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Happy Holidays 2011

It’s that time of year again: to be with family, eat home cooked food(lots of it) and make pretend Santa brought all those goodies under the tree. There’s nothing like the wide eyed happy look of a kid opening presents.

The tree shot with Canon EOS 7D and processed in Photoshop CS5. Snow texture by Oh Joy Photography-thanks!

Merry Christmas, dear readers. Posting will resume in the next few days after all the food and drink gets digested.

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5 Hours of… uh, Photography

Setting up started for me at midnight. It takes a lot to set up a shoot like this and it’s not just about a camera and a tripod. Essential amenities are: comfortable chair, good music, snacks and freshly brewed coffee. Not to mention lots of water to keep hydrated all throughout. Now that everything is in place the waiting game begins.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s really boring sitting there just staring up at the sky and watching the full moon turn into an awesome red spectacle. Look closely at the time stamps on the image below and it’s basically 5 hours of just that. Even a movie that long couldn’t keep me. Coffee is truly the binding factor and of course capturing a piece of eclipse history.

Do enjoy the moon in action. Shot with an Canon EOS 7D, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, f/7.1, 1/200th, ISO 100. RAW converted to tif file and converted in Photoshop CS5 for jpeg upload.

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Click for larger moons. Time of capture indicated top side of moons.

But just to break the monotony, a little background shooting had to be. Even with auto focus it was quite difficult as my body wanted to be in bed. Luckily the caffeine was still rushing to stimulate every synapse that needed to adjust and shoot the camera. And shoot we did. Do click on the photos for a larger view.

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Before even the eclipse started worrisome clouds overhead. Almost went to sleep early.

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The EOS 7D admist a quiet night.

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More cloud cover as the eclipse was starting. Very worrisome indeed but the clouds did go away.

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The red moon captured on long exposure at 1024 seconds at f/5.6.

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The last wide angle captured before packing up. This time though of the red moon.

THE INITIAL FOOD TASTING

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Not yet officially open but with a fully functional kitchen, the staff whipped up a great Thai meal under the pressure of scrutinizing taste buds.

At first impression the bistro ambiance is modern yet comfortable for a meal with good friends and family. It in itself is a conversation piece from the seemingly nonchalant concrete walls to the bricks flooded with warmth from the lights above. The chairs a bit too comfortable as to invite a group to stay longer with tables big enough to hold food orders and drinks. Eat slowly and savor the complete experience.

The authentic Thai food presented in bistro servings giving one a better opportunity to try more than one viands. The dishes can be paired with various wines on stock to compliment and prepare the palette for every bite. Authenticity in a certain country’s cuisine is hard to replicate in another for far too many circumstances. Mango Tree Bistro does a good job keeping the food as one would have in Thailand with quality ingredients. Right down to the perfectly presented desserts and quality coffee.

Finally, authentic Thai food with style that does not disappoint and light on the wallet. Mango Tree Bistro will officially open in mid-October. Located at Trinoma Mall, Level 3 right beside Powerbooks.

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TYPHOON 2010

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The onset of the rainy season was announced in early June 2010. It is part of the Tropical Monsoon season that hits a large part of South East Asia. In the Philippines, situated in the tropical zone, have only 2 weather seasons-hot and rainy. During the rainy season we experience tropical typhoons or tropical storms or as referred by Wikipedia as East Asian cyclones.

All that heavy rain and flooding all over CNN recently is a regular occurrance for Metro Manila even during my young formative years. Even the recent Singapore flooding of Orchard Road pales in comparison. Here is a little reminder of typhoon Ondoy from last season and these images are considered tame.

The word typhoon, which is used today in the Northwest Pacific, may be derived from Urdu, Persian and Arabic ţūfān (طوفان), which in turn originates from Greek tuphōn (Τυφών), a monster in Greek mythology responsible for hot winds. The related Portuguese word tufão, used in Portuguese for typhoons, is also derived from Greek tuphōn. It is also similar to Chinese “taifeng” (“toifung” in Cantonese) (颱風 – literally great winds), and also to the Japanese “taifu” (台風), which may explain why “typhoon” came to be used for East Asian cyclones. –Wikipedia

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In the Philippines, names of typhoons are changed once it reaches our area of responsibility. For 2010, the names of typhoons that have been lined up by PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration): Agaton, Basyang, Caloy, Domeng, Ester, Florita, Glenda, Henry, Inday, Juan, Katring, Luis, Neneng, Ompong, Paeng, Queenie, Seniang, Tomas, Usman, Venus, Waldo, Yayang and Zeny. Names of letters M and R have gone AWOL. And can’t seem to be found.

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Just last week we experienced the wrath of Ester with 20 more to go for this year. Even as many roads have been repaired or are still being repaired, along with drainage systems, flooding still occur during the initial stages of heavy rain. There is an urban myth that goes: if PAGASA declares no classes or work for the day due to heavy rains then it is much the opposite and it is usually a good day to go out without the everyday traffic jams.

On August 6, newly elected President Aquino sacked PAGASA chief Nilo for the forecast of typhoon Basyang that was predicted to skirt Metro Manila but instead hit head on and caused flooding and major power outtage for 2 to 3 days. With the Philippines still in the early stages of typhoon season lets all hope that interim chief Science Undersecretary Graciano Yumul will better inform the country of incoming tropical storms.

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Photos were shot in various stages of rainy season. All RAW converted to TIFF and further processed in Photoshop.

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