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A Simple Point & Shoot Technique

Dreamy, surreal and artsy fartsy- a fun way to try hand held long exposure technique.

These flame dancers were shot on a Canon G7 point & shoot that was bought in 2007. The location was at an open plaza in the back of a huge shopping complex. It was around 9 pm and this particular area was only lit by an overhead street lamp-thats the reason for the yellow/green tint on the images.

You too can try this simple technique. Set your trusty point and shoot digicam, yup, any brand will do as long as it has an aperture priority mode (AV). Set it to f/3.5 and dial in 1/60th for shutter speed-this is to get the swirly fire trails. Then set to ISO 400 so as not to fully over expose the flames.

A tripod is not necessary. Just hold the digicam as steady as possible, focus on the subject and click away. Or yes, a tripod would make the camera more steady and take clearer photos but it would not be as fun and unpredictable.

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Lomography Embassy

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The Lomography Embassy is located near one of Taipei’s premier shopping and business district. An interesting sight to behold-even if you are not a fan of the Lomo world. If you are a fan then make sure a lot of cash is on hand. Every conceivable merchandise related to is inside.

Unlike our Manila stores, cameras are available for your dirty paws to hold and caress, scan the books and take in the Lomography wall that spans 2 floors. Even take a seat at the bar to ask questions about the merchandise which the excellent reps will gladly answer.

My analogue journey was captured on a digital point & shoot-my trusty old Canon G7. All images shot on jpeg, refined the jpg files and processed in Canon’s DPP for upload quality.

The Lomography Embassy is located at No.35, Ln. 187, Sec.1, Dunhua S. Rd., Da`an Dist. Taipei City 106, Taiwan, tel: +886 2 2773 6111. Opening hours: Monday – Friday 2:00pm – 10:00pm / Saturday – Sunday 12:00pm – 10:00pm

Brunch With a Friend

A little real world comparison of the Olympus PEN EPL 1 and a 4 year old Canon Powershot G7.

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Foyer of the restaurant where a meeting of a point and shoot and PEN 4/3rd's system took place. This can only happen over a good meal.

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This real world comparison isn't based on anything technical or controlled. It is just based on a casual shooting scenario where the PEN was used to shoot a variety of subjects under daylight and night time conditions to the best of my knowledge.

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All photos on this post were all shot with the Canon G7 in jpg and then post processed in Photoshop. Unlike the PEN, the G7 does not shoot in RAW format. But for the sake of casual shooting this is sometimes a bit more convenient. Then again, for all my pro shoots nothing but RAW will suffice.

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The very cool looking pop up flash of the Oly PEN EPL-1. I find this flash doesn't do the job quite as well as my 4 year old Canon G7 on manual and shutter priority mode. Adjusting higher or lower flash output is already a couple of push button into the menu. Sometimes this will be a disadvantage as the moment has passed by the time flash output is adjusted.

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Macro mode on the G7 is only a button push away. The menu on both is very different and I found the PEN's menu really needs some getting used to. On program mode it is just turn on and shoot. If going on manual or any of the priority modes a basic understanding of photography and light is a must.

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Loved the design and form factor of the EPL-1. The weight and the form factor is perfect for those looking to upgrade from a point and shoot. It's great for travel and a pleasure to hold the sturdy construction of the camera.

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As I am so used to the Canon system it was hard to navigate through the Pen menu to get what I wanted. But there is only 1 mode dial on top with the rest of the functions on buttons at the back. Versus the Canon G series with various dials on top to control mode, ISO and +/- EV.

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The backside of the PEN where all feature navigation buttons are located. Very nicely placed buttons for various menu functions but would need to be very familiar with the menu system to achieve full potential of the camera. For convenience and faster shooting I would still prefer the Canon G series.

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The biggest difference among the 2 cams is the speed of locking on a subject on auto focus. The PEN takes longer to lock on and often times hunts for the subject. The G7 (my 4 year old p&s) seems more instantaneous.

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This breakfast was about the 6th time in using my friend's PEN. It still has great appeal in terms of the vintage design and convenience of the 4/3 rd's system-a DSLR type interchangeable lens camera without the bulk. The PEN is just a tad bigger (w/ lens attached) and heavier than my Canon G7.

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It all boils down to is the Olympus PEN EPL-1 worth puchasing for PHP35,000 w/ kit lens (USD599). Without my Canon DSLR's it would be a good buy. Getting into a new system of camera bodies, lenses and flashes is not an easy thing to do. For my own use, a new Canon G12 would be a better buy. Anytime a DSLR is a requirement it's only a matter of grabbing a bag and go.

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There are no winners. It is just a matter of switching form 1 familiar system to a new one. For first timers who are upgrading from a point and shoot the PEN would be a good buy. But to use the PEN to it's full potential one must be familiar with navigating the menu system and be aware of it's sluggish auto focus (compared to the Canon G series). The PEN is a good camera for learning the basics of photography as it is also a good camera for advanced users.

Army Navy: Burgers + Burritos

A week and a half ago, the hard drive on my old trusty iBook had a sticky fit and finally crashed. The symptom was a very simple plain blue screen once it booted. Gone was the menu bar and solid medium gray color desktop.

Had to take the Mac to the doctor and on the way passed by this new place being renovated. Made a quick mental note to try it out. Fast forward to a new hard drive, a very clean software-less comp and dinner at the Army Navy: Burgers + Burritos. Will try their breakfast burrito on our next visit.

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Street view of Army Navy Burger and Burritos.

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The faux brass logo on the counter top- a very nice touch.

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Order counter with a full view of the clean kitchen and very friendly staff.

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The interior space-excellent attention to detail-like the food.

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First up, the double patty cheeseburger. Liked the meaty flavor but too much fresh onions as it over powered the burger with every bite. Still a great choice though just ask the staff to hold the onions.

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Nicely wrapped beef and cheese sandwich. It

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A look inside reveals all the juicy goodness. The onions were just right.

CHINESE LUNAR CALENDAR, A GHASTLY FULL MOON & A BEAUTIFUL MEAL

A follow-up on my 中秋節 Mid-Autumn Festival post:

The Chinese Lunar calendar used in China and by many Asian countries and communities today, perfected around 500 BCE during the Zhou Dynasty (if I’m not mistaken). It comprises of both solar and lunar calendars making it a unisolar calendar (shows time of the solar year and moon phase)

While most modern Asian cultures now use the Gregorian calendar (Western) for day-to-day business the Lunar calendar is mainly for marking 4 important holidays: Chinese Lunar New Year (新年), Chinese New Year/Spring Festival (春節), Dragon Boat Festival (端午節) and Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節). It is also used as a reference guide to mark auspicious days for weddings, start of construction, new business ventures, etc.

It is important (as I get older every year) to keep a foot hold on my native culture. To pass on the knowledge to the younger generation as pop culture is taking over the world at an alarming rate-much worse than global warming. And twice the holiday in a year is so much better.

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The photo above captured on September 22, 2010-equivalent to. It was a very cloudy night but for a few minutes the opportunity for a shot presented itself.

Below are photos of dishes that marked the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) and the official end to summer. Dinner at the in-laws never disappoint.

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Thick chicken soup with crab meat and crab roe

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Stir fried tiger prawns

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Pipa beancurd-deep fried tofu mixed with shrimp and pork (pipa 琵琶 because they are shaped like the musical instrument)

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Fish with tofu crisps to add to the 4 food groups

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My wife's dish-Chicken stuffed with onion and garlic brined in a secret blend of sauces and then baked to golden perfection

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Stir fried iceberg lettuce in oyster sauce with bonito flakes

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vermicelli noodles with seafood and vegetables

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Finally for dessert almond and purple yam jelly a refreshing finish to a beautiful meal

TODAY: THE 15th DAY ON THE 8th MONTH IN THE YEAR OF THE TIGER OF THE CHINESE LUNAR CALENDAR

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中秋節 (Zhongqiu Jie) literally translates to “Mid-Autumn Festival” in Mandarin Chinese.

Above image captured yesterday with Canon EOS 50D+EF-S17-85mm f/4-5.6. RAW and converted in DPP and further processed in Photoshop.

The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival, is a popular East Asian tradition of Chinese origin, dating back over 3,000 years to moon worship in China’s Shang Dynasty, that spread to neighbouring cultures like Japan. It was first called Mid-Autumn festival in the Zhou Dynasty. In Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines it is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival. The Chinese Lantern Festival is held on the 15 day of the first lunar month.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinese calendar (the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year), and is a legal holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomeloes together. Accompanying the celebration, there are other additional cultural or regional customs.

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Above image captured September 15, 2008 with Canon Powershot G7 point & shoot. Jpg file further post processed in Photoshop.

in the spirit of mid autumn festival (中秋節) here’s a chinese legend…

Chang’e, Ch’ang-O or Chang-Ngo (Chinese: 嫦娥; pinyin: Cháng’é), also known as Heng-E or Heng-O (姮娥; Héng’é), is the Chinese goddess of the moon. Unlike many lunar deities in other cultures who personify the moon, Chang’e only lives on the moon. As the “woman on the Moon”, Chang’e could be considered the Chinese complement to the Western notion of a man in the moon. The lunar crater Chang-Ngo is named after her.

but, i like this next one much much better…

In Chinese mythology, a rabbit lives on the moon where it makes herbal medicine. The rabbit is also mentioned in the novel Journey to the West. According to Korean and Japanese myths, a rabbit lives on the moon making rice cakes (Thuck – the Korean word for rice cakes in general, and mochi, a different type of a rice cake with red bean filling, in the Japanese myth).” quotes from Wikipedia

A happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all.

MOONSCAPES FROM THE PAST

Weather RelationsAn event shoot kept me from a relaxing night photo session. Disappointed with missing the recent partial lunar eclipse I refer to my flickr past for therapy.

I used to sit with a tripod to shoot moonscapes very often. Much more exciting with lightning but hat is a whole different story though-patience and a lot coffee came in handy.

I did a search last night and saw many inspiring photos around the net of the recent eclipse (June 26, 2010) and had me drooling in no time.

These are respectively from 2008 and 2009. For more moonscapes do visit my Moony Moon set =)

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TOYS, TOYS & TOYS

The 9th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles 2010, SM Megamall

All toys shot with the Canon G7 w/ Speedlite 430 EX II. There is nothing like shooting toys with a much loved toy.

Hope you enjoy the slide show. Just hover over the screen and a tiny control bar will magically appear for buttons to stop, forward and reverse. Like your personal low tech DVD player-well sort of…

Part 1 is here.

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Featured Posts From the Past:

Total Lunar Eclipse: June 16, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse: June 16, 2011

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