Friday, January 25, 2013

Out of Focus


If I had a bucket list, 'travel the world' would make it to the top of the list (next to 'fit into a bikini without having people who'll see me throw up' haha!).

Roadtrips. Unpopular beaches. Secret getaways. New adventures. If I could only leave this workstation ASAP and do all that in a snap, I would. What would I give to have 'travelling' as a job and 'beach-bumming' as a hobby.

Oh, if only I could.

In the meantime, I sit on a cushioned chair for a little more than 7 hours in an air-conditioned room inside a building only 20 minutes away from home. Not that bad really, except I don't have fine beige sand brushing against my feet as I walk to work and I don business casuals all the time. 

At times, I think that, like the video above, I am out of focus as well: having a hint of what I want to be and where I want to go but not really quite sure about everything. Out of focus. Lost in my path. Unknowing of my future.

But time and again, when I feel like I can't and will never ever find the road that leads to where I should be, when I get distraught by the uncertainty, God, in His most special way, always reminds me that I am where I am supposed to be right now. 

I look back at the many choices I've made in the past, at every turn I made and at every step (or misstep) I took. And I see that, somehow, everything still went for the better: I have gained life-changing lessons. I have grown in wisdom. I have learned more about myself. I have known God more.

So, I guess, at a certain level, I may still be out of focus, still a little lost, still unknowing. I may still make a few wrong choices, wrong turns and even missteps. But, I know, at the end of my journey, I will look back and say that everything still went for the better.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My First Attempt

At product photography, that is.

I have been interested with photography ever since I can remember. Such interest must have come from my exposure to a dozen or so pictures of every event in my life as I was growing up. My parents used to work at Kodak Philippines, and that explains the thousand photos at home.

Since everything can be captured in a frame, no wonder the field of photography is vast, and specializing in a certain area (for lack of the correct term) of it can ease honing one's skill. When I acquired my DSLR early last year, I told myself I'd like to focus on learning landscape and product photography. In the future, I also want to have a studio, with kids as my main subject.

But with all the stuff I have been occupied with for the past year, I haven't really gotten myself to focus on learning the craft. I'd take a few photos here and there, but that's about it.

Last night, while suffering from lack of inspiration for an article I was about to write, I busied myself with searching the net on how to build a makeshift lightbox. A lightbox is like a mini studio, often used for shooting small items.

I stumbled upon a site that showed how to build one out of a frosted-side container, desk lamps, and white paper. The setup was so easy that I just had to try it out.

Here's what my DIY lightbox looked like:

DIY lightbox

Since I am such a newbie at photography, I wasn't sure if I had the right camera settings. I just kept experimenting with my camera's aperture and ISO settings, hoping to get a good-enough shot.

After an hour or so, my camera's battery died, and my shots were not even close to decent.

Here are some shots:


Obviously, I am such a newbie. I couldn't eliminate the shadows for the life of me. Well, I didn't have a third light set up, so I guess the shadows will always be there. All shots are raw, except for the last three (whose brightness I had to tweak a bit). Sorry, I don't know much about Photoshop either. (pathetic, huh?)

So for my first attempt at product photography, with a makeshift lightbox and a clueless newbie-photographer head, my verdict on my work is FAIL! That said, I have so much to learn. That, or I may as well just throw my DSLR in a box and sell it on eBay.

Seriously though, I hope I get to find time to really study photography. I noticed writing and photography go hand in hand. A good photo makes for a potential story. A good story can be made better if backed up by descriptive photos.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bag of Beans Blueberry Pancakes = Love!

It's 9AM. I woke up so early today. 6 AM to be exact. I know, for some, that's not early. Everyone else must have already ticked off a dozen in their to-do list, while I was still battling with my other self if I should already get up from bed or not. haha!

Since I'm up early, I'm hungry early, too. [weird sentence there, but I know you get my point :)] Anyway, I've been craving pancakes since last night. The photos at's list of top 10 pancakes in town didn't help. I was practically salivating at the layers upon layers of pancakes that were featured.

Upon reaching the end of the list, I was sad to find that my favorite pancake of all time didn't make it: Blueberry pancakes from Bag of Beans Tagaytay. The first time I tried it, it was love at first bite!

Imagine sinking your teeth into three humongous layers of blueberry-filled pancakes, smothered with blueberry jam and topped with whole berries and butter. Two slices of citrus adorn your plate of blueberry goodness. Pour syrup, and you're on your way to heaven! For just PHP195, the pancakes can serve up to four hungry tummies. Reasonable, right?

And here it is. Tada! 
Blueberry pancakes!

Haay. What would I give to have these right now?