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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Break time

Just arrived back from Northern Spain.  New posts are coming soon.  In the meantime, have yourself a merianda Tuscan style.  Cheers.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Meaning of Clams

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus.

Try saying "She sells seashells by the seashore" five times fast. Now try saying it backwards "seashore the by seashells sells she". 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The time the end started or Ruminating on Black White Photography

Need a camera to tell the time?  No Problem.

How could you not like BW?  There is something about Black and White photography that I think either people really like it or just don't care.  If you belong to the latter group, I forgive you.

I am one of those who really like it.  There is a sense of timelessness about BW.  I think I can make a case out of this image.  At first glance, one could think that this was shot decades ago.  The truth is that the picture was taken not too long ago at Old Town Santa Barbara.

Metaphysical Alert:  This image kind of reminds me of that Chaplin movie Modern Times. In the movie, dehumanized humanity is depicted as passively going through the motion.  The powers-to-be have fooled the laboring people that this was the pursuit of happiness.  I think that it some ways we have been led to believe that this ought to be the way of life.  Our society becomes so obsessed with the mandate of time that ironically we become slaves to it.  I reject this rubric.

Techie Notes: Shot on medium format film using the vintage Mamiya-Six.  The last time I reported on this camera I was having problems with its sticking leaf shutter.   I decided to revive it - thinking that I was able to fix the sticking shutter.  As it turned out the shutter was still sticking.  I've gone through two rolls of medium format film.  After developing them, everything was all black, which meant the shutter never opened --  except for only two decent pictures.  This is one of them.  The other one is also on the same subject but with a slight difference in angle.  I chose to post this one as the composition is a bit more balanced.

This is definitely old school.  The camera did not have any light meter.  Fortunately, the sun was cooperating so I was able to use the Sunny f/16 Rule.  It's really easy.  Set the aperture at f16 and the speed at whatever film ISO you're using.  In this case, the film was rated  at ISO 400.  So I just have to set my shutter speed at 1/400.

But wait -- apparently my camera only goes to 1/250.  It suppose to go higher but it seemed to stop at 1/250.  Not to worry -- I should be able to extrapolate the setting to where I thought the right exposure would be.  Kind of hard when your brain froze a few days ago, so I'm guessing  f/22 at 1/250.  With 1/250 sec being slower than 1/400 sec, I needed a narrower aperture like f/22 so less light can get in.  Did I guess right?

As you can see, the exposure on this image is perfect.  Thank you very much!

But I can't take all the credit.  Apparently too, I didn't mention my other secret - film is very forgiving.  You can overexpose or underexpose your shot and still be able to push or pull the image during developing.  On this one I cut down my developing time to 5 minutes (usually it's 7-1/2 minutes) so the final cut comes out tasting like a juicy  medium rare.  Yeah!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

And let's hear some of the rock and roll music

I think it was a year ago when I was with Rose, and we were just chilling out at this bar close to the Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles.  And when I glanced to my side, right next to me was Gustavo Dudamel, the director and conductor of the LA Philharmonic.  Dude, I told myself, I need to get a selfie with this guy.  "Mr. Gustavo ... can I call you that?  You are my greatest fan.  I mean ... sorry... I just had three double shots of Glenlivet neat, and I can't contain myself."  None of that actually happened.  Rose told me to leave him alone as we were minutes before the performance where Dudamel would be conducting the LA Phil.  But, but ... Oh well.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pond Anilao

The image will be on the new cover of the novel The Dying Game by Asa Avdic - soon to be released in August 2017.  The story is set in year 2037. The Soviet Union never fell, and much of Europe has been consolidated under the totalitarian Union of Friendship. On the tiny island of Isola, seven people have been selected to compete in a forty-eight-hour test for a top-secret intelligence position. 

The photo was taken in 2010 with a Panasonic DMC LX3 Point and Shoot.  The camera only had 10 mp.  The worst part was I dropped it on a raging river.  I let it dry for 3 days and re-used it on this landscape.  Obviously, the camera still worked.  Maybe the water that got inside the camera gave it special powers.  Who knows?

The calm fish pond is owned by Rose's sister-in-law.  For years, she was in a legal battle to claim its ownership.  Finally, the court settled that she has rightful ownership.  It was battle worth pursuing, I think.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Wisdom of Babes (ii)

I asked these two girls what they think is the meaning of life.  They told me unequivocally that life is like a lollipop.  It is hard.  It is sweet from start to finish.  When you're done with it, you can nibble on the stick, which gets real old.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Self-absorbed (Sweet Painted Lady)

Goldie challenges herself.


Five Pounds of Smeared Revlon Mascaras
Box of Margaux Hemingway Red Lipsticks
Chlorox Bleach for Pure Platinum Hair Dye
Signed Trayvon Martin hoodie
Spare Village People Cruising Cap
Cheap Knockoff Ray-Bans
Borrowed Spanish Fan from Mike Tyson
Burma Gold Paint Any Brand from Home Depot

Not shown here is her fake Louis Vuitton Handbag.

Swil:  Ooooh ... she's HOT!

Juzno:  I think she's also fire retardant.

Swil: I can still envision Vincent Price's "House of Wax" ... I'd hate to see her melt!

Fujifilm X-pro 1, 35mm
Los Feliz, California
© 2013 Rob Castro

What she looked like a few years before she got famous:

Compare Post "I think this is Art".

Friday, June 09, 2017

Pancho at Olvera Street

Juzno:  What is your secret to good life?

Pancho:  I only eat what mi esposa do all the cooking.

Juzno:  What does she cook for you?

Pancho:  Mi favorito es refried beans topped with Texan filet minion.

Juzno:  How do you like your steak?

Pancho:  With cerveza.  Lots and lots.

Street musician relaxing at Olvera Street, which is is in the oldest part of Downtown Los Angeles, California, USA, and is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Young Artist (before they ruined the John Lennon wall)

Lennon Wall, Prague, Czech

We see here Spunky H completing her graffiti art on this wall.  She has been known to single handedly cover an entire wall with her signature graffiti in less than two hours.  Rumor has it that England-based graffiti artist Banksy is considering a collaboration project with Ms H.  Sadly, on November 18, 2014, some students calling themselves Prague Service painted over the famous John Lennon wall and erased Ms H's artwork.

Story link here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Journal No. 7

Inspired (meaning stolen) from German Expressionism
Canon EOS 5D, 20mm Voigtlander, iso1600, f5.6, 1/30

How many triangles can you spot on this image?

If I were to pick a winner in Surrealistic Photography,  I think it would be one of the photographers from the German Expressionism Movement.  The picture above is my paltry attempt to copy the style of that period.  I think I don't come close.  Most of the artists probably were experiencing angst and produced remarkable works that expressed their feelings.  Not too long ago, I've noticed that there has been a resurgence of artists from eastern Europe who have similar sense of art work.  My guess is that most of these artists experienced repression and are now coming out of the woodwork.  A lot of dark themes.
. . .

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Testosterone Overload

aU:  I'm having a Testosterone Overload.

Juzno:  I don't have first hand experience associating with Testosterone Overload as I grew up in the company of women for most of my life.  In truth, most of my friends are women.  When Rose was pregnant with Kamilah, I was glad that we would be raising up a daughter because I feared that I would not be able to raise a son in a normal way.  I was not into sports, and all those boy activities.  It worked out all right I suppose.  

aU:   What does your image have to do with Testosterone Overload?

Juzno:   The Babylonians fed their soldiers with lots of onions before they go to war because they believe the onion was  the source of Testosterone.