San Francisco Chinatown Photo-Walk

Only two people responded to my call to join me at this Chinatown photo-walk. One with "maybe" and one with "yes but I don't have a camera". Great. What a fun bunch of lazy ass Google+ followers do I have! All seven thousand of them lazy ass couch potatoes!

None of them actually cared to show up (with a camera!) for a fun creative afternoon. Is it me that they didn't want to get near to or did they not see my post? I sat on it for a few days and then decided to make one more attempt to herd few photo enthusiasts from San Francisco. I came up with a plan to attract. I made a sticky note advertising the photo-walk. It's just like a dicksticky but dick free. I then posted it on an internal employee Google+ as well as my external Google+. The non-dick sticky note worked! We had fifteen people total and we very much bublibished each other's company.

Lara (a software engineer and now also a model) did great! She kept throwing he hair over and over, until we all got our shots.

We had a variety of cameras. Surprisingly, about half of them were film cameras.

Wonder what these ladies would think if they knew that their faces would end up on people's butts.

There is only one thing I ever buy in Chinatown. Pashminas.

Lara posed by the same pillar where I did my "Faces of Gmail" shoot.

This is my attempt on street photography.

Big thanks to everyone who joined me today. I loved to meet you all!



Shoot The Gnome!

The last Photo SF Googler meetup was all about learning how to shoot in manual mode. The club members and I settled in an empty game room, dragged in a whiteboard, and started nerding out. We went over various photography situations and discussed what camera settings would need to be changed and in what order. My creepy little gnome Alphonse and a muscly action hero were then happy to pose for us to let us test our newly acquired knowledge.

Photo: Gordon Mackenzie


Chrome & Apps Ski Trip

I just (and that means an hour ago) returned from Google Chrome & Apps Ski Trip from Squaw Valley. I am proud to say that I skied both days of the trip, did not fall at all, neither did I break anything. I did squeeze in some shopping, got some nice googgles and a face mask (robbery style) which came in quite handy. Ski conditions were pretty poor, but the weather was nice and sunny (with the exception of a nasty cold wind in some areas).

It wouldn't be a Google event without a geek themed party. Can you guess the theme of this party?

Guys in robes holding strange pink sticks:

More creatures:

Finally, something I'm familiar with!

Can you guess what song were they dancing to?

I wore my travel dress (does not wrinkle) and everyone was complimenting me on having a great "costume". People, this is not a costume!

The after party.

Emil, the booze connoisseur.

Emil, resting after the alcohol intake.

Lord Evan by his fireplace.

Levi, the glow stick hoarder.

Stephen, the last Jedi.


I Found A Gap To Fill

I wasted no time. As soon as I joined my new team in Google San Francisco, I started a new SF Googler photography club. To my surprise, 32 people signed up within the first 24 hours. "Wow", I was thinking to myself, "I found a gap to fill".

The club has 45 members today, we communicate via an internal mailing list and share photos on (where else but) Google+. Given that we live in a democratic society, I had everyone vote on the ideas for our future photo walks and photo shoots. The idea with the most vote became today's assignment. We ventured out towards the (not so distant) Bay Bridge and shot the bridge (duh), and the surrounding architecture. 

I took the liberty to take few extra non-architecture shots of my today's companions.

Here comes the trouble!

Since most of the fellow photo walkers are fairly new to photography, I challenged them and asked them to shoot in manual mode for the whole duration of the photo walk. While walking back, I noticed a great back light in Jaclyn's hair. Perfect opportunity to teach my fellow walkers how to shoot against the sun! Jaclyn looks stunning and I now know we don't need to worry about having a model in our future photo shoots. 


Goodbye Google MTV. Hello Google SF.

It's Friday the 13th and today was my last day at Google Mountain View. I have been commuting to Google headquarters for almost seven years. Until now. I am transferring from Gmail to Google Wallet in San Francisco. My commute will be cut from 120 minutes per day to 40. I will get part of my life back.

Fridays are especially meaninfgul among my camera loving co-workers. Back in the "golden days" of Gmail (cca 2009), we used to do a photo walk or an indoor photo shoot every Friday. We called it "Photo Fridays". This group is what got me interested in photography. Dustin Diaz, a former Gmail front-end engineer, a Flickr photographer of the year 2009, and now also a photography book author led these photo walks, explaining various photography concepts to us. After a while, the group fell apart. But today I resurrected the group and organized another photo shoot. At a place that is close to my heart -- the Moroccan lounge which I co-designed.

Sparky, the Gmail dog joined the fun. He also farted all afternoon (but we love him anyways).

I had total eight photographers joining me today. It seemed like we would be stepping on each other toes at first, but we quickly figured out how to shoot the same things without being in the way. At some point, they had me pose in the seating area. Let me tell you, it's no fun to pose for four photographers at the same time. I'd rather be coding in Cobol than have that job.

I left the building very late. I carried a small box with few personal items and quietly left the campus where I lived a huge part of my life, met tons of friends and also my current husband. I'll never forget those times.