Through the Lens: Photos from May

VW camper

It seems like just yesterday half of my Facebook friends were sharing that tired old “It’s gonna be May” meme. (Just kidding. That grinning, curly-haired JT mug never gets old.)

Now, it’s almost time to officially kick off the summer months. Is anyone else as happy as I am when it’s 7:30 p.m. and still light outside?

It’s been a jam-packed past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to the month ahead. But first, here’s a look back at some of my favorite moments from May—photo roundup style.


Joshua Tree plantlife


Ah, yes. More Joshua Tree pics. I was pretty snap-happy that weekend, and the landscape never disappointed. The wild plant life fascinated me as much as the impressive boulders did.

Also impressive? Rooftop bars, baby.

DTLA rooftop

Los Feliz home

Palermo Los Feliz

fire escape

Besides taking in the downtown skyline at night, I also spent a fair amount of time checking out Los Feliz, which is adjacent to my neighborhood. (In fact, I’m right on the border between Los Feliz and Silver Lake.) It has such a neighborhood-y feel—I love it.

Joshua Tree


And I can never get enough of those dreamy mountains.

So that’s my May in a nutshell! Now, I’m ready to kick off June with a day at the beach. (Tomorrow’s gonna be a hot one.)

What are you looking forward to in June?

Through the lens: photos from April


In case you hadn’t noticed, a third of 2014 has already flown by.

I know. I’m wondering where time went, too. But as usual, I’ve documented the past several weeks so I can remember where the heck I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. As usual, it was a busy month!

Silver Lake art

Red Lion Tavern

My second semester and first year of grad school wrapped up yesterday—all that’s left is turning in final projects. (I better stop procrastinating.) I did some much-needed bonding with a few of my classmates who have become really good friends over the past few months. I’m so lucky to have met all these talented, wonderful people. Above is a shot from the Red Lion Tavern here in Silver Lake, which I’ve been wanting to visit since I moved here. The beer garden was awesome.

Venice beach boardwalk

Venice beach boardwalk

Venice beach boardwalk

Venice Beach

Above, a super windy day at Venice Beach. Below, the old and long-defunct Griffith Park Zoo (those cages were straight-up animal prisons).

Old Griffith Park Zoo caution tape Old Griffith Park Zoo Griffith Park

baby rattlesnake

While exploring Griffith Park and jumping from rock to rock, I almost stepped on this baby rattlesnake. Cute, right?


DTLA arts district DTLA arts district

And I fell a little more in love with the Arts District downtown when Rachel and I met up for the latest edition of Beer with a Blogger.

Now that it’s May, I’m looking forward to finding out how the rest of my summer is going to pan out. I have a few job prospects up in the air, plus I’m taking a summer class and hoping to do a little traveling when I can. (A weekend camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park is in the works!)

What were your April highlights? And what are you looking forward to in May?

Through the lens: photos from March


March was a lot like the photos below—busy, colorful and all over the place.

Anybody else feel the same? This month certainly had its highlights (a trip to San Diego, gorgeous weather as usual, etc.), but I never did feel like I had time to breathe. Every time I accomplished one small task, five more would pile on top of me. And because I expect more of the same from April as my second semester of grad school begins wrapping up, I’m trying to adjust my mindset and power on through. I can do this.

Despite the insanity, there were a lot of bright moments of I’m so glad I’m here. School might make me crazy sometimes, but I’ve never once doubted that this is the place for me right now. The following photos capture those bright moments perfectly.

fire escape


DTLA art

phone booth

heart Los Angeles

The above photos were all taken in DTLA, which I’ve explored a fair amount lately for writing assignments. Ask an Angeleno about the area, and you’re likely to get mixed reviews. (If you’re not familiar with L.A., downtown is NOT Hollywood—they’re a few miles apart.) The other day I Instagrammed a photo of a corner downtown, explaining how I’d fallen a little in love with that part of the city. Rachel commented on the photo and summed up my feelings exactly: “DTLA either creeps me out, bores me, or makes me fall in love with it, depending on the area/day.” But in this particular area on this particular day, I was smitten.

Below, a walking tour of the antique shops and street art in Silver Lake:

Sunset Blvd. Silver Lake

Sunset Blvd. signs

Living Room furniture

antique shopping in Silver Lake

Micheltorena Flea Market

street art

Silver Lake street art

Silver Lake home

A dog chilling on his Silver Lake balcony above and a long hike in Griffith Park below.

Griffith Park hike

Dan's Burgers San Diego

San Diego sunset

And a couple more memories from San Diego above.

The days, weeks and months might be feeling overwhelming lately, but if the photos above can teach me anything, it’s to live for the little bright moments. And when I stop and look back, I realize that there are a whole lot of them.

What were your favorite moments from March? What are you looking forward to in April?

wittycassiehere Instagram

Through the lens: photos from February

golden gate park

For such a short month, February was all over the map.

And it was an absolute whirlwind. I feel like I use that word a lot—whirlwind. But it’s a very accurate description of what life feels like lately. I’m just taking it all in.

One way I’ve been taking it all in is by taking even more photos than usual. Sometimes I go through photography slumps because I get bummed out that I’m not as knowledgeable about all the manual settings as I’d like to be, and I can’t justify shelling out the cash for a fancy lens. But I’ve made efforts to learn more about my camera over the past year or so, and I don’t need an expensive lens to be a good photographer. I’ve also gotten better at pretending not to care that I probably look more like a tourist than I do a photographer when I whip out the DSLR. So that helps.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the past month, including pictures from my San Francisco trip last weekend. This first shot was really underexposed originally, so I played around with some edits… which resulted in this watercolor-y looking picture:

little-italy waterfall

Below, scenes from the Potrero Hill neighborhood where we stayed with a friend. Such a gorgeous, walkable neighborhood.

flowers-bike-2 potrero-hill-2 mariposa-2

Meanwhile, back in Silver Lake, jasmine is in full bloom. EVERYWHERE. It’s my favorite smell.

jasmine Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

John and I spent approximately 45 minutes in Santa Cruz on our way back from the Bay Area, but I’d love to spend a lot more time here. We sat here for a while watching the world’s happiest dogs run around on the dog-friendly beach. (And I fell deeper into my I-want-a-dog despair.)

santa-cruz-dog-beach santa-cruz-cliffscalliandrasan francisco fogEcho Park

So much beauty in this big, wild state. The amazing thing is, it’ll never run out—so there will always be plenty to photograph.

Bring on March! I’m looking forward to celebrating John’s birthday, getting some much-needed time off for spring break and discovering more of what the California coast has to offer. How about you?


Through the Lens: photos from January

month in photos: January

How can it almost be February when I moved to California just yesterday?!

That’s how it feels, anyway. Hard to believe John and I are almost halfway through the lease on our apartment when we’re still working on getting art on the walls. It’s funny, though—Los Angeles feels so familiar in a lot of ways that it’s almost as though I’ve lived here longer. The landscape suits me. The weather definitely suits me. The traffic, um, not so much. But there’s so damn much to discover here that it’s impossible to be bored.

Fairfax records sign

The beginning of 2014 was especially significant considering it was the first time I rang in the New Year in L.A. This year will be the first of which the entirety I’ll spend here in the Golden State. To mark the end of a very good month, here are a few of my favorite photos from January:
Cassie PatonJesús Rafael Soto LACMAJesús Rafael Soto LACMAChris Burden LACMALACMA trophiesLACMAAgnès Varda LACMALACMA

haze in LA

Michael Heizer LACMApinhole camera

The above photo is a long-exposure image of a pinhole camera projected onto a big screen. From inside a small, dark room at the LACMA, we could see Fairfax Avenue with fuzzy people and cars going by.

And for more epitome-of-Los-Angeles photos, the beach in winter:
Venice Beach rocksVenice Beach rocksVenice Beach rocksVenice Beach

I’ve been playing around with Lightroom lately, resulting in the above filtered photo. Clearly enhanced, but I like it. Appropriate for the somewhat-misplaced and yet so-very-Venice graffiti.

Silver Lake discopalm tree shadowCassie and John


January was a good month. I made the most of my winter break working on creative projects both online and around the apartment. (I even busted out some gold spray paint!) John and I had the chance to check out a few new-to-us spots in our neighborhood. And I began an intense semester of school that I’m really looking forward to.

February, I think, will be even better. I’m getting more involved with Neon Tommy, I’ve got several writing projects in the works, and John and I will be making a trip to San Francisco and Palo Alto to visit his sister and our favorite West Coast bartender. Lots to look forward to.

How about you? What are you looking forward to in February? (It’s a short month, so no time to waste!)