right before sunset, so naturally I was worried about running out of natural light, which is my preference for shooting. Luckily, Hermosa Beach was right up the street from Redondo Beach (where I had been scoping out places to shoot). I quickly found parking and was greeted cheerfully by Jennifer and Jordan. They looked awesome to boot! Jennifer is about to embark on her new career as an RN, and Jordan is an engineer working with rockets. Yes, I said rockets. The inner straight A student in me was quite impressed. Let's just say I saw "October Sky" one too many times ;o) Hehehe...Here are some of my faves from their session!

What did I tell ya? They looked awesome!





Such a pretty ring...



Loved this blue wall!



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Photography :: Salton Sea

Last year we vowed never to go back to this place again. Not because it wasn't an awesome place to shoot that was filled with everything decaying that you could think of, but because we had been there so many times before that we failed to see what else we could get out of the vast wasteland that is Salton Sea. When I was a kid, we used to go fishing here, so I have some fond memories of the place. However, fast forward 24 years (I hope you didn't just do the math on that!) and it has changed tremendously. My memories of Salton Sea are scattered with words like cold, barren, and littered. I remember a lot of trash being left behind by people who went there for fishing and recreation. Now it's littered only with debris (old trailers and discarded furniture to name a few)in a few spots. The yacht club that was a favorite spot to shoot has undergone a major overhaul. It is now newly remodeled, with a hint of vintage in it as a nod to the yacht club of a once thriving Salton Sea. Even though I was hesitant, I was still pleased with what we came away with. It also doesn't hurt to have some great company on a mini road trip! :o)

First stop - the yacht club. They even have benches now!



old storage areas...we were probably trespassing hehe...



You can't go to Salton Sea without hitting up Salvation just canNOT take a bad picture of this place. It's virtually impossible.


I've always noticed the "yellow brick road" of Salvation Mountain, which in turn reminds me of "Wizard of Oz". I can't help but think that Leonard Knight (the creator of Salvation Mountain) had that movie and it's underlying themes in mind when he built the mountain.



Leonard can usually be found sitting at the back of this car. He's there ready to talk about his work with visitors always with a smile.



The "three sisters" (in this picture, only two sisters haha) at Redhill Marina...



Last stop - Bombay Beach. Only if you've been here can you really understand what I mean when I say that the sunsets here are like nothing else. It always seems like the sky and water are seamless. The water is so still, especially when it's hot and humid in the summer, that it's a mirror image of the sky. Just gorgeous.





Happy Wednesday everyone! :o)