Yesterday was fairly packed. Chris, Luke, and James scheduled for a Wednesday after-work shoot on campus. A post on them will follow shortly.

Leaning Pine Arboretum

For now, however, I was pleased to assist my brother-from-another-mother, Willis, shoot some of his friends at Cal Poly's Leaning Pine Arboretum. James dropped me off on-site as soon after we finished with their shoot around 7:00 p.m. The past year has been pretty sweet seeing Willis develop an interest in photography. I can't say I've been a cause for that... Although he owns a Canon, and recently bought a 7D Mark I, we're still friends. Somehow... (I'm a Nikon guy).

Willis called my cellular phone (wow, that sounds like an outdated term) as I was walked into the arboretum. He had just finished one of many locations and was moving on to the next, and was wondering where I was. A few seconds later I reared around the corner and met him and two lovely ladies, Yeji and Karen. Willis and I hung up on the phone and he introduced me to them. We shook hands, made pleasantries, and walked to one of the nearby fountains. I told Willis I'd be his second shooter and he'd be doing all the hard work. Namely, interacting with Yeji and Karen. Okay, I didn't actually tell him that... but I implied it. Here are a couple shots that followed.

It was my first time being a sideline shooter. Honestly, it was pretty fun. I didn't have to directly deal with people, I gave Willis some tips on where to shoot, and we just chilled. Not sure who, but either Yeji or Karen commented about not being able to take candid photos, and that they're really "derpy". Derpy is perfect for candid photos! That's where all the fun is :). And all the smiles and candid goodness..

We moved on from the fountain in the maze (?) to another nearby fountain (I sense a trend here). Willis did his thing. Yeji and Karen did their thing. I did my thing. We all did something. Yeah. Things. Filler text. Look! A fountain!

After the fountain, Karen wanted to take a photo similar to one she had found online. She showed the photo on her phone to me and I said it could easily be doable. Karen then proceeded to look at the photo mimicked it for my trigger happy fingers. Snap snap snap. Happily, I obliged. Good job f/2.8!

While leaving the fountain, I noticed a nice little patch of light illuminating a few small shrubs a small ways away. I nudged Willis to get Karen and Yeji to sit on the concrete half-wall. The results were beautiful, if I must say so my self. The light was soft on Karen and Yeji, yet ntense enough to provide rich contrasting shadows on the shrubbery behind them. The time was around 7:30 p.m.


We walked around a bit more, talked a bit more, and laughed a bit more. Then they graciously allowed me to ride back to Willis' car off of Foothill. I hadn't drove and thought WIllis had to campus. Slightly awkward. Glad I didn't have to catch the bus....

Best wishes to Yeji and Karen (and Willis ;( ) as they carry on to the post-grad life... :)

What Was Learned

  • Reinforced shooting at the golden hour(s), up to 1 hour before true sunset
  • The arboretum isn't as hard to shoot at as I had thought
  • Find places hit with soft light and shoot in them
  • Green contrasts nicely with brown and grey
  • Green on green doesn't end well
  • Derpy is good for candid. Serious is not.