Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spring 2009: Slideshow

Spring, as you can probably already tell, is my favorite season. That, despite the well, side effects (achoo!!!). But it is so much an analogy of how life is - a cycle of dying and life. After the frigid hybernated life int he winter, the world comes back to life in this season. It is sensory overload: the sun is brightly shining, the bursting of all hues and vibrancy of colours, the fresh smell in the air that is so uniquely ... spring.

I can't share with you all that makes this season a time when I wake everyday and say I love my life. I hope however that in a slide show you'd have a glipse of partially what I see: a perspective from my lens.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring: A new angle

Spring along the East Coast of the continental US starts south and creeps slowly northwards. And so on the weekend before Holy Week, the man-friend and I met up in Washington DC for a stroll beneath the canopies of fluffy dreamy blooms of the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin. The air was still nippy and the wind made it no less cozier but sitting beneath the trees with a picnic basket feels as well as bidding goodbye to the long winter.

A month after the DC trip, New York City is starting to bloom as well. Last weekend in a walk at the park revealed cherry blossoms in their pre-bloom stage. Most of the trees were still covered in buds which I calculated would not be in peak stage until another to weeks. Still, warmer weekends bring people out and same with the cameras.

These days my walks are more about rehashing my photography skills with a new DSLR in tow. My Canon and I have now become inseparable and my weekends and travel plans are all worked around when to capture the best images. And as I get consults from the pros (Paul Mobley in New York and the very patient Jim Paredes via Facebook!), I am now resolved that my next purchase will be a new lens that will cost me a cool $1k and it will involve fewer wardrobe/shoes sales and probably skipping a few meals. I have never believed in lens envy until I stepped out one morning to shoot pictures at the Easter Bonnet Parade on 5th Avenue only to be surrounded by Canon cameras with lenses from the high-end L- line. I have learned to pinpoint them from a distance - the familiar white barrels of the zooms and the thick red ring circling the lens made me drool with envy. It almost made me scream: that gorgeous guy in the corner is my boyfriend and I will trade for an EF-24-105 F/4L IS!!!

My next photo shoot is going to be the Brooklyn Botanical when the flowers are in full bloom. Hopefully, in a few days:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Through my lens

It is still about the pictures - me and my camera walking and enjoying the world in a new perspective. I am going through a refresher on my photography and have been lucky to access to free seminars in the city from great teachers and great photographers. I have learned a lot - stuff I think I took up in FOTOGRA back in De La Salle when I was young and stupid and did not pay attention so much. But now I am taking notes and experimenting. Aperture, speed and ISO are the main objects of my training.

I love landscapes and architecture and so I am learning to improve my angles and perpectives. I try my hand at macros but it doesn't interest me so much as the Paul Mobley forte - portraits. I became so obsessed that I literally scared my friends away after shooting them ala-paparazzo. I have ventured into some random shots only to discover that my camera settings were off after someone played around with my zoom lens.

Still while I shoot I have this voice that keeps reverberating in head, "find your own style, one that is your signature," that was a Mobley-ism. He taught us the rules and then encourage us to break the rules. "If you followed all the rules then you are just like everyone else," the voice comes to me in my sleep - haunting me.

I shoot my photos and try freeform, free-style. Friends have started to notice and I have shared a very few to a small circle of people. I am building up the confidence to shoot again. And hopefully soon, I will find my style.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Net Overload

My computer screen is abuzz with activity. I am on board Tweetdeck which allows simultaneous updates of my Twitter account, including messages from friends, @replies and those sent in direct mail. To the extreme right side of the screen are my Facebook updates. I switch back to Safari and check out on the pictures uploaded by one of my friends...OMG, from college days. Egad ... those stupid years. But social network etiquette stops me on my heels from typing out a hasty nasty comment. i toggle privacy settings.. voila! No one else sees it, unless I comment on it. So I don't.

My pictures are being uploaded on two sites - Flickr and webshots. The albums have privacy levels. No one else sees them but I put them there for safekeeping while I clear the space in my harddrive. Some picture, it is worth is, I share with family and friends.

I get a pop-up. I have a new message on my other work email. I refresh and figure it is not worth hitting my head against the wall for. On another screen, I am updating my PHP (which is office speak for a formatted resume). I have an exit plan. is a message on my chat messenger.

But my Yahoo messenger and my MSN and my gmail are quiet. Oh, it is the buzz of my Blackberry messenger. Not my office Blackberry but my personal one. Technology is so cool...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twitter race

There is a race on Twitter between Ashton Kutcher and CNN.

Ashton started it by daring CNN's Larry King on who makes it to 1,000,000 friends first.

Race is neck and neck and the end is near.

Follow the race:

I followed both. I'm SWITZERLAND.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Most commercials that move me are about babies or old people. Images spinning 60 seconds meant to change or reinforce your opinion about a product or a service.

"You come to America. No one knows who you are or why you are here. But you know - this is where anyone from anywhere can become anything they want to be. You work hard and eventually you earn more valuable than money. You earn respect..."

It made me stop on my tracks. Powerful because so true to so many people who have come to this country with nothing but hope and determination to find a better life.

But funny that it is a car commercial - by Hyundai. As narrated, I think, by Kiefer Sutherland.