Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fun Photoshoot

After several months have passed since I joined a Fun Photoshoot with our fellow Nikonians, I've finally found the time to post-process two of the pictures that I've shot during that event. My schedule had been hectic so I really took advantage of my vacation time to finally do this. So here they are, my newbie attempts at post-processing. Thanks to our mentor, Abog Mola Cruz, for teaching us this technique.

Azalea by israelv
Azalea, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
Kacey by israelv
Kacey, a photo by israelv on Flickr.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Dark Knight will Rise

Finally, after waiting for a long time, my weeklong vacation has arrived! What better way to start than to post a picture of one of my Batman action figures. Actually I've taken this picture months ago but it was only today that I had time to do some post-processing. Hopefully I could take advantage of this vacation to take pictures of my other Batman and Revoltech collections.

The Dark Knight will Rise by israelv
The Dark Knight will Rise, a photo by israelv on Flickr.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

At The Philippine Blog Awards 2011: Photobooths & Memories

Finally, after endless busy days, I was able to sit down and blog about The Philippine Blog Awards night. Initially I had my reservations about attending the event but my wife Lei convinced me that we should go. Later I was also contacted by my friend, and fellow Finalist, Ry if we were attending and that sealed the deal.

So after Lei and I attended a wedding early in the morning, we just rested for an hour and off we went. We took a cab from the LRT so we won't be late. But still, we arrived 30 minutes later. We met Ry on the third floor as he was getting ready and together we headed for the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium. As we entered the fourth floor, bloggers from all walks of life greeted us. We were impressed that TV5 and Smart were sponsoring the event. It felt surreal that we were there. Upon noticing the photobooth, we were immediately pulled towards it and eventually we were posing to our hearts' content :)

Later, Ry pointed out that there were some familiar faces in the crowd. Some of them were Lawson peeps.

We soon got hungry and we were quite disappointed that they were only serving pichi-pichi. Where's the BBQ? Where's the pancit? Where's the spaghetti? We thought that we were getting a full dinner :) #WishfulThinking

Anyways, we ate the pichi-pichi, which was so mouthwatering, that we eventually noticed that no drinks or even water were served. So Ry & I went to 711 to buy drinks while Lei waited in the auditorium. BTW, something funny happened as we went back to the auditorium and I am sure that Ry would blog about it so check it out at his blog at RyRamos.com.

All was quiet inside the auditorium upon entering since we were early and only few were around. So we decided to take advantage of the situation and Lei took pictures of Ry and I with the stage as our background.

We got excited as the program started. The thrill of the night was when we saw the URLs of  our blogs being flashed on the big screen as the names of the Finalists for each categories were announced. Although we didn't win, we still felt like winners since it was clarified that the Finalists were chosen among several nominees after passing certain criteria.

It was truly a great night for bloggers and a great night for us. As the evening winded down, our inspiration was at an all-time high and we can't help but think that maybe next year, who knows, we might win one of those trophies! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

At The Philippine Blog Awards 2011: Teaser

The Philippine Blog Awards by israelv
The Philippine Blog Awards, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
Just got home after attending The Philippine Blog Awards with my wife Lei and my blogger friend Ry (RyRamos.com), who was also a Finalist for the Travel category. It was a tiring day after also attending two weddings but it was a great day nonetheless. I'm so sleepy now but I would just like to share my reactions to the Awards night. Even though I ended up not among the winners' circle, I still feel like a winner after being chosen as one of the Finalists for the Photoblog Category for both the National and Luzon levels.  Seeing my URL displayed on the big screen twice at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium brought goosebumps. For me, that alone is worth it!  We were all inspired as the various blogs were displayed and the winners were announced and even my wife was invigorated to resurrect her blog.

So kudos to the organizers and more power to all the bloggers out there! More pix and more updates in the next post. For now, it's sleeptime for me.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lightbox for Android: Over the Bridge

After the wedding, we explored The Oasis and I found this cute little bridge which was just begging to have its picture taken.

Over the Bridge by israelv
Over the Bridge, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
Sources: http://lightbox.com/nvB1Vuvhttp://israelv.lightbox.com

Lightbox for Android: Lights from above

My wife and I attended the wedding of their cousin at The Oasis and this centerpiece attracted my attention. From that point onwards, we made sure that all our pictures have that as part of the background.

Lights from above by israelv
Lights from above, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
Sources: http://lightbox.com/m4ftgFLhttp://israelv.lightbox.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lightbox for Android: The light at the end of the tunnel...

It was raining and the LRT was slow as usual. So out of boredom I took this picture:

Sources: http://lightbox.com/ecG6eEBhttp://israelv.lightbox.com

Pix n' Toys is a Finalist for Photoblog Category in The Philippine Blog Awards

Imagine my surprise when I receive the following message in my e-mail:
Congratulations! Your blog http://www.pixntoys.blogspot.com/  is a finalist for the Photo Blog Category at the 2011 (Luzon) Philippine Blog Awards. We would like to invite you to the awards ceremony on the 3rd of December 2011, 6 pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, Ayala corner Buendia Makati City. As a finalist, you are advised to prepare a short two minute acceptance speech. If you are unavailable to attend, you can send a representative on your behalf. There will also be special raffle for finalists during the Awards night. You or your representative must be present to claim their raffle prize.
Wow! I can't believe that my photoblog is one of the finalists. To be included is such a big honor in itself! Can't wait for the results during Awards night this coming Dec. 3rd.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I placed 12th in the Nikon Club Philippines Photo of the Month for November 2011

I could not believe that the Nikon Club Philippines Photo of the Month photo contest had concluded and a friend of ours had already made it as the Photographer of the Year (Congrats Annidy!).

I can still remember last February like it was yesterday as I nervously sent my first three entries to the photo contest. During that time I was happy just to be able to participate since it was my first time to participate in any photo contests. But I never made it to the Top 10 until June when I placed 3rd for my Oblation picture entry. I was happy and getting confident about my photography! :)

Then in July two of my entries placed 5th and 16th. Not bad. August was not a good month for me since none of my entries made it to the Top 20.  In September, I'm back in the Top 10 as my Flaming Chef picture entry made it to 7th place. Last month in October I was back among the top when my Identical Notebooks picture entry made it to 3rd place and my Identical Spam Meals picture entry made it to 18th place. My last entry for the year didn't finish as strong as I wanted to but at least I still made it to the top 20 :)

Here's the theme for November:
November Theme: Sound of Silence
Description: none
And that's a wrap. I would work more on my photography and who knows, I might be able to win that elusive first prize next year! :)

Thanks again to Nikon Club Philippines and congratulations on a successful year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Entries to 11 Eleven Project

Last night was the deadline for the submission of entries for the 11 Eleven Project.  So even though my right arm is still aching from playing bowling, I still processed the pictures that I took last 11/11/11, uploaded them to flickr then finally submitted the form at http://11elevenproject.com

I entitled my series of pictures as Happy Weekend and I described them as pictures I took as I left the office on a Friday night on the way to a relaxing dinner.

Here are the series of shots. My first shot is a close-up of the F11 function key. Since it was 11/11/11 so I took a picture of a key with 11 on it.

F11 by israelv
F11, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
As I left my office, I said goodbye to the tools of my trade:

Tools of my Trade by israelv
Tools of my Trade, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
It was a bumpy ride on the way to the restaurant:

Bumpy Bus Ride by israelv
Bumpy Bus Ride, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
But in the end, it was all worth it since I had a sumptuous dinner plus a refreshing drink as I relax for the weekend!

Dinner+R&R by israelv
Dinner+R&R, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
So that's all. It's not much but I still hope to make it to the official 11 Eleven Project coffee table book! :)

Lightbox for Android: Team Bowling!

Here's my first Lightbox shot.  We had a team bowling tournament yesterday so I took a shot of the bowling lanes. BTW, our team won! :)

Lightbox for Android

I love Instagram for my iPod touch but I can't stand the hassle of taking pictures using my Android phone then transferring them to my iPod touch via Dropbox. So I searched for an Instagram alternative on Android. Until I discovered the free Lightbox for Android app (Download via Android Market here).

After checking its features, I found it to my liking so I signed up right away. I'll post my Lightbox pictures in my next posts.

Check out My Lightbox here: http://israelv.lightbox.com/

Monday, November 21, 2011

Scott Kelby's Fourth Annual Worldwide Photowalk: Intramuros, Manila (Picture Set #3)

Walking along, we stumbled upon the cobblestones of Real Street which really brings you back to Spanish times. You could just imagine hearing the old horse carriages with their Spanish passengers as they noisily trod along this street way back three centuries ago. For a history buff like me, this is bliss! :)

Silent Street by israelv
Silent Street, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
My wife suddenly caught sight of something on the old cobblestones and took a picture of it. An equally curious lad looked on.

What are you looking at? by israelv
What are you looking at?, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
As the time for our Photowalk winded down, we decided to head back to our rendezvous point at Casa Rocha. Along the road to Palacio del Gobernador, we saw this queue of calesas which were just begging to be shot.

Calesa Row by israelv
Calesa Row, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
Thus ended our first participation in a Scott Kelby Photowalk. Even though the typhoon was unkind to us, we were glad that we still pushed through and participated since in the end it was all worth it! Can't wait for next year.

FYI: For the first two sets of pictures, please check them out here and here.

Scott Kelby's Fourth Annual Worldwide Photowalk: Intramuros, Manila (Picture Set #2)

As my wife and I bravely press on, enduring the never-ending rain and the ticking clock (we only have less than an hour left for our Photowalk), we discovered this creepy-looking garden.

Creepy Garden by israelv
Creepy Garden, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
But amidst all this creepiness was a very moving and touching monument. It was called the Memorare and it is dedicated to all the innocent victims during The Battle of Manila in 1945.  The monument was excellently done and you could almost feel the anguish and weariness of the depicted victims. My wife actually was uncomfortable while viewing this.

Memorare Monument by israelv
Memorare Monument, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
So we left this solemn scene and moved on to other subjects to lighten the mood. We caught site of this cochero and calesa at the edge of the garden and we took shots of them.

Calesa & Cochero by israelv
Calesa & Cochero, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
Next and final stop, Real Street.

FYI: For the first set of pictures, please check out the first post here.

Scott Kelby's Fourth Annual Worldwide Photowalk: Intramuros, Manila (Picture Set #1)

Finally, I've managed to find some time to post-process and upload my pictures during the Scott Kelby Photowalk. I've been so busy for the past weeks that I'm already tired when I get home.

Here's our first stop during our Photowalk in Intramuros -- the Palacio del Gobernador.  This is the residence and office of the Governor General during the Spanish occupation of Manila. It now houses government offices and the Intramuros Administration.

Palacio del Gobernador by israelv
Palacio del Gobernador, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
Next, I've taken a picture of a statue which I later identified as King Carlos IV of Spain located in Plaza Roma in front of the Manila Cathedral. It was still raining so it's very difficult to take pictures while at the same time holding an umbrella to prevent my camera from getting wet.

King Carlos IV, Plaza Roma by israelv
King Carlos IV, Plaza Roma, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
This next structure I cannot identify. I don't know its use or  purpose. But it looks cool as a subject so I took a picture of it. Maybe someone can identify this for me?

Unknown by israelv
Unknown, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
More pix in the next post!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Signed up and Ready for 11ElevenProject

I've just signed up to participate in the 11ElevenProject by submitting photographs that I will take today, the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 2011. It's a fun event on this special day and who knows, my pictures might make it to the planned coffee table book for this project.

If you're interested to sign-up then hurry on to http://11elevenproject.com and you still have time before 11/11/11 ends at midnight tonight.

There are several ways to participate and Photography is just one of them. With regards to Photography check out this link for more info: http://11elevenproject.com/en/participate/photographers/

BTW, here are the 11 topics that you can choose as photography subjects:

So what are you waiting for? Grab those cameras and start shooting! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I placed 3rd in the Nikon Club Philippines Photo of the Month for October 2011

NCP PotM Oct. 2011 - 3rd Place by israelv
NCP PotM Oct. 2011 - 3rd Place, a photo by israelv on Flickr.
I'm happy and surprised to have placed 3rd in the NCP PotM last October. This is a picture I took of scrapbooks that I placed on top of each other in the lobby of The Mabuhay Manor. My wife and I just had our free breakfast and while resting I took some shots of several items in the lobby.

Here's the theme for October:
October Theme: Seeing double
Description: Photo of two identical subjects.
BTW, in addition to placing 3rd, I was again glad to learn that another entry of mine made it to the Top 20. This is a picture of two orders of our favorite dish at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel branch of Mr. Donuts -- the Spam combo meal. So my wife and I were able to eat our favorite meal plus its picture placed 18th as well. Not bad! :)

NCP PotM Oct. 2011 - 18th Place by israelv
Thanks again to Nikon Club Philippines for hosting this photo contest!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanks Mr. Gilbert Monsanto!

It's great when someone you look up to likes your picture.  And that happened to me when one of my favorite Pinoy comic illustrators, Gilbert Monsanto, liked my 7th place picture entry from the Nikon Club Philippines Photo of the Month for September 2011.

Thanks again Sir Gilbert and more power to Bayan Knights!

Check out Gilbert Monsanto in deviantART: http://gammaknight.deviantart.com/ 
Plus, check out the official site of Bayan Knights: http://bayanknights.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I placed 7th in the Nikon Club Philippines Photo of the Month for September 2011

I'm so happy to learn that one of my entries for the NCP PotM last September was able to place 7th in the photo contest.  This picture of the chef in action was taken at the Sutukil during our Mabuhay Manor photoshoot.  Our Mabuhay Manor photoshoot was really so worth it considering that my wife and I already received two free breakfast buffets and a free P1000 gift certificate at Sutukil which we won for the photo contest held after the photoshoot.

Thanks again to Sir Dingdong Sebastian, the former manager at Mabuhay Manor, for accomodating us and to Allan Benolarao for inviting us in the photoshoot in the first place! :)

BTW, here's last month's theme:
September Theme: At your Service
Description: Portrait of people who serve us everyday.
Finally, thanks again to Nikon Club Philippines for hosting this photo contest!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Scott Kelby's Fourth Annual Worldwide Photowalk: Intramuros, Manila

To go or not to go?  My wife and I had been pondering that question on our minds as the time for Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photowalk neared while at the same time typhoon Quiel intensified.  We thought about how this would be our first participation on an annual event.  So to miss this would mean waiting for a year for the next event.  We also thought about the opportunity of finally having the chance to take shots inside the old walls of Intramuros, which had been our dream ever since we got interested in photography.  Lastly, we thought about the free snacks and drinks that would be served after the Photowalk.  I guess that last item sealed the deal.  We would definitely go, typhoon Quiel or not.

After enduring the LRT, the heavy rains and the taxi ride, we finally arrived at the meeting place at Casa Rocha.  Out of the 50 that originally signed up for the Photowalk only around 14 arrived.  We were quite sad that after waiting for so long to have a chance to shoot Intramuros, we didn't have the optimal conditions for a good photoshoot since the sky was overcast and the rain was continuously pouring which might damage our cameras, not to mention the strong winds that continue to threaten our feeble umbrellas.

But bravely we proceeded.  But alas, as we tried to take our first shots the wind blew so hard that our umbrellas turned inside out.  It was a struggle just to walk against the wind and rain as we tried to seek shelter.  Finally, we entered the nearby Chow King to dry ourselves while we sipped some hot soup.   After waiting it out for some time, we finally decided that it was time to go back.  We only had an hour left in our Photowalk so we had better make good use of it.

Here's just a teaser shot of Real Street inside Intramuros.  More will be posted in the next posts.

Cobblestones of Real Street by israelv
Cobblestones of Real Street, a photo by israelv on Flickr.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Mabuhay Manor: Still Life Photography (Picture Set #2)

Here are the rest of my shots taken inside The Mabuhay Manor:

Bamboo Blinds by {israelv}
Bamboo Blinds, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Inukit by {israelv}
Inukit, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Dama (Filipino Checkers) by {israelv}
Dama (Filipino Checkers), a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
When the wind blows... by {israelv}
When the wind blows..., a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Shell on Straw by {israelv}
Shell on Straw, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Wooden Bird by {israelv}
Wooden Bird, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
That's all folks! My wife and I just can't wait to get back to The Mabuhay Manor!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Mabuhay Manor: Still Life Photography (Picture Set #1)

After a sumptuous and a FREE buffet breakfast which Lei & I won during last April's photoshoot at The Mabuhay Manor, we hung out in the lobby while we waited for the food to settle down. In the meantime, I took out my handy Nikon COOLPIX P300 and took shots of assorted subjects throughout the lobby and also in the Sutukil area.

Here are some of them:

King & Queen by {israelv}
King & Queen, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Tansan (Pato sa Dama) by {israelv}
Tansan (Pato sa Dama), a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Sungka by {israelv}
Sungka, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Beyond the bend... by {israelv}
Beyond the bend..., a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Hanging Headlines by {israelv}
Hanging Headlines, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Scrapbooks by {israelv}
Scrapbooks, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Kid's Play by {israelv}
Kid's Play, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
More pix in the next post! :)
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