Tuesday, July 22

Making Cocktail

© 2014 Rob Castro

Fabian at Grand Central Market (revised)

Fabian:  I'm shopping for a jewelry for my wife.

Juzno:  What does your wife want?

Fabian:  She wants Pearls but I would rather give her a washing machine.

Juzno:   A washing machine doesn't seem romantic.

Fabian:  Why not?  If she gives me a tool I could use I think that would be romantic.

Reworked July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21

More Muted Colors (and how I did it)

I started posting in Cambridge and Colour and made a comment on one of the posts.  Majority of the comments were not receptive to the muted colors (see her photo below) but I thought it was cool.  In fact, I sensed that the photographer hesitated in going mute all the way so I suggested that it needed to be more muted.  [Actually I had meant to say, "more cowbells." Don't know why I said otherwise.]  One of the rubrics I follow is if you're going to do something different, make sure it is different all the way.  Hence, I was challenged to provide my own rendition of the image.  A rather bold challenge - considering that I am partially colored blind.  I blame me and my big mouth for getting into this pickle.  The above is a "quick and dirty" version of what would have been my vision.

The original post.  Not mine.
Addendum:  Some folks have asked me how I reprocessed the image.  In my mind, there are three important things to consider: [1] Will cropping help? [2] Where is the light coming from? [3] What tools do I use given the answers in question [1] and [2].

[1] Will cropping help?

I'm a big fan of  the rule of thirds.  It seems that the original image already is framed this way.  However, I felt that there are some areas in the picture that does not provide essential information that may add or enhance it.  I went for a more intimate look by cropping the image.  I'm still following the rule of thirds here - albeit not as strict as some may adhere to.

[2] Where is the light coming from?

It helps to know where light is coming from to make the processing look natural.  I see that the light is coming from the right upper corner.  This gives me a starting point on where I could dodge and burn.

[3] What tools do I use given the answers in question [1] and [2].

A lot of the heavy lifting was done in Photoshop CC6 using Viveza Nik Sofware as shown below:

The rests were selectively desaturating the reds, slight desaturation on the master, applying a yellow photo filter using the layers provided by CC6.  I also used Nik software Color Efex 4 for further lens vignette (which I may have been heavy handed - but that's me...) and some vignette blur to my taste.

The whole process is "quick and dirty".  I'm glad I'm not getting paid to process this image.  Otherwise I would have spend more time fine tuning it.  Besides, it was done at 3 in the morning because I could no longer go back to sleep.

Hope this helps.

Saturday, July 19


© 2014 Rob Castro

Juzno:  How much nicotine does that bag packs?

Red:  Bzzzzzzzzz.

Juzno:  It doesn't smoke much.  Wonder what kind of process they used to eliminate the smoke.  Does it work on batteries?

Red:  Bzzzzzzzzz.

Juzno:  Or do you just plug it to your wall socket?

Red:  Bzzzzzzzzz.

Juzno:  You don't talk much, do you?


© 2014 Rob Castro

Rose was in hurry to make breakfast that she ended up with a new style of cooking fried eggs.  It's called Impatience.

Thursday, July 17

Joaquin and the value of good labor

© 2014 Rob Castro

Joaquin: I really don't need to work but my father wants me to learn the value of good labor.

Juzno: What does your father do?

Joaquin: He sells Italian Leather.

Juzno: Who is your father?

Joaquin: Rodolfo Gucci.

Tuesday, July 8

Farmers Selling Produce (repost)

Juzno:  This was shot at the market in a small town of Antique, Philippines.  Most of the people are poor but they are beautiful.  I feel blessed to have been able to capture their images and somehow in a small way be able to share the photo to others.

aU: Brought me back to the little, insignificant town in Pangasinan where I was born, grew up, and a fifth of my life.  Market day was the main event of the sleepy hollow community.  At puberty age, my cousins and I made sure we were there prancing around - 'to see and be seen'...  I wouldn't exchange that innocent glimpse for anything.  Although, of course, we all dreamed of the land of milk and honey.  And so my cousins and I - at senile age, here we are in the land of milk and honey, doing the jig - never knowing where it leads us, but shuffle we do, anyway. 

How about you - how is your jitter-bug????

Juzno: My chronically achy left knee forbids me to do the jitter-bug :(

aU: Where can I buy this photo? 

Juzno:  http://www.blackandwhitestreet.com/node/2536

Satisfaction (repost)

Crunch!  Jonathan implements a great idea to deal with summer.  Hope you are keeping cool.

[Pixel Peeping:  Shot up close with the Fujifilm X-pro 1, 35mm lens while waiting for the tour bus somewhere in Budapest, Hungary.  I swore that the Budapest Ice Cream is one of the best.]

aU: Satisfaction guaranteed.  Mmmmm I could hear the humming of the Blue Danube, I could see the birds flying over it, perhaps searching for a meandering fish somewhere..... 

Somewhere on Castle Hills, a pensive Juzno reflects over the Danube River as he sips Palinka while the wife readies her retro style Holga camera.  Juzno smiles back but returns to his introspection because it looks manlier and cooler that way in photos.  He remember reading F. Scott Fitzgerald not to smile.  At that moment, she clicks on the shutter.  Perfect.  Juzno's wrinkled skin and fly away gray hair are forever immortalized.  The photo will be lost.  But in about 50 years, a young historian uncovers the photo.  She somehow recognized the man in the photo.  She contacts the Smithsonian for some funding to research on the life of Juzno, an artist nobody remembers.  She publishes a book "Juzno: The Reluctant Photographer".  Immediately, Juzno's art works began fetching in Sotheby's for an indecent sum of money.  The Au Schneider Foundation donates half of Juzno's work to the d'Orsay.  The rest is mostly random history.
Budapest, Hungary
Fujifilm X-Pro 1
© 2013 Rob Castro

Friday, July 4

Miko Color Corrected

Before color correction on the feet.  Notice the magenta cast on the feet.  Looks like the model had poor blood circulation.

After color correction using Hue/Saturation layers to remove the color cast.  Applied a photo filter to balance the yellow with the rest of the skin.

© 2014 Rob Castro