Thursday, November 30, 2017

All I had was you

Melancholy music finds its way where the sun refused to shine.  Yet all it is and will ever be -  a momentary distraction blurred in the background.  I find no comfort.  Life is meaningless.  Wine can no longer make my heart glad.  What is the use?  My soul is impotent.  My heart has lost its strength. I am solitary as always.  Forsaken not by the world, which could not hurt me.  But by my own creation.  Everything that I did and loved are all but dust now.  My memories are continually being swallowed up by the background music.  One time, happiness beckoned me. I stretched out my arm to its warm embrace. Where is he now?  He was all that I had. And now I couldn't even remember his face.

#Flickr #portrait #blackandwhite #BW #woman #oldwoman #textured #grainy #gritty #square #SquareFormat #NightTime #conceptual #melancholy #desolation #Loneliness #Time #Age #window #LookingThroughWindow #Story #fujifim #xpro-1

Originally posted December 4, 2014

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Street Smart

"You really think I look like George Clooney?"

"Absolutely, sir.  Now may I take your photo please."

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Charm of Guadalupe

“Hoy, mijo! You wanna try da green enchilada? I make you yum yum.” 

“Por favor, senora. Can you make that doble yum yum y extra verde?”

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sometimes My Best Shot is a Photo of a Photo

Growing up, Taxi Driver was one of my favorite films.  I think I was only 14 years old - maybe a bit older.  But I love the character whom Di Niro portrayed.  Travis Bickle, a young honorably discharged U.S. Marine, lonely, depressed and living on his own in New York City. He takes a job as a taxi driver, driving passengers every night around the city's boroughs. When he is not working, he spends time in porn theaters and keeps a diary in which he consciously attempts to include aphorisms, such as "You're only as healthy as you feel."  Well, I was too young to go to porn theaters but I thought I needed to remind myself of my self-esteem.  I definitely identified with Travis.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Books, books and more books

I think this was at the Last Bookstore in Los Angeles.   Shot some time ago when I was doing street photography in the area of Grand Central Market.  My usual preferred lens/camera for street is the 35mm/Fujifilm X-Pro1 but with this I used the 14mm/Xe-1.  I think I wanted to capture the width and breadth of the book shelf.  Anyway, I am quite pleased with the edited image.  I am quite please that I am back to editing again.  So much for being tangled up in stuff.  What stuff?  Just stuff.

In a few hours, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in the States.  This image reminds me that I thank the Lord that Rose and I both love to read books.

Hope your day goes well.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Don't Bother Me

Since she's been gone
I want no one
To talk to me
It's not the same
But I'm to blame
It's plain to see

So go away and leave me alone

Don't bother me

- Don't bother me, George Harrison

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Barista of Grand Central Market

“Was that a Coconut Milk Pumpkin Macchiato with three cubes of ice with coffee or without?”


Monday, November 20, 2017

Contented Cook

Akiro San:  Will that be egg over easy or easy going egg?

Juzno:  Neither. I want my egg hard to get.

Monday, November 13, 2017

jUsT aNoThER daY

St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland
Is it true?


That it’s true?

Thursday, November 09, 2017


Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Inifinite Compassion. Qianlong Emperor (1736-1796).  Statue is made of wood from the Qing Dynasty.  Displayed in the Vatican Ethnological Museum.

We were fortunate to be invited to dine at the Vatican Museum.  I shot this statue just before dinner.  I dig how it was on a pedestal so I don't have to kneel down to get a low angle view.  I also like the way the backlighting worked.  The one great thing about taking photos of statues is that they don't complain, and don't demand a model release.

Taken with the iPhone 7 plus.

Mr Smith leaves everything behind

Downtown Los Angeles

 Is he walking away from his old life? Or walking towards a new life?  Or maybe the world is passing by like a flat airport escalator and he is still on the same place.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Dewi Sri and Garuda

Dewi Sri.  She's considered the protective rice goddess of the people of Bali, Indonesia.  Behind her is Garuda, an avian deity.  The statues are made of wood dating back from late 19th century to early 20th century.  Both statues are displayed in the museum at the Vatican.

"Excuse me. Can you please stand by the fire hydrant? Thank you."

 my fickled reasoning, random emotion bubbled up ... 

....if only I

The day the reformed witch of the west turned the streets of Los Angeles Toy District into a land of milk and honey.  The fire hydrant is there just for props.

Toy District, Los Angeles, California
Fujifilm XE-1, 14 mm lens
Copyright 2013 Rob Castro

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The Cat Who Ate My Sister Sally

Binan, Laguna, Luzon

Socrates:  Are you taking my picture?

Juzno:  You have a problem with that?

Socrates:  Well, are you taking a picture of the copy of my form?  You know, the real me is somewhere in the Realm of Ideas.  You might have to run that by The Demiurge.

Juzno:  You mean you are not the real you?

Socrates:  What you are seeing is an illusion.  In fact, in my former self I was not a cat but a controversial Greek gadfly who was made to drink hemlock by the authorities for my radical teachings.

Juzno:  How did the hemlock taste like?

Socrates:  It needed more ice.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Strange Days Indeed

Poor henpecked Mr Di Niro.  He is trying to hide from his wife after she learned that he didn't buy the lotto ticket that she told him to buy that just won five million dollars.

My tribute to the Yeshiva Mat-124 G.  The poor man's Rolleiflex.  One can still buy this vintage camera.  Last I checked at Amazon it was selling for $300.  I got mine years ago and I think I might have paid the same.  Couldn't afford the Rolleiflex.  But it was the closest I could get.  Built like a tank.  Hefty and an attention getter - especially for old blokes like me.  It's a joy to hold and quite stealth in street photography.  Since the view finder is waist level, you have to look down on the camera to compose your image - people think that you are shooting something else instead of them.  This was the way the late Vivian Maier shot her beautiful street images.  She may have been my influence in acquiring this camera.  It has a built in light meter, which uses an obscure battery.  Don't bother getting one because the meter doesn't work.  At least on mine, and it's in excellent shape apart from the meter.  I've heard people complained about the lagging shutter.  This should not be a big issue for most use since film is very forgiving.  You can either just push or pull during the developing process.  

  • 6x6 Twin Lens Reflex, Medium format film camera
  • Viewing lens -  80mm f/2.8 tessar
  • Taking lens -  80mm f/3.5 yashinon tessar
  • F-stop range -  f/3.5 – f/32
  • Shutter Speed range - 1 second – 1/500th & bulb
  • Shots per roll - 120 = 12, 220 = 24

Saturday, November 04, 2017

reADY f0r tHe w0rLd

Freedom - the fatuous inkling of our civilization.  But those who are deprived of it has the barest inkling of what reality is. - Anonymous

Friday, November 03, 2017

On the Way to See the Mariinsky Orchestra

On the way to see the performance of Mariinsky Orchestra, I saw a poster of this dude outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall Theater.  I don't even know him but I thought the poster was cool so I took a shot of it.  This is an interpretation of what I saw.  So in essence, it is not a true copy of the original but an artistic appropriation.  Richard Prince made himself rich by doing that.  Basically, stealing other people's work and rephotographing, copying, scanning, and manipulating them to call them his own.  What has this image got to do with the Mariinsky Orchestra?  Nothing, really.  I just wanted to post it because it made a lasting impression on me before going the concert.

Notes on the concert performance:

Shostakovich.  Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major Op 70.  Yeah, not too bad.  I think the composer was high when he wrote this.  I can tell because I had a few drinks myself before the concert.  I dig the highs and lows of the movements.  
Prokofiev.  Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor Op 16.  Denis Matsuev playing the piano.  He could have been a kung fu artist as his razor blade chops were cutting through like slicing an onion.  Wu-zaa! Sorry if I offend Asians but I can't be a racist because I'm also part Asian.  The best part was the Tambourine guy sneaking in  some parts of the movements.  It looked like he didn't have to work that hard compared to the other musicians but he probably got paid the same. After all the Mariinsky Orchestra is employed by a Communist country.

Scriabin.  Symphony No 3 in C minor Op 43.   A great introduction, majestic and pleasurable to the ear in the beginning.  Then I was lost in the next 55 minutes.  This piece is long.  No breaks.  I felt I was being tormented.  The Russian composers are a cruel people.

Encore:  An excerpt from The Swan Lake.  Thank you!  Finally something I can relate to.

Oh, and the conductor.  Valery Gergiev.  Dapper!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Dionysian Blues

No poem was ever written by a drinker of water. - Homer (8th century Greek poet)

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Thoughts on Babes, Cake and Candies

The two girls are focusing on something other than the M&Ms -- that is a bit of a mystery because it is out of the frame. What was it?