Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Strangers I Meet - Everyday People

After that hike last August, life has gone back to some semblance of a routine. I can't say that it's totally the same, but, it's not necessarily a bad thing. There's the usual me habitually wandering into places, but now it's gotten a different.



Apart from the usual food photography, the portraits of the Starbucks baristas I made friends with, our utterly adorable dog, and the random knickknacks in between, I may have acquired some fixation to take pictures of people I find interesting, if not fascinating...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Strangers I Meet - The Kindness Of Strangers

This happened not merely just because of me. While it's true, I went to the top and back with my own power and not riding a horse...

This journey I took knowing it will be an ordeal, chasing the shadow of what's now a distant memory - a fantasy that was once reality. I have now arrived where I wanted to be - the first destination among many. I did not find the shadow I chase, but I found something somewhat more rewarding. The plans and promises made, ones I intended to keep from my end regardless of how everything else went awry, this is the first of many journeys for the rest of my life will try. Now from where I stand looking at something I've never seen with my own eyes, I find myself in the company and kindness of amazing strangers I never met before. Under the clouds forming with the air getting damp and droplets falling, I reached the peak, and the purpose of this journey. The skies shower me with some respite from the cruel sun. I look beyond and I saw this - the view that goes beyond, further and out of sight from the comfort zone. This was worth risking for. Safety and fear never helped me through the worst; This adventure was worth risking for. This was the first of many - there will be more. . . . . Story Link in bio. . . #lostwanderingdrifter #colorphotography #photography #nature #trailadventours #taal #hike #naturehike #whenintaal #taalvolcano #naturetrail #outdoors #sharelifeoutdoors #olympus #olympusepl5 #rokinon #rokinonfisheye #fisheye #defished #lake #craterlake #taalcraterlake
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... I admit with no shame and with lots of gratitude that this wouldn't have been possible without the kindness of strangers around me. Don't get me wrong, everyone on the hike has been amazing. There are a few I've really appreciated though and they made it memorable. I'm mentioning some of them here - partly because I feel I owe them some measure of gratitude.

The Strangers I Meet - The First Steps

It is said, that the ones who can hurt us the most are the ones closest to us. There's no pain like seeing someone you know intimately turn into someone else and look at you like you're a stranger. Time and again I found myself in the receiving end of that for the past decade or so - I kept losing people I held close.

But before this becomes a sappy morose story, let me end it at that. To make a change in this status quo I now endeavor to once again go beyond my comfort zone- the world is full of interesting people. A lot of them I see, but I never had the chance to talk to them. And so there's this crazy idea - why not capture them on film and a bit of their story?

So, basically I now find the world to be a vast room full of strangers. Why not go chat them up?

Today I learned something from this anonymous stranger. Let's call him Alex. I'll remember him as the WD-40 guy. He'll be the first of many I intend to feature on a new theme I endeavor to show here and take a portrait of them on film. I'm hoping to work on my social skills along the process and not come across as some creep. I would like to believe that it's a self esteem thing but the creeped out looks I get in real life is abundant and very real. With aesthetics and prejudice working against me, it's easier said than done. Today I managed to break the ice with this stranger and take his picture along with a bit of story from this afternoon. I believe there are many around me like him and I hope to find and feature them. They'll be tagged as #thestrangersimeet in my collection. Catch them soon. . . . . #lostwanderingdrifter #rnifilms #solo #stroll #lafinca
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Except for a few trivial things - rejection affects me a bit more than it should, I'm the least appealing person in terms of looks that I know of, and I'm also socially awkward with inept social skills... Ay, there's the rub.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

On Film I Saw High ISO

These days, in the age of modern digital cameras, when you consider ISO800 as high ISO, people would laugh at you. The advancements in digital photography has been light years away from film. But despite all the advancements, noise is still an issue to most cameras, and you're gonna see it in your camera unless you're using really expensive fancy ones (Looking at you, flagship cameras!)

Burgos Circle
Crossing Burgos Circle.


But there's this sort of charm in high ISO films. Instead of a ghastly noise like what's on those cheap cameras where you see specks of different colors and a lot of smudging, what you get instead is fine grain. This is by no means a fine ouput, but it's appealing to some, and even I admit, it's preferable to digital noise - at least for me.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

To The Top And Back!

The previous entry, was just getting half way there. That wasn't the destination. That was the halfway point in our long walk. Things get even more interesting after that.

P8050729_01
This wasn't the destination. This was the respite; This is the relief - the extraction from that tiresome endeavor. Beyond these planks is our ride that brings us back to the familiar. Leaving behind the tedious adventure -  and our footprints. But we bring back with us the dirt in our shoes from this, along with the pictures, the memories and the sense of accomplishment. Taal has been kind to us in this.
 
This is the second of the two parts. In case you missed the first one, it's in here. As what our guides would say to fellow hikers we come across along the way, "Keep it up! You're halfway there."

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Other Side Of The Comfort Zone

August 5, 2017.  I went to climb a volcano to jump off the crater. Then I remembered that I have acrophobia and was too tired to even jump when I got there so I just enjoyed the view and took pictures instead. The end. Okay, not really. There's so much more to it. I am now here. Looking out to the scenery - searching for the places where I used to stand while looking at the place I'm standing in right now. So, this is the view from the other side...

P8050588
This journey I took knowing it will be an ordeal, chasing the shadow of what's now a distant memory - a fantasy that was once reality. Nonetheless, the die is cast, I find myself on the edge of what I've only looked at from afar before, and there is no other way but forward. For plans and promises made, ones I intend to keep from my end regardless of how everything else went awry. Because I promised them. Because I planned them. Now from the outside looking in, I find myself in the company and kindness of amazing strangers I never met before. Under the scorch of the cruel sun and intermittent respite of the clouds, each heavy step I take, off to tread where I've never dared before. Halfway getting there I look back to see this. So this is the view from the other side of the comfort zone. This is worth risking for. Safety and fear never helped me through the worst; This adventure is worth risking for. This is the first of many - I'll be back for more.

This read might get as long as the journey...

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Week With The Beauty From Belarus

Exotic title aside, this is about the week shooting with the Belomo Vilia. This may not sound like much, but the compact dimension and the very useful focusing scale makes it a joy to use. I loaded it with a Fujifilm C200 and it was a joy to use during the day.

Out To Lunch

Friday, July 28, 2017

Fun And Sand Under The Monochrome Sky

When one says the beach, people often imagine the blue seas, the white, brown or multi-colored sand, white clouds and cerulean skies above; Green palm trees and the different colors on people's faces... But what if there's none of that?

Lost In Thought

All the beauty of the beaches but without the vivid colors. That is exactly what happened here...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

End Of June

June of this year has been quite a month for me. It has, for some time, been quite busy, and other times, I dare say turbulent. I'm thankful that I somewhat still get the chance to go take pictures at my leisure time. Here are some random knickknacks from the month.. A lot of these are from our recent company outing and some sights around the office- Namely my favorite Starbucks branch.
 
Dab On The Rocks

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Came Across The Fuji Acros

Excuse the bad pun. Today I'm sharing something different, definitely a first. This is the first monochrome film I ever used - The Fujifilm Neopan Acros. For starters, it's interesting.

Walking The Dog
Walking The Dog. Monochrome images remain timeless for me.
But how was it? Well...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rolling With A (Belo)Russian

I went crazy yet again. I chanced upon this interesting plastic gem. While the Minolta I borrowed is superior in every way, I still got enchanted with this Belorussian beauty. Maybe because I really just have a thing for rangefinders. It has a kind of subtlety that calls less attention than the average SLR.

Maybe it's #sentimentalism of older days, but I'm quite attracted to #rangefinders. From Leicas to Olympus to Fujis, there's a charm about them I don't see even in the best of D/SLRs. I've long lusted to get my hands on a #rangefinder camera, but the prices I saw were absurd. Then my path crossed this #russian - it's #cheap but #cheerful... And was at a price that screamed at my common sense that was trying to silence the urge to get me a rangefinder: "cyka blyat idi nahuiii!!!" - alrighty then, comrade... A lotta folks are screaming for Fuji X-Pros, X100s, and X-Ts ... And I got this. It's not a proper rangefinder by any means but at this price, I won't complain. This is one itch scratched. Lovely. Shoutout and appreciation to #sovietcamerastore for this fix for my #vice and to @filmfolk_ for supplying my #film. I'm gonna bother them again soon to send some goodies. But not until after I share some thoughts about the experience in using this sweet thing. Teach your kids to love #film photography- they'll have no money to buy drugs. . . . . . . . . . . #rnifilms #filmfolk #lostwanderingdrifter #sovietcamera #filmisnotdead #filmphotography #buyfilmnotmegapixels #filmcamera #istillshootfilm #filmstill #filmphoto #film35mm #35mm #135film #belomo #vilia #belomovilia
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This is the Belomo Vilia. I've recently acquired this beauty and finished shooting a roll with it. So what do I think about this beauty? Well...

Monday, May 1, 2017

Blowouts, Blurs, Grain, And Flaws That Remain

You'd think that with continuous use, you'd obtain mastery of something. While that is true in many cases, it isn't so for my film photography endeavor. That van that gives away free coffee is in town so I dropped by and had a few good pictures along the way.

Free Coffee Van
Free Coffee! This is among my better shots in the roll. Cool van in a cool place on a lovely Sunday!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Analog Imperfections

Last time I mentioned I started fiddling with film. Well, I still am. I don't think I'm gonna stop anytime soon. Photography is somewhat special again, especially with a film camera. It was interesting for me to explore so I tried bringing it around me when I go places when I had the chance. "It's the same, but different..." comes to mind. No electronics, no artificial sharpening, no color correction, no auto whitebalance, heck, no batteries even. Just a camera and a roll of film.

Working On Dim Light


It actually feels liberating to shoot without worrying about batteries or how it turned out. It's not necessarily better, since it has a number of imperfections- no crisp lightning-fast accurate focusing here, but it's exactly what I imagined and romanticized it to be. This set is shot with a Fujifilm C200. So far I love this for being cheap and cheerful!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Really Nostalgic Images?

I'm not sure if others share the same sentiment, but I feel that Instagram filters are getting old. At least  for me... Processing the picture you make your adjustments, and optionally, apply a filter. And that's where lies my disinterest - mainly due to the unfamiliarity.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Downtime At Bacolod

During my stay there, I maximized the time staying at home. Yes, I'm not there often and I enjoy the lazy days there. That's not to say that I just stayed at home though. Apart from that I've gone to a few interesting places with dad and my brother. Here are some of it...

Palawud Late Sunset

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Nikon 100th Anniversary Video - Utterly Amazing

How do you celebrate being around for a century? Folks may want to take notes from the awesome people at Nikon. They released a captivating, vibrant and lively (some may say even over the top/ridiculous maybe for a lack of a better term to describe the impact of it) video retracing their achievements back to 1917. It even features cameos of famous photographers who used the brand (How many do you recognize?) and significant moments in history all with a lively beat pumping to fill your ears. Imagine Michael Bay without explosions, maybe? Nikon, like in their products, didn't cut corners in the production of this powerful and beautiful video. It's an awesome way to celebrate 100 years!


 
In a word- It's epic. This intensely satisfying video departs from the relatively serene, subtle, yet no less interesting 80th anniversary video without going the direction of the emotionally-gripping, sentimental, tear-jerking (Yes! For me at least...) yet captivating 90th anniversary video

And it doesn't end there. They also released a website exclusively for this momentous year:


You may also want to check out their cool interactive timeline in the 100th anniversary website here - or just click on History.

Photography wouldn't be the same without Nikon, I think. And the brand certainly has a rich, vibrant and interesting history. I may be on a different platform/camera/brand now, but Nikon will always have a soft spot for me- I learned Photography with a Nikon, afterall. If I'm to pick a DSLR again, it'll be a Nikon.

More power to Nikon!



Monday, January 2, 2017

December Italian Afternoon

My first post for the year, is about last year. Wait, what? Well it's something that fans of Italian delicacy would appreciate I think. It was a lovely December afternoon. Okay not really. It was raining and I was becoming sick. We were looking for a certain archery place but failed in that endeavor, along with the rain spoiling the day. It's not too bad, though. It still didn't stop us from having a good time over some Italian goodies.

Afternoon Delight