I skipped celebrity Monday because fuck it. Labor Day. A lot of Mexico was off. And so was my girlfriend. So I also took the day off.
I also didn’t have a chance to sit on my computer almost at all.
Today feels like Monday. But it’s Tuesday. So no celebrity this week. But tons of pictures!
On Sunday early afternoon I borrowed my brother’s car to go to Valle de Guadalupe with Karla.
My brother did have to go to work on Monday and he usually drives. He sacrificed his car for me having a getaway with my girlfriend. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.
I really really need a car. I know I can borrow my brother’s as long as I adapt to his schedule. But if it’s an inconvenience for him, it sucks. I feel too guilty. And I’ll need a car this week at least two days.
I still indecisive if I just want a cheap car or getting a lease and drive for Uber/Lyft. It is very noticeable how many cars are Uber/Lyft while I drive around San Diego. It’s a fucking lot. Not sure if that means good because a lot of people are making money, or shitty because there is a lot of competition of the same shit.
But I’m leaning towards getting a lease. There is so much downtime while doing the photo gig that I could fill it up by driving around instead of just hanging out with my roommate or Dan and doing nothing.
If I get a used shitty car, I will just do the bare minimum. Take my time to do the quick photoshoot, get done with it, move on. Not work that much. So I’m leaning towards a nicer agency car.
And then there’s the whole mess of monthly payments, insurance, and a place to park. Not to mention I need to choose a car and the agency has to let me have a car. It’s a whole mess folks.
Back to Sunday.
Sunday was great.
Here is Sunday in pictures. Imgur album like I likes it. With a narrative and what not.
This was the best pic of all night. I’ll teach you how to do this. Pay attention fucker!
Now… I’m not entirely happy with how that came out. But it does look nice and people have been liking it. So I’m a bit happy with it.
So let’s look at my mistakes. First, the stars are a tad blurry if you zoom in. Second, the composition could have been a tad better. And third, I’m not that much of a pro and didn’t do multiple exposures and layering and all the nice formats and formulas. I’m also not getting paid, so effort drops down a tad. To have it super extra crispy nice you have to basically spend all night shooting.
I also edited on Snapseed on my phone in San Diego while doing other shit and not really giving my maximum effort. I don’t even think I chose the right picture. To masterfully do it… I would have to shoot RAW (which I still don’t) and edit on PS and work WAY more on it. Eliminate some of the auras around the mountain. And other things that I still haven’t learned how to do.
Now. How to do this shit.
The easiest way is to google other photographers, bloggers, and youtube videos that explain shit way better than I can. That’s how I learned. That’s how you can learn.
As for me. That picture was entirely properly planned. I’ve been wanting to go to Valle de Guadalupe for a while basically just to take a picture like that and obviously to have a fun outing with my girlfriend.
It is best to take landscape astro pictures when it is a new moon. We were a week into the new moon so we had 1/4 waxing crescent moon.
From the beginning of the night, the moon was shining bright right above us. It remained like that until we went to bed. And we drank a lot of wine and beers.
I told myself that I should wake up in the middle of the night to check it the moon had set… didn’t set up an alarm, but my subconscious woke me up at around 3 am.
Woke up in my peejays. The tripod and camera were set inside the caravan. Went outside all sleepy. Pissed behind the caravan while looking at the stars. And I noticed where the Milky Way was. I grabbed the tripod, walked a few steps and started shooting. And TADA!
No. It doesn’t look like that just in the sky. The camera sees way more than you do. It’s also edited with Snapseed.
Let’s take a look at the original.
That’s closer to what you see, but still, the camera sees WAY MORE. With the naked eye, you just see a faint Milky Way. The 30-second exposure helps to see the stars a lot.
The pic is a tad blurry, the tripod wasn’t even leveled right, and 30 seconds, again, is a bit too much for stars. ISO was 1600. Could have brought ISO up to 3200 and bring down the shutter speed to 20 seconds or less. It’s also at 12mm instead of 11mm by accident, slight, yet an accident.
But again… I woke up at 3 am with really no planning and just to see what happens. Still a noob. And this is my first time using the Tokina lens. I think I’m buying a new one (thanks Dan for letting me borrow it!)
Then… how did it go from that shitty shot to that nicer looking shot?
Short answer… I fucked around with Snapseed levels for a few minutes until I liked what I saw. Leveled the picture (first step), dropped shadows and highlights, put some ambiance into it, and sharpened and structured the fuck out of it.
I had two versions of the same photo and liked the one I uploaded better.
Again… I think I have a couple of other shots that could have been better. But I’m an impatient motherfucker. When I got home on Sunday I uploaded pictures to my computer, grabbed a couple that I liked and sent to my iPhone. Left the house, and edited while I was doing other shit in San Diego.
I need to learn more astronomy to figure out more sky things as well. I took astronomy 101 in college and the teacher was super strict and demanding. I got a C but I did learn a lot. Fuck knowing the color spectrums of planets and lights and shit, but I did learn a lot about stars and their relation to us. Also during lab nights, she taught us constellations and how to follow the stars and other shit.
But for example in this picture:
I am pretty sure that is Saturn and I didn’t even see it with the naked eye. I’m not sure what the super glowing thing is. I don’t think is the moon because was behind me. I simply pointed the camera to the sky and said let’s see what happens. Didn’t even realize Saturn was in there until I took a look on the computer.
I word vomited about taking pictures for a while and didn’t even mentioned much about Sunday.
The album tells it all. It was a real fun night. I hope to do that again with my girlfriend and other friends soon. I want to go again soon on the next new moon. Though I did spend shit tons of money on highways, gas, wine, cheese, glamping, and more, and I also made my brother not have a car for work.
And I do all of this for no money. You know. Word vomiting and telling you how to take pictures.
I also gave that picture to the glamping site for free and they are using it as their cover photo on their Facebook page
Organizing a trip with friends would be awesome. Or maybe better yet… make a business out of it. Do it through Tijuana Adventure. And I invite other photographers for a tour/photo lesson/glamping night.
What’s a good price? $500 per couple? Includes round trip to Valle and a caravan to glamp in, some wine tasting, a bottle of wine, dinner, photo night (and instruction for those who needed) breakfast, coffee, and more?!
Would that be a business!?
Speaking of business.
I have a bunch of emails to send right now. I have articles in my mind, but then again, I get distracted with my word vomit and then I have no desire to write. And I also have a few photo missions. I’m doing those on Thursday and Friday and hopefully covering all and getting it right. More of my pictures are coming soon out on the Reader. In fact, from now, I believe many of my pictures will be featured. After all, that’s my new gig! And I’m really happy with it.
I should get more gigs.
This fucking gig economy