Tuesday, April 29, 2014


"One man with courage is a majority." - Thomas Jefferson

© 2014 Rob Castro

Taken with window lighting.  Not quite a Rembrandt lighting but the subject is Dutch so maybe that gives me extra points.

Monday, April 28, 2014

They were obviously Calvinists

“What is it that I love to photograph?”

I like to shoot Man as a matter of preference. Man, being made in the image of God, makes interesting subject.  I can easily relate to this subject  (because I am a man.) So I do street photography, portraits and people. 

Yet once in while I will try to shoot something else.  For instance nature landscape.  I'm usually not interested in shooting nature because a lot of times it is devoid of human element.  The Dutch painters understood this.  They may paint a landscape or seascape, and even though there may not be a person in the painting, you know that there is human activity.  For example, we see a landscape with a house on it – we know that somebody is using that house.  Or perhaps we see a shipyard - we know that the boat is used by fishermen.  Dutch painters understood Man as an integral part of creation.  Man is the centerpiece of God’s creation.  There is dignity in Man even though he is fallen because he is created in God’s image.  The Dutch Painters were obviously  Calvinists.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Love her madly

© 2014 Rob Castro

On some of the colored photos that I’ve taken, people have come to me and commented that my choice of colors is uniquely bold. My secret? I’m partially color blind. So really I have a different way of looking at things [compared to what normal people see (i.e. those with normal vision].

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter at Chino Hills

This was our Easter lunch menu: grilled flank steak, flat bread, and mango/strawberry salad.  We had Tenuta del Fant's moscato d'asti wine as a starter, followed by Louis M Martini's cabernet sauvignon to wash down the meat.  Well, that's the order of Rose's drinking; I may have drank it the other way or done some combination gulps of asti and cabernet.  No dessert so in search of sweets, we ended up eating a chunk of the chocolate bar we bought from Avila, Spain which was intended for hot chocolate drinks.  Weather is warm now so the chocolate was better eaten as dessert instead of being drank as a hot drink.  Trying top it, I smoked a Cuban Trinidad corona, which had burn issues.  As Keith Richards once said in his Whiskey-infused cockney accent, "ya c'aint aw-ways git wot ya wont-uh." But overall, we had a good lunch and two good sermons on the resurrection for the day.  It was indeed a blessed Easter day.  Hope yours was too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New York is expensive

© 2014 Rob Castro

New York is expensive, but that is to be expected.  Here is a run down of some of the things I incurred:
  • Two glasses of mediocre Red Beaujolais  $32
  • Two tiny Lobster Sandwiches from Fort Greene Park $32
  • Two marginally sized Rib Sliders served on paper plates from Fort Greene Park $18
  • Brunch bill after waiting for 45 minutes to get served  $120
  • Four cocktails at Village Vanguard bar without real choices to drink $70 
  • Two "cheapest" bottles of red wine at Costco $25
  • One way train fare from Great Neck to Penn Station $11 per person (peak hours)
  • One toothbrush $2.99
Trader Joe's doesn't even have wines let alone Two dollar Forty Nine Buck ($2.49) 
Chucks.  They do have beer.  I guess beer is not considered alcoholic beverages.  I didn't buy any.

But there are cheap deals too.  For instance:
  • One used Army Jacket circa WWII $ 22 (haggled from $55 at Fort Greene Park)
  • Bic lighter $0.99 (at Korean Pharmacy store)
  • Travel size toothpaste $1.25 (They priced this at a bargain deal so you don't have to use a toothbrush. Also at Korean Pharmacy store.)
Average prices for most part:
  • One small can of Pellegrino $2 
  • One time use of subway ticket $2.75 (if you need a new card.  $2.50 for refill.)
Some are free:
  • Board and lodging at uppity Great Neck, Long Island ($0)
  • Use of printer and lap top computer ($0)
  • Wi-fi ($0)
  • Stamps and mail service ($0)
  • Ride to get to train station ($0)
  • Tickets to watch New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Avery Hall, Lincoln Center ($0.  Daughter paid them.)
  • Tickets to watch Kenny Baron Jazz Group at Village Vanguard (0$.  Daughter also paid them.  Haha.)
  • Entrance to flea market at Fort Greene Park ($0)
  • Nice weather ($0)
  • Suntan ($0)
  • Allergies to spring pollen ($0)
  • Airport shuttle to and fro ($0)
  • Spending time with daughter
  • Getting lost in the subway
  • Late night talks with host friend 
  • Traveling with spouse all the time

Monday, April 07, 2014

The State of the Art is Smelly

© 2014 Rob Castro

Rob:  It is interesting to note that man - being made in the image of God -  has the capacity to create.   Whether it’s music, visual art, or architecture,  Man has the mental and physical ability to create and put things together and call these things whatever he wants. 

Juzno:  Ah, yes.  Creativity is one of those attributes that distinguishes Man from other creatures.

Rob:  Yet art is marginalized both by Christians and the secular world.  Why is that? 

Juzno:   I think Art is marginalized because of people’s flawed understanding of art.   Art is seen either just a hobby, an entertainment  or even a matter of personal preference.

Rob:   Yet art permeates  culture.

Juzno:  Yes, art is everywhere – in magazine ads, billboards, in clothing, television, music.

Rob:    Since this is the case, shouldn’t we be concerned about what art is doing to culture?

Juzno:  We should be.  But we don't.


Saturday, April 05, 2014

Making Sense of 7-1/2 Street

© 2014 Rob Castro

Art is a medium to communicate to the viewer a selective reality based on the artist’s observation or perception – this is what the artist sees, and understanding of reality – this is what the artist knows.