Posts Tagged ‘flickr

Making Things: The Brenizer Method

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My friend, Jorge, loves to shoot portraits. He’s good at it. And his subjects undoubtedly hate to take pictures (me thinks). One way to ease somebody in front of a camera is to say that the image is going to be really cool because it’s going to be formed into a very complex image of details with a shallow depth of field. Confusing right? Kind of, but not really.

Even to a layman, that sounds interesting. To photo-geeks, you just put your hands in the air and say, “what the hell…let’s try it”.

The image above shows the subject off-centered and has a very shallow depth of field. WARNING: If you click on the image, it’s a very big file (23mb). If you look closer at the image, hopefully flickr can do the trick here, you’ll start to notice many, many details that seem to be very clear. That’s part of this method called “Brenizer” and is a fun way of snapping portraits of all your friends.

One thing that I’ve learned from all the photoshoots during this learning curve is that you can make it even more wild and extreme if there’s a lot of things in the fore/mid/background of the image.

Try it!

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Year One: Marriage in Fast Forward

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(Photo was taken at Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA)

Imagine living a life that is in constant fast-forward. Or…if you happen to own a dvr, you know that blurry effect that the “ff” button causes on the television screen. In retrospect, this first year of marriage has seemed to have taken on that blurry effect. Within the course of these last 365 days, I’ve had time to think about my learning experiences as a husband and partner. I’ve had enough time to reflect on what has been really good and what has not been really good (these are trial and error moments).

But, also during this time, the layers of conversations and critical reflections on top of obligations to friends and family, all of these events, in my mind, were compressed into a flat, single sheet (like if you were to flatten layers in Photoshop, or General Zod and compadres in Superman), wafer-thin layer. This layer is dense and full of exciting moments, but extremely difficult to dissect and pull apart.

So, in order to find that perfect balance of describing “Year One”, I look to this recent article of a 74 year marriage that came to an end last week to find help.


The article starts like this: Bob and Kay Sarver were married for more than 74 years. Last month, they died within 15 hours of each other.

Then the article describes their storied past of how they met in high school, their history, and few really unforgettable moments as husband and wife.

Below, you can read about their over-powering determination to be together.

In recent months, he suffered from kidney disease and other ailments. He died at 12:55 p.m. on July 12, according to his family.

She suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, and was in hospice care. At the time of her husband’s death, she could no longer speak or swallow but could still write.

When told of his passing, she wrote: “I want to see Dad.”

Her son prepared to take her to see the body.

“No,” she made it clear. “I want to be with him right now.”

Before the next dawn, at 4:25 a.m., Kay Sarver died.

Their ashes were mixed together. Some were put in a square, sealed wooden urn, which was interred in a wall Friday at Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington. The rest will be spread among their favorite places.

“We can’t separate them now,” said Susan McLeod, of Fort Peck, Mont., the couple’s daughter.

Click here for the entire article from The Seattle Times.


I forwarded a link to this article to my wife immediately after reading. My office door was closed and there was complete silence. The Sarver’s story had resonated within me. As my mind wandered, my life had just fast-forwarded another 60 years and I could feel a sense of sadness and sharp pain from the back of my eyes…

Bob and Kay lived a full life together, and one can only hope to be with somebody they love for that long, feel that impossibly loving affection and happiness, and that sense of duty and obligation.

Within my “Year One”, I know I became aware of that feeling. I became aware of the minutiae of marriage, the singularity of marriage, and the tradition and ritual of marriage. And for the rest of my life, I know I have my “Kay” in my life; I know I’ll have my happiness; I know I’ll have my trepidations, and I know I’ll have my sorrows. I know I’ll have my regrets and I know I’ll have my pain…but mostly, I know I’ll have that silliness and joy, and I know I’ll never let her go…

Aces all the way!

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Pigeons: Candy to Cannibalism

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Wings are a symbol of freedom (and other weird looking tattoos). Flight is associated with the image as well. When flight is as awesome as California Condor’s or of a majestic American Bald Eagle, that’s when wings are just thought of as SUPER-AWESOME.

But as I have come across many pigeons (one of SF’s perks) as a denizen of San Francisco, the idea that these winged creatures project any sense of majesty or freedom is utter “LOL” material (Curb Your Enthusiasm reference).

Recently, while walking through a side street in the Mission, I came across a pigeon that was eating a piece of candy. I, along with my wife, postulated that it must of been an M&M candy.

My immediate response was “great, what kind of diabetic pigeon is that?”
My wife said, “these things will eat anything, even their own kind.”

She was right. If you’ve seen pigeons in the city, you know they are infamously ravenous fly-ey things that eat dead pigeons laying on the side of the road. Carcases are never left unattended for very long. These filthy featured demons will flock in herds to dead cousins (unlike those in the “Association“).

Next time when you, the traveler, the tourist, want to feed the pigeons of San Fran-tastic, you bet you can take out some M&Ms (any kind) and fling those hard shelled candies to the ground like pieces of bread. For sure they’ll eat it…and for sure, they’ll like it…and for sure, they’ll poop on you.

*sidebar: I was walking to work one day and saw a seagull destroying a breakfast item, tearing into it…and realized it was a dead pigeon. Whilst the seagull indulged, it periodically picked up the “flying rat” and moved it to another location. Change of scenery often inspires, right?

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Looking Forward to Going Back (Asia)

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To “Pine” for a trip back to Asia (Hong Kong, China, & Tokyo) is simply devastating to the soul. Luckily this image along with hundreds of others in the safe remind me that it’s not that unreachable. Surely, it will take more resources to mobilize this time around, but the rewards would be endless.

In this image below, I’ve been spotted on top of a rice field in Guilin, China. We took a long bus ride to a remote village to visit indigenous folks. The women wear their hair very long and usually keep it in a bun until visitors give them money to show the length (exploitation for money made me feel guilty). Though the community thrives from tourists to take in the culture, I almost wanted to escape this particular custom.

My friends didn’t make it up top with me, but I was able to share this moment with them later. Just a soaked shirt and almost a 30 minute hike back down couldn’t stop me from showing my enthusiasm. Imagine seeing that landscape???

I will be posting images from my whirlwind tour (research to schools included) either on flickr or here as part of my nostalgic glance back into the summer 2008 trip.

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Written by F&W

July 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Grown Folk Fun

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This video collage of grown folks slipping and sliding was taken at the annual Smoshball Festival in San Francisco. Will this be the last year of organized debauchery? We’ll all have to wait until next season…’til then, slide on playas!

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Written by F&W

September 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm