Saturday, June 30, 2012

Redemption Biker

He's the true Old Man Geezer.  Wits solid as a rock.  Heart as soft as clay.  He'll watch your back no matter what it takes. He' a rock persona idol.  He's a Redemption Biker.

This portrait would have made it in my book Street Encounters but missed it by a few days.  It'll have to go in the expanded version of the book.  Taken at the Chalk Walk Fest at Old Pasadena.  The dude was sitting next to his little daughter who was participating in a children's version of the chalk fest.

I'm still putting a plug for the book Street Encounters in case anyone you know is interested. Here's what it looks inside.

Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Street Encounters (back and front cover)

I'm putting a plug on my just completed photo book "Street Encounters".  It's modestly sized featuring 15 photos of street captures.  The book is hard cover and the print is made of archival quality 8 x 10 paper that is so thick one can use it to fan the grill while barbequing some hamburgers.  It's also fade resistant. Sweet.  I hope to expand the book to 26 photos in the near future but for now this will do.  I'm really pleased with the results.  Here's a sample of what is included.  Both photos appear on the back and front cover.

P.S. Juzno is taking orders in case somebody may be interested in purchasing the book.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All Your Dreams Belong to Us

Sometimes any other viewpoint won't do. I ask myself, "is it art if I take a picture of art?" Only when the right elements are there. The passing of time, the weathered wall, the man on the right admiring the art posters and the other man hastily leaving the scene -- all becoming integral parts of the wall art.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ready for the World

I feel like I'm scrapping the bottom of the barrel here. For me, the image is the weakest in my street capture series. But I like it because I can remember the experience of taking the shot. At least somehow I feel I've succeeded in capturing what's inside the man: his nervous pent up energy. He was playing for me. He would dance and then stop -- perhaps to give me time to focus and compose the picture. Then he would go in a trance and then stop again. Of all the shots, I actually liked this the best. Not chaotic. No dancing. But his posture looked like he was ready to go wild again. As though he is ready for the World.

Techie Notes: Taken at the Chalk Walk Festival in Old Pasadena. A band was playing Bob Seger's Old Time Rock and Roll. High noon light courtesy of His Grace. Canon EOS 60d, 50mm CZ, and some photo mojo left overs.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

For Love of Country

Shine on you, Marine! This young man just graduated from boot camp. His father asked if I can take a picture of him. I don't usually shoot formal portraits -- in fact, I think I've only done a handful. So rather than shoot traditional style, I thought I would give it my own -- well, twist. This was taken at the side of the church building. All natural light. While shooting, I learned that there were certain military etiquettes that needed to be observed. For instance, the Marine in uniform cannot make eye contact with the camera. (Hence, the faraway eyes.) The Marine cannot smile while being photographed. (I think he was trying not to smile but his slight grin betrays him.) There were other things that the marine cannot do, which I don't remember. I also can't remember how I post-processed the photo but I'm pretty happy with the result. It reminded me of a tamer David LaChapelle glamour shots. Maybe Rolling Stone Magazine will buy it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eyes in the Name of Love

Intense.  That's a word that I would describe it.  Both the artwork and the artist hard at work.  From my perspective, it's rather ambivalent who is in command here.  Is it the artist or is it the woman?   Once the artist was separated from the art.  Then both the artist and the art are one.  It would soon evolve -- the artist becomes the art and the art becomes the artist.

Techie notes:  Taken at the Chalk Walk Festival at Old Pasadena.  The light was harsh that day so it was very difficult to capture decent images.  Sometimes it's hard to decide if I should expose for the shadows or the highlights.  I think I've succeeded in this one by making sure that I avoid including most of dark shadows in the frame.

This is the second of the Street Photography series I'm working on.  I'm hoping to publish the series in book form.  I'll probably call it something like Days Turned Out to be Nothing More Than Street Indulgence.  Maybe you can suggest a better Title for the book.  Cheers.

Featured Comment by KC:
  Cool photo.  This was one of my favorite chalk drawings at the festival.  I like the texturizing of the artist.  It mimics the grainy texture of the chalk picture and further delineates the connection between the artist and his artwork.  I also like the contrast of the vibrant colors in the chalk drawing with the muted, almost monochromatic tones of the artist.  Interesting angle.  I wonder what it would look like if you changed the angle.  Did you purposefully angle the photo so that the artist and artwork are side by side.  I wonder what it would look like if you rotated the photo so that the chalk drawing were face up.

Good luck on the street photo album.  Luckily you have captured so many street shots that I don't think you'll have a problem compiling it.

Yea unlike the one yesterday, in here on one hand I wanted to create a sense of homogeny between the artist and the art by obscuring obvious differences.  Yet on the other hand I also wanted to distinguish the artist and his work so I ended up muting the skin tone of the artist.  It's contradictory of course but I think I have succeeded in creating that tension.  At least I'm happy with the result.  I don't know if you've noticed what's not there (hah... an illogical statement).  I mean I've left the right hand corner white to create spatial absence.  At first I did it for practical reason as there wasn't anything there except blurred dirt and unrecognizable objects.  All not very pleasant to look at.  By whitewashing that area and leaving it blank I wanted to lure the viewer into that white hole.  Maybe to provide some relief for the existing tension.  Or maybe just my own perverted trick for my amusement.  I don't know.

The original shot had the artist on top of the artwork.  By rotating the frame 90 degrees to the right, I found a happy position where the artwork and the artist are side by side -- rendering them co-equal.  Again I was thinking homogeny here.  Even for just a moment.  In the end I want the viewer to imagine that the artwork would evolve to be the artist.  A reversal in position.  But I don't think this photo has achieved that.  It is what it is.

KC:  Good call on the white space there.  The Fauvists employed this technique to provide relief from all the vibrancy in the bulk of their paintings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rutabegorz House

Legend has it that when the Beatles came over to California they stayed at this house to write stuff that would be the materials for the Yellow Submarine album.  George cooked Bariani rice and served raw onions to John who was allergic to onions.  John hallucinated and claimed that the food would become the inspiration to his song Glass Onion.  The house land lords kept a feisty bulldog named Jude who followed Paul wherever we went.  On one occasion the bulldog ate Paul's journal.  Seeing his journal turning into dog jerky, Paul shouted "Hey Jude!"  The bulldog ran back and bumped into George precious guitar, which fell and broke into several pieces.  George wept and decided he would pay a tribute to his guitar by writing about it.  Ringo only stayed for one night and went back to England because he missed his Octopus Garden.  Legend has it.

Techie Notes:  Rutabegorz, Old Town Fullerton. Fujifilm Finepix x100.

Hope your day is going well.  Happy Thursday.

Friday, June 08, 2012

The King

This week has been a blast for me posting Juzno of the Day. I hope you've enjoyed the photos and the silly stories.  To welcome the weekend, I decided to post an image of an icon who has arguably influenced (for good or for bad) millions of people in the last decades.  I give to you: The King!  Elvis Aaron Presley.

Taken with the noble Panasonic DMC LX3, one of the best point and shoot digicams ever made (only the best for the King).  Listening to "Hound Dog" in my imagination.  Followed by "Love Me Tender" on the flip side of the brain.  Great warm outdoor disco lighting courtesy of Fort Global City, Philippines.

The Bachelor (The New Reality)

These eligible bachelors are competing in the Asian version of The Bachelor.  Each one will be involved in romantic scenarios, which could include selecting a potential wife.  The conflicts in the series, both internal and external, stem from the elimination-style format of the show. As the season progresses, men are eliminated on one-on-one dates.  They will not be allowed to date one another as this would undermine the objective of selecting a potential wife.  The producer of the show is already considering moving the venue to Hawaii where same-sex marriage is legal.  Please choose from any of these contestants and send your choice no later than February 31, 2013 to

Have a Happy Funny Thursday.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Fallen Angels

After passing their audition to be cast of The New Charlie's Angels, these fashionistas showed up to work today without their heads in protest for the falling Euro.  For those who don't follow TMZ television, it's widely known that the original surviving cast of Charlie's Angels are now living on social security, and the second generation Angels have disbanded for a variety of reasons.  Drew Barrymore is back doing rehab.  Cameron Diez gained 50 pounds after her doctor told her that she can't continue with her bulimic behavior.  Lucy Liu defected to Hong Kong where she was promised the role of the female Bruce lee.  Meanwhile, the new cast members are already in over their heads trying to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Can you hear me now? (Recycled)

He is holding the phone with his right hand because:

a.      He got tired using his left arm from waiting so long.
b.      The reception is better if he holds the phone this way.
c.      He is actually scratching his left ear and he can't use his left hand because it is also itchy.
d.      All of the above.

I thought that I would start the first day of the work week with recycling.  You may recall that I posted a black and white version of this photo last year.  This is a recycled version, which I thought has a pretty cool retro colors.  The man on the phone is the same - that is he is still upset because that he paid too much for his hair cut.  The man has been on hold for half an hour when I caught him in this position.  His barber who is on the other line doesn't have any intent of getting back to him.

Hope your day is going well. - R

Friday, June 01, 2012

Behind the Blue Eyes is Really a Freckled Young Man who is turning into a Lizard

Some time ago I shot this fellow who goes to our church. I worked on his photo last night and showed it to Rose. She's usually excited whenever I show her my new stuff. (That makes her a very gracious person because not all my photos are that exciting.)

Except on this one. Her reticence, which probably lasted for a few seconds, felt like forever. After a long pause, she complained that the details on the man's face were too busy.

"You mean like working ants going back and forth?" I asked.

"No, it's just that you made his face appear to have a lot of smudges."

"Those happen to be his freckles," I explained.

"Yeah but they don't look right. Maybe if you remove some of them then it'll be okay."

"But that wouldn't be him."

"Yeah but that's not him either."

"Well maybe those are really his scales and he is turning into a lizard." At this time I already conceded. If I have to justify what I did then I know I already failed.

What do you think? No wait, don't tell me.