Saturday, December 29, 2018

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - uh

They are obviously having fun because:

A.  The photographer told them that they were going to be in the cover of National Geographic.

B.  They found the photographer funny because he was wearing a fake Incan warrior hat.

C.  The photographer told them a joke in Spanish but mispronounced everything.

D.  All of the above.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Incan Waiting for the Sun

Please help this Incan Warrior:

A.  He is waiting for springtime so they could begin planting corn.

B.  He is waiting for the bus to take him to his audition.

C.  He is really waiting for the sun because it is winter and he forgot to wear his thermal underwear.

D.  All of the above.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Flickr Archive No. 181228

I just found out that I have unlimited uploads on as many pictures for archives on Flickr. Being a Pro subscriber, I didn’t realize that I was paying for this.  Here is just a snapshot of some of the pictures that I uploaded for archives.  Most of them are not publicly accessible.

Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Weaving Andean Style

Ancient Andean weaving developed by pre-Inca civilizations and inherited and perfected by the Incas is considered as one of the greatest textile in the world and is compared to finest textile developed by the ancient Egyptians.  The Incas used cotton, the wool of alpacas, llamas and the superior and rare wool of vicuñas and guanacos. Clothing made of the wool of vicuñas and guanacos was exclusively for the Inca and the nobility.

Seen here is a weaving needle that is made from the bone of the alpaca.  The dyes used in the fabric are all indeginous materials - mostly from plants and insects.

Monday, December 24, 2018

California Dreaming on a Winter's Day

It doesn't snow here in Southern California.  Once in a while we may get hail.  We do get some frostings in the early morning.  So our winter seems more like autumn as the leaves have started to change albeit late this year.  Some weeks ago we were still getting mid 80s.  Found these leaves today during our morning walk.  There were a lot of them scattered on the green belt so I managed to take a few shots with my iPhone 7 plus.  I like this one especially since it has a bit of green left on the foliage.  Most have turned brown.

This year I don't have a Christmassy image so this will have to do.  A great day to be alive.  Have a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Incan Woman Weaving at Sacred Valley

We met a group of Incan women who demonstrated their weaving art.  This group is part of an association of weavers that ensure traditional weaving is preserved.  They get help from some foreign organizations.  I thought I would help their economy by buying some of their textile products.  I ended up with a dozen wallets made from Alpaca wool.  Now I don't know what I will do with a dozen wallet.  I don't have that many credit cards and money to stash let alone in one wallet.  Maybe I'll give them away as gifts.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dead Sunflower Saying Goodbye to Summer

There is something about decaying flowers that I really like.  Maybe it just reminds me how life is fleeting.  As the Psalmist wrote, " As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower in the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more." (Psalm 103:15-16)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Still Life with Succulent Using Expired Film (Finally Developed Correctly) No. 3

I decided to get out my go-to medium format film camera - the Hasselblad 500 CM.  Since it is a very old camera, the shutter speeds are way off.  The shutters are way slower than it should be.  So I try to compensate by speeding up the shutter speed. For instance in this image, my light meter tells me I should shoot at f/8 at 1/2 seconds.  Instead I shot it at 1/8.  Even then the exposure was a bit over.  Fortunately film is very forgiving.  Even with this expired film.  It expired in 2013.  But with radical tweaking with the curves in Photoshop I was able to rescue the image.

Most image would have a sharp background when shot at f/8.  This one managed to have a blurry background, which what I usually wanted.  It may have been because I used an extender on the 80mm lens.  Next time I will try to shoot with smaller apertures to see what the image would look like.  I got plenty of expired films.  So I can afford to experiment.

Self-developed with Ilford Developer, Stop Bath and Fixer in the bathroom.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Life at Street Fes

A short break from our Peruvian excursion.  This was at Fes in Morocco. Shot in 2014 with my then favorite camera - the Fujifilm X-pro1 coupled with the 35mm x-mounted lens.  (It's still an old favorite but lately I've been using the X100F and the iPhone 7 plus for travels.)

Fes is the only favorite place for me in Morocco.  I hated our experience there.  I asked the local guide if it was safe in Morocco.  He said, "Oh yes, yes.  People will steal your money but they won't kill you.  Very safe.  There are no bad people here."  Well, that was reassuring.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Still Life with the Sacred Valley Candle

Shot with the iPhone 7 plus while waiting for our dinner meal at Sacred Valley in Urubamba, Peru.  Tomorrow our tour group heads off to Machu Picchu.  But tonight belongs to us.  Well, kind of.  Rose and I had the table by ourselves.  The rest of our group were at a different table.  We were separated because we came in the restaurant late.  Don't remember why.  Maybe that's when I started to feel really sick.  I had flu like symptoms the day before our departure to Peru but at this very moment I think it started to manifest itself with a vengeance.  Sure enough, I had a fever and chills that same night.  My stomach wasn't doing well either.  And that was my birthday.  What a way to spend it.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Istella (part ii)

As mentioned in my previous post, Istella is seen here serving Chicha, a fermented  beverage derived from corn.  

Chicha morada is a non-fermented chicha usually made from ears of purple maize (maíz morado), which are boiled with pineapple rind, cinnamon, and cloves. This gives a strong, purple-colored liquid, which is then mixed with sugar and lemon. This beverage is usually taken as a refreshment, but in recent years many health benefits of purple corn have been found. Chicha morada is common in Bolivian and Peruvian cultures and is generally drunk as an accompaniment to food.

Women are most associated with the production of chicha. Men and children are still involved with the process of making chicha, but women control the production and distribution. For many women in Andean society, making and selling chicha is a key part of their identity because it provides a substantial amount of political power and leverage.

A good day to be alive.

Friday, December 14, 2018


Lima by the coast is about an hour's flight to Cusco, which is at 12,000 feet elevation.  At this elevation, Rose and I experienced altitude sickness despite taking pills to prevent it.  In fact, the symptoms were the same when one took the pills.  Coming down from Peru to Lima is even worse.  This is what happened to the half empty water bottle I had when the plane descended from 12,000 feet down to sea level in one hour.  Imagine what our body went through during that flight.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Stone Henge of Peru

So really the Celts rolled a second group of Stone Henge from Wales to Saqsayhuman.  It has never been discovered before.  Until now.  Really.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cristo Blanco

A ten minute walk from Saqsayhuaman is the location of the Cristo Blanco or the White Jesus towering at about 26 feet.   It is perched high above on the hill of Pukamoqo.  It was given as a gift from the Palestinians who sought refuge in Cusco after the World War II.  The statue was designed by the local artist Francisco Olazo Allende.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Dreaming of Lennon after several cups of tea

Another one captured on expired Fuji Across 100 film.  I used the 80mm lens on the Hasselblad 500 CM.  Developed using Ilford developer, stop bath and fixer.  Not too shabby I think.  But somebody must have spiked my tea.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Scallops as Art

Chef Ignacio toured us through the market where he always buy his ingredients and materials for his cooking.  Probably the most fascinating part of our tour.  There were all kinds of fruits and fish but no beef.  Lima is next to the Pacific Ocean so they have an abundance of fish.

Scallops are hermaphrodite, which means they have male and female sex organs, which means they can reproduce without a partner, which means it's weird but that is nature.  They must be pretty contended creatures.

Saturday, December 08, 2018


Istella was hospitable to us.  She offered us with a cup of freshly brewed Chica,  a fermented  beverage derived from corn.  As part of the tradition, the first sip is thrown to the ground for Mother Earth.  After tasting the brew, Rose and I thought that Mother Earth can have all of it.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, December 07, 2018


The relics located at Saqsayhuaman outside the city of Cusco, Peru are remains from the Incans.  They were used for religious purposes.  Once the Spaniards came in the 16th century, the place became a quarry for their infrastructure.  The remains are now protected as heritage site.

It's a good day to be alive.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

In their own world

Despite the compression and the density, there is immediacy and clarity that fixes in the mind.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Street Smart with Smartphones

Still in Machupicchu, Peru.  Usually tourists would visit Machupicchu via Lima through Cusco and then through Sacred Valley.  Lima is by the Pacific Ocean and has very mild temperature - mostly in the low 70s Fahrenheit during Springtime and it never rains during the entire year.  Cusco is about 12,000 feet in elavation, and it rains almost every day.  The temperature could go down to the 40s F.  Sacred Valley is a bit warmer but not a whole lot.  Machupicchu can be reached either by hiking from Sacred Valley or by train.  The average temperature during daytime is in the high 60s.  This lady tourist definitely came well prepared.

In every places I travelled to, almost everyone would take pictures with their smart phones.  Whether selfies, or just to document where they have been.  Twenty years ago, this phenomenon would have been unheard of.  This is the world we now live in.  I admit I am guilty of using my smart phone to document my travels.  In this image, I used my trusty rangefinder instead.  I was going for that soft film look - specifically the beloved Fuji Astia 100F.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Incan Weaver

For me, the most interesting things in traveling to other countries are the culture and the food.  I love to immerse myself in culture, which means one gets to meet different kinds of people.  I was fascinated to meet this young Incan woman.  She appeared to have been from a different century.  I like her attire.  All the tools she used are indigenous.  For instance, the weaving needle is made from an alpaca bone.  I dig the frame loom.  It's simple yet rigidly attached to the post.    

Ancient Andean weaving developed by pre-Inca civilizations and inherited and perfected by the Incas is considered as one of the greatest textile in the world.  The wool of alpacas, llamas and the superior and rare wool of vicuñas are used as raw materials.  

Traditionally, weavers are women.  As in any crafts, it takes years of practice to be able to weave fast and produced good quality fabrics. 

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Cantua Buxifolia

I found this flowering plant while we were at Awana Kancha, a little village a few miles from Cusco, Peru.  It's called Cantua Buxifolia and is the national flower of Peru.  The  flowering plant can be found in the high valleys of the Yungas of the Andes mountains in western South America. Also known as the Peruvian Magic Tree because the Incas believed that its essence makes the water stay pure for a long time.  

This evergreen shrub grows to 4 m (13 ft) tall by 2.5 m (8.2 ft) wide with small leaves and clusters of brilliant pink, narrow tubular flower.  We were fortunate to see the flowers as early spring is when it starts to bloom.

Notice that the colors of the flower are common in Peru's architecture.  The yellow being the dominant tone with the red as accent.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Proud Maria

Peru's culture is a set of beliefs, customs and way of life inherited from the native Incas, Spanish conquistadors and settlers. Immigrant groups such as Africans, JapaneseChinese and Europeans have also contributed to the society, blend of cultures and ways in which Peruvians live.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Lazy Sunday in Lima

Another postmodern architecture in Urban Lima.  I like how the colonial window sits below a more modern window.  The blue curtains harmonize well with the yellow wall.  The red brick building on the right creates a nice contrast.  The traffic light - well, it just happened to be there but I think it makes the image more interesting.

Shot taken with the iPhone 7 plus while on a coach driving through the city.  Not much activity going on.  It was a lazy Sunday.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Where there is Despair, Hope

Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy - Francis of Assisi

This was at our last night in Peru.  I must have taken close to a thousand photos in a course of a week, and I decided to skip the rest and head to the last batch of images.  Shot using the iPhone 7 plus prior to our farewell dinner.  Not sure what kind of leaves were these.  Probably some kind of Ivy.  I love how the colors were changing.  It's springtime in Peru.  Every plants are green except this one.  I thought it seemed odd for this time of the year.  

Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Postmodern Architecture in Lima

By now, many of you would have guessed that the most popular color in Lima urban architecture is yellow. The window on the left is a colonial style influenced by the Spaniards.  On the contrary, the two other windows are minimal and modern in design.  This architecture is definitely postmodern - a style that is no longer unique in the States and in Europe.  

Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How One Selfie Stick Can Make People Happy

Don't you just love how happy they are?  It's fascinating how a single selfie stick can turn all smiles.  The smiles are natural and not contrived.  They are looking at themselves at the screen.  They must like what they see.  Even the passer by appears to be humored.

I still like shooting street scenes.  It is getting more and more difficult nowadays.  As people are tending to be cautious about privacy.  Yet, the rise of selfies using smart phones makes for an accessible condition for shooting images of people operating these devices on the street.

I believe this was shot at the Miraflores district of Lima, Peru.  Miraflores can be translated as "looking at flowers" in English.  In this case, they are looking at themselves as beautiful flowers.  Or so what I think it is.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Juzno Appropriates Art from Urban Lima

Urban art is not suppose to make sense.  Unless if you’re Banksy, then social and political commentaries are permissible.  I made this art work with no objective nor purpose in mind other than I wanted to create art.  What is art for art sake? Perhaps this is one example.  A happy chef delights on one of his customers who had breakfast at his kitchen.  The irony is the customer doesn’t care.  She just wants to move on.  After all breakfast should be optional.  Nobody died from missing breakfast.  On the other hand, people died from eating their first meal of the day.  Some choked.  Others had a heart attack.  Others just dropped dead.  For whatever reason.  Eating can be hazardous to ones health.  This is folly. 

Hope you’re enjoying your day.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Peruvian Style Street

Claire and Jason are Ozzies.  They belong to our tour group in Peru.  Half in our group are from Adelaide, Australia. About 15 or so.  They're a good bunch.  They like to drink and party almost every night.

At this point, we are still in Lima.  There is noticeable police presence at the town square.  This is a good sign.  Or not.  The place is a favorite among tourists.  So that means there could be pick pocketing or petty crimes.  After all Peru is still a third world country.

Really love this image.  I love the combination of yellow and blue that paint the overall urban scene.  Claire is very photogenic, but she gets conscious when she knows her photo is being taken.  Jason is Jason. They are not a couple.  But I managed to capture them together.  Don't know who the water bottle belongs to.  The police are laid back.   Perhaps that is a good sign.

Hope you are enjoying your day.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Casa Cultura in Lima

This was shot by mistake.  I inadvertently had the camera set on Miniature so the image looked like it was shot with a tilt shift lens.  I like the result so I ended up keeping it.  As the saying goes, there are really no accidents.  Nothing happens by chance.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Still Life with Red and Green Apples

Still in Lima.  I wasn't sure what to make of this image.  It appears to be a painting but it's not.  Shot with the Fujifilm X100F with a teleconverter.  Layered the original image with textures and played with the curves to get a painterly effect.

Here in the States people are celebrating Thanksgiving Day.  It's a day when most people also splurge and over eat.  Roasted turkey is very popular as the main course.  Most likely stuffed with all kinds of all American goodies that I don't really care for.  At times, dinner table decorums are thrown aside, and people start talking about religion and politics.  The next thing you know is food fight on the rise.   It could get worse.  I know.  I've been there.  Rose and I are just by ourselves as we are both under the weather.  I think we'll just have a fruit bowl.

Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cebiche at Lima

Our first meal upon arriving in Lima, Peru.  Cebiche consisting of raw octopus, onions, herbs, yellow chili sauce, and some magical ingredients.  Kind of looks no different from the Mexican Ceviche except the Peruvian Cebiche has more in common with the Japanese Sashimi.  The Mexicans use raw fish which is marinated for three days or so.  The Japanese and the Peruvians eat their dish as soon as they are prepared.  Apparently, the Japanese came over to Peru around late 1800s.  In Japan, the fisherman would eat raw fish while they are fishing in the open sea.  This manner of eating raw fish influenced how the Peruvians prepare their Cebiche (correct spelling as opposed to Ceviche).

Not for the faint hearted.  But if you try it, you may want to drink some Pisco Sour or Brandy for extra precautions - to kill the bugs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Wisdom Superior to Folly

As obvious as it may be, we continue to fall trap into folly and ignore wisdom.

If the ax is dull,
And one does not sharpen the edge,
Then he must use more strength;

But wisdom brings success.

Ecclesiastes 10:10

Monday, November 19, 2018

Salmon Breakfast

Smoked Salmon, soft boiled egg, cheese curd, dills, capers.  A glass of chilled Prosecco coming up.

Have a great day.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Lennon Glasses

He has been gone for decades but his music lives on.

Captured on expired Kodak 100 Tmax using the Hasselblad 500CM and 80mm with extenders.  Self-developed using Ilfosol 3, Ilfostop and Ilford Rapid Fixer.  All 1 + 9 solution.  I made mistake by using the fixer after the developer when it should have been the stop bath.  Still, I think the result is decent.

Film is not dead.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tannery Building

Taken from the balcony of a tannery building at Fes in Morocco.  The place is really a compound comprising of several buldings.  The smell coming from the outside is remarkably strong.  Strong as in really really bad as blood from the animals are washed and tanned on several pools.  The skins which will be processed as leather are dried to hang.  I think Fes is one of my favorite places I visited in Morocco.  Not that I especially like Morocco.  But to me it's one of which I have good memories.  The other ones gave me bad experience.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

OCD Girl

OCD = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Girl = any female homo sapien who thinks and acts like a child; sometimes referred to as a babe by Millennials; a gal by Baby Boomers; and a broad by old men born before 1940.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Life is like an Onion

Life is like an Onion indeed.   Layers keep peeling off, and new sprouts come out.

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, November 12, 2018


Welcome, welcome.  We are your Spanish hostesses. You like cerveza?  We have mucho.  Por favor, please come in.  Welcome, welcome.  You like tapas?  We have mucho.  Why you not like to come in?  Is it because we are airheads?  You must be sexist!  Go away!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Selling Castle Haarzuilens (ii)

Somewhere in Haarzuilens

Dear Ms Real Estate Person,

I trust that you are in good disposition.   You will recall my previous request for you to look into selling my castle in Haarzuilens.  I am hoping that you have made significant progress to my request as  a lot of things have happened.  Not only has the tax people been threatening to sequester my assets, I am now being pursued by the Dutch court for allegations concerning illicit use of recreational medicinal in my own humble abode.  Nonsense.  The concept that recreational medicinal is illegal is oxymoronic.  Besides I have stopped doing illicit drugs since our last North American tour.  I now confine my habit to Jack Daniels, which I believe is still legal.  By the way, the moat in the castle has been fixed so you don't have to worry about  prospective buyers falling into the water.  The water is cold but it won't kill ya.  I remember when Mick was stoned out of his face one time that he thought it would be a great idea to play a small gig with the band on one of the castle's boats.  We all went along with him.  Mick sang Satisfaction, which was the craziest sound I have ever heard since we were playing Brown Sugar instead.  Anyway, Bill got so upset that he finally threw Mick off the boat.  A sorry sight to see - considering Mick was wearing my Armani jacket.  Mick survived but never wanted to visit my castle again.  Oh well, I digress.  Again, I would appreciate if you can expedite the selling of my property.  I'm attaching an updated photo that my friend Juzno recently took.  I'll be driving down south to Luxembourg in the next few days so I hope we can finalize a deal before then.

Very Much Yours,
Keith Richards

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Children in Iloilo

Clickity clicking bang bang.

They loved to be photographed.  Especially by a strange Kano, which they called me because they thought I was blond and was fair skinned.  Truth was I have gray hair turning more into white, and I hadn't gone out in the sun for too long.  Or maybe it was the "fancy camera" I was using.  I shot this with the 20mm Voitlander mounted on the Canon 5D.  Not sure if it was the original 5D or the Mark II.    The lens was a bit tricky to use since it can only focus manually.  I think I shot mainly at f8 or f11 to compensate if I missed the focusing.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Rock Outtakes

One of the outtakes of the photo op I did with the band Rocktanes.  Sometimes the test shots turn out to be the best ones. Captured in sunny Southern California.  That day felt like we were in Mad Max country.  Hot hot and hot.

Monday, November 05, 2018

She can be your date

She's the perfect date for men who are afraid of the dark.  She doesn't eat much and will always shine a light on her date.  Her blouse doubles as a checker board in case her date gets bored and decides to play a game.  The bird who acts as a chaperone is really a spy.  So be careful what you say to her.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Art by Chihuly

Saw this at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.  The place is dedicated to the art, history and science of glass. The piece above is made by Dale Chihuly, an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur. His works are considered to possess outstanding artistic merit in the field of blown glass.  I've seen some of his works in Seattle.  I heard that he is already blind but he continues to work.

Hope you enjoy.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Unknown Vegetables

I was bored while Rose and her high school classmates were waiting for the baker to finish the cake. So I roamed around the grocery store and started taking pictures of vegetables.  I dig how this one came up.  I think it's a lettuce or maybe a cabbage.  I just call it unknown vegetables.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

We are watching you

An imaginary scene at the Amish Market that only exists in my head.  The price of the grapes is a great deal though.  That one is real.