Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Breakfast

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On the morning of Easter Sunday right after work, I invited my friend to have breakfast with me at IHOP. I had my favorite big steak omelet and pancakes while my friend got his quesadilla & salad on the side. I work extra today to cover a co-worker on vacation, so I decided to go to church for the 11:00am mass at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church which is just 2 blocks away from our house. There's nothing else being planned for today because again, I still have to work tonight. After posting this blog, I'd probably be hitting the bed.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Black Saturday Lunch

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After a day of fasting (I only had an avocado smoothie), I felt super hungry. Right after work, I went to the gym to work out and after my session with the gym I still felt the pangs of hunger. I called my friend who is always my partner in crime in terms of food tripping. Unfortunately my friend could not answer the phone for some reason so I decided to go ahead to my favorite Panera Bread café alone. I had my Mediterranean Salmon Salad which I enjoyed very much.

I cant help but take a snap shot of the food that I had so here it is, my meditarranean salmon salad in all its glory.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

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I'm home alone for several weeks now since my parents went home to the Philippines for a vacation. Since its Good Friday today and being alone, I just have to imagine all the delicacies that they are eating during this time of the year. Supposedly all the Christians around the world observing the Holy Week will be doing lots of prayers coupled with some fasting. Fasting is not like a hunger strike but to skip full meals for the day but we Filipinos instead eat some boiled sweet potatoes which we called in our dialect a "dinuldog". I cant well describe what goes into the "dinuldog" but I know there are some other root crops in it. Back to my own self today, I will still skip full meals but instead I'm creating my own "avocado smoothie". I know some of my Mexican friends will cross their eyebrows upon hearing this but I've been telling them ever since that we consume avocadoes in the Philippines as a fruit. Bottomline, since I cant have a dinuldog today, I might as well have my avocado smoothie.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY Lens Filter

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One of the last learnings I got from my online photography lessons is the use of lens filters. Unlike its big brothers with sophisticated & expensive filters, the phone camera or the iPhone camera in particular just rely on the various filter effects from its apps or applications. But if you use your resourcefulness and creativity you can find a lot of tools that you can use in order to improve your photos. Sunglasses is a good start to use as a Do-it-Yourself filter. It eliminates glare from the sun and it acts as a polarizer. Just put the sunglasses over the lens of the phone camera and viola you have an instant and inexpensive lens filter. You can use anything that can add some artistic effects into your photos. You can use colored cellophane, even see-through clothing like lace, stokings or anything that can capture your fancy.

The picture for today was already submitted as a project to my online classes through Instagram but I still wanted to post it here in my blog. I used a piece of glass panel, sprayed a little cooking oil on it and then wet the whole thing with water. Because of the thin layer of oil, I was hoping that it could hold some water droplets that can be visible in the picture but I guess it only added some haze on the image. Nevertheless the haze was good enough to blurr the background images and focus only on the main subject.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hello Vegas

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My flight yesterday from Ontario, California to Las Vegas was at 8:00PM. Even if I was running late in going to the airport, in fact I was the last to board the plane, I was still able to get a seat next to the window on the left side of the aircraft. An hour later during the flight, our plane was turning left for its final approach to the runway and as the plane tilted on its left side I saw this amazing bird's eye view of Las Vegas. It was full of lights and I remembered the first time ever that I arrived in this city coming from the Philippines. The city lights below was overwhelming.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Mustang

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When I arrived at the Ontario International Airport, I immediately went to pick up my rental car to drive to Temecula, California which is about an hour drive away. I got the Ford Mustang and drove it from Ontario to Temecula to Wildomar to Fullerton & back to Ontario the next day.

I was kind of awkward driving the Mustang specially on the freeways because I'm used to driving my Highlander which is an SUV type of vehicle. I felt buried down inside the Mustang but eventually I got the hang of it and I was a bit comfortable on the driver seat.


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Since my return flight for Las Vegas was at 7:55PM yet, I have some time to spare. Me & my host Stella decided to go to California Science Museum in Los Angeles to see the "now-retired" space shuttle Endeavor.

To take this picture of the whole body of the spacecraft, I used the panorama feature of my iPhone camera. The image could have not been distorted much if I had used my wide angle lens attachment.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Taking Off

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It was a short notice that I decided to join our so called mini-reunion with my former colleagues when I was working in the Philippines. Right after work I immediately flew to Ontario, California & rented a car to drive to Temecula.

This is picture I got from inside the plane right before take off.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


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When me & a friend decided to have lunch yesterday, we thought of going to Kentucky Fried Chicken. It has been a long time since I ate at KFC and it has always been my favorite fried chicken when I was still in the Philippines. We went to the restaurant and in no time I was already munching on their crispy variety while my friend stuck on the original.

While inside I noticed a big mural on the wall so I snapped a picture of it. I darkened the image a little bit with an app to give it a nostalgic feel.

Friday, March 22, 2013


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In one of my photo challenges from Photojojo University where I took some online lessons on iphoneography, I was tasked to take a picture showing my learned skills in freezing a moving subject. Using an app that could snap pictures in burst mode one could capture a frozen image of a moving subject. You can also accomplish this by using an app that could change the shutter speed of your phonecam to a much faster speed. This would minimize blurring of the moving subject. Also by locking the focus of your subject and using the burst mode, follow the moving subject. The subject is very focused while its background is blurred signifying motion. This could be a very good effect to the whole composition.

Since I dont have a model at hand, I figured out why not use a toy as my subject. How to move it? Just tossing it in front of the camera. Its quite hard that you are the photographer as well as the assistant, tossing the stuffed toy monkey in the air while the other hand is holding the camera and pressing the shutter button. I did several tries and the one I posted here is so far the best since the stuffed toy monkey is perfectly facing the camera.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Black & White

Project365 Frame 080 Mar 20, 2013 1100 hrs

I always love the dramatic effects that you get from a black & white photograph. May it be a portrait or a scenic view. It enhances the interplay of light & shadow. Fortunately with digital camera nowadays you can always convert a colored image to black & white.

I got this picture of the air ducts and lighting system inside Chipotle restaurant where I had lunch with a friend..

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Circus in Town

Project365 Frame 079 Mar 20, 2013 1130 hrs

When I went to the Post Office to mail my tax return I saw that a circus was being set up on a vacant lot across the street. I took a picture through the side mirror of my car.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Light Couple

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I'm kind of delayed with my assignments in my online photography lessons from Photojojo Univeristy so when I got home late last night, I was able to catch up with my last lesson about light special effects. Using an app to be able to slow down the shutter speed of my iPhone camera and with its timer capabilities, I was able to create some kind of light trail on a very dark room. In the photography world this is called light painting. We can actually use different sources of lights of different colors so that the effect would be better. I got two flashlights but unfortunately I didnt have colored paper to cover them so that the light beams would be colored too. Using the Slow Shutter app, I set the speed to 8 seconds and used the timer feature while setting up the camera on a tripod or something steady to prevent shaking movements. I turned off all the lights making the room pitch black. As the shutter went on, I moved around the two flashlights that I held in both my arms and only stopped as the shutter closed. The resulting image was beautiful since I was able to make two human forms side by side. It could have been more awesome if I used colored lights and also I have somebody else helping me with more light sources.

Monday, March 18, 2013

My First Muse Concert

Project365 Frame 077 Mar 18, 2013 1000 hrs

Last night,March 17th, I saw one of the most amazing shows that I've ever been. I saw Muse in concert at Mandalay Bay Events Center with my friend and his family. My friend, a big fan of the band has been suggesting to go with him. I was hesitant before because its basically a rock band and I'm not into much of rock music, pop-rock music is much better for me. Anyway, he introduced me to the music of Muse and I began to like it. He gave me all the music files and I've been playing their music on my iPod. When the news came that the band is on US tour for their new album and that one of their stops is Las Vegas, my friend immediately bought our tickets by the time it went on sale. This was last year and the perks of getting the tickets early is that we got one of the best seats in the house in terms of our ticket price. Anyway, we went to the concert venue and even bought some souvenir t-shirts. The show was awesome. I enjoyed their music more that it was live as compared to just listening to their recordings. You can feel the energy. The staging of their show was superb making use of lights, videos and some pyrotechniques but they did not over do these effects so as not to overshadow their actual performance. Overall I was so impressed and would definitely watch them again the next time around.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Busy Bee

Project365 Frame 076 Mar 17, 2013 1100 hrs

I have noticed a lot of bees nowadays maybe because flowers are blooming. I got some of them on camera. I used my macro lens again but you need to be closer to the bee in order to get a good shot. This is the best that I could get though.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


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Playing around with an app for photography, I used a couple different filters on a photo that I took before. And then stitching them together to come up with a new image.

Friday, March 15, 2013


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For me there's nothing as powerful and as dramatic an image can be than a close up or a macro. Its a different world out there if you see things much closer. Its as if you are looking into the inner soul of the object you're focusing into. If you just look at a flower in its entirety you admire its beauty in its shape, color, fragrance, etc but if you take its macro image, looking at it very closely you feel another level of appreciation. There is something else into it that you haven't noticed when you just look at the entire flower.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Merging Images

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I have this photography application on my iPhone that would let you merge and blend two images together for that ghostly effect. I was playing with it and noticed that adjusting the intensity of the images I could actually fill one image with the details of the other. One picture I got of a flowering bush full of little flowers filling another macro image of one of its flowers. I actually like the resulting image.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papam Franciscum

Project365 Frame072 Mar 13, 2013 1100 hrs

The date 3/13/13 is a very significant day for billions of Roman Catholics (including me) around the world. We have a new leader in the person of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He now assumes the name of Pope Francis in honor of St Francis of Assisi. There are a lot of record firsts on this day. Pope Francis is the first Latino Pope in the history of the church, the first non-European pontiff and the first Pope ever to use the name Francis. Today also marks the first time that there are two living Pope in the Catholic Church: the new Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who resigned his position effective February 28, 2013. Pope Benedict still retains the title of the Pope and the style of His Holiness.

In honor of the new Pope, I posted this collage of pictures I took directly from the tv broadcast monitoring the conclave of cardinals at the Sistine Chapel to elect the new pope.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Green 2

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Using my micro lens attachment, I shoot this picture of a new sprouting leaves on a tree signifying that Spring season is really here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Green

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Waking up early this morning on my second day being off from work, I went to the gym for an early workout and Zumba session. Its been two weeks already that I've been irregular with my Zumba and my weight training. As I arrived in my gym's parking lot, I noticed that some trees have grown some fresh leaves already. Spring is really here. Armed with my iPhone cam, I got some pictures but I think this one that I posted is quite dramatic in terms of its composition as I used the leaves and branches as the frame but I left a bunch of fresh leaves focused and the rest of the image blurred. Keeping in mind the Rule of Thirds and having the leaves on silhouette against the bright sunlit parking lot. I used the phone's flash to illuminate the leaves in order to capture its green color. I think I got the little green.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stratosphere Tower

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Driving home from work I happened to get a glimpse of the Stratosphere tower in the distance. I took a picture of it using the telephoto lens attachment to my iPhone. I tried to zoom in a little bit the image of the tower trying not to shake my hand. The worse thing was that I was inside my car so I was recording the image through the windshield glass of my car. The car by the way was at rest waiting for the "go" traffic signal so there was added stress there.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Snow Capped Mountains

Project365 Frame 068 Mar 9, 2013 0800 hrs

It's been raining in Las Vegas for almost two days already and when I left work this morning, I noticed that the mountains surrounding our valley were snow capped specially towards the North-West of the valley. The weather is cold and with light showers, I tried to take a picture with my telephoto lens attachment. Unfortunately, an electric post was also in the picture right at the middle so I used a photoshop to take it out. So far it served my purpose and the electric post was literally erased.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dripping Goodness

Project365 Frame 067 Mar 8, 2013 1200 hrs

Last night during my break from work, my co-worker gave me a delicious looking cup cake. It had some caramel dripping over its icing with some green candy shavings. Tasting it was more delish as I initially thought. I had a real sugar overload last night.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Composition 2

Project365 Frame 066 Mar 7, 2013 1320 hrs

Keeping with the same idea of taking a picture on a squirrel's perspective, here is a photo of my car's left front wheel. I didn't know what came of me when I took this. All I know is that I am aware now of taking a picture from a different perspective as much as the "Rule of Thirds".

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Project365 Frame 065 Mar 6, 2013 1150 hrs

My second lesson in Photojojo University is about Composition. The main two learnings I got from these online photography lessons is the "Rule of Thirds" and how to try different perspectives. Rule of Thirds is a rule of thumb for visual arts like paintings and photographs that suggests to imagine two equally spaced vertical lines and two equally spaced horizontal lines on the whole image and place the main element along these lines or on the points where these lines intersect. It is not always a good thing visually to place the main subject right on the center. It also suggested to try different perspectives in taking a picture.

After the lesson, our assignment is to take a picture keeping in mind the "Rule of Thirds" from a perspective of a squirrel. I got this picture in our driveway and put my iPhone cam behind some rocks at the foot of our pine tree.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Instant Brunch

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Waking up late this morning, I felt so hungry. The worse thing, Im home alone because my folks went to their dental appointment. Checking out the kitchen, I found the usual bread, peanut butter and some tea. I was craving for something else but I felt lazy to go and eat out. Then I found some frozen dumplings in the fridge so I made myself an instant siomai noodle soup. Its so easy to make, a pack of instant noodles is what you need and viola you have your instant siomai noodle soup to savor.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Baked Potato

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Lunch time on may days off is either eating out with my friends or just having lunch in the house. Mostly on Mondays I always hit the gym early so after that I usually have lunch at my favorite restaurants. This week though, my left ankle is hurting so I decided to stay home. Our lunch was not the usual fare, we had baked potatoes and some barbecued ribs to go with it. It's not usual that we have baked potatoes so we actually don't have stuff for toppings. Fortunately we have butter and some spinach dip so I used it as toppings for the potatoes. I know it was unusual to have the spinach dip as toppings instead of sour cream and the like but I guess I have to make use of what is available. Bottom line I was so stuffed.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Project365 Frame 062 Mar 3, 2013 0950 hrs

High Dynamic Range or HDR is one feature in the built-in camera app on iPhones. It corrects the brightness or darkness of your subject by taking three shots simultaneously and combine them resulting to a better exposure of your photo. You need to hold the camera steady and ensure that your subject is not moving so that the resulting picture will not be a ghostly double exposed photo.

The featured photo for today is taken with the HDR on but purposely misuse it by shaking the camera mid-shot resulting to a double exposure effect. This is my first assignment at Photojojo University.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Panera Collage

Project365 Frame 061 Mar 2, 2013 0930 hrs

This is a collage of what I ate during my last visit to my favorite cafe´ the Panera Bread. I had the spinach salad, french onion soup and an egg souffle´ and downed with the acai berry iced tea.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Photo Lessons

Project365 Frame 060 March 1, 2013 1330 hrs

I'm currently enrolled at Photojojo University. Its an online photography class where you learn the basics of taking good pictures using a phone camera. Its now becoming a trend that people choose their phone's camera feature in snapping pictures over digital cameras. Phone cams are always handy wherever you go, and always ready to snap pictures. I took these lessons to improve my photography skills or in this particular case, my "iphoneography" skills because Im using my iPhone 4S on all the photos featured in this blog. Lets see if this works out well. For the meantime, I made a collage using an app out of the previous pictures I took and were already featured in this blog.