California Thoughts


California the golden state, full of sunshine and energy. Escaping from New York's gloominess, I expected to be greeted by a wave of warm vibes but instead faced the tail end of Southern California's strange post-winter chill. Still, gloomy weather is my favorite condition to shoot in due to the muted and diffused tones that the overcast skies create. The tempest of Point Dume was the perfect subject given such conditions. Diffused light tends to effectively dampen highlights and deepen shadows to give an emotional tone to colors. I edited these photos to create a painting-like look with a muted color palette.


If you're a New Yorker visiting, don't trust Google Maps when they present locations as seemingly close together. Chan and I made the mistake of thinking we could walk from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach in a breeze. We ended up turning back within 15 minutes and drove to Mulholland instead. Santa Monica and Venice are excellent locations to observe the diversity in Southern California, uniting tourists, new immigrants, old locals, each adding unique perspectives and activities to a beautiful place.



Sitting on the cliffs of La Jolla and watching as the cerulean and turquoise waves beat against the shore, all of one's worries seem to dissipate. I was constantly questioning whether a city-loving person like me could ever get used to such a peaceful and relaxing life. Surely there was something wrong with such blissful living? But I wondered what led me to that thought in the first place? How did I come to believe that the most valid form of living for me was hustling in a crowded and dirty city like New York? Probably some youthful desire to prove something or other. Oh well, California, I'll come for you when I'm older.


PS - These photos are available for purchase as prints. If interested, please email me at