Monday, April 30, 2012

Travel: San Diego - Downtown Skyline

Click to enlarge.
I really have to apologize about the quality of this photo. I can't actually tell what it looks like because I'm not on my regular computer. The last time I processed something not using my regular computer, the colors on the photo I uploaded were very muted. I'm hoping this time things look better.

Anyway, I was down in San Diego for a photowalk over the weekend. I'm actually here still (I got delayed a bit). I'm hoping to upload what I took over the next few days. In the meantime, enjoy.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sunset on Mulholland

I couldn't believe I got so many of these shots. We were returning from Santa Barbara last weekend when we realized that we wouldn't be able to get a sunset shot in Malibu due to the weather. My friend, G, who regularly rides his motorcycle on the snake that is Mulholland, took a turn onto this road without me and B even realizing it. As we ascended, we saw very quickly that the fog/clouds/mist were below us and we all stopped every few feet to photograph the scene as the sun was setting. I took numerous shots with telephone and electricity wires blocking the shot, so I had to crop this, but, boy, am I happy with it. Then to top it all off, Tom Anderson (of Myspace fame) posted a similar photo (with a composited foreground) a few days after I shot this. I then knew I had to share my version too! Enjoy.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Yellow Rose

Last night I did a shoot with my cousin at Griffith Park. Unfortunately, most of the time I lent him my tripod (which is from the 70s btw), as I taught him about ISO and shutterspeeds. So, no new Downtown LA shots from me at least. :( That, and we got rained out anyway. Double :(. And for those of you that noticed, yes, my only tripod in America is actually older than I am. Regrettably, my other tripod and studio equipment is in the Philippines. I'm considering getting new gear just for when I'm in San Diego, since I'm there frequently anyway.

As for this rose, I've seen an awful lot of flower shots and I can tell you, there are a lot of bad flower shots out there. But of course, you can never say that to the person who takes them. So, I swore I would never be one of those really-bad-flower-shot uploaders. But let's see how long I can hold out. :P

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I was surfing the web today when I came across a forum with two photographers conversing. One photographer wanted to know the location of where one shot was done and the second photographer refused to divulge the location of the place. I've never had this experience before (both asking for and being denied a location or intentionally keeping a place a secret) but I suppose I can understand why all the secrecy. I guess I just never realized how competitive photography is, I suppose. Sad. :/

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sleeping aka The Zoo Toy (a B&W)

This photograph pained me. I must have cropped this photo a million different ways (the original is much larger all around). I wanted the animal on the bottom to be the primary subject but couldn't figure out a way to crop it  without its toy being so distracting (aka hogging up all the attention). I finally settled on this crop because, by cutting out part of the toy, I hoped to emphasize that there was more to this photo than what the light was shining on. I also had to pull the "black" slider to almost unbearably dark levels, just to hide all the detail in the foreground and background. Hopefully, this works. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

(No) Fishing

So, a couple guys and I did a day/road trip up to Santa Barbara yesterday. The weather was gloomy all day except for a break in the afternoon just before sunset in LA. I shot this while waiting to eat lunch at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company on the pier. I loved the line of demarcation, in addition to the lines of the fishing rods.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Black and White Kalesa Ride

This was shot in Intramuros, Philippines, and was done rather quickly because as soon as the kalesa driver saw us, he rushed passed us. I don't know if he was camera-shy or was trying to protect the identity of the passengers. Either way, it was amusing.

Here's another stab at B&W. All I have to say is thank goodness for the clarity button because I kept losing a part of the roof. Hopefully this works :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bridge in the Garden

I've been inspired by quite a few photographers who do only black and white work. I never really got into it before, so this is my first real attempt at this. I actually spent about an hour playing with all the sliders in ACR trying to figure out what kind of image I wanted to produce. I settled on this because I realized the floor of the bridge was what attracted me to the original color version of this photo in the first place. I'll continue to practice. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Frame Within a Frame Leading to a Path

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This will be the last of my mission shots. The title says it all. I probably should have lightened up the ceiling a bit, but other than that, I wouldn't change it much.

I'm a bit uncertain how I want to continue this photo blog for now: I've tried just highlighting my trips with one or two shots, I've covered one location in depth with multiple shots, I've blogged only when I felt like it, and right now I'm on a semi-daily shtick. I know this inconsistency isn't the greatest thing, but it's evolving as my photography is evolving.

I have been quite impressed with how often some hobby photographers are shooting and would like to increase my number of outings as well. Don't worry, I won't become a landscape photographer (especially, considering that I left one of my tripods in the Philippines, along with my studio equipment).

I'll probably think about it for a day or two. Stay tuned. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Leading Lines at the Mission

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This shot is another from the San Juan Capistrano Mission. The trellis gave wonderful leading lines and the archway just framed it beautifully.

Anyway, today, after having seen some fun snow shots from a few other photographers over the weekend on G+, I went out to Angeles National Forest today in the hopes of catching some snow shots as well. Alas, most of it had melted already (I had waited two days from when they took theirs) and I was mostly left with pictures of Mt. Wilson's antennas and views of Downtown Los Angeles. At least, I was able to update my banner on my profile page on G+. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fountain, Google+, Taxes

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Man, there are so many of these San Juan Capistrano Mission photos that I can't remember if I've actually uploaded this already. I think it's probably just because I'm tired at the moment.

Anyway, since I can't really say much about this shot (other than I had wished the fountain was on), I'd just like to take the opportunity to formally announce that I'm on Google+ (aka G+). Just search for my blog's name "Wandering Shutterbug" (or click here)and follow/circle my G+ page there. I had put up the Google+ widget here on this blog a while back, but never actually mentioned it. I can't tell how many have found me via that link. But, either way, I hope you follow me on G+.

I will start posting new things both here and there probably when these San Juan Capistrano Mission photos are complete. My travel plans are so up in the air right now, but I should have new stuff starting next week after I wrap up my taxes. Yeah, I know, I know, such the procrastinator, I know.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Palm Silhouettes

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Here's one of my typical shots: shot straight up from where I'm standing. I actually had my finger in the bottom left corner of the photograph, but thanks to the magic of cropping, it's gone! Seriously, though, I actually like the diagonal of the mission next to the palm trees. It seems to give the otherwise still trees some life. I'm pretty happy with the detail in the mission too, considering that I exposed for the sky to obtain the silhouette.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Corridor

Click to enlarge.
Here's quick exercise in leading lines and repetition. I've done this shot a million times. What was cool about this photograph though is that the ceiling was entirely black when I first got this in post production. I so was delighted when I lightened it up and saw the rafters/detail. I actually preferred it darker (I was in a dark mood that day, heh) but I figured most people would want it this way. That electrical plug or light socket or whatever kills it though.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tire Blowout En Route to Vegas

On Saturday night, a couple guys and I hopped into a car to head over to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, on our way on the I-15N (somewhere around Fontana), our tire blew out. Fortunately, I had my tripod with me! So, naturally, I set it up and started firing shots, while the guys talked to the tow truck man who changed our flat tire. He firmly warned us about the dangers of continuing on our journey using a donut; therefore, we sadly had to return home. Talk about bad luck.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And Even More Candles + The Virgin Mary!

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I think this'll be my last candle shot for a while. This was taken with a free hand (aka: no tripod) inside a dimly lit church. I cranked up my ISO pretty high to get away with it (unfortunately, my ghetto camera doesn't handle anything over ISO 400 very well). I saw other photographers using their tripods for HDR and long exposure shots. I'm so not into either. If only I had a nicer camera...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Framing the Bells

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This is just another exercise in framing. Moments like these that I really wish I had had blue skies the day I shot this; but this isn't too bad either. I absolutely loved this location within the mission in particular, and shot it from many angles. Too bad the fountain wasn't running.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Arch of Arches

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This is just a quick exercise in framing. I cropped this from a much larger hideously-composed image. I'm glad I was able to salvage this. I probably should've had the aperture closed down even more, but I was focusing on something else when I photographed this.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

More Candles

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Happy Easter!

I don't know what to say about this shot other than it's about candles and you'll see more in the coming days (it's the red color I was so attracted to, I swear!). I shot this WITHOUT a tripod inside a church (had to use the pews as a stand). I'm sure the kneeling/praying ladies next to me at that moment loved that. Anyway, thank God for fast lenses.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mission Basilica

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This is actually the side of the Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano. I was pretty much forced to shoot it at this angle because all the other photographers on the photo walk hogged up all the space around it with their tripods and whatnot. J/K. I took a few of the front, but I didn't get to see the nice orange dome in the back. In my opinion, it's what makes it so distinctive. I think I went a little overboard in post but I love the perspective so I'm keeping it. :P

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rows of Red Candles

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I wish I could say something profound about this shot, but I've shot things like this before (like this one). It was pretty much routine and expected for me. Maybe I should just shoot everything in this manner (angle, DOF, perspective, etc.). Haha. J/K.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Those Darn Bells

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I must have photographed these two bells from every angle, while I walked in circles around them. I just couldn't figure out what I wanted from them. In the end, I settled on this edit/composition which I think is so off.  I can't recall leaving a strong line right smack dab in the center (vertically) of a photo and having the DOF be on a closer, darker subject. It just feels weird. But it was well received, so, who knows? Maybe the cross in the background was enough to balance the weight of the bells? No, it's gotta be the lightness. Yup. That's it, right there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quebec City's Parliament Building

I think I've uploaded this image a few times on this blog (in black in white, during blue hour, etc.) and deleted it. I think I finally got it right. I prefer this high-key, winter wonderland version. I swear this will be the final time you see this.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mission San Juan Capistrano

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I did a photo walk at Mission San Juan Capistrano with a few folks early Saturday morning. That was probably the earliest I had ever woken up for photography before (even counting when I took photography classes). It was a little misty that day, but, luckily, I had my lens cloth with me (I really MUST buy a lens hood). I did wish I had stayed longer and gotten to know the other people that did the walk, but I had fun. So, maybe next time -- and with a tripod! :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Texture of Grass

I just wanted to post this in the last remaining minutes of the day. I unexpectedly took a longer than anticipated vacation in San Diego this weekend and didn't prepare a photo for today. I believe this was taken in the garden area behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall one afternoon. I don't even know what this plant is, but I love the texture of it. I'll have new stuff starting at midnight tonight (I swear!).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Depth of Field of a Fence

I was playing around with a shallow DOF when I shot this. I absolutely love the dark blue color (the sun was setting). I sometimes wonder if I would ever be able to recreate some of my shots if I had too. This is beginning to become a real concern of mine, since I discovered that I'm missing a small number of RAW files for images I shot for my photography classes a few years ago. :(