Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Listening to CCR

Listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival vinyl LP that arrived today - while waiting for year 2020.  Cheers.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Ice Cream After a Serious Hike

Where to go after a serious hike at the Blue Hole Park?  Nothing like a good old fashion ice cream place.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Testing the Camera on the iPhone 11 Pro

I got the Apple iPhone 11 pro for Christmas.  Sweet.  My last iPhone was the 7 plus.  So my new now is several generations ahead of the 7 plus.  I still like the 7 plus but I thought I wanted to try the 11 pro.  It has three lenses - ultra wide, wide and telephoto.  The 7 plus only had the wide and the tele.  Still works well so I'm giving it to my daughter.  She is so frugal that she still uses a beat up iPhone 6s.  Its screen is all broken and the battery doesn't last long.  Any upgrade would be good for her.

I tested the camera on the 11 pro on night scene on my backyard. The image above was shot on Jpeg, which I thought the quality was very impressive.

Even though both iPhones are equipped with 12 megapixels camera sensor, the  images of the 11 pro seems to be sharper compared to the pixilated images of the 7 plus when used on low light.  Just like the 7 plus, I hope to keep my new iPhone for another couple of years.

Christmas cheers!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Mama Has Got Somethin' Groovy in Her Christmas Bag

I got Rose a vinyl turntable for Christmas.  Yes, we are going back to old school music appreciation.   I again realized how great the sound was on vinyl.  It may have some scratches and hisses but there is something organic in the sound.  It's almost like listening to the music that is played live.

The turntable is a Pioneer PLX1000 that is made in Japan.  The industry standard is the Technics 1200, which is twice the price of the Pioneer.  And yet Pioneer I think has done a great job in coming close to the specs and quality of the Technics.  It's like buying a Toyota and paying half the price of a Lexus.  Same engine family but less bells and whistles.  I'm good with that.  As long as it delivers, I'm going with the less expensive one.

Hope your having a wonderful Christmas celebration.  Cheers!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Rock and Roll Ready

Some might find that one is too young to die but too old to rock and roll.  Nonsesense.  Nobody is too old to rock and roll.  Shot with the original Fujifilm x100 years ago in Alaska, re-edited with a new perspective in photography.

Hope your new year is starting great.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Three Weeds Flowering on a Texan Winter

Our Bermuda grass looks dead or at least needs some watering.  Actually, they say it is now dormant. Winter is here.  Interestingly, the weeds are doing well.  I don't know this variety of weeds.  Have to ask the crows as I'm sure they planted them.

Captured with the iPhone 7 plus using the Lightroom Mobile app since I was too lazy to grab my camera back from the house.  The sun flare is fake.  The film grain is fake.  All made to look like a Kodak moment shot on a classic film camera.

Hope you are having a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Blue Hole is Actually Blue

Blue Hole is a scenic lagoon on the South San Gabriel River in Georgetown, Texas.  This scenic park lined by limestone bluffs is a good wading spot to cool down a little bit in the summer.  It's in the 50s right now in Georgetown so swimming is highly discouraged.

This is called Blue Hole.  Initially, I was not sure why it was called that way as the water appeared green -  likely from the trees.  Until I viewed it through a Skylight filter on my X100F, I then realized it was indeed blue.  The foliage change is not very significant here in Central Texas - but it’s noticeable.

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, December 16, 2019

San Gabriel River Flowing Under Once in a Lifetime

At the bottom of the river is a water flowing underground where one may find out that in he is in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife.  And he may ask himself, well, "How did I get here?"

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Used Books - Take One or Give One

Remember that weird old antique store I posted about not too long ago?  Outside the store is an old cabinet filled with used books for anyone to grab for free.  Also a neat place to give away unwanted books.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Bored So I Started Shooting Random Stuff

I stumbled across a smart phone app that I hadn't used in a while.  It's called MuseCam.  Pretty useable, I think.  Allows for shooting manually in Tiff mode.  Can you guess what are these objects?

Enjoy your day.

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Doctor is In

A rather eerie looking rustic window and wall surrounded with wild clinging vines.  The owner of the building sells weird and wonderful antique junks.  I would like to have some of them but our house is small and already has tons of junks - mostly stacked away at our garage.  One of these days, Rose and I have to sort out stuff inside moving boxes from our California home.  We'll get there.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Unknown Fruits

I am finding a lot of unusual subjects here in Georgetown, Texas.  Not much of a nature photographer but I can't resist from capturing images such as this one.  The leaves have all fallen off but the fruits are still hanging on the branches.  Don't know what kind of fruits they are.  Or maybe they aren't fruits.   I think this was still at Blue Hole Park.  A stone's throw away is the University Burger where Rose and I have our eats after our walk.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Blue Hole Lark Filtered

This was in Blue Hole, Georgetown, Central Texas.  Rose and I went back to the place and hiked on the opposite trail from where we went the last time.  This time I didn't forget my Fujifilm X100F.  I love this camera.  It's small and has tons of sweet features.  It's really a glorified point and shoot camera as it has a fixed 23mm lens.  I have a Skylight filter attached to the lens so the contrast gives the image a killer tone.  The final image was processed using the Lark filter in Instagram.  Dig it!

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Blue Hole

The weather was nice that one Saturday so we decided to venture to one of Georgetown's nature trails. We were not disappointed.

It is also one of those days when I wished I have a real camera with me.  The image was shot on the iPhone 7 plus.  I think the image is pretty decent.  But I think my traveling Fuji X100F would have provided more pixels and better quality.  Oh well.  Someone once said that the best camera is the one you already have.

This is called Blue Hole.  Not sure why it's called that way as the water is green -  likely from the trees.  The foliage change is not very significant here in Central Texas.

Blue Hole is just a stone's throw away from the Georgetown town square.  Who would think that there is a nature scene close by.  The water is from the San Gabriel River but at this time of the year there is not a lot of river flow.  Not yet.  I think that around spring there would be more stream activity.  I have yet to research where the source is coming from.  In the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy the tranquility of the river.

Hope your day is going well.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Bad Reputation

The guitar is a Melody Maker from the Gibson Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Mahogany body and neck, ebony fingerboard, one humbucking pickup, one volume and one control.  Really basic basic.  But that's all one needs for playing post-modern Punk music (think of the Green Day), or Reggea (think Bob Marley) or even Classic Rock (think Jeff Beck).  The guitar belonged to Joan Jet who was the founding member of the group Runaways.  Was that in the 70s?  I believe so.

The original image was captured around April this year with the iPhone 7 plus at the MOMA in New York.  Here is what the original looked like:

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Upright Bass

The bass belonged to James Jamerson.  Yes, the legendary bass player who provided the melodic lines to the Motown sound.  Think of "Please Mr Postman, "Heat Wave" and "My Guy".  He didn't use it much during the Motown sessions but occasionally he did.  The bass was exhibited back in April at MOMA in New York.  The creative texturing and layers are courtesy of this present writer.

Captured with the iPhone 7 plus.  Original image is below:

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Psychedelic Gumbo Guitar

My own version of the Southern Jumbo guitar.  Maybe it ought to be called Southern Gumbo with all its wild textures.  The original image was captured with my iPhone 7 plus.  The image looked atrocious so I decided to embellish it with psychedelic colors and bokehs.  The hands are courtesy of this present writer.  I thought that they fell right into the sound hole was providentially cool.  Obvious from the original image is that they are reflections from the glass cage.  The guitar was Don Everly's (of the Everly Brothers) main songwriting instrument.  The Southern Jumbo is a powerful flat-top guitar favored by many country and western musicians.

Before its transformation.  MOMA, New York.

Hope you are having a wonderful day.

Monday, November 18, 2019

What Else to Do

It had been raining.  And the temperatures have dropped to freezing.  Really surprised about this weather in Central Texas.  Didn't think it would get this low as it was just a few weeks ago when we were in the 100s degrees Fahrenheit.  What else is there to do?

Never tried a VSOP cognac before because it was pricey so when I saw the Meukow VSOP on sale I didn't hesitate to get one.  Plus the liquor clerk vouched for it.  Popped it open that night.  Sure enough he was dead on.  It was smooth.  Better than the Hennessy VO.  Not surprising since the VSOP is aged longer than the VO.  The Meukow is my new favorite.

I figured I had to document the drink and the unusually cold rainy night.  Shot with the Fujifilm x100F, which I hadn't used in a while as I have been too lazy to bring it out.  (Instead, I've been relying on my iPhone 7 plus.)  The light coming from the side is from the flashlight of the iPhone.  Added a bit of gradient on the side and top for drama.  The glass is a Glencairn whiskey glass from Canada. Bought at the same time with the cognac. Table cloth courtesy of Rose.  Don't know where she bought it but I think it blends well with the still life.  Image processed in the new Photoshop 2020, which took a while for me to learn but it's more powerful than its 2019 predecessor.

Hope your day is not as cold.  Cheers.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

What I did to my vintage guitar after watching Jimi Hendrix burn his guitar

The original image was captured with the iPhone so I can remember the guitar settings.  Wasn’t intended to be displayed as work of art.  Then one thing led to another.  I suppose at times this is how creativity work.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Coke is It

Arguably the most popular drink in the world.  Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Two Pairs of Threes is a Company

This is how one usually sees when they try to drink wine from three glasses at the same time.  Taken in California at Vincenzo's Terrazza in West Covina.  We were headed back to Texas coming from the Philippines.  We decided to stop over for one day in California so we get to visit our favorite Italian restaurant.  As always we try out their wines.  Cheers.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The State of the Art is Fishy

At the marketplace, I thought they were giant goldfish. I was told they were Red Snappers. They look redder than what I’m used to seeing here in the States. Anyway, I thought they would make a great still life image.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

With Desmond at the marketplace and Molly singing Obladi Oblada.

Molly left her head pad on. Probably to protect her from the tropical heat. But more likely she just forgot to remove it. The pad is used to buffer the weight of a load of goods typically placed in a straw bag that is carried unto the head. Personally I think it makes a brilliant fashion statement.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, September 27, 2019

My Back Pages

For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. - Ecclesiastes 9:5

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Continuing Story of Juzno and Miss M

 Juzno fakes his own death while Miss M continues to save the world using her witty writing power.  While on a mission to catch the nefarious Dr Bad Grammar, she found Juzno stuck in a basement somewhere in Erie, Pennsylvania trying to reform a follow-up 60s band with remnants of the Oneders. Miss M tries to convince Juzno that the world still needs a blogger.  One who feels the pain of a crushed ant.  Juzno paused, turned to the band members and then asked a question, “Was that a G chord?”

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Friday, September 06, 2019

Heraclitus as a Young Philosopher

Heraclitus was a pre-socratic philosopher famous for his insistence on ever-present change as being the fundamental essence of the universe, as stated in the famous saying, "No man ever steps in the same river twice".  This is commonly considered to be a key contribution in the development of the philosophical concept of becoming.  Heraclitus's idea can be summarized in these few words:  Everything changes except the law of change.  He called this the Logos.  Centuries later, a Jew by the name of John used the same term and applied the Logos to Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I had share this idea with Rose years ago and we both loved the concept of Logos both from John and Heraclitus.  So when a little runt came to our lives, we had to call him Heraclitus.  Our cat lived up to his adopted name, and so became the smartest cat we ever had.  He is no longer with us.

The image above must have been shot using the Nikon FE film camera around 1994.  I think I used Kodak 35mm color film.  I found this image a few days ago, scanned and processed it digitally using the Silver Efex Pro.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Acid in my Coffee

Suddenly, I feel like somebody drop acid in my coffee.  Yeah ... 

Well, you don't know what
We can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

3, 3 and 12

See if you can break the code. 3, 3 and 12.  What does the sequence mean?

Monday, September 02, 2019

This was brunch

Baked Salmon with Fennel and Pesto Sauce.  Balsamic vinegar on the veggie consisting of slice Mangoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber topped with Feta Cheese.  I would pair it with a glass of chilled Savignon Blanc if it were not too early.

Bon appetit.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Are we blur?

An early effort.  Shot in 2010 with a crappy Canon Rebel XT and a 18-55 kit lens.  At that time too I began to take photography seriously.  Seeing this kind of blur as art, I thought I was on to something.  Never been processed until now.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, August 30, 2019

When is the best time to drink white wine?

When is the best time to drink white wine?

A.  When it's five o'clock somewhere.

B.  When you notice that it's a good wine.

C.  When it's chilled.

D.  All of the above.

Portons un toast!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Instagram 190829

Happy Thursday.  Prior to retirement, Thursday was my favorite day of the week.  It was so close to Friday, which meant the beginning of the weekend.

Hope y'all having a good day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

An Unexpected Guest

Guess what we were having for breakfast?  An unexpected guest with eyes that bulge as wide as eggs go over easy, festive hairstyle reminiscent of Chiquita Banana and a cheery grin to amuse us along the way.  Please pass the salsa.  Bon appetite.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


A lot of things have been written about Sagada.  The most famous perhaps is the hanging coffin, the traditional way of burying the natives.  Nowadays, this once quiet town has been converted to a tourist attraction.  

I came back to Sagada in 2013.  It appeared smaller than what I can remember.  The last time I was there was in the early 80s.  I had just lost my job, denied a student visa to study in the States, and I wanted to re-evaluate the meaning of my life.  With a few change of wear and a Sony Walkman that I had packed, I boarded the bus one morning.  I remember standing inside the crowded bus all the way through.  The trip took like eight hours.  By the time I arrived in town, it was almost nighttime.  I managed to rent a small room for a few pesos.  My dinner consisted of fresh garden vegetable.  Jobless sort as I was, I thought things were ridiculously affordable.  

That night I wandered around the town and met some travelers.  They were all going to one of the caves the next morning.  I asked if I can tag along.  They were happy to have me.  Back then it was easy to make friends at this quaint little town.  The place was not yet known to the tourist world except for a few adventurers.  I suspected that we came to this place for different reasons.  But I thought we had a common bond.  We were all strangers looking for something to authenticate our lives.

To be continued.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Portrait of a Blacksmith in Toledo

A remake.  I have  been going back to some of my previous images and re-editing them.  My post-processing skills have evolved.  I would like to think that it's for the good.  I still miss the black and white shoe polish portraits that I have rendered in the past.  I find it interesting that those images are what put me in the map in Flickr and other social medias.  I may do those type of renditions again.  But probably not anytime soon.  Anyway, this is a throwaway.  Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Randomness and Determinism

My English teacher taught us that we ought to never start a sentence with an apology.  I am deliberately going against this rule.  Because I think I really need to apologize.  I'm sorry that I have not been active in posting on this blog for several weeks.  There has been life changing events that compelled me to go on a hiatus.  Partly because I was struggling with innermost angst, which I'm not going to get into.  I'll spare my readers my self-indulgence.  Partly as well as I have run out of materials to post.  Sad as that may seem.  I'm not sure how I can keep this blog active.  But for what?  It has been dark times for me lately.  For that, I am truly sorry.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Old School Dating

Not the kind of dating you might be thinking of.  But dating documents with a rubber stamp.  Millennials are familiar with the term "rubber stamping" but more likely will not know where its origin came from.  This was one of my early efforts taken in 2011.  It was more or less a test shot.  I have just purchased the Canon 60D and the Zeiss Planar T 50.  I wanted to get an industrial look so I brought the lens as close as possible to the subject.  No macro attachments.  This lens is so amazing.  Hand held with all settings on manual including focus.

Hope your day is going well.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lo-fi Wild Flowers

Sometimes I wonder why I use expensive camera equipment to get real sharp and nice color image, only to render the final image as though it had been taken on a grainy film with a cheap camera with plastic lens.  For the record, the image was taken with a Zeiss Zeiss Planar T 1.4/50 lens mounted on a Canon 60D.  The camera was set on a Manfrotto tripod.  Camera settings were at iso 100, f/1.8, 1/500 sec, manual focus.  Try getting that setting on a cheap Holga.  And yet at the end of the day, I decided to process the image as though it was taken with a film camera that would give a bit of fuzziness and grain.  This is a method that most non-photographers will never understand.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Reflection at Frederiksberg Palace

Frederiksberg Palace  (not to be confused with Fredericksborg Castle) is a Baroque residence, located in FrederiksbergDenmark, adjacent to the Copenhagen Zoo. It commands an impressive view over Frederiksberg Gardens, originally designed as a palace garden in the Baroque style. Constructed and extended from 1699 to 1735, the palace served as the royal family’s summer residence until the mid-19th century. Since 1869, it has housed the Royal Danish Military Academy.

As crown prince, Frederick IV had broadened his education by travelling in Europe. He was particularly impressed by the architecture in Italy and, on his return to Denmark, asked his father, Christian V, for permission to build a summer palace on Solbjerg as the hill in Valby was then known.

Juzno is still under the weather but he thought it might cheer his spirit if he go back to photo editing.  To his shock, majority of the image files that were cataloged in Lightroom were missing.  It must have been wiped out when he updated to the latest version of Lightroom.  The whole revelation made his illness worse.  Oh well, he thought, it is what it is.  Que sera sera.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.