Storms are a powerful force of nature.

calm before the storm in Half Moon Bay (click to enlarge)

With the recent more gloomy and raining weather, this week we took photos of a storm. Since there are rarely any storms where we live, I took a trip to Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay to photograph what it looks like right before a storm hits. The beach was deserted and thick fog and clouds covered every bit of the sky. Thankfully, I was able to get my pictures and leave before the thunder and rain began.

Deadly Sins


This week we chose a deadly sin and then shot a photo that represents that deadly sin. The deadly sins are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth. I decided to take a photo of an industrial complex and factory that had many pipes billowing with smog and fumes that are polluting the air. I think that this photo accurately represents our ignorance toward climate change and the environment, and our greed to produce as much as possible for maximum economic profit despite the negative effects. This was edited with VSCO (hate to be basic but it’s true haha).

Film Noir

click image to enlarge

Noir photography is a spin-off of film noir, which we film students have previously studied in class. It is a distinctive style in which a dark atmosphere is present and cynicism can also be depicted. Film noir cliches include low-key lighting, detectives, silhouettes, and window blind shadows. I took a photo of a vase filled with roses and other flowers which, with a bit of editing in Photoshop, look lifeless and dead. I think that the contrast between the window and the darkness of the flowers is a great representation of noir, however it could have been better had I just gotten the photo to have more harsh shadows and darkness around the edges.

Modern Convenience

click on ad above to enlarge the photo

For this week’s photo blog, we took pictures of a modern convenience that we take for granted and realize that we wouldn’t be able to live without. I choose automobiles in general because daily transportation for all people would be incredibly difficult had cars not been invented. They have become a modern convenience for us because most families have cars and use them every day to get to work and school. We were tasked with using the pictures that we took and making an advertisement for the convenience that we choose. Therefore, I made a car ad similar to those seen on Google Ads and commercials during sports games on tv.


In honor of the end of fall, I went up to Woodside to photograph Alice’s and the woodsy-autumn vibe of the restaurant. The drive was refreshing and the diner style food was a great celebration to finish off the season. I also went to Winter Lodge to ice skate and took pictures of the remaining fall decorations and warm hearth where my friends and I sipped on hot cocoa and ate cookies.

click on images to view them in full size

Color Without Color

sledding on film

This winter, my friends and I went up to Tahoe for some fun in the snow. Right by the lake is an area with steep hills covered in snow. We spent some quality time building a solid sledding track so we could get down the hill without crashing into the lake, which wasn’t frozen and was freezing! This photo was taken on a Kodak and I went in with Photoshop to change the grayscale and tint.

Dad’s Story

dad (Jonathan Luk) with my aunts

My dad is the oldest of three children, just like me. Growing up, he moved around a lot and therefore didn’t end up graduating from the same high school that he started at. Unlike me, he didn’t have much continuity in his early life. I’m grateful for the hard work ethic that he has instilled in me and has shown as an example for me to follow.

One of his favorite stories that he tells all the time is about the time his first car got ripped open by a bear while on a camping trip. It taught me that you can work hard for something (him buying his first car) but then have it destroyed from a small mistake (leaving crumbs in the car). This story keeps me motivated to be detail oriented and persistent when obstacles come in my way.

This is my dad, and he is my family.

My Cultural Values & Traditions

Blend Mode photo of the full moon and a mooncake bin

Photographers participating in this challenge come from nearly every country and culture. This photo represents my culture because it depicts the full moon which is significant in my Chinese heritage because of the Moon Festival.

baptism water at church alter

As a Christian, another part of my culture is participating in important religious events. I took the photo above at my baby cousin’s baptism, which is why I decided to focus on the clear bowl of water rather than the ornate items that surround it.