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).


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

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?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Last day in Sydney (but not last of the Chronicles)

If you're worried about whether the postings of the Sydney Chronicles are in any chronological order, then let me assure you that they're not. So stop making sense of all these blog entries.  The only coherent connection is that they were all taken in Sydney.

We were hours away from our departure flight so we have a bit of time to spare, and decided to spend it by the Darling Harbour.  This is our default hang-out, that is if we're not bargain hunting at Paddy's Market or just sauntering along St George.  (More on those places soon.)  I was just taking random shot at the other side of the wharf until this boat passed by right in the middle of my frame.  I thought the motion blur was kind of cool.  Again, one of my "straight shots". 

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Man-eater asks, "What's for lunch?"

Second installment of the Sydney Chronicles.   I have a bit of down time so I am able to post this.  The man-eater smiled for the photographer.  Heh... I was lucky to get this close.  No real and present danger here.  Oh yea, this monster is real.  But sedated.  I believe he just snorted crack, which had a calming effect on him.  Strange but it's true. If you don't believe me, just check the image.  Notice that slight white stuff on his nostril... well what do you suppose that is?  She certainly did not just powder her nose.  

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sydney Chronicles Begin Here

Prologue: Since coming back from Sydney, I've been hoping to create a photo chronicle of our stay there.  That I believe will remain mostly a hope.  There are just so many things one can do in a day.  Heh.  So instead of providing a chronicle, I would do it piece meal. The postings will not be coherent at a glance but I decided to label each post as "Sydney Chronicles".  By clicking on this label(which appears somewhere in the lower part of this page), the viewer will be able to see all the related postings concerning this matter.  (Thanks to the brilliance of xtml and all that computer innovations.)

I'm going to start this chronicle with this photo.  It was not taken on the first day but I think the image showing the Opera House is a giveaway of where it was taken, hence I'll start with it.  This was just a random shot.  I don't even know the family on the picture.  But I like the image because I think it gives a sense of being there.  No fancy photo manipulation.  None of that artistic blurs that Juznobsrvr is infamous for.  Heh.  I like to call this my "straight shot", which I'll be mostly posting for the rest.  

Also, I like this shot because of the perspective. There is a sense of wideness and depth. I used the 18-55mm crappy kit lens on the old Canon Rebel XT (350d).  I believe I had it at 18mm, so effectively the shot was at 29mm because of the crop factor (the Rebel series of Canon has about 1:1.6 sensor ratio to full frame images). At 29mm focal point, it's still not bad... I would consider it wide angle.

It just rained I think when I shot this so I like the glittery ground.  The sky was not that blue as far as I remember but it looks great in here.

More to come (hopefully)... 

Read the rest of the Sydney Chronicles.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Obscured Mood: People as Abstraction

I'm looking for an unknown band that wants to use this image for their CD album.  Any takers?  Send me your music... the best band will get my permission to use this image.

Check out Flickr, RB and dA to read what people are saying about this art.

It's gonna take a lot of love (Freudian Slip)

its gonna take a lotta love to change the way things are
its gonna take a lotta love or we wont get too far
so if you look in my direction
and we don't see eye to eye,
my heart needs protection and so do I
(Neil Young)

Yea, I know the song has nothing to do with the image but I hear the music in my head whenever I think about it. Maybe it was playing somewhere when I was there. All I remember was getting excited chasing this shoot. So excited that my hands shook as I pressed the shutter release. Damn that long black I just had. With all the jagged light and blurs, I think I just created art.

Captured with the old reliable 18-55mm crappy kit lens mounted on my battle worn Canon Rebel XT (350d)

see also Flickr

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting for Heaven

... that is if he doesn't fall asleep (cf 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)

My apologies to Bernie... taken in Chino First United Reformed Church