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Random Jazz: I’m Lazy and Also Glitter is My New Enemy Edition

I’ve been super exhausted for the last few days, including tonight, so here are some pictures and very few words.  In brief:

  1. Lost roses
  2. A bridge from a trip I took
  3. Drowned rose
  4. Water being affected by gravity
  5. Lost rose
  6. La luna
  7. A monument somewhere in OC, possibly overdone with my new LR VSCO set.
  8. The super moon, which isn’t really that super.
  9. Surprise! More lost roses!
  10. Post-sunset from the abode of the wild donkeys
  11. Glitter, my new enemy, clinging to a drop of water
  12. (Thanks for visiting!)

Corona Del Mar sunset and flowers

Jake Reinig travel

Corona Del Mar sunset and roses

Jake Reinig

Corona Del Mar rose

La luna

Ramakrishna Monastery, Trabuco Canyon

The ol' super moon

Corona Del Mar sunset and flowers

Landscape sunset

Glitter water drop

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Random Jazz: Way Overdue Edition

I’ve been collecting photos for a while now that don’t quite fit into their own sets. So, here’s a somewhat largish collection of location and portrait work I’ve done recently.  I’m supposed to get up at like 4:30 in the morning tomorrow and it’s already 11:30 p.m., so this is almost all of the writing I’m going to do. Lucky you. :)


On the trail to Holy Jim Falls



Holy Jim Falls

Dominator wreck


A random yard chicken




San Clemente rainbow

Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir

Memorial at Holy Jim Falls

The next four are from a campaign I did for my friend’s new business Bronzed Sugar. The weather had been nice for a while, but of course on the day of the shoot it was super overcast and cold. Poor models. Fortunately, my friend also owns a marketing company, so these photos after retouching look decidedly better.

Bronzed Sugar Long Beach

Bronzed Sugar Long Beach

Bronzed Sugar Long Beach


Bronzed Sugar Long Beach
Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir





Dominator wreck


Me and a model on location.IMG_7699_1

Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir

Long Beach lighthouse

Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir


Jezebelles Girl Rock Choir


And to close, variations on a sunset at San Clemente pier.


San Clemente pier at sunset

San Clemente pier at sunset

San Clemente pier at sunset

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OC Coastline Retrospective

Jake Reinig, travel photography

Locations: Orange County beaches. Subject: Orange County Beaches (duh)

I’ve been trying this thing called “photography” with some regularity since about 2007ish. While our relatively nice Orange County weather cuts down on the number of interesting sunsets we have (no clouds), an evening spent at the beach is never wasted in my book. And so, over the last five years I’ve taken hundreds of photos at OC beaches. Since we’re about to leave our preteen years in a few days for the grown up two-thousand-teens, I thought I’d put together a collection of some old and new coastal shots from what I hope was my adolescent photographic period.  Maybe the next five years will bring some good stuff for a change.

If you’re a regular visitor, you’ll recognize a lot of these. Either way, thanks for visiting!

I know the colors in this image look unbelievable, but they’re real. I actually had to tone down the pink a little to get the blue sky to come back a bit.

I shot this at the Bolsa Chica wetlands with a 500mm lens. That’s Long Beach Harbor in the distance.

Self-portrait. Note to self: take off headphones next time.

This is my cousin and cousin-in-law and their “family.” This was taken above Newport Beach as part of a Christmas card set.

Another self-portrait, and a great example of what a shot looks like when you forget to rotate your graduated ND filter.

This next shot is the result of a 4-minute exposure. I don’t do many exposures that long because of our sparse cloud cover, but am always happy when I have the opportunity.

For my last shot, an image taken at Victoria Beach. Thanks for coming by!

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Paris and Beyond, Part 1: 300 Miles to Everywhere

Jake Reinig, travel photography

The last day of my trip to Paris, France, was the most stressful one of the trip by far. Confusion over the navette from my hotel to Charles de Gaulle airport got me there incredibly late, leading me to practically sprint through the claustrophobic walkways of the annoyingly designed terminal 2.  Wayward children choked on their crepes and leapt from my path as I navigated a luggage cart towards my check-in counter, conveniently placed at the opposite side of the airport from where I was dropped off. Sweat literally dripping from my face, I pulled up to see the staff closing the luggage doors. I was not happy.

5 weeks earlier I had been in this same airport, much more relaxed (albeit just as exhausted) as I made my way to the RER train station. Nary a child was injured in the journey to the apartment I had rented near Place d’Italie in the super charming Butte aux Cailles neighborhood. My employers had graciously allowed me to work remotely from Paris, so during the day I got to run loose photographing the city and worked at night on a roughly California timeline.

Over the next 3-4 posts I’ll be sharing a selection of photos I took in Paris, Mont Saint-Michel, and London. In the 5 weeks I was abroad, I walked almost 300 miles and took more than 1,000 photos, most of which are complete junk. Even so, my one real regret is not doing more candid street photography, which will be rectified on my next such trip.

I got to know Paris exceedingly well and plan on doing  a practical guide  a little later. In the meantime, if you or anyone you know are planning to visit France, feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!

Oh, and as for the airport: I got checked in with three minutes to spare.  I’m having a terrible time readjusting to the atrociously boring pace of life in Orange County; maybe I should have done more to “accidentally” miss my flight. ;)

This is how I brought my California workspace to Paris (although the wine was consumed while I wasn’t working, I promise!).  The large monitor is actually the apartment’s TV, pressed into service as a second monitor.

A bridge in the Japanese garden at the wonderful Albert Kahn museum and gardens.

Opera Garnier is the setting for the Phantom of the Opera. The placard on this door pays tribute to the location where the phantom sat.

Self-portrait at the Pompidou modern art museum.

Headstone decoration at the aristocratic Passy cemetery.  Some of the most magnificent funerary art can be found at this small cemetery near the Eiffel Tower.

The Tower Bridge in London.

Interesting flowers near my apartment.

This Mustang in the middle of Montmartre was one of the more unusual sites I saw while in Paris.

Bookseller on the Seine near Notre Dame.

My friend Jen poses near Notre Dame while we take a break on the Seine.

“What are you looking at?” Mont Saint-Michel.



About the time I arrived in Paris, many in the Muslim world were upset about an obnoxious American film, and a week later, about some offensive cartoons published in a Parisian magazine. A small protest-turned-small-riot happened near the US embassy in Paris, and it was rumored that more of this might happen the next weekend.

Never one to shy away from danger (i.e. “Jake is often stupid”), I decided to go looking for trouble. I happened to be near Gare d’Austerlitz when I saw a huge contingent of Gendarmes (para-military police) organizing and hung around a bit. A short while later a large group of young people began thronging a nearby bridge, so I headed in their direction. Within minutes I was surrounded not by angry Muslims, but by what seemed to be a million young French revelers at the Techno Parade 2012. I have never seen so many people in my life. Dora seems genuinely surprised too.

In order not to be overwhelmed, I climbed up on top of some sort of large electrical box and shot photos for an hour or two until the parade had passed me, leaving an army of very efficient street sweepers in its wake.

Behind them came another large team of Gendarmes, decked out in riot gear.

Lots of people were doing stupid stuff (like climbing on top of bus stops and trees and traffic lights), but fortunately, I didn’t see anyone get injured. Later, however, I happened to walk by a triage facility and noticed a fairly large number of people being treated for who knows what.

This old lady was dancing like a maniac on her balcony. The crowd loved her, despite the fact that she wasn’t really very good at dancing to electronica.

This shot shows a small portion of the parade as it makes its way towards my neighborhood. Like I said, it was insaaaaane how many people there were.


Towards the end of my trip I stayed with a friend in a small, sleepy suburb of Paris. In the middle of the river is a small island (actually two islands that look like one) nicknamed “hippy island” for its eccentric populace. At one end of the island is an abandoned waterpark of sorts. Unfortunately, because the island is private I wasn’t able to make it over. Regular readers know that I’m a junky for abandoned buildings and such, so it was painful to be so close to a site like this without being able to get to it.



Dueling Eiffel Towers and a full moon, shot from the Trocadero.

Long exposure shot inside the Pantheon.

Parisian cemeteries are super fascinating for their imaginative graves and mosoleums. Someone must have managed this particular grave for a while in order to get the tree to wrap the headstone in this manner.


I like doing panning photographs, but oddly enough, only tried it twice. This was shot near the Palais de Justice and Sainte Chapelle.

I don’t recall where this was shot, and am currently too lazy to look it up in my journal. So, you’ll just have to take my word that it was somewhere nice.

Marie Antoinnete and Louis XVI were basically dumped in the Madeleine cemetery after their executions during the French Revolution. Several decades later, during the Bourbon restoration, their remains were exhumed and moved to the royal necropolis at the Basilica of St. Denis. Note: the Basilica is absolutely worth a visit, but it’s in the poor suburb of St. Denis. Be mindful of your surroundings if you do go out there and be prepared to see some sad sights, including a large corps of injured and disfigured beggars.

Note the discoloration of the queen’s boosies; that’s what happens after 200 years of people disrespecting a grave site.  Oddly enough, for as many important sculptures as there are at St. Denis (kings and queens from the 500s are here), visitors can get right up next to most of them. Some of the monuments have been heavily defaced by idiots carving initials and names into them. Marie Antoinette has been heavily groped, but appears to have avoided being carved on.

Here’s a rear shot of the memorial statue of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

The face of Medusa, hanging in the Pompidou.

A section of the abandoned Petite Ceinture, not far from my apartment in the wonderful Parc Montsouris.


The king’s view, at the Palace of Versailles.

Inside Hotel des Invalides.


The London Eye near sunset.

I went to the Paris Aquarium at the Trocadero one rainy day. I have no idea why, but this little red light in one of the exhibits fascinated me. I think people were confused by why I was photographing it for like 10 minutes.

This guy (Iya Traore) puts on one of the best shows in Paris just outside Sacre Coeur (one of my favorite places in Paris).  If you’re up there, make sure to watch if he’s performing.

I love the interior of Invalides. The design of the dome and its surrounding alcoves makes for really interesting wide angle photos.

Long exposure near sunset at Mont Saint-Michel. Unfortunately, major construction is being done on the causeway, so I wasn’t able to leave it to get more shots. Even so, it was a pleasure to watch the sun set over this interesting site.

Incidentally, I say “unfortunately” above, but really, the construction is a good thing. Mont Saint-Michel used to be a frequent island when the tide rose, but since the construction of the causeway in the 1800s, water can’t circulate correctly and much of the bay has been silted in. It’s only an island during extremely high tides now. The work is being done to change the causeway into a bridge, which will allow water to properly flow once again. I hope to go back in a few years once the work has been done.

This shot of the Eiffel Tower is my last for this post. Check back in a few days for the next set of photos from Paris. Thanks for looking!


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Seasets VIII: A Study in C Minor

Jake Reinig, travel photography

I’ve been having an incredibly difficult time getting motivated to photograph, well, anything recently, but especially Orange County. In an effort to shake off this couch related inertia, I assigned myself the project of going to the same location on multiple days to shoot the same scene and see what I could come up with. “Heck,” I reasoned, “even if I don’t want to shoot it’s better to enjoy a sunset at the beach than be at my apartment.”

“Me,” I said, “you’re pretty smart sometimes.” And then I gave myself a high five.

I decided to make little Corona Del Mar beach my target. Although I spent a considerable amount of time listening to French lessons and an audio book, I spent more time listening to amazing classical music. “Me,” I said, “that last piece was in C Minor, which is a funny nickname you could give to ‘Little Corona.’ You should call it that on your blog. Women will throw themselves at your feet, you’re so clever.”

I’ve seen nary a woman, but I do have some ok photos, so I thought I’d share them with you. Maintenant, je vous présente mes photos de la plage de plusieurs jours. 

Some kelp drifted into the neighborhood, so the crabs had a party. Except the big ones, who decided being in the open with a big target that said “My guard’s down, come eat me” wasn’t in their best interest.

How’s this for light pollution? I’m looking at you, Newport Beach.

Long exposure self-portrait.

And finally, a super long exposure about 30 minutes after sunset.

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Seasets VII: Rememberance

Jake Reinig, travel photography

Approximately one year ago I found myself frantically driving through an unfamiliar part of the world. Late for a memorial service for my friend Bobby Villanueva, I barged in the wrong door once I finally arrived.  I wish people had cared more about my faux pas, because that would mean what they were there for wasn’t all that important.  Unfortunately it was, and in seconds I was forgotten, left to stand awkwardly by myself in a place I figuratively and literally didn’t want to be.

Life and death has been on my mind a lot lately. My cousin Philip recently died, the anniversary of Bobby’s death is days away, and the brother of a good friend is fighting a tough battle against cancer.  On the other side of things, I adore my friend’s new son, I’m starting to travel more, the days are getting longer, and people I love are getting married.

At one such wedding this past weekend my friend’s lovely wife (and mother of four) scolded me for even considering whether or not I should have kids someday. I drifted momentarily to Iran and Israel planning to blow each other up because they don’t agree about what happens to the soul after they blow each other up, and about that time a pretty girl smiled at me from across the room. It was a strange moment to be my brain.

Driving home after the wedding at 3 a.m. through very uncommon sleet, I tried putting all of this together.  Why are we here? Where are we going? Why is my friend in a grave while I prepare to travel to Europe? Barely able to stay awake and mesmerized by the streaks of white slip-sliding at the corners of my vision, I didn’t come to any new conclusions.


Although not a religious person, I’ve always enjoyed reading Ecclesiastes. I intentionally went to the same place I did a year ago when Bobby died to remind myself that–like the book says–there is nothing new under the sun; there’s a time to die, and a time to be born. And while I live and Bobby died, the rocks before me have witnessed the same parade since the foundations of the earth.  My sorrow is nothing new.

I often have a desire to live forever, but I suspect that if I did life would become incredibly tedious. Experiences are sweet because life is short, and in our short time all things are novel.

Before driving away I lingered for a moment in self-pity about all sorts of things, but quickly moved past it. Let the rocks pity me; I have smiles to return, friends to remember, and a life to live.


I only took a few photos today, partially because a man randomly started talking to me about Kony 2012, and partially because I was short on time. The next posts from Europe should have lots more.

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2011: Year in Review

Jake Reinig, portrait photographer

Yes, yes…I know I’m late. Rather than bore you with words, here’s a small selection of 2011 photos from a myriad of different shoots. Apparently, I spent a lot of time on various beaches.

In 2012 I’ve got trips planned to San Antonio, New Orleans, London, Paris, Kiev, Chernobyl, and more, so make sure to check out the site from time to time.  You’ll only be mildly disappointed!






I took this next picture the day my friend Bobby Villanueva died. He was a good man who brought a lot of light to many lives. He’s still missed pretty badly.














Since I haven’t mentioned him elsewhere, I’ll mention him now: this is Dave Beck. He’s an all-around great person, cancer survivor, and soon to be an esteemed published author. You should buy him a beer sometime if you get the chance.













Remember that book entitled “The Monster at the End of this Book,” starring Grover? Well, just a heads up that in about 4 pictures there’s a photo of a lovely young woman that implies nudity. There’s no actual nudity, but since you might work at the Vatican or be looking at this post with your grandfather with the weak heart, I just wanted to give you a heads up. I think it’s worth scrolling past, but I don’t want to be responsible for murder.


Yes, we spelled “Death Valley” wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.


Hopefully you’re still with me. If not, I hope the Vatican pays you well, although I suppose if you’re not still with me you won’t know that I hope this.

This is my friend Dave, a world famous linguists specialist. Although this isn’t my best photo ever from a technical  standpoint, it is a nice photo of Dave. And because it’s a nice photo of Dave and because he really is world famous, this photo is my most published one to date. It’s even appeared in a newspaper article in Estonia.






This is another one where I think I could have done better, but people seem to like it. Of all the photos I’ve ever taken, this is by far the most popular. I think it has something to do with parents connecting to a memory of their kids at a young, magical age. Before they had boyfriends or cars or credit cards, they let their parents push them in a swing.  In life, moments like these are over in a flash. Make sure to enjoy them while you have them.

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Random Jazz: “Srsly, Everything” Edition

Jake Reinig, travel and portrait photographer

Subjects: Women, children, butterflies, flowers, sunset, seascapes, Disneyland, beaches, friends

Another assortment of random jazz I’ve photographed in the last few months, but which I’ve not posted elsewhere. Enjoy. :)


You’ll notice in a lot of my sunset photos that they’re visibly vignetted at times. This is because I tend to shoot with stacked filters: a UV filter, a neutral density filter, and a graduated neutral density filter.  The filters become so “tall” that they show up in the photos.  This photo–which, by the way, my talented brother helped me with–is an example of getting the filters wrong. I forgot to rotate the graduated filter, which is why the left side is so much darker than the right. Even though it’s technically messed up, I still like this self-portrait.





I think we took about 10 of these photos, and I believe that this was the closest we got to smiles in any of them. :)





One comment on this photo: Danger was not cooperating for most of this shoot. Randomly however, he walked past me, laid on the floor, and let me snap this gem.

Oh, and one other comment: for reasons I won’t go into, I had a Justin Bieber star-shaped piñata at my apartment the night we did this shoot.  Danger’s dad decided to go through the mass of candy inside, and of course the kids were interested. Days later the family was passing near my place when Danger said something to the effect of: “Remember how Jake has candy in his star hole?”  Makes me laugh every time. :)






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Gettin’ High (and Low) in Hawaii

Location: Oahu Subject: Hawaiian Stuff

My little sister moved to the Hawaiian island of Oahu a few months ago to join a travelling circus or something. Plans I had to photograph the Grand Canyon fell through the same week as her roommate was out of town, so I took the opportunity to shack up in her clown hovel and take some time away from the day job.

Although Hawaii has never been super high on my list of photographic targets, the visit was pretty awesome. Jennifer lives on the north shore of the island and is literally a 60-second walk to some of the most famous beaches in the world. Her front yard consists of places like Waimea Bay, Pipeline, Sunset, and so on. Really, she’s living the dream, and I’m not exaggerating in the least.

In actuality she’s there on a Speech Pathology contract (do this if you want a good job that’s crazy in demand). I mention this because in addition to living in a super rad part of the world, she’s been fortunate enough to end up surrounded my some amazing people, many of whom are in similar situations. Big thanks to Emily, Erin, Carrie, the other Carrie, Jessica, “Scuba Drew” and Bret, and Susanna and Rusty for making me feel welcome. Also, to Colleen for entertaining all of us at First Friday.  :)

On to the photos!

This adorable sister and brother team, Pueo and Kalea, respectively, live with their mom Emily in the unit next to my sister’s place. They were super energetic and full of smiles, but it wasn’t until like the last 15 minutes of my trip that I got to photograph them. As you can tell, I didn’t exactly get them to keep the smiles flowing. Oh well; they and their mom were fun to hang out with.

This is hanging on my sister’s front wall. I’m not exactly sure what the theme is (is it geography, or just vocabulary?), but I thought it was cute and so now I’m forcing it on you.

On the second day of my trip we drove along the west side of the island. This part has a heavy native population and sadly, is quite rundown. We ended up doing a hike/walk to a place called Kaena Point which my sister claimed was about 1 mile. We did it in the dead middle (i.e. hottest part) of the day, and it ended up being about 5 miles. Oh, and the monk seals she promised me at the end were missing. At least the coastline was spectacular!

That night we hung out with her friend Carrie, who lives in the dreadfully beautiful town-thing-place of Ko Olina where Disney has it’s Aulani Resort. The next day we met Carrie again at Fort Knox the Polynesian Cultural Center. Then this happened:

Although my deceptively clever writing would you lead you to believe that Carrie was responsible for that gross allergic reaction, those bumps (I actually had about twice that number on each leg) are the result of swarming mosquitoes at this next place, called the Byodo-In Buddhist Temple:

I stood in one place near a small side lake for about 5 minutes desperately waiting for a single tourist to move so I could get a particular shot. I was the main course for the residents, apparently. How’s that for dedication? Also, I blame Carrie.

Oh, and this was taken the night before while we were getting drinks at the Aulani. Even though my sister is pretty smart by most definitions, she apparently thinks all sail boats everywhere line up in front of the sunset each night so as to be the subject of photos.

On Wednesday we hopped into a helicopter with no doors to fly around the island. I love helicopters so I jump in whenever I can, and while no doors is great for photography it can be a bit unnerving (read: fun!) when doing steep turns. The weather was pretty rough so the flight was bumpy at times. At one point we hit a big bubble o’ turbulance and the helicopter dropped rapidly. I thought Jennifer was going to cut my leg off when she grabbed it as hard as she did to steady herself.

This pleasant place is the Turtle Bay resort, where the helicopter took off from.

This is called the Stairway to Heaven. It’s really hard to convey how steep and high this staircase is.  Note the clouds. It’s illegal to hike it, so anyone doing so has dodged the security guard that works at the bottom.

Here’s an overhead of the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor.  Here’s another, much larger photo of the site (click the photo to close it).  Something like 900 fallen sailors remain entombed within her.

I shot this place, Sharks Cove, almost every day. It’s about a quarter-mile from Jen’s house and has some decent little food trucks that hang out by it. This is a great spot to go snorkeling or to take the kids for tide pool fun.

This is Emily’s second dog, a sweet little female puppy who was constantly under foot. I think she may have been trying to kill me, now that I think about it.

Two more of the keiki:

On one of the nights Jennifer, Jessica, and I drove down to the Barbers Point lighthouse. This idealic scene is a bit misleading; literally 8 feet to my right is a big luau restaurant/show, and the whole area is surrounded by a heavy industrial park that stinks of oil. The sunset was incredible, so I do encourage you to head down there. Just lock your car when you do.

This is a photo taken along the path to Waimea Falls in the botanical gardens.

On Friday I went to Waikiki to do some diving with Drew Wheeler, a very nice and capable dive leader at Surf n Sea in Haleiwa Town. Both of us (and his friend Bret) are trained in shipwreck penetration, so we planned to enter and explore some sunken ships. Unfortunately, conditions proved a bit too dicey to do the route we planned on during the first dive, but we were still able to explore the ship. Drew was kind enough to send me some photos of myself outside and inside the YO 257 and San Pedro wrecks. If you’re in Hawaii and want to dive, make sure to look him up. Oh, and check out his website for more cool underwater videos and images.

We hung out at Waimea Bay for a bit on Sunday. In addition to jumping off the big southern rock ourselves, I had a great time taking photos of others doing the same. This is our friend Susanna doing a flawless back flip, although it looks as though she might  be getting abducted by an alien spaceship.

Susanna takes a leap of faith from the jumping rock in Waimea Bay.

Baby balancing, a close cousin of cat juggling, is all the rage on the north shore.



Although I took a lot more photos, I’ll leave you with this one of Susanna and Rusty’s beautiful daughter Hanalei having a sunset swing. As one of the last photos I took of the trip, it’s also one of my favorites. How would you like to spend life doing this every day? :)

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Random Jazz: OC Edition II

Below is a collection of photos I’ve taken throughout Orange County over the last 4 weeks.

One note and then I’ll shut up: During weekend forays along random OC back roads, it surprised me how many memorials there were. Driver safer people; operating a motor coach isn’t rocket science.

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