Monday, April 29, 2013

Heating Up

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It's amazing that we are still on spring season in the month of April but temperatures are hitting above 90 degF already. Fortunately it was forecasted to be windy starting tomorrow, Tuesday so it won't feel hot that much. The afternoon sun's rays directly hit into my room's window so it seemed like I was baked inside while sleeping. I have to turn on our air conditioning system to be able to sleep.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fridge Magnets


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My mom is an avid collector of fridge magnets. She placed all of them on display on the front door of our kitchen refrigerator. These fridge magnets by the way is a work of art in their own right. Their basic purpose is to hold notes on the metal wall or any surface that can hold magnetic fields and a decorative item as well. The front side of our fridge is already full of these magnets and they already starting to invade on its sides. Every time we go or visit a new place the one item that my mom would buy as a souvenir are magnets that reflects the culture of that place we visited. So if you look closely on the array of fridge magnets on our refrigerator, you will basically know the places that we visited. If I go to some other places without my mom, I would see to it that I get her a magnet that would represent the place that I just visited.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Alone

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This is just part of the random pictures that I took. This is actually wild flowers or I would say flower bearing weeds that grows in the front yard together with the lawn grass. Since this one was quite separated from the rest so I focused on it. I guess the title is appropriate enough.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Green Foliage

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It's getting hotter in Las Vegas. Summer is just around the corner. Flowers are in bloom and trees are back in their greens after a long hiatus during the cold months. Just taking random pictures of green foliage around the house.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Grapes


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Using my new macro lens again, I'm still trying to explore it in order to maximize its potential. The depth of field can be achieved to its maximum with this lens. In photography, the Depth of Field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. The camera lens can precisely choose which object in a scene can be sharply focused and blur the rest of the elements.

I took a shot of this bunch of grapes in our kitchen using different angles and focusing. This one shot what I liked most.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spanish Flair


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A girl friend from New York City came to Las Vegas to visit her friends. She used to live here before embarking on an adventurous job as a Traveling Nurse. She came in last week but because of my work schedules I haven't got the time to bond with her together with our other friends. I invited her for a dinner the other day but she had a conflicting appointment so we rescheduled it last night. We went to Firefly Tapas Kitchen but not the location that we used to go. This time its on the west side of town. This location was bigger but they have the same menu set as the other location.

According to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, Tapas (Spanish pronunciation: [╦łtapas]) are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squid). In select bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine. In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal. In some Central American countries, such snacks are known as bocas. Whats good about tapas restaurants, they offer good sangria either making use of the red wine or white wine as the base drink. Sangria by the way is a wine punch typical of Spain, Portugal and Argentina. It normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy.

Firefly chain of restaurants are some of the favored tapas restaurants in Las Vegas. Some other similar restaurants offer Flamenco Dancers for entertainment and sometimes they offer a night of Latin dancing. In the location that we went, they had Latin dancing every Tuesday night that start at 11pm until the wee hours of the morning. Either these establishments offer staged entertainment or just immerse their patrons with the unique flavor of their food and drinks, people would go to these places for their authentic Spanish ambiance.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mismatch



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I had more than enough sleep yesterday being my first day off from work. I woke up this morning about 6am and decided to go to the gym. I was still feeling sleepy when I was changing on my gym outfit so I dropped by Starbucks to grab some hot mocha. I hanged out a little bit in Starbucks while using their free wifi service. As I got myself in the gym I noticed something odd when I walked. I noticed that I actually was wearing a mismatched pair of gym shoes. OMG! I was embarrassed with myself. Fortunately I was wearing my black sweat pants that matched closely with the main color of both shoes. My fashion sense was out of whack!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Natural Duty

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A butterfly working on a flower to take some of its nectar. In turn this help in the pollination process of the flower in order to reproduce. Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in the reproduction of plants, thereby enabling fertilization and sexual reproduction. Pollens can be transferred to itself called self-pollination or to other plants called cross-pollination. Once the pollens are transferred, the plants or flowers would bear seeds. Pollens maybe moved by wind, insects, animals & even humans and collectively they are called "pollinators".


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blood Suckers


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Look at the picture, do you recognize what are these in a jar of water? These are real, live, blood sucking leeches. A patient in our hospital is on leech therapy. Kind of creepy huh! Even me, when I heard that we are keeping a jar of live leeches gave me some goosebumps. I went online to check what is the main purpose of these creepy worms in the modern medical world. It turned out that these blood suckers actually help promote fresh blood flow to prevent blood clots. There's something in their unique saliva that when they bite a "victim" this would cause an increase of blood flow therefore prevent clotting. Victims tend to bleed for hours therefore allowing rich oxygenated blood to enter the wound area until veins re-grow and regain circulation.

For more information about leech therapy, you can go online. Try copying this URL into your browser for a start:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/bloodysuckers/leech.html

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Converted


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This is another old macro shot of a flower that I converted to black & white using a filter App in my iPhone. After the conversion it seemed line a different photograph of the same flower.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My i-FlashDrive


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I just received today from Photojojo a cool little device called i-FlashDrive. This flash drive is intended for my iToys like my iPhone, iPod & iPad and my MacPro. It has a USB and connectors that could plug into your iPhone including iPhone 5, your iPod & iPad. With this flash drive, you can easily transfer files from your iPhone to your computer (it works on all Operating Systems), as well as your iPod and iPad. One thing great about this is that the transfer speeds are fast, I have tried it already. I backed up my photos from my iPhone and gosh I never realized that I have more than 600 photos in it. It comes with a free App where you can view your photos & videos or listen to music files driectly from the drive without taking up valuable memory space from your phone. Just plug it and view the files using the App. This is one cool little gadget that is very useful.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tainted Rose


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This is another proof that you can add more drama or even intensify the dramatic effect in a black and white photograph. You can clearly see the interplay of light and shade. This photo of a rose that is not yet fully bloomed was originally in color but when I convert it to black and white you can see that the original pinkish color of the petals was transformed into white. With some imperfections on some of its petals, it seemed like the white rose was tainted with something dark. Well, you can actually interpret this in any way you want.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lines & Curves

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Long time ago when I was still in the Philippines, a friend of mine gave me a charcoal sketch of palm leaves. He named it "A Study of Lines & Shades". I had it with me until I moved out from my old apartment and moved here in America. I could no longer remember where I put that piece of art, if I still had it stacked inside an old box or maybe I threw it away. When I remembered about that sketch, I took a picture of one of our houseplants that have elongated shaped leaves and converted it to black & white image.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Elliptical Array


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Its my second day in the gym for this week. I finished my lower body exercises routine much early that I had about 15 mins to spare before my Zumba class would start. Sitting on the Juice Bar and playing with my iPhone, I took this shot of the elliptical bikes all lined up in a double row inside the gym. I've been working on these machines before I started Zumba classes and if I will be asked to choose between these ellipticals and the treadmills, I would choose the ellipticals. I can feel my leg muscles being worked out, my thighs, my hamstrings and calves and not to mention my butt. I can feel the burn using the ellipticals much faster than using the treadmill. Most importantly the ellipticals is not strenuous on the feet and ankles as compared to running on the treadmill.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston


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Today April 15, 2013 is another dark day in American history. This time, terrorism hits the city of Boston in Massachusetts during the world famous and well-attended Boston Marathon. Two explosions happened along the finish line of the race that resulted to the death of two individuals and injuring dozens. It is unthinkable that this act of terrorism happened again and those responsible of this hideous act can do something like this to innocent people. I saw videos of the actual explosions repeatedly shown on tv and online and as I watched these images, it is clear to me that life can just be abruptly taken from you or from your loved ones just as fast as a wink of your eye.

We can only hope and pray that this horror will not happen again. Lets all pray for all the victims and the families affected by this recent tragedy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Full Bloom

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After work this morning, I went to a friend's house to invite them for breakfast. As I get into their house, I was surprised to see that all their roses & other flowering plants are in full bloom. I can't help myself but snap pictures with my iPhone. Your phone cam is indeed a very good camera for emergencies. It is all ready to snap pictures anytime.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

From Bud to Flourish


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I have seen time-lapse photographs and it is amazing. Its like your subject develop into something new right before your eyes. Time-lapse photography is a technique where the frequency to capture the photo frames or frame rate is much lower than the time to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time seem to be moving faster. For example the blooming of a flower from just being a tiny bud up to the time it fully blossomed. How I wished I got an equipment that could handle this effortlessly. Creating a time-lapse project requires a huge amount of time so the resulting time-lapse video is primarily based on your patience and commitment to it. You can use any camera to do this, a point & shoot camera, an SLR camera and even a video cam on your computers. There are wide variety of subjects to choose from and deciding one subject requires a lot of planning and preparation before the actual shooting even start. Go online and learn more if you're planning to embark on this project. Do your share of homework before starting. If done properly, I bet you this would be a real work of art and work of love.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Honeysuckle


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At last I have confirmed the name of those mysterious sweet smelling white flowers that bloomed in our backyard. Its name is "honeysuckle" more specifically the white honeysuckle or Japanese honeysuckle. A friend of mine actually replied to my request to tell me the name of that flower and when he gave me the name I immediately went online to learn more about it. I have seen the pictures being posted online so I think my friend was right, those were indeed honeysuckle. According to Wikipedia, there are about 180 species of honeysuckle. I'm quite positive that our plant belong to the Japanese honeysuckle. The pictures I got and the pictures posted online are identical. The scientific name of a Japanese honeysuckle is Lonicera Japonica.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ceiling Light


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As what I have blogged about before, I'm always fond of light fixtures and light sources. When I tried taking pictures of them, I would love playing with the colors, the brightness and how it affects the whole composition. The above picture is a lighting fixture inside a restaurant and since it was day time when I took the picture, the light from outside actually flooded the inside of the restaurant. I played around by editing the colors and I ended up decreasing the exposure a little bit and darken the whole thing and this time the light bulbs were enhanced and stood out.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More on Macro


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Im still not over with the excitement on my new macro lens. I know its kind of repetitive already but since I'm working I cant just go out anytime I want to use my camera and start shooting. So, every opportunity really counts a lot. I have invaded the Bellagio Conservatory already and in fact I have posted the pictures in my Facebook page. This time around, I was just looking around our house and found that one of our shrubs are actually blooming with small white flowers and they smelled good too. I kind of remember the fragrance of the Philippines' National Flower which is Sampaguita. Sampaguita by the way is known as Arabian Jasmine in English and its scientific name is Jasminum Sambac. I got this information when I Googled it and redirected me to the Wikipedia website. Anyway, I know that our shrub is not a sampaguita but its flowers smelled as good as sampaguita.

Based on the picture I posted in here, can anyone tell me the name of this flower?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

True Macro


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I am now starting my adventure into the world of Macro photography since I got my new Nikkor 105mm AF-S Micro lens. Where to start? I started taking macro pictures of plants and flowers. We are in the middle of the dessert but there are still a lot of places that grows flowers in abundance like parks and the easiest way at The Conservatory inside the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Every season, they would change the theme of their floral displays. Since its Spring season, the Conservatory is bursting with lots of flowers. I have made an online album in my Facebook account and you can go through the link below by highlighting it then copy & paste to your browser:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151432723998579.1073741831.716588578&type=1

Monday, April 8, 2013

Stormy Spring Morning


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Driving from work this morning was quite cautious because it was rainy and windy. The roads are slippery and since I always take the freeway, the more I was being careful. The traffic was kind of slow because the drivers knew how slippery the roads could become.

The featured photo was taken inside my car when the rain started.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Deep Shadows


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It is amazing to see how dramatic it is if the images in a picture are in black and white. Nowadays, it is very easy to convert your regular colored picture into a black & white photograph by just using an app within your smartphone camera or presetting your camera to take black & white pictures. either way the drama of casting shadows against light is always visible. Take for example this simple corrugated metal sheet wall paneling inside a restaurant. After I took the original picture in color I felt that the image was kind of boring so I changed it to black & white. See ths picture above and you decide.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Artwork


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This artwork is found inside the Chipotle Restaurant where we regularly go for lunch. The enterior of the restaurant is basically the same in all their locations and the kind of artwork that hang on their walls are of the same style. It would be a good guess that they probably commissioned a single artist for all their restaurant locations.

This particular artwork is much bigger than the rest in the restaurant that's probably why I took notice of it. It's a multimedia piece of art comprising wood and metal sheets.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Home Gym


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I've been missing my workout sessions in the gym lately. I actually went to the gym for some weight training and the Zumba class only once last week and this week. When I got home from work this morning I noticed some of my dumb bells and my exercise bench are just collecting dust in our garage so I decided to use them today. I had a good workout using the dumb bells that covered most of the muscle groups. Fortunately I still remember the alternative routines using dumb bells at home which are of the same effect as the exercise machines in the gym. Our garage was instantly transformed into a mini gym complete with music from my iPod speakers.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Flower Blending


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When I visited a friend this morning after work, I noticed that their roses are beginning to bloom as well as their other flowering plants. I immediately took my iPhone camera and took several pictures of these flowers. Using an app, I played around editing these images and came up with this blended image of two different flowers. I don't know the name of those tiny yellow flowers but the other one is actually a red rose bud. They have one fully bloom rose but its too big when I tried to get a macro shot of it. The whole frame will just be flooded with red color all over so I took a picture of a rose bud instead. Blending the two images together gave me a result of a seemingly another kind of flower. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Palms

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I went to see a movie last night at Brenden Theaters inside Palms Hotel & Casino. As I went outside after the movies & sitting inside my car, I noticed that I was in a good vantage point where I could get a shot of the Palms building. Framing it with some palm trees was appropriate enough to show where the casino's name was based upon.

Using my phone cam's flash is useless because it is very short ranged. I used some app to brighten the image causing it to be a little bit grainy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

More Macro Photography

After taking so many pictures with my Nikon DSLR camera and now with my iPhone camera, I particularly is more interested in macro photography. I got a lens attachment for my phone camera and I am always thrilled wheneer I get a close-up picture of anything I fancied. I've been talking about it in my previous posts and the "macro fever" is is now enveloping me entirely. I already ordered a true macro lens for my Nikon camera and the adventure into the micro world will definitely start. For the mean time that I'm still anxiously waiting for its delivery (which is next week), I make use of my phone's macro lens attachment. Here is one macro shot of a flower that I love.


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Monday, April 1, 2013

Before & After

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Today, April 1st, is April Fools Day but Im not planning anything to fool anybody. It occurred to me that I needed a hair cut. So I headed to my favorite hairdresser to have my hair done.

Here's a picture comparison before & after my haircut today