Since Verde has an official photo director and staff photographers, I usually delegate photography to our dream team. However, my journalistic instinct is to snap pictures when I'm the only one on the scene with a camera. When photographing human subjects, I try capture candid moments, raw emotions and interpersonal dynamics that enhance the textual stories they accompany. Static objects or landscapes shots lack the magnetism of people; to keep these shots engaging, I like to experiment with angles. Panning wide or squatting low, for instance, help me showcase a less conventional point of view.
Hands Off Net Neutrality
On December 7, 2017, the Raging Grannies Action League and Palo Alto community members were among the thousands of activists rallying outside Verizon stores in defense Obama-era net neutrality protections. Covering the protest was both an exercise in short-distance sprinting and night photography, the combination of which yielded vibrant shots of protestors in action. The next day, I met with the Raging Grannies who'd organized the event to report on their next steps and capture their reactions to making front-page news. Read the story here.
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Women in the Workplace
From a superintendent to a student, a big data analyst to a head custodian, these working women both shape and are shaped by their (traditionally male-dominated) environments. In the following photographs for various Stanford Daily and Verde stories, I opted for wider angles that would showcase the spaces occupied by these female trailblazers.
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Keepers of the Campus
Lounging in a moment of leisure, they vie for space with the mountains of miscellaneous appliances that clutter the garage-turned-office. The shriek of a walkie talkie jolts them from their idling and sends them bustling out the door and aboard their battered Textron E-Z-GO flatbed golf cart. Often seen but rarely noticed are Palo Alto High's custodians — the unsung heroes of my school's campus. To document precise moments in their daily routines, I used a higher shutter speed and a larger-than-usual aperture. The resulting action shots were crisp, candid and captured the joyful camaraderie present within their squad. Read the story here.
Hover to preview cutlines and click the images below to read the full captions.
Trekking through Tibet
When I ventured deep into the notorious "restricted access zones" of Tibet last summer as an intern for Stanford's Rural Education Action Program, I also made my first foray into the realm of landscape photography. With just my iPhone and a nifty clip-on wide angle lens, I captured the awe-inspiring mountainscapes and bestial inhabitants of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. That said, it was during post-production when the shots truly came to life. Playing around with white balances and using the "dehaze" feature in Lightroom allowed me to accentuate the striking, unpolluted skies. Select images from below were featured in Via Verde, Paly's student travel magazine.
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