Sunday, March 29, 2020

God's Grandeur - Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. 

(God's Grandeur, Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Wild Things

We've been holed up for almost two weeks now.  Yesterday our County issued a Stay-At-Home Order, which means only essential activities are allowed outside.  The image was taken last week when the order wasn't issued yet so Rose and I had a chance to go for a walk in our neighborhood.  Right now, the area is mostly empty lots and wild flowers.  The wild flowers above are a variety of Pink Evening Primrose that grows in Central Texas.  It is a small purple or pink flower with a hollow, white-to-yellow center.  The flowers are most active between the months of February to May.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Testing the iPhone 11 Pro on Night Mode

I got the iPhone 11 Pro for Christmas so I am still learning to use the features.  I just realized that it has a cool feature called Night Mode.  As the name implies, it takes long exposures of night or dark images.  The image was captured hand held for about 3 seconds.  Even then it produced a rather sharp image.  Must be the Apple's algorithm.  Cool stuff.  This iPhone is a keeper.

Taken from our backyard porch.  The houses are not ours but from our rich neighbors.

Hope you are having a good day.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Post Valentine's Day

Rose and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day.  Everyday is Valentine's Day for us.  But we did check out a new restaurant nearby.  It's 2020 Market Scratch Kitchen & Bar.  They have just opened early this year.  Cool place.  We ordered a bottle of their Savignon Blanc.  The bartender thought we wanted one glass instead of the whole bottle.  No worries.  He gave us the extra glass on the house.  Nice.

A stone's throw away was Rivery Bend Park.  The weather was chilly but we were not to be deterred to walk along the park.  Obviously, the alcohol has a lot to do with it.

The image was taken with my new iPhone 11 pro at ultra wide angle and cropped in post processing. I dig how the bartender is looking up.  She was actually looking at the television while flipping through the channels.  But to a regular viewer, she could be looking at a bright object.  "Now I see the light!"

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Bonfire of the Idols

"I think I may be standing too close to the fire," said one of the Doughboys.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Postmodern Architecture in San Antonio

The architect ran out of creative ideas so decided to call this cutting edge postmodern architecture.  Sigh.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Cat Stevens is wearing my eyeglasses

So one night while listening to Cats Stevens's Teaser and the Firecat, I dropped my eyeglasses on the album insert.  Then I realized that I just created art.

I grew up listening to Cats Stevens.  The album contains 10 songs, including the hits "Morning Has Broken", "Moonshadow" and "Peace Train". It is also the title of a children's book written and illustrated by Stevens. The story features the title characters from the album cover, top-hatted young Teaser and his pet, Firecat, who attempt to put the moon back in its place after it falls from the sky. 

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Monday, February 03, 2020

An epiphany as it were!

Sure one can easily hear the hisses, pops and scratches.  But the sound quality of the vinyl record is far more superior than digital when it comes to dynamics.  It's almost like listening to the performer playing live.  While listening to vinyl, there are certain musical elements that I have noticed that didn't seem to be on  CD.  What a revelation.  An epiphany as it were!  I have become a convert.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Analog Music Love

We're continuing to listen to the old vinyls we got for cheap.  The last purchase was for 16 records.  $42.  Hours of listening pleasure.  Priceless.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A poem lovely as a tree

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

by Joyce Kilmer

Monday, January 27, 2020

Winter in Georgetown

It does not snow in Georgetown, Texas where we now live.  The temperature does go down to the 20s Fahrenheit.  

Pictured above is Poco, one of the two donkeys who live in Berry Springs Ranch, a few miles from us.  The other donkey (not pictured) is Amigo.  Not sure why they named the donkey that  because she is actually female.  Maybe she is transitioning.  Who knows.  

Berry Springs Park and Preserve is a park in and of Williamson County, Texas close to the city of Georgetown, Texas. The park is on farm land with many pecan and oak trees as well as the waters of Berry Springs that provide a lake for fishing with fresh water. 

There were still some pecan nuts on the ground that day.  Rose and Kamilah picked some.  They say that they had to be dried for two weeks before they can be eaten.  I'll keep you posted how they taste like.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Texas Longhorn

The Longhorn Bull outside on one of the buildings in San Antonio.  The Texas Longhorn is a breed of cattle known for its characteristic horns, which can extend to over 70 inches tip to tip for bulls, and up to 100 inches tip to tip for steers and exceptional cows. 

Much of where we visited in San Antonio were crowded tourist traps.  We ended up watching a movie one night because there really wasn't exciting to do.  It did allow me to capture some unusual images.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Gruene Coffee Haus

Gruene Historic District in the Blue Hour.  Located in New Braunfels, Hill Country Texas. Originally a farm land for growing cotton.  It's quite famous for their cotton gin.  I'm not much of a gin fan so I can't say if it's good.

The image was captured with the iPhone 11 pro using the ultra wide lens.  It is a composite of two images stitched together in Photoshop.   The coffee wasn't that great.  But the building makes a great photo subject.

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Where's the Alamo?

The image is Downtown San Antonio, well know for The Alamo.  A fortress originally established in 1718 as Mission San Antonio de Valero.  It's hard to find from this perspective as several high rises now have surrounded the fortress.  Trust me, it's tuck somewhere.

The historic place in Texas where the battle between the Texans and the Mexicans took place.  President General Antonio L√≥pez de Santa Anna wanted to reclaim the Alamo because the Texans were getting filfthy rich after they drove off the Native Indians.  Thanks to the invention six shooter.  Okay, maybe I'm being sarcastic.  Well to make the long story short, the Mexicans defeated the Texans at Alamo.  Hence, the saying, "Remember the Alamo!"

Friday, January 17, 2020

This Way

A real oldie.  Well not really.  Taken in 2012 when we went back to the Philippines for the death anniversary of Rose's mom.  Her mom's house is just a stone's throw away from the beach.  The water is murky so it's not attractive for swimming.

The guy on the left is a photographer who is instructing his models how to pose.  I was on my way back when I noticed the gorgeous sunset behind the silhouettes.  Shot with the EF70-200mm f/4L USM mounted on the Canon 5D at f4 and 1/200.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Nothing but the Blues

My Dobro.  Used it a few times at our church.  Great tone but nearly impossible to amplify it.  Microphones somehow don't work for me.  Captured with the iPhone 11 pro using the Lightroom Mobile App.  The image was inverted in Photoshop for that bluesy art nouveau look.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Shrimp Asparagus Again

I'm pretty sure I've posted a similar image before but this one is new.  Shot with the new iPhone 11 pro.  Stir fried shrimp, asparagus, dried tomatoes, red pepper, and olive.  Easy.  Bon Appetit.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

What's on Your Mind?

Bar in Skagway in Alaska.  Another image shot with the x100.  Rendered to appear like a Film Noir.  Grainy.  Blown out highlights on the background and on the woman's face.  Except for the rule of third, some of elements in the photo don't comply with the traditional rules of photography.  Not for the photo snobs.

Hope you are having a wonderful day.

Monday, January 06, 2020

What's in Your Mind? (iii)

A scene at one of the bars in Alaska.  Shot with the original x100 years ago and re-edited with a view to make the image appear to have been shot on film camera.  Low contrast.  Grainy.  Old school.

Hope your day is going well.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Here Comes the Sun

That one day the sun finally shined in Central Texas.  Still at Georgetown.  Rather quaint looking lazy warm atmosphere that makes one sing, "I got a peaceful easy feelin' ... And I know you won't let me down.. 'Cause I'm already standin' ... On the ground."  (Insert country guitar break here.)

Hope you are having a wonderful day.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New 2020 Year

After a couple of glasses of wine this is how one sees things.  But I haven't had my wine yet so perhaps I was having an alcohol flashback - whatever that may be.

An oldie that I found in my files that I intended to process back then but never got to it.  Shot with Roses's Fujifilm x100.  The camera is the first generation of the x100s.  (I now own an x100F.)  Back then the sensor size was limited to 12 mp.  Still pretty useable.

I was able to get the motion blurs by setting the camera on the table across the couple and shooting on very slow aperture speed.  The couple had no idea that I was taking their photo.  We were at the top of the Seattle Tower.  The light streak on the background window is a result of the floor rotating very slowly.

Hope you're having a fabulous new year.