Saturday, October 03, 2015

Probably The Most Expensive Snack I Paid For

At least the chips are certified gluten-free.

Half Size Bottle of Wine 
     and Potato Chips                                                 $44

Plastic Cups for the wine                                         Free

One ticket to see Gustavo Dudamel
     conducts Simon Bolivar Orchestra                     $48

Another ticket of the same concert                          $48

Fee for buying tickets                                              $15

Parking at Disney Concert Hall                               $ 9

Listen to Beethoven's 3rd and 4th Symphonies       Priceless

Our first concert for this season.

#concert #Beethoven #3rdand4thsymphonies #GustavoDudamel #DisneyConcertHall #SimonBolivarOrchestra #wine #tickets #snack #expensivesnack

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Illusion of Free Will

If we truly have a free will, then why is it that we are bound by moral imperatives?

Why did you make that move?

I wanted to see if it can move.

No, I mean was there any other reason since you are playing this game?

I am?  I thought I was playing chess?

You are.  Chess is a game.

Then, why the heck did I choose to make that move?

#beingandnothingness #existentialism

Thursday, October 01, 2015

How to deal with irate neighbors

"Yes, you are a piece of insignificant matter that is ruining my day."

"My neighbor came to me to complain that my tree is causing rain water to run off to his backyard, which was ruining his garden.  I told him I can't do anything, and that he should complain to God."

#mindlesscomplaints #retrolook #americana

Monday, September 28, 2015

Finding Peace

Contemplating on the dialectical. 

Once she thought she got the answer, then the answer no longer addresses the question.  The vast sea of knowledge appears indefinite, while the dry land of wisdom is so constricted.  Why do people keep trying to mix land and water, as though to get rid of all the mystery of this freaking earth?  She could not grasp the unfathomable final meaning of life and truth.  And at that one apparent and momentary lapse of angst, she found peace.

#existentialism #nihilism #philosophy

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Slaves for Sale

Add your own caption here.

We are mannequins.  Since the beginning, we were conceived to be slaves.  Yet the very people who conceived us have argued that in order to make life worth living you got to be free, and you can't be free if the other people are not free too.  What's up with that?

Is Freedom truly based on equality?  Yet some of us are sold for a dollar, while others are worth much more from the perspective of a prospective buyer.

Or consider the metaphysics of forces that guide people who think all is fine, walk about their daily life, and yet turn a blind eye on a homeless person.   No, no, they would argue, "but you see this homeless person has freewill and can transcend from his destitute state if he so desire."  Well, sir, that is precisely my point.  We are not free.  Are we then in a better situation than this homeless person?

#philosophy #nihilism #existentialism

Friday, September 25, 2015

Nihilism from the Perspective of a Dog

Look at me the cute little dog.

From our perspective as canine society, if Nihilism is the absence of any ultimate values, and so many of us canines speak with the rhetoric of creating values for our human servants, or committing them to values, then how do we make sense that there are those who deny values and yet impose values on others in the name of advancing tolerance or democracy?  Or, should we as dogs even care whether humans are nihilistic or not?

#nihilism #meaning #meaningless #philosophy

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Little Hut on the Pond

My Point and Shoot camera still worked after dropping it on the river.  Can your camera do the same?

This is a remake of my post in November 14, 2012 but this time in timeless black and white.  I believe the image has gone through several versions since I shot it back in 2010.  It seems that I always find something I could do to render it.

Taken with a salvaged Panasonic DMC LX3 Point and Shoot.  The camera only had 10 mp.  Prior to this shot, I dropped it on a raging river.  I let it dry for 3 days and re-used it on this image.  Obviously, the camera still worked.  Maybe the water that got inside the camera gave it special powers.  Who knows?

I no longer have the camera because my brother-in-law's wife wanted it, so I gave it to her.  I think she really believes that it was transformed to a super camera.

#canyourcameradothis #PanasonicDMCLX3 #PointAndShoot #LittleHut

Monday, September 21, 2015

Seeing with fresh eyes

I shot this in the summer of 2008.  I had this crappy DLSR Canon Rebel XT that had a meager 8 mp sensor.  (My current cell phone has more resolution than this camera.)  I had just bought a cheap nifty 50 mm lens (cost me $80 or something).  I barely knew how to shoot and didn't understand how to use the aperture of the lens.  My 50 mm can go wide to f1.8, but I never really expected what I will get as a result of shooting wide open.  It was getting dark so I was forced to shoot wide open.  Little did I know that it would create a nice blur on the background and foreground.  I just wanted to get a correct exposure.

I have forgotten about this image.  Fast forward to 2015, I saw this image once again as I went through my archives and thought it had potential.   It is like finding an old bottle of cheap wine that had collected dust in the garage or somewhere.  And upon opening, one is surprised to find the taste exceptionally delightful.

This is a re-edit of the original shot, which was in color.  My now experienced eye saw that it might be better to render the image in Black and White.

I like it that at times I see my old images and see them in fresh light.  I like it especially when I have used cheap camera and lens and get wonderful results.

#happyaccidents #blackandwhiteisworththefight #crappycamera #cheaplens

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Preacher

They came to snuff the preacher.

Then along came the preacher - with all his star power and charm and nothingness.  Immediately, his enemies tried to snuff him out but they could not.  People kept following him.  What was it that attracted people to come to hear him preach?  His enemies declared that he was merely a blank canvas - that he will tell people what they want to hear.  "This guy is using you."  "You think he is saying everything."  "He is saying nothing."

But the people shouted back, "You know he ain't gonna die."

"Oh yeah?  You just wait.  As soon as he's done with you, he'll leave you dry."

"No, no.  He ain't gonna die."

#rooster #thepreacher #heaintgonnadie"

Monday, September 14, 2015

Together Through Life

Love conquers all.

Abram:  Honey, I don't remember where I placed my dentures.

Sarai:  Silly you.  Don't your remember that you let me borrow 'em?

Abram:  Oh, now I see.  Well, I think I need my afternoon nap.

Sarai:  Sleep well, my love.

#loveforever #togetherthroughlife #lovesupreme

Friday, September 11, 2015

Portrait of a Serial Killer

I think I need to shave.  A good bath might also do me good.

Yea, this is me - a killer.  I've killed a number of people.  Not physically.  But in my mind.  I have wished people dead.  I deserve judgement.  I deserve nothing less than God's wrath.  Who can save me?

#collodion #wetplate #killerontheloose #portraitofkiller #nooneknowswhatitislike #ilovefilm #lookslikefilm #testured #scratched #killerontheloose #whoareyoutojudge #ideservepunishment #omg #oldmangeezer

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Imperfections and a bundle of sticks

What is a flower bed?  It is but  a bundle of sticks.

I love the look of film - especially when taken by a classic camera like a Nikon F.  I own a couple of them but I must confess that this image was digitally processed to make it look like it was taken by an old film camera. Using Nik Software, I think blended the looks of Classic Camera 7 in Analog Effects Pro 2, and the Agfa Film vintage filter in Color Efex Pro 2.  I do find it interesting that people like myself use the most up to date software and professional digital camera to get the imperfect look of film.  I think of this urban legend that  Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones would use the most expensive microphone and the most elaborate studio board during recording - only to try to get a sound as though it was recorded through a crappy cheap microphone.

My colors are off but I like it.  As Magnum Photographer Elliott Erwitt's once said - photography "has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."

Techie Notes:  Taken at Ventura Harbor, California using a Canon 24-70mm EF 2.8 ii mounted on the Canon 5d Mk ii (my go-to kit for shooting events like weddings and parties where people are embarrassing themselves).  1/4000, f2.8.

#ilovefilm #lookslikefilm #filmisworththefight #Niksoftware #analogEfecpro2 #ColorEfexpro2 #agfafilm #doesanyonereadhashtags #ifyouhavereadthisfarIcongratulateyou #classiccamera #ElliotErwittQuote

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Philosophy is the Talk of the Cereal Box

A Greek goddess enjoying a nice sun bath.

Homer was a pessimist.  Not that Homer Simpson.  Homer the Greek writer.  He believed that man was subject to the whims of the gods.  Plato and Aristotle were however optimist.  Man's wrong behavior was due to ignorance.  Once people are taught they can become virtuous.  This is possible because they believe that man is inherently good.  Man's problem can be solve by reason.  The problem is where does reason come from?  Is it innate?  Or is it learned?  Perhaps we may ask the goddess who sits over door of Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy.  But right now, she is getting her tan.  Our questions would have to wait.

#philosophyisthetalkofthecerealbox #homer #aristotle #plato #socrates #milan #italy # UniversitaCattolicaDelSacroCuore

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Dawn of the Modern Man

As a man thinketh, so is he.

It was somewhere in Northern Italy around 2014 when I took this picture.  I couldn't pin down the exact location.  Perhaps in Brescia.  Perhaps the Duomo Nuovo Cathedral. Don't even know the historical significance of this building.  I'm sure it's significant.  The architecture is typical of the Renaissance period, when humanism was taking its form.  The Dark Ages was at its twilight.  Architecture was shifting from the Gothic Cathedrals to the Classical.

In a sense, the Classical arts and architecture were going back to the Greek philosophers.  The Renaissance era as it is aptly called - a re-visitation of humanism.  Notice the statues at the top of the building.  One may imagine the spirit of the Greek philosopher Protagoras crying out, "man is the measure of all things."  But is it?  Or is it just vanity?

#existentialism #blackandwhitephotography #trafalgarinsider #northernitaly #travel #verona

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Mark and His Straw Hat

Do not disturb ... I am asleep.

Mark was on our tour of Northern Italy.  He was not the friendliest guy in our group.  But he makes a great photo model.  I shot this while he was busy looking at his cell phone.  He was probably doing his taxes there.  Or perhaps he was indeed asleep.

#ItalianLakes #tour #trafalgarinsider #manwithhat

Friday, August 28, 2015

Apples in basket

Our Golden Delicious Apples harvest for this year.
Rose managed to save some of our apples this morning.  Most of them got sun burned from the California summer heat but these ones were still okay.  They are not perfect.  But I like the imperfections.  If I may brag a bit, I think they make a nice painterly still life that's reminiscent of the work of the Dutch Masters.

#goldendeliciousapples #macrophtography #closeup #fruit #harvest #fruitsinbasket #countryliving #produce