Monday, May 31, 2010

SUP Get Aways In Northern Baja?

Oh yeah... in collaboration with John from and ultra waterman, Matt Wilson, I will be organizing SUP trips to Northern Baja. John, Matt and myself are piecing together the ultimate SUP trip to the ever nostalgic Northern Baja.

If you've been on a trip with me to Baja or Mexico for that matter, you know that I really don't have to do much to show you a great time. Throw in my Mexican roots, Matt's great attitude and Baja experience plus John's amp on SUP and you get a recipe for something insane.

Lobster dinners, posh accommodations, 24/7 tour guides, photos, video... the list goes on! We'll have something on the site by mid June.

Believe me... the limited spots will fill up before you can say Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Keep your eyes peeled here for the latest!

Get ready. It's coming.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In The Works

If you play basketball, have you ever wished you could be taught by Michael Jordan or LaBron or Bryant? Or be taught how to drive a Nascar like Jimmy Johnson? Or having Kelly Slater take you to his favorite break and show you how to ride it?

Well, if you're a photographer, get this... I'm in the super pre talks of organizing a workshop in Cabo San Lucas, (yes, my home away from home) with one of the world's best surfing and all-around photographers, Art Brewer.

That's right. He had great success with his Puerto Rico workshop that, my good friend Sean LeBrie, mentioned that I should get in contact with Art and line something up in Cabo. Wanna guess what I've been doing for the past month? Well, I finally got a hold of the busy man and arranged to have a second super pre trip talk when he gets back from Haiti.

So if you're into photography and want to learn from one of the best in one of my favorite spots in all of Mexico... start saving your money! The limited spots will definitely fill up quick! Keep your eyes here for the lates details.

More on Art Brewer HERE.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May Photo Contest!!

We're coming down to the wire! You've got 'til May 31st 8am, to get me your best action photo. The winner will walk away with a $40 WaveHouse Gift Card. It's free to enter. Just Follow my blog and send in your photo! Easy as that.

The winner will be announced on May 31st at 1pm.

Don't lag, send me your photo to:

Good luck!

This could be yours!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Paradise Found

I was running around grabbing food and condiments for tomorrow's party for Mailei (my wife). She graduated with a Masters in math from SDSU so we're throwing her a well deserved party at Glorietta Bay.

But here's the reason why I think we live in paradise here in San Diego. I bumped into a good friend of mine at the grocery store. He just got back from Georgia, the Peach State I believe. He was out there doing construction work with his good friend that's from there. Well, the stories he told me weren't so peachy. In fact, I'm still thinking about it and they bother me a bit. So my buddy is Mexican but born in Sacramento and yes, he's an American citizen. But check this out... he told me stories about how racism still exists in the US. And he experienced it 100% for the first time in Georgia.

He told me a story on how he was walking down an aisle in the local grocery store and a white lady saw him coming. She grabbed her son and held him close to protect him from the big bad Mexican man. WTF. I thought that shit only happened in the movies!? Another incident... He said that he was walking on a road with no sidewalk and was ran off the road by a truck with a big confederate flag whipping around off the tailgate. There were a few more stories but aren't we living in 2010?

Sure there's some tension amongst Californians but it's subtle and almost non-existent where I live and where I'm from. And yes, it's more expensive to live in southern California. But I'd hustle my ass off to be able to avoid the bs that goes on in Georgia.

Of course, not all the people of Georgia showed their prejudices openly. But when you have about 40% of a population avoiding each other like the plague, uh... what then?

So I raise my Pacifico and salute all my fellow Californians... here's to being open and understanding the fact that we're all in this thing together. Cheers.

Tall, fat, short, skinny, dark, light... who cares! Leave your prejudices in the 1800's. Salute.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spur Of The Moment

After checking out the cams on Surfline and seeing how small the waves were, I was ready to call off going to the water to shoot. But then my wife, Mailei, noticed how calm it was outside. The sun was popping in and out of the clouds and it just looked nice outside.

"We need to get you a (SUP) board so we can go out there right now," she said. A light bulb turned on in my head.

I've been wanting to capture this Coronado bridge and SUP paddler in a vertical photo. This was it.

I was gung ho and sent my wife out into the SD Bay. When she started paddling away, that's when it hit me... holy shit, she's tiny compared to the massive structure of the bridge, tug boats, big 'ol crane boat things and... I got worried. She made it to the bridge no problem. Then a  few boats started to cruise by and I had her come in. She was a trooper and made it happen.

Will I send her out there again? Of course! But with another paddler, for sure. Thank you honey.

Mailei going for broke in the SD bay.

 You can barely make out Mailei just to the left of the pillar.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Weekend With The In-Laws And Good Waves

Big Southwest swell and the in-laws rolled through this weekend. And because the in-laws like to sleep in and my wife is killer, I was able to sneak away in the wee hours of the morning to go out and get some pics.

The in-laws didn't show up to San Diego until Friday afternoon. The swell started to hit late Thursday.

Saturday: I've really been wanting to hook up with my brotha from another, Nelz Vellocido. He's an all-around waterman that proved himself as a top world class bodyboarder by charging waves like Chopes and North Shore. In fact, Nelz pioneered many of the new moves that bodyboarders are doing today. Now, he rides any type of wave riding vehicle that the ocean calls for, including SUP. And that's what I wanted to get a picture of him doing... ripping on the SUP in the surf. So we met up at Shores and it was offshore but a bit mixed up and cloudy. After seeing him catch a few waves, I paddled out. The session was sick. I linked up with a few other people, including Nelz. There was a 15 minute gap of sun light that made for sick contrasts with the water and surfers. That was Friday May 21.

Sunday: As you remembered, it was blown to shit. If you found a wave that wasn't blown out, you scored!

Monday: If you've lived in a location long enough, you know when the conditions are going to be good. You just get that feeling in your bones. I got that feeling late Sunday. I know Monday was going to have sick sunny conditions with slight offshore. A few friends and I met up on SouthSide and hit the water before the sun rose above the mountains of Jamul. Needless to say, it was going off. Perfect 3-5 footers with feathering lips were served 'til about 9:30am. And that's when I realized I need booties. I couldn't feel my left foot because of the cold. Note to self: buy a pair of booties.

For all the action photos from this past weekend, check out my site:

Oh yeah... the in-laws. I wanted to share with you some of my top restaurant picks for when the in-laws come into town. Believe me, you will not disappoint them if you take them to any one of the restaurants below. I put my taste buds on it!
Kiki Sushi on University and 6th in Hillcrest is a must! Great atmosphere and great sushi rolls and sashimi

I know it's something you usually wouldn't order in a Sushi joint but you have to try the Spicy Chicken at Kiki Sushi. Yum!
Have any friends that are visiting from anywhere in the world... Temecula's Wine Country is a must! And the Brie Sourdough at Maurice Carie is epic.

One of my favorite wineries... Bella Vista. The Hungarian owners are cool once you get past the surface : ) Ask for Gary... he's got the stories and knows his wine.
If you're a San Diegan and haven't eaten at the Turf Supper Club, you're an idiot. Sorry, was that too rough? Seriously, if you want to really know if your new girlfriend or boyfriend is a keeper, take him/her to the Turf Club and see how they handle cooking their own food : )

Good times at the Turf Club.

The Sirloin Steak Potato and Eggs for breakfast anyone? Hellz yeah! Massive portions and so freakin' tasty!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

HDR Skills

HDR is sick! High Dynamic Range photography is something that goes beyond the actual pushing of a button. Learning to use Photoshop or Photomatix to create pieces of HDR art, is just a matter of jumping in and getting wet. There are so many different variations involved in one HDR project that it's really up to the person clicking and moving the mouse that will determine what comes out on the other end.

With a cameras available like the Canon 7D, which shoots eight frames per second and has auto bracketing for three images, it's a perfect HDR rig. Of course, having five or seven differently exposed images would be better but that's what shooting RAW comes in. With RAW images, you can shoot one image and do your dirty work in your RAW program and create five differently exposed images from that one RAW file.

Again, experiment and get into the program you use and see what each little tab or adjustments does to the image. You'll be stoked on the end result of your HDR image. Here's a link to a very thorough description and tutorial on how to understand and create HDR images:

Here's a image I created yesterday. Took me about 15 minutes to get to this point. Believe me, I could have spent more time on tweaking colors, highlights, shadows... everything. But Lost was about to start! Enjoy.

Pulling The Trigger

Okay, maybe not pulling but pushing the trigger is what I like to be doing as much as I can. Of course, I would like to be in the water shooting perfect sunny warm water barrels but for now, I'll take whatever I can get... as far as photo gigs are concerned. In fact, it's more of a learning experience. I'm fine tuning my skills for shooting in low-light situations. So when I eventually end up on a surf trip with pro dudes, I'll be able to capture them ripping in the ocean AND snap the essence of the night life these guys are know for.

I'm super stoked on securing a gig with a well-known production company. I'll be shooting their set-up process as well as shooting the bands that'll be performing. Hope that doesn't ruin my dawn patrol missions.

Yes, the ultimate job would be to travel the globe shooting pro surfers and bodyboarders in heavy surf but for now, I'll hone in on my overall photography skills in and out of the water.

PS: Waves this weekend! You'll see me out there somewhere with my bright-ass yellow SPL waterhousings.

Here's a pic from last night's cool art/party gig from To see more photos from last night's gig check out: and go to the Events Gallery.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Future Of Surf Videos

It's just a matter of time when everyone will have access to HD video equipment. Oh wait, we already do. In fact, there's a company that offers a HD wide angle video camera that can fit in your shirt pocket AND it comes with it's own waterproof case. Go Pro has been around for a few years but it was just last year when they offered up the HD version to their standard definition camera. Get this... it's less than 300 bones!

Now that there's HD cameras that offer up to 1000 frames a second, who knows what we will be seeing on the big screen within a couple years.

Well, here's a glimpse of what the BBC is up to in the South Pacific. You won't believe your eyes! Peep this (it is in HD, so let it load completely):

To get the full effect, CLICK HERE.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Art and Photo Show Recap

First, I would like to thank my wife for helping me through this entire process. Without her help, I think my show pieces would've have been as good as they were. Second, I would like to thank everyone that made the appearance to my very first showing of photos. Adam and I agreed, whether or not we sold pieces, it was great to see the old school mixing it up with the new school

Cat and Tim at TNT Surf Shop opened their doors to the public to host the Art and Photo Show this past Saturday evening. We thank you.

Before you walked into the shop, you were asked to take a photo in front of the exclusive Art and Photo Show Backdrop. We weren't surprised that this was a hit. You can see all the red carpet photos on:
Click on the EVENTS link and you'll see the Art and Photo Show Gallery.

Thanks again and hope to see you at the next one!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Big Night

It's a big night. Hope you can make it out to the TNT Surf Shop Art and Photo Show tonight. Like to come?

TNT Surf Shop
209 Palm Ave
Imperial Beach, CA 92104

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SUP Break

With the pressure on to get things together for this weekend's showing, it was a great time to take a step back and get on the water with my lovely wife.

We hit up the La Jolla caves but the windswell and wind weren't in our favor. So we hit up Mission Bay. We needed to paddle! There was a little texture on the water but it was minor compared to LJ.

Now, I can breathe again. We got back home and wrapped all my canvas prints for the show and had a beer and burger to end the day.

If you get caught up in your routines or feel the pressure of  life, take a break.... SUP on calm waters will get you back on track. Whoa... that sounded like a commercial! Sorry.

Thanks John from for the loaner!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Travel Tip #1 of Many

I know many o f you save up money for the yearly get away to that place that you like to call paradise. But how many of you register with the US Travel Registry before you take off to foreign lands?

Many of you may or may not know, but since 2003 my wife and I have been putting together surf/bodyboard trips to Cabo San Lucas, Costa Rica and Indonesia. Holy crap... we're coming up on our 10 year anniversary! Awesome. Okay... back to business. Before I take or send any customers to distant lands, I register each person with the US Travel Registry.

What is the US Travel Registry? Simply put... the US Government knows where you are if something were to happen abroad or at home. So, in case of an emergency, they know how and where to find you.

On your next surf trip, consider registering:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Learning Experience

Okay, I'm in a bit of a situation here. I was asked to do a showing of my photos and I was all gung ho for it. Why not it's my first one, right! But now with less than a week away, I'm still narrowing down which photos to use and how big to print them.

For the past few days, I've gone through all my files and selected over 100 photos! Yeah, that isn't going to work. With the help of my wife, we got it down to about 20 solid picks. But that still might be too much. My palms are sweating wondering if I'm going to be able to pull this off! Hahahaha... I'm sure it'll all work out.

Wish me luck. If you'd like to see the show, please email me at: The showing will be invite only so email me.

Here's a pic of Adam. He'll be showing his art and photos as well. You gotta see his art... it's pretty legit. Love to see you there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Camera Bag Essentials

The past couple days I've been out and about the SD coast and scored! Don't you love it when the waves and sun are out and pumping?! I know for a fact, I do. To see all the shots peep:
MannyV Photo

It only take two phone calls from friends to say that the waves are good before I grab my camera bag and head out the door. I know that I can grab my bag without worry that I'll be missing anything.

Traveling with Jeff Flindt back in the day, I saw how he followed a regime of preparedness. I saw Flindty prepare and have his camera bag and housing ready to go at any given moment. Little does he know, he was teaching me some valuable lessons. So here's a little secret look into my camera bag that's ready to go at any moment. Please note, my bag is set up for when I'm going 20 to 30 minutes from my house to shoot. Anything longer, I'll add a charger and my laptop. You never know if you're going to be out all day. Okay, check it:

Camera Bag Essentials:
  • Camera Body
  • 2 Fully Charged Batteries
  • 2 Empty Memory Cards
  • Wide Angle Lens
  • Portrait Lens (28-105mm is mine)
  • Telephoto Lens
  • Water Housing
  • Hand Blower
  • Lens Cleaner Wipes
  • Sensor Cleaner Swabs
  • USB Memory Card Reader
  • Flash
  • Flash Diffuser
  • Business Cards
  • Wrench, Extra wing nuts and bolts, and lube for housing
  • Batteries for flash
  • Business Cards (Yes, I said it twice!)
  • Electrical Tape!

Now, you're ready!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Making Chicken Out Of...

After driving all day yesterday in the perfect weather, my friend Wevo and I headed straight to La Jolla for some water time. We knew it was the calm before the storm but there was no wind and the sun was out.

We met up with a couple friends at Marine Street and saw the sheet glass and clear water from the lookout and bolted back to the car to get ready.

As usual, I was the last one to get ready. I wish there was a system where I can instantly just grab my water housing with the camera in it and jump in the water. But there isn't. If I did that and rush things, all my settings would be off and I'd probably flood my housing and ruin my baby. So after taking my time and getting everything dialed, we were off.

We laughed and got a few shots in the two foot shorey. It was definitely a great way to end the day.

It was when we sat down at this unreal Indian Buffet restaurant off Clairemont and the 805, that we all took turns looking through the photos. And it was my buddy Nelz, as he was eating the tasty tandoori chicken leg... he said, "That's sick. You guys made chicken out of chicken sh!t." In other words, we got a few great pix even though it was two foot.

Good times. Yes... there's a swell brewing. Stand by for more goods!

Here's one of my favorite shots from yesterday. I've set it up to be a wallpaper for your computer. It's set at 1280x1024px. Please enjoy. To peep all the photos from , check out:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Canon 7D Video Edit

I have yet to get fully into the video aspect of the Canon 7D. Last night at the Bodyboard 101 session at the WaveHouse in Mission Beach, I shot a few video clips. I woke up before hitting the road and worked a video clip of Seabass (Dana Point bodyboarder). Experiementing with the 60 frames per second 640x480 standard definition clip was interesting. I used a basic movie editing program called Magix Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus. I used this program for small quick edits and it handled the high frame rate with ease. With such a high frame rate, I wanted to slow it down to half the speed to see what it looked like. Two words... Freakin' Sweet. Take a look:

Next: I'm going to shoot some HD 60fps of surfers/bodyboarders getting kookoo in the water.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wave House Boogie Nights

Bodyboard Flow supporters, Carbon USA, is holding their weekly bodyboard session tonight at 6pm at the WaveHouse in Mission Beach. Get this... $10 to ride from 6pm to 8pm. I know, it's super cheap. I'm heading down now. I'll some fresh pix and video tonight. Stay tuned.

DK master, Nick Nguyen from Dallas, Texas, goes for a 360 big air (flips the board counter clockwise as he does a 360 clockwise). Yeah, he kills it on that thing.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Monthly Giveaways

As some of you may or may not know, I have a bunch of friends in the surf and bodyboard industry. And because of that, I get  my hands on goodies that I forget to use! For example, this $40 WaveHouse Gift Card for the Flowrider and BMax in San Diego.

So for now on, I'm going to be giving away some sort of schwag every month starting with this $40 Gift Card.

Yeah, you can see it as a cheap way of me recruiting blog followers. But hey, it's a win-win situation here compadres.

Oh right, the rules are simple: 1. Follow my blog. 2. Email me your best action shot (Jpegs no larger than 300kb, please).

I'll choose a winner at the end of each month. Good luck!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Shooting with a wide-angle lens in the water is my favorite type of photography. Because I'm shooting with my Tokina 10-17mm lens set at 12mm manual focus, the riders have to get up close and personal. This morning I saw's, John Ashley, cruising around with his point and shoot. I was stoked when he sent over his photos that he shot from the pier. They're perfect to show the persceptive of the wide-angle lens and the distance between the camera and rider.

If you see my head bobbing in the water, get a close as you can for the shot! I've learned how to avoid riders and waves on my bodyboard. I can get out of your way quicker than a french poodle can wag it's tail.

I'll have all the photos up on my photo site,, later this afternoon. Cheers. And thanks JA!