My blog

Decided I’m going to reblog again, but just photographs and photography related things. Especially since I have my actual website now where I can post blogs about my photo adventures. Those will automatically post here, too. The formatting is better on the actual site so feel free to go look! candidolopez.net

Weekend in Austin, TX

Keeping Austin Weird


Hey guys! Hope everyone is having a great week after a great weekend! I spent the weekend in Austin, TX with my fiancee, my sister, and my niece. My sister invited my fiancee and me to go see Young the Giant at the Austin 360 Amphitheater, so naturally, we were excited to go. My niece lives in the Austin area so we met up with her there. We left Saturday morning and made the 2.5 hour drive. Surprisingly, the weather was very un-Texas like. It was drizzling and chilly.



We arrived some time after noon and we were all hungry! We swung by, picked up my niece and drove to South Congress for some fantastic burgers at Hopdoddy’s. This was my 2nd time going to Hopdoddy’s and the first time I played it safe and chose a pretty normal burger. This time, however, I went with the Terlingua — An Angus Beef burger topped with Chile Con Carne, Corn Fritos, Tillamook Cheddar, & Sassy Sauce. Delicious!





After we were full on burgers we walked around South Congress (aka SoCo). We checked out the iconic ‘I love you so much’ on the side of Jo’s Coffee. It’s a simple message and written very simply in red spray paint on the side of the green building. Many people wait for their turn to take a photo against the wall with the lovely message. We then walked inside some shops, then headed for the concert.







I didn’t take my camera to the venue, as cameras with detachable lenses are often not allowed, but Young the Giant and Kings of Leon put on a great show! We stopped for a bite at Home Slice (also on South Congress) after the show for some of my favorite pizza! This NY style pizza joint is on point! This tops some of the pizza I had even in New York City. They’re open until midnight, and if you’re not really wanting to sit down or maybe you’re out even later, next door there is ‘More Home Slice’ right next door. They’re open until 3am on the weekends and open on Tuesdays for pizza by the slice. (Home Slice is closed on Tuesdays)





The next day we went to Hope Gallery to check out some of the great street art. Hope Outdoor Gallery is an educational art project and one of the largest outdoor galleries in the US. Graffiti artist get to display their pieces and they are mostly positive and inspirational messages. We met up with Erica (@400mlbakery on Instagram) after having followed her for a long time and got to see her in action! We also met up with another IGer from Austin (@holakitty21), took some photos and headed over to Shady Grove for some dinner before the drive home. It was a great weekend and we all had a lot of fun! Can’t wait to go back to Austin with a little more time and keep exploring the city! 










A little over a week ago I received a small package in the mail with #communityfirst printed across the front of the box. Inside was a lovely book, stickers, pins, and a small card. @Instagram has been an amazing app that has had a bigger impact than I could’ve imagined! It has not only rekindled the joy I get out of taking photos, but also inspired me through the wonderfully talented creatives locally and around the world. 

The Instagram users make up a wonderful community no matter how near or far we are. I’ve pushed myself to grow as a photo taker and as a person. I’ve pushed out of my comfort zone on multiple occasions and made wonderful friends. 

Thank you, @Instagram; no matter how far apart we are, the windows of our devices continue to amaze, inspire, and push us.

A little over a week ago I received a small package in the mail with #communityfirst printed across the front of the box. Inside was a lovely book, stickers, pins, and a small card. @Instagram has been an amazing app that has had a bigger impact than I could’ve imagined! It has not only rekindled the joy I get out of taking photos, but also inspired me through the wonderfully talented creatives locally and around the world.

The Instagram users make up a wonderful community no matter how near or far we are. I’ve pushed myself to grow as a photo taker and as a person. I’ve pushed out of my comfort zone on multiple occasions and made wonderful friends.

Thank you, @Instagram; no matter how far apart we are, the windows of our devices continue to amaze, inspire, and push us.

Art filled Saturday



Hi! This is my first real blog post (the other one was just a sort of welcoming). Today I went with my fiancee and her little brother to Texas Contemporary at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. It seemed like a good Saturday for an indoor event with the threat of rain looming over our heads in grey clouds. What an event it was! Even the walk over to the Convention Center from the parking lot had art! There were several bronze winged sculptures, all part of ‘Wings of the City’ by Jorge Marin. According to the Discovery Green website, the sculptures will be here until February 8th, 2015. Just as we were going to cross the street we saw an outspread bronze wings atop a podium begging you to take photos with it.


Once inside there were so many great pieces of art around every corner! However, there was one particular art piece that stuck out. As we walked around there was a group of people surrounding what seemed to a woman in a bathing suit. Even getting closer to the crowd, if we were not at an art event, I would’ve wondered why so many people were examining this scantily clad woman at such a close distance. 




A closer look at this hyper realistic oil on resin piece of artwork by Carol A Feuerman will blow your mind. The 2nd image shows someone’s reaction to a closer look. It was amazing how real she seemed. It felt as if at any second she would open her eyes and walk away. The detail was breathtaking. A closer look revealed the folds in the swimsuit, the creases in the skin, and the veins in her hands and feet. If that wasn’t enough, the slightest air movement revealed that her hair was real! 



If that hyper real art piece wasn’t eerie enough, there was a smaller version of another of Carol’s artwork called “Balance”. There were other fantastic works of art, for sure, but these two caught my attention and held on because I came back three times to look at it. Every time there was a small circle of people astounded by the realism. (Check out my Hyperlapse video on Instagram to see a time lapse video of the crowd: http://instagram.com/p/soBAS5jusP/






After we walked the convention center a few times, drank a free Dos XX (thanks to the V.I.P. pass I had), and ran into some Houston-area Instagram-ers, it was time to get some food. We decided to walk around Discovery Green for a bit. We sat and watched some friends playing soccer in an open field, kids rolling down a hill, and people laying on an incline for concerts. We sat and watched (and laughed at) children play in the water that came shooting up from the floor. On the walk back, Emily petted a horse on a break from pulling carriages. 






We stopped by Good Dog Houston (located in the growing trendy area of The Heights) on the way home for some awesome hot dogs. It’s a great hotdog-centric restaurant that started off as a food truck that boasts about its “Texas-made franks, local artisan buns”. If you haven’t been yet, I definitely recommend the Picnic Dog! The Picnic Dog contains beef & chorizo chili, red potato salad, short bus mustard, and a dill pickle slice. 

All in all it was a great Saturday! I hope that you also had a good Saturday. Thanks for sticking around to read all of this! 

Instagram Suggested User

So something a bit surprising and unexpected (wait, those two things are basically the same thing, right?) happened yesterday morning. I got an email at about 7:00am, that I opened at about 8:30am because that’s when I woke up. Now, when I wake up, I usually grab my phone to see what time it is or if I’ve gotten a text from my fiancee or anyone else. I noticed 5 notifications in a row of new followers on Instagram…then it kept popping up. Because I only have 5 notifications at a time popping up on my lockscreen from any given app, I had no idea what was in store for me. I opened my phone and saw that I had a new email. I usually wait to open Instagram because I know it’s going to take up some of my time to check my feed.

The email was from Instagram. Weird. I’d never gotten an email from them. Subject: Instagram Suggested User Feature. Feature? Hm. I’d noticed Instagram was changing the way the explore page is laid out and the suggested users are a bit different now too, so I thought it was an email for everyone letting them know of some new features. The very first line of the e-mail read, “Congratulations, can.dido! You are currently featured on Instagram’s list of Suggested Users.” I didn’t believe it. I’ve looked up to many suggested users. I follow quite a bit of them because they are always inspiring me to challenge myself and to keep taking photos. Sure enough, I opened the Instagram app and I had a direct message from Instagram with the same message! Someone had also opened the flood gates of followers.

This isn’t exactly the most important thing to me. I mean, sure, new followers — and lots of them — are cool, but quality over quantity is always preferred. I do understand that with the large amount of new followers there will be some random people that just want to get their follower count up, but maybe somewhere, maybe 1 out of 10 or 50 or 100 or even 1,000 there will be someone that I can inspire as many suggested users have inspired me and that makes it all worth while. 

I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said that now I feel a little more pressure to take better pictures. Over the past year, I feel that the quality of my feed has gotten better and it’s because I’m trying to make it better. I’ve also got to collaborate with some awesome people in the Houston area. I’ve actually felt very proud of my feed and felt my photo taking had matured. I changed my username on Instagram from @kryptonkid07 to @can.dido. I chose the former username in high school and it always felt attached to a younger less mature me. Whatever, I guess that’s a bit silly. Anyway, now I feel like I have more eyes on my pictures and I gotta step it up a bit more. 

The Suggested User feature, according to the e-mail, cycles. So, even though I am a suggested user now, I may not be later. That’s okay too. I hope that I can give back what Instagram has given me. 

I just felt like rambling a bit on what happened to me. I hope this doesn’t come off as bragging, but it’s something that’s pretty exciting to me. Anyway, if you’ve made it this far, I congratulate you. You have an amazing amount of patience. 

#WHPicecream — I love that @instagram does the weekend hashtag project every weekend. Even if the photo isn’t feature-worthy, it’s still fun to have a theme or a direction to go on. Thanks, Karim, for holding my ice cream for me! 🍦(The flavor was ‘Root Beer Float’ and it was heavenly!)





#vscocam #posttheordinary (at Amy’s Ice Creams Houston)

#WHPicecream — I love that @instagram does the weekend hashtag project every weekend. Even if the photo isn’t feature-worthy, it’s still fun to have a theme or a direction to go on. Thanks, Karim, for holding my ice cream for me! 🍦(The flavor was ‘Root Beer Float’ and it was heavenly!)

#vscocam #posttheordinary (at Amy’s Ice Creams Houston)

Drove from Houston to Phoenix yesterday. We made a pit stop in White Sands, but because I was driving, I didn’t get to check IG so I missed a lot your pictures. I’ve never driven so far and for so long! I got to our destination and knocked out. 🌇🚗👦👧👧👧⛽️🌄🌆🌛😴 #vscocam #letsgosomewhere #finditliveit  (at White Sands Monument National Park NM)

Drove from Houston to Phoenix yesterday. We made a pit stop in White Sands, but because I was driving, I didn’t get to check IG so I missed a lot your pictures. I’ve never driven so far and for so long! I got to our destination and knocked out. 🌇🚗👦👧👧👧⛽️🌄🌆🌛😴 #vscocam #letsgosomewhere #finditliveit (at White Sands Monument National Park NM)

Photography basics as I understand them.

I really don’t like saying that I’m that great at taking pictures. I know I get some nice shots from time to time, but I squirm when I get compliments. I guess I really shouldn’t. I should be more confident in my own work, and sometimes I can be, then I cringe and think that I probably sound like a jerk.

Anyway, everything I’ve learned about taking photos, has been trial and error. From my brick-like Canon point and shoot I had from about ages 15-17 to my Canon Rebel XTi that my mom bought me as a graduation present when I was about 18, to the camera I’ve had for the past…almost 4 years, my Canon EOS 7D. Point, shoot, check, adjust, point, shoot… you get the idea. 

From time to time I get asked about photography techniques or what things do and mean, and I honestly couldn’t tell you with a lot of confidence, especially when it comes to ISO, haha. I just know what’s going to come up when I adjust certain things. 

I got asked today about aperture and shutter speed and I wrote a somewhat lengthy (for a facebook message) response. I thought I’d share it for the benefit of whomever reads this — more likely, no one will ever see this. I’m literally copying and pasting my response. Sorry if there’s any grammatical errors or rambling thoughts. 

Sorry, I got really busy. So, shutter speed is basically how fast your camera is taking the picture. The higher the number, the faster it takes the photo. 1/80 is a lot slower than 1/1250. So, the faster the shutter is opening and closing, the less light it lets in. Just a tip: your hand shakes whether you realize it or not. 1/80 is about as slow as you’re going to be able to bring the shutter speed and not get a blurry picture hand holding a camera. Now, if you have a tripod, that’s another story.

Aperture is how wide the hole in your lens opens when you take the picture. It’s like your eye, which widens and gets narrow depending on the light. Aperture can give a photo that cool depth of field and blur the background of subject. Depending on the lens, you can have one that opens really wide (for example f/1.4) or the lens that usually comes with the camera which only opens as wide as about f/3.5.

Shutter speed works hand in hand with aperture because if you have your aperture really low (let’s say 1.8) you’re gonna get some super awesome depth of field. But you have to remember that because the opening in the lens is a lot larger, it’s letting in more light so you have to make the shutter open and close faster.

The third basic thing is ISO, but that’s a whole other subject. If you use ISO 100, you’re going to get crisp, clear pictures. Now, sometimes you might have your aperture open all the way to f/1.8 and the shutter speed is as low as you can get holding your camera (let’s say 1/80 or 1/100) but it’s still too dark for a decent picture! Now you gotta mess with your ISO. The higher you go, the more grainy your picture will get — especially if you’re going past ISO 800.

Okay, I just typed a lot… I might copy and paste this on my blog haha. I hope that cleared some stuff up… or possibly made it more confusing (I hope it’s not the latter).

Now I might be wrong about multiple things, but that’s basically how I see those particular things.