Friday, October 31, 2008

the color of rain

It's a little gloomy today and it feels like rain, so I thought of sharing a "rain" photo.

Taking pictures of rain is challenging. It is even doubly challenging if one is inside a moving vehicle. I took this picture from inside the window of a moving car and the rain streaks produced just the right effect. I was lucky to find a trike with a colorful umbrella outside. The color contrast is simply beautiful, don't you think so?

After fiddling around with the various controls of my camera, I discovered that setting the camera to sports mode produced the best effect if one is inside a moving vehicle.

Those who are photoshop savvy (I'm not by the way), can produce rain effects, but where is the fun and challenge in that? If I can do it the natural way, why rely on photoshop?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

a drop of golden sun

The late afternoon sun was pure gold when I took this picture. The effect on the flowers was gold too. Thus, I called this photo "gold rush." No wonder photographers call the late afternoon and early morning as the "golden hours." It doesn't mean of course that we should not take pictures during other times. It simply means that during these hours the light is softer and produces nicer tones.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

hello and goodbye

What would you do if you were told that you cannot use your camera for several weeks? Would you be devastated? I was. That happened to me when my Nikon 5700 developed ccd failure or sensor failure. Apparently it belonged to the batch of cameras that exhibited similar problems at that time. The Nikon shop here could not repair it because the part still had to be imported from Japan. However, when I sent the camera to Japan through a friend who was going to there, she was told that opening the camera alone would cost so much and they were not even sure they could repair it. Huh, what kind of answer was that?

I don’t know how I managed to survive those days of not having a camera. For sure I developed withdrawal syndrome because at that time taking pictures (almost daily) has already become a habit. Every time I saw something I would like to take a picture of, my heart would bleed a little. Ah, those were really, really bad days for me. I think my husband saw how miserable I was then that he volunteered to share the cost with me if I wanted to buy a new camera. That’s when I got my Canon 350D and I have been using this since then. I am now a certified Canon lover.

The picture I am sharing today belongs to the last batch of pictures I took with my Nikon before it said goodbye. Bye Nikon.

Isn’t she lovely? This photo is titled “sweet sixteen.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


When I first engaged in photography, my favorite subjects were flowers, leaves, and other non-human things. Why? Because they are always there. I didn't have to ask permission to take their picture. I can take dozens of pictures without them complaining about being tired or being not in the mood. However, I also faced one challenge about these subjects - how do I take their picture such that they will show some emotion? I cannot very well ask them to smile or to cry (although my daughter commented once that flowers do smile everytime they see me with my camera). Anyway, what I usually do is - work around various angles until I would get some kind of connection with my subject and the emotion would come out unexpectedly. I know this is kind of hard to explain or I might not even be making sense but you will understand what I mean with this photo. Doesn't the title "expecting" naturally fit this photo?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Move closer

One photography tip that I have learned to follow early in my photography adventure is - "move closer." Moving closer always brings a new perspective, a new dimension to an otherwise common view. If I hadn't moved closer when I took this photo for example, I would have missed this new view of the Oriental lily. Until I took this close up picture, I never knew that this lily has small barb-like structures on the surface of its petals. Imagine that! What are those barb-like structures for anyway? They look like they provide some form of traction. Do they prevent insects from skidding? Or do they serve to catch pollen?

This reminds me of what Georgis O'Keefe once said about her flower paintings. - "Nobody sees a flower really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

Sunday, October 26, 2008


This is one of my favorite photos. I simply love the way the early morning sun lighted the petals of the tulip. The light created a soft glow that made the petals look like hands clasped in prayer, thus the title.

At the time I also took the photo (it's one of my early ones), I still did not know how I was able to produce the dark background effect in daytime. Now I know, and this is what I will share today. To produce the effect, make sure that the light is coming from your side or your camera is at 45 degrees angle from the sun. Try it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

flamenco dancer

This picture is the result of a happy accident. Why happy? Because the accident resulted in an even better picture I think.

When I first saw this Hibiscus flower, I was right away reminded of a flamenco dancer. As I was taking the picture however, I accidentally stepped on a piece of stone and made a slight movement that resulted in the motion blur. The blur however produced a more dynamic effect and one can almost see the flamenco dancer's skirt swirling. Don't do agree? I can even hear the castanets, can you?

Afterwards, I took several more shots of the the flower and tried recreating the motion, doing an intentional blur but nothing came close to the natural effect of the accidental blur. So this was one happy accident for me in my photography adventure.

Friday, October 24, 2008

another not so perfect picture

Aside from flowers, raindrops are my other favorite subject for my photographic adventures. Most people don't like taking photographs when it rains, but not me. I always love it when it rains because I know that I can take pictures of raindrops.

Why is this picture not so perfect? Because it's not sharply focused. This is a big no no in photography unless of course one really wants to create an intentional blur. However, this is not the case in this photo. It's a little blurry and that simply means it was not properly focused when I took it. Since I did not want to get my camera unduly wet when I took the picture, I did not have time to get a very sharp focus. Anyway, I took the picture and kept it, and now I'm even sharing it. Why? Because I love the picture. I love the mood that it conveys. When I saw the raindrops on the leaves of this plant at that time, I knew I had to take the picture. The plant looked so forlorn then and I was even reminded of angel tears and the line from the song, "Windows of the World" --- "whenever rain appears, it's really angel tears, how long must they cry...."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Frame it

One of the first lessons I learned about composition in photography is to "frame it."
Frame the focal point of your picture. One can use natural frames as what I did in this picture. I included a portion of the leaves from a nearby tree to frame the church. I have even seen a photographer who carried around a portable window so that when he takes a picture of something, it appears like the view is taken from a window. How about that? No, I have not yet gone to that extent in my photographic adventures. I prefer the natural way and work with whatever is there in the site. I just usually look around for some vantage point where I can create a natural frame for my photo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

a little bit of foreground

Yesterday I posted my first sunrise picture; today it’s the turn of my first sunset picture. This is sunset over Manila Bay taken from a hotel window.

I have learned that it’s always good to include a little bit of foreground to give depth to a sunset or sunrise picture. When I took this picture though, I did not know that composition rule. All I remember was I did not want my picture to be just all sun, sky and water, thus I included that plant. I must have been developing an artist eye even then although I was aware of it at that time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

a not so perfect picture

This is actually my very first picture using a digital camera, a Cybershot. It belonged to the family and I would take it with me every now and then (if nobody else is using it). I discovered how much fun it was to use a digital camera. One does not have to worry about saving film so one can take as many pictures as one likes. This opened me to the wonders of photography and I got hooked. When my husband saw that I had problems competing with my children for the use of the camera, he gave me my very own, the Nikon 5700 that I mentioned in my first post.

Anyway, when I took this picture, I did not know anything about the “rule of thirds” or about the “golden hour.” I just knew I wanted to take a picture of sunrise, thus this picture. Even if the composition is not perfect, I like the mood.

Monday, October 20, 2008


You might have noticed that all my posts so far have featured flowers. Well, it's because flowers were my very first subjects when I started my photography adventure a few years ago. I took pictures of all the flowers in my garden and in somebody else's garden (when given the opportunity). I find taking pictures of flowers very satisfying. Just looking at them already fills me with awe of their beauty. But taking an even closer look at them through my lenses gives me a deeper understanding of the wonders of creation.

This red flower is called "red powder puff", scientific name, Calliandra haematocephala . I titled this photo "ballerinas" because it reminds me of ballerinas in their tutus.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

baby's breath

Baby's breath is a very small flower that is usually used as an add on when making bouquets. The flowers form a bunch but every individual flower looks like a miniature daisy. Anyway, if you look at the flower closely, it is also very pretty and can very well stand on its own. However, nobody pays attention to it because it's so small. That's the reason why I took this picture. I want everyone to see that this flower also deserves to be a star, not just a supporting role in the flower world.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In tandem

This is again one of my very first pictures. The flowers are that of a plant that has heart-shaped purple leaves. I don't know its name. I tried several times to take photos of the individual flowers but everytime I clicked my camera the flowers always assumed this position. Thus I titled this photo "in tandem."

It was morning when I took this photo but the photo appears like its evening. During the early stages of my photographic adventure, I did not know how I was able to achieve to this kind of effect - the evening effect even in daylight. I just kept on taking picture after picture in a kind of hit and miss way. Now I know how this is achieved but I'm going to talk about that in another post.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Morning offering

This photo is one of the very first pictures I took with my first digital camera - a Nikon coolpix 5700. It's a flower from my garden. I titled this photo as "morning offering" because the way the petals are spread and lighted by the early morning sun reminded me of an offering.
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