As promised, here is the Ask Dabito post! Some of the questions were kinda tough, some pretty random and some super silly but I enjoyed it all. Thanks for coming out and taking the time to play Q&A. Hope you guys enjoy this hella long post. Let's get down to business.
How did you first get started with photography?
I've always enjoyed taking photos but it wasn't until I went to college in Santa Cruz. I dived into a few art classes, took intro to photography and fell madly in love with the dark room. And what ended up happening was, I did a complete 180 and switched majors from chemical engineering (call me crazy) to art. I later discovered printmaking and was able to combine photography into that process.
How do you get your digi shots to look so much like film? (or maybe you only shoot on film?
I shoot both, and mix them up. I do feel like most of my photos look the same, whether it's from film or from my Canon digital or from the iPhone. I think it has to do with the photographer's eye. A decent lens helps. On my Canon Rebel, I adapted an old Nikon FM10's lens to it, instead of using the kit lens. To develop the digis, I use Lightroom to give it more depth like film.
What other kinds of vintage film cameras do you like?
I love the Polaroid SX-70. I also like rangefinder cameras: Yashica Electro 35, Konica C35, and of course, the Leicas. It's my dream to one day flip open a janky box from a thrift store and see that lovely red dot smiling back at me. A boy can dream, right? I also love medium format cameras, like my Yashica D.
I was wondering what kind of editing you usually do to your photos.
I don't do much to my film photos but with my digital ones, I develop them using Lightroom.
What's your favorite thing/object/scene to photograph?
I love capturing the quiet, day to day, mundane moments of people and their surroundings and objects people touch. It's like the objects have a life of their own.
How many cameras do you have? and what brand that you love...
More or less, 20 cameras. My favorite brand that I own is probably the Contax T3.
Any tips for bright whites in interior shots (like using fancy lights or anything)?
Lots of big windows, mirrors or photo reflectors help. I normally stick to all natural lighting.
What was your favorite photo that you took with this (Olympus XA2) camera?
Do you have a favorite brand or type of film?
I like Fuji films, like the pro 400H or Reala. Slide films like Sensia or Provia are good, too but can be quite expensive. I try not to spend more than $2 per roll so I go hunting on ebay. To develop, if you're in no rush, you can send film to Dwayne's Photo, get it processed with CD only, no prints. Turnaround is about two weeks.
What camera would you like to have in your possession the most? Or If you could only use one camera for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Any Leica rangefinder will do! :D
Your top 3 photography tips! GO!
Get comfortable with your camera, understand aperture and shutter speed. Try shooting in manual so you have more control. Just keep on taking a bunch of photos to find your eye, your voice or style, whatever you wanna call it that makes it you. And take photos at different perspectives, like kneeling down, or lying on the ground, close up, far away, or my personal favorite—eyes closed!
What are your top 3 favorite pieces of art?
There are so many but from the top of my head:
Painting, Smoking, Eating 1973
Oil on canvas
Etching & Aquatint
Leda and the Swan 1962
Oil, pencil, and crayon on canvas
How do you juggle all your various endeavors? (work, blog, special projects, thrift...the list goes on)?
Boy, is it hard, especially with a full-time gig. I like to jot down notes, calendar projects and events, have deadlines. I tape important memos to my wall. Those are some ways to cope with a busy schedule. With my blog, I try not to spend more than two hours a day creating a post. And a new rule I try not to break is that if I don't have a post ready by midnight then I skip it. Lately, I've been gathering content on the weekends and that makes it easier to blog during the week. When it comes to thrifting, I'll swing by a thrift or two after work. I don't normally spend more than 10 minutes in one.
What makes you inspired?
I get inspiration out of boredom. Read blogs, books and magazines. Watch movies. Or make something out of nothing. Step outside. Friends. Inspiration is everywhere so it's up to you how you wanna apply it to your own creative efforts.
What picture/work of art made a lasting impact on your life?
How much sleep have you lost over not shipping that purple sofa to us? :)
I've been tossing and turning for months! Take it, it's yours! I'm ready for a new one!
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
As a seasoned shoe-shopper at thrift stores, i'm wondering how and where you store your vastly expanding footwear collection? i'm struggling myself and need ideas!
I used to hang them on my wall like they're work of art, but after I moved, they're now piled up on chairs. I wanna get a bookcase or floating shelves or something to house them in.
What's the thrifted item you covet most?
My Contax T3 camera for $3. Yep, best find ever!
What are your favorite thrifting spots?
I don't really have one particular one. I just hit up whatever's around me like Salvation Army, Out of the Closet, and Goodwill in LA.
What's your favorite time of the day?
The golden hour.
What is your favorite thing about Summer?
Well, when we were kids, we'd get summer breaks and it was just so wonderful to have two months off. So, I try to maintain that same spirit; it's the season of fun! There's a sense of freedom, new adventures and discoveries. And most importantly, friends and family gatherings.
You're such a creative person, creating using so many different mediums, is there anything you haven't tried yet and would like to put your hand in? (in the dream world or real world) what would you like to try next?
I was a printmaking major but I've never done screen printing. I'd love to try it one of these days. I also kinda wanna open up a restaurant or an ice creamery. And also do pottery!
What is your favorite nostalgic photo of yourself as a child?
Would you rather be able to speak every language in the world or be able to blink and transport yourself to any place in the world?
This is a no brainer. Blink and transport myself to Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, India, Iceland, stat!
What is your favorite book?
Anything by Haruki Murakami.
What is your favorite word to say aloud?
What were your favourite places in Paris?
The Porte de Vanves flea market was charming. You can find some of my favorite spots from my Paris posts.
What is your first memory ever?
Dayam girl, you getting deep! I can't remember anything from those early days. But I do remember my first day in kindergarten, I had a Snoopy bottle of orange juice and I cried my heart out when my mama was gonna leave me so she promised me a toy train to shut me up. I never got that train.
What's your favourite cupcake flavour?
Do you have a favorite animal? if so, could you please provide a photo of it?
I like elephants. I don't have a photo but here's an illustration I just did!
Do animals like lions and penguins bruise?
What? Maybe? You silly billy goat! ;D
Hello! I am visiting LA in a couple weeks... What is the ONE thing I have to do when I'm there? Or eat?
Hollywood Bowl. You can eat and drink and sing to your favorite shows or tunes.
I would like to know what has been the most rewarding part of having your blog?
The most rewarding part is meeting so many fascinating bloggers from different continents. I've never been so inspired. Having a blog actually makes me wanna do, make, create things. And the support in this community is incredible. We all got each other's back!
What is your favourite blog (apart from your own, of course!)?
Some of my favorite blogs are Miss Moss, La maison d"Anna G., and The Fox Is Black.
If you had to listen to one musical artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?
It would be Faye Wong. I grew up listening to her and she has hundreds of songs and has one for every mood I'm in. Listen to Hypnotize.
What's ONE song that makes you drop everything and dance?
And on that fun note, have a fantastic weekend, everyone!