allen chu

James Franco - Retouching by Allen Chu

So as you may have noticed, i've been MIA for quite a while now.  I was seduced by the glamour of a 9-5 and steady paycheck and found myself in a few miserable situations that looking back now I regret getting myself into.  Because of the comfort of steady pay, I slowly found myself transitioning to retouching more and more.  I'd estimate that 75% of my work is now retouching, and while I love it, I still ache to take photos every once in a while.

Recently I was introduced to Grant Yoshino through my friend Juliet Vo.  Grant is a pretty badass photographer and he enlisted my help on a few editorials that i'm pretty stoked for.  I'll be posting the images as soon as their up.  For now, here are some of his photos of James Franco that I got to retouch.  Look forward to more frequent updates starting now!

PS i'm also doing project365, a photo a day for a year, to try and bring back that original passion I had for photography.  Most creatives can tell you, ruts are hard, but once that spark hits again we get that intensity back.  Hopefully project365 will give me that spark back!

 

A Week Hooning by Allen Chu

Tony Harmer is one of the best photographers I know.  One of my favorite clients is Ken Block and the Hoonigan Racing team.  Getting to work with all of them for a week is, well, pretty awesome.  While I don't know much about Mr. Block besides the fact that he's a really nice guy and that i've slowly developed a man crush on him, i'm friends with the rest of the guys and they're hands down some of the best people I know.. Like If the zombie apocalypse were to happen and they turned into zombies, i'd still have to think twice about ending them.  Terrible analogy?  Anyways, this has been the second year that i've been lucky enough to hang out with them for a week straight.  Check out the photos below!

PS these were the last photos I shot on my Fuji X-E1.  It has now been replaced by a Sony RX1 which i'm super excited about.  Hopefully it'll kick start me back into shooting mode and kick start my blogging again.

PPS Check out the final images shot by Tony Harmer and retouched by myself at the following:

http://www.hooniganracing.com/exclusive-content/

Road Trip to Jocko's by Allen Chu

_DSF2927.jpg

Sometimes it's just nice to get away, but an extended trip just really isn't an option.  That's where road trips come into play.  So a while back my friend's visited Jocko's out in Nipomo.  It's out in the middle of nowhere.  After a few weeks of hearing them rave about how good the ribs are there, I threw out the idea of just driving out one weekend, eating, and driving back.  So this morning, I drove to LA and picked them up, and 3 hours later we were in Nipomo.

So unlike most Texas or Tennessee or Memphis style bbq, Jocko's isn't smoked for an entire day or rubbed down with a secret dry rub or basted with an intense bbq sauce.  The pit masters at Jocko's keep it simple.  Everything they have on them menu is grilled over a wood fire pit and seasoned with salt and pepper.  It's pretty mind blowing how amazing the meat comes out.

We ended up ordering an order of pork ribs, a 17oz steak, and an order of pork chops.  The steak was fatty and juice and full of smokey salty goodness.  It definitely wasn't a dry aged perfectly marbled cut of anything expensive, but it was simply delicious and completely satisfying.  The ribs, the main attraction, were finger licking good.  My first bite confused me a bit.  I found myself thinking, a nearly 7 hour round trip for this?  So I took another bite.  The smokiness starts settling in.  Okay so it's getting better.  Finally another bite, and i'm hooked.  The combination of smokey salty fall of the bone fattiness had me hooked.  They were amazing.

The pork chops were a bit dry, and the rest of the dishes (salad, baked potato, etc..) were pretty forgetful.  The biggest surprise of the meal was the Texas toast they serve.  Buttery cheesy goodness!  It was delicious and while i'm a bit regretful of filling up on free bread so much, it was definitely immensely satisfying.  So overall Jocko's has my seal of approval.  I'm still questioning the 7 hours and roughly 350mi of driving, but that's what road trips are all about.  Good company, good times, and good eats.  If you're ever passing through, make sure you drop by and check them out!

Jocko's Steak House
125 N Thompson Ave
Nipomo, CA 93444