Saturday, July 14, 2018

Woman Cooking


She was going to cook some fish for us.  Her husband had just caught some fish in the pond.  I don't remember what kind of fish they were.  They were definitely fresh.

The little hut where they live is in the middle of the pond.  Pretty cool.  This is how most people in that area cook their food.  They have a wooden stove, so yes they use wood to fire up the stove.  It would make lots of smoke.  I wished I would have captured the smoke earlier but when I grabbed the camera the smoke sort of dwindled.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Cage



Captured in 2009 with my first DLSR.  It was a Canon Rebel XT.  In some countries it is called Canon 350D.  I was not even serious into photography yet.  Didn't know what I was thinking when I took this shot.  I was so inept in using the camera that when I took it out of the box I dropped it on our tiled floor.  It bounced a couple of times that I thought I ruined it.  I would end up using it for a couple of years.  I realized I loved the blur.  Later on I discovered the Lensbaby, which helped me composed with lots of blurs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Redemption Biker (ii)



He's the true Old Man Geezer.  Wit's solid as a rock.  Heart as soft as clay.  He'll watch your back no matter what it takes. He' a rock persona idol.  He's a Redemption Biker.  Taken in 2012 at the Chalk Walk Fest at Old Pasadena.  The dude was sitting next to his little daughter who was participating in a children's version of the chalk fest.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Waiting for September



I am tired of this heat wave.  Here in Southern California, it’s triple- digit temperature in the last few days lingering without an appearance of ending.  For you folks who read Centigrade, it means that we have been experiencing above 45s. The leaves on some of our trees have turned crunchy.  The budding apples have turned brown.  The mango fruits are done.  The roses and daisies are half dead.   It’s hot, hot hot and hot hot hot.  

And so in my fantasy world, I am dreaming of the end of Summer.  I welcome Fall and the cool breeze for the hot air it brings.  Yes, Fall.  Probably my favorite season.  The sweet melancholy that accompanies the change in weather.  And there is the change in color in the foliage.  Oh, I know it occurs only for a short period of time.  But that makes its beauty ephemeral, which makes one longs to see it again next year.  And the next.  And so on. 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

A Momentary Lapse of Cognition


I'm not sure how I made this shot.  It was shot with the Panasonic DMC LX3 in 2010 while we stopped by for gasoline in one of the rural towns of Antique, Philippines.  I might have accidentally set the shutter speed on bulb and fired the flash.  I think the result is pretty cool.  Although I don't know how to duplicate it.  One of those happy accidents.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Fisherman and His Son


I don't know how many times I've edited this image in the past, and was not fully satisfied with the result.  Until now.  Taken in 2010 using the Panasonic DMC LX3.  It's really a nifty point and shoot.  The camera I used here fell on a raging river three days before I shot this, and it still worked.  The one neat thing about this camera is it is the same camera as the Leica D-LUX 4, which is made in the Panasonic factory in Japan but cost 3 times as much as the Panasonic.  Unbelievable but it's true.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Beggar and the Tourists


This was actually a failed shot that I have tried to edit several times and just gave up. And then I had an idea.  Instead of embellishing the image with fancy editing, I did the most abnormal thing.  I took away some pixels. That is I rendered the image as high contrast to enhance the shadows and give the people that silhouette look.  It's very much an overdose of a cliche style in street photography.  Almost all street photos look like this - and that is why it is very hard to identify the photographer.  I must confess I don't care so much for this style.  Oh well.  At least for this image, I'm making an exception.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Tourist and the Caveman


Man sitting:  Ah, ya ain't scaring me, bud.

Caveman:  I could give you a nice close shave if ye want.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Leg and Two Bicycles


All right, what a lame title.  But I can assure you that the bicycles and the lady who is walking are not lame.  Taken on a sunny day in Northern Italy.

Hope you are having a great day.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Some Feet A'walking on the Street of Belagio



The tourists seem to be walking away from something.  The Pigeons appear to be headed where the tourists came from.  A fine sunny day in Northern Italy.  I think this was somewhere in the Province of Como.  I'm just going to say it's in Belagio just because it was one of the two tourist traps I can remember while being there.  The other place was Lago Maggiore.  

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Two Old Friends and a Bicycle


They have known each other for a while.  They first met at the Woodstock Festival back in 1969.  Carla who rides the bike used to be a roadie for Janis Joplin.  It is the same bike that she has back then.  She would buy Southern Comfort Whiskey and Strawberries for Janis.  Darla who is holding an old newspaper used to be a nurse volunteer.  One day at the Festival, she attended to Janis when she had too much to drink.  That was how the two women met.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Bicycle and Three People


I love shooting bicycles.  Old ones, new ones, don't seem to matter.  They are simply photogenic.  Add a few people passing along, and the image is transformed from a still life to street photography.  I sense that the two women may be talking about the guy who passed by, or they could be lost, or they could be talking about me.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Kawali


This is how most people in the third world cook their food.  In the Philippines where I grew up, I have first hand experience with this kind of cooking.  The local folks get whatever wood they can find to fire up the makeshift stove.  An iron kettle, which is called Kawali in most dialects, is used to practically cooked anything.  The smoke from the firewood is terrible as they are mostly humid.  Air pollution control was unheard of.  Growing up, I would stand by the fire - fascinated how things were done.  By the time it was all done, my face would be black with soot and my eyes hurting from the smoke.  This practice continues to this day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The world through a cheap camera



I have tons of images that are just waiting to be found.  This was shot in 2009 in Laguna Beach, California.  Like my other images, it has never been edited until now.  That was because back then I had no idea how to edit photos in post production.  The camera was the Canon a590is, a cheap point and shoot camera.  I bought it cheap then, and it is cheaper now.  One can get it for $35 at eBay.  I still have it. For this shot, I mounted a wide angle converter to get a fishy eye look.  Hence, the tacky looking vignette caused by adapter.  It was also a cheap converter.  Must have paid less than $15 for it back then.  A year later I picked up a Lensbaby and took photography seriously.

Weather has warmed up quite a bit here in Southern California.  The image above pretty much reflects the same mood we have today.  Hope your day is going well.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Film Noir Stairway


The image reminded me of an abandoned house on our compound years ago as I was growing up.   I must have five years old.  I and other kids from our neighborhood would go inside the house to explore what was inside.  I always experienced a dreary feeling whenever I was there.  At times I would dream about the place.  But that did not stop me from going back.  I was one curious sort probably too adventurous for my own good.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A Study on Lighting


Photography is really all about using the light.  How much light does the subject needs?  Will an absence of light in certain parts of the image enhance the photo?  Where is the light coming from?  Is the light harsh or soft?

The image above was shot with the afternoon light coming from our window.  The guitar pedals were just laying there.   Didn't mean to take a picture of  them.  I might have been watching Netflix or something from YouTube.  Then I noticed how the light fell on the pedals.  I loved how the shadows created depth and dimension.  My x100F was close by so I snapped a few photos.  This image was the very first one I shot, which I think was the best.  That usually happens to me.  The first take turns out to be always the best.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, June 22, 2018

When not to ask men for advice



Agent 1:  I need to buy an anniversary gift for the wife.

Agent 2:  Does she need a new washing machine?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

en jij en ik (seeing with aging eyes)


This has been buried in my archived.  I think I shot the image in 2015 in Amsterdam.  Shot with a 35mm x-mount lens mounted on the Fujifilm x-pro 1 at f/16.

Several times I tried editing the image but I was not satisfied with the results.  Until now.  Don't know what really changed except that my reading eye has gone worse but my far sighted eye has improved.  I have this condition called Anisometropia – a condition where the refractive power for both two eyes is unequal. Both eyes' conditions don't match; one is myopic, or nearsighted and the other eye can be hyperopic, or farsighted.  Rose has Isometropia, which is the opposite; both eyes having the same refractive power.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ready for the World (ii)


I find that simplicity is always the best.  In capturing the image above it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  It was shot with the available light coming from an open door from the left side.  I positioned the camera equipped with a long lens so that I can get enough highlights on the left side and still have enough details on the other side.  It was pure and simple.  And I like it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Vintage Pedals


When I am alone, I talk to our dog Mimi.  When she’s asleep, I talk to my toys.  Meet Wilson, the old guitar pedal from the 70s.

I've been playing the Fender Strat more and more that I decided to use my older guitar pedals.  Actually, I've had the Phase 100 and the Envelope Filter for a while but had not used them.  Bought them years ago from somebody's uncle who used to be a leader in a musical band.  I offered to buy his equipment.  But he had gambling problem so he blew the money in a few hours.  I am digressing though.

I wasn't even sure that the pedals would work.  But they did.  I was thrilled to get that vintage sound.  Funny I call it vintage sound - even though the sound is reminiscent of the 70s disco era.  I suppose for most readers, they will associate that sound as vintage.  Obviously, I'm dating myself.

Now I was not into the disco scene, nor do I plan to start playing disco.  But I was planning to use the effects pedals for a different kind of sound.  I just haven't figured it yet.

More to come.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Impressions on the Apollo App for iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus Users



Lately, I've been shooting more with the smart phone.  So I recently got theApollo Immersion Illumination app, which is advertised as adding new light sources to an image to make it look like 3D.  The app does allow one to control how the light falls but it's nowhere near 3D.  Still, I find the results pretty impressive.  It only works on the iPhone 7 plus and 8 plus using the portrait mode.  

The app has even evaluated by dpReview so I wont't try to regurgitate what they wrote.  Rather I'll just mention a few bits on my first impression.

The learning curve is steep.  That is why it has received quite a few grumpy comments.  I think the trick is to know where the original light is going.  Once this is identified, then the light that is being added should ideally be consistent with how the original light fell as in the original image below.




Inside the app, I added two light sources (indicates as two hollow circles below).  In this case, I don't want the third light on the back so I left that alone.


  


The next step is to play around with the settings - adjusting the spread and distance of light.  I find the result to be magical.  It still needed some fine tuning so I exported the image to Photoshop and adjusted the contrast and the shadows.  

The app has its limited uses.  But at $1.99, it's a cool toy to play with.  That is whenever it works.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Redecorating MOCA


It was too early to drive home from Downtown Los Angeles, and we wanted to avoid the traffic, so Rose and I went for a walk on Grand Avenue after finishing the bottle of Greek wine at the Otium Bar.  The image above is part of the sculpture outside the Museum of Contemporary Art building.  I find that the piece too dull looking to represent modern art so I decided to take creative license and colorize it in post-production.   In truth, I have never liked modern art.  I find them pretentious.

Not sure what is the building in the background.  Maybe somebody can tell me.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Red Silk Apparel - Wash Cold and with Dark Garments Only



If you wear red tonight
Remember what I said tonight
For red is the color that my baby wore
And what is more, it's true
Yes it is ...


Yes it is, Lennon-McCartney

I have been using the iPhone 7 plus camera more than my other cameras that I think I may end up giving them away.  Not.  Just kidding.  Although I like the portability and the picture quality of the iPhone, it still will never replace the other professional cameras that can shoot with various lenses.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Merchant of Venice (starring Jeffrey)


I learned quite a bit from Jeffrey in just a few days hanging out with him.  It wasn't by choice that I hung out with him though.  He keeps looking for me.  He never stopped talking.  I think he was in dire need to an audience.  One of the most useful things I learned was not to pretend you are wiser or better or faster than anyone else.  He would at times play the victim - which he was very good at.  So people assist him a lot.  He always carried a cane and walked slowly.  Most people are sensitive to that so they always give him a break.  I did see him dancing on the boat one time.  Without the use of his cane on him.  Cheeky little rascal is he.
  

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Creme Brûlée


My current go-to electric guitar.  An American made Fender Stratocaster Deluxe.  I think I had it for over 2 years now but wasn't really playing it as much.  In fact, the last couple of years, I had not been musically creative.  Not as much as I would want it.  Except for banging the drum kit every day - which I hardly would call musical.  (I finally got rid of some of the kit parts.  But I kept the snare and the two cymbals - in case I get frustrated with things I can't control.  I do have a control issue.  Always has.)

In retrospect, I never had any intention of posting this image.  Shot on my iPhone 7 plus so I can remember the setting on my guitar while I was writing a song.  But lately I was having sleep issue since I cut down on my alcohol intake.  (The doctor recently warned me of this.)  So one night, when I couldn't sleep right away, I decided to edit some images.  Then I saw this.  To my eyes, it has potential.  So here it is.  Meet Dolly, my Creme Brûlée Strat.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Still Life with Grapefruits



Sometimes Grapefruits are just grapefruits.  Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Wish You Were Here (Artist at Work in Old Town Pasadena)

Artist at Work in Old Town Pasadena

Dear Mom,

I am now an artist in Southern California.  I don't earn much money but it's okay.  I now live with other artists like me.  It's an al fresco style with the bridge on top as our roof.  I think it's called the 605 Freeway.  The rent is free, as long as it doesn't rain.  Which is near non-existent here.  The sun is fine.  Food is adequate for the most part.  I get it down the Mission, which is a few miles away.  Sometimes, Todd would pick up food for the rest of us when he is sober.  He is a swell guy.  He wants to be an actor.  But I don't think I'll marry him.  Besides, he has not proposed yet.  Oh by the way, I found a cute cat at back of the restaurant where I used to work as a bust maid.  I named him Jasper.  I don't know why but he looks like a Jasper.  He roams around at the Old Town during the night, and sleeps during the day.  Maybe I'll see him tonight.  I save a few bits of arugula I picked up at someone's garden.  I hope it stays fresh because Jasper doesn't like to eat it when it's wilted.  I think this is all for now.  Oh yeah, please send my love to little David.  I missed his laughs.

Love Always,
Mary Jane

Friday, June 08, 2018

Red at work (ii)



Art usually reflects the worldview of the artist.  Sometimes it's not as obvious.  But there are times when it's undeniable.  I took this picture at the Chalk Walk Festival in Old Pasadena.  Care free posture, just taking her time.  From my perspective, I thought that the artist was creating a mirror image of herself.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Reposted Again: The Last Place on Earth and the Greed that Threatens It


Originally posted on February 11, 2012 and November 5, 2014

Well, it's not really the last place on earth but that's how I feel about it.  The cow farm that's only a stone's throw away from where I live is threatened with those ugly giant high voltage towers.  Even though the cables have not been installed, they already looked ugly and have destroyed the last few remaining pastoral views that we have in our community.  Edison does not care that those 200 foot towers are less than 100 feet away from some of the houses.  It just doesn't make sense.  If one of the tower falls, it would easily struck down a couple of houses.  No, I take it back.  It does make sense.  I get it... because when you follow the money, it's all about greed.

Pray for the children.
Fight the deceit.
Resist oppression.
Power to the people, right on.
In the meantime,
this too shall pass.

Featured Comments:

Dear Edison,

Bury the cables, make hammers and nails out of towers and go build a barn.

Sincerely,

Kissa My-Cow

Anne:  I think I like this photo, but at the same time it scares me.  it reminds me of the future, like that movie with Tina Turner, is it Mad Max & the Thunderdome???  The future where water is scarce, land is barren, the sun scorches, rain is acidic.  Money no longer matters, the possession of food and water gives you the power to rule.  I think it is the orange color, the color of fire, that makes me think of that movie.  Should the color be greenish in the background, it will make me think of Heidi, the girl in the Swedish mountain...


Juzno:  Heidi is now a grandmother, and her granddaughter Heidi II takes after her.  She has a calling to save the oppressed people in Timbuk2 so he leaves her green Swedish mountain and heads off  to meet Mad Max, who badly needed counseling from years of alcohol abuse.  Mad Max is already 70 years old but with Heidi's badgering and cajoling, Mad max goes to a 12-step rehab.  After three days, Mad Max collapses as his heart is too weak to be wean off alcohol.  Heidi II needs help so she calls Juzno.  Juzno says, "No probs.  But I'm kind busy campaigning here.   I'll take care of Timbuk2."



Le:  First, the unusual red color of a peaceful scene of a farmland immediately draws my attention.  I know it's not just because of sunset.  I sense some conflict or anger.  Reading your commentary, I clearly understand why.  You convey your emotion and your thought very skillfully through your artwork.

Juzno: No I wouldn't say I'm angry.  Dismayed at powerful entity without regards to humanity and the creation is what I was channeling thorough my art.  But yes the scene is conflicted in my view. The contrast of "good" and "evil".  (Nobody is truly good.)  Powerful versus the oppressed.  Strong versus weak.  One is led to believe that the oppressed will lose because they have no redeemer.

The concept of David and Goliath comes to mind.  The high towers represent Edison or any powerful entity (you can even put the government in this category).  The David here is the savior of the oppressed that needs to be heard.  David isn't in the picture yet but we know from the biblical account that he will redeem his people.  He is coming.


Techie Note:  The colors are what came out of the camera.  Just some minor tweaks to fine tune the contrast and remove some color cast. Taken with Canon Rebel XT converted to IR, EF 50mm 1.8ii, iso 400, f16, 1/640.  Chino Hills, California.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Georgian Door Image Made Me a Few Dollars Richer


That's right.  My image of the Georgian Door in Dublin (and by the way this kind of door is ubiquitous in the city) made me a few dollars richer.  Arcangel had licensed the image to appear in the book cover of Echange Fatal by Siobhan MacDonald.  The book is in French so I could not tell you much what the plot is about but it's supposed to be a thriller.  Unfortunately, for me, the book illustrator only used the bricks and the leaves on my image, and the door got replaced with a yucky plastic red door.  Still, modest as it may be, I would call it my bragging right.

Monday, June 04, 2018

It's Always Happy Hour


Waiting at the Otium bar for the Los Angeles traffic to lighten up.  
It's not even five o'clock yet. 
Somewhere it is.
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Friday, June 01, 2018

The Blues Brothers Dilemma



Elwood: There are 2016 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's (almost) dark and we're wearing sunglasses. 

Jake:  Forget it.  I'm taking the Taxi.



Monday, May 28, 2018

There is always Chinatown


In every city of the United States, there is always a Chinatown.  Not sure about Europe.  But there was a Chinatown that was a stone's throw away from our hotel when we were in Sydney.  Chinatowns are fascinating in a peculiar way in my opinion.  Walking through the streets feels like I'm on a different country.  Majority of the signs are foreign to me.  The smell is different.  The food is also different.  Which is why I probably got sick a few days ago.  Juzno might be taking a short break in blogging until he gets over the Chinese bug.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Arnold Newman

“We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds. "-Arnold Newman

Arnold Abner Newman (3 March 1918 - June 6, 2006) was an American photographer, noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still life images.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Smoked Salmon for Breakfast


There is a lovely place in Old Town Pasadena called Le Pain.  The food is mostly bread and some veggies.  I believed it's patterned as a French Restaurant.  Like a true French, one must have wine.  The Smoked Salmon is exquisite.  Coupled with coffee, the breakfast is a delight.  To finish off, I recommend their a chilled Prosecco.  Hey, it's five o'clock somewhere.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Chianti in Lago Maggiore


This was the wine pairing with the Taglierini Pasta we had in Lago Maggiore.   I don't think I could take the bottle of wine with us so I decided that I would document it with the iPhone.  Besides I finished the entire bottle so it would look a bit funny carrying an empty bottle of wine in the tourist street of Northern Italy.

Salud.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Organized Chaos


I do most of my creative thinking here.  I'll pick up the guitar and play a few riffs.  I'll read books and magazines.  I'll play the tribal drum.  I'll drink my wine.  When I get tired, I'll turn on the smart television and watch YouTube or Netflix.  Or I'll put on Miles Davies.  Or the Doors.  And maybe follow it up with Erik Satie.  It's a disorganized place where my bitter-sweet sentimentality drifts until it's time to feed our dog Mimi.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

'Til Death Do Us Part


I now pronounce you, Bear and Wife.  You may kiss the bride.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Jewish Liberace


We were on our way to St Moritz  on a train via the Bernini Express.  The Jewish Liberace was sitting with me.  He had been telling tales of his adventures in Switzerland, and how he and Freddie Mercury went to school together in London.  He said that Freddie had been given a traditional Indian burial.  I thought he was Persian I told him.  He said, yes, yes, quite right, his skin color is lighter.  I knew that he would tell things that are incredulous.  He said he used to live in Los Angeles and was a hair dresser for some famous Hollywood celebrity.  I don't remember her name.  Then without missing a beat, he lifted his left cheek and farted next to me.  Right then, I knew I had to leave.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Antique Clock in Brienz


I thinks it's an Astronomical Clock.  As I mentioned in my previous post, the Swiss Woodcarving Museum in Brienz is the first museum in Switzerland dedicated solely to the art of woodcarving.  This however was one of the displays that was not made entirely of wood.  I just thought it looked cool so I snapped a picture of it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Lake Lucerne


Shot on a boat ride on the way to Stansstad.  I don't have a knack in taking landscape images so this is the best I can do.  Plain and simple.  I do like the tranquility against motion in this image.  The boat ride was smooth and the wind was very cold.  In about an hour, it would get even colder as we head up to snowy Stanserhorn.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The Old Town Record Store


Of all the places we've been to in Switzerland, I think Lucerne is the one that has the most diverse culture.  They say that it is a nexus of economics, transportation, culture, and media.  What I found fascinating was the mix of 20th century and 19th century culture.  For instance, this record store still sells vinyl records.  I didn't buy any because my player was broken but I did purloin some stickers to decorate my luggage.

And then there is Stadtkeller, where we went to one night, is a music restaurant in the city's old town where entertainers sing folk songs and invite the audience to do the chicken dance and blow the Alpinehorn.  I was fortunate not to be chosen to do that.  I was put onstage however to yodel.  The hostess thought my name was Alan for whatever reason.  I didn't correct her in case I embarrassed myself.

Hope your day goes well.