Monday, July 30, 2012

Statue at Versailles

So, because of my strange experience, I don't actually know if you're supposed to pay an entrance fee to enter the grounds of the Palace of Versailles. My friends and I happened to get there just as they were kicking everyone out. Entering the grounds was like swimming upstream against wave after wave of human beings. I kept thinking someone was going to instruct us to turn around at any minute.

The beauty of our timing was that the sun was also beginning to set on the grounds. The sun was reflecting off the windows and giving everything a nice orange glow. I just quickly went around the gardens happily snapping away. This statue was just one of many that I ran into and photographed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Almost Twilight in Venice

I shot this while on a vaporetto enroute from Lido to my apartment. I like this because the lights were just starting to turn on as the sun was setting. It was moments like this, though, that while my camera ISO was cranked up all the way, I really wished I could have adjusted it even higher. Not having a tripod on a moving boat proved to be quite challenging. I think of all the Venice pictures I've posted so far (and I just realized that there have been quite a few), this makes me really want to return the most. Here's hoping for a 4th visit to Italy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moody Gondolas

This picture was originally a bright and happy photo. For whatever reason, I felt like making it gloomy and dark. I de-saturated everything but because the blue is so vivid, it remained as the only prominent color in the photograph. I probably should have photoshopped out the boat in the background, but other than that, the only thing I would have done differently is shot it at night. I couldn't really get any closer without being in the water itself.

Monday, July 23, 2012

St Mark's Square with One Hand

Click to enlarge.
This was obviously taken at the real St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy -- and not at the replica in Vegas.

Anyway, I'm just reading up on the press releases about the new Canon EOS-M (a mirrorless camera) and I'm seriously considering getting one. I knew I wanted to change my camera this year, but I don't want a big clunky thing that's bothersome to carry around. This may be the answer to my prayers. More to follow...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

SM Mall of Asia

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So, yesterday, I was not able to do a photowalk in LA because I attended a party in Pasadena at 3PM and didn't even make it home until 1AM. :( Man, I really need new images of Los Angeles.

Anyway, today, as I was curating, I realized that there are so many places in the Philippines I have yet to see and places I would desperately like to revisit to photograph in a new light. One of which would be this mall (the SM Mall of Asia) which I would really love to get at night. I just learned that it had a tram! Now that would be cool to ride while taking pictures.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Orchid on White

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Here, I took last week's orchid and switched up the background to white from black. I took it on the same day that I was getting the diffused light (it was cloudy that day). I probably should buy more backgrounds for my shots in LA now that I know I'm staying here a few more years. I was thinking how nice it would be to convert my office to a very small photography studio. Unfortunately, I think after I place light stands, it would be very, very cramped. I've seen people with smaller space constraints do it and they achieved amazing results. It would make taking portraits so much easier that's for sure.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Clock Tower

This'll be the last of my Salzburg shots for now. I haven't decided yet if I'll do another European city next week, but it's quite fun digging through my archives and going down memory lane. It definitely makes me want to go back (to Europe, that is), for sure, and makes me realize how incredibly cheap we were able to do our trip while staying in 4-star hotels and apartments. Someone recommended I start my own travel agency. Ha. We'll see. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Random Salzburg

Sorry, I don't know the name of this building. I just found the sky and texture of the wall to be beautiful. This week I'm focusing on Salzburg for some random reason. I had realized that I haven't really focused that much on my European travels yet on G+. I think it's because I didn't really own a DSLR for most of my travels to Europe in the past. :( That's one thing I'll always regret -- not owning a proper camera sooner. I think that's how most people feel though once they get one and learn how to use it.

In other news, I started looking up airfare to Europe in the fall and can't believe what a bargain some offers are. One deal that I saw was sold out within 20 minutes for fares out of Los Angeles. Maybe it's time to start planning another trip...

Monday, July 16, 2012


This is Dupinga in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. The highway we were taking to go to the beach passes above this river and I took shots from both sides of the bridge. I think the other side is prettier (think greener, more lush, and closer to hills/mountains). This side is flat and emptier.

I'm completely wiped out from the weekend, and I'm too exhausted to post anything new. I'm thinking maybe tomorrow I'll start going through my new San Francisco pictures. Right now would be a good time to take a vacation. We'll see.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bench Overlooking Emerald Bay

I remember this bench quite vividly. I was terrified I was going to slip and fall on my way to it as my brand new Uggs (then) did not have any traction at all whatsoever.

By the time you read this, I should still be in SF. I hope I got a few decent shots to bring back tomorrow.

Oh, how I wish you could pre-write posts on G+ the way you can here on blogger. Sigh.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Alpine Sunset

Whew -- looks like I'll be able to sync up this blog and G+ soon AND knock out my remaining Tahoe pictures this weekend. Woot! It's getting harder to keep track of what I've posted where. I wonder how other people manage it. No, seriously. I've looked at my images so many times that I'm not even sure if I've even posted it already - much less know where. Like for this picture, I actually scanned through my blog's entire 2011-12 entries. There's gotta be an easier way.

Anyway, gotta run. Tomorrow, you'll know why. :D

Friday, July 13, 2012

Birthday Orchid

I threw a birthday party last week the explicitly stated "No gifts, please." Naturally, practically half the guests ignored it and gave me presents. :) What's interesting is that one of the gifts was this orchid which is growing out of a cute, pink flower pot. I totally appreciated it when I received it, of course, but it wasn't until a week later when I got a whiff of its scent across the room that it occurred to me that I should photograph it! How strange is that? So thank you H for the lovely present that has doubled as my photography subject for the day. I promise I won't try to kill it. I've been instructed to water it once a week. Hopefully it doesn't die on me in this hot, hot weather.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

View from Kahekili Highway

So, sometime last month my G+ page got verified! Yay.

I've been thinking a lot about photos recently because I see an awful lot of photos everyday. One thing that continues to puzzle me is why some photos that I think are bad receive a lot of comments, +1s, etc. and others that I think that fabulous receive no such fanfare. Am I out of touch with what people think is good? I hate when I doubt myself but it seems I'll always just see other people's work and think "horrible!," "beautiful!," etc. and public opinion clearly disagrees. Gah. Things like this totally shake me once in a while. And then I go on shooting and wandering...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On the Fence in Maui

Click to enlarge.
Here's a shot from when B and I were randomly and precariously driving around Maui. Never again!

Anyway, on this front, you guessed it! I've been busy. I'm beginning to think that the middle of the week is when things slow down for me and I have a chance to catch up on things. Especially, since I curate on the weekends and stuff.

So, today's news is that I've resumed learning basic-level French. I had to pause earlier this year because I went to the Philippines for like 3 weeks and left my French software and audio CDs behind. Terrific for when you have a 15-hour flight, I know. Yesterday, a French friend (currently not residing in France), sent me an email and inadvertently reminded me of my new year's resolution. So, au revoir for now. I'm off to re-remember what I've already learned and should be back to learning more material by Thursday! Oh wait -- that's tomorrow!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wood Pile

Click to enlarge.
Wow, it's been a busy week!

This is the last of my LA river photowalk pictures from last week. I, apparently, went flower crazy and shot way too many macros. And I can't stand flower pictures!

Over the weekend, I was asked to do a baby shower and maternity portraits, both of which I had to turn down. :( That field seems like such an odd specialty that I can only see leading me down a path of doing inevitably cheesy shots (hearts on a protruding belly, anyone?)

I'll give it more thought, if I can come up with something tasteful and original (which I highly doubt).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Blue Backyard Living

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So this was a typical backyard scene that we passed as we walked along people's backyards on the LA river photowalk. This area is not affluent (by any means) and it was hilarious when we even saw live chickens at one point.

One thing I regretted about that day was that I had come from a party straight to the walk and didn't have a change of shoes. I really needed it as I spent the day avoiding rusted fences and broken glass along the path in my flip flops. I really must remember to pack gym shoes in the car AT ALL TIMES. Next time, I suppose. You'd think I'd know better this being my 5th G+ walk and all. Oh well. :(

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Under the Overpass

Happy July 4th, everyone!

This is another from the LA river photowalk that we did on Saturday. I had a lot of time to process this and actually ended up removing a lot of the busy foliage to the sides of the freeway. It just made for a cleaner image. I, of course, played with all the light sliders before realizing that this probably looks better as a black and white and ended up re-doing it all from a nearly completed color shot to the B&W you see above. All in all, I was thrilled I was able to salvage this originally, horribly overexposed shot.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Click to enlarge.
I went on a photowalk this past weekend to the LA river in honor of G+'s 1-year anniversary of public existence. I had a great time and was thrilled to meet so many people (old and new)!

I think my favorite moment of that day was when a daughter of one of the photowalkers came up to me and started asking me random questions. One exchange went something like this:

Little Girl: So, how old are you?
Me: Hold old are YOU?
Little Girl: I'm 6 and a half!
Me (trying to avoid answering her question): So that means you're in the first grade?
Little Girl: Yes! I am! So, wait, how old are you?
Me (still trying to avoid answering her question): Guess!
Little Girl: Um, I think you're 22!
Me: I think you're awesome!

Ok. That's all for now, kids. My Tahoe pictures will probably resume after I finish posting the photowalk this week. So much to do! So little time. :(