Wednesday, May 13, 2020

New York City on a Winter's Day

The postman or the person carrying the gunny sack must have the tune "California dreaming on a winter's day" playing on his head.  We were still living in California when this picture was taken.  2005 I think.  I used a 4 megapixel Canon Powershot 40D to capture the image.  I had to pay a hefty price to acquire it back then.  Nowadays, if one is fortunate, the camera may be scored in a thrift shop for a couple of dollars.

I mostly used the camera to document my family's activities.  You know - daughter's first recital, vacation trips, and so on.  Wasn't even into serious photography.  The original image was eventually cropped for this post.  See the unedited image below.  Not bad for an archaic point and shoot camera.

Hope you enjoy.

Friday, May 08, 2020

As I See It

Things that occupy my time nowadays: Inspiration + Junk Materials = Creativity

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Love in Vain

Having self-doubt once again.  It's just a silly phase that I go through once in a season.  I question why I do things.  I feel like an old discarded onion that no one ever wants - dejected, rejected.  Yet when peeled I show a sensitive side.  Too sensitive that any criticism hurts.  I tried to offer the world love ... and yet the world puts me down... my offer to love is rejected ... the love I share is all but vain.  What is the point?  Vanity of vanities.  All is meaningless.  All is vanity.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Food as Art

My sister tells me that this food is healthy except for the Chinese Sausage (don't mean to be racist here.)  It is mainly boiled Quinoa, fried sausage, freshly sliced tomato and cucumber.  If you like, you can add drops of balsamic vinegar on the veggie to spice up the taste.  The artwork is optional.

Hope you are having a fine day.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Don't Take My Drink Away

Woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't sleep again.  Sauntering on our living room, I noticed the random arrangement of clutters on our coffee table.  I thought I would document the grouping using an old app I downloaded a few years ago: Kodak X Marc Jacobs.  It's a free camera app that simulates the look of film.  You can use the camera in your phone along with this app to get the nostalgic look.  Or you can select images in your library.  For some reason, the aspect ratio of the library images on my iPhone 11 pro are converted to 4 x 5 when using the app.   This was not  the case when I was using my iPhone 7 plus.  So if you plan to use your library images, you may have to select images with the right aspect ratio - otherwise the image will be distorted.

The image above was shot on camera with some minor tweaks using the editing tool on Instagram.  The tool is very useful for quick edits.

Hope your day is going well.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

More Art Boxes

Another view of the modern art boxes I made the other day.  I think the black and white rendition gives the image a bit of class.  What do you think?

Here's the colored version:

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Bananas as Fashion Art

I found a new way for my bananas to avoid from ripening unevenly.  Basically just tie the bundle upright, and that should do the trick.  And I found other uses for this setup.  You can wear the bananas as a scarf.  Or you can wear it over a green scarf and display it as a medallion.  A red coat would go well with it.  You can do whatever you want.  It's art.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Avocado Toast

Rose has all these great cooking ideas, and I get to be the guinea pig.  Avocado Toast can be serve either as breakfast or snack.  It consist of toasted bagel, sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, swipe of honey mustard, drops of balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of bacon bits.  Rich in vitamins and minerals.  (We get our zinc from chocolates and bacon.)

Saturday, April 18, 2020

House on a Prairie

We here in Georgetown, Texas are very concerned about our environment that we even have a fire hydrant in the middle of a field filled with wild flowers and weeds in case they catch fire.

Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

American Art Boxes

Day 30 of the Covid19 national shutdown. Unless your condition is life threatening,  doctors and medical personnel wont even see you. Rose and I have gone through the beater for over a week now. We hardly had a decent sleep because of persistent coughing. No, I don't think it's CV19.

I made two more art boxes yesterday, which means my energy and creative juices are starting to pick up.  In case you are wondering what an “art box” is, it’s simply a storage box to put away clutter.  Since we can’t buy a decent looking one online, we decided to make our own. 

Hope your day is going well.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Come Judgement Day, Who Will Be Your Witness?

I suppose some people would think we are nearing judgement day with the Covid-19 pandemic.  Quite frankly, I'm not sure what to make of it.  Very likely it's because I'm a Johnny-Come-Lately when it comes to eschatology.  I do believe that there will be a time of reckoning.  It could be any day now.  When it comes, who will be your witness?

Friday, April 03, 2020

The Road Not Taken

One may ask, "why did they put a stop sign in the middle of an open field?"

One of the nice things living in Georgetown is that the area is not yet gentrified.  A lot of open spaces.   Soon these flowers will be replaced by ugly uniformed houses that will all look alike.  So I'm going to enjoy what the nature has to offer for the time being.

Taken two weeks ago before the Stay-Home mandate was put in place.  Hope your day is going well.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Still Life with Mason Jar

"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."
 - W. C. Fields

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.

Monday, February 10, 2020

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.