I missed going to the US Open this year, watching the best tennis players practicing and battling while snapping some of my best action shots. I also missed spending time with family and friends there. Hope US Open 2021 will return to normal with lively crowds.
With COVID-19 wrecking the plans for the past and upcoming school years, parents have embraced the rescheduled Little League season with greater appreciation and enthusiasm. I also dug deeper into my photography gear box to film the entire season without missing a beat (well, I did miss a few minutes due to battery issues). Here below is a recap video of my older boy’s team, Rockets, at the Forest Hills Little League 2020 season (spoiler alert: two grand slams and an additional home run):
As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo likes to say, we have climbed a monstrous mountain. Even though we are on the other side of it, and for quite a few weeks, there’s still no place for complacency and chance-taking.
Here below is just a chart where you could filter any states and/or counties of your interest and see how the pandemic has been wreaking the havoc. A big shout out to the New York Times COVID-19 data team, who have offered all the data for free here.
It’s quite a sight to witness the stock market dropping by 35% in 33 days (S&P 500) thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, beating the 1929 record in velocity with a drop of 45% in 58 days. See slide 6 and 12:
Kicking off the New Year (and Decade) with a cool family project wearing my new hat – Chief Memory Officer: digging through photo archive to find gems on the memory lane…
The phone is something we cannot live without. And here are some of the apps that are indispensable, or at least you should try…
Same tool used in a project from previous life: Time Traveling Through Dramatic Urbanization in China Over Decades (ChinaFile)
Some handy projects* to elevate the city living while adding a bit of DIY fun:
Imagining side panels generating little or zero drafts, we got customized, hand-crafted acrylic or poly-carbonate sheet glass panels, for all 3 air conditioners. Crisp clear view and double pane for winter-proofing! [Over 10 hours of labor though.]
Not sure about the foam’s life expectancy, as in a couple of weeks there’s already a strip of dip along the dripping line.
It’s been quite a journey for us to finally secure a seat at one of New York City’s Citywide Gifted & Talented programs. It’s a success that has taken both hard work and luck. We are very proud for Evan Yoyo to join NEST+m and we cannot wait to see him further grow and learn while enjoying chess and other things the school has to offer.
Here below is just a cheat sheet to get an idea of some overall considerations while choosing which ones you like, or not. But there’s just so much more to what this table can present, even though it’s a good start. [Commute times below are calculated based on a Forest Hills area home location.]
Our best one-sentence advice would be: start the prep work and research as early as possible. If you can get your child into the Kindergarten of a G&T program, you have an astronomically better chance of getting in than trying first grade.
Last but not least, education is so much more than what a school can provide for children, although a good school means a lot in the equation. We know that this will be a learning journey for the whole family, and those who we will be having a role along the way. After all, it takes a village.
Now that Yoyo has become a real tennis fan, mostly of Roger Federer of course, the US Open Kids Day will be more about watching the game rather than just hanging out with family and picking up some goodies from sponsors. Here are some shots showing how serious he’s about the game:
Shameless plug on this important day of the year. First picture below is slightly edited; immediately followed by the iPhone original:
Here is a recently enhanced picture of cherry blossoms, immediately followed by the original, iPhone photo, and one that is slightly edited on iPhone:
Six years feels like 6 seconds. Time for another level of parenting challenges.
[Thanks for the $3 iPhone app Motato, a must-have for me.]
This past weekend has been my 6-year-old son’s second time in his skiing career, if we can call it one. He started to like it. He’s not as remarkable as I have heard about other kids of his age. In my eye, and in particular through my lens, he is a pro already. Alright, I admit, he looks much greater in these photos than he really is. But hey, that’s what photos are for right?
I’ve recently tried quite a few iPhone photo editing apps and Facetune 2 is my favorite, here are real-life case studies:
Tricks applied above:
A picture every three months or so, since January 2012.
An ever evolving documentary project.
What I learned so far: capturing the right moments matters the most to the quality of the picture, not whether you have a backdrop or lighting and all those things. But a good lens does help a great deal. Also available at yoyozhao.me
If you have never heard of an air quality action day, you are most likely a perfectly typical resident in the U.S. who is also lucky, the latter of which you may have been taking for granted. Because a hazy day like July 20, 2017 in Manhattan almost never happens. (Hazy is not the same as “foggy.”)