Saturday, March 31, 2012

Walt Disney Concert Hall 3

Here's the last of my Walt Disney Concert Hall images for now. If things go according to plan, I'm attending a Photowalk today and should be bringing home new images for the upcoming week. :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Walt Disney Concert Hall 2

Here's the side of the Walt Dinsney Concert Hall (relative to the front entrance -- above the ticket box office). I used a polarizer to darken the sky as the sun was setting. Maybe it was a tad too heavy on the dark side.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walt Disney Concert Hall 1

I participated in a photo walk that started from Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. I must have photographed this thing from a zillion angles. I'll be posting a few of those shots in the coming days.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

White on White

I shot this a few years ago when I was learning how to separate white objects from white objects. This was quite a challenge but it definitely helped me learn a lot about lighting. I did do the infamous ball, cube, and cone exercise, but this image came out much better. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baby Got Back

I love shooting in Downtown LA. In my opinion, there are stranger things there than at Venice Beach. Case and point, the picture above. I must have seen every guy at least glance at these half bodied mannequins as they passed by. It was quite hilarious.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunset on New York

I captured this while on a Ferry from Staten Island returning to New York City. I noticed there was a full moon above the Brooklyn bridge, as the sun was setting (that's the white circle on the right). I thought the lovely pink sky was too perfect.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Lincoln Center in Black and White

I was staying nearby at the Empire Hotel when I decided to walk over to the Lincoln Center to photograph it. There were ghastly orange traffic cones scattered near the fountain so this is my attempt to hide them (by making the entire photo black and white, of course).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Central Park in the Fall

I shot "the Mall" in the fall of 2009 in Central Park, New York City. I'll be playing around with black and white in the next couple days as I dig through my archives once again.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Raw Shrimp

So here's a quick shot of a friend preparing dinner (ceviche, actually) for us from a few years ago. I was actually not yet shooting RAW back then and edited this from a JPEG file. It felt surreal.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

LA: Urban Light (Redux)

As soon as I returned to LA, a friend from Switzerland dropped by for the weekend and I played tour guide once again. I naturally returned to touristy places, including the Urban Light exhibit at LACMA. I actually shot this with my cell phone and after a quick crop and a little Photoshop-ing, I managed to salvage this image. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Stationary Bike

My cousin created this version of a stationary bike in preparation for bike races he participates in. I thought it was rather clever considering the limitations he has to work with. I am puzzled by the lack of a seat, but i'm confident that that's not an issue.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Paolo Ballesteros

I shot this while Eat Bulaga! filmed an episode live in front of my family's residence in the Philippines. The star here is Paolo Ballesteros. He is part of a trio of hosts from the show that travel to various barangays across the Philippines to award prizes to people in the town they are in. To be honest, this shot was pretty lucky. Everyone crowded the front TV monitors and I hung around the back just observing the scene. I actually had no idea who he was, until my relatives started jumping up and down, pointing in his direction. Surrounded by his entourage, it wasn't too difficult to guess who I was supposed to photograph. ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Warming Up The Audience

Here's a shot of Eat Bulaga! (a national Filipino TV show) as they were taping near my family's residence. For some reason all the children were brave enough to approach the person warming up the audience, while the adults (including myself) formed another, more distant circle away from the kids (that's why the host looks so tall).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Travel: Philippines - On the Fence (& Bokeh)

There was a TV show setting up directly across the street from my family compound in the Philippines. I wanted to sneak a peak and grab a shot before the crowds started coming, so, I stood up on a chair to see over the front wall, and aimed my camera between the security bars on top of the wall. I didn't realize I was focusing on the bars instead of the scene behind them when I snapped this. While editing, I almost threw this shot out, but then I realized I had bokeh! I'm not one of those bokeh fanatics that purposely go out (at night) in hopes of getting blurred highlights or anything. But I thought the single, perfectly round highlight could balance out the single bar in focus. Not sure. I hate being on the fence about shots. :(

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Green Waves of (Rice) Grain

In honor of St. Patrick's day, I dug up a shot from my family's oh-so-green rice fields. Now, go celebrate and have one drink for me!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Chicken Walking

I don't know why this is, because we don't actually live on a farm, but there are dozens of chickens that roam around our compound. This one was rounding one of the columns that holds up my balcony. I liked the lighting on the chicken and the splotches of light on the ground. I, of course, dropped my camera to the ground to get this shot which I took blind (once again). I think I'm getting the hang of serendipitous-shooting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Kamias Picking

So, my mom is like 4 feet 10 inches. Like, seriously. I thought it was cute when she was reaching up to pick a few kamias from a tree on our family compound in the Philippines. Fortunately, this plant bears fruit along the entire length of the tree so she didn't starve (lol). I don't think I've ever seen kamias (cucumber tree fruit) in the US. Anyway, it's incredibly sour and I ate it by dipping it in salt while drinking beer once. Blech.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Basketball Hoop

One morning, I noticed this makeshift basketball hoop at a nearby house (temporarily doubling as a drying rack). It was just one of those moments when I stop and realize that despite having nearly nothing, people will still try to fulfill their dreams if they are truly passionate about it. Humbling morning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Baby Pigeons

These rather ugly creatures are baby pigeons. Someone on my family compound actually breeds and trains pigeons. Apparently, we've had some that have been released 6 hours (driving distance) away from us and have had them successfully return on their own. It's not my thing, really, but that doesn't prevent me from photographing them. ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Thunderbird Poro Point

So, on our way to San Juan, La Union (Philippines), we stopped by the only five-star hotel in the San Fernando area: Thunderbird Poro Point (that, coincidentally, also has a casino with a very strict dress code).  When we first got dropped off at the front of the hotel lobby, my brother and I immediately felt as though we knew the place. After asking the valet why the place seemed strangely familiar, he answered that it was because it was featured in a movie that we had seen on the plane ride over (No Other Woman). The hotel's style is reminiscent of Mediterranean/Greek resort architecture (bleached white walls, blue domes). I snapped this picture above while waiting for my car in the open-air main lobby. This hotel is out in the middle of nowhere, essentially. Yes, technically, it's by the beach, but if you want surfing, go to San Juan. The beach here is just rocky (at least from what we could see). The rooms, naturally, are expensive as well, so we left in search of accommodations actually on the beach and at about 1/10 the cost. ;)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Reef

This is another shot from the beach at San Juan, La Union (Philippines) just as the sun was setting. This beach is actually on the South China Sea, so the sun was setting on the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the country. Despite all the surfers a few meters away, there exists this rocky reef area toward one end of the beach. I knew a few divers were actually checking out the wildlife beneath the sea. It was a bit scary knowing someone got stung by a jellyfish as we were lounging by the beach. But other than that, it was a beautiful day.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Beach Volleyball at Sunrise

We roadtripped to the beach at San Juan, La Union (also known as the surfing capital of Northern Philippines). My brother and I walked around one morning and shot a few touristy pictures at sunrise (we were still jet-lagged). This lonely-looking volleyball court (made of bamboo!) was the happening spot the day before where tourists from around the world gathered into two large teams to play a nice little, afternoon game.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Oink!

I stopped by a piggery somewhere near Baguio. It was interesting meeting people whose job was to actually breed pigs. I wanted to take pictures of the dozens of piglets but there were roaming dogs nearby and I wasn't sure if they had had their rabies shots (never a sure thing in the Philippines). Oh well.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Moo!

Well, apparently, there are cows in the Philippines! Who would have thought? I found this pair just standing around, grazing in the heat. If I were them, I would have dropped dead from the scorching tempertures, but, no, these guys were just eating away and moo-ing.

Composition-wise, I like how my eye just jumps from the rocks at the bottom, to the first cow, then the second cow, and then the house in the back. Unfortunately, it's all a straight line.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Travel: Philippines - My Cousin's Dog

I suppose this shot could have been taken anywhere, but I love this shot for some reason. I photographed this dog from various angles, but this one in particular was when she moved and approached me as I was shooting. Consequently, I got her cute whiskers in focus! I simply heart dogs :)!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Indian Mangoes

I believe these are Indian mangoes. I really ought to know considering that my mom loves them so much she planted a zillion trees on our farm that bear this fruit. All I recall is that when we were looking for foods to accompany a beer drinking session, my cousins suggested that we head over to my farm and nab some of the riper ones. Fun times.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Travel: Philippines - My Rice Farm

So, in my other life, I'm a farmer (oh, the irony for this very city girl!). Technically, we hire out all the work that needs to be done on a farm, but it's undeniable that I'm being groomed to take over the family farm (er, rice fields). My job is usually just to photograph the state of the land so that my parents can discuss  how to renovate the fields (despite occasionally being 7,000+ miles apart from each other). I typically snap a few hundred shots in the course of a 1-hour visit, but I don't think I'd ever been there right before a harvest. It's pretty interesting how almost red the yellowish-green rice grain becomes just as it gets harvestable. Enjoy ('cause I sure am ;) ).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Raw Kalderetang Kambing

Well, this is what my goat from yesterday's post became. Pictured above is kalderetang kambing (goat kaldereta) which was one of three dishes prepared (the other two were papaitan and sinampalukang kambing).  All three were all absolutely delicious. All were used as pulutan (drinking food) for my two-day despedida (farewell party). I wonder how I could possibly have a better going-away party in the future.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Travel: Philippines - My First Goat

So, this was my first live goat. I say "was" because within a few hours of purchasing/photographing her, she was killed, cleaned, and made into several dishes, while I was photographing my mother's garden a few blocks away. The story of how we purchased her was interesting, seeing as how there were quite a few people that accompanied me (to help with the bartering), we actually could not all fit in the tricycle (a motorcycle with a covered passenger side-car) that we started the morning with. Therefore, we used a truck meant to transport sacks of rice. It was enormous! I recall it rained a bit that day, so the passengers riding on the flatbed portion (without seat belts and umbrellas) got a bit wet. What made the transaction heartbreaking, however, was that this goat was a nursing mother and her kids were crying as she was dragged away. Sad, indeed. :(

Friday, March 2, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Stove

This is a gas stove top in a typical, lower-middle class kitchen in the Philippines. Unlike the ones we have in the US, it sits above the counter and is connected to a propane tank (?). It actually freaks me out for some reason. A couple of my reflections snuck its way into the photograph.

I just wanted to lay a few ground rules as well. I was toying with the idea of posting the studio portraits I took while in the Philippines, but I've decided against it in the end. If you wish to see those photos you must be related to me and I will redirect you to them. The shots over the next few days will just be random things I decide to post. Thanks for your understanding.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Travel: Philippines - Laundry

I can't decide if the laundry is crooked or if I shot this at an angle. Anyway, I'm back to posting. This is the first in my series about the Philippines 2012. In the Philippines, owning a dryer often seems excessive because it's so freakin' hot there that you can just hang-dry your clothes for a few hours and you'll have saved on your electricity bill. Of course, our household doesn't adhere to this practice, but it's nice to know that a few others on our family compound still do -- it makes for interesting shots!