Saturday, February 28, 2009

circles


I was just playing around with some of my photos and I thought it would be nice to combine some of them.

Questions is...what to combine? Then I thought of patterns... what is a common pattern in the photos...and the answer is... as you guessed...circle. Thus the title.

As I was writing that, I was reminded of the lyrics to the song "Windmills of Your Mind" It goes like this...
"Round
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel thats turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly?
Was it something that you said?
Lovers walk along a shore
And leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of a song
Half-remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over
You were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the colour of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind."

Hmm...I just realized that the lyrics of this song is beautiful, that's why I copied the whole thing here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bowling



I never realized how hard it is to be a sports photographer until I tried to take some action shots during our bowling tournament last weekend. I wanted to get a picture of the pins as they fall during a strike.

I tried all kinds of combinations of shutter speed and aperture plus ISO but I just could not get the right combination. I tried using program mode but still I was not happy with the results. Frustrated, I finally just used sports mode and finally came up with some decent shots. However, I’m still not completely satisfied with the results. I’ll just have to try again.

Anyway, I am sharing two shots I took last time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

horned beetle


Look what I found near my door today... a horned beetle. So I got a piece of chopstick and carried the beetle on it out to my garden. I then got my camera and took several pictures.

I think the beetle must have been caught by our dogs. They usually bring to our door whatever they have been playing with. Sometimes I find bones, stones, pieces of rags, etc. They even brought a fish once...poor fish. The most "amazing" things they brought to our door however were... a paper plate together with plastic fork and spoon and a plastic glass... as if telling us that they came from a party! Ha ha.

Anyway... this beetle sure looks ferocious with its horn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

nature's torch2


This is the same photo that I shared last Feb 9. I promised then that I will add a motion blur to make it appear more like a torch. So this is the result of that "photo manipulation".

It looks more like a torch now, doesn't it?

Monday, February 23, 2009

abstract sunset


Have you ever wondered how a sunset will look like as an abstract painting?

Well, I tried using my camera to make an abstract painting of the sunset just outside my window. The sunset that day was not really colorful but there was enough color and light that created a silhoutte of the leaves from the nearby tree. Anyway, I tried moving my camera as I clicked on it and this photo is what resulted.

You know, I am beginning to love making these "abstract paintings" with my camera because the resulting images are "one of a kind".

Saturday, February 21, 2009

soulful eyes



I rarely get a chance to take photos of large animals. They are always moving around so it's hard to get them to "pose" for me. However, I had a lucky break once - thus this photo I am sharing today.

This kitten was just beginning to explore its surroundings and I caught it still staying close to its mom but already looking around. I think it did not know what to do when it saw me with my camera so it just stared at me with soulful eyes with just a hint of wonder. Perfect! I caught its expression.

Friday, February 20, 2009

there is something about a rose, one more time


There is really something about a rose that calls my attention.

As I was looking for a photo to upload today, my eyes were drawn to this rose. And even if I have already posted several rose photos, somehow it seemed to beckon for recognition once again.

So here's another rose for sharing. I hope that you have not grown tired of seeing another rose in this blog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

playing with color


Playing with color is so much fun. What I am sharing today is one of the results of another of my "playing with color day".

You know what, colored pens, pencils, paper, and other colored objects have always fascinated me. So whenever I could not go out to shoot, I usually play around with colored objects. Sometimes of course I hunt around for other objects to play around with, but colors are always interesting.

One of these days I'm going to get myself a light box so I can also play around with light plus colors.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

amazing ants


Have you ever seen how ants work together? You have? Have you observed how amazing they are?

I have seen ants work together before, but what I saw a few days ago was a first time experience for me and I was truly amazed. It definitely was a humbling experience for me.

Take a close look at this photo I'm sharing today. Notice how two or three ants are fully stretched as they hold on to each other and serve as a bridge to the other ants.

Wow! I cannot imagine myself serving as bridge like that so other people can walk over me and go to the other side. But these ants were doing it! Isn't that amazing!

Friday, February 13, 2009

a green valentine's greeting


I am going to be different this year. I am sharing a green rather than a red valentine's greeting. Green is the color of life. So today I wish you a vibrant life.

Happy Valentine's day everyone!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

reminiscin'


How do you convey reminiscin' in a previous photo?

We had an assignment for a photo contest with the theme "reminiscin'". The explanation is, we are supposed to go through our winning photos for 2008 and try to reminisce about our winning moments. I really had problems with this assignment.

For example, I had a winning photograph that shows a pair of slippers covered with caked mud. So how am I going to show reminiscin' with that?

I made a collage using my winning photos surrounding an eye but it did not pass the judges critical eyes. Surprisingly, the photo that got the judges nod is this photo that I am sharing today.

I just opened a magazine showing my winning photo and then I placed a cup of coffee beside it to show that I am drinking coffee as I looked at my winning photo. Just goes to show that usually the simplest concept gets the nod. However, judging photo contests is really very tricky. Most of the time, everything depends on how the judges interpret a certain theme.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

candlelight


I never realized that photographing candlelight can be so much fun.

The photo I'm sharing today is one of the results of my experiments with candlelight.

We had several hours of brownout once because of a typhoon, so we had to use candlelight. We had breakfast (not dinner) by candlelight and I got my camera and started shooting everything on the table. I came up with several "mood" photos and this is one of them.

I love the warm glow that the candlelight created. The reflection on the glasses also gives a sense of intimacy and subdued atmosphere. Don't you agree?

Monday, February 9, 2009

nature's torch


This is the flower of the red ginger plant. Strictly speaking though, this is not the true flower but just a series of overlapping bracts. The true flowers are really small and white and are covered by the bracts.

Anyway, I called this photo, "nature's torch" because of the way the bracts are arranged. I was tempted to add some motion blur to make it appear like a real torch but I thought it's better to share first its natural appearance. Maybe I'll add the motion blur in another post.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

odd man out


The photo I'm sharing today shows what I mean by the many points of interest during some street dancing activity.

After shooting the main activity (this is the ati-atihan festival I shared a few posts ago last January), I usually train my lens on the crowd just to see how people are reacting to the activity. Notice how everyone is watching the dancers while this one spectator has other things in her mind.

To emphasize this spectator, I converted the whole photo into black and white then I selectively colored her. This made her the odd man out, thus the title for this picture.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

motion blur


When photographing some street activity like dancing, it's usually hard to decide what to focus on. There are so many points of interest like the costume, the people, the activity itself or even the reactions of spectators. All of these usually require different camera settings in order to get the real feel of what is happening. What usually happens (in my case anyway), is I win some and lose some shots.

Anyway, what I am sharing today is a photo wherein I used a slow shutter speed to get the motion blur effect of the swirl of the dancer's dress. The same effect can of course be obtained using photoshop. However, I usually prefer to produce the effect while shooting rather than during post processing.

Can you feel the rhythm of the dance?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Abstract painting with your camera, one more time


Here's another try at abstract art. You know what, I'm beginning to enjoy this.

When I went out to the garden today, I took not only regular photos but I also made abstract art. I actually spent more time doing the latter. You should try it yourself. It's fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Abstract painting with your camera


Have you tried 'abstract painting' with your camera? I did, and it's so challenging, exciting, frustrating and rewarding all at the same time.

I read in a magazine about making “abstract painting” with one’s camera and the pictures are interesting and seemed easy to do, so I tried it. The techniques to use are supposed to be: panning, zooming in, zooming out, intentional blur, etc.... Hmm, so I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! It was definitely no piece of cake! It was hard! But I kept on doing it and will try again tomorrow.

I have a constraint on my ‘painting’ however. I have to use ‘nature’ only in my abstracts. No beads or artificial light, or colored stones, or paper, etc.... I only have to rely on natural light, color, forms, etc...

So what I am sharing today is one of the results of my excursion into ‘abstract painting’ with my camera. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

playing with photoshop -- liquefy


I was playing with some features of photoshop and tested the filter 'liquefy'. The photo I'm sharing today is the result. I tried following a certain pattern when I applied 'liquefy' thus the patterned appearance. You can of course apply 'liquefy' in a random manner. Everything depends on how you want your photo to appear. Just experiment. If you like what you see, then save it, if you don't then you can easily discard of course.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lens Baby Effect2


Here is another photo showing the "lens baby effect". This time I used the soft focus of Picasa in producing this effect.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lens Baby Effect


What is a “lens baby effect” or also called “Diana effect”?

Well, this effect produces a ‘sweet spot’ where the focus is sharp and everything around it is soft and blurry.

There are actually special lens called “lens babies” that are designed to produce this effect.

However, I find that I can produce exactly the same effect in two ways: one is while taking the photo, and the other is in post processing.

To produce the effect while taking the picture, it is best to use a macro lens and set it to the smallest depth of field. This is what I did for this photo that I am sharing today. You can see that only the center of the flower is sharply focused while the rest is soft and blurry.
By the way, I read somewhere that a long telephoto lens will also produce the same effect. I have not yet tried that though. I am more at home with my macro lens.

During post production, I find it easiest to use Picasa. Just open your photo in Picasa, click on ‘effects’, then click on ‘soft focus’ and viola, you get your ‘lens baby’ effect. You can also move the slider and change the either the ‘size’ or the ‘amount’ of soft focus, or you can change both. It’s that simple. Try it!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

there is something about a bud


There is something about a bud that always makes it interesting. Somehow a bud seems to hold a promise of something....

Something deeper ... exciting ... mysterious ... inspiring... ...promising....
I usually take more time looking at a bud than at a full blown flower because of these possibilities.

Today, I invite you to take a closer look at this photo and see what thoughts or feelings come forth as you look at it. Do the unopened petals seem like fingers cradling something? Can you feel a sense of mystery or curiousity arising from within you?

Come on, why don't you try it?
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