Thursday, January 31, 2013



Week 5 theme: SONG LYRIC (27 Jan - 2 Feb)

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds."

from "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley

"Big Fan" Revisited

Get Pushed is a Flickr group where people who sign up for a monthly photographic challenge get paired together to challenge each other to shoot something different what they ordinarily shoots.
An earlier post on this Blog showed my reply to a challenge by JeezyDeezy, a follow Flickrer and 365er. This is her reply to my challenge. This is the first photo to be published on this blog that is not taken by me.
Her write up on Flickr is posted below without editing. 
"Big Fan" of Basselal

"Big Fan" of Basselal

For this Get Pushed, Round 30, I was thrilled to be paired with Basselal, whose dark depictions of the world have been fascinating me for a couple years now. He gave me this challenge:
Your subject could be a photograph taken by another (famous or not, although a famous photograph helps with familiarity), painting, or even an album cover or a movie poster.
- You should not just "replicate" but "re-imagine" the work and put your own spin on it.
I'll give you two level of difficulties (at least that's how I see it) and it's up to you to chose one of the two options:
- A work of art of your choice (photo, painting, album cover, poster, etc). I imagine this could be easier since you can pick something you are familiar with and know well.- A photo from my photostream (which I will not call a work of art). Although this might be fun for me, it might be more difficult for you to go over the photos and pick something that you would like to recreate.

As soon as I looked through Basselal's most interesting stream, I knew I'd choose the 2nd option.
Here is the image I repurposed:
322/365: Big Fan

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Space Oddity


Week 5 theme: SONG LYRIC (27 Jan - 2 Feb)

"Here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do "

Space Oddity: David Bowie

Space Oddity

Continuing with the weekly theme. This idea for the photo needed a lot of work in Photoshop, which I rarely do (or have the patience for).

I tried my best not to "cheat" by using elements that are not originally shot for this photo. So, out of the many layers (much more than you would guess by looking at it) only the stars are not mine (I even wanted to do that but it was cloudy). The moon is from an older photo I took myself. All other elements were shot specifically for this composite.

High Key Challenge

Get Pushed, Round 30

For round 30, I was excited to be paid with JeezyDeezy, I follow veteran 365er with a great photostream. her photos are not only very creative, she also have great photographic skill to pull off her great ideas. You can get a lot of inspiration by visiting her photostream.  Extra points for her great response to my push.

Her push to me was:

"I would like to challenge you to create a quintessential 'high-key' image. One that is over-exposed (whether in post or in camera) by a full stop and a half or two, so that the dark colours become bright and vivid, and the medium colours become beautiful pastels, and the highlights are blown, but in a soft dreamy way, not a glaring, irritating way. "

an extra condition to the push: "please, I would like to see you do this in colour."

Here goes my "free card out of jail". B&W is much more forgiving. But, the idea is to push beyond the comfort zone.

I had no idea how I'm going to do it. First, I though of a scene in nature without people. But after looking for examples for inspiration online, I decided that it would be better as a portrait. Still, I did not want to do a traditional portrait.

I took this photo about a week ago and although I wanted to experiment some more, extremely busy week and the fact that I'm fairly happy with it made me decide to go with this photo.

Looking at it now, I'm not sure if I did achieved the 1.5 or 2 stops over exposer. I mainly tried to go by colors as my main criteria. The vivid red and pastel light colors. I also tried to avoid shadows (one of the main criteria for high key" by using a fill light. There might be still some there, if you are a purest.

It was a fun challenge. Thanks to JeezyDeezy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Darkness at The Break of Noon

Week 5 theme: SONG LYRIC (27 Jan - 2 Feb)
"It's Alright Ma (I'm only crying)" By: Bob Dylan
Darkness at The Break of Noon

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

I Think Dylan is probably the greatest song writer. So many images from his lyrics I wish I can translate to photographs. They are just very difficult to do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Just Do It!

Just Do It!

Up until about 4 years ago (probably a bit more), I was very strict about my daily workout. Then, life happened. Back to back medical procedures then recovery, followed by a month of travel and other stuff (basically three months of complete suspension) threw a wrench in my routine that I couldn't get over. A new work assignment with much bigger responsibility and work load did not help either. Being initially fit gave me a false sense of confidence. "I need to do this, but I don't need to do right now". It took a long time (and many pounds) to get back to being serious about this.

It's been a few weeks. I'm still easing in. My routines are not even close to how rigorous they used to be. I'm looking forward to getting closer to that level, although being older does not help.

It's important not to worry about the results this early. The important thing is to stay the course.

Just Do It!
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