Music

Lovin this song: Waterfalls by Bag Raiders – Mineh Ishida

June 12, 2016 | by Mineh Ishida

So I’m having a love affair with this song right now.  The Bag Raiders have released an addictive modern edm track that evokes a tropical feel.  I’m totally addicted to the smooth vocals and interesting rhythms.  It puts me in a great mindset, and I cant help but want to dance around my living room when I hear the song.

The lyrics are grounded in the premise of letting go of an unhappy life to chase dreams and live more carefree: “Leave our cares behind, Jumpin off a waterfall”

I certainly feel like those lyrics can apply to my life!

– Mineh Ishida

 

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Photography

Nature = Nurture

January 21, 2016 | by Mineh Ishida
IMG_3951 2

When life is stressful, nothing helps me relax like getting out into nature with my camera.  Recently, life has had more than it’s fair share of stressors, and so into the wilderness I’ve gone.  I’ve spent many hours in the local parks just enjoying the fresh air and wildlife. Here are some photos I’ve recently taken while exploring.


All photographs are copyrighted to Mineh Ishida.  All rights reserved.  Please contact me if you’d like to use these photographs for any purpose. 

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Photography Travel

The Grand Canyon vs Mineh Ishida

November 11, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
IMG_6213

I lost.  Lets just start with that… in the Grand Canyon vs Mineh Ishida battle, I utterly and totally lost. It wasn’t even a battle. The canyon was there, in it’s massive glory unaware of my presence. I was no more than a spec of dust… a mere particle in comparison to the grand size and glory of the canyon… yep… Mineh: 0 – Grand Canyon: 1.

I’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for as long as I can remember. As a photographer, I marveled at the idea of seeing the result of millions of years of nature running it’s course.  I thought I could see it in one day.

Yeah… and an ant has a chance of exploring an entire football field in a day.

Anyway, my good friend Alex and I drove up to the canyon and decided that we only really had time to go to one spot and spend time setting up for sunset.  We decided we’d go to Yaki point with the hopes of capturing a beautiful sunset photo.

Sadly, the weather gods were against us, and cloud cover moved in, but before that happened, we managed to get some shooting in.  The upside to the bad weather was the rainbow that settled over the canyon for a while. Maybe the weather gods aren’t so bad after all!  Yaki Point is magnificent. If you have only one day to see the canyon, I highly recommend going to this vista. You can see the Colorado River bend and twist, and the view is stunning.

Photographing the Grand Canyon is terrifying.  In order to get the shots I wanted I ended up precariously perched at the very edge of the canyon.  It’s over a mile deep!  6000 ft!  1800 meters!  Imagine being about 6 inches from the edge of that with heavy camera gear… It’s utterly terrifying. Anyone who knows me also knows that I’ll do anything for the shot… so there I was… feeling queasy and nervous, but right at the edge of the canyon taking photos.

I failed to understand the scope of the Grand Canyon.  I was utterly unprepared for the majesty, beauty and sheer magnitude of it. I now know that I need to come back. I need a week… maybe longer to explore the canyon.  I want to go down into it.  I want to hike some of it’s expanse.  I now know that I don’t have enough time to explore it all.. to take it all in… But I want to know more of it. Next time, it wont be a Grand Canyon vs Mineh Ishida battle.  I hope to have the time to get to know the Grand Canyon.

Anyway, here a few photos:


All photographs are copyrighted to Mineh Ishida.  All rights reserved.  Please contact me if you’d like to use these photographs for any purpose. The featured photo of this post was taken by my good friend Alex.

Grand Canyon 01 by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 - All rights Reserved

Grand Canyon 01 by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 – All rights Reserved

 

Rainbow into the Grand Canyon by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 - All rights Reserved

Rainbow into the Grand Canyon by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 – All rights Reserved

Perspective of the Grand Canyon by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 - All rights Reserved

Perspective of the Grand Canyon by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 – All rights Reserved

Grand Canyon Panorama by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 - All rights Reserved

Grand Canyon Panorama by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 – All rights Reserved

 

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Photography Travel

Wildlife in New Mexico Photographs by Mineh Ishida

November 10, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Pronghorn Antelope 03 | Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

While visiting the Very Large Array, I spent some time enjoying the wildlife in New Mexico.  Unfortunately, I was about a month too early for the wintering of the cranes and snow geese, but nevertheless there were plenty of birds and animals to keep me shutter-happy.  I didn’t have a whole lot of time as my goal was to spend time at the VLA, but when I saw wildlife at the side of the road, I pulled over and tried to take a few shots.

I’d love to plan a trip out there this winter with the express purpose of photographing wildlife!

Here are some of the photos.


All photographs are copyrighted to Mineh Ishida.  All rights reserved.  Please contact me if you’d like to use these photographs for any purpose.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Photography Travel

The Very Large Array | Photo Gallery by Mineh Ishida

November 9, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
VLA (Very Large Array) 11, New Mexico | Photo by Mineh Ishida | Copyright 2015 all rights reserved

I recently had the opportunity to visit the VLA(Very Large Array) in New Mexico. Many of you may know of this radio telescope as it was featured prominently in Contact, the novel by Carl Sagan, later adapted to a movie.

Visiting the VLA was a special treat since I have always had a fascination with space, and being able to see a radio telescope of that magnitude was very exciting.

I arrived in Socorro, NM the night before and setup camp at a local motel. I arrived in town late in the evening so it was dark.  Boy was I surprised when I woke up.  The landscape was beautiful with gorgeous mountains and exposed striations of orange and red stone. I was slightly disappointed and worried in the morning due to the rain storm.  Figures I would go to the desert only to get rained out!

Luckily the rain cleared by mid-day, and I was on my way to the VLA.

I remember the feeling when I first caught sight of the array of satellite dishes far distant against the mountains.  Exhilaration! Success!  I wanted to text all of my space loving friends, but alas no cell service.  Duh. The Electromagnetic waves of cell service would disrupt the sensitive telescope.  I resigned myself to taking the best photos I could and sharing them after the fact.

When I arrived, I was stunned by how large each dish was.  It’s truly breathtaking to be standing under these giants and contemplating that they look into the far reaches of space and the history of our universe.  Luckily, it was rather unpopulated when I arrived, and I largely had the telescope array to myself. I sat there in the middle of the New Mexico desert and watched these giant dishes peer out into space and history.

Periodically, the dishes would realign, and I was delighted to watch them move in concert.  Almost as if they were posing for photographs, they configured themselves into a perfect position for photography.

I sat and watched them through sunset snapping photos periodically. It was a memorable experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in space and science.


All photographs are copyrighted to Mineh Ishida.  All rights reserved.  Please contact me if you’d like to use these photographs for any purpose.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Photography Thoughts

Creative Process of a Still Life | Michael Rose & Mineh Ishida

August 5, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Creative Process of a Still Life - Michael Rose and Mineh Ishida

Creativity is an interesting beast. Many people talk about the “Aha” moment or the sudden strike of inspiration, but most artists I know don’t work this way.  Almost every artist I admire starts with an idea, and massages that idea through many iterations until it reaches fruition.

For quite some time, Michael Rose (a close friend and incredible photographer), and I have been talking about photography and the ingredients for creativity.  We, like many photographers before us believe that a good way to explore art and creative process is to learn from painters. Painters by nature of their craft have to produce their images so much more slowly than we do.  They have to consider their light and recreate every specular highlight, every shadow.  Whether the light is soft or hard, warm or cool, they need to consider that in every stroke of their painting.

Thus when we decided to study light and composition, we decided to start with a still life as a day project.

We started with some online research in Google.  We found a painting that struck us and we decided to use it as the basis to start our project. The painting we selected was from an artist in Holland by the name of Jos Van Riswick from his Postcard from Holland series.  We chose this painting:

Still life bowl of apples, Jul 3, 2009, 45x44cm - Artist Jos van Riswick

Still life bowl of apples, Jul 3, 2009, 45x44cm – Artist Jos van Riswick

We ran around town collecting the pieces.  A trip to Whole Foods for some apples, the local Chinese grocery store for a suitable bowl, and a few other items here and there. We setup the scene and did some quick tests:

Still life first attempts - Mineh Ishida and Michael Rose

We started with Apples on black velvet, but the lack of shadows and reflections made the images less interesting. We switched to white fabric and used a gridded soft box camera right and a reflector for fill.

Still life Apples - Mineh Ishida and Michael Rose

Upon completion of this phase, we looked at the other item’s we had picked up.  We had a bottle of sparkling wine and a loaf of bread from Whole foods.  We set up the scene with these additional items, but didn’t feel the composition was correct, so we made another trip to the Asian grocery store where they had some fresh grapes. Adding the grapes allowed us to create a pleasing composition with 3 distinct levels, a good triangle composition, and repetition in form and color.

Again, we started with a few test shots and slowly built our lighting one light at a time. Initially we played with the placement of the soft box and reflectors.  Then we added a backdrop separation light, changed one element at a time. This process was probably 20 different iterations, each adding or modifying an element or light in the scene.  Here are some of the first attempts:

Initial attempts at still life scene. Photography by Mineh Ishida and Michael Rose

Initial attempts at still life scene. Photography by Mineh Ishida and Michael Rose

Many iterations later, we figured out what we considered to be our best lighting. It involved 3 strobe units and a reflector.  Even then, we could not get the bottle lit quite right, so we decided to do a composite where we lit the bottle separately.

Final component shots of still life by Mineh Ishida and Michael Rose

Final component shots of still life by Mineh Ishida and Michael Rose

Once we finished the final shots, we began the work in Lightroom to finish the image.  A lot of clean up and dodging and burning was done, and much adjustment of proportions, color and contrast.  Over all the entire image from conception to completion was a 5 hour project. with 203 test shots where different modifications were tested. After all was said and done, we ended up with this final image:

Still Life by Michael Rose and Mineh Ishida

High fives and fist bumps! This image met our goal for the day’s project.

Both Michael and I learned a lot doing this still life, both about photography and also about the nature of creativity. The many iterations to take a photograph from concept and idea to final product taught us a lot about how we approach projects. We learned a lot from each other, as well as the project itself.  Truth is, there was never an “Aha” moment in this project.  Just many small victories that led to the ultimate realization of our shared vision.  Many people may create in a different process, but for us, and most of the artists we know, the process of iteration has served us well.

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Photography

I made a friend today… Meet my buddy, the Osprey. – Mineh Ishida

August 2, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Osprey Portrait - by Mineh Ishida

Today, I was driving around in Feather Sound when I saw this guy just hanging out.  It looked like a young osprey to my untrained eyes.  Noting the behavior was a little abnormal, I decided to stop the car and check to see if it was ok.  I couldn’t see any signs of injury, so I just stayed and watched for a while.

Osprey on the Side of the Road - Photograph by Mineh Ishida

Osprey on the Side of the Road – Photograph by Mineh Ishida

Over time, he grew accustomed to me, and his alarm changed to casual wariness.  I slowly began to approach him, being careful to watch for any signs of alarm.  Over the course of 30 minutes, I was able to get within a few feet.

It’s amazing when a wild animal decides to accept you.  Their behavior changes drastically, and you can feel the difference.  Maybe it’s just me anthropomorphizing, but it really is a magical experience to build a relationship with animals outside of confinement.

Getting Closer to the Osprey - Photo by Mineh Ishida

Over the course of 30 minutes I was able to get closer to the Osprey – Photo by Mineh Ishida

 

When we reached a reasonable  comfortable level with one another, I was literally 3 ft away from this beautiful bird.  His wariness gave way to curiosity and he posed beautifully for my camera. I stayed there for probably an hour just sitting next to this Osprey in the rain. I think I understand why ancient people worshiped nature.  It’s truly a spiritual experience.

Osprey Portrait - Photograph by Mineh Ishida

He posed quite nicely for the camera don’t you think? Photograph by Mineh Ishida

Curious Osprey - Photograph by Mineh Ishida

We sat there and stared at each other at a distance of 3ft. I was so amazed by his curiosity. Photograph by Mineh Ishida

 

I was really amused by this face… You can almost hear him saying “OMG Mineh… What is that thing? A Camera?  WHAAAAAATTTTT?”

Osprey says: OMG - Photograph by Mineh Ishida

Osprey says: “OMG Mineh… What is that thing? A Camera? WHAAAAAATTTTT?” Photograph by Mineh Ishida

 

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Photography

Should this photo be black and white or color? Mineh Ishida

July 29, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Clearwater Beach Mineh Ishida

I’m torn… Should this photo be color or black and white?

I took this photo a while back with a Canon t3i.  It was a tough time in my life, and as I often do, I turned to photography to fill the void.  I didn’t have one of the newer cameras, so I was shooting with a Canon t3i.  Situations like this are challenging for the older sensor, but I think it did admirably!

I can’t seem to decide whether I like it better in black and white or in color though.  What do you think?

Clearwater beach by  Mineh Ishida  (color) | Camera: Canon t3i

Clearwater Beach by Mineh Ishida (color) | Camera: Canon t3i

Clearwater Beach by  Mineh Ishida  (black and white) | Camera: Canon t3i

Clearwater Beach by Mineh Ishida (black and white) | Camera: Canon t3i

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Design Photography Thoughts

Design comes full circle – Mineh Ishida

July 28, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Fuji Cameras by Mineh Ishida

It’s funny how design goes in cycles.

I recently added a new camera to my gear. It’s a Fuji X-E1, a modern digital camera in an old fashioned style. I needed a high quality camera that was small enough to carry in my day bag. The fuji was released a few years ago, so I was able to get it at a good price, and the image quality is fantastic.

I love the old fashioned aesthetic.  It really hit home when I went to get the camera and grabbed my Fujica 35 Auto-M by accident. Putting them side by side I marveled at how design aesthetics and functionality tend to repeat in cycles.  This modern camera sporting some of digital photography’s newest technologies has taken design cues, both stylistically and functionally from cameras from the 60s.

Another exciting part about this camera is that due to the new technologies, this camera can accept retro lenses.  I can’t wait to get an adapter and put some M-42 or Minolta lenses on this.  Old and new are really clashing together in this camera, and I really like it.

Anyway, my point is, design tends to cycle… Thats why I think it’s so important for artists and designers to study historic styles and designers.  Looks like it’s time for me to do some research!

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr
Thoughts

It’s too early to quit – Mineh Ishida

July 24, 2015 | by Mineh Ishida
Siesta Key Beach by Mineh Ishida

Last weekend I went to Siesta Key to take some photos.  I wasn’t really too excited as it was a dreary day. The sky was grey and and the air was thick with humidity as only a Florida summer can provide. I figured I would at least scout the beaches for a location for a future shoot, so my friend Lou and I wandered around Siesta Key beach and Turtle Park. As the sun began to set, we decided to pack it up and head out for the night.  As I watched the sun dip in the horizon I had a thought.

“Mineh, how many times have you headed home early just to miss a gorgeous sunset?  Lets stick this one out and see…”

I chose a location, plopped down the tripod and sat back to watch nature’s light show. The sunset turned out to be a really nice one, so I snapped a few shots.

Sunset on Siesta Key Beach

Sunset on Siesta Key Beach – photo by Mineh Ishida

 

As the sun dipped out of sight, the crowd on the beach began to disperse. This was when I began to get excited.

It’s well known fact amongst photographers that the best time to watch sunset is in fact after the sun has already set. This is when all the beautiful colors light up the sky and you can get some really beautiful photos. Sitting on the beach enjoying the sound of the waves and the warm gulf breeze, I thought about how this is a great lesson for life.

Crescent Moon on Siesta Key Beach by Mineh Ishida

Crescent Moon on Siesta Key Beach by Mineh Ishida

Often I want to give up too early.  Right when I think things are finished, its time to give a final push.. to give it a little more effort.  Wait just a little bit longer. I guess I hope to learn from this that I should be patient.  Wait things out and see before I decide it’s time to give up. I think taking life a little more slowly, I’ll appreciate it a lot more.

Also, Lou and I found some sea urchins on the beach… how cool is that?

 

Sea Urchin on Siesta Key Beach by Mineh Ishida

Sea Urchin on Siesta Key Beach by Mineh Ishida

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponShare on Tumblr