Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lomo Horizon Perfekt

I admit this is a dream camera of mine. To those who doesn't know anything about this camera, this is a special type of camera that takes 120 degree panoramic pictures. It uses any 35mm film (Each shot yields a 58mm long negative or nearly the width of two standard frames) may it be color negative, black & white or slide and uses a swing lens technology. Swing lens is a type of mechanism which the lens swings from side to side, a narrow vertical slit between the lens and film rotates along with it - thereby progressively exposing the film as the lens moves. The film plane is curved, thereby keeping the film tight and maintaining a uniform distance from the lens.

I know the price of the camera is almost the same as those of the high end digital cameras out there but I guarantee you that you won't regret shelling out money for this camera. Specially those who are fans of the old-school film cameras, this is something that you'd like to add to your collection. To those using digital cameras, the panoramic view of this camera is so unique that even digital cameras are not able to reproduce the same quality (and note this is not battery operated).

Photographer Notes:
  • The Horizon Perfekt Yields amazing 120-degree panoramic shots
  • Uses Multi-coated Arsat 28/2.8 glass for great color, contrast, and sharpness
  • The Horizon Perfekts Aperature range is f2.8 to f16
  • The Shutter speed ranges from 1/500 second to 1/2 second

Monday, December 22, 2008

Love Images

Christmas is just a couple of days away and I really don't have any Christmas themed posts that I can think of but maybe this post can be related to the holiday spirit. I came across a photo blog called Le Love (I think it's translated as "of Love") and from the title itself you'll pretty much have an idea what the pictures in this blog is about. To connect the point I'm trying to make, Christmas is about Love... it's not about gifts or presents and other material things that we want. With the recent unlucky streaks that I had, I realized that I'm still lucky in a way. I'll be spending the holidays with the people I love and that to me is the most important thing to have.

Here are some of the visually passionate images you can see from Le Love. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ten things you can do to improve interestingness and increase chances of getting into Explore

Most photo enthusiasts have their own flickr account. If you are one of those, you might be familiar with the term Interestingness and Explore. Basically, Interestingness is a term used on how "interesting" your photo looks. If it garners enough attention then a lot of people will view it or add them to their list of favorites. Then your picture will make it to the "Explore" section of flickr where only the "best or most interesting" photos are included. If you're are new to flickr and would like to know how to get your pictures to that "elite" stage, here's an article written by one of my flickr contacts kevindooley that discusses on how to do that.

I know that some of you are going to yell that Flickr "interestingness" and Explore are silly things to worry about, and that's fine... But for those interested in how it works, let me run down a quick top 10 list.

Caring about getting into Explore per se is silly, because Explore has a big random component to it. However, Explore is important because it is the only "signal" we easily have about how "interesting" the photo is. Flickr doesn't give us the actual interestingness number so Explore is a good way to know it must be pretty high.

Why does interestingness matter? If you get happier the more people that see and appreciate your work, then you care about interestingness. Beyond your contact network, the vast majority of Flickr views come from search engines. Flickr has a zillion photos, so if you're photo isn't Flickr-interesting, people will never see it come up in the search engines.

Ten things to do to improve Flickr Interestingness:

1. Take good photos.

2. Have a good network of contacts who will view and comment and fave.

3. Post to at least one group, but don't post to more than five for the first few days. During the first week, posting to lots of groups hurts; after the first week, it helps.

4. In first week, don't post to more than a few award groups.

5. Have notes.

6. Have map and camera data. If you block camera data, or use film and don't add the camera meta data, you'll be penalized, A LOT. There's thousands of film people or people who don't want to give up their "secret settings" who can't figure out why they can't get into Explore... This is it!

7. Have a title and tags and text that people will search for, as that drives search engine traffic.

8. Don't upload too much per day. Maybe 3 max? If you upload more than 3 per day it not only hurts interestingness, but it taxes your contact network. It also means any given photo is de facto seen by less people, since most contacts only look at last 1-4 photos.

9. Be active. If you give significantly less than you get, it terms of views, comments, and faves, all of your photos will be penalized significantly.

10. Challenge yourself. There's a lot of competition when it comes to grabbing people's limited attention. Take interesting photos!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Your Photograph of the Year

Christmas is just around the corner but in these times when financial crisis is written all over our credit cards and wallets, is there any other way we can buy the stuff in our Wish list (like a new lens kit or camera bag) without having to shell out cash? Well, here’s an idea that you might want to try: Participate in photo contests! It's fun, exciting and most of all, it's also an opportunity for you to challenge yourself to get that photographic creative juices flowing. We all have our share of our precious images just lying around the corner of our hard drive that’s waiting to be put it into use.

I'm currently rounding up my best pictures so I can join PhotographyCorner's 2008 Photograph of the Year contest. PhotographyCorner and GetData is giving away $11,500 worth of prizes! Some of the prizes include Epson Stylus Photo R1900 Printer, Digital Holster 20 Camera Bag courtesy of ThinkTankPhoto, Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom and more. Just take a look at their website to see the rules of the photo contest, how to submit a Photograph and the complete list of prizes waiting for the lucky (or talented) winners.

Start browsing your My Pictures folder or your Flickr account and send in your best photograph. You'll never know, your entry might just win the top prize and more importantly, the coveted title of 2008 Photograph of the Year! Sounds nice right? I personally would like to have that in my portfolio.

This contest is also sponsored by MyPicTales, ColorRight, SmugMug, BigBlackBag, ThinkTankPhoto, Mpix and Daymen.

The Day The Waters Stood Still

the day the waters stood still
Originally uploaded by me!
I've been getting some rave comments in my flickr account with this picture. I don't know if it's because of the timely title because The Day The Earth Stood Still opened in the theaters just a couple of days ago but whatever the reason is I'm quite surprised it's getting so much attention. For those who are curious, this is in Harbor Square in Manila where the Manila Yacht Club is located. I used my Lomo Holga camera for this shot loaded with Fuji Provia Film.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Converting Over/Under Exposed Shots to B&W

I've mentioned in my previous post that I convert my Over/Under exposed shots to black and white when it's not possible to adjust the exposure through Photoshop or Lightroom without totally ruining the colors of the image. I won't be able to detail how I mixed it up through my photo editor since I can hardly recall the exact amount of adjustments I made with contrasts and brightness etc. There is no really exact way to do this but to trust your eyesight and your vision on how the picture should represent the image you have in your mind. You also have to consider that not all pictures converted to B&W will yield nice results. There are pictures that are really made to be seen in color. Below are some examples of the images that I converted through black and white, to the left is the original picture and to the right is the black and white conversion.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In Mono

They say black and white film is great for portraits and for portraits only. This might be true in a way because when you look at a B&W image, you tend to focus more on composition and detail instead of being overwhelmed by colors. For the same reason, I find it easier to shoot using black and white films. I don't need to have a subject that's full of color, all I worry about is framing my shot in the view finder once I see something that is worth shooting. Black and white is also a scapegoat and last option for me when I have colored pictures that are too under/over exposed and cannot be repaired using Adobe Lightroom, I just convert it to black and white and the problem is solved.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Water Bearers

The picture shown at the left is entitled as "Water Bearers" which I took using my Holga camera. I'm proud to say that it was included at's The best Holga Photos from Flickr-November 2008! I feel honored to be included on that list because as a Lomographer, it's always nice to see your work be appreciated by other people. This comes as a surprise to me because I felt there are other pictures in my photostream that looks much better than this but I guess beauty is relevant and such an abstract thing to quantify.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lomo Pushers For Lomo Addicts - Looking for Fuji, Kodak, Agfa Films for Sale?

Here are some links that sells Lomo stuff (cameras, accessories, films etc.). Will update this post every now and then.
Have fun shopping! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

LOMO Tips on Shooting with the Holga #1: Sunny days are the best days

As much as possible shoot during a sunny day. Overcast skies and indoors are not really conducive to Holga shooting since the Holga has a fix shutter speed of 1/100 (the length of time that the aperture stays open). But if you like shooting using colorsplash flash and always have a tripod beside you then by all means shoot in ambient or minimal light.

In my experience of using this camera, most of the best pictures I've taken were shot when the sun is high up in the sky. If you want the colors to pop-out and have crazy vignettes on the sides (like the image on the right), then daylight shooting is the way to go.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Imagine a World Without Filipinos

I came across this article written by an Arab about Filipino OFWs. I am moved by how he sees Filipinos and his appreciation of the contributions of our countrymen in the Middle East. Hopefully, more foreigners will learn to see Filipinos in this light.

Imagine a world without Filipinos
Abdullah Al-Maghlooth | Al-Watan,

Muhammad Al-Maghrabi became handicapped and shut down his flower and gifts shop business in Jeddah after his Filipino workers insisted on leaving and returning home. He says: “When they left, I felt as if I had lost my arms. I was so sad that I lost my appetite.”
Al-Maghrabi then flew to Manila to look for two other Filipino workers to replace the ones who had left. Previously, he had tried workers of different nationalities but they did not impress him. “There is no comparison between Filipinos and others,” he says. Whenever I see Filipinos working in the Kingdom, I wonder what our life would be without them.

Saudi Arabia has the largest number of Filipino workers — 1,019,577 — outside the Philippines. In 2006 alone, the Kingdom recruited more than 223,000 workers from the Philippines and their numbers are still increasing. Filipinos not only play an important and effective role in the Kingdom, they also perform different jobs in countries across the world, including working as sailors. They are known for their professionalism and the quality of their work.
Nobody here can think of a life without Filipinos, who make up around 20 percent of the world’s seafarers. There are 1.2 million Filipino sailors. So if Filipinos decided one day to stop working or go on strike for any reason, who would transport oil, food and heavy equipment across the world? We can only imagine the disaster that would happen.

What makes Filipinos unique is their ability to speak very good English and the technical training they receive in the early stages of their education. There are several specialized training institutes in the Philippines, including those specializing in engineering and road maintenance. This training background makes them highly competent in these vital areas.

When speaking about the Philippines, we should not forget Filipino nurses. They are some 23 percent of the world’s total number of nurses. The Philippines is home to over 190 accredited nursing colleges and institutes, from which some 9,000 nurses graduate each year. Many of them work abroad in countries such as the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Singapore. Cathy Ann, a 35-year-old Filipino nurse who has been working in the Kingdom for the last five years and before that in Singapore, said she does not feel homesick abroad because “I am surrounded by my compatriots everywhere.” Ann thinks that early training allows Filipinos to excel in nursing and other vocations. She started learning this profession at the age of four as her aunt, a nurse, used to take her to hospital and ask her to watch the work. “She used to kiss me whenever I learned a new thing. At the age of 11, I could do a lot. I began doing things like measuring my grandfather’s blood pressure and giving my mother her insulin injections,” she said. This type of early education system is lacking in the Kingdom. Many of our children reach the university stage without learning anything except boredom.

The Philippines, which you can barely see on the map, is a very effective country thanks to its people. It has the ability to influence the entire world economy. We should pay respect to Filipino workers, not only by employing them but also by learning from their valuable experiences. We should learn and educate our children on how to operate and maintain ships and oil tankers, as well as planning and nursing and how to achieve perfection in our work.This is a must so that we do not become like Muhammad Al-Maghrabi who lost his interest and appetite when Filipino workers left his flower shop. We have to remember that we are very much dependent on the Filipinos around us. We could die a slow death if they chose to leave us.

Patience is a Virtue

In life, we always face adversities here and there. Often, our patience is tested to its limits but these are the kind of moments that define who we are as a person. Being the result oriented person that I am, I want to see the fruits of my labor ASAP and when I don't I get impatient and sometimes disheartened. Fortunately enough, I'm too persistent just to give up. Maybe this is what patience is about. Patience is not necessarily just about waiting or being passive and not do anything but to keep going even if the way is tough and slow.

Photo notes: Unintentional underexposure made the image look like it was shot against the sun. Here is a classic example of a "happy accident" that is described in Lomo culture.
Camera: Olympus XA2
Film: Elitechrome 100 (Cross-processed)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Morning View

I browsed my folders for hidden gems that haven't yet made my flickr account and I found this picture. I like the composition of colors in this picture. The hues bring a sense of cold breeze but the light in the horizon fills the picture with warmth. A scene perfect for a morning view.

Camera: Olympus XA2
Film: Kodak Elitechrome 100

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Citizenservices: Making Life Easier for the Filipino

Need your Philippine passport ASAP? No free time and patience to line up at DFA in Manila? Then I'm about to tell you something that will make your life easier and that is Citizenservices. Basically, what they do is get your passport requirements and your payment, submit it to DFA and then you choose when you would like to schedule your personal appearance and after a few days, deliver your passport in front of your doorsteps. So how much does it costs? For passport renewal, I paid Php1300 but if I go through the whole process by myself it only costs around Php700. You might say that the Php500 difference is a lot but come to think of it how much would you spend for gas or public transportation if you do this by yourself? Maybe around 300 depending where you are coming from. But what makes this service attractive is you only have to go to DFA once! If that's not enough to convince you here's more: If it's time for your personal appearance, Citizenserv's representatives are on standby to assist you from the entrance of the DFA until you line-up inside the building. Lines?! What Lines?! Hey take it easy i'm not done yet: They have a special priority lane inside the DFA! Guaranteed that you'll be done in less than 15 to 30 minutes. No need to go there around 3:00AM just to make sure you'll make the cut.

I'm not going to get any money from them by posting this on my blog but I'm just glad to share this innovation that will make our life more convenient and hassle-free. I almost forgot to mention that they also have their 24/7 customer care hotline and their website can track the status of your application. When you see the anaconda line of people forming up from inside to outside of the compound you'll tell yourself that's Php1300 well spent.

You can go to their website at for further info:

Do Not Buy CASIO Digicams!

How can something made in Japan be as crappy like CASIO digicams? More than a year ago, I asked a former officemate of mine to buy me a CASIO EXILIM EX-Z700 when she was in Japan. The cam was quite good aesthetically but quality wise a lot is left to be desired. Lately, we experienced white horizontal lines and overexposed shots in the images that we took. After researching on the internet I found that there are a lot and I mean a LOT of people who also has the same problems with their Casio digicams. I also found out that not only the EX-Z700 has this kind of problem but even the most recent models that Casio released to the public. Yes, this problem can be repaired by changing the lens mechanism of the camera but wait there's more... repair costs around $100 which is more than the actual price of the unit! So i guess, that's not an option I'm willing to take more specially knowing that after a year I'll have the same problem all over again. If you're lucky and you've encountered this bug before your warranty expires then take it to the nearest Casio branch but I'm sure you'll be back there in no time.

I still can't believe why Casio, a Japanese company known for their excellent watches, has not made any changes to the design of their cameras. If you're planning to buy any CASIO Exilim line of products (EX-S10 EX-S880 EX-S770 EX-S600 EX-P505 EX-FH20 EX-F1 EX-V8) I advise that you read other reviews before purchasing this half-baked cookie. The market is sprawling with better products so do your homework first before shelling out hard earned moolah for a tin can.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ten Legal Commandments of Photography

Ten Legal Commandments of Photography

I. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though it’s technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.

II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, it’s fair game.

III. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.

IV. Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.

V. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy. Kids swimming in a fountain? Okay. Somebody entering their PIN at the ATM? Not okay.

VI. The following can almost always be photographed from public places, despite popular opinion:

* accident & fire scenes, criminal activities
* bridges & other infrastructure, transportation facilities (i.e. airports)
* industrial facilities, Superfund sites
* public utilities, residential & commercial buildings
* children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
* UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster

VII. Although “security” is often given as the reason somebody doesn’t want you to take photos, it’s rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a company’s trade secrets.

VIII. If you are challenged, you do not have to explain why you are taking pictures, nor to you have to disclose your identity (except in some cases when questioned by a law enforcement officer.)

IX. Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will, and can be subject to legal action if they harass you.

X. If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you don’t have to give it to them. If they take it by force or threaten you, they can be liable for things like theft and coercion. Even law enforcement officers need a court order.

I don't really know if this is applicable to our country but there's not a lot of merit in trying to argue your way out of trouble by using the "rules" above. Why? Simply because what's fair game to a photographer might not be to the owner of the subject being photographed. That's why I opt to use my XA2 in street and indoor photography since it's unobtrusive and it takes picture fast.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ortigas Weekend Getaway

Me and GF is constantly traveling to look for interesting places where I can take pictures and at the same time have food trips. Last weekend we went to Ark Avilon Zoo at Pasig and it's really an interesting place to bring the family along. Fun Ranch is just beside the Zoo and it's like a mini carnival for kids. For Php295 you can buy a ticket that will enable you to go on every ride unlimitedly. Nearby is Tiendesitas, where you can shop 'til you drop and a lot of choices of food to eat. We tried the puto bumbong and it was a blast! If you're planning to go here for a weekend getaway here are some maps I've gathered around the internet to help you take the right path if you're driving or by commute. Just click on the image for a bigger view.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blog Roll

Discover something new everyday. Come and visit my friends:

Agent X Moi Moi
Angela Solomon
A Southern Shutter
d' explorer
Eenie / Ei-nah
ESPE Computer
Evil Empire.
Go Shopping World
I Am Khae
I mE
In Love With Photography
Island Angel
Karen ( *new*
Kat Michelle
Kevin Monster dot com
Lawyer Ones
Little Miss Perky
Liza Castronuevo
Miss Blogger
Mocha and Vanilla/
My Hearty Thoughts
My Nose Bleed
My Phone Review
Oreos and Milk (Link Updated)
Rare Footages
Would You Stay Awake For Me?
Wonder Wall
Whiskey lullaby...

If you want to exchange links with me please fill up the form below.

Please fill up this form below if you want to exchange links with my blog.
Email Address
Blog Title
Blog URL
URL where my blog link is located
Any special messages?
Image Verification
Please enter the text from the image
[ Refresh Image ] [ What's This? ]

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Something to Rave About

All Star
Originally uploaded by brix99
I'm so stoked to find out that my SLR Minolta XG-1 camera is actually not broken! I went to Mang Dong's camera repair shop in Quiapo because my Yashica Electro35GS died on me. I also asked him to check my Minolta which I thought has a sticky shutter problem but when he yanked the film advance crank it suddenly got fixed! I got to try my XG-1 on our trip to Liliw, Laguna and just going around the house taking pictures of common stuff like my pair of chucks shown in the picture. I'm ecstatic with how everything looked when I received my CD from Digiprint. The lens is sharp, the exposure is spot on and the pictures were awesome (well, in my eyes all my pictures are). I also have one more thing to rave about, my Yashica is healthy again and better than ever with it's light seals fixed and the viewfinder is clearer now that Mang Dong also took time to clean the insides of the camera. Now that I have 5 cameras working like magic in my depot, i'm faced with a difficult decision on which to use. It has become a normal thing for me to bring 2 to 3 of them every time I go out of the house. GF seems to be very understanding of the "situation" and lets me use her bag to carry my babies with me (love her so much). :)

Finders Keepers

GF and I happened to pass by Booksale at SM Southmall the other day and guess what I got for Php 150? Three brand new Magic: The Gathering comic books with freebie inside. I'm happy that I'm able to find some of these rare stuff to add to my MTG collection. I've started cleaning up my room and it really felt nostalgic seeing my card album again. I'm proud to say I've managed to preserved most of my cards in it's mint condition and hopefully in the future they will be worth more than they are now.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Dream Pet

Originally uploaded by golfpunkgirl
I'm just in "awww" of this picture. I've always dreamed of having a British Bulldog as a pet. I like how ugly they are and the way they walk is just so awkwardly cute. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Last 5 Days

I've tendered my resignation to our boss a couple of weeks ago and today is my last last day at work. I'll give you a rundown on what happened this week.

Monday - My modest target at the beginning of this week is not to be late for work. At our office, I'm known for being a notorious late comer. I was hoping to spend the last days to come at work on time but it was such a daunting task. I tried... I really did but my daily morning routine of dilly-dallying will not be denied. I just justified to myself "What's the use of coming at work on time just because it's my last week at work? I should be consistent and keep the tradition running. I'll just let my office mates remember me as The Most Tardy Person... Ever."

With that on mind, I proceed with my usual hullabaloo. I arrived 45 minutes late only to see that my boss wasn't around and in fact he was ABSENT. Dammit... If I've known I should have just filed and use my remaining vacation leave. Anyway, the day isn't over yet so I just went for the second best option, go on a half-day leave. What a way to start the week. :)

Tuesday - With what happened last Monday, I guess this day is the official start of my last week at work. I woke up inspired yet unmotivated to go to work. I arrived almost an hour late and to add insult to injury, the most dreaded situation (for habitual late comers like me) happened: While I was on my way to the entrance of our office, i saw our boss making his way to the same door with a roll of tissue paper tucked in his arms (on such a way that you'll know that nothing can stand on his way and the nearest toilet) and at this moment I knew that collision is inevitable. I just said "Ohayou gozaimasu!" or good morning in Japanese. He acted surprisingly and replied "Ohayou" back at me. Statistics say that 1 out of 99 times this would happen. (:

Wednesday - At last! I arrived on time for work. Not much to do this day other than surf the net. I was supposed to sign the contract with the company that hired me but there were so much people inside the agency. I just slipped by our office without filing any kind of leave nor informing any higher ups so When I heard that it would take a while I just went back to the office.

Thursday - Took the day off and went back to the agency to sign the contract. Just a Visa away to being an OFW.

Friday - Finally, last day at work. So this how it feels like... for the past 3 years I've felt like the place was a second home. At 5:00PM everything ended in an anticlimactic way with everyone going home and saying goodbye just like the usual Friday. Taking a last glimpse of the workplace, I felt happy knowing I'm on my way to starting a new chapter in my young career and as the elevator closes a new horizon will open... waiting for me to hold it by it's throat and say "This is my life".

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Andrew McMahon's statement about the U.S. Elections

To all considering to vote in this upcoming election: DO! We are in the midst of one of the most important elections in history right now. I am the first to admit that I believe all politicians are flawed and the system is broken, but the only way to affect change is to take a stand and vote. We owe it to ourselves to watch these debates and cut through the massive amount of bullshit and try and find the candidate that speaks most clearly to our own core values. We can argue that neither of these men or their tickets represent us as a country and while that may very well be true, I dare say that it's best we all find one that gets close verses allowing either to take a pass and become our next president because we did not stand up and let our own voices be heard. Every persons politics is their business and my goal would never be to try and force mine, the only point worth forcing now is getting informed and getting to the polls.

-Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin / Something Corporate
Article taken from

For the past 27 years of my life, I never had the experience of voting on the elections. Either I'm always late to register or I really didn't bother to do so. I feel hopeless for our country, in terms of politics. Corruption have been incorporated in the Filipino culture for so long now and although we condemn it, we still tolerate it.

I'm very disappointed every time that someone from showbiz is elected. The masses have still a long way to go when it comes to maturity in electing a person on the basis of their credibility and not just by popularity alone. I understand that the choices are quite limited and maybe the only thing we can do is choose the lesser evil.

Come 2010, I promise to myself that I'm going to exercise my right to vote and one thing is for sure, Mar Roxas is the man. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Album Review: The Morning Light

It's no secret that aside from punk i'm also fond of listening to catchy, poppy music and that what makes The Morning Light's album one of my favorite releases this year. The record opens up with "Wake Up" the most upbeat and optimistic song in the album with lyrics "i'm ready for the change" makes it a perfect theme for starting your day. Second track, "Done Writing Love Songs" is cut-out to be a future single with such a catchy and big chorus that will instantly get stuck in your head at first listen. "Brand New Friends" is a piano-laiden track that continues the band's formula of creating memorable melodies and catchy hooks."Virginia" is very folk sounding which usually is not a good thing but after a few listens it kinda grew into me. Track 5, "Clouds" is a personal favorite and my recommended track in the album if you want to have an idea what The Morning Light is all about you should listen to this one. The rest of the album consists of "Happy Now", "Follow Me Home", "Honest (Apologies Endless)", "Have You Tonight" all have their highs and lows, from upbeat to mellow but still remains true to the album's simple yet unpredictable sound, shifting from pop-punk to the Beatles and classical orchestration. "This Way" is an emotional ballad that will catch you off guard with the sudden change of pace. It reminds me of the song "Tests on My Heart" by Umbrellas' with the similarities of the mood and melody down to the vocalist's similar high pitched voice, it offers a respite from the vast instrumentation of the earlier songs. The record aptly ends with "Movin Along" closing the album on a high-note.

With proper record-label backing and constant touring for this album, The Morning Light is destined to be on mainstream radio soon.

Track List
1. Wake Up! 2:40
2. Done Writing Love Songs 2:41
3. Brand, New, Friends 3:11
4. Virginia 2:30
5. Clouds 3:36
6. Happy-Now 2:48
7. Follow Me Home 3:23
8. Honest (Apologies Endless) 3:40
9. Have You Tonight 3:06
10. This Way 2:52
11. Movin' Along 4:20

Listen to Track #5

Friday, October 3, 2008

Adobe Lightroom: A Photographer's Bestfriend

Yesterday, I downloaded this great application, yet again from Adobe, called Lightroom. It functions a lot like Photoshop but it caters more to the Photography fanatics. Unlike PS, It has a non-destructive way of editing your images so you need not to worry even if you've edited your picture files a gazillion times. I wasn't a big fan of editing pictures 'coz I felt that it kinda defeats the idea of being into analog photography but I guess I've embraced the idea that there's no harm on doing some adjustments as long as it's not so much to alter the picture completely. I've done some contrast adjustments in my monochromatic pictures and it looked really good. I've always wondered how some people in flickr and lomomanila attain rich contrast on their B&W pics but now I know why (cheaters!). If you can't beat 'em join 'em! :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Wanna Learn How To Doodle

Potatomo A3 Illustration
Originally uploaded by Potatomo
This image is a sample of a doodle art (not mine). I've been fond of sketching ever since I was a kid. I even dreamed of becoming a comic book artist but my mom said there's no money in drawing. Maybe she thought that I'll be drawing for the tabloid newspaper. Anyway, I still do wanna draw and maybe try out painting but I just don't have enough free time to do so. I've always thought of myself as an artist rather than a technical person but I chose a path which I felt would make my parents proud. Though I have no regrets it still makes me wonder what could I've become if I followed my heart. I still have a lot of years left in me and maybe it's not too late to get my hand sketching again.

Friday, September 26, 2008

We've All Been Here Before

We've All Been Here Before
Originally uploaded by brix99
We've all been here before
and felt how life is like a pendulum.
Back and forth we go,
we let time pass us by.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On the horizon we sail...

On the horizon we sail...
Originally uploaded by brix99
Those little lights you can see on the horizon are lights coming from fishermen's boats. This was shot around 7:00PM using my Olympus XA2 mounted on a tripod. I loved how the blues and greens came out (as expected from an Elitechrome). I hope to shoot more night time pics in the future. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Three Things

How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on. -Zall's Second Law
When I looked at the date of my previous post in this blog I can't believe it's been more than two months already. Thanks to my life-altering schedule at work I've barely noticed how much time has passed. I've already had my haircut, been to the province to have a 5 day long getaway with my girlfriend, and lastly, got hired by a British to work in Dubai.

First, the haircut... Since December of 2007 I've been a regular client of a Korean parlor here in Alabang. I like most of the styles so far and fits my low-maintenance requirement category or which I call the messily-organized hairstyle (the more you mess it up the better). It's a welcome change since the gay dude in Bench Fix haven't been delivering the goods for the last 2 or 3 times I've been there.

The getaway... Me and my girlfriend went to Dumaguete and Siquijor last August and it was a blast. Had a great time shooting pictures which I've been dreaming of doing ever since we last took a vacation. I took my new babies (cameras) with me and they didn't dissapoint (only my Holga did). GF had the time of her life eating dirt-cheap yet super delicious cakes at Sans Rival (and she always teases me about my sweet tooth) and getting a massage on a nearby Spa place.

Lastly... I am officially a future OFW. To let go of a job I've been doing for three years, to be away from my loved ones and not being here just months before the holidays made this a decision a very, very, very difficult one. The upside, financially and career-wise this will be a tremendous help. Imagine, my 1 month worth of salary in Dubai is equivalent to 5 months here in the Philippines. My boss before argued that we Filipinos always wants to get rich fast. Well who doesn't? I'm in my prime and I want to make the most out of it. I want to be able to live my life in a way that I can spend more time with my kids rather than my work. I don't want to wait to be on my 40's before I can settle down and start my family life. Maybe because he's Japanese and their life expectancy is higher than anyone else so they have all the time in the world to do everything.

I hope the 2 years I'll be spending abroad will fly as fast as it can. I wanna be back here as soon as I can.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

5 Reasons Not To Buy The 3G Iphone

5. The Camera. There is no improvement from the first Iphone, not even for the software. It is still 2 megapixel, and has no flash or vanity mirror.

4. The price is $200 less than the first one, but you're not taking into consideration the additional $240 you will be paying for the contract over the 2 years.

3. No keyboard. The iPhone's software keyboard has documented issues.

2. Lack of upgrades. There is still no stereo Bluetooth, no MMS, no video recording, no character counter in the SMS app, no IM capability, no cut-and-paste, etc.

1. The 3g Radio. Yes, I am going to complain about the 3G radio. Apple stuck a UMTS/HSDPA 3G radio in the iPhone. But why not use AT&T's HSPA network, which means faster uploads for pictures and e-mails? This offers about 3.36Mbps, where other phones in the market support 7.2Mbps.

Zeman, E. (2008) Five Reasons Not To Buy The 3-G Iphone.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ace Enders - The Secret Wars

Ace Enders and A Million Different People - The Secret Wars

1. Reaction
2. Red Eye
3. Rain
4. Motion
5. Body Like Mind
6. Why Do You Run
7. I Told You So
8. Bring Back Love (Year 2020)

Former The Early November frontman, Ace Enders is making his debut as a solo act with this album which has been released free to the public. I've always admired Ace Enders songwriting which always manages to infuse pop hooks and melodies without sounding generic or forced. This album showcases Ender's musical growth and maturity with a cleaner and more radio friendly brand of songs a further step away from the "emo" days when he was still on T.E.N. The relaxed albeit ambient sound of this album is a great background on long drives and getaway trips. Give yourself a favor and download a copy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

James Bond: Quantum of Solace Preview 2008

Best James Bond movie yet? See for yourself.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rules on Being a Filipino

Found this funny article on Before reading this please be aware that this is just a satire. Take everything with a grain of salt. I recommend you to read the whole article just for laughs. :)

Rules on Being a Filipino
Be shameful of your heritage and language, be a clone of an American.

Assume that any Caucasian is an American.
Assume that any American is God incarnate (even if he rapes your daughter).
Carry a Nokia Cellphone, and use TXT msgs (never call it SMS or you will be PWNED!!! LOLZ)
Avoid trailer parks.
Beware of "evil demons".
Beware of dwarves.
Act black.
Elect actors and actresses into public office.
Believe in superstitious bullshit.
If you're a balikbayan from the states, never ever speak Tagalog.
Always climb a volcano.
When a typhoon hits, STAY OUTSIDE AND PLAY!!!
Complain to foreigners that the Philippines is the poorest country in the world and then spend all day shopping at fancy malls, drinking Starbucks coffee, and riding taxis.
Ditch utensils! Eat with your hands, dammit!
Buy a painting of The Last Supper and hang it on your dining room wall, even if you're not Christian.
Hang a "Weapons of Moroland" shield on your living room, even if you don't know where the fuck Moroland is.

McAfee Identifies World's Most Dangerous Domains

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 - by Daniel A. Begun
McAfee has released its annual "Mapping the Mal Web" report, which reports on "the riskiest and safest places on the Web," after analyzing "9.9 million heavily trafficked Web sites" using its own McAfee Site Advisor technology. Topping the list of most dangerous domains is the .hk domain (Hong Kong); the safest domain is .fi (Finland).

Ranked in order, the top five most dangerous country domains are:

* .hk (Hong Kong)
* .cn (China)
* .ph (Philippines)
* .ro (Romania)
* .ru (Russia)

In order, the top safest are:

* .fi (Finland)
* .jp (Japan)
* .no (Norway)
* .si (Slovenia)
* .co (Columbia)

In addition to country domains, McAfee found the .info domain to be the most dangerous generic domain--claiming that as much as 11.8 percent of all .info domains pose legitimate security threats. McAfee also reports that "the chance of downloading spyware, adware, viruses or other unwanted software from surfing the Web increased 41.5% over 2007."

"For administrators of top-level domains this study should act as a wake-up call. Last year's report spurred Tokelau's domain manager to reexamine its policies," said Jeff Green, Senior Vice President of Product Development & Avert Labs. "Not all domain managers are as accommodating so our mission is to educate consumers of the dangers and protect them in every way they enjoy the Web whether through their PC, the Web itself, or mobile phone. With our new secure search and website safety certification, we're taking the guesswork out of searching and surfing online so that consumers enjoy a safer Web experience."

McAfee’s motivation for producing and disseminating this report is not completely altruistic. While consumers will benefit from this knowledge, it is also designed as a scare tactic (legitimate or otherwise) to frighten people into purchasing and using security software developed by companies such as McAfee. The report also increases the perception of McAfee as an industry security expert, which leverages its potential market share for providing security solutions to the very domains it identifies as risky.

"The domain risk assessments come from the McAfee SiteAdvisor site rating database. SiteAdvisor tests sites for the presence of risky behaviors such as browser exploits, adware/spyware/Trojans/viruses, high likelihood of receiving spam, affiliation with other risky sites, and aggressive pop-up marketing."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Street Fighter 4 (IV) : Will bring back the kid in me...

I have a rich history Street Fighter or let me call it SF hereon for brevity. I first played it in the classic NES console at my cousin's house. Very vividly I still remember kicking his ass with my sonic boom using Guile (LOL). Then I was in my fifth grade in elementary when I first played SF using the arcade machine. One peso coins were still used back then as a token and if I'm not mistaken it costs around 3 one peso coins per game. I had my breakout addiction to this game during my freshman 'til my sophomore year in high school. I played everyday spending my daily allowance just to get my fix. I was relentless... trying to master combo after combo. It's kinda bittersweet when I think of how I wasted money on such a useless activity. Anyhow, more about this as a future fodder for my blog.

So what about Street Fighter 4? Take a peek at CapCom's official SF website here. From what I've seen it still boasts the same 2D appeal only in a larger, flashier scale. Most, if not all the Street Fighter 2 characters are coming back like Ken, Ryu, Chun-Li, Vega, Balrog, Blanka, Zangief and Guile while new characters like Abel, El Fuerte, C. Viper, Rufus will be introduced.

I felt that the kiddo version of me will be resurfacing upon seeing this game hit the nearest Timezone branch. Oh well... being the responsible grown up that I am now, I can't do the same mistake I did before. Money is too precious to waste since it's the output of my sweat and blood. But of course, that won't stop me from playing a couple of rounds of this bad ass game.

Finding Jobs Abroad

I've been planning to go abroad for a while now. I just haven't committed myself in searching for jobs and sending my resume because of various reasons coming up every now and then. But lately, a lot of my office mates have been contemplating of working abroad. Some have already resigned and currently working overseas earning Php 60,000 to 120,000... yeah I know... that's a lot of moolah. If you're one of those people who's planning to work abroad you might want to check out and for opportunities and job openings that suits your qualifications. Fun fact: Did you know that we Filipinos are top foreigners in 16 countries? Which isn't surprising since the number of Filipino OFW's have been increasing for the past decade and most probably the primary reason that's keeping our economy's head above the water. Without the OFW's, I don't think our economy can survive the problems we had regarding oil and inflation. Good luck to future OFW's like us!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

LOMO : Part 1 of Many to come...

The first time I saw a lomo picture I was blown away with the saturation, grunge feel and spontaneity. A year later here I am blogging about this addiction of mine. My first and only official LSI (Lomographic Society International) camera is the Holga CFN which I bought almost a year ago from Jennie a certified "lomo pusher". The first rolls I took was my first date with my GF and what a memorable day that was). So enough of the history lessons... Let's start with the #1 FAQ: What is LOMO? Lomography emphasizes casual, snapshot photography. Characteristics such as over-saturated colors, off-filter exposure, blurring, "happy accidents," and alternative film processing are often considered part of the "Lomographic Technique. (Source: Wikipedia). I can say that LOMO is also a lifestyle not just the pictures itself. You get to appreciate the LO-FI aspects of photography. I've never been a big fanboy of digital pictures and overpriced digital cameras since I find it too artificial compared to the organic feel of Films and not even photoshop can replicate what film can do. That is more than enough reason to stimulate the artistic side of me. That's it for now... more about LOMO in my next posts.

(Featured Song) Metro Station : Shake It

"Shake It" is the third single released from Electro/Pop group, Metro Station. It is their first charting single, so far reaching #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the Canadian Hot 100, as of June 2008. The single was certified Gold by the RIAA on June 13, 2008.(Source: Wikipedia)

"Must See" Upcoming Movies News and Updates!

Astro Boy:
Summit Entertainment and Imagi Studios have entered into a global alliance whereby Summit will distribute Imagi's upcoming CG-animated motion picture Astro Boy worldwide except for Imagi's reserved territories of Japan, Hong Kong and China. The announcement was made jointly by Rob Friedman, Co-Chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment and Douglas Glen, CEO of Imagi Studios. Slated for worldwide theatrical release in 2009, "Astro Boy" will feature the voices of Academy Award®-winning actor Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy and Eugene Levy with Freddie Highmore in the title role. David Bowers is directing ASTRO BOY from a screenplay written by Timothy Harris, with Maryann Garger producing. Astro Boy is the second CG-animated feature film from Imagi Studios, following its 2007 release TMNT.

Transformers 2:
Rainn Wilson has been cast in a small role in Transformers 2. According to the MTV Movies Blog, wilson will play a professor. I guess we know already that Shia LaBeouf's character Sam Witwicky will be a college student this time around. Wilson, one of the stars of TV's "The Office" joked that he will be playing "a professor that turns into a car that turns into a robot". On the more serious side, Wilson claimed that he hasn't even read a full script. Production on Transformers 2 is in its early stages in Bethlehem, PA.

The Hobbit:
Rumor has it that acclaimed 29-year-old thespian James McAvoy ("Atonement," "The Last King of Scotland") is the favourite to play the lead role of Bilbo Baggins in Guillermo del Toro's "The Hobbit".

Beverly Hills Cop 4:
Paramount has set in motion a fourth installment of "Beverly Hills Cop." Eddie Murphy is attached to reprise his role as Detroit detective Axel Foley, and Brett Ratner is negotiating to direct. Studio is aiming for a 2009 production start and a summer 2010 release. Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the original "Beverly Hills Cop" trilogy with late partner Don Simpson, won't be actively involved in the new film.

Superman: The Man of Steel
Rumor has it that Indian actress Priyanaka Chopra may be going from Bollywood to Metropolis if the latest rumblings are to be believed. According a report, Chopra has been offered the role of Superman's love interest in Superman: The Man of Steel. Officially, Chopra and the studios aren't saying anything, but according to sources the actress has been offered the role and has almost accepted. The role will be that of a lady scientist who will be romantically involved with the Man of Steel. Few details are currently available for Superman: The Man of Steel, but it is known that Brandon Routh will return to his role as the Man of Steel and Bryan Singer will be back to direct. Kevin Spacey has also expressed an interest in returning as Lex Luthor.

Angels & Demons:
Filming has begun on "Angels and Demons", Sony Pictrues follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code". Based on the Dan Brown novel, the film has Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) teaming with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra on a frantic race against the clock to stop both a bomb obliterating Vatican City during a papal enclave, and an assassin systematically wiping out the four favourite candidates for the new Pope.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Alfred Molina will join Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley. Based on the video game series, the movie casts Gyllenhaal as a young prince in sixth century Persia who must join forces with a feisty and exotic princess, to prevent a villainous nobleman from possessing the Sands of Time. Molina will play Sheik Amar, who becomes a mentor to the prince. Kingsley portrays Nizam in the fantasy action feature, who plots to k*ll his brother King Shahrman and blame it on Prince Dastan so he can take the throne. Mike Newell will direct with shooting scheduled to begin in July.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This is not an I-Fad: Sansa Fuze MP3 Player

The thing about me is I dislike riding the bandwagon. Before I-Pod became a household name I've been always planning to buy one of these expensive gadgets but for different reasons (mostly just being frugal) and after years of drooling everytime I pass by techie stores, I still don't have one as of now. Nowadays, almost every joe and jane proudly wear the trademark white I-pod earphones around their neck like it's a part of their office uniform. I've lost my craving for these "mainstream" mp3 player. But as fate would have it, a new temptation has come along... Sansa's FUZE. Mannn... with my midyear BONUS just around the corner I can't help but look at the possibility of owning one of these babies but then again my alter ego (Mr. Cheapskates) will takeover in this trying time. Here is an in-depth review if you're looking for a quality alternative to the overrated I-pod.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lifehouse in Manila!

I've never been in a live concert for a simple reason: I haven't found anything worthwhile to see. While listening to Good Times with Mo, I heard that they're giving away free tickets to the Lifehouse “You and Me Live in Manila” Concert. I couldn't believe my ears. Lifehouse!? THE BAND who's CD No Name Face never left my CD Player for months!? THE BAND who I dreamed of someday will perform my official wedding song?! THE BAND who's on my Top 10 list of greatest band of all time!? Somebody slap me on the face please! I wouldn't miss this for the world!!! Right now I can see myself singing out loud to "Hanging in a Moment", holding hands with my girl through "You and Me" and "Take Me Away" (which I hope they play in acoustic) and having goosebumps with the haunting melody of "Everything".