2016

Well, I’ve put off writing my blog for so long now.

Work got really tough, and was very stressful for the last couple of months. I gained weight from eating Jack In The Box (shoutout to Doordash and their fantastic delivery service) all day because I don’t have time to cook.

Now that I’m back in Ottawa, and had a few days of solid relaxation, hopped back onto keto and lost a few pounds already, I feel better suited to write this more as a post than a rant.

Let’s catch up on stuff chronologically.

First off, the best burrito shop in San Francisco.

La Espiga De Oro
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/3200s, ISO-800

It’s called La Espiga De Oro, and it’s located on 24th street in Mission District. I know I’m making a bold claim when I say it’s the best burrito shop in SF, especially since there are so many burrito shops here. But aside from the novelty ones (such as Sushirrito or Senor Sisig), if you want a good ol’ traditional burrito with no bullshit and full of meat for really, really cheap, this is your place.

I can’t even justify going to Chipotle after this anymore, not with the prices here. Their chicharrones are actually proper Chicharr√≥n, and not that dried skin crap you get from supermarkets, it’s made from the cut that has both rind and belly, and it’s only 5 bucks a pound.

Chicharone
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/640s, ISO-800
Chicharone
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/100s, ISO-800

Do yourself a favor, grab this, and a Mexican coke, you know the one -sweet nectar of the gods made from cane sugar, and not the high-fructose-corn-syrup crap. This here cost 7 bucks, and it’s an amazing lunch/snack/whatever.

Interior
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/80s, ISO-800

Small shop, but always busy.

Burrito
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/250s, ISO-800
Taco
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/125s, ISO-800

These photos are from when Jackie visited me from San Mateo, and he got a burrito, while I wanted to try their tacos and pupusa. The taco + pupusa was 8 bucks, again, I can’t stress how cheap this place is (especially after getting used to SF prices everywhere else). The taco was amazing, everything you see displayed are made fresh, this plate took them 10 minutes to make, and it’s worth every second of waiting. The pupusa was filled to the brim with cheese, and the chorizo was the best blend of spicy and zing I’ve had.

Oh, and here’s a photo of the fashionable and handsome Jackie.

Jackie
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/1250s, ISO-640

Since then, I’ve mostly focused on getting more work done and whatnot.

Only had a couple of chances to go out and shoot some more portraits with Shirley.

Shirley
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/40s, ISO-1600
Shirley
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/100s, ISO-1600

These two images were from a themed shoot we had on a Monday night, spur of the moment kinda thing, and the theme was Korean drama. Basically television shows with incredibly pretty protagonists, that tells the love story between them and some rich boys, Asian people seem to like them, I seem to like them from time to time.

Korean drama is interesting because a lot of the times the popularity depends on the storytelling and the actors, less so cinematography, but I’ve always found their cinematography super interesting, because often times they make great use of foreground to emphasize or invoke the emotions of a scene, and there’s always a sense of clarity to them.

The last shot was actually a happy accident.

Shirley
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/8s, ISO-1600

I originally wanted a shot from the Caltrain platform, but we weren’t allowed to go on them for photos, and while we wanted to try a photo on the tracks, we weren’t able to find a good angle with a good background.

But it had rained a while ago, and there’s still water on the ground. I wanted to do something that I’ve always wanted to do – shoot a nighttime portrait with puddles so the lights gets reflected and it’s all pretty and shit.

That’s exactly what I got, except I also wanted for the train to pass by so I can get a bit more light in my shot (from the signals and the train itself).

Oh, and I also did a portrait for Boris (my roommate) right before I left.

Boris
Sony A7II
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
f/1.8, 1/2000s, ISO-400

He told me to dress him, so I went the /r/malefashionadvice classic: bomber jacket + white T + black chinos.

I think it turned out alright.

Anyways, now that I’m back in Canada where all my gear is, expect more portrait photos to come! Or not, since it’s Canada and it’s a world of snow, ice and sludge.

Cheers, and happy new year!

-Tao