Sub Rosa : adverb. In secret, secretly, in private, privately, behind closed doors.
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II, shot @ 1/25, f/1.8, ISO 200
On my run around the neighbourhood this morning, I almost stepped on this flower. I can’t help to pick it up as my object today.
Looking at it brings back memory of childhood, when my brothers, my sister and I used to “hunt” for either four petals or six petals frangipani. To be able to find one is considered good luck, as this particular species of frangipani commonly has 5 petals.
I found my last 4 petal frangipani about a couple of years ago in Singapore Botanical Garden, also during my morning run. Maybe I should run more regularly 🙂
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II, shot @ 1/2500, f/5, ISO 100
I was playing around with this glass ball, which my son bought from $2 shop. I love how the abstract painting on the wall is reflected upside down. It surprised me how the black table onto which I placed the ball, changed into reddish colour as background, while retaining the original black colour as foreground.
The painting was in front of me and the natural light came from behind me, as well as my left.
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II, shot @ 1/10, f/5, ISO 100
I am very strict with regards to the kids playing games on my iPhone. I keep a signed contracts, written in their handwriting stating the time limit and condition, hahaha. So when it’s time for them to play their games on iPhone, it’s their “me” time and they enjoy it tremendously. It’s also my trick to be able to take a close up shot like this one.
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L, shot @ 1/50, f/4, ISO 1600
I have to put this particular picture on the post today. My 8 year old ‘model’ requested to be in my blog. He came up with this concept (even managed to not eat the whole bread roll in one go, only pinching, digging and eating the crumbs to make a hole) and wanted to have his picture taken in EXACTLY this style.
For those of you who have young kids, you can relate if I say that they sometimes are reluctant in front of camera. So when he WANTS to have his picture taken, I better seize the moment.
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L, shot @ 1/100, f/4, ISO 1600
I believe I looked like someone who’s gone mad shooting this. Here’s the set. Bathroom cum walk in wardrobe. Face to face mirror doors. 1 light above the sink counter top. No tripod. No remote shutter release.
Placed the camera on sink counter. Self timer at 10 seconds. Walked to the other side. Threw favourite red scarf in the air. Repeat. And repeat. Until I got bored.
Note to self : buy a tripod. Any suggestions on what tripod to buy are welcome :-).
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L, shot @ 1/2, f/5, ISO 200
Sari sari (in Tagalog means variety) is small convenience stores which can be found in neighbourhoods all around Philippines. They are mostly privately owned. Some of the them are free-standing huts, while some are operated from inside the shop owner’s house, as it’s actually occupy 1 room of the house.
They sells basic / everyday necessities, from cooking oil to soap, candies to cigarettes, etc. The goods are normally displayed by the large plastic-covered windows or metal-barred window.
Rather than selling a whole package, in sari sari stores customers can buy the commodities in small amount. Therefore you can see small sachets of shampoo, 3-in-1 coffee, etc. The average spending per person in this kind of shop is around 8 pesos (around 2 US cents).
Shot with iPhone 4S
It has been raining non-stop since yesterday and the forecast said that it will continue until the end of the week. The kids are so happy that the school is even suspended today, due to bad weather and typhoon warning in some areas of the Philippines.
I took this shot yesterday from inside the car. My initial aim is actually to take a shot of that girl with red umbrella. But what surprised me was the water drops on the picture. It took me several shots after this one, until I realised that actually it was the effect of flash firing onto the water drops on the outside of the glass (DANG!). I never expected it would be like this. (My sons said, it looks like a glow-in-the-dark coins are attacking the girl who is using umbrella as protection :-))
Shot with Canon PowerShot G12, shot @ 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 250
This set of mudra figure, I have to say, is my favourite decorative pieces. I purchased them in Thailand quite some time ago and it has been following us everywhere.
I have always thought that they mean giving blessing, thus I always place them at the entrance, as the first things I see upon entering the house. But later on, as I tried to find out, I learned that each hand means differently.
The right hand is Dharmachakra Mudra, or the turning of wheel of Dharma, which represents the Buddha’s teaching, while the left hand is Varadha Mudra, or the gesture of gift giving or bestowal.
Again, I am not a Buddhist, so please correct me if I’m wrong.
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L, shot @ 1/10, f/4, ISO 1600
Here where I live, minibus is a very common mode of public transportation. Some are plain looking like this one, while others are highly decorated, known as jeepneys. I am still trying to get nice clear shot of one of those.
Excuse my language, but they drive like s*** and it can be a pain in the a** sharing the road with them, as they do not have designated stopping area, so they CAN and they WILL stop wherever and whenever they want, even in the middle of the road. In my view, there are only 3 factors who know when a jeepney will stop, or turn : the driver, the jeepney itself, and God, if you believe in one.
Oh, what ironic is, they always have a sign printed at the back of the car : How’s my driving? Please call ########! Even my 8 year old can make a joke, “Let’s call the number and say, your driving sucks!”
What attracts my attention is how the multi tasking jeepney driver handles the driving, the watching out of traffic situation and stopping when he sees prospective passengers, stopping when passengers give sign to alight, receiving payment, as well as giving change for fare. Some has assistant, who handles the “marketing” and “finance” side, while others, such as this one on the picture, is a one man show. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why they can’t drive properly, they are doing too many things at the same time.
Note how he holds the money. Isn’t it something? 🙂
All were shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L
The traffic situation to / from the kids’ school is getting worse these days due to some roadworks. Yesterday was the worst I have ever experienced, spending double the time on the road than I normally do. But then I’ve got a chance to make a clear shot of him.
Almost every morning this guy is completely wasted, always laying down on the same spot. Next to him is always a bottle of local rhum and a bottle of water.
Just to clarify, in case you are questioning. No, he is not chained. The chain is just attached to the pole behind him.
Shot with Canon G12, shot @ 1/160, f/3.5, ISO 250
Have you ever asked yourself that question?
Like real love life, I believe there is THE moment when we fall in love with our hobby, our passion. Some of us realise that we enjoy doing one particular activity, falling in love with it, pursue it and practice it religiously, seriously, intensely until they become some sort of expert.
While others, falling in love with it, but then for some reasons put it on hold, until one day they realise, heyyy, how about?… Then they wake up from the hiatus.
In this post I’d like to share my photos which were taken back in ’95 (don’t do the math please!). I believe that was my moment. Those were the time when I equipped myself with a hand-me-down pocket cam of Nikon RD2, 2 rolls of colour and 2 rolls of BW films upon hearing that I would be travelling to Russia and France. I have always loved BW, and what could be more perfect for Russia trip than BW films? In that era, for me, Russia was like entering a black and white movie.
At that time, of course, I know zip about photography. No knowledge whatsoever about composition, rule of 1/3, leading line, frame within frame, etc. All I knew was I needed to record the moments, because I don’t know when will I have the chance again to return, if ever. But looking at these photos now, I think I wasn’t THAT bad. Considering that, unlike digital age, you can’t afford too many clicks, can you?
So here are my “Early Photography” photos, whose negatives are unfortunately lost. I only scanned the prints, unedited, except adding my watermarks.
I must have shot this one in the city of Lavra. (?)
Staying in a converted convent accommodation in Suzdal, I took this picture from inside a wooden hut where I stayed.
A shopping arcade in Suzdal. I remember loving the architectural style. Oh, I also remember how amazed I was looking at how bare the interior of every shop was. The amount of goods they were displaying seemed so minimum.
Somewhere in St. Peterburg near Paul & Peter Fortress. (?)
All were shot with Nikon RD2, which by the way, is still kept by my brother 😉
Trixie is 6 years old. We never realised how well behaved she is, until we got a 6 months old Belgian Malinois. Walking with both of them is an entertainment on its own. While Zoey is so excited, walking and running all over the place, Trixie will be walking composedly, just like a socialite going to her high tea appointment.
And every time after a long walk around the blocks, she will descend gracefully to the swimming pool, 1 step at a time, and have 2 rounds of swimming just like in this picture.
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L, shot @ 1/100, f/4, ISO 1600
One of the most popular snacks here is Indian mango (I still don’t know why it’s called Indian? Maybe this special mango originally came from India? Have to do more homework on that). You can easily find it from stalls by the street, or from some vendors, like this one, who are going around offering it as snack-on-the-go.
Unlike what is known as sweet Philippine’s mango, this particular one is more crispy, with slightly tart and sour taste. It’s normally eaten accompanied by bagoong (shrimp paste).
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L, shot @ 1/125, f/4, ISO 640
On the first day of the new year, it is very common to see dragon or lion dance everywhere. The origin is apparently based on a legend, where a mythical beast called Nian would come and attack villagers at the exact same time every year. They asked for help of a great colourful lion spirit who came and scared the beast away with a lot of noise. Unfortunately, the following year the lion was busy defending the Emperor’s palace, thus the villagers were left defenceless. They improvised by creating a false lion by using colourful clothes and bamboo, accompanied by noisy firecrackers to drive Nian away. It was proven to be successful, thus they repeated it every year to frighten bad spirit away and of course, to bring good luck.
For those who don’t know, the dance look rather simple. In reality, the music, steps, movements and rituals are deliberately planned and carefully executed. A simple mistake could doomed the client, which brings bad luck for the entire year. The “dancers” are actually martial artists, which explains how they can grab a bunch of lettuce 3m high in the air, while wearing such an intricate heavy costumes.
The dance typically starts with loud firecrackers. The lions are sleeping and need to be waken up by, normally, the leader of the establishment or guests of honour, by dotting red ink on the lions’ mouth, eyes and forehead. Once they are awake, accompanied by musical instruments (minimum 3 pieces : drum, gong and cymbals), they will start their dance movements, sequence and rituals.
Some food items, such as lettuce and mandarins are left out on the floor for the lion to snatch. The main performer pick them up and presents it to the client.
The highlight of the dance is normally the acrobatic movements. The establishment hangs a head of lettuce and a decorative hangbao (red envelope – with payment enclosed) up in the air. These symbolise money and prosperity. The lion carefully approaches the lettuce and even test it to make sure that it is safe, not a dangerous item. After testing on the left and right sides, he does some steps to ward off any others that may want to eat his green. The person manipulating the head first removes the envelope and carefully places it inside his shirt. If it’s ever dropped would mean bad luck. Then he grabs the lettuce and “chews” it apart from within the costumes. He then “spits” it out first to the left, then to the right and then to the middle to help spread prosperity in all directions. The music then changes to higher and speedier beat and the head is raised and moved as if the lion is happy to have consumed his prize.
All were shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L
Today, 10 February 2013 is celebrated as Chinese new year and we are entering year of the snake. Unlike the gregorian calendar, Chinese calendar is based on the cycle of the moon.
Chinese loves playing with words and symbols. Homonyms are very often used. Names of dishes and / or ingredients which are served during the new year sound similar to words and phrases which they wish. Some other food also have symbolic meaning.
From the picture above, the 8 oranges symbolise gold (also because of the colour), wealth and good fortune. 8 is always a lucky number ;-). While pineapple represents luck, as well as wealth and good fortune.
Fresh fruits mean life and new beginning. They all should be placed on a round tray, whose form represents togetherness.
So I wish you all Gong Xi Fa Chai. May your fortune rise to greater heights, your heart be filled with happiness and peace and your life be blesses with longevity and abundance.
Shot with Canon 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L, shot @ 1/25, f/4, ISO 1600