A Good Run – Project 365

It was a good run while it lasted.

This is a late post, but I’ve long decided to stop working on my Project 365 a few weeks ago. After a bit of consideration, I realized that I wasn’t able to achieve the desired goal of getting inspiration (and eventually gaining momentum) from shooting every day. Instead, it ultimately became a chore. There were days when I would find myself settling for what’s there (especially when the weather conditions are dour).

The process became more and more stressful. Of course, there were the rare gems that I was glad to capture; but all in all, I came to admit that this was nowhere near my best work. That the little energy and precious time that I had was better devoted to personal projects that I’ve been working on over the years.

I don’t know what’s next yet. I’m at a fork in the road. But whichever path I take, I’ll make sure to let you know.

Day 114 – 365

Perspective. I’ve set goals for myself to reach this year. However, I now realize, that there are goals that I do not yet see. The only way I can discover these is if I took that first step and the thousands more that lay after that. It’s time to start climbing.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday. 

Day 111 to 113 – 365

Reservation for One. I don’t know who left this stool out by the tree. It looks so forlorn. It is as if someone got tired of being stood up that they actually brought a seat to the rendezvous. Just in case.

Waking to Sunshine. It’s always nice to wake up to the sun shining brightly in the sky. With cold fronts and low pressure areas creating a blanket of rain clouds, we could go for days without seeing its radiant glow. I like rain, but a good part of the reason why is the contrast it creates when the sun comes out after an afternoon shower.

Flame On. It must bring some comfort to the person manning the grill when it rains and the temperature in the restaurant drops a few more degrees lower than usual. It’ll probably be a different story during the lunch hour rush in the summertime.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday.

Day 108 to 110 – 365

Torrent. I woke up to a downpour. It was a case of Mondays staying true to form, overachieving even. A nearby river had overflowed and was causing unprecedented flooding in its vicinity. In years (even during super typhoon Haiyan), it’s never done this, so I decided to stay home that day.

Homework. I cleaned the inside of my desktop PC case. It’s not something that I relish, but I recognize that it’s something that needs to be done. Perhaps, once every two to three months and not once a year.

Digital Film Roll Project (3 of 10). Staying at an ISO of 400 is tough when shooting indoors, especially in low light. Working with a daylight white balance also poses some color issues when dealing with mixed artificial lighting. However, a number of my best pictures were made while working with challenges such as these, so I’m excited to see what I can create in this project.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday.

Day 107 – 365

Love. Susan loves fireworks. For three years now, we’ve camped out at the same spot to watch the display that culminates the Sinulog festival. It’s not the easiest location to get to because of the crowds and the traffic, but we persevere. I have a love-hate relationship with my social anxieties, so I often have to will myself to get there. But it’s not as hard because I do love Susan so much more.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday. 

Day 104 to 106 – 365

Taking Things into Your Own Hands. Susan and I have an old car that we bought from her relative. It was a steal. But like most old cars, it would break down every now and then. We try to minimize that from happening by taking it to an auto shop for checkup and maintenance every month or so. I try to help however I can by doing minor repairs every now and then. If I can understand what it says in the manual, I’d give it a try. I’m not a car guy. I’m actually more interested in photographing tools than using them.

Happy to be Wrong. I was waiting for Susan at a nearby mall when I happened upon this scene. I thought I had spotted a funnel creeping down to the ground from a storm cloud. I watched the scene unfold and came to the conclusion that it could’ve just been a part of the cloud trailing off as a result of the wind. I couldn’t be any happier to be wrong.

The Show. A group of kids of various ages, from pre-schoolers to teens, had their music recital. It was inspiring to see them put their love for their craft on display. Even if the audience consisted mostly of their families, I believe it’s a big thing to show your support when your child shows an interest in the arts.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday.

Day 101 to 103 – 365

Keeping Focus. I made this picture because I got bored at a research group meeting. Speaking of which, it’s ironic that photography has become the more stable occupation for me over the past few months compared to the issue-riddled bureaucracy of government-funded research that is my day job. Prints and photography commissions clothed and fed me while I attended to research assistant duties. I think we really need to rethink and revise the phrase starving artist.

As Simple as Soup. On one of those stretch of days where it seems like the weather is training for a rain marathon, it becomes a little harder to go out and shoot pictures. It’s also a pity if you’re stuck at home and you haven’t done any groceries yet because ordering food from any place is a crapshoot. I decided to make do with what I had. I made chicken noodle soup for lunch, which I shot for my picture for the day before I ate it.

Trading 3D for 2D. The mascots in the picture are Jollibee (the red and yellow striped bee), from the popular chain of fast food restaurants of the same name, and his(?) friends. They were there to open a circus-themed mall event — a short dance number followed by a few games. Quite a crowd gathered, and almost immediately everyone had their phones out either taking pictures (and selfies, of course) and shooting video. I too took a few shots with my camera, but proceeded to watch the rest of the show after a few clicks. Upon reviewing the pictures at home, I found out that most people were actually viewing the event on the small screen instead of just moving their eyes a few inches up so they could see the real thing transpire in front of them. I understand the need to preserve memories and have a visual memento to share with others, but don’t deprive yourself of the full experience by having your phone constantly in front of your face.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday.

Day 100 – 365

The Day Jesus was Born. How apt that my 100th picture would be about the birthday of one of the most important men in my life – my father, Jesus. Instead of the usual dinner out with the family, Susan and I thought that we’d change things up a bit. In a previous post, I talked about my father’s love for music and singing, which is why we treated him to dinner and videoke. The smile on my pop’s face after his party was priceless.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday. 

Day 97 to 99 – 365

Digital Film Roll Project (2 of 10). Counting shrimp. Each one as small as a period on a newspaper. Multiple trials. Hundreds of shrimp. This task takes patience and perseverance, and is not for the easily vexed. Thes-is chemistry.

Refraction. Just like light passing through two different media. The message behind a photograph can be skewed either by the perspective of its creator or that of its viewer. I think that photography can’t fully capture the essence or truth of a person, an object or event; but rather only the photographer’s point of view.

PusoThe hanging rice of Cebu. It’s not a wonder of the modern culinary world, but it holds a special place in the hearts of the people of this island. Eating warm rice served straight from the pot is good, but nothing beats the portability of puso. In my early years at university, we’d eat our lunch during the commute, something that was made possible by this beautifully packaged carb.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday.

Day 94 to 96 – 365

A Better Vantage Point. I’ve been to the Cebu Yacht Club a number of times and have shot a fair amount of pictures while I was there. On my last visit, however, Susan and I discovered a newly-opened restaurant with a roof deck. Among the food places there, we couldn’t really say that its food or service was better, but I had to admit that they did offer a better vantage point.

Revisiting Old Haunts. From trying out a new restaurant to revisiting an old one, Reel Pizza at J Centre Mall offered up new menu items and did not disappoint. Susan and I agreed that it’s going back on the list of our go-to food places, and that we shouldn’t eat out this much.

Digital Film Roll Project. This is a project within a project, and definitely one that deserves its own post. But as a primer, the goal is to shoot portraits of 10 different people using only 24 shots with the same lens (24 mm) while keeping the following camera settings fixed: ISO, white balance, and JPEG film simulation. Each subject gets two shots, but I’ve set aside an extra 4 for safety. The photo of Ethan above is the JPEG generated by the camera exported for the web without additional processing done on it.

*For this photo-a-day project, I will be posting thrice a week. Photos shot from Monday to Wednesday will be posted on Thursday, photos from Thursday to Saturday will be up by Sunday, and my selection from Sunday will be posted on a Monday.