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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Red in Black and White

Artist at work
She is really a red head.  Shot while sauntering on the street of Old Town Pasadena.  There was a chalk festival.  This image is a remake of a colored version posted on August 13, 2013.  I seem to prefer this version better.  High key, black and white.  Less structure on the details.  Rendering it softer than the original.

From my perspective, I thought that the artist was creating a mirror of herself.  I like Kamilah's comment on the previous post:  "The artist cannot be separated from the art."

#blackandwhitephotography #streetphotography #chalkfestival #artwalk #oldtownpasadena #redhair #streeetartist

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First Quiche


No, I am not talking about first kiss although that would also be something interesting to talk about.  Rose baked her first quiche the other day.  I have only tasted a couple of quiche in my lifetime so I don't really have much to compare Rose's quiche.  It seems more moist than the ones I tasted.  Not sure if it's supposed to be dry.  But I like Rose's version.

Now I have one more photo to add to my stock photos at Getty Images.

"Because your quiche is on my list of the best things in life..." to borrow Hall and Oates.

#foodporn #foodphotography #becauseyourquicheisonmylips #macrothatmakesyousalivate

Friday, August 21, 2015

Requiem (Re-post from October 21, 2011)


My last image for the week before I head off to my imperfect solitude where the sunshine of my mind will never die. Okay that may just be the worst first liner in prose writing history. I know – I know… I should stick to photography. But I love commenting on my own work. I see this image and it beckons me. I don’t know why. Somehow the mood evokes melancholy with a vibe of eeriness. Maybe this is not an appropriate photo for Friday. Anyway, hope you like it. Enjoy your weekend. Cheers.


For the techie: The image was taken some time ago and was my first attempt at HDR. I think it stands for High Dynamic Range. I usually don’t like the HDR look as it seems to always make the photo appear artificial. I’ve re-processed this image the other day and tamed the obvious HDR artifacts as much as I can. I’m happy with the results here.

Rach: Exactly my thoughts - I am like "what 'never die'?????" "Whateverrrr." Okay, now that we have that taken care of. Was it really a white rose?

Juzno: Yea, that rose used to be white. Now it's olive green as in dying. Kidding. The yellow cast is actually the result of the lighting.

Annie: "... imperfect solitude where the sunshine of my mind will never die" this line is just too poetic for me. Very cryptic. I am trying to understand it. I don't know if I know what imperfect solitude is. Sunshine of my mind, will that be God? You made me think what is the sunshine of my mind...hmmm....????

Juzno: Try 1Peter2:9.

Annie: 1Peter2:9: "....so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." Thank you.

L: I do like this tamed version. It's very good. I can feel the eeriness in the photo. It looks like from the blackness comes forth beauty. Because of the HDR it looks like some of the pedals are in a state of brittleness; like they are frozen still but if you would touch them, they could easily fall. Yet some of the petals are still subtle and soft and they are hanging onto life. You can see the texture in the pedals; especially along the edges. It's beautiful. Excellent! Did you have a light on the rose or did you add that in the process?

Juzno: It was kind of dark when I took the picture. No flash here. I believe each exposures where about 10 seconds more or less. That's one reason I HDR'd it. I noticed that the initial image was flat when I saw it on the LCD screen. So, I thought to add some range to it. I used a free HDR called Picturenaut. Then I exported the image in PS and blurred out some of the petals to give it a softer look.
 
Swil:  One should always follow their gut feeling ... it is indeed too melancholy for a Friday !

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Going Home to My Baby (and why I love the blues)

Damn right, I got the blues.

I'm going back to what I think I do best.  I"m going back to shooting in Black and White.

I really admired this band.  Shot in a bar in Austin, Texas past midnight.  There were only four customers left in the room but they played intensely as though it was packed with hundreds of people.  I love that attitude.  They couldn't care if people listened to their music.  They just like to play.  They played because they love the blues.  This is why I love the blues.  One could be playing for oneself, and it is all good.  It's very personal.  The stories may remain the same but it's never told in the same way.  I think it was George Harrison who said, "you can never play the blues the same way twice."  It may be old but it will always sound new.  Dig it.

#austininsider #austincloseup #blues #gottheblues #blackandwhitephotography #fineartphotography #travel #gotyourmojoworking

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wanted: Old Typewriter

When you can't stand the heat, leave the room.

I have been looking for an old typewriter where I can commit my words without the benefit of the mindless deleting and copying that are offered by the personal computer.  I want to think through before I write, and the old typewriter is just the tool for me.  Handwriting would be the ideal option if not for my atrocious penmanship.

I realized that I have been fooling myself.  So I made the decision to cut off my ties from people in the social media; i.e. Facebook and Instagram.  I knew all along that the social media is fake.  The posts give you a snapshot of what is on people's mind.  But often it is not even an accurate snapshot. It hides behind the veneer of  ambivalence in order to tease the reader.  A contrivance that is meant to draw attention to oneself. Like a fool, I played along.  Why?  because I wanted the attention too.  I wanted to have many hits and likes on my posts.  But what is it worth?  They are all vanities.  As the Preacher wrote, "it is chasing the wind."

I know my art is worth more than that.  I feel that I should not care anymore what people say or react.  I should not care if people ignored my art.  It would be their loss.  And my emancipation.

I shall cast away my vanity.  I shall cast it away.

#vanity #meaningless #trivialitiesofsocialmedia #Facebookisfake #Instagramisforattentionseekers #oldtypewriter

Friday, August 14, 2015

Goodbye


Feeling mostly depressed.

I realized that I have been fooling myself.

#goodbye

Thursday, August 13, 2015

There is a killer on the run


#bnw #findingmeaning #blackandwhiteisworththefight #bnw_italy #bnw_life #bnw_europe #blackandwhitephotography #fineartphotography #bnw_usa #iamgenerationimage #lookslikefilm #monochrome #existentialism #criminalmind #filmnoir #lostworld #meaningless #prisonersofthemind #asianartists #americanpsycho #madness #insanity #pleadinsanity


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Have a Drink on Me



#Dutchgothic #blackandwhitephotography #fineartphotgraphy #satire #whitebackground #lookslikefilm #iamgenerationimage #monochrome #haveadrinkonme #affluence #findingmeaning #cocktailreactions #peoplearoundtheworld #peopleyoulove #seniormoment #squareformat

Friday, August 07, 2015

The Tao of Santori

Smile.  You are in candid Fujifilm X-pro1 camera 35mm.


Somewhere in a jazz club in Manhattan


Kikoman San:  The good book says he who drinks a lot drinks a little.

Pakuman San:  I believe you got it backwards.  He who drinks little needs to drink a lot.

Kikoman San: Ah so ... You are most wise, Pakuman San.  I think you are right.  Hick.

Pakuman San:  I agree.  Cheers.  Hick.

#santoriwhisky #drunkendialouge #japanesedrinks #blackandwhiteisworththefight #

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Feed Me

Look at the cute little dog
Yesterday was Mimi's birthday.  She is now 10 years old but still acts like a puppy.  She has a heart condition but she doesn't mind.  She's more hyper now than when we first got her.  Would you like to feed the cute little dog?

#cutelittledog #feedthedog #pomeranians #wetplate #collodion #balckandwhiteisworththefight #blackandwhitephotography #fineartphotography #smalldogs #tavelswithMimi #bnw #bnw_usa #bnw_life #portraitofadog #ilovemypom

Monday, August 03, 2015

Get on up ... Sexy Old Machina

Old machine used for cutting diamonds

Right now I'm marveling at an antiquated piece of machinery that has made laborers work harder.  You may ask what it does.  In truth nothing.  You see the employer threatened the workers that if they don't work hard, they will be replaced by this machine.  They will be forced out of work, and would have to find another job.  Who would hire them?  The machine can do things more efficiently so they thought. The laborers wised up and formed a union.  They booted out their employer and took over the factory.  Most of them didn't know how to run the business so they chose a charismatic leader named Saul to lead them.  Saul couldn't tell the difference between a nut from a bolt but he was handsome.  It was all that mattered.  Later on, the women realized that they were working more than the men.  So they formed their own group and lobbied to replace Saul.  Eventually, Saul was replaced by Lily.  She was very effective in making sure that everybody gets their fair share.  Well, except her friends who get special treatment.  The laborers who practiced alternative lifestyle saw this discrepancy.  They felt they were being discriminated.  So they lobbied to replace Lily.  Lily was soon replaced with Caitlyn, who was a transgender.  It was the best of both worlds.  Caitlyn was a man who became a woman.  Who can better represent the entire work force?  Finally, they all live and work happily ever after.

And now, here I stand. Marveling at this piece of machinery.  How it changed world economics.  And it didn't even do anything.  Brilliant.

#TrafalgarInsider #trafalgar #travel #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #stilllife #Benelux #TheNeatherlands #Holland #InsideDiamondFactory #Grayscale #gears #fujifeed #fujifilm #xpro1 #bnw_life #bnw_Europe #powertothepeople #workersunite #gottalovecaitlyn #animalfarm #georgeorwell #slavesandowners #postmodernism #sexymachines 

Saturday, August 01, 2015

A Case of Identity Crisis Blamed on Global Warming

Carl Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar on Canon 5d mk ii
Our Strawberry Guava or Guava Strawberry tree started to bear fruits quite early this year.  My liberal friends tell me that this is because of Global Warming.  As one can see, the fruit has an identity crisis.  It thinks it's a Strawberry trapped in a Guava body.  Postmodern thinking is no longer just confined to human beings.  My liberal friends tell me that this too is due to Global Warming.  I much prefer it when my liberal friends used to blame everything on Bush.

#identitycrisis #guava #strawberry #guavastrawberry #strawberryguava #postmodernthinking #reflectionsocool #LEDlighting #stillifewithStawberryGuava #Stillifewithwoodywoodpecker #howIlearnedToLoveFruits #firstfruits #globalwarming #LiberalFriends


The Wisdom of Babes (ii) [Re-post from August 2, 2014 with slight modification]

Captured with Fujifil X100

I asked these two girls what they think is the meaning of life.  They told me unequivocally that life is like a lollipop.  It is hard.  It is sweet from start to finish.  When you're down to the stick, it gets real tough.

#wisdomofbabes #blackandwhitephotography #blackgirlwhitegirl #childrenarecoloredblind #innocence #iamgenerationimage


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Man as Abstraction (Re-post from April 19, 2012)



“An artist is a man who tries to express the inexpressible. He struggles and suffers knowing that he can never realise his most perfect ideal.” – Alvin Langdon Coburn, 1916

I think that Coburn was right to some degree. Without stating the obvious, he implies that the artist will never be content with his art. What I disagree about Coburn’s statement is that his reason for discontent is based on his assumption that man’s intelligence will continue to expand in the light of more perfect knowledge of himself and the universe. I think that it is precisely this expansion of man’s knowledge that he talks about that will drive man to despair and anxiety. As I look at myself and as soon as I’m past my physiology, and if I am truly honest with my assessment, the more I learn about my condition and the environment I am in, the more things don’t make sense. The more I strive to achieve the perfect art form, the more I realize that such pursuit will likely result in vain.

#manasabstraction #blur #lensbaby #artforartsake #meaningless #existentialism #streetphotography