Lost & Forgotten

 "I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light." -M.G. Brainard


I would like to share with you two truths:

1. Beauty even finds a dwelling place in that which is dilapidated, tainted, and falling apart.

2. In every circumstance and situation of this life, good can be found. Goodness takes on many disguises, though. Thus, it may be hard to recognize it at first.

 In this photo of an abandoned house, amidst the 
despair and unkempt conditions, pulchritude still 
resides despite such unpleasant surroundings.


Intricately Woven


Unedited. Made by getting creative with mirrors and lighting.
Although I took this a little over a year ago, every time I see it I am proud, yet grateful. Proud because I feel that I have an "eye" for photography, and grateful because I have the means (Camera, equipment, moral support, etc.) necessary to strive towards my goals.

Midnight Solitude

The midnight sky shyly reveals stars of subtly beneath its deep blue canvas. 


Inputs and Outputs

Ever since the dawn of time, the older generation has been warning the youth to watch what they put in their mind, as it definitely impacts our psyche and sticks in our mind, whether we realize it or not.
Similarly, artists are heavily impacted by the art they see, whether at the museum or on the iPad. I've noticed in my own life as a photographer that when I am looking at lots of a certain type of art for a given amount of time, its repercussions subtly come to the surface within the images I create.
It seems to me that when I briefly look at a picture(s) before I leave for a photoshoot and catch its mood, composition, perspective, etc., the images I capture on the shoot tend to have some of the similar qualities as the one(s) I looked at earlier. I have also noticed that the type of music I listen to while editing photos has a slight influence on the way I edit. For instance, while editing a batch of images for a client, I was listening to the album "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" by Bright Eyes, which has some pessimistic and sad (Yet enjoyable) songs, and after I finished I realized that the edited photos resonated the mood of the songs. I'm not superstitious or anything, and as far as i know there hasn't been any studies done on whether or not one artist's work directly influences a separate artist subconsciously or not. These are simply my observations. :) And I hope they have been thought-provoking and interesting for you.


     I can say with confidence that after cultivating and pursuing my passion for the medium of photography a little more than 3 years, I have come a very long way. I've delved into dozens of books on the topic, as well as hundreds and hundreds of articles online, and a myriad of videos on the topic of photography. While I still feel that I have a lot to learn, along with an immense amount of growth which I must undergo in order to be a professional photographer, I take pride as I look back at how far I've come.

     It's important to reminisce on the past, but dangerous to get buried in it. I think that we as humans often hurt ourselves by not congratulating ourselves and giving ourself a pat on the back for what we've accomplished, whether big or small. By acknowledging personal triumphs and learning from our mistakes, we are chiseling out an otherwise shapeless piece of marble into a defined and emotive sculpture called Character. When we fail to learn from the past, we might as well be blindfolded, aimlessly striking a chunk of marble, disillusioned as we hope for something gorgeous to emerge; conversely, by asking ourselves, "What have I learned?" after we undergo any sort of hurdle -whether good or bad- we are delicately and beautifully chiseling a figure like that of Michelangelo's David.
Taken with my iPhone 3G, while sitting in the passengers seat. Edited with Camera+.
Taken with my iPhone 3G at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Edited with Camera+.



The Lake

 "You take the lake. I look and look at it. I see it's a fair, pretty sheet of water. I stand and make myself repeat out loud the advantages it has..."    Robert Frost


"Photography for me is a spiritual practice. It's a discipline that connects me more closely to the core of the universe and the core of my own being.' ... 'For me, the photograph isn't an end in itself, but the residue of my connection with the scene before me.' ... 'That God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes!" -Dewitt Jones


Equipment Reviews

Hey all you photographers out there!

In case you're planning on buying some Canon products in the near future, here's a couple reviews I wrote on various pieces of Canon equipment for photo.net that may be helpful.

Canon EF 75-300mm:  http://photo.net/equipment/product-reviews?product_id=2065

Canon EOS 7D: http://photo.net/equipment/product-reviews?product_id=7724

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8: http://photo.net/equipment/product-reviews?product_id=504


Carpe Diem

     "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.' ... 'I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion." -Thoreau, Walden.
     If you're a student like me, you probably feel that there just isn't enough time in each day. I think most people feel that way often times, especially with the prominence that technology -TV, video-games, the internet, etc. - plays in our lives today. The truth is that there are pockets of time, hidden underneath the busy schedules which we all juggle each and every day. If you really search for those time-consuming intervals in your life, you will find them.

San Francisco, CA

    To be honest, I'm not the most productive being out there, but the fact is that I am moving towards that ideal lifestyle which resonates the phrase Carpe diem with each passing hour. Some ways which I have "reduced life to its lowest terms" include not watching TV or playing video-games (In fact, we don't even have a TV in our house, which I'm grateful for), and deleting all the apps from my iPhone that tended to waste my time. That said, I still am a strong advocate for balance. As A. Huxley said, "Too much enjoyment blunts the fine point of seldom pleasure. Unrestrained indulgence kills not merely passion, but, in the end, even amusement. Too much liberty is as life destroying as too much restraint." This past weekend for me was perfectly balanced; in my mind, its more benign to have a weekend with some work and some leisure, than solely one of the aforementioned.

     I'd like to give a shout-out to Steve Jobs, who truly had such an impact on our world and its future; he will be greatly missed. Somewhat recently, I have found ways to incorporate my iPhone into the battle for productivity. Right before I jump in the shower, I start the timer and try to be out before 5 mins. The night before a quiz, as I'm reading the content aloud, I record myself so that I can listen to it the next morning as I drive my scooter to school. Earlier this year, I started taking photos of the homework for some of my classes, since it can take so long to write it all down. Now most of my class follows suit. Trendsetter? I think yes.


Through the Eyes of Dragonflies

After doing some research, I found 
out a few interesting things about these insects. The eyes of a dragonfly have around 30,000 lenses. Unfortunately, they can't see details. To compensate, God gave them the ability to see colors that humans can't even see.


Lights of the Bay Area

How To Find Peace

It seems everyone in our world today is trying to find inner peace. Actually, this is no new thing. Humans have longed for such an ideal state of being since the beginning. And yet modern culture seems to be moving us towards the polar opposite of tranquility. Perhaps peace is no longer attainable, and is only present on the face of tombstones.

 If humans are incapable of grasping and retaining inner peace until the afterlife (Wherever or whatever you may believe that is), then we must hunt for entities on this planet that are capable of embracing solitude. Three such entities that come to mind include Nature, animals, and children.

Studies show that petting a dog lowers your heart rate, thus causing ones body to relax. I believe that when a person stands within the deepest depths of Nature's bosom, and breathes in the fresh, pure air produced by the surrounding trees which so delicately envelop, we brush up against true, authentic peace. There is something about being in Nature that just puts our minds at ease, reminding us of what's important in life.

Although children aren't always viewed as the most peaceful of creatures, there is something about their careless- yet not apathetic - outlook on things, and the sheer curiosity which seems to lead their lives. It could be that children are more innocent than peaceful. Kids have not been embittered by this world. They are like a freshly washed napkin free of blemishes.

Most people would agree that the longer one lives on this cruel planet, and relentlessly battles with time, the colder ones soul becomes. We are like fish in a pond, aimlessly flopping our fins every which way, slightly aware of some superior being who resides above the surface. The truth is that behind every morsel of food, a rusty hook just may be waiting for us. There is no distinguishing one from the other.
At times there seems to be little difference between good and evil in these murky waters in which we float...



The Importance of Inspiration

     I believe that everyone must be inspired by someone or by something they personally do in order to truly carpe diem (To seize the day). This especially applies to artists. In order for us artists to output unique and fresh art, it is very important for us to be inspired. Beautiful art is rarely produced when the producer is not attached -emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually - to his canvas.

     By witnessing another human being who has made that connection, we are inspired. Why do people pay money to go to orchestras? To watch and listen to the upshot of countless hours that the musicians spent transfusing with their instruments.

      As a photographer, I have a number of sources from which I glean inspiration. One major source is looking at other photographers' work. Two very prominent photographers who influence the way I shoot are Steve McCurry and Henri-Cartier Bresson. Ironically, these two fellows were friends, until Henri passed away in 2004. Both of these men are extremely talented,  and have contributed largely not only to the world of photography, but to the world in all of its entirety. http://stevemccurry.com/  https://www.facebook.com/dewittjonesfanpage


Endless Lights

The Bay Bridge; Shot at ISO 400, f/7.1, and exposed for 10 secs.
Although I am a strong supporter of the idea that people are what truly defines a city, I feel that architecture and the infrastructure of the city should still be considered. During my recent trip up to the Bay Area, I focused on taking photographs of people; this is one of the few shots that is void of humans. 


Confessions on Fire

My church has a tradition that we like to do every year at our Good Friday Service. After a message and some hymns, we write down a confession or something that is keeping us from God on a piece of paper and nail it to the cross. The ironic thing is that these special papers are also used by drug dealers, since they completely dissolve when lit on fire. I really enjoy this part of the Good Friday Service. Have a wonderful Easter! He is risen!



Skies of Blue Hues

Last semester, one of the highlights for me was bringing my camera to hiking class, and documenting our adventures.
There is something about hiking in the wilderness that really pushes humans to new limits, both physically and spiritually, while also reminding us that life is not meant to always be busy and loud. Silence and rest are two vital, yet rare necessities that are fading away in our world. Spending time in nature, either alone or with companions, puts things back into perspective for me.




The Decisive Moment

Shot @ ISO 1250, 1/1600sec, f/3.5
     "Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever." - Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1957.

 H. Cartier-Bresson coined the term "The Decisive Moment." This phrase contains the quintessential difference between the masters of photography, and the mere hobbyists.

     If a sports photographer is shooting an LA Lakers basketball game, and he clicks the shutter a second or two after Kobe dunks, the photograph might as well be deleted. That is how important seizing that golden moment can be. 
     One way that I have been able to sharpen my skill of capturing that instantaneous moment is taking photos in the passenger seat of the car. This simple visual and mental exercise trains my mind to see a few seconds into the future, thus allowing me to imagine the image in my head before I see it on the LCD screen of my camera. More often than not, I smack on my 18mm lens, and either roll down the window, or I open the sun roof, depending on the environment. Sometimes, if the window is dirty enough, and I am trying to capture a grungy or morbidly urban image, I keep the window rolled up, to add to the grotesqueness.


Late-Night Entertainment

Shot on a Konica Minolta Dimage A2. Exposed for 1/20 sec (handheld) at f/3.5 and ISO 64 (Unedited).

Turkish Delight

The Summer of 2009 changed me forever. My family and I went on a missions trip to Antalya, Turkey with a program called IMPACT. Our purpose was to encourage the Christian Turks who are being persecuted and oppressed by the tyrannical Muslim government. The country is 99.9% Muslim, and 0.01% "Other"; Christians fall into the latter category. Turks are truly hostile to the Christians there; the pastor of the church we visited, called the Antalya Evangelical Church, has had numerous near-death experiences, such as a man walking right in the church with a knife, heading towards the pastors office. 

     That month long trip impacted my family and I so much, that we just had to go back. Sure enough, God provided a way and we returned for a month, during the summer of 2010. I cannot put into words the marvelous impact that those two missions trips had on my life. I will never forget them. 

     Here is a link to the flickr page of Melis, a beautiful Christian who was one of the first to befriend us, and is a great photographer :      http://www.flickr.com/photos/46017406@N05/

     Here's a video that gives some context to the situation in Antalya, and talks about the church: http://youtu.be/NibzGSm7hs8

Trumpets of San Francisco

     One of the things I love about cities is the creative and talented people 
who inhabit them. I feel that a single image of a native does more justice in 
portraying the vibe of a city than a plethora of snapshots, void of people, could ever bring to the table.

     The bright colors of this trumpeter's outfit caught my eye, and the festive noise that ensued from the combination of his trumpet skills and his tap dancing hit my ear-drum. I talked with him for a bit, and he seemed very mature for his age. He's going to go far, and already has (Apparently he's playing the trumpet at an upcoming Giants game!).

Check out his blog @   gabrielangelotrumpet.blogspot.com