Herman Au Photography

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Welcome to my blog! I'm a professional wedding photographer based in Los Angeles California. Follow my footsteps in turning my life long hobby into a career I love, and check out my latest work, newest products, teasers, and photography tutorials. I shoot in an unobtrusive photojournalistic style with an emphasis on natural and genuine emotions. You can find my portfolio on my website - http://www.hermanau.com.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Boost! In car action shot

Boost!, originally uploaded by hermanau.

Trying a slightly different approach today attempting to actually take this shot during the day. I figure I need about 1" shutter speed to capture enough sense of motion, OR I'll have to travel so damn fast that I might get myself killed. FYI I ended up going for the former route.

Last night I tried using my birthday gift (thanks guys!) Gorilla SLR Pod to mount the camera onto the passenger seat head rest. It worked pretty well, but there's still a significant camera shake thanks to my stupid racing suspension and horrible LA roads.

BMW in motion (by hermanau)

Settings: F/22, 1" shutter speed in the afternoon is still way way way over exposed to about 5 to 6 stops. I'll leave that to you to figure out how to get this done so that I don't ruin the fun part for you. This time I actually mounted my entire ebay Amvona tripod in my car with 2 legs extending all the way to the back of the front seats, and the rear leg opening at a wider angle pushing against the rear seats to lock the tripod into place. All the shots were taken with a tiny infrared remote in my hand so that I can concentrate on driving instead of taking pictures.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

The death of Sportsmanship

Yep, it's dead. Sportsmanship has probably been dead for a long time in this country. It has become very obvious when the penalties were announced for Robert Horry of the San Antonio Spurs, Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw after game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals.

I've always been a believer that sports is a form of fair competition where people can play against one another in a fair manner where rules and officiation. Unlike what we encounter in life which isn't always "fair", we all find a way out and see athletes compete fairly while we can enjoy the excitement. The series has been a very physical one, and the referees are supposed to be the ones drawing lines of what is and what is not a foul in order to keep the games in check. Some may disagree with me, but I honestly do not enjoy seeing players going down hard every single time they make a layup. Every time you fall down like that, you risk injuring yourself, and for those athletes that may lead to career ending injuries. In this series particularly, I honestly don't remember an "unchallenged layup" where players can come down without getting the physical treatment. The stakes are high, and the players and fans all know that it may very well be the series to determine the championship team of this year.

Game 4 in final seconds, the Suns were on its way to winning it in the final seconds. The Spurs had no chance to even tie the game, and the questionable foul happened when Robert Horry hard fouling Steve Nash lacking any sportsmanship of any kind to protect him from injuring. Instead of just a regular foul, it appeared that he basically tried to knock him down hard to cause injuries to the Suns' MVP star player. Usually, a player commiting a foul to a running player on a fast break situation would be to wrap him around to stop him from continuing to run in a way that he would not fall down hard to risk any injuries. Instead, as you can see from the video, Robert did it exactly the other way around.

The aftermath of all that:
Robert Horry the bench player who committed the horrific foul: 2 game suspension
Amare Stoudamire (The Suns' Star player), Boris Diaw (The Suns' starting Foward): 1 game suspension each in the determining game 5 of the 7 game series for simply leaving the bench area that caused... nothing.
The TEAM with the player that caused the flagrant foul lost a bench player for 2 games.
The TEAM that had the MVP knocked down almost knocking his head to the officiating tables lost 2 starters for the decisive game 5, and eventually losing the entire series.

The reasoning:
NBA has a rule stating that if the players on the bench leaves the bench area, they will be penalized. Honestly, the rule itself isn't a bad one. It's designed to keep the players in check; the game undisturbed; and in a sense that incidents like these will not escalate.

Fairness? None...
The rule was made in order to keep the game to be played fairly, correct? It's just like our laws were made in order with justice and fairness in mind, except it applies to the game instead of our lives. What happened to the justice and fairness that we were hoping for in watching sports games? Do we live in the age where sports is more of a form of business instead of competition?
Stu Jackson's decision to suspend Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for leaving the bench during the fracas at the end of Game 4 is utterly, profoundly, alarmingly, unreasonably ridiculous, writes Chris Sheridan. -ESPN
I think Stu Jackson and the NBA has lost something that used to capture the hearts of basketball fans, and it spells S P O R T S M A N S H I P.

"The rule is the rule," Jackson said.
"It's not a matter of fairness. It's a matter of correctness."

What if that's what a Federal judge say to you in your face where your fate is determined?
It's about correctness of applying a rule that is designed in a world of sports where fairness stand by some guy's biased interpretation of it?

There is no doubt that the Spurs/Suns series is already ruined by the call, and there is little doubt that the NBA playoffs season is ruined by this one misjudgment.

Fouls like these are OKAY, and it's already become a part of the game that even players like Bruce Bowen who kept crossing and pushing the line are rewarded with Defensive Player of the Year, TWICE.

IF, and I repeat, IF the Spurs ordered Robert Horry to intentionally make a hard foul on Nash and walk back immediate to cause this mayhem, then what? I mean, I am by no means making an accusation, but let's just assume for a second that is actually a remote possibility... then the NBA just got lured into making a call to just ruin the entire season of eliminating the Suns to compete fairly to the end of the season. If I am the coach of the Spurs in that situation, presumably knowing the outcome of all this, would you have done it?

The NBA needs to review these rules. The NBA needs to look at a bigger picture on the scale of a team instead of just a player in situations like these. The NBA should also look into promoting sportsmanship and fairness, instead of abiding by the books. The season for me, is already over, and I have lost any further interest in watching it any further regardless of how much I enjoyed the Golden States Warriors vs the Dallas Mavericks series. I can't help but still remain a bit of hope, because I still fantasize what sports should be all about.

Interesting fact: NBA commissioner David Stern has canceled a schedule appearance in Phoenix for Wednesday night's Game 5.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Impreza WRX, originally uploaded by hermanau.

rmed with the proper tools, I went back to my favorite HDR location last night hopefully to get a little inspiration. Knowing the right spots this time, I got lazy and stopped exploring and started exploiting my favorite spot with my dirty car.

It took me a while and 2 attempts to get the post processing of this to look the way I anticipated. Although this may still not be perfect, but it made to my personal favorite HDR shot I've made so far. It took me a while to get the color to look right fumbling with my D70 at night (even after the fact that I snapped 10 shots to try to get the color balance right, it still came out to be off), but then I think the effort is worth it.

Featuring my Subaru WRX wagon that has a long list of modifications that I'm sure you don't know to know. :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Robert Horry Foul On Nash

What do you know... the Spurs just keep living up to the "dirty team" name Amare called them. Robert "Big Shot" Horry landed a cheap shot on Steve Nash last night in game 4. Robert, word of advice for you here: "learn better from master Bowen". At least the dirtiest player in the NBA Bruce Bowen does it with some subtlety.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Baron Davis DUNK over Andrei Kirilenko

OMG OMG OMG... Game 3 2nd round playoffs Golden State Warriors against Utah Jazz. I think this guy Baron Davis is turning everybody who watches his play into his fans. BARON! BARON! BARON! BARON! BARON!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bruce Bowen's "Champion Defense"

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a youtube video is worth 10,000,000 words. Bruce Bowen is known to be a tough defender, and also a dirty player to some. You be the judge... and be sure to check out the other Bowen videos when u're done with this one.

Choose a Vista

Apple rolled out a few new commercials and I love this the most. As a PC guy, I really hate the new different versions of Vista to death. It's just way beyond software and OS, and simply a stupid shallow crooked marketing move. Kudos Apple, haha! :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Steampunk Keyboard

I'm sure I'm not the first one to blog this, but this keyboard "mod" is way beyond crazy... It reminds me of all those Sherlock Homles games I played... If computers were invented back in those days, I'm sure this is how the keyboard would have looked like. :) If not mistaken, the original modder Jake Von Slatt at Steampunk is actually willing to make these if the price is right. Wish you the best of luck, Jake! Nice work!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Upcoming BMW 1 Series

All I can is WOW... BMW is seriously redefining the art of consumer level automotive design. I don't entirely love every part of the car, but just try to get a pencil and trace the lines of the car and see how much work and attention to details they put into their craftsmanship and design work... I especially love the height of the trunk that they seem to be trying to go back to design/looks > trunk volume, or they figured out a better way to hide the big trunk and manage to keep a better looking trunk shape without hindering the rear view. Also notice the extremely small overhang in the front and how the front of the bumper and hood cuts off beautifully from this angle. Argh... why aren't they selling the 1-series in the US...? :-)

Golden State Warriors made History!

Tonight, Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Jason Richardson, and the entire Golden State Warriors (42-40) led by Don Nelson made history by defeating the #1 seed Dallas Mavericks (67-15) in the first round in game 6 winning the series 4-2. This is first time a #8 seed beating a #1 seed ever since the NBA changed to 7game/series in all rounds, and probably one of the biggest upset in NBA playoffs history.

After blowing a 2 digit lead in the final minutes in game 5, the Warriors bounced back to seal the deal by winning a whopping 25 points. It's a complete team effort and faith that the warriors put in that captured the hearts of all the fans. The Warriors, towards the end of the season, secured their final #8 playoffs spot by winning 8 out of 9 games losing only to the Spurs, including a defeat to the Mavericks at 4/18. The irony is if the Mavs played all their starters in that game to actually try to win it, they probably would have faced the Clippers instead and cruised by round 1 with ease.
And of course, big props to Don Nelson who truly believed that they had a chance to win, and coached the team to win the series. I still remember the days when I first moved to the bay area watching the Warriors and started watching NBA and learned what basketball was. It wasn't until later til I learned how Nellie coached the Sprewell, Harderway, Mullin 3 guard formation to success.
Keep it up GSW! Wish you guys the best of luck in the next round(s)! :-)

*Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images, copyright NBAE

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Opanda iExif Viewer 2

This nifty little FREE program is a Firefox / Flock script that allows you to view the Exif data of the pictures inside your browser. Quite a convinent tool to let you understand better how the shots you like are taken. :-) Enjoy!

Note: They also have an iExifPro version that includes even more features at $19.99.


General Motors Corp.'s first-quarter profit fell 90 percent compared with a year ago, citing losses in the home lending operations of its former financial arm.

It was the second consecutive quarterly profit for the nation's largest automaker, which said in Thursday's report it had record vehicle sales worldwide and improvements in its automotive operations in the latest quarter.

But the profit of $62 million, or 11 cents a share, for the January-March period was down from $602 million, or $1.06 per share, a year ago.

Its earnings excluding one-time items fell short of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell nearly 4 percent in midday trading.

The company attributed the year-over-year decline to losses in the residential mortgage business of GMAC Financial Services. GM sold a 51 percent stake in GMAC to private equity investors last year, but still owns a 49 percent stake in the business.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070503/ap_on_bi_ge/earns_gm

Wow... how do you drop your quarterly profit by 90% comparing to the previous year and still stay in business? *hats off* The American automotive never fail to impress me with their creativity and ability to defy logic and "mysteriously" stay alive. Since I'm always so negative about everything and able to point out the most obvious flaws common people seem to ignore, let me be the 349749393th person to say this: You're only your own victim of trying to sell crappy products using the American brand! You're running a business based on numbers instead of proudly making a product with passion! It's the year 2007 and we're talking about Global economy here, and the rest of the world out there does not buy your crappy products just because it's American made!

Nikon D50 vs D70

I picked up a Nikon D70 a while ago from Patrick through a friend of mine at a discounted price (thanks Patrick!). I've been using it for a little while now and I feel comfortable enough to start writing about the differences. I'm sure you'll find a lot of articles comparing the specs on the Internet, but let me be honest and say that most of them are not useful. Why? Because they're not highlighting the most important differences! Let me skip past the specs comparison and get to the point, and hopefully help those who are choosing between the two cameras from the used DSLR market.
Depth of Field Previewn/adedicated button
External Flash Commander moden/a, you can use a flash sync cable, but you cannot mount it onto the stand with the cable attachedbuilt-in
Dial Controls1 (camera offers less features accessed thruough shortcut keys)2 (camera offers more features for quick access, but also prone to accidental changes due to that)
Sensor6.1 Megapixel, slightly less noisy at high ISO than the D706.1 Megapixel, images tend to be on the blue side (WB compensation available through camera function)
LCD2.0 inches1.8 inches, preview feature is not as user friendly also
Top LCD information panelNO LED (yikes!!!)LED lit, dedicated button to turn on/off
ISO4 settings from 200 - 16009 settings from 200 - 1600
Overall builtsolidslightly better built than the D50, also a bit bigger

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Strawberry Drop

Strawberry Drop, originally uploaded by hermanau.

My first attempt to this type of shot. This is far from perfect, and I honestly don't have the setup exactly the way I wanted. Hopefully next time I'll get my hands on a tank instead of having to use the vase and deal with the annoying reflection. This shot was made with the on camera flash and a SB600 external speedlight mounted on my 2nd tripod, and my D70 set to flash commander mode with the pop-up flash.