Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gypsy for hire

"Do you take request?"

"I only do Heavy Metal."
"Can you play Orion by Metallica?"

"I only do Heavy Metal."

"What can you play?"

"That will be 5,000 Forints."

Fujifilm Finepix x-pro1, 35mm lens
© 2013 Rob Castro

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Jazzman Signifies

"So you think you can tell ... heaven from hell?"

"Pink Floyd?"

"No, my music teacher."

© 2013 Rob Castro
Prague, Czech

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"You are not to take my... (oh well)"

A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian song
Eh Cumpari, ci vo sunari
Can you dig it(Yes I can)
I've been waiting for such a long time
For Today

[Saturday in the Park, Chicago circa 1972]

Mr. Cowboy said "the Scientology church is on the south side of the next street. Across from it, you'll find Tom Cruise's Bar & Chips. People said the Nicole Kidman's Aussie drink is the bomb. But you might also want to try the Katie Holmes' homestyle fries and the Penelope Cruz' Enchilada burger".

Toy District, Downtown Los Angeles, California

© 2013 Rob Castro

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nancy in a Hurry

After her yoga class, Nancy rushes out.  She gets obsessive about what she wants:

"I need to hurry - the mall is going to close in about half an hour.  That organic cashmere on the one day sale is a must-have.  Darn, I need to find a new laundry shop.  The last one botched my purple shirt and washed it with my blue jeans.  I wonder if they use Dihydrogen Oxide? Note to self - stop by the Vegan store - get a bundle of kiwi and make 'em into ice cream later.  Later.  Oh, and I need to tell Fred to stop feeding the cat with Nepeta Cataria.  She needs to wean herself from that.  I wonder if they have AA for cats..."

Hope your day is going well.

Fujifilm x-pro 1, 35mm
Prague, Czech

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Haydn and Haden

Franz Joseph Haydn, known as Joseph Haydn, was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent of the Classical period.

Frank Joey Haden, known as Joey Had, is an American Techno composer wannabe, one day may become the next Moby and famous in the Post Modern period.

Fujifilm X-pro 1, 35mm
© 2013 Rob Castro
Vienna, Austria

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Bohemian Rhapsody

A blast from the past perhaps.  I've stayed away from this kind of photography and been doing mostly street shots but the ghost of Lady Betsy Albatross kept haunting me to divert my effort at least for a little while on dreamy themes.  As a compromise I said I would do one as long as the back drop is on a street.  She agreed to meet me at a small alley in Prague - a stone's throw away from the Lennon Wall (a photo of that coming soon - maybe).

Happy Thursday!

Anne:  Love this photo.  it is like one of those ladies who got killed by Jack the Ripper...

Juzno:  You have a strange way of looking at things.  For somebody who has been murdered, she looks very happy.

 Raquel:  Oh, when I took Jack the Ripper tour in England, I actually got lost, by myself, going from alley to alley thinking "I will be the next Jack the Ripper victim.  I went back to the hotel, which was in a dark alley, you know Ghost Hunters, and got lost for two hours.  The tour was at the hotel before I showed up.  Terrible experience.  Of course, this was a night.

That actually looks like some of the alley walls I walked by.  I had to sit on a concrete wall, pitch black darkness, because there was no place else for me to sit.  Yup, last time I will do that.  

Juzno:  Sitting in the alley may not be the best place because they can have very bad cell phone reception.  Really would be interesting to see Jack the Ripper.  He would be past 100 years old by now.  But maybe he made a secret potion to keep him young and continue to look like Johnny Depp.

Anne: Johnny Depp as Ripper???  Nooooo, he's too cute.  I think Jack Nicholson is the Ripper incarnate..He could be charming and deadly...  

Juzno:  Yea and I heard Leonardo di Caprio has submitted his resume to Tim Burton for the gig.  Mr Burton is interested in the gig but he's eyeing Helen Bonham Carter to play the part of Jack, who was actually a woman.

Sista:  Your choice of song....because of the first lines of the song?

Juzno:  "Is this a real life ... or is it just fantasy ..."

That's a brilliant way of looking at it but my reason is at best random.  I was thinking of Fleetwood Mac's Gypsy or Rhiannon, and then I remember they have a song called Albatross - hence her name became Lady Betsy Albatross - Betsy is short for Elizabeth, who is the poster child of the Victorian Era.  So she's this Victorian woman but she is also a closet tramp.  Her future followers will be Freddie Mercury, Lady Gaga and just recently Psy.  Then I thought this was at a back alley of a Bohemian Bar where the ghost of Freddie Mercury was playing Sally Bowles of Cabaret.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Strange Night at Dillon's

"I was enjoying my slider when out of nowhere this big dog, a Scoobidoo look-alike, walked past our table.  He was in a jolly mood, shaking hands with the pirates and the women.  I shouted a big yelp to draw my parents’ attention.  Then the dog’s head fell off and out came the man’s head.  My mom, laughed.  She thought that was funny."  

Excerpt from Travels with Mimi
Halloween Night at Dillon's

This was shot outdoor at night so the lights have something to do with the colors.  They were not altered.  

The photo also reminds me of a comic strip.  There are at least three stories going on if one uses their imagination:  the lady on the chair must be talking to somebody, the waiter is obviously in a hurry, and Scoobidoo is hanging out with his hipster friends.

Photo Tip of the Day:  One neat trick I do when taking candid pictures of people is to position the camera on a stable place, pre-focus and just click when things happen.  No one knows I'm taking their pictures because the camera is not on its usual position, i.e., in front of my face.  

For this photo, I set the camera on the table.  I wanted to take a picture of Scoobidoo so I focused on him.  But I also wanted to take a picture of his surroundings so after I shot him I panned the camera to the left and shot the waiter walking towards me.  In post production, I stitched the two images and there -- a surreal composite.  Since the waiter and the lady on the chair were closer to the camera, the result is more depth to the overall image.  The blurry characters not only add surrealistic feel but also adds a 3-dimensional effect.  Sometimes a blurry element can help improve your pictures.

Hope your day is going well.

 © 2012 Rob Castro

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Red, Freckled and Introspection

freck·le  (frkl)
A small brownish spot on the skin, often turning darker or increasing in number upon exposure to the sun.
tr. & intr.v. freck·led, freck·ling, freck·les
To dot or become dotted with freckles or spots of color.