Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 as big as your head

as big as your head, originally uploaded by sulalala. The Griddle, West Hollywood

Marco has been talking up this place for a few months now. And now that he has come back to reality (i.e. doesn't have to work 13 hour days for 13 days straight) we could actually go. It was a good thing we called in for a reservation because the line outside was huge when we arrived. Even though the pancakes are what they're known for, out of 5 of us, Marco was the only one to order them. They are MASSIVE. We were sitting near the kitchen so I was able to take this picture.

Friday, January 29, 2010

29 dog smiling

dog smiling, originally uploaded by sulalala. Griffith Park

This morning, my mom and I took off to the hills of Griffith Park for a mini photo-shoot. She wanted to update her website photos that were taken about 10 years ago in some brightly lit studio. It was a beautiful morning so we took a little hike and found a great place for photos, overlooking the park and downtown LA.

After we finished, we ran into a couple women on a hike with their dogs. They were super friendly so we started up conversation and had fun meeting the pups. I love this bulldog's coat and check out how ugly/cute she is drinking water.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

28 sing your heart out

sing your heart out, originally uploaded by sulalala.

I went to meet Emily, a friend from UCSB I met during Costa Rica study abroad, her husband, and a few friends at Cafe Muse in West Hollywood tonight. It's a very chill cafe with a nice selection of vegan/vegetarian food, and her old roommates just so happened to be performing.

I think they have live music pretty regularly and if that's not reason enough, I'll definitely be back for the food. If you go, try the reuben (vegetarian turkey, sauerkraut, vegan cheddar cheese on pumpernickel) with sweet potato fries.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

27 sweet smile

sweet smile, originally uploaded by sulalala.

Vegan bakery? Yes, please. My body does not tolerate the lactose. Not one bit. So, when I hear about vegan places to eat, I get excited, especially when it's something as delicious as baked goods. This was taken in front of babycakes, nyc, a new vegan bakery in Downtown L.A. I had a cookie sandwich and Gigi had a brownie cupcake with chocolate chips on top. Vegan, but they might just add crack to make it taste so good.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

23 inked

inked, originally uploaded by sulalala.

Happy Birthday, let's all get tattoos. That's pretty much what happened on Ana's birthday. The host's husband, rather conveniently, is a tattoo artist and was offering tattoos to anyone who wanted one.

This is Ana's foot as her ankle was being tattooed by Tony. Four guests got tattooed that night. Was I one of them? That is the question.

Friday, January 22, 2010

22 karaoke madness

karaoke madness, originally uploaded by sulalala.

If you know me, you know I LOVE karaoke. Okay, maybe only if you know me from Korea, or if we've discussed the art form that is singing in front of people while reading lyrics off a screen.

Here's my friend, Melissa, busting out "Sweet Child o' Mine" at her local karaoke joint in Arcadia. She worked the crowd. Check out the guy fist-pumping in the background.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

i might miss a day..

.. or two, or seven. While in the beginning, it was exciting to write about each of my photos, replay the day's events, and tell a bit about the shot, I have realized that some days just aren't that great. In fact, they're boring. Sometimes I'll take a shot and have nothing to write, so don't be surprised if you see a day skipped. It's because my life and photo is not exciting enough (at least on that day) to write about. Plus, I get lazy. I'll still be posting the photos to my flickr set. If you really want to know what the photo was all about, write me and tell me to blog it. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20 urban gladiators

urban gladiators, originally uploaded by sulalala.

Another rainy day in l.a. but we made the most of it. After work, I met a friend to go play at the California ScienCenter and check out IMAX Under the Sea 3D (it was amazing!!).

The museum is located on USC's campus, directly next to the LA Coliseum. I had never been there before so it was pretty exciting. I spent some time trying to get a good shot of the lit Coliseum sign with Olympic rings, but found these shots of the gladiators to come out much better.

It was dark, cold, and rainy, making 20 minutes of shooting seem like hours. So dark, in fact, that I couldn't even see the palm trees when I took this shot. I only noticed them once I viewed it on my computer. Damn, them gladiators is ripped.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

17 Two Wheels

Two Wheels, originally uploaded by sulalala.

The rain has returned. I love it. That is unless I'm driving through pools of it in heavy traffic. Today was a love day. I went to check out photo l.a., a 3-day photo exposition at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

The best thing about photography shows are the feelings they provoke. My appreciation continues to grow for film, and one day, I will be bold enough to try my hand at it again, especially since Melissa is thinking about installing a dark room in her house. There were some prints that blew my mind dating back almost 100 years. And then, there were the contemporary pieces where you think, how did they do that? My favorites are always ones that rely on good composition and capture a moment in time. Overall, it was just an inspiring show and made me want to keep shooting and reach further.

As we left, the rain started to fall. It mainly just drizzled but left a nice coating on the ground as we took a stroll to the 3rd Street Promenade. Santa came back as stylish as ever, rockin' the matching bike tires to his jumper and sunglasses. Gotta love L.A.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

16 extreme close-up

extreme close-up, originally uploaded by sulalala.

I was famished after my first soccer game with the LA Arsenal and craving something Korean. I had recently found out that Paris Baguette (a bakery chain in Korea) was right around the corner in Glendale, so I went for an iced coffee and croissant. Right next door is a little 식당 - restaurant which immediately made me crap 김밥 - kimbab or korean rice rolls. I order a 참치김밥 (tuna) and was a little surprised at how long it took. It turned out she made it the fancy way (rice on the outside of the seaweed), so of course, I couldn't just eat it right away.

I took these photos with a reverse-mounted 50mm lens, to showt he detail. I'm still getting the hang of the reverse-mount as I just received the mounting ring as a Christmas present (too many toys to play with!). More fun to come.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

14 in these shoes?

in these shoes?, originally uploaded by sulalala.

These shoes have been through a lot. For Some reason, they were the only pair I brought on my trip to China, and therefore, have climbed the Great Wall. I can't say I'd recommend these as hiking shoes, nor winter shoes, as I went over a winter break from teaching.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13 Cars Moving


Tonight was the grand opening and light show for the JW Marriott - Ritz Carlton hotels, the latest additions to LA Live, a good attempt at bringing life back into Downtown LA. I exited near the hotel, which is adjacent to the Staples Center, and drove past what has now become a bustling area. The parking was a minimum of 8 dollars near the center, but luckily, from the photographer's end of the spectrum, a front row seat is not what makes the best photo. So, I drove a few blocks and stumbled upon some street parking near the bridge at Wilshire Blvd.

I just had my Slik Mini tripod which made for an interesting balancing game on the rail of the bridge. I wish I had brought another camera just to show my setup for taking these shots. This was my first real attempt at moving cars up close, so it took a little time to find the right setting/ exposure. I loved the way these came out, especially the green bridge. You can see the JW Marriott - Ritz Carlton in the background.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12 Foaming at the Mouth

Foaming at the Mouth, originally uploaded by sulalala.

Naps have seemed to resurface back into my daily life. I think it's because I end up staying up late doing silly things like edit photos and wind up completely exhausted the following day.

Tonight, I had plans to check out a stand-up show at the Improv in Hollywood so I knew I'd be out late once again. I crashed for a couple hours after work and decided to document brushing my teeth when I awoke. I kept the aperture pretty wide open to create more depth for this close-up of my face.

Monday, January 11, 2010

11 I Need Coffee

I Need Coffee, originally uploaded by sulalala.

Monday morning. Coffee? Yes, please. Is that even a question?

Here's my trusty Tonight Show mug that I bought as a souvenir after I was an audience member back in November.

Fast forward two months to Friday morning and I get this text message from Erica, "Conan is getting booted from the tonight show! Our mugs are now PRICELESS!"

Or, are they? I'll start the bidding at $25. j/k. GO TEAM COCO!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10 Things That Come Out at Night


We met up with a few friends in Silver Lake at the Cha Cha Lounge. I never thought I'd have to wait in line for a dive bar, but I guess that's what Silver Lake has become. But it was definitely worth the wait for foosball and silly photo booth photos.

This was soon after closing time in front of Rockaway Records. I love the colors of the building and the fact that it stays nicely lit at night. We were loitering and chattering while observing the drunks scurry and stumble into taxis. And of course there had to be a food truck nearby, The Lunch Box.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

9 Food Trucks


A visit from Tanya usually = food consumption. It's funny how sometimes an entire trip can be based around what you can possibly eat in said places. Before my lactose intolerance controlled all my eating habits, I would plan my trips to Chicago around, well mainly, cheese.

This morning, Tanya and I were already thinking about dinner; we had planned on getting Korean BBQ so I inevitably called up Alex, my good friend who was my co-worker in Korea and has also become my go-to partner for eating Korean food.

It turned out he was playing soccer at the same park as me, just after my practice at 3:30. I dragged Tanya to come watch at least a few minutes of his game and found this gem of a pupusa truck parked right next to the fields.

We had to restrain ourselves from ordering anything and save our bellies for the feast ahead of us.

Friday, January 8, 2010

8 The DJ

The DJ, originally uploaded by sulalala.

Friday, oh, glorious Friday. I was swamped at work and overall exhausted, leading me to be very lazy in my photo missions. My friend Tanya was driving down from the Bay Area for a weekend visit so I was thinking I would have plenty of opportunities for some photos when she arrived. But I also knew I would need a nap before the havoc that is hanging out with Tanya.

Tanya got to my place around 9 pm and we only had an hour or so of chatting before we were to meet up with a couple friends in Downtown LA. I threw my camera in my car to hopefully score some night shots of downtown. The club was a ways from the bigger buildings in the city, so in my last-minute recourse, I took some half-assed shots of the security guards in the parking lot since I didn't want to take my camera inside. "Can I take your photo?" "What for?" "It's for a project I'm doing of 'Men in Uniform.'" "Well, I'm hardly in uniform but do what you gotta do," and then proceeded to blush and face away from the camera. :)

Luckily, my friend Diana was gracious enough to lend me her point-and-shoot Nikon to snap a few (dozen) shots of the DJ. I especially dug the floating DJ booth.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

7 Going to Work

Going to Work, originally uploaded by sulalala.

Ah, the first self-portrait. Here's me ready to leave for work. Exciting, I know. Not much to it, other than the fact that I got carried away with shooting and showed up late to the office. :-/

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

6 Red (Pink) Sky


I saw it coming. I stepped out of the office and saw the traces of it in the sky. Pinks. Reds. I had to get to a high point to get a good view. Luckily, the highway entrance I usually take is an overpass leading to the mountains. So I found a place to pull over and stood on the overpass for this shot. Disappointingly, I only got shouted at by one person. I was hoping for at least a few yells.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5 Psychedelic Christmas


I had a feeling the Americana would be a good place to fulfill this mission. Christmas in California is strange as it is, especially at an outdoor mall lined in palm trees on a 75° day, two weeks after Christmas.

I had initially taken the elevator to the roof of the parking garage, eight stories up, to attempt some tilt-shift pictures with my new lensbaby. I had snapped a few shots, nothing that spectacular, when I was kicked out by a security guard. Apparently, she told me, the roof isn't open to the public and then proceeded to tell me all about her son and his upcoming wedding.

I headed down to the main level and snapped a few of the giant Christmas tree before music started blaring. Onlookers rushed to the Bellagio-esque fountain so I knew that's where I had to be.

Every once in a while, I end up with a really nice shot with my lensbaby (I'm still learning how to use it). This was one that came at the right time and place for my mission, in front of Santa's workshop. Quite psychedelic, although if I were Santa, I'd probably have a lit watershow in front of my house, too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

4 Life From the Grass Level


Monday night for me equals SOCCER. (So does Saturday and Sunday morning, but we'll get to that later) I play on a 7 v 7 women's team Monday nights at Glendale Sports Complex. The fields are incredible for soccer because they're made of turf. It's especially great for me because I have less risk of injuring myself (I'm a klutz).

Anyways, after we destroyed our opponents, I thought I would walk around and check out some of the adult softball games at the three baseball diamonds adjacent to the soccer fields. Everyone was having a blast. It reminded me of the adult team I played on in Santa Barbara; more of a social event than anything else.

After a couple snaps close to the action, I decided to get a shot from the outfield at grass level.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

3 Food For Thought


I was exhausted, to say the least, after our 6-hour drive back down to LA from SF. Sunday was my least productive day of the year so far, but it was definitely necessary.

After sleeping most of the morning and taking a lot of time to myself, I trekked across town to pick up a couple friends and headed to Koreatown. We had made plans to check out an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant (Hae Jang Chon) I had gone to in November.

I was planning on making the mission of the day, "My Breakfast, My Lunch, My Dinner", however, waking up at noon doesn't leave much time for more than brunch. Hence, "Food For Thought". There's something about eating in a stupor that is so fulfilling.

We tried a few different varieties: bulgogi, chicken bulgogi, and marinated kalbi. I think I have definitely overdone AYCE in the past, but this time was much more balanced. The kimchi jeon (pancakes) are probably the highlight at Hae Jang Chon. However, I'm a big fan of straight up meat wrapped in kimchi. ...nom nom nom...

Saturday, January 2, 2010



Since we made nothing of ourselves on National Hangover Day, we were determined to take in some tourist sites before we took off back to LA. The fog didn't stop us and managed to lift before the end of our mini-photo shoot on the shore.

Each of us took jumping pictures but Bobee's turned out the best. She's well-trained in the martial arts and just so happens to be a ninja. :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

1 Churches


At the stroke of midnight on January 1st, I was toasting with friends, old, new, and very new, in the Mission District of San Francisco. I guess making my first photo mission in that district would have made for a more fitting start to this journey, but I hadn't dare take my camera with me for fear of a debaucherous mishap. If you had seen me in all my glory that night, you would say, "Thank God you didn't bring your camera" as it probably would have ended up in an abandoned baby stroller or doused in Red Bull. So, picture-taking would have to wait until multiple bouts of restful slumber and copious amounts of liquids sobered me enough to venture out once again.

Melissa, Bobee, and I decided to drive to the city since it had rained most of the afternoon. After some tourist time in Fisherman's Wharf, we took a stroll through North Beach to have a couple beers at Rogue Ales Public House. The fallen rain made for some great reflections and I snapped a few shots on our walk.

This photo was taken a few blocks from the pub. The building structure itself was a sight to see. I'm a sucker for some Gothic architecture. I especially was drawn to the view of Coit Tower, located on Telegraph Hill, in the background.