Saturday, April 29, 2017

Don't Worry, Be Happy


Buddy was my first model when I began to get serious into photography.  He has always been my most reliable and faithful model of all.  He is always there when I need to test my equipment.  He never complained and did everything I told him.  He was and still is the best of them all.  Here's to you, dear Buddy.  Cheers!


Friday, April 28, 2017

Don't you love her madly

1 John 2:15-17

"Faced with the knowledge that nothing we say, no matter how trivial or silly, will ever be completely erased, we find it hard to take the risks that togetherness entails. " - Olivia Laing’s book on loneliness, The Lonely City

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Listen to Her


The El Greco Museum is located in Toledo, Spain. It celebrates the mannerist painter El Greco, who spent much of his life in Toledo, having been born in Fodele, Crete. The museum opened in 1911 and is located in the Jewish Quarter of Toledo.


Shot with my Fujifilm x-pro1.  I love the placing of the subjects - the lady who happens to be our Tour Guide and the lady on the poster behind her who seems to be telling us to listen to her.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fire and Ice


For a while, I have been into muted colors but the saturated look has been ingrained in my DNA.  Old habits are hard to break.  And the saturated look has been my style for a very long time.  Initially I thought I would render this image in black and white but thought that it would better convey my vision of fire and ice, which is how it looks to me: Steely dried leaves separated with the orange ones.

Techie Notes:  Taken at the foot of a transmission tower last Saturday while on our weekend walk with the dog.  Maybe that's why the colors look radioactive.  Beautifully illuminated by the morning sky over Chino Hills.

Hope you enjoy.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Karl Marx Lived Here

Tier, Germany (I believe)

Karl Marx lived here.  Really. That's what our tour guide said so. The house has been converted to a shopping building. I guess capitalism prevailed. 



Notice the crucifix in one of the room.  A bit odd for Marx to have one.


Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rain Nostalgia at Old Town Pasadena



It had been raining but I wanted to test the pancake 27mm lens I just got.  There wasn't anything interesting to shoot, except this Japanese restaurant building that caught my attention.  Not really sure why I like it.  Perhaps I thought I could edit it later in post-production and make it look like something nostalgic.  Now it didn't seem that way.

The building is one of the eclectic architectures found in Old Pasadena, often referred to as Old Town Pasadena or just Old Town.  The city is the original commercial center of Pasadena, California, United States that arose from one of the most prosperous areas of the state, and had a latter day revitalization after a period of decay.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Umbrella Not Required



Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in southern Orange County, California, in the United States. It is known for a mild year-round climate, scenic coves, environmental preservation, and artist community. With this gorgeous weather, umbrellas are not required.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Horseman of Austin, Texas



Colonel Frisk:  Ain't no woman like the one I got.

Juzno:  Colonel, I thought you hated women.

Colonel Frisk:  I was talking about Jessica.

Juzno:  Who's Jessica?

Colonel Frisk:  I'm sitting on her, you fool.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Alice Cooper endorses the Bible



Aye, yes.  Better believe it.  Alice Cooper, the singer, reads Christian Theology.  Not the contemporary Evangelical theology.  He reads Reformed Christian Theology, which dates back to the 16th century when Protestants were being persecuted by the Roman Catholic kings and queens.

Wayne and Garth kneeling, "We are not worthy!"

Monday, April 03, 2017

Still Life with Flower Vase ...

Shot on iPhone 7 plus, Lightroom Mobile.


... and with table napkins, junk mail and coffee mug.

Sometimes the best photo op is an unplanned one.  I was sitting across Whelma's table and admired the lighting.  Glad I have my iPhone.

I'm really loving the iPhone 7 plus.  It is an excellent phone with improved cameras (it has two lenses), super slick performance and a handy waterproof, yet familiar design.  If you are a photographer, this is a great back-up camera.  Or it can be your main camera.  It allows for RAW format capture.  A great plus if you plan to edit your images later on.  It's a bit expensive.  But so is the Leica.


Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

I'll see you in September

When Summer is Gone.


And I’ll see you in September 
When summer is gone 
Have a good time but remember  
Come back to me when summer is gone 


No, not the Frankie Vallie and the Happenings rendition.  But Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Dandelion outside our house


Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, which consists of species commonly known as Dandelion. They are native to Eurasia and North America.  This one happens to be one among the many wild plants that grow almost anywhere outside our house.  It sticks out on bricks and concrete.  People for the most part don't like Dandelions.  I happen to think they are wonderful.  And they make great photo subject.  Is it just me - but doesn't it look like a Galaxy?  Or maybe the Great March Comet of 1843?

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Daisies in the Blue Hour

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus, Lightroom Mobile.
The blue hour is famous for its romantic connotations, particularly in the arts. A colloquial French saying characterises the blue hour as a time of confusion and mystery, since it is impossible to determine whether it is really night or day.  Are you feeling for French Fries?

Yeah, the blue hour capture looks cool.  But I will be honest.  I didn't shoot this during the blue hour.  It was shot at late morning.  In post-production, I was able to cast a dark blue tone on the entire image by pulling and pushing on the blue channel of the Curves Adjustment.  The yellow daisy harmonizes well with blue.  The two colors are in the opposite end of the  spectrum in the color wheel so the combination works nicely.  

This tiny bit of knowledge in post processing comes in handy.  I like to take photos anytime anywhere.  I could practically edit my images to look like it was shot at daytime or nighttime with no regards to the real time of the day.  To an extent.

Please don't tell anyone else of my secret.

Cheers.



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Long Time Gone


Must have been this time of the year.  The cool December breeze.  Early in the morning.  Everyone was still asleep.  The sun was always late.  I could smell the coffee brewing.  The sound of eggs frying tickled my ears.  She was humming the same old tune.  I could never make out what song it was.  I never asked her.  It doesn't matter anymore.  She's a long time gone.


#existentialism #momentintime #longtimegine #melancholy #rumination 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Coexist:  Art House and the White Trash Design 

Manhattan, New York
An important element of postmodernism is its acknowledgment of previous works: living, working, and creating on the backs of those that had come before.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

One never steps on the same river twice

Canon EOS 5d, EF 24mm, f22, ND filter

The water and rocks image was composed under the tree to even out and soften the lighten.  I used my 24mm lens set at f22 to get as much depth as I can.  In my opinion, wide angle lenses are forgiving at any aperture size.  Had this been a 50mm the sharpness would have been compromised at aperture smaller than f8.  So I think the 24mm set at small aperture has something to do with the structure of the rocks captured.  Also, I made sure that the sharpest focus was on one of the rocks (I think the middle one).  The calm water is a result of exposing at 2 seconds, which eliminated the harsh luminance bouncing from the stream.  I increased the EV to 1.3+ so I can get a longer exposure.  The image was post processed using Nik Viveza to adjust the levels and increase the structure a bit, and Nik Color Efex Pro to squeeze out the color.  As I’ve mentioned the Viveza is one that I would have if I have only one choice.  The Color Efex is superfluous but it makes editing easier.  I think I could have gotten the same results by just playing around with the RGB levels.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Secret to My Success


Juzno: What is your secret to your photography success?

Magnum Photographer David Hurn: A good pair of shoes.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Existential Moment of Señor Hugo

One day at Los Angeles's Fashion District

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Black Hipster in NY


Yo... you dig?  Ja know yellow is da new black?

There are trending street photography styles that I refuse to be a part of.  One style is heavy on the shadows and lots of blacks in the image.  I believe it's a style borrowed from Alex Webb.  The problem is everything else looks the same.  I try to do the opposite and bring up the highlights instead.

Cheers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Doctrine of Daisy: She loves me ... she loves me not.

iphone 7 plus, Lightroom Mobile

Still doing our morning walks at the nature trail close by our house.  So far so good.  No body aches, no coyotes, lots of dog and horse droppings along the way.

Went back to posting my photos in Instagram.  Being in IG has been a fascinating experience for me.  One day, I would get 5 or so followers.  I doubt they even seriously looked at my feed.  The next day, I would have lost 10.  By the end of the year, my follower stats will be in deficit.  They love me.  They love me not.  Daisies, I love to turn you on.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Look Out New York


New York in 2011.  Not much have changed. Cosmopolitan city.  Densely populated.  A financial Mecca.  Blah.  Blah.  One thing I dig here is the preponderance of billboards.  I suspect that the city is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most billboards in the world.  You got to see this city.  It was the same many years ago.  It's still the same now.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Dirty Dish Done Dirt Cheap

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus, Lightroom Mobile
Imitating the great Josef Koudelka.  

Throughout his career, Koudelka has been praised for his ability to capture the presence of the human spirit amidst dark landscapes. Desolation, waste, departure, despair and alienation are common themes in his work. His characters sometimes seem to come out of fairytales. 

Juzno's work on the other hand has been vastly ignored.  His ability to capture dark humor,  irony, and viewer's inability to find meaning are not uncommon themes.  His characters are mostly spoon, forks, and inanimate objects that are known to never complain despite the artist's abuse of them.


Etc.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hannah and Her Sister



Photo tip of the day:  Shooting from the hip -- such as how I captured this - can be fun but takes some practice.  For this shot, I preset the camera to f16 at aperture priority so the camera would select the best shutter speed for an acceptable exposure.  Then I up the ISO to 1600.  At this setting, anything I shoot with good lighting will practically be sharp so I manually pre-focus the lens to infinity.  The camera was just at the waist line level so I was able to get a low angle shot.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Anticipation



I am seriously getting anxious. Will she come? I made sure I wore my best suit and newly bought pink bow tie. She may be coming soon. Oh, but I need to go to the toilet. Like now!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wild Flower ... Please to meet you

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus, of course, on Lightroom Mobile
Ever since the weather has warmed up, Rose and I have gone back to our morning walks.  In Chino Hills where we live, we are fortunate to still have some nature trails close by.  Such as this one.  It's a stone's throw away from our house.  I rarely bring my DLSRs or my mirrorless cameras.  Nowadays, all I need is a big stick in case we get ambushed by a coyote, an expired pepper spray in case we encounter a bad guy, and of course my iPhone 7 plus in case there is an opportunity to take a picture.

I've been using the iPhone 7 plus in combination with the Lightroom Mobile, which allows me to shoot in RAW format.   It is now capable of shooting HDR in RAW format.  How cool can that be.  I have been very impressed on what it can do.  The tele capability makes easy macro shooting.

I've used other smart phone apps but thus far the Lightroom Mobile is in my opinion the best.  The app is capable of manual camera operation.  The photo editing tools are very useable.  I can't wait to take the iPhone with me on our next travel adventure.

Hope your day is going well.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

The New Yorkers as Abstraction (2005)

Cross street in Manhattan, somewhere close to Times Square.

Must have been 2001 or 2002, Rose bought a point and shoot camera.  It was a Canon PowerShot S40.  I think it had only 3 mb resolution.  I was not even thinking of seriously going into photography.  We got it so we can document our travels.  I look at the images that this little camera produced, and I'm still amazed.  The above image was taken around 2005 with this camera at a long exposure time for the blur to show.  By then, I was taking more pictures and had familiarize myself with some basic photography skills.  The S40 camera is still with me, but it has stopped working.  Not quite sure why I'm still keeping it.  Maybe by some magic, it might resurrect and serve me well again.  Below is how my S40 now looks like:


Friday, March 10, 2017

27 mm for the Fujifilm XE-1 ... my new toy

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus, Lightroom Mobile Pro mode

Rose uses the original X100 and from time to time I would also use it.  It's a great camera for traveling.  I love the Fuji x100 and have thought of getting the upgraded X100F.   What I like is its compactness, classic styling, and the 23mm lens (35 mm on a full frame sensor).  Then I heard about Fuji's 27 mm detachable lens.  It's close enough to the 23mm.  I said to myself I could just get this lens and swap it with my 14mm lens attached on my Xe-1. It will just be like the X100.   In fact, the size is comparable.  On our last travel, I used the Xe-1 and 14mm combination, and was great for landscape.  My new Xe-1 and 27mm will be my next travel camera.  We'll see how this kit works out.
SaveSave

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Beer and Coffee for Breakfast

Shot on iPhone 7 plus on Lightroom Mobile HDR

Blogging is hard.  At times I wonder why I even do it.  It makes it harder knowing that there is only a small audience.  That's why beer and coffee sometimes makes more sense than blogging.  Maybe that is what makes blogging more sensible.  I don't know.

Today my Lightroom Mobile app told me that there is a new feature in the app.  It is now capable of shooting HDR in RAW format.  How cool can that be.  I have been using the camera feature of the Lightroom Mobile and have been very impressed on what it can do.  The tele capability makes easy macro shooting.  I still use the stock camera app of the iPhone 7 Plus for portrait mode but the Lightroom outshines my other apps.

Above is a sample of what it does.  I am also showing my preference for IPA beer.  As for coffee beans, it has to be the Costa Rican Tarrazu.  If you believe that, you'll believe anything else.

Hope you are having a good day.  Cheers.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Throwback Fed 4 (Icons Behind the Lens Series)

 Andreas Feininger's The Photojournalist Behind a Fed 4 (reworked)

A few years ago, I thought I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted to be a Street Photographer.  It didn't take long for me to realize that I sucked at it at times.  Sometimes I would get fortunate in getting killer shots.  But oftentimes my best shots are miserable lots.  But this is the essence.  Perhaps, that is why I fall back into portraits.  And nowadays when I'm sober I just take pictures of non-moving objects.  They usually don't complain a lot.

Like any other skills, I need to practice taking pictures.  I've always wanted to take photos of vintage cameras.  I do own a few but I felt that I didn't have the right elements to make it work.  Until today.  I just remembered Andreas Feininger's photo of Dennis Stock, the face behind the camera.  Stock went on to become a leading photojournalist with Magnum Photos, which is famous for their street photography.

Which brings me to vintage cameras.  The Fed is a neat rangefinder that kind of works like a Leica, the most coveted camera by every street photographer.  Not really comparable as far as quality.  But it's a poor man's Leica.  I could count with my one hand how many fine photos I've shot with the Fed.    Actually, I'm lying.  I don't have any decent shots I made with it.  But the camera looks cool.  For that, it scores some points.  It has to.

This is my tribute to  Andreas Feininger's iconic photo: A picture of my Fed 4 in front of the picture.

Originally posted December 15, 2014

Friday, March 03, 2017

Jewels of San Antonio (reworked)

Reworked and re-posted

May not be best title for this image.  And it's not one of my best works.  But there's something about it that I like.  I tend to treat the pictures I've taken as my children.  There are bright ones, and there are the middle of the road, and it's always hard to toss away the runts.  All of them seem to tell me something about how I was feeling at the time I took them.  I captured this one morning when I was in San Antonio, Philippines in 2010.  The colors of the wet rocks reminded me of fancy jewels found in 99 cent store.  Trinkets.  I think that's what they are used for.  Trivial.  Unimportant.  Charming only to a few.  Yet sometimes it's those trivial things that we tend to cherish.

Hope you enjoy. - R

Originally posted February 24, 2012

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Looking through the glass onion ... oh yeah

Shot with the Carl Zeiss 80mm f2.8 for Hasselblad
What's the deal with the onion?  Not sure, really.  But when I saw it sitting on our kitchen for over a week now, I thought that to would make a good still life model.

One of the many more test shots using the Carl Zeiss 80mm for the Hasselblad with the 24mm Extender attached to the Canon 5D ii.  The lens does not produce tack sharp images but the unique character I think outweighs the sharpness.  The lens is designed for film use.  Plus it's a hundred years old.  Well, I'm kidding.  Not sure how old the lens is.  But it's old.  It's vintage.  And it puts out a vintage quality unlike most modern lens.  I happen to like it.  And I think I'll continue to play around with it.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

You're in my frame ... can you please move?

Add caption
Seems like trends in street photography rapidly changes.  Black and white has always been the classic, and so many photographers still render their images in monochrome.  Nowadays, the trend is for the image to have unrecognizable people with a lot of shadows in the frame.  Some photos go to the extreme where the shadows dominate the image - going as far as half the image is all shadows.  These are not the regular shadows - they're all pitch black with very high contrast.  These photos are ubiquitous.  In other words, they're a dime a piece.  Just like some high definition landscape photos.  HDR.  But I thought I would jump into the band  wagon with my own twist on it.  I added blur to make it my own style.  The above is my first attempt.  Hope you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ladies from Red: This too is our world


Dear Not-My-President,

As this is our first time writing to you, I hope that you would take us seriously. We came to this country not by our own volition. For several years, we have been dedicated in our work - even though a lot of our work is done underground.  Pay is difficult but it helps us send money to our families back home. We just hope that you would reconsider your immigration policy.  I think I speak for most of my fellow workers.  After all, we helped made this country great.  Please do not send us back to Mars.

Sincerely,
Sexy Sadie

#urbanism #windowdisplay #madeinchina

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Do You Think I'm Sexy?

iPhone 7 plus capture at Old Town Pasadena
Juzno:  Mr Churchill, what kind of cigars do you smoke?

Churchill:  The best, of course.

Juzno:  And what would that be?

Churchill:  Churchill, of course.

#shotoniphone7 #iphoneography #winstonchurchill #windowdisplay

Monday, February 20, 2017

Taking My Time


A picture paints a thousand words.  Need I say more?

#Instagram #simplyTrafalgar

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Enjoying the California weather with the New Zealand wine

Shot on iPhone 7 plus.
For the longest time I have been a red wine drinker.  My favorite was a Cabernet Sauvignon.  And then I switched to a Merlot.  Lately, I have been more of a Pinot Noir drinker.  I drink it with food or just by itself.  Then Rose brought home a Sauvignon Blanc the other day.  I always thought it was a so-so variety.  Until we tasted the Matua Sauvignon Blanc.  The 2016 is good.  It has a scent of citrus and the aroma is delightfully fruity.  A great wine for a nice late winter in Southern California.  I think I'll be stocking up in time for Spring.

Right now, the weather is gorgeous.  But tomorrow we are headed for a big storm.

Cheers.

#wine #savignonblanc #iPhone7plues #shotoniPhone

Back to Instagram

Screenshot of my Instagram Page on iPhone 7 plus.

I think it's been over a year since I last posted on Instagram.  I was tired of the you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch yours environment.  I felt that my art was being cheapened.  The same reason I have deactivated my Facebook account.   Yet I realized I needed to have a wider forum where I can share my work.  Magnum Photographer Matt Black once said that "as a photographer, you have a moral obligation to to publish your work and reach as many people as possible."  I thought about this, and I think I would be willing to give Instagram another try.

If you can indulge me for a bit, please check my posts on this link and let me know what you think. Cheers.

#Instagram #MattBlack #Screenshot #iPhone7plus #shotoniphone

Monday, February 06, 2017

Loving the 2014 Pinot Noir

Another Test Shot Using the Carl Zeiss 80mm f2.8
Dear Line 39, 

Please consider me a big fan of the Line 39 Pinot Noir.  We drink the wine almost every day.  My wife and I have been stocking up on cases of this wine.  

I freelance as a photographer.  The other day, I was testing how my vintage Carl Zeiss 80 mm would work with my Canon 5d mark ii.  Years ago, I had used the lens on my Hasselblad 500CM, a fine medium format film camera.  I thought what  would be a better test subject than my favorite wine bottle of the Line 39.  I so love how the result came out that I want to share the photo that I took. I hope you will approve.  

I am aware that this may sound like a pitch.  But I have no expectation.  I simply want to share my love for your Pinot Noir.  

Keep up the good work.

Best,

Juzno Man

#CarlZeiss80mm #lensadapter #Hasselblad500cm #wine #Line39 #PinotNoir #fanletter #findyourline

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Window in Northern Italy

Italian Window 
Oh yes, you would never know.  You would never know.  I may look rustic and old outside but beneath this veneer of perceived epiphany  that badly deserves sympathy -- I am youth ... I am vigor... I am the future.  I know you need to come in.  Oh need -- such a vulnerable word.  Need -- that should not be the appropriate word.  It relates to being helpless.  We don't want that.  Perhaps, you should want to come in.  Want -- yes that is a better word.  It implies free will.  You have a choice.  Choose me.

#simplyTrafalgar #TrafalgarInsider

Friday, February 03, 2017

Persistence Pays



Juzno man!

On January 8 the homily was all about the Epiphany of the Lord.  Well I experienced my own epiphany - I have decided to seek you guys out and spend few minutes together once a week if I'm lucky or whenever inspiration arises.  How will I execute this promising resolution?  I will write to you about anything and everything.

Here's my first story - certainly about Lucas (my 3 year old grandson), he is my world you know.  He always invites me to play with him because you see I am his BFF (oh well at least I think that!)  A few nights ago while playing with lego creating Star Wars characters, I prayed over his right eye because it has a sty and is severely infected.  After my unsolicited entreaty, I asked him to say Amen, two times, steadfastly he refused.  On my third attempt, a loud thunder roared through the sky, he shuddered, instantly I went for the kill - you should say it now - without hesitation and with vigor he shouted AMEN!!!

Good day,
Au

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and Mimi thanks you



I wanted to create a personal thank you card.  With the help of Mimi, this is what we came out with.

She is 11 years old.  In dog years, that is over 70 years old.  So basically she is a septuagenarian.  But she still has a lot of drive.  Especially, when there is food incentive.  The only way to get her to sit down.  Such as when we were making this photo.

Looking forward to a thankful Spring.

#Mimi #Pomeranian #smalldog #thankyoucard

How I overcome GAS


Lately, I have been experiencing GAS.  Not that odious ethereal substance.  I mean "Gear Acquisition Syndrome".  I have this on-and-off addiction to buy new toys.  It doesn't happen all the time but when it does it is hard for me to fight my obsession.  So I decided to look back at the stuff I got through the years knowing that there must be something I acquired but have forgotten about it.  Lo and behold, I found my lens adapter.  It's a metal piece that I got it years ago to be able to use my Hasselblad lens on my Canon EOS cameras.  The device was still in its box.  And I don't really remember using it.

I got out my old Canon 5D and looked for my Sonar f/4 150mm that I used on my Hasselblad 500CM.  Took several test shots and right away I fell in love with this new creature that I had assembled.  Well, it actually looks more like a monster and weigh a ton.  Most of the parts are metal except for the switches and the rubber strip to protect the camera.

As always, my favorite test shot is Mimi.  So here's a sample of the images I took.  The focus is less than ideal.  I would have wanted the main focus on Mimi's left eye but I missed.  The vintage lens had to be operated manually.  With an excited dog, it's not always easy to get a clear shot.  Overall I think the result is decent.  This will have to do.  For now.

#Lensadapter #testshots #Fotodiox 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Skull Sword Handle

Sword in Toledo, Spain

Toledo has a history in the production of bladed weapons, which are now popular souvenirs of the city.  It is a city in central Spain. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage and historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures.  As such it is at times referred to as the "City of the Three Cultures".  Given the current cultural clashes in this ruined world, maybe we can learn something from this historical city.

#metallurgy #Toledo #Spain #sword