Chinatown Post Leo Headshot

Not to long ago I was in Chinatown to meet a friend by the name of Leo to shoot some head shots he needed for his work. I knew Chinatown would be a good place because there are some interesting textures that are nice for portaiture. There is a rounded gate that I just love that I used for the portaits. Post and before this I was wondering around snapping photos of the randomness that surrounded me. These are those photos, its a mix of some abstraction and close-ups as well as the architecture and details. It was nice to wander and shoot this kind of photography, it had been a while since I have done this kind of shooting. It was a really great day for it as well. The weather was perfect and there were not many people around but enough to make the photos more than just a urbanscape.

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Split Stool Finished

The final product. I had the realization that even though I built it level on a flat surface and made sure there was no play or warped things going on that the stool will rock if the floor it is on is not at the same level across the middle where its flat or if the there is a change between the two corners where it comes to a point. So to my surprised its pretty terrible on carpet. Primarily because the flat bar distributes and levels out that area and where the points come to ground are concentrated loads, therefore, it rocks oh so terribly. I also was surprised to see how unlevel the hardwood floors were in the house when I went to go test it out in the room. Sure enough depending where it was and what orientation it was placed it would rock more or less. This threw me so bad, I was very upset and confused by the whole situation. I went back to the “shop” and looked it over. I took it to the pool table that has a slate top so I know that it is perfectly flat and level, on there it was happiest as can be without a single wobble, and that was when I knew what was wrong. Nothing I can really fixed. If it were not for the points being so small and the flat bit actually being two edges I probablly could get away with some pads but there is not enough surface area to hide them without destroying the look of the piece. I like it and it actually sits really well outside on concrete and pavers what are amazingly flater and more level than a interior wood floors. Though this sort of makes sense because the exterior floors are newer and more stable…

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Split Stool Fabrication Day 2

After much consideration and sleeping on it I decided that I would cross the legs over eachother. This accomplishes two things conceptually for me. The first was the idea that I did not want the piece to become something everyone has seen before, a little square stool with a square base that would diminish and not complement the wood it supports. The second was an idea I had for a future piece in that the base is a continuous loop of structure that does not intersect itself. Fabrication of this part took half the the next day. Everything was measure and cut by hand and eye, no modeling or foreplanning. Doing in this way I feel is almost quicker and easier than If I were to model and draw up shop drawings. Mostly due to the fact that is time intensive and the real world isnt perfect and my fabrication skills and tools can’t be that as exact, ( I no longer have the luxury of the SCI-Arc shop and only have what I have at home) so this shooting from the hip and working with what I got makes it both immensely fun and satisfying.

The last bit was cleaning everything and prep for its layers of protection. The metal was recieved a few coats of clear matte enamel and the wood received a few coats of polyurethane.

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Split Stool Day 1 Fabrication

When I initially was cleaning out the soon to be Solar Decathlon Studio I found some used old lumber in a somewhat dire condition. The first was turned into a bench for friends and the second I used for a stool.

Since I first saw the piece I knew the “broken” bit of lumber could be a interesting little piece of something. It had wonderful grain on one of the ends and the split was pretty clean and interesting. I had a few initial ideas that involved rods and as linkages but decided to opt for something a bit more simple and cleaner.

I used 1″ Angle 1/8″ thk. to create legs and a carriage to both keep the pieces split but supported. The wood was slotted to accept the angle and the angle was drilled and countersunk to accept screws that would be flush from the underside. This part took me from mid day to night. I stopped here because I was not sure what to do with the rest of the legs.

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Art Neuvo House Modeled

Modeled

Modeled

Post another round of design sketches I finally got around to modeling the house in 3DS Max. I took a bit of getting use to but I must say I understand why people prefer it. I never modeled anything of this nature and it was surprising fun even though it isn’t the usual type of architecture I have done before. It is fairly simple and straightforward but it perfect for what it needs to be. I only now need to finish the other sides and begin texturing all the bits and pieces before I can do any sort of real rendering.

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Art Nouveau House

Concept

Concept

A concept sketch for a modeling project.  French Art Nouveau inspired house. Plan to model in 3DS Max where I will texture and render out. I am digging the sketch now I just need to start modeling. I am new to 3DS Max but I am hoping I will pick it up fast and do all the things I have been meaning to do, hone in my cg skills and take a stab at some production design.

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Hsi Lai Temple Sculpture Eyes

The temple had a great variety of sculptures made from various materials and of various entities. I decided to concentrate on the eyes of these sculptures. All are somewhat similar but the over all styles and techniques are different.  I really liked  the first three the most. The detailing and quality of the sculpture were great. and the eyes are so intense, maybe not the first, because their eyes are just cute and in an odd way friendly even with the teeth baring.

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Hsi Lai Temple Buddhists Monks.

There little statues of monks were everywhere and that were the first thing we came across as we entered the temple grounds. They are supper cute and funny though I must question what exactly some of these sculptures are doing…

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Hsi Lai Temple

The temple it self was pretty amazing. It is apparently the largest in the western hemisphere. Though I have never been to the forbidden city those that I was with said it reminded them of it and could easily be something you see in the east. I intentionally am only posting photos where the crowd can be seen because I felt like it was a great distraction from the temple it self. Though I did enjoy the juxtaposition of the temple and certain modern artifacts like the satellite dish and the roof construction. I really wish i could have photographed the interior but it was of course not allowed. The span on the interior was super impressive with such great height. The temple at the top of the hill was far and away from the rest of the crowd and was quite, small and peaceful. The temple was interesting how certain aspects of the building seemed very authentic and then you would see certain areas that would take you away from feeling how really authentic the building actually was. I choose not to show these images, I only wanted to show what I thought were its best attributes without the clutter of people.

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Hsi Lai Temple Volunteers

I personally never really been the volunteering type of person. So for me to see someone stand and do the same thing for what seems like hours a day is a little over my understanding. I for one am not the personality that can be in any one given place almost stationary for anything. It would drive me utterly mad. I can not sit and relax pool side for example and do nothing without feeling anxious about feeling the need to do something more than just exists in some place.

To see these people helping the temple on their saturday made me think what there motivation. The temple it self has been around for 25 years and there are some volunteers there that have been there as long as the temple has been around. The individual running the museum was this person. Though I must admit I felt a little bad for him. As he told us the history of the temple and his history with the temple we came to realize how utterly lonely this person was. He volunteered on a regular basis here during a time of the day were there really was not visitors and in a place where he really did not see, meet or speak with any of the monks. It is crazy to me how you can spend 25 years of your life dedicated to place and the people there do not even know who you are. That is some level of insanity that I could not do.

Seeing the people prep food for the kitchen made a lot more sense to me. Cooking for others is something I can relate with and something that brings with it real meaning. Feeding others is a worthwhile causes. I guess history has its place and need and value but it also something that is not nearly as sustaining.

There are times when I see people in positions l can not understand why they really need to be there. The man at the road sign seems like a job that may not really be needed. especially when there were so many police/ sheriffs around that seem like they should be doing more traffic duty. The sign itself is so enormous as well. It is not something that can be missed. It just seems so boring and tiring. Then again I guess I might be a horrible type of person that just does not want to be used or give my time up becoming a human statue as some sort of prop. At the same time I do recognize the need for people to devote their time to something that is not selfish or self serving. I admire the dedication though sometimes I think a lot of volunteers are mismanaged, not that I really have any proof or experience with this, its just my observations of people doing little to nothing beyond just existing in a place. The other bit I do not understand is why do people volunteer and are basically useless and apathetic. Why would you spend time in a place that you wish not to be and can seemingly care less about.

Rant aside I really like candid photos of people. I would say that it is the only type of photos I feel comfortable shooting of people. It sort of is a bit voyeuristic but theres something about capturing people in a more natural state that I like because I feel these images have greater perceived sense of being more factual than truth, I mean this in the sense that when someone is aware of camera they consciously or unconsciously alter their habits/ behavior. I really dislike when people pose.

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