2 weeks in Asia in just one Goruck GR1 bag.

I can't believe it's been more than 3 years since my last post. I seem to be apologizing every time I post something new since it's always such a long time between posts, but I am sorry for the inconsistency of the posts. So when it came time for my buddy to get married, his now wife and him decided to have their wedding in boracay island in the Philippines, I started to look into how less I can pack on this trip.

This trip consisted of flying into 5 countries and 6 flights, which 3 of the 6 were round-trip flights. Since I was flying into third-world countries, checking in and carry-on baggage were very restrictive. By using the knowledge I've learned from hiking, I started looking into how I were to consolidate all this gear into an easy carry-on method. I decided on one bag because with how my flights were set up, I would be flying into the countries at night and won't have a flight out til the next morning and would have to stay overnight there. I did not want to do any bag check-ins nor carry a backpack and a roller around with me at all times.

The largest bag I had that I can use as a carry on and still meet all the countries carry on restrictions happen to be my Goruck GR1. The bag was meant for my Goruck Challenge but was put aside due to a back problem. This was the first time I was able to really use this bag. Initially this post was more to show my friends how I was able to fit so much in such a small bag, but since this was also my first real use of this bag, I decided to do a review as well.

Since I have almost 12 hrs before my flight and all my friends have just left to the Siem Reap airport, I'm just hanging out in my room here at the Mulberry Boutique Hotel until check out time and then into the lounge for the free wifi. With all the free time, I might as well post something. Ok back to the review. I will start off with listing all the gear I brought and what I did to pack all that stuff into the Goruck GR1.


- Goruck GR1
- Kifaru Pull Out set (5) (white ultralight version)
- Golite compression bag from my Golite sleeping bag
- Maxpedition Dump Pouch (mini)
- Pelican 1050 case
- Toiletries bag (simple cheap one from Walmart)
- Panasonic GX1 20mm 1.7 & 14mm 2.4 lens w/charger & extra battery (sits in pelican case)
- iPad w/Lifeproof Nuud case
- iPhone w/Lifeproof Nuud case (worn)
- EasyACC 12000 mah battery pack w/accessory cables pouch
- Lifestraw GO bottle
- Bower & Wilkins C5 earbuds
- TP Link battery powered wifi router w/belkin retractable cat5
- Casio G-Shock (worn)
- Fenix PD32
- Apple world travel adapters (12w block w/4 adapters)
- Travelrest inflatable pillow
- Black Diamond carabiner


- Triple Aught Design (TAD) Force 10 AC pants (black) (worn)
- TAD Force 10 RS shorts (battle grey)
- Cotton/Poly blended T-shirts/Tanks (10) (worn)
- Gym Shorts
- Gap Khakis (tan) (wedding)
- Banana Republic button up (white) (wedding)
- Toms (wedding)
- New Balance Minimus shoes
- Old Navy flip flops
- Under Armour boxer-briefs (4) cotton boxers (4) (1 worn of course)
- Puma ankle socks (8) (worn)
- Suspender and Tie (wedding)
- REI packable towel (L)

Review coming soon...


NYC Love!

wow i cant believe its been 9 months since i've posted something. sorry guys. there's been a ton of work and also a ton of traveling so this site have been a little neglected. don't worry, lately there's been some inspiration and it is definitely putting the spark back into photographing more, getting more editing done and putting more out to post. winter is kicking in and the sun is setting earlier and hopefully that makes me stay in more to do some editing. i'm also getting back into sketching and just trying my hand at designing again. yall probably won't see much of that on here but hopefully those things are gonna help my creative juices with my photography. lately its just been work and traveling here and there and a lot of vegging out. i really need to get back into bettering myself and my craft so i have something to show for it. but enough about me, lets get on with the photos shall we.

so this new post is all about New York. my love for this city is as strong as my love for the city i was born and raised in these past 31 years, Chicago. two totally different cities with totally different approaches. i've been here a long time and when the day comes for me to move to the Big Apple, i'll be ready, well as ready as i can be and bust in with a open mind and a thirst to strive and be the best. its just like they say, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. that is what i'm planning to do and i don't plan on backing out and prancing back home with my tail between my legs either. its do or die in New York.

but really tho, we need to get on with the photos. no one here wants to read all these letters and words, they came to see pictures! well just a little bit longer, haha jk. i've visited New York 4 times in the last 3 years and loved every minute of it. i love the fact that i can just sit anywhere for hours and just watch the interaction of the people around me. it really get my creative juices going and fill my mind with tons of random and crazy things. there's so much to do and see in this city. well unfortunately i can't show you all of it but i can try with these photos i'm posting. its very random but its basically through my eyes and what i see when i look at this city. there will be misc stuff like the brooklyn bridge, lady liberty, central park, ellis island, and the guggenheim. i just roamed the city and i shot what i liked and its sort of a accumulation of the last four visits. you can see more photos in the gallery here. enjoy.








Mariekris & Gavin

so i had the chance to help assist my boy Marc Edwards at an engagement shoot which then led me to helping assist him at the wedding also. mariekris & gavin were an awesome couple. i hope to have couples like them for the rest of my career and i will die a happy man. haha. i was only assisting him at this wedding, he already had a second photography for it. i was glad to only assist since it was my first time ever doing any type of shooting outside of friend's weddings. it was a very long day but boy was it fun. mariekris & gavin were great sports and that really drived the momentum of the shoot. whenever i had time away from assisting, i would pull out my camera and discreetly take whatever shots i can without getting in the way of the other two photogs. this was a pretty big wedding so being able to be efficient and ready to go was something i try to prepare myself for. in the end we were pretty good with keeping up to the pace the wedding was going. i have to say thank you to marc for letting me help him with the wedding. i need to see what was out there and if i was ready for something like this on my own. i think i will be fine as long as i get more work and experience in and just get adjusted to pace the wedding is at. well if you want to see the full out wedding that marc took, check it out here. check out my facebook page as well if you guys dont have nothing else to do. :)





Tattoo Session 2

so here is the second session of my cousin's backpiece. this one is going to be short and sweet. not too many pictures taken here. it doesnt look like much but a lot was done here. tattoo session like these can be taxing on the body since its literally just shading and working the skin in the same spot over and over. depending on where its done, it could breeze right thru or seems like there's no end to it. this session however lasted between 2-3 hours, sorry i cant remember exactly how long it was.





Baby Nathan

so its been about 4 months since i've last posted. i still blame it on work, haha. my day offs seems to be my rest days and when i just want to veg and do nothing. but enough about me and on to the pics. here are some baby pics of nathan at about a month and some later on. i have no clue how many months away those original pics were taken. i just know the new ones were taken on their wedding day when i help shoot a little of their wedding. you'll see those pictures later eventually. ;) i dont know if there's really any creativity in any of these shots but i was still pretty new at this when i taking them. who needs creativity when you have cute subjects right? actually a lot of these were close ups because i was shooting with my 85mm in a small space. trying to get a full body shoot were tough at times. well enjoy. i do have a facebook page so if you guys preferred hanging out there you can do that too.


Band Promo

sorry its been this long since i've posted anything. 45hr weeks at work is getting to me. now i'm just trying to find free time to do things that i just sat on my ass before when i didnt have a job. haha.

so last year when i went to visit my boy in jersey, i had a chance to check out his band practicing. this was a first for me. never done something like that before since i'm not a big music person anymore. but their band is called Saigon Bullets. here's their facebook and myspace page. they got some cool stuff so check them out.

it was also one of my early trials playing with flash. i had to say it was a little tough since my boy was wearing all white in a dark room while the rest of the band was wearing darker colors. i guess it was a good experience for me since its just like a wedding with the bride wearing all white and the groom was usually in a dark suit. i also only had one light source so that was another challenge. it couldnt light the whole room well. with a crop camera and my 24-70 didnt give me the wide focal length that i wanted so that was another variable in my unpreparedness. i did manage to get some decent shots out tho. hopefully people will like this.




Chicago Transit Authority

when i started out in photography, i was just like everyone else, shoot what you thought was cool. i didnt know any better, i didnt know the technicalities of the camera. i just shot what was i interested in and what i thought people should be shooting. then i started finding my style and what type of shots i gravitated towards. it was the simplest of them too, light. that is what photography is right, capturing light.  i kept on shooting and then i saw that lines was something that was pulling me in and how it affected the light around it. i shot in this style for a long time since i was living in chicago and the architecture here created great photos of lines and light. when i started photo 1 class at columbia college, i had to find a subject for my final. it took awhile to figure out what i wanted to do but one bright sunny morning while commuting to school, it smacked me right in the face. you can see it in the fourth image, the reason why it wasnt the first because i had to come back daily to find a time with that same light again and having nobody around to shoot that shot. this facination with the cta trains went on for awhile and into my photo 2 class final also. this is basically a compilation of my 2 photo finals. full gallery here.






Tattoo Session 1

so when my cousin ask me to talk to my tattoo guy about getting himself a full back piece, i gladly said cool but also advised on making sure he knows what he wanted. a back piece is something you can laser away because you decided you're bored with it. so when the day came, i came with him and decided to document the process. my tattoo guy is a little different than the usual tattoo artists because he like to freehand everything and just go straight to the tattooing. he hardly ever draw it on paper and do the whole stencil thing. that was how he did mine. so here is how he starts his process. my tattoo guy's name is mike luera, he's the owner of sacred art studios in calumet city. he usually starts with a really rough sketch of what we wanted and then slowly churns out awesome art. well here is the first session in the series. the sketching took about an hour or so and the actual tattooing took about another 2 hours or so. in the last images, u can see those red outlines of the rest of the backpiece. those are there so that next time he doesnt have to redraw the images again. there are light enough where it doesnt interfere if changes are needed. here's hoping this will people anyone interested in knowing how all this works. its also in the gallery here if you prefer to view it that way.








Project 365 Day 54

here's a another product teaser shot of something i did in school. looks real doesnt it?! well it is!..well if only you were a hamster. ;)


Project 365 Day 53

just a cool shot that came about when the flash on my camera didnt refresh fast enough to go off. cool mistake eh. (umm i meant i did that on purpose, yea that's what i meant.)