Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Brick Houses in Chester

A small village in Chester, England.  I dig the harmony between the bricks and the foliage surrounding the buildings.  Most of the buildings appeared to be abandoned.  Our tour director drop us off where the scenic view is picture perfect.  Of course, everybody in our group took out their cameras and mobile phones to take a picture of the place, though we weren't sure what was its historical significance.  Our tour director told us that most of the bricks used in the building were from the Hadrian's Wall.  Apparently, when the Romans left England, the town people realized there was no real need for the wall, so they remove the bricks from the wall and used them to build their houses.  This process is now called Recycling.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dr Strangelove is Really the Man in the Long Black Coat

Somebody seen him hangin' around
At the old dance hall on the outskirts of town

He looked into her eyes when she stopped him to ask
If he wanted to dance he had a face like a mask
Somebody said from the bible he'd quote
There was dust on the man in the long black coat

Bob Dylan, Man in the Long Black Coat

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Still Life with The Pates

We are in Seville.  The autonomous community of Andalucia, Spain.  Recovering from the tribulation of the Spanish Civil war.   The Russians have just perfected the art of tampering with the election of foreign countries.  Seville's Tapas scene is recognized as one of the main cultural attractions of the city: people go from one bar to another.  The Pate family dines with a fledgling realtor named Trump.  We are immersed in the 70s.  In a decade, the Berlin Wall will come tumbling down.  Katy Perry is yet to be born.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Maid of Glastonbury

Juzno:  Mi Lady, I beseech thee.  May thy humble servant take a photo of thee?

Marybeth:  Oh, sire.  I am no lady but a servant like thineself.  By the way, what is a photo?

Juzno:  Dear lady, can thou not hearest the wind blow?  Or did thou knowest?  Thy stairway lies on the whispering wind.

Marybeth:  Ah, I see that thou art a sage as well.

Juzno:  Dear lady, has thou not hearest of Led Zeppelin?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wine Glasses as Art

Wine glasses as art.  I must inquire though.  How many bottles of wine can fill the bottom of the glasses?  What if they are bottomless glasses?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hasta Mañana - Santiago de Compostella

Juzno: Señor, I just walked nearly 500 miles from France on a pilgrimage to the Way of St James - that is the Camino de Santiago.  For favor, please, do tell me how I can go to the Santiago de Compostella?

Diego:  Si, señor.  But first I must finish my Cafe Manchado, then take my two-and-half hour siesta, and only then can I show you the way to the church.

Juzno: How long does it  take you to finish your coffee?

Diego:  Not too long.  Give or take one hour.  Or just come back tomorrow.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Paneng's Kitchen Revisited

Juzno:  What's cooking, Paneng?

Paneng:  Is da wan I cook but my specialty.

Juzno: And what's that?

Paneng:  Rice and hot water.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Avila from a Distance

Just left the scorching curse of Salamanca, we were headed to Avila before our final destination, which would be Madrid.  I just woke up from my afternoon nap while on the coach when I saw a landscape similar to Jerusalem.  The weather was milder, and the strong gust of wind was much needed grace.

Rose and I have been in Avila before.  It was during winter.  Our tour director took us for hot chocolate.  Years later, we are doing it again, and this time with churros.  Avila's  mug of hot chocolate and churros never fail regardless of the season.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Mike's Meandering Thought

It's 1972.  People are freaking out.  As for me, I am feeling like I am in a bad dream.  I have been getting a lot of calls about the strawberry piece I was investigating.  Except I don't have a phone, the nearest one is two houses away, which belongs to my landlord.  Besides, strawberries don't grow on this island.  People call me on my landlord's phone.  But my landlord has put me in a blacklist because I keep playing Black Sabbath at illegal decibels that ought to get the police to arrest me.  Black Sabbath just released their fourth album.  It has no title.  It's like people will recognize it as Black Sabbath IV.  Led Zeppelin did the same thing on their fourth album.  Who did it first?  What's going on in the music scene?  Sort of antiestablishment posture.  Yea, right, let's screw them but let's take their money.  How come these people think they can be like Bob Dylan?  Anyone want some lemons?  The tree looks very pretty but the fruit is impossible to eat.  Anyway.  I just think Dylan's head reminds me of lemons.  Doesn't his head look like a lemon?  His facial expression certainly does.  Good stuff.  It's perfect.  My head is shaped more like a pomelo.  That is why I need to grow my hair long.  Sometimes I will be daydreaming and I see a big ugly knot and I have this Gordian sword and slice up this rope.  I have to stop making sense.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Frankenstein in the Dark

I won't tell you what it is.  But I'm sure most photo enthusiasts will know what it is.

Here are seven clues:

  1. It's the newest release from a camera manufacturer.
  2. It's made in Japan.
  3. It's compact - quite obviously.
  4. The sensor is 24 megapixel.
  5. It has wifi capability.
  6. It shoots great.  For example it makes Rosie O'Donell appear to look like Kristen Stewart.
  7. You can teach it to order pizza in the middle of the night.  
Hope you are having a great day.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Another View of the Unverse

"Through art we can know another's view of the universe." - Marcel Proust, Maxims

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

How many eyeglasses can one have?

Or how many guitars can one own?

Or how many guns can one shoot?

Ah, but the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.  The answer is blowing in the wind.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Juzno Launches a New Magazine

Juzno just started a magazine called Just an Observer  in Flipboard.  If you have an account in Flipboard  you can now follow his posts here.  Cheers.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Madrid reliving its history

Statue of King Charles III located at Puerto del Sol, Madrid

It has been said that Madrid despite the seemingly consumerist influence on the city , i.e. modern transportation, millennials sporting hip fashionable attire, and sprouting Burger King fast foods, the city has never really changed in its heart.  In plain English, Modern cosmopolitan Madrid in its heart has always been Madrid, a city resilient to counter-culture.  While I am not sure if I completely agree with this observation, I do see that some parts of the urban landscape attempts to commemorate and perhaps relive its history.  Such as the statue of King Charles III (1716 - 1788), which is part of the monument at Puerta del Sol.  I find it interesting that the statue is surrounded with shopping malls from all sides.  The statue is not that old.  It is a replica made by Miguel Angel Rodriguex and Eduardo Zancada in 1994.  The tourists are made to believe that it's the original 18th century statue.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Understanding Our Propensity for Visuals

But first a Food Selfie!
This present culture is enamored with visuals and more visuals.  Fascination with visuals.  Food selfies flood the social media.  People sharing their photos from their smart phones.  Part of this phenomenon is that almost everybody can take a picture.  Cameras are accessible.  When you go to the social media, try posting a blurb on ideas and no one will almost read them.  But post a picture of your latest lunch or dinner and it's a guarantee that it will get some kind of reaction.  We live in an age where visuals rule - 24/7.  The newspaper businesses know that there is a greater likelihood of people reading their articles when they are accompanied with images.  After all, pictures they say tell a thousand stories.  Although it may seem that this trend is more apparent nowadays, it is not new.  Our fallen minds are programmed to respond to images.  I've always wondered why God of the Bible forbid a visual representation of himself.  We are prone to imagine how God looks like.  Even Moses desired this.  We are indeed a visual people.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

An Advice to an Aspiring Photographer - from a Failing One

Dear Friend,

Sometimes you may have to ask yourself why you go through the hassle of sharing your images to complete strangers like in Flickr.  

You should not feel obligated to also like someone's work just because that person liked yours.  Unless if you belong to a Flickr group that requires you to do so.  People may like your images for a number of reasons.  It could be they belong to the group that I mentioned.  Or they want you to check their posts so you can like one or more of their images.  Or they just like your images with no strings attached.  I happen to belong to the last group of people.  I have no expectation.  If they reciprocate with a "thank you" note, I would be very grateful.

One of the reasons I share my images in Flickr and Instagram is these are platforms where I can observe how people behave.  I like to conduct social experiments to find out how one may react towards my work.  I think it may be selfish of me to do this.  At best, it's creepy.  Although I don't see it as setting up a bait as an absolute means to an end because I also want to share to others my work - to those who are willing to give time to appreciate and perhaps understand the message.  I feel that I have passed the point of creating merely for aesthetics.  I want to convey a deeper message through the perspective of aesthetics.  That is why I consider myself just as an artist who happens to know how to use a camera.  Not a lot of people including photographers will understand this.  

Stay true to yourself, my dear friend.  Know why you do the things you like to do.  And strive to better yourself to reach your goal.

Your Friend,

P.S.  I'm sharing an image I took at the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao - yes that is in Spain.  If you can figure out what it means, then maybe you can explain that to me.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Barber Dog of Seville

Figaro had been so busy tending his barbershop that he didn't realize Otto, his canine companion, decided to saunter out on the streets of Seville.  Even though the photography would not be invented for another century, I was able to go back to 16th century Spain.  I was fortunate to bring my French view camera along with me.  This was one of the shots I made of Otto during his unsuspecting moment.  The man with one wooden leg walking away was a delightful addition to my street image.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Meaning of a Cone

If a cone fell from a tree in the forest and nobody noticed it, does it mean that it never happened?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Airport Rush

Book Cover for The Dying Game

My image is now in the cover of Asa Avdic's novel The Dying Game.  

  • On the remote island of Isola, seven people have been selected to compete in a 48-hour test for a top-secret intelligence position. One of them is Anna Francis, a workaholic with a nine-year-old daughter she rarely sees, and a secret that haunts her. Her assignment is to stage her own death and then observe, from her hiding place inside the walls of the house, how the other candidates react to the news that a murderer is among them. Who will take control? Who will crack under pressure?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Remains of Corregidor

This used to be the headquarters of the American troops stationed in the island of Corregidor, Cavite City, Philippines.  It was bombed in World War II by the Japanese Army in 1942.  The Japanese did not like the western architecture of the building so they restructured it inside and out with a vision of Japanese Minimalism.  The remains stand as a reminder that Japanese architecture is king.

  Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Great Sage of the Vatican Museum

Earthenware of Anthrophomorpic Figure,
1200-1400 AD, Quimbaya Culture, Columbia
found in the Vatican Museum.

We had a private viewing at the Vatican Museum, and I was able to interview the great sage Master Quibokoh of the Quimbaya Culture in Columbia.

Juzno:  Master Sage, oh, great prophet of the lost civilization, I do not wish to disturb you but can I have a penny for your thought please?

Quibokoh:  Please come forward.  I always sit like this.  And you can call me Iggy.

Juzno:  What do you think is the theory of everything?

Quibokoh:  That nothing is everything, and everything is nothing.  This is the fundamental belief of our culture.

Juzno:  Was that why your civilization became extinct?

Quibokoh:  That will be a penny.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dutch Babe Chalk Artist at Work

And you may find yourself 
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself 
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself 
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

Once in a Lifetime Written by Brian Eno, Christopher Frantz, David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Monday, July 24, 2017

Gimme my ice cream

Somewhere in Prague.

He obviously wants his sugar.  After all, it makes the medicine go down ... medicine go down ... in the most delightful way.

Hope you are having a great time.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Better Gumamela

Here in the States, this flower is commonly known as Hibiscus.  Where I grew up, we call it Gumamela.  It is considered wild in the Philippines.  Back then we would squeeze the juice out from the flower and mix it with a sliver of laundry soap. The concoction made great bubbles, which could be as large as our heads. Of course, we were only 7 years old then-- so they probably were not that big.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Her name was Lola

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain
Her name was Lola.  She said she was a showgirl at the Copa Copacabana, the hottest place north of Havana.  Except this was at Santillana in Cantabria, Spain.  

Lola was very friendly.  I chatted with her with my un poquito Espanol for over an hour, and I think I only understood a tenth of what she said.  May have been the same for her.   But we didn't care.  We had a good time.  Until Rose pointed out to me that I must be having a heatstroke of some sort.  

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Eclectic Simplicity

Just some samples of my images taken in the last couple of years. Significant changes made since my last post.  Thanks for watching.  Hope you enjoy.  

Oh by the way, the video is best viewed with a glass of white wine.  Cheers.

© 2017 Rob Castro.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blended Pastel

Many moons ago, I was still in an alternative rock band, Joe our bass player brought in a song he wrote which he wanted us to try out.  It was called Blended Pastel.  I would have to find a tape of our rehearsal to remember how it completely went as I have already forgotten about the song.  But the title of his song stuck on my head.  So as I edited this image, I again remembered Blended Pastel.  Joe, I don't know where you are, or even if you're still writing great stuff.  But this is for you.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Spiral Tap - Sistine Chapel's Secret Staircase

Sistine Chapel's Secret Staircase.
It so happens that my memory escapes me more often nowadays.  It's called old age.  Now I can't remember where I shot this but I know it is in Rome.  I think it could have been part of the interior inside the Sistine Chapel.  I do remember having a nice dinner inside the Vatican.  Yes, we were privileged to dine privately inside what people would call the most holy place in the world.   Not sure how our Tour Director pulled it off.  The best part of the dinner was the wine and roasted pig, which is one of the things they make you eat to test if you are not a Jew or Muslim.  Not an issue  for me -  they can throw in shellfish and all creeping things prohibited in the Old Testament,  I'll eat them.

I usually don't take photos of interiors as the lighting is usually bad.  In this case, it was different.  With the help of technology, I managed to get some nice bokeh and blurs to enhance the shot.  Shot with the iPhone 7 plus.  I dig its camera.

Addendum:  Rose reminded me that this was the modern double helix staircase designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, and was inspired by the original Bramante Staircase. This staircase, like the original, is a double helix, having two staircases allowing people to ascend without meeting people descending; as with the original the main purpose being to allow uninterrupted traffic in each direction. Kind of like driving in the Los Angeles Freeway.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ferdinand VII by Goya at the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Plaza Nuestra Señora del Pilar, Zaragoza, Spain

Aragon in Spain is famous for producing famous people.  Among them is one of my favorite artists, Francisco Goya.  Arguably, he is considered the father of modern arts.  

The image is a lamp post surrounded by the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, the principal cathedral of Zaragoza.  The lamp post is not important, and has nothing to do with the Zaragoza’s history.  What is important is what is on it :  a replica of Goya’s painting of Fernando VII, who Goya never respected.  He painted portraits of the king for many organizations but never for the king himself.  To a trained eye, Goya made the king look like a pompous fool with his pork loin belly protruding at the center. The The king's mop top haircut style became the inspiration for Moe of the Three Stooges.  His hair is also ashen, which made him look weak and cuckold.  

Ferdinand restored the Inquisition and believed in the Divine Right of his kingship.  This caused Goya great anxiety to a point of nervous breakdown.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Black Madonna in Montserrat

Rose's take on my rendition of the Madonna is that it looks scary.  I purposely blurred most of it because of my aversion to images portraying God or Christ Jesus.  (A baby Jesus was sitting on the Madonna's lap.)  I believe God would not be pleased if somebody painted or carved an image of him.  After all, nobody knows what he looks like.  How would you like it if somebody who has never seen a likeness of you draw your picture?  I think the Muslim religion has a similar tenet.  But that doesn't give me an excuse to create dull art.  I usually just avoid the subject.  However, in this case I wanted to document why people are lining up just to see the statue of the Madonna - which is mostly out of curiosity or believing she can grant the pilgrim's request.  I find the latter a sad state of affair of false hope and futility. People will sincerely do what they think is right for them.  But people can sincerely be misled.  But it doesn't matter what I think. 

A bit of trivia on why the Madonna is black since most European rendition of her is she is fair skinned.  I was told that the statue is made of wood.  Its face was painted with lead-based cream colored paint.  The paint discolored through time because of oxidation.  That is why it is now mostly black.  I was going to first write about this bit of information when I started blogging on this image but I think I got distracted.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

An ordinary day at the beach

Lanzada Beach, O Grove, Spain

This doesn't really have a witty story behind it.  But I like the picture.  It kind of reminds me of Martin Parr's style - satirically  journalistic  anthropologistic images of aspects of everyday ordinary life of retrospective social England.  Except this was shot at Lanzada Beach, a tourist site in Galicia off a few miles  away from Santiago de Compostela.  Quite frankly, I find Parr's images quite boring.  Does it mean that I find my image equally boring?  At this point, I don't really have much of an opinion.  Maybe deep inside I think it is because I have procrastinated sharing it.  I see the fat lady with too much sunscreen cream on her back, the  hot chick beside her - applying some faux cream on her arms, the lazy people in the background  - they look like miniature toys.  What else can it be?  Unexceptional.  Ordinary.  Maybe if I did not blur out the topless woman sitting next to a man at the lower left hand corner of the photo - it might be a bit exciting.  Oh but I have to  blur out the topless lady because my art is rated PG.  She is there though - I can assure you.  In fact, there were some more topless women at the beach so it was a challenge not to include them in my frame.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ceramics in Montserrat

I found these ceramics in a shop in Montserrat.  These ceramics are unique.  They come with artsy barcodes.  What a novel idea, I thought.  I wonder if they have special readers to scan them.

Montserrat is a mountain top monastery in Catalonia Spain.  It is visited by pilgrims who want to see the Black Madonna.  Not related to Madonna who performs dance music. 

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, July 10, 2017

It Ain't over 'till the Fat Lady Sings: Have a Banana!

Woman by Fernando Botero, Denver, Colorado.

The "Woman" figurine, located at the Denver Performing Arts Center, was sculpted by Fernando Botero Angulo.  The artist is known for his signature style, also known as "Boterismo", depicting people and figures in large, exaggerated volume.

Near the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre, Botero’s "Woman" has watched over the crowds of theatre goers since 1998. The 13-foot-tall bronze sculpture is a perfect example of Botero’s characteristically plump figures.

Though I must inquire of Botero the existential question, "What is the significance of that peeled banana that she is holding?"

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Vinos for Hot Santiago de Compostela

My rude awakening began in Santiago de Compostela.  St James of the Stellar Camp.  Or Camp of the stars.  Whatever.

Yea.  I was still in denial.  Wishful thinking.  After all the Weather Channel forecasted moderate temperatures in Northern Spain.  Alas, this has not been the case.  I was looking at the clothes I packed, and there was no way I would be wearing them.  Thinking that the weather was going to be cool, I only took with me one pair of shorts just in case it would get warm.  Just in case.  And this is the case.  Hot.  Searing heat.  High humidity.  Hot hot hot.  Hotter than hot.  The climate demons were celebrating their triumph over this awfully forsaken tourist.  They were mocking me.  I know.  I heard their scoffing.  

We were fortunate that a mall was a stone's throw away from our hotel.  The El Corte Ingles.  The name of the mall truly describes what they are.  When you inquire from the sales clerks in broken Spanish, all of them responded in fluent English.  Hey, you think I could apply for a job here?  

Juno:  Por favor, I need par de pantalones cortos inmediatemente.  Like right now.

Isabel:  Sir, the mens wear is on ailse B.  Just to your left.

Juno:  Muchas gracias, señora

Isabel:  My pleasure.  We aim to serve

Juno:  By the way, are those cold wines on sale?

Friday, July 07, 2017

University of Salamanca

Salamanca.  Our final stretch before we head down to Madrid for our farewell dinner.  It was searing in the 100s, with extremely high humidity in the shade.  Everyone in our tour was melting.  My thighs were starting to weld together from the heat.  I could hardly walk without looking like an old seasoned cowboy who has never gone down from his horse except to pee.  No wonder Don Quixote got crazy.  It was not dementia but the effect of the hot Spanish weather.  Interestingly, Salamanca is known to be terribly bitter cold in the winter. I remember not wanting to leave the coach the last time we were here.  It was very very cold.  The thought of it made it easier for me to deal with this heat.  Finally, our great tour director went and bought us bottles of cold water.  Thank you, Pascal.

The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the city of Salamanca, west of Madrid, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It is the oldest founded university in Spain and the third oldest university in the world in continuous operations. 

Salamanca draws undergraduate and graduate students from across Spain and the world.  It is also known for its Spanish courses for non-native speakers, which attract more than two thousand foreign students each year.  Hence, the place is essentially a college town.  We know what that means.  The night life can be wild.  That night, we were told, that the town will hold an all night light show with loud music to celebrate Corpus Christi Day.  Maybe the Rolling Stones will show up.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Plaza de Espana, Barcelona

Each city in Spain has its own Plaza de Espana.  Maybe there is a plaza within the plaza.  Must have been seven or eight o'clock in the evening in Barcelona when I shot this image at the rooftop of the La Monumental, a renovated bullring arena that has been converted to a shopping mall.  In the past, the place was used for public hangings.  When that became boring, the Spaniards decided they would be better entertained with the murdering of bulls.  That too has been outlawed in Barcelona.

I researched the significance of the twin buildings.  They're the Venetian Towers, built for the 1929 International Exposition around the late 1920's just to say to the world that Barcelona can build anything they want.  They were made of cheap materials because they were meant to be demolished after the expo.

As one can see, the cityscape is not busy.  Not yet.  Night activities do not come alive until ten o'clock.  Only then the Spaniards would bring their familias to their favorite restaurants.  Anytime before that would just be the opened Tapas bars filled with urbanites nursing their beers and chewing on olives skewered unto a piece of octopus meat.  The Spaniards know how to live.  I am told that in Galicia one can survive with a thousand euros a month, an ordinary salary if you ask anyone.  A retired guy in our tour bounced to me an idea of living in Spain.  Why not?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Don't Bother Me

Don't Bother Me.  This is a crowded train.  I'm pretending to look busy reading a week old newspaper.  Lost and found baseball cap.  Walgreen reading glasses.  Made in China for sure.  They make the best.  And never mind these vagabond shoes that are longing to stray.  They'll step around the heart of it.  New York, New York.  I 'm on No. 7 Train from Flushing-Main Street to Times Square.  I'd make it anywhere.  Yeah, oh New York, New York.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Don't they know it's the end of the world

Night time
leaves rustling,
wind blowing,
sounds of fireworks rising up in the air
though they are nowhere to be found.

"Don't they know it's the end of the world ..."
-- eerie music on the background.

Bandidos, cigars, red wine, leather jacket, 
perfect for this cool evening breeze,
while my service gun tucked inside my cargo pants.
Not even thinking about it anymore.  
It has become an extension of my body.

My concealed carry.

Thank you Mr Smith.
Thank you Mr Wesson.

Already eight o'clock in Europe.
eleven o'clock in the West Coast.
Forget the East Coast,
forget New York,
who cares about New York?

Smoke rising from the Bandidos.
Mouth burning from the cigar butt,
Nicotine high,
and under the influence --
of alcohol.
It's just red wine.

Meandering thoughts.

I'm fat!

American Woman

Proud to be an American.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Sunset on the Eye of Liverpool

One might argue that the Eye of Liverpool looks better than the Eye of London.  I'm probably one of those people.  Taken during sunset with my iPhone 6.  The 8 mp camera on the smart phone only takes jpeg photos, and yet the image is useable in editing in Photoshop.  There are enough good quality pixels for the final rendition.  I think it's not the number of pixels an image has, it's more the quality of pixels that makes for a better image.

(I have now switched to the 16 mp iPhone 7 plus, which takes images in Tiff and Raw format.)

Friday, June 30, 2017

More than colors

More than colors. The city of Madrid gave a ticket to the owner as his building needed a face lift.  The poor owner could not afford to paint the building with a single color.  So he went to his friends to ask if they have old paints they no longer need.  He collected a bunch of different colored paints.  Yellow. Green.  Red.  Pink.  Orange. And blue.  Borrowing from Warhol's pop colors, he began to apply the paints selectively.  Not a drop was wasted.  Because some of the paints were used on his chocolates.  Genius.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I used to be a king

"I used to be a king.  And everything around me turned to gold."  - Graham Nash

Well, he is not really a king.  Maybe a king of his castle in Sydney.  I met Chris years ago in Northern Italy.  I think I took this portrait in Lake Garda while we were having dinner.  I like how he turned his head and looked away.  His hair cut reminded me of a Roman Ceasar.  He had the perfect profile for it.  Italian nose.  A bit of stubble.  Years of wrinkles.  Sad eyes.  What was on his mind?  Yea, maybe he used to be a king.

I shot this with my 24-70 mm EF lens on a Canon 5D mk ii.  Why is this significant?  Because that would be the last time I would haul this camera on travels.  It got so heavy for me that it led to my sciata attack.  This I will not forget.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Neo-caves of Altamira

Chris:  Never been to Barcelona, but everyone I know who went enjoyed themselves.  From what I’ve heard the people are pretty friendly.  Hope you had a great time.  When you have caught up on your sleep, I’m curious to know what you found to be the highlight of your time in Spain?

Juno:  Cheers, Chris.  If I were to choose the only one highlight in Northern Spain, I would have to say the abundance of wine.  Wine is cheaper than water or soda.  And the Northern Spanish wines are excellent.  My favorite is the Albarino, a white wine from Galicia.  Drank cold is best for the hot Spanish climate.  It was in the 100s when we were there.  Thinking it would be cooler, I only brought one pair of shorts.  I ended up buying another one.  I suppose that would be the next highlight.  

Kidding aside.  The visit to the Neo-caves of Altamira in Santillana made an impression to me.  I suppose being an artist I was struck at how technically advanced the dwellers of the cave painted their ceilings.  Paintings of horses, bisons, boars and deers that date back 40,000 years ago.  Surprisingly, the images were not flat at all but appeared three dimensional.    Why the dwellers painted them - who knows?  My guess is that they were probably used as teaching tools.  

"Look, Ocham.  This is a picture of a deer.  Good food."  

"This is a picture of a bison.  Watch out."  

Or it might just be plain decorative.  Maybe a village interior decorator goes house to house - in this case cave to cave, and painted the ceilings per the client's request.  

"Hey, Vyrmyr.  I see how you decorated my neighbor's ceiling.  I want the same on mine."

"Sure, but I have to put you in que.  I'm doing the mayor's next Wednesday."

We were not supposed to take photos so I bought a set of coasters that show the images of the paintings.  I'm posting it here so that you can have an idea of what I'm talking about.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Plaza de toros de las Arenas

The arena in La Monumental, Barcelona.

Back in California.  My body clock is still on European time so I couldn't go back to sleep.  I ended up editing these two images.  The arena located in Barcelona has been converted to a shopping mall since bull fighting was banned in the city.  Carlos Santana and Paco de Lucia have performed here before its conversion.  Definitely our first significant stop in Northern Spain as we have our first dinner at the  roof top.  Ole!

The object on the right is some type of crane to carry humans to the roof top.  Otherwise known as an elevator.