Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Richard and Jill

I have been assigned to take photos of our new church members again.  One of the church elders asked me, "You are the church photographer, right?"  "Um, I don't know.  Am I?"

Taking photos of people in unforgiving lighting condition is probably every portrait photographer's nightmare.  I took this one inside the church sanctuary.  I turned off all the lights so I don't have to deal with transient lights.  This way the only source of light was my 580 EXii flash dressed inside a photo box and the diffused window coming from the left side.

This is one of my favorites.  Richard and Jill just got married a few weeks ago.  I can see that they are very happy together.  I love that they show it sincerely.  It made my photo op worth it.  This is one of those times that everything seems to working out right.  Thank you, Lord.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Petrol-powered Stagecoach

Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car based on Wilhelm Maybach's conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine.  It was financed by Bertha Benz.  Emil Jellinek, an Austrian automobile entrepreneur named the automobile the 1901 Mercedes 35 hp after his daughter Mercedes Jellinek.  Hence the name Mercedes-Benz.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Imperfect Solitude in Dark Prague

"May I kiss you then? On this miserable paper? I might as well open the window and kiss the night air."  - Franz Kafka

Friday, August 17, 2018

Cross Processing Granada

Cross processing  is the deliberate processing of photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. The effect was discovered independently by many different photographers often by mistake in the days of C-22 and E-4. Color cross processed photographs are often characterized by unnatural colors and high contrast.  I've made some cool images using this process.  But there is a risk of ruining the developing machine.  I've since stopped doing that. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018


"Now where did I place the key to me Aratech 74-Z Speeder Bike?  Hate when that happens."

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Last Leaves in Bunratty

I shot this image back in November of 2016.  Somewhere close by the Bunratty Castle in Ireland.  The original image was shot with a  14 mm wide angle lens but I didn't know how to edit it.  I might have tried several times but they were utter failures in my opinion.  Lately, I've gone back to it and decided to massively crop it to show just the leaves with a bit of reflection.  I think this works.  What do you think?

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Healthy Balela Salad

A good way to start the week.  Healthy eats.  It is very easy to make.  Drop some fresh lettuce on the bowl.  Dab a bit of Ranch Dressing on the lettuce.  (Any dressing would do but creamy white dressing makes it more photogenic.)  Sprinkle with Garbanzo beans, black pepper, lemon juice,  parsley, salsa, a little bit of this and that.  Garnish with home grown Cherry Tomatoes.  Present everything on bamboo mat.  It's ready to go.  Oh but wait, first document the meal - take a food selfie with the iPhone 7 plus.  Bon Appetit.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Please, Sir!

I'm reminded of a scene in Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, where the main character innocently ask the wicked Master Bumble for more food.   This became a big hit movie when I was growing up.  In the movie, some boys draw straws to see who will ask for more to eat, and the job falls to Oliver. He goes up to Bumble and Widow Corney, who run the workhouse and serve the gruel, and asks for more.  Enraged, Bumble takes Oliver to the governors to see what to do with him.  And so begins Oliver's adventure.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Eye of Liverpool

I've edited this image so many times.  There is a natural version, where the sky is blue.  There is a sunset version, where the sky is magenta.  Now obviously is the Black and White version.  I like all the versions.  It's that saccharine sentimentality that one doesn't get tired of - as opposed to becoming sour in time like wine turning to a vinegar.  I wonder why I said that.  Maybe it kind of sounded smart.

There are hundreds of Ferris Wheels in the world.  Arguably, the most famous is the Eye of London.  But I think the Eye of Liverpool - although not as famous - looks better than the Eye of London.

Taken with the iPhone 6 some time ago.  I had just started shooting with the smart phone, and found it to be a great companion when traveling.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Baby and Grandmother

A precious moment.  I couldn't resist taking a picture of the baby and the grandmother.   Taken with the iPhone 7 plus after church service.  The cameras on the mobile phones have come a long way.  Of course, smart phones have ruined serious photography since almost everyone can take a picture nowadays.  The good and the bad of technology advancement.  Oh well.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

To Each His Own at the Airport

I thought I shot this at the Los Angeles International Airport but looking at it again I may have captured it while waiting for our plane at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport.  Named after Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., assassinated at the tarmac of the same airport in 1983.  I remember that day.  Most of us were all shocked.  Ninoy was returning to the Philippines despite repeated warnings that he will be assassinated.  It was commonly believed that President Marcos had him killed.  

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

A Theory on Six Strings

I didn't have a story on this.  Initially I thought of calling it "Am I Blur?"  - a parody of an old ballad "Am I Blue?"  I wonder how many people can guess what is this image.  Does it look like a row of cotton swabs that were dipped in blue green colored liquid?  Or does it look like parallel futuristic bridges where in cars and transportation are reduced to microscopic sizes in order to avoid grid lock traffic?  Or does it looks like a close up of what is inside Donald Trump's mouth after eating pizza?

Enjoy your day.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Saturday, August 04, 2018

About a Boy

It was the year when yesterday becomes the following day.  Planet Earth has a dilemma.  Famine has been eliminated.  But the more people ate the more they lose weight.  Worse is they are being blurred out into oblivion.  Only Al Gore can save the world.  But he’s still living and getting fat in the future.  It might take decades before he comes to the past.

The boy in the image grows up to be Al Gore, savior and president in his own mind.

Which way to MacDonald’s?

Friday, August 03, 2018

Helga Checks Her Messages

Looks like Helga is pretty amused but one can only wonder what it is that she is looking at the moment.  Her name is not really Helga.  I just made it up.  She looks like a Helga.  The image is just a random shot I took while in Central Europe.  I want to say that it was in Budapest.  But I also think that it could have been in Vienna.  Can't be too certain.  It doesn't matter.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, August 02, 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.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Performing Churchill

We were promenading inside the Charlie Chaplin museum at Corsier-sur-Vevey, and noticed that Winston Churchill was performing in one of the rooms.  The lighting was outstanding so I had to take a picture of the Prime Minister.  Don’t know why or what he was doing.  Seemed out of place.  But it made for great photo op in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Scene at the Airport

Anxiously waiting:  What if I don't make it on time?

Sleeping:  Wake me up when we board.

Walking hurriedly:  I hope my deodorant works this time.

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, July 30, 2018

One day at the Supermarket

Who needs water when one can have two of the most important liquid in life?  Alcoholic beverage and salad dressing while in the Philippines.  The Fundador is a brandy from Spain.  Filipinos consider it a special treat to drink this.  It is a gift you would give to your college professor so he will let you pass his class. I once gave one to my ROTC drill sergeant so he could recommend me for an honorable discharge.  He must have liked it.  The salad dressing is a cheap imitation of vinaigrette from Italy.  I don't know of anyone else who eats salad in the Philippines.  As far as I can remember, the dressing was a nondescript kind.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

One of these Nights

The full moon is calling, the fever is high
And the wicked wind whispers and moans
You got your demons, you got your desires
Well, I got a few of my own

- Henley/Frey (One of these Nights, Eagles)

You know one of the hardest part of being alone occurs in the daytime.  I don't know why but it is when I feel the weight of being very alone and exposed.  A single day seems to last like a week.  The nighttime is different.  Maybe there is the darkness to hide me.   There are less distractions.  It is when I begin to be more creative.  What about you?  Or you a morning person?  Or are you a night owl?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Sardine Salad

This turned out okay.  Sweet Yellow Bell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes and some unknown green vegetable dressed up with Ranch Dressing.  Dashed with my usual Tabasco sauce on the fish.  Some Red Hot Chili Pepper because I want it hot.  Beautiful.  Bon appetit.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Happy Bear in Bern

Our tour director told us that the city of Bern got its name from the word Bear.  Apparently, there are only two bears in that city.  Maybe for the entire country of Switzerland.  If one is fortunate enough, the bears can be seen somewhere situated at the eastern edge of the old city of Bern.  I didn't have the patience to wait for the bears to come out - so I decided to take a picture of this one.  Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Eat Cheese instead of Beef

Earlier I cooked the marinated prime cut beef.  I used the same sauce on the meat and potatoes that I posted a few days ago, and added a bit of Olive oil.  Covered it for 20 minutes and it was all good.  Put it away for my next meal.  

The next day I had an idea of dressing up some slices of cabbage and topping them with the beef.  I wanted the beef to be warm so I microwave it.  But instead of 15 seconds, I didn't realize I entered 15 minutes.  The beef turned out to be the blackiest meat I have ever seen.  It felt like charcoal and probably tasted like one.  I needed my protein so I ended up topping the salad with Swiss Cheese.

So it’s back to healthy eats:  salad containing sweet bell peppers, tomato and cabbage. Mimi wanted her share as usual.  Surprisingly, Mimi liked the Bell Peppers.  I was worried that it might not go well with her but one internet source said it was okay for dogs so long as they eat it in moderation.  Of course Mimi does not know that she is a dog.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

One Little Red Hut

Yes, there are people who lives in this hut.  Remember the woman who cooked fish for us?  This is where she and her family live.

Hope your day goes well.

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Last Remaining Cowboy in Chino

All the dairies in Chino, California are either moving out or selling their businesses.  There are just a handful of dairies left.  All of them have decided to leave.  The regulations in the South Coast area are burdening the dairy operators.  And the cost of real estate outweighs the cost of maintaining a dairy business so the owners are selling their lands, which are transformed into residential houses.

Dean is the last remaining cowboy in Chino.  He moves the cows from Chino to wherever destination they want him to go - usually in the Central Valley of California.  He's not sure what he'll do next when all the cows are gone.

Dean is a true cowboy.  Generally shy and quiet.  His tough face, sunburned from being in the sun all day, is complimented with his soft and humble personality.

I captured Dean's portrait back in 2011.  I was testing my 50mm Carl Zeiss Planar mounted on the Canon 60D.  Thanks to Kirk Tuck who was using that combination back then.  I followed his lead and was very impressed with the results.  I tried to edit the picture back then but was never satisfied.  Until now.  There are many images in my archive that are just waiting to be found.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Meat, potatoes, carrots, red peppers and unknown green vegetable

I ended up cooking this meal for two even though I would be the only one eating it.  (Rose is still abroad.)  Seems more economical that way.  I will save it my next meal.

Upon plating the meal, I added drops of Tabasco Sauce on the meat.  Just because I like my meat hot and spicy.  (I truly believe that it kills all the germs.)  I have sliced tomato on the side.  A glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Monterrey, California.  A collection of soft jazz produced specifically for listeners who are alone but not lonely - although I don’t think I fit the bill here but it makes for great listening while enjoying a meal.

The green vegetable provides  a nice photogenic addition to the meal.  Don’t know what the green vegetable is.  Found it in the fridge.  I think it was from Rose’s cousin.  She got quite a garden with all sorts of vegetables and fruit trees.  The green vegetable was bitter even after cooking.  Now I know that bitter herbs could be healthy to eat or they could be poisonous.  So if you don’t see my posts in the next few days, I am probably in the hospital recovering from getting my stomach pumped.

Have a nice day.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Social Media Dilemma

Being alone can sometimes make your mind work in a weird way.  There is no one who can be a sounding board to bounce off an idea.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Art of Bowing

Sometimes I'll post a picture that I didn't take.  Such as this one.  Rose was toying with my new iPad pro when she took a picture of Mimi just when she had just awaken.  Mimi usually stretches when she gets up, and in this image she does a wonderful performance of bowing.  

Rose went back to the Philippines to celebrate her birthday with her brothers and sister.  I am glad for her.  But at the same time, I do miss her already.  I'm sure Mimi misses her as well.  Today is the second day of her absence.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

One More Time for Elvis

And a-one for the honey.  Two for more shots.  Three to get giddy.  And go cat go.  Oh don't you ... step on my swede shoe blue.  You can do anything but just don't sworn my old shoe gem blues.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Forever Young

Maurice:  Save that spot for me, Jimmy.  I going to see if I can hook up with that red hair chic wearing a Prada.

Jimmy:  Make sure you show her your new dentures.  Works every time for me.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Why is the man holding his phone this way?

He is holding the phone with his right hand because:

a.      He got tired using his left arm from waiting so long.
b.      The reception is better if he holds the phone this way.
c.      He is actually scratching his left ear and he can't use his left hand because it is also itchy.
d.      All of the above.

Originally posted June 4, 21012

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.

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


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.


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.