Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Continuing Urban Decay: Blue Berry Waffle and Marmalade Sky

There is a good Motown song that goes, "just my imagination, running away with me."  I find that the title here resonates that vibe.  For me the image is about the continuing urban decay, nature versus industrialization, new life versus corrosion, and so on.  And yet my imagination somehow says the roof top is a blue berry waffle and the sky is made up of marmalade (just like the John Lennon LSD song).  It's just my imagination, running away with me.

Taken on top of the District Taj Mahal.  Everybody else were running out to get home.  While yours truly was enjoying the sunset.  The last ounce of warmth that the day brought was showering my face.  It was Thursday.  My favorite day of the week.  Ah, life is good.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Modern Puritan Preacher

Dr Joel Beeke
President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
I don't usually take "formal" pictures because I just don't have a lot of opportunities to do so.  Last weekend, I attended Growing Reformed Churches Conference 2012, and had every chance to take pictures of people -- conference speakers and attendees.  Perhaps, out of all the images I've taken, the portrait of Dr Joel Beeke in action is my favorite.  His passion and charisma are to me accurately captured in this image. 

For this photo, I used my Canon EF 135mm L lens mounted on the EOS 60d.  Never tried that combination before but I knew from experience that the 135L is a great portrait lens.  I was not a bit disappointed.  Shot at f5.6, which seems to be the EOS's sweet spot, and at very high 1200 ISO. No flash.  I'm really impressed that the noise level was acceptable given the environment I was in.  And the skin tone rendering is impressive to my eyes.  Really happy with this shot.

Other pictures are in my Facebook photo album in case you are interested. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I got signed in to Getty Images

Getty Images invited me to license these photos for their stock library.  Yay!  Praise God. These were posted at Flickr and somehow Getty took notice.  I find it amazing that none of these photos were taken with the original intention of being marketed.  I took these pictures because it is what I love to do.  Though I have aspirations of getting my work noticed, I never take pictures because I think they will sell.  Fortunately, there are those that can do the marketing for me because I would make a poor salesman.  And yet if somebody approached me for a print I usually am obliged to conduct business with them.  It used to make me uncomfortable but I have become used to it.  That brings me to the second reason why I shoot images: I love to share.  Sharing comes with its unintended consequences.  Sometimes, it can be viewed as obtrusive.  Hence, a simple acknowledgement can go a long way (hint- hint).

Blue is my world

I'm always fascinated how colors affect one's mood.  Warmer tones like red and yellow tend to brighten our days.  Cooler tones like blue provide a sense of calm.  Right now, I'm in a blue state of mind.  Somehow I noticed that my work has been gravitating toward bluer tones.  What's interesting to me about blue is that it can be happy and melancholy at the same time.  I like that.

There is not much story about this photo.  On the face of it, the clouds appear to threaten the serenity of the pond.  My mind anticipates what will happen in a few minutes.  Perhaps, the bamboo shed will remain intact.  Perhaps, the water will rise.  On the other hand, it could be that the clouds may be leaving the scene.  It could be that the day is just beginning.  That ying-yang ambiguity has always been appealing to me.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How my Avocado Breakfast was accepted as Art

I found out that my photo will be included in the 13th issue of Fotoblur Magazine  Yay!  Praise God!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Rock and How the Birds Found It


This could have been a scene from The Perfect Storm but was actually taken at Laguna Beach.  This was back in 2008 when I started to take photography more seriously.  One thing I learned the hard way was that one should never change their lens while on the beach.  Being a complete digital novice, I did so with the wind gusting right on my face.  I realized later on that the dust bunnies have sneaked inside the camera when I was changing lens.  Finding the sensor as a warm toasty haven, the dust bunnies decided to settle there.  You may notice the shadows of these critters appearing in areas on the clouds.  I tried to clean them up but there is only so much one can do.  I shall declare them as "effects" as though they were intended to be there.

I suppose I am feeling much better so I decided to post again.  Lately, I've been noticing a lot of changes in me.  I used to be able to work on the yard for hours with no issues.  Now, I have to watched myself.  My latest mishap was a stern warning that I am not 18 years old anymore -- although I may still think like one.  Note to self:  "Life is too short.  The birds will take care of the yard."

Have a blessed weekend. - R

Photo Contest Update:  Right now, our entry is still hoovering at #27 among countless entries (the last time I counted it was close to 2200).  I'm positive that  we can be in the top 25 to make it to the Finals (March 29).

When you can remember, you can re-vote after 24 hours of your last vote.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Candy Orange Kind of Love

Juzno of the day may have to skip for next week but Juzno wanted to greet everyone a happy valentine's day.

Several things happened the last few days.  Whitney Houston won't be singing the blues anymore.  In fact, she won't be living the blues anymore.  On the political absurdity, Mr Obama is imposing his condoms on me, and what a drag that would be.  But the bummer is I injured myself yesterday while trimming my trees.  I think I may have dislocated my shoulder.  I didn't want to go to the hospital as I was afraid of doctors and needles.  But I was in such terrible pain that my eyes were dripping salty clear liquid that I've never seen in a long time.  Fortunately, I remember what Clint Eastwood did in one of his spaghetti western movies when he got shot by an arrow.  Following what he did, I self-medicated with ample whiskey and at the proper time push back the arm where it should be.  I think I'm a bit better now.  But then I was not able to work on my photos.  So this one will have to do for a valentine celebration.  It's an old one that I may have even shared with you some time ago.

I'm typing with one left hand so I think I'll have to skip the silly banter.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Stone Garden

I would like to think of this as a stone garden -- rising up into the air of post-modern loftiness.  This could have been from any cosmopolitan city in the world:  Sydney, Tokyo, Frankfurt.  No, but it's in Makati City, Philippines.  These are but some of the many condos hovering over the city -- a small pocket of a place that was exclusively a business district.  It has now accommodated city dwellers who no longer want to go on a long commute to work.  I suppose it's their version of Manhattan.  And just like any cosmopolitan city, it is surrounded with ghettos and poverty stricken communities.  Yet the city is impervious to these.  Perhaps, the stone gardens were erected to remind the outsiders of their proper place in relation to the privileged.

Happy eve to Happy Thursday. - R

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Support your friendly neighborhood artist (In my Imperfect Solitude)

Hi to all,

I usually don't like asking people for favors because I have a serious inferiority complex and would die if I my request ever gets rejected.  I usually don't enter photo contests for the same reason.  But something in my right brain made me do it just the other day.  I just entered a photo contest at  Perhaps if you can find the time I would appreciate if you check out my entry. If you like it, please vote for it. If you really-really like it, you can re-vote the next day (heh).  If not, then that's fine too.  The image I entered was small to my regrets.  I should have entered a bigger file like this one.  But it is what it is.  It's done and I'll have to deal with that.

Why did I choose this image?  One commented that it looked like Purgatory - dark and melancholic.  I think that's an apt observation.  I think of this place as somewhere I can expurgate my transgressions.  It exists in my mind as an imperfect solitude.  Perhaps, all of us have some kind of place where we run to and seek refuge.  I happen to choose a dark place where my angst is free to roam.  It is imperfect but I can relate to it.

Taken with a pinhole camera on medium format film.  Long and multiple exposure.  Sycamore Canyon, Diamond bar, California.

Thanks. - R

Saturday, February 04, 2012

How good are you in reading someone's mind?

Guess what this man is thinking?

[a]  "Will it be corn or flour tortilla?"

[b]  Humming "Dancing Queen" by Abba.

[c]  "The intensity of electromagnetic is proportional to the reciprocal of the square of the distance from the source of the property."

[d]  "In the words of the great philosopher Michael Jackson, there is no difference whether you're black or white."

[e]  "If I close my eyes long enough, maybe this photographer will pay me for posing for him."

[f]  "if I close my eyes long enough, maybe this photographer will go away."