I could never anticipate how difficult it was to photograph gymnastics for the first time. Their speed, grace and power was a challenge to keep up with, but it was incredibly impressive to witness first hand. I didn’t get many great shots that night, but this particular photo was one of my favorite examples of team dynamic, which is a big reason why I love shooting sports so much.

/// Photo 25/31 from 2007

If you don’t already know, Berkeley, CA is a quirky place. It’s a place where homeless people play WoW on their laptops (who knows how they got one in the first place). It’s a place that used to have a restaurant that served milk & cereal. It’s a place that has protests protesting protests. Berkeley is so quirky, that the people who live here, hardly notice it anymore. The very popular vintage store, Mars, is no exception this quirky attitude. Every so often, it would update it’s storefront with weird mannequin settings and it’s signboard with various messages. I resonated with this particular note, “I want Pluto to be a planet again.” I remember growing up, I always knew our solar system as one with nine planets. It’s a crazy for me to think that my kids will go to elementary school and learn that there are technically eight planets (unless their materials are super old like my elementary school, where Russia was still labeled as the USSR). Those were definitely the good ol’ days.

/// Photo 2/31 from 2007

When I was in high school, I used to be in the armed military drill team, the Lords of Discipline. Not to be confused with cheerleading, we were members of the JROTC, who specialized in regulation military drill, as well as exhibition drill which involved spinning and tossing 13lb. demilitarized M1 Garands. At home, I would practice with cardboard pipes which emulated the width of the rifle. One day, I looked through the pipe and placed it up against the light. I then placed my camera through the hole and took this picture.

///Photo 4/29 from 2006

In 2007, I learned the photo technique of light writing. Although very simple, it can serve for many hours of fun. When I learned how to do it, I set my camera up on a tripod, took my red metal flashlight in my hand, and as I learned in middle school, I did a figure-8. As you can see by this photo, I tried a bunch of different things too, but ended up with something cool looking at the end.

/// Photo 22/31 from 2007

The Main Stacks of Doe Library is the most popular place to study when it gets to Finals time. Located underground, this library is known for being open 24 hours/day when it’s Finals season. The stress in silence can be felt immensely by just watching people study here for just a few minutes. Even looking for a desk to study at can be stressful at this time, because everyone is there for the same purpose, to cram.

/// Photo 8/31 from 2007

Sometimes, anywhere with a desk and quiet is the perfect place to study. While waiting for my film class screening to start, I was taking a few shots around Dwinelle Hall where I found this girl studying outside the lecture hall. Although this area is one of the busiest during the earlier hours, she was able to find quiet solitude to delve herself into her studies.

/// Photo 1/31 from 2007

I consider myself a religious person, and my faith has a lot to do with my life. Especially on a day like today, or the day I took this picture, my faith provides me calm and peace in an otherwise troubled state of mind. When things are getting rough, or when things are getting better, I find solace in quiet prayer and solemnity.

///Photo 8/29 from 2006

I love shooting sports, with this particular basketball game being the first time I shot sports. It was a pick-up game that a few of my friends played in my grandma’s church. I didn’t have great equipment at the time, shooting with a kit lens under very poor lighting conditions. But by sheer luck and an accurate flick of the wrist, I was able to get this tracking shot of my friend James. I really didn’t know too much of what I was doing, but sometimes you just get lucky with these things.

/// Photo 2/29 from 2006

I remember I was in middle school in Spanish class when 9/11 happened. We heard that planes crashed into the World Trade Center and collapsed them. It didn’t occur to me until I got home that they were talking about the Twin Towers, which is when it started to hit home. A few times a year, we would make the 4-hour drive up to NYC to enjoy the city for a bit. The iconic NYC skyline was iconic in part because of the Twin Towers. To think of a view of the city without them was shocking, but to see the destruction and horror that happened that day was earth shaking.

/// Photo 17/31 from 2007

When I saw this in San Francisco, I had to take a picture. What I found interesting was the juxtaposition of an Asian couple eating with the backdrop of an American flag with the image of Marilyn Monroe splashed on it. The backdrop of what many consider America to be can symbolized by that very flag that hangs in the restaurant. But take a closer look, America is changing and the definition of American is as well.

///Photo 10/29 from 2006

The first day I received my camera, I had an assignment to shoot some interesting photos around my high school, an assignment requested by my friend Robyn (Runaway Apricot). Looking back at my images, a lot of them sucked. It was my first day with my first DSLR and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But with that, came a mentality of shooting everything. That’s how this photo of my classroom’s flag happened.

///Photo 5/29 from 2006

Working in advertising, I’ve been on the set of a few film/commercial shoots. Back in 2007, I was on set of the making of “Save Your Luck,” a short film made by some of the folks at {M}aganda Magazine for Campus MovieFest. The main actors were Adrien and Christine, with Krizia and Patrici behind the camera. The set even garnered some attention from a few pedestrians walking past in North Berkeley. An awesome effort by all who were involved, the film made it the Berkeley Finals out of the vast amount of films submitted. Check it out HERE.

/// Photo 23/31 from 2007

On a very wet November night in Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium, Cal faced off against USC in what turned out to be a disappointing loss for the Bears, and my camera. The Trojans proved to be too overwhelming for the Bears, and the same can be said about the rain for me. This was the first football game I ever covered, and although I knew it was going to rain, I don’t think anyone anticipated the complete drenching everyone that night received. Not only did we lose the game, my 1-month old 40D went down for the count. Around the third quarter, the camera stopped responding to commands and fired on continuous burst without being able to stop. Although it was protected by a plastic bag, the rain proved too much and got into the camera, eventually seeping underneath the screen and into the electronics. Devastated that my brand new camera already crapped out, I patiently waited and prayed as I buried the camera in a vat of rice to suck all the moisture out. After three days, it came back to life and it still works to this day.

/// Photo 15/31 from 2007

Walk around campus any given school day, and you are bound to see student organizations on Upper Sproul with their tables out and flyers in hand. It is quite common to see these students playing music. Sometimes that music is heard through a boom box, and sometimes it’s live. In this case, Nolan was playing his guitar in front of our friends, just hanging out and enjoying the sweet moments we have between classes.

/// Photo 7/31 from 2007

Taken on Shattuck’s Pegasus Bookstore, I spotted these stencils next to a woman who was standing in the shade of the store. I couldn’t help but draw all three elements together. The facial expressions of the stenciled man and standing woman mimic each other, while the mere gesture of outreaching hands is something they need to change that very expression to a happier one.

/// Photo 25/29 from 2006

Driving around the streets of San Francisco, I spotted this homeless man on the sidewalk and his surroundings. I framed this picture to represent how much luck plays a part in life. I don’t know his circumstances, but I’m sure that they somehow involved misfortune. And that how an ounce of luck can turn things one way or another. It is also a visual representation of the way we view the homeless, through a guarded barrier looking in.

/// Photo 23/29 from 2006

A staple of the Catholic Filipino household is a statue of the Virgin Mary and a Bible located somewhere with a lot of foot traffic, like the foyer. To me, the presence of these things turn a house into a home. Hopefully one day, I can own my own house that I can create into my home with the help of these items.

/// Photo 17/29 from 2006

New York has always had a special place in my heart as I was born in Brooklyn. I would often make trips up to NYC during the year and would always stop by Chinatown and pick up some siopao from our family’s favorite spot. Often as a kid, I would wait in the van as my mom would get the siopao, and I would always see an ice cream shop with a banner of a dragon eating ice cream. The image was forever burned into my childhood, so much that I even made a song about it to annoy my dad in the van while we waited.

///Photo 7/29 from 2006

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