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Dino TRUCKS!!!

Happy birthday to this four year old ball. He's getting so big now, apparently he wants a job so he can buy more trucks.lol

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Guess who's back

T-I-N-Y. THE CHILLEST DOG EVER.. AFTER 5 LONG YEARS, SHE'S BACK WHERE SHE BELONGS. I'M SO EXCITED THAT I AM TYPING IN ALL CAPS TO EMPHASIZE HOW MUCH I MISSED HER. I NEVER HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED A MORE LOVING DOG THAN HER. 

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SNIPER+BUTTER+CREEPER=THIS LENS

Sometimes in life we don't always get what we want, BUT when you do, take advantage of it. When I first started shooting, it was   the challenge accepting certain jobs like sports and music concerts due to the fact I would be so far away from the subject(s). It was about two years in before I decided that a 24-70 just isn't long enough for me to acquire more jobs. So I did about two to three months of research on everything about telephoto lenses. All I read online was the fact weight and price is going to be the deciding factors on what telephoto lenses would be the best. The fact that image quality wasn't a big concern on all the research I read kinda scared me. I actually narrowed down the search to third party brand companies like tamron and sigma telephoto compared to Canon telephoto lenses. My biggest concern was investing a lot into a lens and fearful that

A. it would break down on me after a couple of months due to it being third party

B. f4 vs f2.8, do I need the extra stop of light?

C. Very big weight difference between the f4 options and f2.8 options

So my first step into finding my telephoto lens is learning that I wanted to shoot more event photography like weddings and concerts so I decided I wanted a F2.8 lens. Having that one stop of light helps me with keeping my images as clean as possible. The bokeh difference between f4 vs f2.8 is neglegible. Second I did a comparison between the Tamron telephotos and Canon telephotos. So I researched the pros and cons of each brand and found a very shocking discovery about Tamron telephoto lenses. DISCLAIMER-*I HAVE NOTHING AGANIST TAMRON, I ACTUALLY OWN A TAMRON LENS AND WILL BE DOING A REVIEW ON IT:)* Tamron telephotos fall victim to lens breathing. What is lens breathing? Its basically where whatever focal length at the longest end really isn't what you're seeing through your view finder. After about six months of reading lens reviews, looking in the bank account, and missing out on the jobs I wanted to get, I made the big decision on what lens to get! The lens of choice I use and now became my favorite lens is drumroll please......THE CANON 70-200 F2.8LII W/ IMAGE STABILIZATION.  

Why the 70-200? Its such a great lens due to many things. . Two of my favorite things about this lens is COMPRESSION AND BOKEH. I honestly feel that when people buy this lens initially, they buy it for the focal length. Don't get me wrong I love this lens focal range but thats not the reason why I bought it.This is actually the telephoto lens that does not suffer from lens breathing After time, I realized that the reasons I love this lens was because of the compression and bokeh. Compression works in the way of bringing whats behind your subject closer to them. Now the bokeh on this lens is epitomizes the term "buttery". Backgrounds on 200mm at f.2.8 literally turn into mush.  The image quality coming out this lens is what you would expect from a two thousand dollar plus lens. Its sharp from f2.8 to f22, which makes feel comfortable because a lot of images are shot wide open aperture wise. Nowadays I shoot more f3.2 but I still would shoot f2.8 without any worry. What I forgot to include in my last review was build quality. The lens is built like a tank. It weighs 3.28 lbs and you will feel every pound when you hold this lens. I love the fact when paired with my 5D Mark iii, it distributes the weight evenly and doesn't feel top heavy which was shocking. It is weather sealed which is cool because I have yet to shoot in the rain but it's nice to know that I have no worries shooting in any weather condition:) I have used this lens to shoot sports, events, headshot and portraits. I find myself using this lens to be my favorite portrait lens and whenever I have the chance to use this lens I do it. If you have the money to purchase this lens, its worth every penny.

PROS

  1. Image quality is amazing
  2. Bokeh is buttery and smooth
  3. Amazing compression 
  4. Only 70-200 lens that dosen't have lens breathing
  5. Build quality is second to none

Cons

  1. Price- $2,200
  2. Heavy-3.26 pounds
  3. Chromatic Aberration at f2.8 (quick fix in post processing)
  4. Color-silly nitpicking but a big white lens just doesn't scream discreetness
  5.  minimum focus distance isn't great so make sure you snap those frames kinda close if you have a subject coming towards you

 

 This lens is a staple to my gear and this lens will last longer than my next two camera bodies. As always the images below are ones shot on this lens. Hope everyone has a great day and I'll be back soon

-Long 

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Mon come ovaaaaaa...

Usually when I get a call from my mother, 90% of time it usually starts with either "what you doin" or "mon come ovaaaaa". I know that either she needs to take out the dogs, or she is inviting me to the house because she cooked. Growing up with vietnamese food, It made me feel kinda meh about it due to me having it all the time. I have grown to love Italian and american southern comfort food the most. I would say for the past two years I really didn't enjoy vietnamese food. I honestly don't know why it happened, maybe it was due to just having it all the time. There has been one dish that has lasted the test of time. EVERY FUCKING TIME i eat this plethora of mouth watering goodness, it brings me back to hearing vietnamese music playing in the kitchen and my mother singing. I went to vietnam in 2011 and eat rice almost everyday. I HATED RICE ever since. I seldomly eat rice, I know thats so non asian.haha. The only time primarily I eat rice is only this dish or if I feel really vietnamese, rice soup with beef AKA chao bo. OK thats not the dish but its really good. The moment of truth ladies of gentlemen.. one of the top 3 most requested dishes from me to ma dukes is.....

 

Rice, fried fish and sauteed chinese vegetables!!!!! When I tell you, this is life in a plate, believe me.  

 

The real star of this dish in my opinion are the chinese vegetables called ramuen*spell check if necessary* which is sautéed in garlic, soy sauce and a bit of pepper. I love how crunchy the stalks are and I love it's almost lemony taste. Its one of the 10 vegetables I eat in the world. The veggies are served mainly in soups but it doesn't taste as well when its fried, but hey what food isn't better when fried?haha. The fish is fried to perfection. I love fish thats fried with a crispy flaky crust but the inside is so moist and juicy. I still believe my mom has vietnamese witch craft in the kitchen because there is no way fish can taste so delicate but yet fill you up. My mom is so good at cooking this specific dish that she switches the type of fish she cooks with every time and I can't tell the difference. I believe tonights fish was flounder. She cooks with jasmine rice not broken rice with fish because it just tastes better. The rice is honestly the glue for the sweetness of the fish meat and salty veggies. This dish is served best with my mom sitting next to me with a pot of tea for us to share and at LEAST a half hour slander session guided towards my father. Any words that come out my mom's mouth are gold. No matter how old I am, my mom swears to me that she'll cook every day for me with hopes of me sitting next to her and honestly thats what my definition of happiness is right now for me. My mother's food truly are bits of a puzzle that helps me understand my culture and helps me feel even prouder for where I come from. Compliments to the chef AKA MOMMA DUKES. 

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thats not real rastllinnnn....

It was about 1998 when I started to heavily watch television in my house. I would channel surf and nothing really caught my eye until I saw these two degenerates. 

My love for sports entertainment mainly WWE started from seeing these two gentlemen. I loved watching the theatrics of being a badass being translated into the sport of wrestling. Being six years old, it was literally in my mind my life. I was engulfed with all the violence, crazy costumes, and personas that was the ATTITUDE ERA! 

The picture above ran my life and helped form a bit of my personality nowadays. Coming home after school was a strict schedule that consisted changing into my wrestler choice of the week t shirt, making a sandwich and sitting right in front of the tv indian style counting down the second until I see that WWF logo. My brother and I even made belts out of cardboard but I somehow lost every match. We terrorized each other by beating each other up whenever we had a second. My normal night of watching wrestling usually ended with drinking root beer whenever Steve Austin clanked two beer cans together so I felt cool. Throughout the years, they changed the rating system from Mature to PG so things became a bit stale. Watching from an early age I was exposed to seeing the highs and lows of the business. Learning how everything is staged in wrestling was a very hard pill to swallow. It was finding out your favorite athlete is taking drugs to become physically more dominant or finding out the tooth fairy is really the two people who made you.haha I even resented watching it for a while. I took bout a three to four year hiatus from watching it when I was bout twenty. What made me come back and made me fall in love with it all over again? 

The SHIELD made me fall back in love again with wrestling. These three individual shifted the whole scale of wrestling. They created fear in the locker rooms. They have made an amazing year or two of pure ass kicking to anyone who have faced them. They fucked the whole locker room up.haha. I have never seen this much raw talent and star power between three individuals. All of the members were stars in the making and they enjoyed kicking ass and taking names. I loved the fact that to me were the most dominant faction in wrestling to me. The match between Evolution vs The shield was literally one big flash back to my childhood. They did something that literally thought was impossible. They SURPRISED me and had the best six man tag match in recent years. Three amazing superstars from the older generations went toe to toe with the new hot young arrogant douche bags of the new generation to see whether they would be the future  or they would fold under pressure. OF course wrestling is fake, the genre is called SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT for gods sake!!lol The reason I will continually watch wrestling is because of the fact that I respect the hard work it takes to sell the show. These guys and girls spend a lot of time away from their families to make sure that they leave it all on the ring to make sure that they were the price of admission. Day in and day out they are working very hard in the ring and outside the ring. Ill have  a post coming soon on my favorite people to watch and favorite moves :}

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Kuyaaaaaaaa

Yesterday it was my brother's/cousin's birthday Patrick!! I met him bout five years ago and honestly I never knew that we would ever get close. At first, we didn't get along. What do you expect when you have a class clown and a shy timid guy with a short temper placed in one room? Over time, I have seen him grow so much and inspires me to want to be a better person on the daily. Me and him are very opposite, yet we seem to always get along and never argue. I don't understand sometime how he's able to deal with my shenanigans. We talk from anything from anime to women to sports. It seems like time is never our friend when I get to see him. He is someone I respect and love very much. He's one of my aces in life and I can honestly say he's one of the most genuine people you will ever encounter. His smile is infectious and his passion for anything he does in life is contagious. It's your KOBE year Kuya, keep flying high bro.

PS-ALKALINE IN NORFOLK is pretty cool. Make sure you get there early because seats fill up quick! GET GINGER BEER, ITS F*CKIN DELICIOUS

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Workhorse

So very often, I get asked the golden question of what lens should I buy to shoot "everything". That question is not easily answered due to so many reasons. The main reason is because every photographer isn't photographing the same thing I am shooting on the daily basis so my needs are not the same as another photographer. I alway answer the question with another series of questions to make sure I give them the right recommendation.  I am primarily a commercial photographer so I don't use the super telephoto lenses like a 300mm f2.8L or a 24mm f3.5L tilt shift lens made popular from Architecture photographers. I mainly shoot people, products, and real estate so I use what I consider the holy trinity of lenses when it comes to focal lengths. DISCLAIMER-THIS IS MY VERY FIRST REVIEW..All my gear will be reviewed. My reviews will not be to technical due to being more qualified people in the world having a full depth reviews online. I will however give you my honest opinion on how I use the gear in real world situations. There is a term in the photography world when it comes to lenses being revered as  the "WORKHORSE". The workhorse that I use primarily is my Canon 24-70mm F2.8LII. 

There are so many reasons that I love this lens. It is such a multi purpose lens. I have used this lens to photograph landscapes to people. I love the the fact that this focal range covers many beloved focal lengths like 24mm, 35mm and 50mm. Many photographers from amateur to professional love this lens and swear by this lens. I have owned this lens for about 2 years and I will say that I did not experience the same feelings my fellow colleagues did until very recently. I always will admit this but I took this lens for granted. I always had it in my bag but for some odd reason I never used it. I felt like the 24mm side showed too much distortion and I felt like 70mm isn't long enough reach for me. Nowadays you can't keep this lens away from me. I love using this lens. This has replaced my ultra wide angle for landscapes. That reason will be revealed in future posts.I have to have a reason to give you guys and gals to come to read my posts.haha. Here are the pros and cons of my lens

PROS

  1. amazing image quality
  2. covers wide to medium telephoto
  3. amazing build quality
  4. great bokeh
  5. comes with lens hood-this will save your lens if you drop it honestly
  6. great snappy autofocus

Cons

  1. Expensive!!!
  2. NO IMAGE STABILIZATION
  3. distortion at the wider focal lengths
  4. vignetting at the corners-easily fixable in editing programs, EX.Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
  5. Heavy
  6. not weather sealed

 

OVERALL this lens is an amazing lens. No lens is perfect, however for what I do, this is an important piece of my equipment in my arsenal. Below are images that I have shot with the Canon 24-70mm f2.8LII to show the all the type of photography I have used this lens for. Hope everyone enjoys this and PLEASE SHARE, LEAVE COMMENTS ON FUTURE CONTENT YOU WANT ME TO REVIEW OR PIECES OF MY GEAR YOU WANT ME TO REVIEW

 

-LONG

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"BIDNESS MEETING"

Coming from Vietnam, its the norm to assimilate and learn english. Due to vietnamese being a tonal language, learning english is quite the experience. Usually you grow in a vietnamese household to speak vietnamese at home and speak english outside the home. I am twenty four however, I started take learning to speak vietnamese seriously at age twenty. I work at a vietnamese restaurant and I felt silly being a certain age and not being able to communicate with any of my co workers. Speaking english in a vietnamese restaurant really means "broken english". Certain letters are either replaced with another letter or maybe even taken out all in general.haha

Tonight was a celebration of mix of 1.my boss had his child, 2. an old employee is coming back to work, 3. its a monday, why not. Normal night for everyone consists of alcohol, loud music, delicious food and ALWAYS.....a fight almost breaks out. All in all, a typical night for us. I did not edit any of these photos just due to me being sick.

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District of Columbia

Today my cousin needed to stop by Warby Parker in  Georgetown so I decided to accompany her with my other family members. Walking through Georgetown, there is so much I learned. The city is tight and very busy. Coming from the small city to a big developed area, it is quite the adjustment. The people are focused on getting to their destination and primarily have headphones in their ears. Maybe being a tourist, I was infatuated with the architecture, the different varieties of stores and wide array of ethnicities I have seen. I could see myself living in the bigger cities but the parking and the honking is a big deterrent. Overall it was a great day!

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*bang* the race is off!

Starting today, I am starting a blog! The goal of this is to basically provide myself another way to articulate my hyperactive thoughts into words! Stay tuned for the ride and I'm looking forward to posting as much as I can with a big sense of emergency!

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