Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas and a more content new attitude



Walter never left his home.  The only place he's ever been outside his home is in his dreams.  He never wanted anything else but to dream his dreams.  Maybe this holiday season, we can be content just like Walter.  Cheers.  See you next year.

See also RB and Flickr

Thomas Chang with Nature (2 of 3)

Thomas Chang: "This time of year is always a fantastic time for birders since the migratory birds have returned to spend the winter.  Here is one duck that you don’t see every day."

His Technique:

Thomas Chang's enthusiasm for birds can be infectious.  I'm always amazed at how he captures his subjects.  I've asked him on his preferred tools of choice. Thomas declared, "I own the Canon 7d and Rebel T1i.  Most of my bird photos were shot with the Canon EF 300mm f/4.0 L IS Lens with the 1.4x converter.  For close-up subjects, I use the 100mm f/2.8 L Macro lens.  Both lens have image stabilization.  No filters."




"Most of these photos were shot at f8 and around 1/1000 sec to freeze the subject while it’s moving.  I set the camera to AI Servo and the image stabilizer on the lens to 2 to better track the birds.  My camera is set to center-weighted metering and high speed continuous mode for moving subjects."

Below are his own reflections on some of his subjects:


A male peacock displays elaborate plumage: "This male peacock is showing off its elongated upper tail feathers with brilliant, greenish-blue color, and bold spots that look like eyes.  Colors are used to attract females during courtship.  As the peacock displays his fan, he shakes its feathers so that they make a rattling noise.  L.A. Arboretum"
Burrowing Owl: "Unlike most owls, burrowing owls are active during both day and night.  During the day, they are usually seen standing erect at the mouth of the burrow or on a nearby post.  This picture was taken in an agriculture field, at Niland, Salton Sea."
An American Kestrel with deep penetrating eyes: "The American kestrel, also known as the Sparrow Hawk, is a small falcon often seen hovering in the air or perching and scanning the ground for prey.  The small triangular protrusion from the upper bill, called a tomial tooth, is designed to slip between vertebrae and sever the spinal cord of the prey animal.  West Covina"
You can contact Thomas Chang at tchang65@gmail.com.

This is part two of a three part installment so as to allow the viewers to truly enjoy Thomas Chang's work.  Text and photos are copyright by Thomas Chang.   

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Proud Prodigal Father

More bragging rights:  Prodigal Father is currently used as the group icon for Film - An Abstract Point of View in Flickr.

Diana F+, self-developed 120 film, composite, textured
The image is a composite of film and digital.  One shot was taken with the Diana F+.  I think I used a Kodak TMax 400.  The other image was taken with the Diana F+ plastic lens mounted on my Canon EOS Rebel XT.  I developed the film using generic chemicals (because I'm cheap).  Scanned the negative as Tiff file and imported it to Corel Paint Shop Pro X2.  The digital image was likewise imported to Corel.  Stock textures (I think I downloaded the textures from C-G Textures) were added for finishing touches.

Next to the Hurt, this image has been viewed hundreds of times.  It is probably my all-time fave.  Thanks for looking and for your support.  Cheers.

see also Flickr and RB.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Interesting what some not-so-scientific experiments will produce



I shot these with my first Canon L series.  Initially, I was disappointed with it.  I used it with my 60d and the 5d, both excellent camera bodies.  The test shot images paled in comparison with my Zeiss 35mm and 50mm even when I used the 135mm with a tripod and mirror lock. (The price I paid for each of the lens are comparable so I expected similar results.  Rude awakening.  They're not.) Then out of frustration I relegated the 135mm L to my crappy Rebel XT, which has a crop sensor of 8 mp. (I've banged this camera so many times and I've scratched the sensor while taking the dust off that I think at best it produces only 6 mp... heh... )I decided I was going to keep the lens because I don't like the hassle of shipping it back, and I thought maybe something magical may happen.  (I'm a closet Pollyana.)

One day, my cat was sunbathing by the window.  And the closest camera I could find was the crappy Rebel XT with the 135mm lens attached to it.  Smile for me Mr. Jerry Mew (that's his name).  Snap, snap, snap.  Reviewed what I shot on the viewfinder...  click, click, click until I saw this one thumbnail and I go... whoa... has my vision improved?  This has got to be one of the sharpest image this crappy camera ever produced.  I surmised that it must have been the combination of the light condition, the camera and the lens assuming all things being equal (they're not really as there are always going to be variables).

On one my our morning walks with the dog, I decided to take the camera with the 135mm for further testing.  I don't usually like to shoot with a long lens on walks as I find the images it produce too cropped. I placed the lens on top of the fence to stabilize the camera and shot these cows from a distance.  Again, I was amazed at the results. The color saturation was pleasing to the eye (at least for me).  One out of five shots was tack sharp.  This probably means that the blurry ones were due to operator error (heh).

I'll definitely keep this lens.

My initial conclusion?  Sometimes it's best to mix and match cameras and lenses.  At least, I think my experience seems to be validated by pro photographer Kirk Tuck (read his blog here).  This also tells me that we should not be afraid to experiment and break the "rules".  I am encouraged by this seemingly unexpected performance I get from my not-so-scientific experiments.  Good stuff.

Story behind the bovine moments: 

Having a Cow



Cow A:  "Wanna smoke a doobie?"
Cow B: " Dude, are you kidding or do you want this place to explode?"
Someone once said that cows are the least likeable subjects in art.  But  I felt that somebody has to do it.

 Hello Goodbye




Why would anybody be interested in looking at a photo of cows?  I don't know.  But I thought it interesting (at least for me) that every morning these cows greet us as my wife and I take the dog for a walk.  They are creatures of habit.  Whenever they miss us, they know something is not right.   I usually bring a camera whenever we go for a walk.  Just the other day, I decided to document our greeters.  In a few years, I anticipate that they will be gone as our little place here gets more suburbanized.  I'm just glad to see them while they are still here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why my work will never sell


For a number of times, I tried selling some of my work as stock images, and each time my work gets rejected.  Their reasons are these: poor lighting, unacceptable borders, no commercial value, not in focus or focus is not where they want it to be, autotracing (I have yet to figure out what that means), simple filters (I don't know what this means either) or artificial framing, poor or uneven lighting or shadows, white balance may be incorrect, noise, film grain, over-sharpening, or artifacts at full size.  I should be thankful.  Why?  Because I know that my work is not like everybody else.  This is why my work will never sell as stock images.  They are quite simply not to be considered as stock.

also in RB and Flickr

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lo-fi Tecniqiue No. 3: How I Shot Serendipity

Panasonic DMC LX-3 (Point & Shoot)
Getty Center, Los Angeles, California
This out of focus – in focus image was taken last Saturday at the Getty Center. Rose and I were just hanging outside the cafeteria. It was about 4:30 pm so the ambient lighting was golden…here in California, it is one of the best time of the year to shoot outdoor. I set my Panasonic DMC-LX3 Point & Shoot to work. The aperture was at f8 and iso 80, which meant I had to shoot at 1/8 or some slow speed to get a decent exposure. I did this so I can have the sharpest image on the non-moving elements, i.e. the building and any slow moving people, and at the same time have some motion blur of people moving across my line of fire. Normally, I would have used a neutral density filter to get down to a slower shutter speed but I figured that 1/8 was all I needed. The camera image stabilizer (IS) was off. Images usually appear sharper if you’re not shooting hand held (like when using a tripod) whenever the IS is off. Then, I just laid the camera on the table, adjusted it so I can have a background I want… had it focused on the building as my background… and then I just fired away as people walked past us. I think I only did about four shots when Rose got bored so we had to go. Fortunately, I got this one shot. I didn’t even notice the two men in focus until I uploaded the images to my PC. Now, this is serendipity.

see also RB and Flickr

Monday, November 15, 2010

Project 13


The logic behind Project 13:
1. Strike one match
2. Two Little Women
3. Three Bathers Jumping
4. Four Limbs
5. One apple + Four books = 5
6. Six Lemons (at least that was how I counted them)
7. Seven blurry chess pieces
8. This could go up to 8×1000 rpm
9. Cat has 9 lives
10. Ten o’clock somewhere in the brave new world
11. Eleven insignificant indulgences
12. Aged twelve years
13. She was 13 years old then

If this doesn’t make sense, I have no one to blame but myself but maybe this will. Thanks dear Vesna... puno osmeha i puno ljubavi… !!!

see also RB and Flickr

Friday, November 12, 2010

Can your point and shoot do this?

I think this is art.  Okay, I'm being facetious.  I have been a good boy so my wife allowed me to buy a point and shoot camera.  I reasoned that my daughter took my old one to Sydney.  I'm almost sure she wont return it (or perhaps I was hoping she wont).

Sorry to subject you to my silly test shots.  Taken with the Panasonic DMC-LX3 (it's literally a Leica made in Japan - the same identical parts except for the brand name).  Read Dpreview's camera review here.

see Flickr and RB for comments

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bourgeois Indulgence

This is how things look like after you have a couple of drinks.
No, it was not quite 5 o'clock yet.
I've been trying to avoid posting images that stem from self-indulgence and shameless self-promotion but I couldn't resist passing up in this one.  A few days ago, Rose got me a Carl Zeiss 35mm Distagon T*2 ZE for my birthday (it's still a few days away).  Used with the Canon EOS 5d, the results are amazing.  The images are tack sharp and has that signature Zeiss 3d quality.  This lens is top notch.  I didn't realize how mediocre my other lenses were.

I put the lens to a dummy photographer test.  In other words, I contrived a scenario that simulated a dummy photographer... akin to someone who would shoot with a professional equipment but not know what he's doing.

For the first test shot, I downed a couple of glasses of red wine.  I was working on my Maker's Mark when I set up the Canon 5d on the tripod.  Heck, I was feeling so good I didn't even bother to pour the bourbon on the right glass... I used the same wine glass (the wine purists are probably cringing).

The image I got was so sharp I had to blur the corners in post-processing. I concluded that a decent image such as this from someone who has had a few drinks was probably due to the lens and the camera. The besotted photographer could not take credit for this. I love this kind of lens test.

The second shot is a collage of magazine clippings I have posted in my office.  This time I didn't have a drink.  The challenge here was trying to get a sharp image across all corners despite the flatness of the subject.  I find that shooting a flat subject such as printed material, e.g. newspaper, text prints, quite challenging.  One always get some vignetting at the corners.  It's more obvious if the subject is flat in my experience.  Again, the Zeiss excelled here. I'm convinced.  I'm  replacing my EF lenses with Zeiss.

Thank you, Rose. (Oh, can anyone tell me how many birthdays can one have in a year?)


Note: No one was hurt in the above experiment. Everyone was willing to do it in the name of science.

see also RB and Flickr

Saturday, November 06, 2010

True Colors: Chapter 3


Only now
They show
When they’re about to fall
A true soul

No need
Any more
To create the shade
Greens fade

Gorgeous
Gold
Jewels under the sky
The last cry

Nature’s
Masterpiece
In my hand a fallen leaf
A moment brief

Humbled
I go
Something is left unsaid
A drop of red


see other comments in Flickr and RB

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Who really cares

art by juznobsrvr, panasonic dmc lx3, f4

i think you’ll find me boring… heh – i’m an old geezer with lots of excess baggages (you’ve seen that in my art)... i studied graphic arts years ago (probably before anybody reading this was born )... never really learned much except that i found out i could smoke pot in the school dark room and the teacher couldn’t do anything… then i got into painting using acrylic and did some collages… sold a few but never got serious into it… about a couple of years ago after my injury (i used to do music gigs at cafes... recorded music... played guitar... tried to sing... i realized i was hopeless), i did some soul searching, i picked up a camera  as i needed to do art (i can’t help it) and it changed my life… well sort of… it just felt as a natural transition… but who really cares?  no, i'm talking about jazz... who really cares how jazz sounds?  not that i hate jazz... don't get me wrong, my friend... on the contrary, i dig jazz... but who listens to it nowadays?  except old geezers like me, maybe... who really cares?

Friday, October 29, 2010

I am not a Monster

My recent art work was featured in "Halloween Special" at RedBubble.  I guess folks there have good taste when it comes to portraits.  Have a great weekend!

also see comments at RB and Flckr.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thomas Chang with Nature (1 of 3)

I’d like to introduce you to my guest in this blog... a brilliant and talented photographer - Thomas Chang. From the moment I saw his captures, I kept coming back for more.  Stunning and awesome are words that I could think of whenever I look at his images.

When asked how he captured his images, I would hear in his voice how deeply passionate he is about his photography and the subject he takes.  He is in my opinion truly Mother Nature's son.  Just check out his stuff below and you will see what I mean.



Thomas Chang writes, "Mandarin Duck is a colorful and exquisite waterfowl with a stunning beauty.  Native to China and Japan, it is a symbol of happiness in love, with thoughts of romance, devotion, and affection in Chinese culture."(A beautiful Mandarin Duck swimming at a local pond,Yorba Linda Regional Park,California)
"This Bullfrog prefers to sit and wait for its prey to come by; then, with a quick flash of its tongue, it will grab the prey and bring it back into its large mouths. " (A Bullfrog soaking up the sun, Desconso Garden,California)
"This cottontail rabbit hided under the brush to escape  the heat." (A Cottontail Rabbit hiding in the brush,California)
Thomas adds, "Photographing wildlife is both fascinating and rewarding; it helps me to see and experience nature in its splendor and minute detail.  The camera lens can capture genuine beauty, life and colors of nature and animals that cannot be easily seen by the unaided eye.  Through the camera’s lens, I feel connected to nature in a special way.  I hope my images can depict the beauty of our natural world and increases respect and awareness for nature."

You can contact Thomas Chang at tchang65@gmail.com.

This is part one of a three part installment so as to allow the viewers to truly enjoy Thomas Chang's art.  Text and photos are copyright by Thomas Chang.  Coming next: Thomas Chang and His Technique.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Review of Holga Wide Pinhole Camera (WPC)

Enter the Holga Wide Pinhole Camera (WPC). This can provide a wide panoramic at 120 degrees. It comes with masks for both 6×7 cm or 6×9 cm images. I’ve tried shooting without the mask and I was able to extend the panoramic view. Whoo-hoo!
Endemic to all Holga cameras is their propensity to allow light leaks. Some love the leaks. Others hate them. If you prefer not to have light leaks, you can always flock the inside of the camera. There is a lot of instructional materials in the internet concerning flocking your Holga.

The camera is designed to use 120 size film roll but I’ve seen images using 35mm films with slight modification. It also comes with a bubble level, which can be useful for those demanding perfectly straight horizon.

I also like that there it has a tripod thread, which is nice for very long exposures, although I’ve taken shots by just holding the camera down to the ground and have produced relatively sharp images. There is a myth about pinhole cameras that they only produce dreamy and fuzzy images. Obviously, this is not true. 

Reprinted from Lomography Magazine 

See updated version of image (July 11, 2011).
. . .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Friend Juznobsrvr


Reprinted from  Lomography Magazine
By Panelomo
September 11, 2010 8 comments 10 likes
  
One Lomographer described him as someone who is not just a keen observer, but also an analogue imagist who likes to cast his Lomo world with the kind of blues that he often plays to himself. Check out panelomo's interview with juznobsrvr!

There’s always an interesting story to every Lomographer – what would be your lomo story?

When I was a kid, my mom gave me a toy camera. It looked like the original Diana, a real knock-out down to the blue and black plastic body and the funky lens. It couldn’t take any pictures but every time I hit the shutter water would squirt out from the lens. I would ask my friends to pose for me only to get water sprayed on their faces. I was hooked on the sheer joy of watching their reactions. So as you can see I experienced Lomography early on in life.

Seriously, Lomographers are some of the nicest people I’ve met. You get support and encouragement here. The culture at LSI inspires me.  Also, I gravitate towards the imperfections, which LSI fosters.  Imperfections are what we normally see in everyday life. Yet we have trained our eyes to mask or ignore the imperfections. Our brains are always searching for the perfect image. I want to show the world that imperfections perceived differently can be by nature beautiful. I would like to think that most lomographers share this view.  Lomographers are not afraid of the imperfections.


 ... We all have to start somewhere
Here is the deal
Find your muse
go with it, and always bring your lomo cam.

What is the reason behind your Lomo name?

A rose is a rose is a rose. I wanted a handle that would reflect who I am or who I want to be. Juznobsrvr (pronounced “Just-an-observer”) sounds quaint, which can be perceived as old-school and bizarre. It also conveys no boundaries. For an observer like me, that’s empowerment.

Why analog? Why not digital?

You mean there are cameras that are not analog? Tell me where I can get those.

Can you tell about your best lomo shot? What, where, and why this photo?

I don’t know if I have any best lomo shot. Despite receiving scores of likes for my lomos (thanks to all for the support), I’m still in the process of achieving the best lomo shot. I do have one favorite and it’s the picture of my wife’s dog entitled “The Pooch with a Cute Nose.” Here’s the link in case anyone is interested.

 ... we have trained our
  eyes to mask or 
ignore the 
imperfect-
ions.  
Our brains 
are always 
searching
for the perfect
image.. .


It was shot with a used Argus FF500D Point and Shoot 35 mm, which I bought for less than $2 at our local thrift store. I tried so hard to make this lomo work but so far it has only received 7 likes. Oh well, it is what it is.

If you were a Lomo camera, what would you be and why?

I would be a home-made pinhole. Maybe one made from an oatmeal can or a matchbox. That way, I could take pictures without being noticed.
Also, there is no need for lens, it has an infinite depth of field, and there is no need for focusing. If I get stranded on an island, this is one camera I would have. In my opinion, even the most sophisticated camera cannot compete with a pinhole.

What is your Lomo style?

I’m not sure if I have figured out my style because I tend to be eclectic. Also, I’ll get bored after a while so I’m always trying out different things. For one thing, I am not interested in getting uber sharp images or highly defined images all the time. They’re great but most of them can be a dime a piece. Really, you can capture a great sunset or a landscape but most likely there are already millions out there that are going to look like the one you have. For me, what is more exciting is how one put together a message into a media and that it has not been done before or anywhere else. Also, I am interested in learning certain techniques but I want to use those techniques unconventionally. I’m always experimenting and learning. Maybe that is my style.

The Lomography staff is reading this interview right now, and I’m sure they’ll be very interested in your suggestions – what else do you want to see in the “revamped” Lomography website? Your own lomowall in your lomohome, perhaps? Monthly free piggies? Anything! Remember… they are reading this right now.

Free piggies? That would be too tempting. I think the Lomography website is already great. I like the concept of being able to know the identity of the Lomographer who likes what you posted.

If I may suggest, I think it would be nice to have a feature on one’s home where others can see at a glance the complete image in the thumbnail. For instance, right now one can only see a fraction of a panoramic lomo in the thumbnail. I think some of the great panoramic captures are passed by just because it doesn’t look appealing when viewed on the current thumbnail format.

Also, I get bummed whenever I click on my “older messages”. If for example I’m on the fourth page, and then I click on an icon or somebody’s avatar, I can’t go back to the previous page with the back arrow on my browser. It brings me back to first page instead of the fourth. Maybe I’m just not doing it right. Yeah, if that can be changed that would be a great convenience.

There’s a Lomo Legend that an unfound Lomo Genie Bottle is lying around the world somewhere out there. If you find this, you only get to choose three Lomo wishes – a Lomo camera that you currently do not own, any film of your choice, and your dream location. What camera? What film? And where in the world would you spend these Lomo wishes?

I always wanted to regain my toy camera that squirted water on people’s face. I’ve lost that one a long time ago. I would load it with vodka and head on to the North Pole.

Hold on, there’s a fourth wish – who among our fellow Lomographers would you like to collaborate with for this “wish project”, and why?

My ideal collaborator would be one of the newest members of LSI who has not yet learned how to use a camera. I think the process would be exciting because this person has no preconceived ideas on how lomos are made.

Just for kicks – - Does your Mom know that you like smelling films and that you’re into Lomography?

She would know. After all she taught me all there is about Lomography.

Parting words: My wish to fellow lomographers is for them to be able to find their niches. Learn from others. Don’t be afraid to ask. Great artists like Picasso were influenced by Van Gogh and Gauguin. Fashion photographer David LaChapelle learned from Andy Warhol. And so on. We all have to start somewhere. Here is the deal: Find your muse, go with it, and always bring your lomo cam.

[Other photos not included in this text]

Juznobsrvr also blogs regularly at Observations.  His blog is also a repository for his arts, and it includes site links to his Facebook, Flicker, and Deviant Art. Juznobsrvr is among the many Lomographers who lives in Southern California.

10 people like this article

8 comments:

   1. yarah
      yarah

      nice interview and love your photogallery!
      about 1 month ago

   2. mikahsupageek
      mikahsupageek

      great interview and lovely gallery, that photo of the man on the stairs is amazing !
      about 1 month ago

   3. gnarlyleech
      gnarlyleech

      Always been a fan. My favorite picture of yours is the blue triptych picture with the crow flying.
      about 1 month ago

   4. metzgor
      metzgor

      awesome gallery, great work!
      about 1 month ago

   5. emilios
      emilios

      Great Interview and great Photographer.
      about 1 month ago

   6. disdis
      disdis

      like your words, your pictures and the wished! It would be great to shoot people drinking from the camera!
      28 days ago

   7. trash-gordon-from-outer-space
      trash-gordon-from-outer-space

      The pooch just got one more like.
      24 days ago

   8. juznobsrvr
      juznobsrvr

      thanks, jay for putting this together... and thanks to everyone for looking and the fab comments... cheers ;-)
      4 days ago

The interview originally appeared at Lomography Magazine.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"And When I Die" Featured at the Best of RedBubble


I just learned that one of my art works got featured in the Best of RedBubble.

See the rest of featured for the month of October.

Monday, October 11, 2010

More Bragging and more

I was informed that the University of Riverside in California have used my art in their web site.  Well, at least a part of it.

My other art works have been chosen in RedBubble picks. 

See the art works here and here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

More Bragging

A year ago, I got into shooting with film cameras, and this was the time I started posting in Lomography.   This was not one of the image I posted, but it could have been.

The image was taken one morning while walking the dog.  I used an old Ansco Memar Pronto, Kodak Color Film 35 iso 800.  The camera did not have a light meter and you couldn't tell with the viewfnder if you were in focus.  So, I think I just set it to infinity at f8.  I tried to remember the Sunny f16 rule but I always get confused.  So I probably shot this at the fastest shutter speed, which would have been 1/200 or some fast speed (as in fast in that era).  I haven't touched the camera since then but looking at this image I think I'll bring it out again.  I'm really pleased with it and now I wondered why I never published it.  It's not a grand picture but I like how the colors came out.  It's grainy, and I like it that way.  The high iso is supposed to that.  Besides, it was shot in film.  There were no fancy post-processing except for subtle sharpening and un-sharpening.
I brought this up because I just found out today that my interview in Lomography has been published last month.  I don't frequent this site much anymore so I only found out today.

 Here's the link if you want to read the crazy interview.  Cheers.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Bragging Rights on Humble Beginnings

I'm staring at the collage I've hung on my office wall, and I'm contemplating... reflecting.  This past few months, I've noticed that my Maker has been "extra-gracious" to me. I mean it in a sense that as days go by, I'm counting my blessings more often than before.  

Here are some highlights:

  1. Monday, I was featured in Photo Manipulators, one of the groups I submit my images at RedBubble. You can read the interview here.
  2. A few weeks ago, I signed a contract with arcangel-images.
  3. Last month, I was the first to be on the Spotlight at The Secret Society, another group at RedBubble.
  4. I sold my first calendar.
  5. I sold my first greeting card.
Thank you, Lord.  Thank you, Rose, for your prayers, and for letting me use your credit card.  Thank you arcangel-images for cutting a deal with me.  Thank you to Parmi and Trish for items 1 and 3.  Thank you Vesna for buying my calendar.  Thanks to that someone who bought my greeting card.  Thank you to everyone for the support and encouragement.  Thank you.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Locals moving in to get their fix while yours truly kicks back enjoying his long black...




Some of you following the Sydney Chronicles may be assuaged to read that I haven't completely abandoned that mini-project.  This is where we usually have our long black coffee until we realized we were being overcharged.  (We started going to another one a few blocks away.) 

This image is just a straight shot early one morning.  For the photo techies, here's how I shot this:  I set the camera on auto focus with the aperture at f22.  The iso was at 100.  Then, I just placed the camera on the table and waited for people to move in.  The whole process was pretty laid back. I usually do this approach with my pinhole but I thought I would use the crappy kit lens to get more details.  It's not an image I would normally post in RB or Flickr -  but I still like it just because it reminds me of my stay in Sydney.

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I think this is art

My sweet painted lady, the one with no name
Many have used her and many still do
There’s a place in the world for a woman like you… (Elton John, Bernie Taupin)
Here's an "old" photo that I managed to mangle. I mean it's not that old since I shot this about a year and a half ago.  I was sauntering along the street of old town when I saw her through the window.  I immediately took a shot before she could notice what I was doing... so I did not really check what I got until I got home and downloaded it into my computer.  My initial urge was to try to fix it.  Sometimes I wonder why I bother to try to fix a botched shot.  The original looks like this... the lighting is fine but I can't stand that patch of green (lower right) behind the subject.  

I tried to crop it and it started to look really ridiculous... I would have kept the cropped version but it was too compressed.  I felt like the poor dummy (no worry - she won't mind being called a dummy)was pressed in front of the lens.  That would have been fine but that wasn't the effect I was looking for.  So I finally settled for a dada-ish approach, which is basically to just rotate and distort the image until it starts to look totally absurd, and pretend that I knew what I was doing by calling it art.  He-he.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My own priivate indulgence (ii)

This is what I see everyday when I'm at work.  It's actually a photo of my wall.  Why am I posting this image?  I don't really know.  It's a bit late here in SoCal, and my wife's car has been stolen, and the water sprinkler is causing a great leak on my backyard, and the dog just started limping for no apparent reason... yada yada.  I am just having a bad week.  On the up side, somebody bought my art work... a first.  Now I am 39 cents richer.  Heh-heh.  Sorry.  My meds are not working as they should.  Time to see the doctor again. Tomorrow will be Friday.  Can't wait. 

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Monday, September 06, 2010

Ubet

“I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way. Being ignored is a great privilege.” (Saul Leiter)


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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dude, you need need new glasses

Laguna Beach, California
Lensbaby Original, Canon 350D

Maybe, I do need new glasses but this picture was intentionally captured blurred.  I know most people will not get it.  I have some decent lenses that can take super crisp images... so why would I deliberately shoot blurred?  It's not that I'm not interested in getting sharp focus.  There is a place for those images.  But while most people are always gravitating towards sharp images, there is something about blurry images that seem to provide a certain feel... almost like a dream or a memory.  It seems to take us back just as we remember it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tower of Song


So I bid you farewell, I don't know when I'll be back.
They’re moving us tomorrow to that tower down the track.
But you'll be hearing from me, baby, long after I'm gone.
I'll be speaking to you sweetly from my window in the tower of song
(Leonard Cohen).


Not sure if I shot this at the Rock.  Maybe.  Because I remember that it was raining when I saw this... and indicating to my daughter, "wouldn't this would make a nice haunted house?"  I'm not even sure what is in it.  I was getting soaked, and my camera was getting wet, and all I wanted was to get out there.

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

There are no fat people in Sydney

I've not visited the other parts of Oz so I can only comment on my observation of Sydney.  Unlike here in the States, I didn't really see fat people in Sydney.  Just to prove my point, I took a picture of the denizens (see image).  You will see that they're gorgeous, blond and have great complexion.  Even in the cold of winter, these blond babes were stylishly dressed like it was summer. Years ago, they would have been the paragons of California beauty.  Young, carefree and almost aloof (until you talk to them).  Nowadays, California is full of fat and horribly affable people.  What happened?  All one need to do is look around and notice the burgeoning fast food chains.  Every block has at least half a dozen. This is true across the States.

Things could change though for Sydney.  I noticed a couple of Happy Jack's (Burger King here in the States) and Big Macs along St George. Not as many compared to California but it would be interesting to see how things hold up in Sydney in a few years.

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Study of Things Round

Except for the photo of the sea cucumber, the rest were taken more than a year ago when I was just learning to use the camera for art creation.  (I consider myself an artist who happens to know how to press the camera shutter.)  Just random stuff I wanted to post and share.  And yea, the individual photos are nostalgic for me... reminding me of how I have progressed and developed my style... (whatever that is I suppose I'm still trying to figure out).  I'm grateful to people especially the ones I met at the Lensbaby forum for the support and encouragement I've received.  I'm not quite sure how I can return the favor.  They deserve my gratitude and have earned my respect.

The images here are all macro shots, which I have found to be more tolerant of me.  None of them complained while I did the photo ops. 

maybe some comments in Flickr

Monday, August 23, 2010

Plaster Cast of Dead Men as Art

We were headed to The Rock when it rained very hard as we were walking along the harbor so we took refuge at the Museum of Contemporary Arts.  Hehe... they call those displays art.  My old cat could do better with his scrawling on his litter box.  Okay, I'm being rude.  Quite frankly, I didn't see much that were worth viewing but who am I to judge.  I am just an observer.  I learned later on that taking pictures was not allowed.  I've shot this before I found out so technically I could plead ignorance.  I'm not sure what to make of this photo.  It could be a plaster cast of a dead man.  And they call it art? There were other images in this particular gallery but I won't bore you with those.  Okay, let us move on...

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Delighting The Hurt


I made this art a few months ago but held back in posting it because I wasn't sure if I really like it that much.  For me, posting one's art in the web is like posting a picture of your girlfriend, or your newborn... it's motivated by pride and joy.  The Hurt is something I feel ambivalent about.  The technique I used here is not that elaborate... added some scratches to her face... did some makeover.  Yet, there is something that I like about her.  Maybe her dark almost lifeless eyes.  Her soft finger pressed to her lips?  It seems that sometimes when I look at her I think about a post-modern version of the Madonna.  I showed it to Rose and she liked it (and she can be brutal in providing criticism).  

A few days ago, I posted The Hurt in Flickr, RedBubble and deviantArt.  The first two sites produced modest views and decent comments but in dA it received stacks of compliments.  As I write this post, it has already 124 comments, 571 faves and 4,425 faves.  All except one comment were favorable.  That one lone comment stated that it was mediocre at best.  She's probably right.  I think it is.  But the ones I usually like does not translate into big hits (I'll write more about that subject next time).

Cheers.

Update November 30, 2010 in deviantArt: 132 comments, 609 favorites, 6504 views

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where's the restroom?


The Queen Victoria Building occupies a whole city block across the street north of Sydney Town Hall. The building was completed in 1898 but deteriorated around the late 50's.  Recently, it was restored and now stands as an uppity shopping complex dedicated largely to fashion wear, jewelry, and Australian items.  This place is also a great refuge whenever it rains, and when one needs to use the rest room while gallivanting along St George business district.  Heh... heh...

Can you find Rose in this picture?

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tres residentes



It was world cup night.  Germany already lose to Spain.  Now it's them between The Netherlands. If Spain wins, the global economy will improve.  The Euro will go up.  And us living in First World countries will have more buying power.  This also means we could buy from stuff from China.  (Obviously, I'm being facetious.)

These three monks were on their way to watch the game.  Darling Harbour or whoever was sponsoring, was to air the game in the open.  It wont be aired until about 4am but people were already camping  at the harbor to see the championship game.  Yay, en espanol... ariba Espana! 

Darling Harbour is a nice place to hang out, grab a beer and chill out.  Just don't eat at the restaurants unless your ready to pay $30 a meal... I'm cheap so I try to avoid them.  Heh... There is one place, and I forgot what the place is called... it's on the harbor side... a bit closer to the zoo.  I tried to google it but can't find it... maybe I'll remember.  Everything is $10.  Great eats.  Steak sandwich, beef kabob, all kinds.  It's self-served but I don't care.  They also have great beers on tap.  I would recommend the James Squire and Tooheys. Speaking of beers, stay away from the Pure Blond beer, it's ditzy and diluted.  And don't ask for Foster's... the locals will laugh at you.  Cheers, mate.

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles

Read what people are saying about this wondrously captured photo in Flickr dA and RB . Heh-heh.  Okay, it's not that wondrous.  But it I can dream, can't I?