Heavy Heart is the name of the image but I feel light-hearted about updated theme here at this site. OK I'll break down and say blog which has the most horrible onomatopoeic connotations. This location on the internet in any case. Thought the overhaul was long over due. I've been doing a lot of archive maintenance lately. Clearing out wasted drive space in some cases. It's a good thing to increase the levels of self-editing. There are many things to be learned from looking through old photo archives-like "what was I thinking in this one" or "wow-I like what I was thinking, etc." This particular image was shot with borrowed 35mm lens which I realize is quite nice now that I've given it back to my friend the owner. Another key factor in the mix of archive updates is re-cropping images where I feel it's needed or it will bring a fresh perspective and applying my much enhanced mad ninja post-processing skills now that I have a pretty good idea what I'm doing and what works for my eye. Images liek this make me think of Soundgarden's Head Down which I'll link to at the bottom. I like the band of light across the man's chest implying there is hope around the corner and heavy moods like that don't necessarily last forever...
It's been a while since I've posted here. I'm fairly active on G+ and Flickr, but much less so on Facebook. I've decided to reserve making as attempt to express myself other than beyond what my photos say to the viewer(or don't) for here. So we'll consider this my online "house" so to speak and assume I have the right and privilege to rant or navel gaze,etc. here because it's "my house!"
I've talked about my eclectic nature in numerous posts. This is expressed through getting attached and even somewhat fixated on a given lens. I've been using my tiny Pentax DA 40mm pancake lens pretty much exclusively for the last few months. It is a good sharp lens, my only auto prime, and makes a very small and less distracting visual foot print for doing candid street photography. The only problem depending on your photo viewing preferences is that I tend to do much closeup work which are offer more portraits with subject filling most of the frame and thereby less context to assist in a richer visual story. So the last few days I've been back to my antique workhorse German lens: A. Schacht Travenar 90mm offering a longer perspective but allowing a different perspective on portrait shots as well. The image above shows off the nice smooth bokeh (out of focus area) of the lens. The feel of the shot reminded me of the Spy Vs. Spy series comics I so loved as a kid reading Mad Magazine. I like to free associate for titling images. Sometimes I think I hit the mark more than others. This title works for me here so it remains...
So we're at the end of another year. Real or imaginary marker in the sands of time. I will not offer any resolutions for I feel none are needed or felt. That doesn't mean I don't believe I have things in my life that re perfect or don't merit additional blood, sweat and tears to improve. I just don't "feel" the resolution thing. I do know I'll continue to try to be truer to my creative muse. I'm thankful that the composition aspect of photography is becoming more natural or 2nd nature for me if you will. I expect that to continue. There are one or 2 technical areas I'll continue to work on such as flash on and off camera, and playing with shutter speeds for different blur effects.... This written a week or so ago right before the New Year. Fast forwarding to now...
I hadn't been to the biggest night market in town (FengJia) for some time, and not with my new camera. So FengJia Night Market is where I went. I chose a time that I thought would be a little less crowded and chaotic than peak times, and my guess proved to be right. One of the first streets I walked down had a tattoo shop with an elaborate full upper body piece being worked on. I couldn't resist so I poked my head in the door and asked if it was ok to come in for a look. The staff smiled and said yes. The "skin" was in obvious discomfort since the work was on the painful bony rib area. I could smell alcohol on him which he no doubt imbibed to deaden some of that needle pain. I asked if I could take a shot and he grimaced and agreed. So I took this one with on camera flash(some non-resolution fulfillment :D).
Today is one of my favorite days of the year. I get to attend local orphanage Christmas party. Interestingly, the first few times before going I got this wrongful notion on how I need to go and help cheer up these kids. In fact, they help cheer me up. Sure, these young people have their challenges cut out for them and I certainly feel for them. They have been very blessed with kind and hard working house parents and a very nice living environment that is like a little piece of the country in the heart of the city. So it is a good thing for me to realize that these kids are to be loved but not necessarily pitied. There is such a healthy, normal family vibe to their group between themselves and the staff there. This is so encouraging to me. So tonight I go to be Santa and more importantly their friend. I know I'll be cheered up (am even cheered up no thinking about it) and really will enjoy their performances and their joy. Anyway, I think this helps me get much closer to the true spirit of Christmas and the Advent which is all about joy unspeakable over the greatest gift.
Nice version of the old classic which we'll lead the group in: Little Drummer Boy-Pentatonix
I don't often go to the nearby Cultural Folk Park for getting photos. I have always liked it. A little less now after recent major renovation(stripping away a lot of good old structure to add a lot of not so nice modern structure. Mainly to facilitate huge underground parking. They also added a couple of restaurants inside which means that certain areas formerly open to walk through are now under lock and key. That being said-there are still some very attractive structures and grounds. Here in the photo you can see some folks practicing a form of taichi using swords. It is nice to see traditional martial arts being practiced with classic buildings in the background. Here in Taiwanese cities these kinds of structures are far fewer than what you'd imagine. I am a big lover of traditional Chinese architecture.
I know I've mentioned before here how much I love chiaroscuro in photographs. The technique originated in painting which is no big surprise because photography for the most part started out as a way for people that can't paint to emulate painting. It's hard for me to describe why I love it so much, but it just does something for me. I guess the images I like best are the ones that have at least an air of mystery to them. All well exposed with a very clear subject is fine. However, most eyes if they get it it in a glance get bored and quickly forget. Chiaroscuro is one method for adding a "hook" to those eyeballs-How's that for a mixed metaphor? It's true though. Just like those songs that stick with you-if they have a decent hook then you can't easily forget them. Anyway, I'm starting the Chiaroscuro theme on G+ at this page with me as curator. If you are on G+ and would like to play along just tag your post with #chiaroscuro hashtag. This theme runs on Tuesdays(whenever Tuesday is for you in your part of the world). If you don't want to post but want to see these images from different people just search on the page. I will also post some of my favorites from the theme over here from time to time.
The whole blogging scene is so different than when I started this as audio podcast blog back in the last decade. Social media activity has taken over much of the energy and impact of blogging. It's still nice to have a dedicated site and curated space to call my own though. Still very pleased on the results I'm getting from the Pentax K 30 and in this case old M42 Pentax Super Takumar 55 1.8 lens. I've also made some adjustments to my BW processing in NIK Silver EFEX II which I'm very pleased with. To be honest I'm enjoying photography more and more. Hope the resulting work is enjoyable for you too.
I've always loved chiaroscuro light and shadow interplay. This was an excellent opportunity to incorporate that in this close up portrait. Extremely happy with the A. Schacht Travenar 90 on the Pentax K-30 combination.
This is the first time I've revisited this stream bed since I've gotten my new Pentax K-30. I really get the benefit of the A. Schacht Travenar 90 lens with the better sensor of this camera. I had it in mind to shoot some of the stream bed with the 90 thinking I'd get some good results. I was pleased with what I shot. This is a great location for a morning walk as well. It provides a good channel for fresh air from the mountains to follow the stream.
Some of you might know that music and photography are 2 of my big passions. Well I should clarify-playing guitar and taking pictures specifically. Here I get to put them together. This is my friend Chris' new guitar. A Japanese-made Masterfield. The company that makes them also does guitars for Ibanez and I think builds kits for Gretsch as well. I played this beautiful guitar yesterday during our blues jam-quite sweet! Also enjoying rocking my new Pentax K-30 camera