Destination: Hobbies

Photography in low light with Canon T3i

So, I am a dummy. A really big dummy. I mentioned that I recently bought a DSLR, yeah? I took a few pictures and assumed myself to be a photography god. I was sadly mistaken. For my cousin’s birthday, who will have a wedding late May, I thought I could take some awesome pictures for her to use later.  NOPE. Did not understand how to use a DSLR in low light. My cousin’s Nokia did a much better job than me. However, I do not have access to those pictures at this time. You people will have to settle with just mine and imagine how beautiful her pictures turned out.

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This is what I took with my crappy photography skills that night. Did not even focus the picture. Yay me. I guess the first few that I took were so incredibly unsee-able, that I deleted them. These two have flash (I felt so guilty for flashing; curse you dim-lighted Cheesecake Factory next to Disneyland). I have discovered how to take brighter pictures without using flash on my T3i. I got pictures that looked like this after today’s experiment.

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It looks like there is a light on, right? Nope. I turned off the lamps. The only lights that are on, are from those little light bulbs near the wall and the hallway. How did I do this? Good Question. How to make the picture not so red? I do not know…. yet. But, here are my settings to get low-light pictures:

On the AV Setting of the dial, Aperature priority, fiddle with the settings.

* set the F-stop to 3.5 or the lowest option possible to allow the lens to capture more light.

* set the ISO to 3200. (source: jmeyer) Maybe 1600 or 800 if you are not as shaky as I am. By changing the ISO, especially in this mode where you cannot change the shutter speed, the time it takes to take a picture (shutter speed lol) is much faster in comparison to 1600 or 800 ISO. If you have a tripod and still subjects, by all means use a smaller ISO for better results. Mine have some noise, but not enough to make me cry like the blurry pictures I took.

* To avoid darkness in photos, change the picture style settings to custom with low contrast. (source: F&J) I mean, you don’t have to, but it does help.

Well, that is all. If I figure out anything else, I will share my experience!


Destination: Involvement

Running for Board and Job Opportunity!

I apologize in advance for my really corny titles. I promise these are only for the first posts of each category. Moving on, I wanted to update on my school and community involvement these past couple of weeks.

First off, I have been preparing myself to run for a board position in the Association of Chinese Students (ACS) as either webmaster or secretary. I am not too sure how I will go about presenting, since I have stage fright. But, that is what gaining experience is all about right? By writing these blogs, I hope to situate myself in a comfortable position to handle routinely social media updates on various of platforms like facebook, twitter, tumblr, and the actual website. Although, because I work as Data Entry for my parents, becoming secretary does not sound too difficult. Creating spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel is simple and I am expanding my knowledge of Quickbooks; not that I will need to use that program for this club. I am all about presentation and promptness, so I feel that my position of webmaster will run smoothly. Never know if I have to run against anyone else, though. I have not learned how to embrace rejection and move on.

I am, also, preparing myself to become an AICA (Awareness of Inter-Culture Association) Representative for the Japanese Culture Club. The position is already mine, but shadowing the current AICA Rep make me weary of what I will have to deal with in the near future. I am not sure how I will handle academics, extra-curricular activities, and a relationship. I will probably limit myself to four classes next semester and have as many morning classes as I am able to take. I learned that afternoon classes are exhausting after a few weeks and the will to attend those classes diminish.

Recently, I saw a job posting for examination proctor at an Elite branch near my home, so I applied to that. There is no guarantee I will obtain the position, but I can dream, right? This would be my first step to a job I got by my own means. If I am accepted, I will be so happy. Wish me luck you guys! And do not fret, this is only a summer job, so it will not affect my studies next semester. Joy is me.

I considered a photography internship, as well. But my portfolio is lacking…especially because I just received my DSLR and took the pictures all on the same day. Feel free to check out my portfolio; any feedback is welcome! I have to write another resume tailored for this internship, so I have not responded to the email. If I am accepted to Elite, I will not have the time to participate in this internship, and turning down the internship after being accepted is not only rude, but unprofessional. It has only been a day since I received additional information for the internship; what duration of time of unresponsiveness is considered okay?

Friendship II: Fun and Guilt

ACS Culture Night! 2014

April 12

Truly a wonderful night! I am so glad that I participated in this event not only because this was my first and last time being able to perform with such wonderful seniors, but my big, Kerry, came to watch and support me. Boyfriend was being lame and was unable to attend, but I stopped by his house on my way home.

After almost three months of hardcore training, with hell week just before culture night, we can say that that night was one of the best. There are a few things that I regret doing and not doing before and during the performance, though. There was a short intermission between final dress rehearsal and the performance, so my group and I decided to grab lunch. Westminster has very long wait lines. We headed over to Brodard Chateau after buying some sandwiches to get a Durian smoothie for me. I didn’t realize that one drink would take 30 minutes just because there were other orders before mine (food orders). That sounds really whiny, but I assumed there would be separate workers for drinks and food, I guess not. We were almost late for our performance, and I felt terrible. As soon as we got the drinks, we high-tailed it back to Rose Theater and ran inside. Luckily, two other members were still inside and prepared the ribbons for us. Got there in the knick of time. If we didn’t return in time, our three months would have gone to waste.

Ribbon Dance

The other guilt inducing action I took was abandoning a friend on stage. Originally there were supposed to be three stall persons, but there wasn’t enough time to make three stalls, so only two were made. I felt uncomfortable being a stall girl, so I asked to be switched with the other stall person that was removed. Right before the scene, my friend that was also a stall girl, asked me how we were going to react when the grandfather actor has a heart attack. When I told her that I swapped, she looked betrayed. If I could have taken it back, I would have, but the person I switched with really wanted to be a stall guy. Now I don’t know how to make up for my actions. I realize that this may just be my ego, but I honestly feel guilty.

The show ended just before 9PM and everyone was getting ready to go for dinner. Unfortunately, I have curfew, so I had to go back early. I wish that I went out to eat with everyone because celebrating with the people you’ve created a bond with is important, right? I hope next year I will have the chance to attend. Until then, that’s a wrap!

Destination: Friendship

Association of Chinese Students

Photo Credit: Jung Kim Photography

Photo Credit: Jung Kim Photography

When people tell you that joining clubs or frats, or social groups in general, is a special experience, those people are wrong. Making friends and creating strong bonds between yourself and other people is the same wherever you go because that is with in your own power to make that experience special or not. For the first few weeks that I started joining clubs in the Fall, I did not feel any special connection with anyone. In fact, I still felt lost and awkward. Eventually, I stopped going to the gatherings and the meetings and stayed home or hung out with the people I normally go out with.

The most important part of joining social groups, is to forget that you do not know anyone. Chances are, a lot of people want to get to know you, but if you hide yourself from the world like I did before, you will not have the chance to meet some incredible people.

Spring semester came, and a friend I made from one of my classes introduced me to his club, Association of Chinese Students (ACS). I was reluctant at the beginning because I do not like to dip my feet in to unknown waters, but I am glad that he and the representatives pressured me to join. Do not get me wrong, I still feel awkward and have a hard time making conversations with everyone, but I am trying to be more open. What really helps, is that a majority of the group is more welcoming and conversations are no longer a major struggle for me. So, here are a list of thank yous I would like to give to those that allowed me to feel at home here in ACS. Kyle, thanks for introducing me to the club. Valerie, thank you for being the first person to talk to me; I am sorry that I have neglected you since, but whenever I see you, I don’t speak loud enough for you to hear me; I will try harder next time. Alicia, Maggie, Tiffanie, Jessica, and Emi, thank you for the fun times in modern and at the club meetings; wouldn’t stay around if it weren’t for you guys! Cynthia, thank you for being the reasonable upperclassman and calming me down when I had troubles. Big Gary, little Gary, Steven, and Arthur, thank you for remembering I am present at meetings and gatherings. Dede, thank you for the self-esteem boosting when I did not understand a lot of the moves during modern.

After joining groups for culture night (April 12 6PM @ Rose Theatre, Westminster), I found myself enjoying the company of others and feeling less constricted. I had to quit hip hop because my parents would not allow me to be out late for practices, but I still keep in contact with most of the friends I made in that group and hope that I will be able to join again soon. If not next year, then the next one after that. I will be participating as a ribbon dancer for culture night and I will say that practices were not walks in the park. We trained over several weeks and during spring break to prepare for this big day. This will be the first time in about 8 years that I will be performing on a stage. Dancing with ribbons is no easy feat, so please send your prayers my way that my hard work pays off and I don’t get stage fright.

I am most thankful for having my Big, Kerry, because she makes me feel happy and worries about me even if there isn’t really anything to worry about. I am so sad to see her graduate this spring because I have only been with her for a few weeks; but I am happy to congratulate her on finishing school with so much knowledge that she has passed down to me. I hope that I’ll be able to get her a great graduation present, and manage to sneak into night clubs with her because I am technically not allowed to go due to curfew, but we shall see. Kerry told me she wants to be there for my first night club experience, so I hope that I can share that experience with her before the opportunity slips away.

There will be more, after all, I have three more years to go! Look forward to hearing about more stories 🙂

Feel The Sunshine – 1985

Sometimes, I can’t find the lyrics to a song that I like. Any one else have that problem?If I run into that, I’ll try to decipher the lyrics and post here.

So you feel that stress
its been a real long day
you can’t escape that test
the time just ticks away

So you tip your chair,
but I can start to dream
of a life where you
didn’t need to be
locked up in an office
with no one else around
and we need to get that frown of yours
turned upside down

just put your phone away
and have a good time
don’t listen when they say
you can’t stay up all night

forget the job
for just for today
forget the bills
you have today

lets chase the clouds away
into the sunshine

and feel the sunshine

and feel the sunshine

No Conference halls
No business trips
No foreign food that makes you sick
No rental cars
or crowded flights
just a couple friends and drinks all night

Less talk exchange or daily trade
and get some sunshine in your day
just snooze the time with suit and hat

it’s time to drink the fun time back into your life
you just have to try
and just don’t let this weather pass you by

just put your phone away
and have a good time
don’t listen when they say
you can’t stay up all night

forget your job
for just for today
forget the bills
you have today

let’s chase the clouds away
into the sunshine

and feel the sunshine

and feel the sunshine

Destination: Anime Expo 2014

T-91 days until July 3@AX2014 

Photo Credits: Katie

Photo Credits: Katie

Who here is going to Anime Expo 2014?! I am! As well as my boyfriend, best friend, and cousin. I will be making two separate cosplays, maybe three if my cousin wants to double with me, but for sure just two.

This cosplay here, is for Katie and me. We will be doing Illya and Miyu from Kaleid Liner. We have the staffs all made and ready, actually we still have to put it together, but everything has been painted and molded! Wish I could have made a video because things turned out so well.

By the way! If you ever need help and purchased from Home Depot, their staff is very friendly and will help you! Katie and I are very appreciative towards HD employees because we had some trouble spray painting.

Until Next time! Phase one – Handhelds complete!

Destination: Love

Fresh Start, GO!

So, if anyone was following my older blog, amyissues@wordpress, you would know that I’m in the progress of overcoming some insecurities I’m having. I have decided to stop focusing only on the bad parts of my relationship and remember that there are good things about my beautiful manly friend, too.

I am not going to dedicate this to my relationship, but there will probably be a lot of pictures from our dates. Hence, destination love. If you’re more interested in my problems, feel free to follow amyissues@wordpress, but I am more hesitant on posting there. I am trying to find the good in life now haha

I was actually watching some of my dramatic “I don’t want to be living in this life anymore” vlogs and couldn’t help but to giggle. That means I am getting better right? Look forward to some interesting things! My new camera comes Friday!