Wednesday, December 31, 2008
New Year always reminds me of colors and lights so I thought this photo is perfect for sharing on New Year's eve.
This is a photo of fiber optic Christmas trees and fountain lights which I took last night at the mall. The view is from the top and I love the interplay of the lights and colors.
Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year everyone! May our New Year be colorful and bright.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Another activity that I usually do if I cannot go out to shoot is to play with colors. The photo that I am sharing today is the result of one of those "playing with colors day".
As you can see, these are oil pastels. I love working with them because their colors are so vibrant. With such colors I don't think any photo can go wrong. Don't you agree?
Monday, December 29, 2008
I can't help but go back to my favorite topic today. The past few days have been rainy and when I opened my photo files, the first ones I noticed are my raindrops pictures. It's as if they were reminding me to focus on them once more. So I hope you don't mind if you get another raindrops photo today.
I just find raindrops so enchanting and refreshing. They always remind me that we can find beauty everywhere if we just stop and take a look at our surroundings. Most often, we find a part of our world reflected on the drops. This time however, it was not the reflection that attracted me to the drops but it was their formation. They appear like they are falling in line and getting ready for some special event.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Since today is "innocents' day" I thought it's a good idea to share a child's photo.
This is the newborn child of our neighbor and that's her sister giving her a kiss. Aren't they sweet? Children and babies especially are always photogenic so there is no problem looking for a good angle.
I just saw them outside our gate as the mother was giving the baby a sunbath so I requested to take their picture.
By the way, I used Picassa in giving a soft focus effect on the photo.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Back-lighting can produce wonders to an ordinary looking leaf. This is what happened in this photo that I am sharing today. I decided to focus on the leaf as the light from the early morning sun shone through it. The effect of the light from the back made the leaf stand out in a magical way. Don't you agree?
Friday, December 26, 2008
This is the flower of a bird of paradise. I placed a blue felt paper in the background when I took this picture. It gave the background a kind of star-like appearance such that the flower appears to be reaching out to the sky. Thus the title of this photo.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Today is Christmas day. Let the trumpets sound to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ!
It's rather a rainy Christmas day but that did not dampen our celebration. So many people came around asking for gifts. I always prepare some bags of goodies as give away gifts especially for the less fortunate among us. All the bags were gone in no time. I only had candies left for those who came in later. Anyway, it was very fulfilling to see the smiles on their faces (especially of children) as they received their gifts.
Let the trumpets sound indeed!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
I'm back to the color of Christmas. When I was going through my files, I realized that I have so many pictures in red and green, so I thought that today I will share more of these. It's Christmas anyway.
I've been so busy these past few days so this going to be short again. Sorry about that.
Have a happy Christmas everyone!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Can you guess what this picture is? Did you guess or did you give up? Well, it's the young leaf or frond of a fern. Do you notice how intricate the design is? Ferns are really so interesting. Sometimes, I don't know what I will discover once I focus my macro lens on it. I did not actually know that this portion will be this intricate.
Can you think of a title for this picture? Please help me give a title. Thank you.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
This is the front view of the photo posted as "blue magic" last time. I mentioned then that the front view has a star-like appearance. Although the star-like portion is somewhat magenta in color, I still used the title "blue star". Somehow "magenta star" does not sound right. What do you think?
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This is the very first photo I ever submitted in a website which receives photos by the hundreds from all over the world everyday. When it passed the first screening as "editor's pick" I was so very happy. I can still recall how elated I felt that day. After that it was easier for me to submit other photos. Some of them made it as editor's pick also. Other's did not receive any citation at all. It's a pity that they already started charging entry fees so I don't submit anymore.
The title of this photo is "deep in my heart".
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I thought that today I'll take a break from all the reds and greens and share with you another sunset picture.
This is taken from my hometown and that's my daughter acting as my model. I asked her to pose as if she is holding the sun in her hands. The effect is rather nice, don't you think so?
The title comes from the poem/song of Rod Mckuen.
"I’ll catch the sun
and never give it back again
I’ll catch the sun
and keep it for my own.
And in a world where no one understands
I’ll take my outstretched hand
and offer it to anyone
who comes along and tells me
he’s in need of love
in need of hope
or maybe just a friend.
Perhaps, in time
I’ll even share my sun
with that new anyone
to whom I gave my hand.
Perhaps, in time
I’ll even share my sun
with that new anyone
to whom I gave my hand."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I'm still in Christmas mood so I thought I would use the colors of Christmas in choosing the photo for today.
Look at what I found. This is an old photo, a part of my Nikon files. Somehow it reminds me of cotton candy, thus the title. Of course with cotton candy, carnivals and holidays come to mind also.
Would you believe this is the same flower as that found in a previous post - "ballerinas." They look very different from each other, don't they?
Monday, December 15, 2008
After my Christmassy (is there such a word?) post yesterday, I can’t seem to think of a good follow-up post. Somehow, I feel like taking a Christmas break already. However, I am committed to making this a daily photo sharing so I have to keep on with it. Hmm, let me see....
Ok, I found a good one. This photo is cropped from a bigger photo. I did not find the original interesting enough so I played around with it using the crop tool. I found this section rather interesting. A friend commented that they look like pelicans so I titled this photo “when pelicans nod”.
The original photo was actually a variety of chrysanthemum.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Since it’s almost Christmas day, I thought that today would be a good time to share a photo of the Christmas flower or Poinsettia. I took this photo 2 Christmases ago. The Poinsettia in my garden has not yet started blooming this year. Maybe it’s because it only started getting cold just a few days ago. I’ll probably have some late blooms by January next year.
If you notice, this photo also comes with a raindrop, so it shows my two favourite subjects together – flowers and raindrops.
Have a happy Christmas!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I’ve long wanted to do this kind of picture wherein only a specific part of a photo is “in color” while the rest of the photo is “in black and white”. I have discovered two ways to get this effect: one is by using Photoshop and two is by using Picasa.
In Photoshop, you open your file, click on “image” then “adjustment” then “desaturate” to convert the picture into black & white, then use the “history brush” and brush only the portion that you want in color. This will show the original color of the specific part while the rest of the picture will remain in black & white. Simple, right? By the way, I am using only Photoshop CS. There might be a shorter workflow in the newer versions.
In Picasa, open your file, go to “effects”, then, ”focal b&w” and you get the results. You can slide the bar to make adjustments in the size of the colored portion. It’s so easy! I actually used Picasa in this picture. I also used another effect, - “soft focus” to get the additional soft focus effect (what else!). I like Picasa it’s so easy to use, just one or two clicks and viola, you get your results!
I hope you try this technique in some of your photos. It’s fun!
Friday, December 12, 2008
This is my other entry to the "natural rim lighting contest" in a magazine (see Nov 20 post). You have to look at the edges of the fern leaves closely to see the rim light effect. See the whitish edge?
Ferns abound in my garden. I did not plant them, they just appeared and seemed to have colonized a corner. I am lucky they decided to stay because they are very nice subjects for photos. They are not only graceful but they also exhibit patterns that are rather pleasing to the eye.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I thought I already have taken pictures of all the flowers in my garden and in the neighborhood, but I was wrong. Just today as I went around my garden, I saw that a sensitive plant or Mimosa pudica had grown in one corner and it had some flowers. So I went back inside to get my camera and took several shots. When I uploaded the pictures to my computer, I was amazed at how beautiful the flowers are. Just take a look at this photo today. I wish I could share all the shots I took, but this is only a one photo a day blog.
I really can't believe that I missed that.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
This flower is one of the many varieties of Euphorbia. When I was taking its picture, it looked so enticing, that's why the title. The many varieties are not only hardy and easy to care for but are prolific bloomers as well. It's always nice to have them around in the garden because they bloom practically the whole year round.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Have you ever looked at the underside of a leaf? If you have, then you must be familiar with this picture. I just included in the photo 3 droplets to make it more interesting.
Anyway, do you notice the intricate pattern? The pattern sort of meanders doesn’t it? Yet even if it meanders, somehow there is still a kind of rhyme and rhythm to it. Don’t you agree?
Look for patterns - that's another composition tip I learned.
Do you also notice the very fine whitish dots (not the yellow ones) scattered all over? Those whitish dots are the “stomata,” the breathing pores (somewhat equivalent to our noses) of the plant.
So today, I not only shared a photo, I threw in a Botany lesson as well. Ha ha.
Monday, December 8, 2008
This flower is called "morning glory". It's considered a "wild flower" here because nobody really cultivates it or plants it in her/his garden. I actually just picked this flower from the roadside and brought it home to photograph.
I photographed it from the back because most of the pictures I saw of this flower is taken from the front. Well I must agree the front view looks really pretty because it has a star-shaped appearance. However, I thought that the back view presents its graceful and unknown side and weaves its own blue magic. Don't you agree?
By the way, there is also a lilac and white variety of this flower.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Today's photo is one of the results I got from another round of playing with paper day. This time I wanted to experiment with colors. Colors really have a way of brightening up a day. I hope this brightens your day as it did mine.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I'm sharing one more sunset photo today. I saw this boy walking back along the beach as if on his way home, so you can guess this photo's title - it's "coming home".
As I mentioned before, I never tire of taking sunset photos, so you will just have to bear with me if you see one more today.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I'm sharing today another view of my favorite island here in the Philippines. This is a more secluded view of Boracay showing two of the resorts fronting the beach. One is farther up on the hill while the other is right beside the beach. I haven't been inside those two resorts but the view from outside looks like both are exciting to stay in. The next time I visit Boracay I'll try to get a view from inside.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
We visited a dam during one of our photo shoots and I could not resist taking a picture of these people as they enjoyed the water falling from the dam. They were certainly having the time of their life. I could almost imagine the water running down their bodies and giving them a natural massage. If only we were not working then, it would have been fun to join them too.
Anyway, the title for this photo is “This is Life!” Very appropriate, right?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I wanted to write a poem to give tribute to this blue raindrop but words escape me. Somehow I cannot weave the words beautifully enough to describe such fragile beauty. So I will attempt no more but just share with you this raindrop that has enchanted me with its blue magic.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Every time I see a balloon up in the sky or caught in a tree, I always wonder if somewhere, a child is crying after it. So when I saw these balloons caught in a tree, I could not help but emphatize with the child who must have accidentally let go of his/her precious toys. I actually looked around for a crying child but did not find any at that time.
Anyway, the balloons make a pretty picture against the pure blue sky and bare branches of the tree. Don't you agree?
Monday, December 1, 2008
“Every cloud has a silver lining”. How true this adage is, as shown in this photo I am sharing today. Storm clouds were gathered that afternoon but the setting sun created a perfect rim light on their edges. It was a magical moment for me and I want to share this magic.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
There's something about a rose that always makes me want to take its picture. I think I already have close to a hundred photos of roses, yet I still go on taking more pictures. Is it the color? the fragility and softness of its petals? the sensuousness of its curves? ... I really don't know. Maybe it's a combination of all those plus more. What do you think?
There is really something about a rose...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I don’t know why but a curvy road always appeals to me. So every time I see one, I always take a picture if possible. Somehow, it seems that there is always something mysterious about a curvy road. One cannot see what is behind each curve so I guess the element of mystery intrigues me.
I must confess I did follow this road after I took its picture. I discovered there was really nothing mysterious behind every bend. Everything was just like this picture – a long winding stretch of an almost empty road because I did not meet anybody as I walked along. There were some ups and downs though but the scene hardly changed. So after walking for a while, I simply turned and went back to where I started.
Oh well, so the mystery I expected was not there but I guess that is what life is – sometimes it is mysterious, sometimes it’s like a steady, calm lake.
Friday, November 28, 2008
This is one shot that certainly looks much better in black and white. When I first took this picture, it was in color, so there was a grayish tint to it. However, it did not merit my second look. I just left it there sleeping in my hard drive. When our contest theme for the month was “black and white” however, I remembered this photo and played with it in Photoshop. I converted it to black and white and that’s when I took notice. I hope you notice too. The light and shadows somehow created a mood that reminded me of the following line from somebody unknown: “Adversity is only sand on your path…to prevent you from skidding.” Isn’t the quotation apt for the photo?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I'm sharing another view from my hometown today. This shows one of the ferryboats that ferries us across the river and brings us to the mainland of our province. You can see the fish pens (shown in my previous post) in the background. So my hometown is really a small island within another island. Pretty rural huh?
This photo also illustrates perfectly the rule of thirds that I have mentioned before.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This caterpillar is certainly the epitome of this adage. It’s as green as the leaf it was eating such that I almost missed it during one of my many garden visits. I just knew it was there because all the young leaves of the plant were almost gone. Anyway, I looked real hard and finally saw it so engorged with food such that it can hardly move. Good for me because I was able to take several shots. What I'm sharing today is one of those shots.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I never really paid attention to our gate until the morning I took this photograph. I looked out our window and saw the early morning sun just peeping out from over the rooftops and creating a silhouette of our gate. I immediately got my camera and went out to take this picture. I never imagined that this ordinary gate will give me this interesting sunrise picture. Somehow the gate gave this picture a different kind of mood. Don't you agree? Just imagine how this picture will look like without the gate and you will see what I mean.
After this incident ordinary things have stopped being ordinary to me. Rather, they have become objects and opportunities for extraordinary pictures.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I discovered a way to create multiple pictures of myself without resorting to photoshop - take a picture using mirrors. I discovered this actually by accident. We were inside an elevator which had mirrors and I just focused my lens at a certain angle - and viola! - this picture. Isn't it neat?
I called this picture - "me, myself, I."
Sunday, November 23, 2008
One time, it was only 4 days before our monthly contest and I did not yet have any decent picture for our theme “rain”. I prayed for rain that day and when it suddenly poured I was so surprised and thankful.
I prayed for rain and God gave me rain, so I knew had to go out and take a picture. With umbrella in one hand and my camera in the other, I went out into the rain and started shooting. It was hard shooting that way; I just could not get my camera steady. I needed both hands in order to do that but I also had to hold the umbrella or my camera will get wet. What a dilemma!
Anyway, I was able to get a few non-blurry shots and what I’m sharing today is one of them. I found a quotation that seems to go very with this photo, so I added it here. What do you think?
Oh, by the way, I did not submit this photo to our contest. Why? Because the printed version did look as striking as the computer screen version and I had no more time to make adjustments and get a new print. Now I'm wondering if it would have won had I submitted it. I'll never know, I guess. However, there is one thing that I know - God answers prayers!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Have you ever looked at a fern up close? You have? Then I'm sure you recognize this photo. However if you haven't, then take a look at this photo. These are fern fronds (leaves of the fern) showing the sporangia (brown dots)underside. Sporangia (sporangium, singular)are the reproductive organs of ferns. If the sporangia are dark brown like these, then that means that the fern is mature and ready for reproduction. Inside the sporangia are the spores. When each sporangium breaks, the spores are scattered and develop into new ferns if they land in areas where there is enough moisture.
I love taking pictures of ferns because they exhibit such graceful and sometimes exquisite patterns. Don't you agree?
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sometimes when it’s raining too hard and I can’t risk my camera getting wet, I turn my lens towards things inside the house. One of the things I have lots of in the house is books, paper, and related things. So it’s but natural that they are the first objects that become the focus of my lens.
Well, I did not want to photograph a book just like that…a book… so I started playing around with it. I also wanted to discover what I can do with paper as black and white subject. The photo I’m sharing today is one of the results of my "playing with paper" day.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Shortly after winning in our club photo contest, I also learned that my two entries won in a magazine photo contest with the theme, “natural rim lighting.” Hmm, my photographic adventures are now becoming even more fun. Imagine my photos in a magazine! Wow! I could not believe my luck. It was my first time to join a magazine contest, and both my entries made it. Was I happy? You bet!
Anyway, here is one of my winning photos showing the theme “natural rim lighting.” I titled this “nature’s beads.”
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I was just a month old in my club when I experienced my first OTS. I did not even know what an OTS was then, but I kind of just figured out what it means based on how everybody was talking about it. So I learned that it stands for “on the spot” shoot or painting or anything on the spot.
Anyway, my first OTS was a festival. I have heard of the festival before and I learned that one of our club members won the top prize photo of the festival the year before. Everyone was excited because we were hoping to duplicate what happened the year before. Since our club had a big delegation, we decided to break up into groups with each group having a senior member as guide. I was lucky to be assigned under the guidance of last year’s winner.
We got to the festival site early so we were able to take some shots as the participants prepared and rehearsed their numbers. I have never taken festival photos before and even if I prepared by reading on the best camera settings for shooting festivals, I still had to fiddle around with my camera buttons because there was so much movement. I also got separated from our guide and I did not have anybody to consult with. We found each other later though when it started to rain and we had to scamper for cover.
The rain poured real hard as several of us tightly squeezed together under a very small tent. We got wet anyway but we kept our cameras dry by covering them with plastic bags.
When it seemed that the rain was not going to stop for a while, some participants started getting impatient and they started dancing even in the rain. Since it was hard to keep on changing my camera settings, I just set it in burst and P mode and kept on shooting even if I could not see anything in the rain. Well, I’m glad I did that because when I later reviewed the shots I made I still came up with some good ones. And my favorite shot is the one I share today. I also discovered a very apt quotation for the photo. So here it is, it's titled "rain dance".
By the way, this photo won 2nd prize in our club photo contest for that festival. So getting wet was all worth it.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Even though I hate flies, I find that they are good subjects for macro photography. Their eyes are so big and colorful. They are also more cooperative than bees, dragonflies or even butterflies because they do not fly around as much. Although their proboscis moves constantly, the rest of their body stays immobile long enough to give me time to get better focused photos.
I used my macro lens for this shot with the aperture at F/2.8 and shutter speed at 1/100sec. I wanted to just focus on the eyes thus the narrow depth of field. I also wanted to be sure that I’ll freeze whatever motion it might make so I used a somewhat fast shutter speed.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I am enjoying this daily blog. As I search daily through my pictures looking for something to share, I usually stop and ask myself, "why did I take this photo?" Then memories come flooding and I sit awhile going through not only my photo bank but my memory bank as well.
So why did I take this sunset photo? Why? Who can resist a sunset photo? I can't. Everytime I see a sunset, I want to take its photo. Its beauty makes me want to own it, to have it with me longer, to have it with me forever. Every sunset that I see fills me with wonder at the beauty of God's creation. Sunsets make my heart sing.
I have so many sunset photos. I have enough to last me a lifetime and beyond. Still, I take another sunset photo everytime I witness one.
So I share with you today something that makes my heart sing and I hope you sing with me.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I have taken so many "stalker shots" but its hard to publish them in a public site because a model release is needed especially if the faces are recognizable. However, I could not resist sharing this shot today. I so love the ingenuity of this group as they shared one life saver. They're having fun aren't they?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Since my first photo shoot with my camera club, I have joined several others and one of my favorite activities during these shoots is to take photos of the shooters. I have now a collection of these shots but I’ve only shown a few of them to my fellow shooters. The photo that I am sharing today is one of those shots.
You can see that our shooter here is wearing a raincoat. Well, every time we go on a shoot, we always come prepared for any eventuality. Rain is always one of the possibilities that can happen. It started raining real hard after I took this picture. We actually had to pack up and ran for cover. If anybody (who did not understand photography) saw us at that time, he/she would have wondered why we were using the plastic bags and wraps to cover our equipment rather our bodies.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I hardly ever take pictures of people except of those that I know. I am rather shy of approaching people and asking if I can take their picture. However, ever since my son gave me a zoom lens, I have started focusing on people too. I would use my camera from afar and then just zoom in on people so they never really know that I am taking their picture. I call photos taken this way as my “stalker shots.”
Well, I don’t really stalk people, not paparazzi style. But I do include them in some of my photos now. I discovered that some scenes look even better if there are some people included in the shot. Somehow the presence of people makes them more interesting. I also discovered that some people actually love to have their picture taken. Every time they see someone with a camera, they will always say “picture, picture” and will even scramble around and pose for the photo. Sometimes this can be distracting to the scene that I want to shot. However, what I usually do when this happens is, I oblige and take a few shots of them, then, I make a signal that I also would like to take a photo without them around. This way, we end up both happy.
Anyway, what I am sharing today is one of my “stalker shots.” I just wanted a picture of the beach then. However, I saw a pair playing frisbee, so I changed my angle and included one of them in my photo. Now the beach scene looks more alive. Don't you agree?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
After I joined my camera club this year, I received an invitation from some members to join them in a photo shoot for a possible entry to a certain photo contest. Since I have never joined a photo shoot before nor have I ever been to the venue for the shoot, I eagerly joined them.
I didn’t really know what to expect in a photo shoot. Our team leader briefed me along the way. I was told that when one goes on a shoot, one has to be ready with a concept and has to bring along props needed for the concept. Since I have never been to the venue, I did not really know what to expect, and I was not ready at all. I thought that when we get there we would walk around and look for something that would inspire us to shoot. So I was surprised when I discovered just how ready they were. They brought not just their photographic gear but also all kinds of props including some costume change. After walking around a bit, they found their spot and everyone took their places and prepared for the shoot as our team leader explained his concept. I tried to find a spot to join them too.
That day was a real learning experience for me. It was my first encounter with professional photographers and I saw how serious they were in their craft. There, I learned that winning photos are conceptualized and executed with care and not lucky accidents as I originally thought. What I have been doing so far in my photographic adventures was totally different from what I witnessed and experienced that day. I have always relied on finding the perfect shot through some inspiring moments and accidental discoveries. That day, I learned that one has to set up everything and lucky accidents are not accidents at all.
So at the end of the shoot, I was so frustrated because I could not get any right shots. While they were comparing their shots, I could not show them what I got because I was not happy with them. It was good that we had time to relax and walk around a bit before we set for home because I then found some “familiar friends”. I saw that the place had some flowers so I happily started shooting away.
If not for the flowers, I would have gone home that day wiser but frustrated. Thank God for the flowers, I went home wiser and happier.
So this photo I share today is one of the flower photos I took that day. Isn’t she a beauty?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
There was a heavy downpour at one time such that I had to wait for the rain to stop before going out to my garden. As I went raindrops hunting after, I saw this flower standing bravely in spite of being “ravaged” by the heavy rain. Somehow it still managed to “smile” and maintain its regal bearing. It appeared as if it was singing the Barry Manilow song, “I made it through the rain.” Thus the title for this photo.
"...I made it through the rain
I kept my world protected
I made it throught the rain
I kept my point of view
I made it through the rain
And found myself respected
By the others who
Got rained on too
And made it through...."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I never can predict what I will take a picture of every time I visit my small garden. I know I will take another picture of the flowers there but aside from that, I do not know what else I will find. So I was pleasantly surprised when this bee suddenly decided to visit the flower I was focusing on. I had to shift focus... really fast, because this was a rare moment for me. Flying insects especially bees rarely if ever stay put long enough for one to take a shot, so I was really lucky to get this photo.
If you love nature photography and macro shots like I do, you have to learn to be either always ready for quick shots like this or to be very patient and wait for the perfect moment. I will talk about the latter in another post.