Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Unbearable Lightness of Non-being

My apologies to Milan Kundera.  I think I read the book once.  I may still have it in my library.  Yes, I have a library.  A real library with real books.  The ones that are made from paper.

Monday, October 30, 2017

k0Dak 35

The Kodak 35 is arguably the ugliest camera ever made. I own one. It is not only ugly physically but functionally the beast is cursed. It ate two rolls of my 35mm films. No it just didn't eat them. It devoured them and spit them out or whatever were left of them like fishbones. I never made any single decent shot out of this camera.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Holgas and Diana (Icons Behind the Lens Series)

My tribute to toy cameras.  I have a few of them, couple of Holgas and a Diana, which I cherished and made remarkable photos.  They say that post-modern art is about the process.  Yeah, the ones I've taken with these toy cameras may look crappy but the process resulted in very interesting experience and stories to tell.  The photo on the middle was shot by Sergio Larrain in 1957 at Valparaiso, Chile.  The original photo must have been taken with a professional medium format camera or maybe a Leica. (Somebody please tell me if you have this information.)  But what would it looked like if it had been taken with one of the toy cameras?  Hence my interpretation of Larrain's iconic shot.  I think it still looks good.  Personally, I think it even looks better.  Anybody wants to trade their Leica or Hasselblad with my Holga?  I'll trade two Holgas for either one.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Hannah in a Hurry

Hannah is in a hurry.  She knows that the end of the world is near.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Love Forever

They've been together for a long time. They were still young lovers when they fought Sauron and his cohorts in the days of old. They've witnessed the destruction of Mordor and the crowning of Aragorn as King Elessar. They have been lovers for a very long time. Now retired from service, they enjoy each other's company by doing daily walks and window shopping. Love is forever.

Street Photography Tip No. 1: Anticipate. Keep your eyes open. Be ready.

Rose actually saw them approaching and pointed them to me. I just stood where I was. Made sure all my camera settings are there. F11 and high shutter speed so I make sure I capture them. Camera mode set to continuous burst. Pretend I'm shooting the building. When they came close. I just fired away three shots. This was the best of the three.

And then I use my imagination to create a fantasy story. (This one is optional.)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Tapas bars in Madrid

Spaniards love their own schedules.  Most establishments close between 2pm to 5pm for siestas.  Restaurants don't open until 10 at night.  But Tapas Bars offer happy hours before then.  Wine and beers are the choice drinks.  Tapas are at times free.  Those ones are old recycled food sprinkled with lots of salt to make the customer thirsty for more drinks.  Ole!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chilling on a Fine Evening

Red wine.  Read the Commentary to the Gospel of John.  Playing with the iPhone camera.  Creating art.  Just chilling.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

nEVeR mInD

The title came to me as I thought about what was London famous for:  Big Ben, Phone Booths, the Union Jack, and then I thought Sex Pistols.  But of course.  I never like their music but I was fascinated with their style and attitude.   The title to their album was suited for the Polaroid format, and the typewriter font, and the grime and all.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Devil Wears Prada

This image is not associated with Prada S.p.A. -  an Italian luxury fashion house, specializing in leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes and other fashion accessories, founded in 1913 by Mario Prada.  But maybe, they would notice it and ask me to do commission work.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Let's dance the last dance tonight

Where:  Seville, Spain

When:  March 2014

What:  Couple dancing to the music of Donna Summer's Last Dance

Why:  They get paid to do so

How:  The Spanish way, Ole!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Story Behind "Performance Is ..."

Even back in those days - before my retirement - I always tried to make my office as homey as possible for me.  Hence, I surround myself with artworks.  The image above is a collage/composite of some sorts that I created and displayed on my wall.  I knew that later on I would have to abandon the artwork when I retire.  I could probably bring it home but I decided that I would do the lazy thing.  I captured it with my camera.  This was 2010.  At that time, I had the Canon a590IS Point and Shoot.  It was cheap, and the only one I had at that time. 8 crappy megapixels.  Even then, I think the camera produced a decent photo.  But then I filed the image file and forgot about it.  Until now.  I looked at it and it brings back memories.  Nice ones.  I would sit in front of the computer all stressed out, and all I needed to do was glance at this artwork and I knew everything would be all right.  I said to myself, I am just passing through.  Sooner or later, I will pursue what I love to do.  Create.

Friday, October 13, 2017

2013 Rioja

This is what one may see after their second bottle of red wine.  Wonderful world of colors, blurs and bokeh.  I must say the 2013 Rioja is not that impressive.  But that was the best I could find at the bar in Limerick, Ireland.  (The Irish are not into wine.)  Anyone in the market for wine should try to find the 2010, which was a great year across the board.  Prior to harvesting, it rained quite a bit and the summer was super hot - an ideal condition for growing grapes.  I still see some great finds at Trader Joe's and Costco.  Almost everyone in the wine making business made great wine.  Anyone who made inferior wine from the 2010 grape harvest should not be in the business of wine.  The other year to watch is the 2015.  Not as great as the 2010 but decent.

Shot with the iPhone 6.

May you enjoy this Friday the 13th.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Random Thoughts of Mrs Wright

Mrs Wright felt that the winter would never end.  Hardly any sign of spring on the horizon.  I better get me another cup of hot tea, she thought.  Why does the tea get cold right away?  I'll have to talk to Doctor Leete about my sleep.  The system of socialism is utter nonsense.  I recall in 2078 - yes that was a memorable year - when the Boston Underground played a concert for 36 hours straight.  We were wild and running free.  That was then.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

This Was ... Polaroids

Processed on the Polaroid FX.


I've been having fun with the Polaroid FX app and the Instant Mobile App.  I believe both apps are made by Polaroid.  Both apps re-create the classic instant film look associated with the Polaroid.

Which one is better?  It really depends on your taste and aspect ratio format.  I tend to use the Polaroid FX when I prefer to maintain a 4x5 aspect ratio.  The Instant Mobile is limited to square format.  So if your image is not square, then it will force it to be one.  At times, this can look cool.  But not always.

The Polaroid FX has a variety of simulated films but very limited textures compared to the Instant Mobile, which I prefer as far as customizing the texture.  One can apply random dirt and fingermarks, as well as increasing or decreasing the amount of crease damage.  Very cool.  But it has only one film format.

Another thing I don't like is that the Instant Mobile takes a longer time to process.  Like a regular Polaroid photo, one has to wait a minute or so before the image appears.  The app even tells you to shake or to blow on the image to make it faster - just like the way Polaroids work.  I think it is just a gimmick.  It doesn't make it faster in my opinion although I haven't done a scientific test to back it up.  On my iPhone, the light goes up the whole time while I'm working on the app.  This is irritating, and decreases my battery level.  Not sure why it was designed this way.

Both of the apps offer a variety of pre-set filters.  I find that some of the filters do not mimic the Polaroid look so for me there are only a few that are useable.

The apps are relatively inexpensive.  It's cheaper than buying the real deal.  The 10 pack Impossible Project is at least $20.  The Fujifilm is a little over $10.  Plus one has to scan the image if it were to be shared on-line.  Using Polaroid FX and the Instant Mobile would be the faster way to go in my opinion.  I know.  Purists will hate me for saying this.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More ways than one

Our hero found out that there are more ways than one in the street of New York City.  And he's going on the wrong way.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Why won't you give me love?

What do think?  I suppose it depends on the experiential value one can get from it.  Others think it's snobbishly capricious.   Some people believe so.  Is it worth it? And yet there is something tactile about images shot on film.  You know what I mean.  And so on.  Plus the final image has to be scanned and digitized if it were to be shared electronically.  And you need a Polaroid camera or a medium format camera with a Polaroid back.  Each shot costs about $2.  There are always instant film from Fujifilm and the Impossible Project but they are prohibitively expensive.  The process of getting the final result is arduous though.  That's analog as opposed to digital if you're a millennial.  Lately, I am rediscovering the beauty of film.  

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Spiral Tap - Sistine Chapel's Secret Staircase v.2

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.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Not Peace, but a Sword

 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." - Matthew 10:34

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Secret Agent Man

Sam: Yo, I’ve arrived.

Chief: What do you see that’s unusual?

Sam: Fake buildings, security alert, and white old dude pushing a stroller.

Chief: Where the ($@#^*} are you?!!!!

Monday, October 02, 2017

Prayerful thoughts on the Victims in Las Vegas

May you find peace in Christ.

Cruel to Be Kind

A friend shared this the other day:

And then I thought about ...

What does it mean to find peace?
What is true joy?
What does it mean to have calmness in ones life?  
What is important?
Is family what matters the most? 
Does one sincerely think that this could be an encouragement to the widows, the orphans, the destitute, the homeless? 

Something Else Captured by the X100F

Well, here am I.  Writing gibberish.  I'm sitting down.  Perhaps not on a traditional writing desk.  But close enough.  I forget what I was be doing.  So I have to go back to a theme that I am comfortable with.  Images.  Photography to be specific.  I captured this image using my newfound love:  the Fujifilm Finepix X100F.  As usual, I used the Classic Chrome film simulation - my go-to preset.  All in all, it's a winner.  It would take wild horses to dispute that claim.  Of course, as always, I don't have the slightest idea of what I was doing - and I would be the first to admit it.  But the X100F shoots by itself.  I may be vain but I would have to confess that the image would not be what it was if it were not for the image quality of the X100F.  So as in my other post, this is a shout out to Fuji.  You are my biggest fan!

Hope your day is going well.