Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sharing the joy in the Lord's blessing to Kamilah

The President, the Faculty, and the Graduating Class of Johns Hopkins University announced the graduation of Kamilah Castro on May 26, 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Neuroscience.  Commencement ceremonies was held at Homewood Field at 8:40 am.

Monday, May 30, 2011


While in New York, I got lost trying to find Soho... instead I ended up in Noho.  Two images photomerged to create panorama.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Zimmerman

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
(Forever Young, Bob Dylan)
 I thought of paying tribute to a great artist. Today is Bob Dylan’s birthday so I dug up an “old” photo I took during my LensBaby phase. It's also prior to my extreme Photoshop-tweaking days so what you see is what comes out of the camera (for the most part - except for the goofy lyrics that I wrote). Also it’s one of those I took when I was getting to be more serious in taking picture. Cheers. - R

P. S. This version of Forever Young is one I like the most.

. . .

Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Early Effort

I think this was taken with my old Canon Rebel XT using the crappy kit lens (before it got crappy).

Long Beach.  A couple of years ago.  Just when I was learning to seriously take photos.  I found this while searching my archive for old pictures I could use for my project.  I thought it might interest some of you who haven't seen it yet.  It's reprocessed in CS5 so the image quality is a little bit better... not a whole lot of processing as I did not apply extreme tweaking like I normally do.  Looking at this I suspect people will say that I took "better" pictures back then.  This was prior to my LensBaby phase and my dark existentialistic phase and so on.  Hmmm... maybe I did take better pictures.  Nah.  But I hope you will still enjoy it.  Cheers.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flowers at work

One of the nice things I can say about work is that there are lots of blooming flowers outside the building this time of the year.  These were taken just today.  I was feeling in the mood for botanical images so here you go.  Hope you enjoy.  Cheers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This years produce and surrogate meal

The Loquat trees are in bloom early this year.  There are not that many fruits compared to last year but I anticipate that they would be sweeter.  They should be ready for harvest in  couple of weeks.

In the meantime, this will have to do as surrogate.  Make sure you keep some as part of your survival kit.
Bon apetit.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The market is alive

Okay so we're waiting for Isoy to cook our lunch but there was one problem.  Isoy said that there was nothing to cook.  At that point, it was thought to be wise to go to the market.
This is how usually people get around.  The bike can take as much as five people... well you knnow small people.  No, that is not me and those are not my children.  Nice bike though.  I wish I had one.
We got to the market but the ladies told us that everything was gone.  I asked, "why are you still here when you don't have anything to sell?"  They looked at me with amazement as though nobody had asked that question before.  These people are so laid back.  I can feel that it was time for a smoke as I was getting stressed out.  Where is the nearest liquor store?

We went around until it was finally night time.  No luck.  We couldn't buy food.  And by this time we were so miserable and testy, we decided to park in a No Parking zone.

Meanwhile the poor children patiently waited for food; their eyes never blinked.
Just around the corner, we didn't even know that there was a fruit stand.  We discovered this after several hours of searching.  "Do you have fresh strawberries?" I asked.  They gazed at me in astonishment as they have never heard of strawberries before.  Uggh!!!
Addendum (updated May 18, 2011):  Perhaps I am so much as a wall flower that people don’t even know I’m there… heh a great characteristic of a street photographer.  On the image showing the two women at the market (third photo), I used a 50mm lens so I must have been two yards away at most from the subject.  When I shot this I didn’t even notice the old woman on the left.  My focus was on the other one because I was drawn to her far-away eyes.  I kept the composition “as is” because for me it seems to provide a harmonious relationship, i.e. the old woman vs. the younger one.  I think of Naomi and Ruth in the bible story of Ruth.  My one gripe on this one (amongst many) is that the center provides a bit too much negative space.  I also find it uninteresting and doesn’t really enhance the overall picture.  In an ideal world, I would have wanted the two women to be closer together.  I imagined that would have been a winning shot in my opinion.  I could have accomplished that if I shot from further left or right – giving an illusion that they are close.  Something to think about next time.  Of course I can also PS it but that’s too much work.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hanging Out Old Town Pasadena

Hanging out at Old Town Pasadena today.  Nice day.  Took the car for service.  Waited.  Window shopped with the wife.  Rose got some stuff.  The sales clerk exclaimed that they have a sales on men's as well.  I just smiled at her.  I was just being polite.  Really I hate shopping at malls.  I would rather be smoking my cigar and drinking my bourbon.  My church people who would be reading this blog would be cringing.  I'm not worried.  Not yet.  I don't know.  I am tired.  It's Saturday.   I would rather be sleeping in.   Good thing I got my camera.  Good thing.  I like gallivanting along Old Town Pasadena.  I heard that it's illegal to take pictures in public here.  Oh well.  Rose said I looked like an artist.  My shirt had stains that can't be removed.  My windbreaker was falling apart.  My hair was all messed up (as always).  I hadn't shaved for months.  I was carrying a relatively expensive camera.  I must be an artist.

Monday, May 09, 2011

What is the point?

No, I don't know what is the point.  
What is the point? 
You called me yesterday but you didn't leave a message.
I know it was you.
Why did you call?
And why did you leave a box of oranges in front of my door?
I remember when you and I had breakfast...
I told you I hate oranges.
!  !  !

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

Fish Pond

Home, home again.
I like to be here when I can.
When I come home cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire.
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.
(Breathe Reprise 7:06, Pink Floyd )

The fish pond gets its water from the sea. The farmer would open a dam to let the water in and manually populate the pond with fish. Sometimes wild fish from the sea would swim into the pond, which could create an interesting habitat. The place is about 50 acres and now operated by Rose's sister-in-law. It took her years of legal battle to acquire this. I could see that it was worth it. I was fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries just by experiencing the solitude it provided.

Anilao, Iloilo, Philippines. Taken last year with the Panasonic LX3 three days after its submerging into a river. Boy, that camera is robust.

Hope you enjoy. Cheers. - R

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Exodus (ii)

Just Saying: Drop that wish list ... go out and start shooting

I've been seeing David Richter's name in the internet but have not really followed his work... until now.  (See his blog.)  The three images featured in this story were all taken during his 3-month visit to the US in 2010 with his Canon Rebel XSi and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 wide-angle lens.  He could have opted for the more expensive 1DsMarkIV.  This goes to show that it's not so much the gear that counts but how one uses it.

Moral of the story: Forget that expensive camera you've been dreaming of... Get out there and start shooting.

!  !  !

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Apple Tree Bloom

I thought the weekend was a great opportunity to do some bird shots but again most of the birds didn’t show up.  The ones that did stay were very elusive.  So all I got was this and some other florals.  My apple tree started to bloom so I hope I’ll finally get some good produce this year.  Hope you enjoy.