Sunday, December 26, 2010

Eddie vs. Pig Nose!

I finally received my new GH2 camera and it is amazing.

In terms of image quality, it's on par with the GH1 Hack in normally lit situations.  But in low-light situations, the GH2 shines.  I shot the video below at 3200 ISO just to see how far I can push the GH2's sensor.  I used my Pentax 25mm f/1.4 and my Rokkor 58mm f/1.4 lens.

Notice the lack of digital noise in the image.  And that's at 3200 ISO.  What?  Although it doesn't shoot 4:2:2 like my GH1 hack,  and it doesn't shoot pictures like my 1D Mark IV, I'm definitely considering getting rid of one of those cameras.

The video is of my childhood friend, Eddie, who asked me to shoot him eating a pig nose.  It disgusts, nauseates and disturbs all in a matter of minutes.  It's the first time I shot something that keeps making me sick with every viewing.

Anyway, enjoy and watch at your own risk.  If you vomit, you have only yourself to blame.


Chicano Lawyer


Monday, December 6, 2010

I shot Teresita's!

So this past weekend, I shot some great Mexican food at Teresita's Restaurant.

Teresita's is located at 3826 East 1St Street, Los Angeles, CA 90063.  And if you like Mexican food, you need to check it out.  It's awesome.  A friend from my law school days invited me to photograph some of the plates they serve and since I never photographed food before, I jumped at the chance.

I did my research, consisting of Google searches and a conversation with professional photographer and motorcyclist Paul Buck.  With that information in my head, I took my gear to Teresita's.

The day started slowly since I never photographed food.  I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to arrange the plates in a natural yet appealing way.

This first plate seemed forced and unmotivated.  The coffee breakfast looked great, but arranging them in a straight line wrongly suggested an assembly-line type restaurant.

I eventually figured out that the plates should be surrounded in a circle as if a starving food critic was about to eat for the first time after being rescued from a deserted island.  I also cropped most of the areas that didn't show food.

This helped.

The following are some of the other photographs shot.

The last photograph is of owners Teresita Hernandez and her son, Tony Hernandez.

Now go do yourself a favor.  Go to Teresita's Restaurant and eat like that starving food critic recently rescued from a deserted island.


Chicano Lawyer

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here's Fanny!

Hello internet people,

So here's some more footage from my Thanksgiving with Brian and Cindy.

It's of Fanny, a talented singer/guitarist.

Check out her blog if you get a chance.  It's located at:

Anyway, I shot this with the GH1 Hack, and finished it on After Effects.

Let me know what you think.  I used footage of an 8mm camera and slapped it on top of the original footage.


Chicano Lawyer

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More 3D Titles anyone?

To remind everyone, since my woman started studying for her law school finals, a whole new world of free time has emerged for me.  So much so that I started learning After Effects.

Below is the product of my efforts. It seriously took about 12 hours yesterday to make these graphics, but that's because I knew nothing.  Next time, I'll get it in 10.  It's fun though.



Chicano Lawyer

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's a 3D Thanksgiving!

Hello Ronins,

Still teaching myself CS5 After Effects.  The footage below shows some of the moments of my Thanksgiving with good friends, Brian and Cindy.

We went to Off Vine, a restaurant located just off Vine.  Ha!  Get it? "Off Vine," "just off vine."  I know.  I'm not proud of that.

Anyway, their friend, Fanny, also joined us.  Good times.

So here it goes.  Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more After Effects debauchery.


Chicano Lawyer

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is why drinking and learning After Effects CS5 don't mix!

Hello Everybody,

I know it's been awhile since I've posted something.  There's a reason.

Aside from the day job, I've been teaching myself After Effects CS5.  It's pretty awesome.  I was already familiar with color correction, but I am trying to get a better understanding of motion graphics and compositing.

It's fun, but a bit time-consuming if self-teaching while sipping tequila.  But since my woman started studying for her law school finals, huge blocks of free time have emerged.

Anyway, here are two examples. They're pretty awful, but funny.

Note, I could have just written, "I guess they're awfully funny," but that would not have been good.  It would have been sad.  Real sad.

So check them out.  Enjoy.

Don't read too much into the examples.  I love my woman.  I don't want any harm to come to her.  I just thought it would be funny if she ran from explosions and snipers.


Chicano Lawyer

Friday, November 5, 2010 Travel Tips

Here's what I did when I arrived late to a John Stewart rally in Washington D.C.

I had a great time.  Just me and my tequila.



My Chicano Lawyer

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Obama Rally at USC!

So Obama came and went.

And it was awesome!

Seeing so many like-minded people made me realize that all the tea-baggers that oppose him just have a lot of free time.  And let's face it, they're weird.

They complain about health care legislation like it's their sacred religion, then they try to oust any new city development that's Muslim-based.  Huh?

As for health care, the new legislation simply regulates how insurance companies operate.  Any silly argument about a government take-over neglects the fact that every other industry in our country has had similar legislation.  As Californians, we are not allowed to drive without car insurance.  But no one's calling that a government take-over.  We're not allowed to sell houses without a license, or practice law.  We're not allowed to operate on people or animals, not allowed to grow certain plants in our back yards, or walk around naked in public.  All of this is based on legislation.

And yet the tea-baggers focus all their energy on legislation that tells multi-million dollar insurance companies that they cannot deny coverage on an 11 year old girl with leukemia because she didn't disclose that she had the chicken pox's when she was five.  What?  That's what the government is supposed to do.  Tea-baggers, stop it.

Anyway, here are some videos from the Obama Rally at USC.

Now go vote.


Chicano Lawyer

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How To Remove Graffiti

Last night some friends came over and we made a movie.  Please enjoy this simple guide on how to remove graffiti.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The 1st Annual Los Angeles Motorcycle Push!

Last Wednesday my 1976 Moto Guzzi Convert's alternator died.  How do I know? Cause it wouldn't start.  The battery?  Dead.

I connected some jumper cables, pushed start and presto! It started right up. Yeah!

I then took the cables off the battery.  Instantly, it died again.  For those of you who don't know, if the alternator worked, the motorcycle would keep running even without a battery.  The fact that it turned off means that my alternator died.  It needs new magnets.

I let my roommate borrow my Guzzi and it died on him at the Westside Pavillion parking lot.  When he called, I knew I would be too cheap to pay for motorcycle towing and would have to make alternative arrangements.  Maybe a chain would work?

So I grabbed a ten foot chain that I previously used to lock down an actress to a bed in a Lancaster Motel and drove with South Central Matt to fetch my Guzzi.  Of course, I also brought my Canon 1D Mark IV.

Watch it. Let me know what you think.

I did get into an accident.  Some guy pulled a left, directly in front of Matt.  He braked hard, so I braked hard too.  Then he accelerated, probably remembering the precious cargo he was pulling.  The jerk made my Guzzi make a 12 foot long steel gash on the payment at the intersection of Overland and National, near the 10 fwy.

Wow. I was okay.  I landed on my knee and hand, then popped right up.  Lucky me.

I grabbed all my stuff that popped out of my Guzzi's trunk and lifted the Guzzi right up, pushing it off the flow of traffic.  I felt stupid.  Crashing in front of strangers is embarrassing.

Examining the Guzzi, I realized the chain bent the front fender.  If I continued my way home with chains, I might cause me more harm.

I threw the chain in Matt's SUV and grabbed a heavy-duty tension strap from the Guzzi's trunk.  I always carry one just in case.

I anchored one hook on the crash bars of the Guzzi, and anchored the other hook in the bumper of Matt's SUV.  It works!  We both moved down Overland toward Venice Blvd.  Nothing could go wrong now.

Then the cops pulled us over.  Apparently, Officer Jolkoele, Badge No. 26874, thinks towing my Guzzi home violates the law somehow.  Matt's ticket alleges some violation of Vehicle Code Section 29004(a)1.  Huh.  We'll see what the judge at the West L.A. courthouse has to say about that.  Hopefully, I won't get stuck with Judge Rafferty.  He's mean.

Would this traffic citation end my mission home?  Nope.  While Matt waited for Officer Jolkoele to finish crossing his T's and dotting his I's, I pushed on down Venice Blvd.

The way I figured it, I've already ran 5 miles completely barefoot before.  I should be able to easily run four miles with my Vibram FiveFingers.  Sure the 600 pound Guzzi might present an obstacle, but I'm wearing toe-shoes this time.  And it's one mile less.

So I started pushing.  After a mile in, I realized I would need nourishment.  Luckily, the Bluebird Cafe popped up out of nowhere.  And they serve beer.  This is good.

With my Ahi hamburger in my belly and my free Bluebird cupcake in my Guzzi trunk, I set off for South Central.

It wasn't easy.  The crash bars were great for the fall but kept hitting my legs on the push home.

About two miles in, I started rethinking the wisdom of pushing my Guzzi.  I could have just as easily searched Craigslist on my iPhone for a motorcycle towing service and paid some guy $40 to tow it home.  But that would be too easy.  Anyone with $40 could pay some dude to go home.  I wanted a challenge.

So I kept pushing.  I got so tired at one point, I actually just collapsed on top of my bike. Damn, I felt stupid.  Good thing no one saw.  It must have looked real funny.  Some guy  pushing his Guzzi when suddenly he just falls right on top of it.  My cupcake was ruined. The Canon 1D Mark IV also took a hit.  But it kept on ticking.

I lifted the 600 pound Guzzi off Rodeo Blvd., somewhere between La Cienega and La Brea.  Again I rethought the wisdom of pushing my Guzzi instead of calling a Craigslist tow guy.  Huh. I kept pushing.

When I got to the Ralph's at La Brea and Rodeo, I knew I needed something more than Ahi hamburger leftovers to get me home.  I needed liquids.  I needed milk.

After drinking half-gallon of milk, I pushed on.  I eventually made it home, smiling like a kid in Disneyland.  Overall, I'm glad I did it.  I saved $40. I sweated a lot, but it felt good. I definitely recommend motorcycle pushing as an annual event.  In fact, let me know if anyone wants to join me for the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Motorcycle Push.  Or not.


Chicano Lawyer

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Glow 2010 at Santa Monica!

In case you missed it, I shot a piece about this year's Glow Festival in Santa Monica.  It was epic.  Although just like the last Glow festival, I only got to about half of the exhibits.  Unlike the last Glow that ended at 7 a.m., this one ended at 3 a.m.

Oh, and South Central Matt is the new correspondent for My Chicano Lawyer, i.e., my new roommate.

As for the footage, it was shot at 3200 ISO with no camera light.  I used a 28mm 1.8 and a 50mm 1.4.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Albie shooting on the Canon 1D Mark IV

[caption id="attachment_76" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Albie shooting on the 1D Mark IV"][/caption]

Yesterday, filmmaker Mr. Paul Marchand asked My Chicano Lawyer and Albie to help film the Dustin Shuler memorial at the Karen Zindler-Shuler.

It was awesome.

I never heard of or knew about Dustin Schuler until Mr. Paul Marchand asked us to help.  After seeing his work, I now know how stupid I was for not hearing or knowing about him.

His work is amazing.  And after hearing his closest friends and fellow artists talk about him, I realized so was he.

If you know what's good for you, check out his work at the Karen Zindler-Shuler gallery in Inglewood.


Chicano Lawyer

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 miles!

Finally, my bare feet lasted 5 miles.

From Rodeo to Slauson, I pushed my bare feet past better judgment this morning. The best part was when at two different times, complete strangers asked, "Are you okay?" "Do you need some help?"

Apparently, a 200-pound chango wearing only shorts, no shoes, no shirt, looks like he's in distress. The weird thing is, I was smiling the whole time. How these South Central locals got distress still confuses me.

Anyway, the point here is if 5 miles is possible, why not ten or twenty.

It's only a matter of time.


Chicano Lawyer

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 will rule the Universe! is the newest thing that everyone must have.  It just came out today and it gives you free, unlimited photo sharing online.  It's easy to use and has all kinds of  sharing options.

I know I sound like I'm being pimped by a website, but I was so impressed by it today that I felt the need to whore myself out a little.  Picasso is cool, but you're limited by 1GB.  I don't want to be limited by 1GB.  I want o be unlimited.  Don't you?

So, the lesson today is to go to and join for free.


Chicano Lawyer

Monday, September 20, 2010

Joel's bachelor party at Catalina Island!

Here's a video that your favorite Chicano Lawyer filmed and edited with the GH1 Hack.  The color correction was quick and dirty.

Warning: there is nothing salacious or prurient in this bachelor party video.  Don't let the "Bachelor Party" title fool you.  It's seriously just a bunch of guys fishing.

My main points of interest were to see how the GH1's AVCHD and MJPEG formats cut together.  I was surprised by the end results.  I can't tell the difference between  the 720 4:2:2 shots and 1080P AVCHD shots.  I used Adobe Premiere Pro from CS5.  That may have helped.  If you haven't tried it, try it.  It makes video editing like using Microsoft Word.

On an i7 64-bit system, there was absolutely no transcoding.  I literally used the source files from the SD card and started editing right away.  Zero wait time!  Crazy, right?  I added all kinds of effects and Adobe Premiere just took it like a man, and still played on my time-line while completely unrendered.  I kid you not.  And this is coming from a Final Cut Pro fan boy over ten years deep.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Overall, it was a fun bachelor party considering the only fishing was quite literally for fish.  But that's only because I was filming.


Chicano Lawyer

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1080p? Finally!

So if anyone is wondering if you can achieve high definition video at 1080p on a $350 GF1 the answer is... Yes!

Yesterday, I rode my 1100 GS to La Mirada to see if this guy's GF1 was up to snuff.  He claimed it could do the hack job that some GF1's could do.  I was doubtful.  After all, he was this unbelievably skinny guy from Riverside.  My first impression? This guy needs money for meth.  But low and behold, his Japanese model GF1 seemed to accept some of Tester 13's Ptool hacks.

He wanted $400.  I wanted $350.  I won.  He was cool about it.  But when I got home, I thought he won.  I spent about 4 hours on the dvx user boards, trying to understand how every geek in the world was able to convert their 720P GF1 into a 1080P beast, and my GF1 kept crashing.  I was upset.  The meth attic won, I kept saying to myself.  I gave up.

The next day, after running 3.7 miles completely barefoot, I gave it another try.  My woman was studying anyway so I had a night to burn.  I must have tried about 20 versions of the Ptool before I got it.  And I got it! I finnaly got it.  With my 30 Mb Class 10 Sandisk, I can now record video in 1080p on a GF1.  Dreams do come true! It is possible.  Chicano lawyer wins! Meth-head-looking guy loses.  I'm happy.

That's it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

He caught a fish this big!

In an effort to not waste another day trying to figure out Joomla, I also played with some footage I shot on the GH1 with Tester 13's hack.

It looks good to me.

It's the 4:2:2 setting at 80 Mbts, then converted to Apple ProRes 422(LT) for color correction, and finally back to H264.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Changos - "Rock I Roll With"

Here is my band's first music video.  Shot on the 1D Mark IV and 5D Mark II.  Enjoy.  Or not.

Learning Joomla isn't easy

So I'm downloading old files via Crash Plan from an old laptop that I switched to Ubuntu, while learning Joomla, picking a new theme on WordPress, reviewing the newest HDSLR equipment on planet5D News, and listening to KCRW.  I've been doing these same things for several hours now.  All while drinking the $10 Tequila bottle from Trader Joe's.

Then my woman walks in from the Downtown L.A. Art-walk, tipsy and cranky.

"You don't spend enough time with me," she says.

"I'm learning how to make a website. Right now, I don't have a website!"

She doesn't care.  She went to sleep even more cranky because I kept working instead of spooning.

Oh well, back to Joomla.