Friday, April 20, 2012

My entry made it to the Longlist of Benjamin Arthur's Wednesday's B&W Challenge

There were so many great entries in Benjamin Arthur's Daily Photography Genre Challenge that it was really a great honor to be included in the Longlists for each day's theme.

And on Wednesday's B&W Challenge, I was privileged to be part of that list! :)

Here's my entry, "King & Queen in Shades of Grey":

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My entry was selected as one of the Top 14 Finalists for the "Sunset" Theme by The Galing Photographer Facebook Group

Last Saturday, as I was browsing facebook, I got a surprise from The Galing Photographer group since my entry was selected as one of the Top 14 Finalists for the Sunset Theme. It was an honor to have been selected! Thanks TGP! :)

Here's my entry:

TGP - Entry - Sunset Theme by {israelv}
TGP - Entry - Sunset Theme, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Manila Mini-Photowalk: Carriedo Fountain

My wife and I waited for the bus that would take us to Vito Cruz. As we waited, we saw the Carriedo Fountain just in front of us so I took out my cam and took some shots. Sadly, the Fountain has been damaged by acid rain and badly in need of restoration.

Here are some of the shots I took:

Carriedo Fountain by {israelv}
Carriedo Fountain, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Here's a close-up of the female sculptures in the upper part of the Carriedo Fountain:

Carriedo Fountain by {israelv}
Carriedo Fountain, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Finally, I zoomed in on the figures of children under the lower part of the Carriedo Fountain. You could still clearly make out the embossed names of Carriedo and Manila (1878-1884) near the base.

Carriedo Fountain by {israelv}
Carriedo Fountain, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Since I no longer had time to change to my kit lens, I was unable to take a complete shot of the Carriedo Fountain. So I again dug into my archives and found this picture from our photowalk two years ago. It looked much better in 2010 than its current condition. Hopefully they would restore it to its former glory.

Carriedo Fountain by {israelv}
Carriedo Fountain, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
I'm much curious about the Carriedo Fountain and after googling for it I was able to found this much, much older picture in its original location at Sampaloc, Manila (Credit goes to the original poster). It's amazing that it looks exactly the same now as it did back then. For more info regarding its history you can check out this link:

Carriedo Fountain, July 18, 1882

Our bus finally arrived after a few more minutes. We said goodbye to the Fountain, hopped in the bus and appreciatively savored the cool A/C after being subjected to the extreme heat outside. And that concludes our impromptu, Manila Mini-Photowalk.

Manila Mini-Photowalk: Old Monte de Piedad Bldg.

My wife and I finally found the store of the eBay seller at Ongpin. I paid for my Lego Toy Story figure and prepared to walk back to Carriedo until my wife decided to first buy some authentic fried siopao. Because we were already there and it was already a long time since we last had one, we bought several. As we walked back to Carriedo, I saw the old Monte de Piedad Bldg. again with its old creepy-looking sculptures. Sadly, it had fallen badly to neglect. I could just imagine this building during its heyday.

Here are some shots of the sculptures. This first one is an eagle on its perch. Check out the detail. Sadly, they don't make buildings like these anymore in Manila.

Old Monte de Piedad Bldg. by {israelv}
Old Monte de Piedad Bldg., a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
I'm not sure who this next guy is. Might be a wealthy Spanish government official. To me, it somewhat resembled Shakespeare. Might be due to the ruffled collar.

Old Monte de Piedad Bldg. by {israelv}
Old Monte de Piedad Bldg., a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Here's another stern-looking fellow. I'm guessing that this one could be a Spanish banker due to his headdress which is somewhat similar to the ones worn by the Medicis of Florence. But again, just a wild guess. The inscriptions to identify these persons might be long gone.

Old Monte de Piedad Bldg. by {israelv}
Old Monte de Piedad Bldg., a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Lastly, here's another eagle. It looked similar from the eagle in the first picture. In fact, there are several similar looking eagle sculptures around the top of the building.

Old Monte de Piedad Bldg. by {israelv}
Old Monte de Piedad Bldg., a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Unfortunately I was unable to take a shot of the complete building since I had my 200 mm lens on and I have no time to change back to my kit lens. But fortunately, upon searching my archives, I discovered that I already had a nice shot of the exterior of the building from my very first photowalk way, way back in 2010. 

Here's the shot:

Old Monte de Piedad Bldg. by {israelv}
Old Monte de Piedad Bldg., a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Actually, when my wife saw this, she so graciously reminded me that it was she who took this picture. So thanks Hun! :)

In the next post: More sculptures but this time on a fountain in Carriedo. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back-to-Back Citations!

It was a very hot day and my wife and I were having dinner at Pizza Hut. We were exhausted due to the extreme heat. As we waited for our order, I checked facebook on my iPod touch. There were a lot of notifications. Upon reading them, I happily informed my wife that we both made it to the shortlist of The Galing Photographers Amazing Bokeh Theme. My wife shouted for joy while I stomped my hand on the table so hard that others from a nearby table stared at us.

Here are our entries:

Some time later, as we continued to eat our pasta, we checked our facebook and my wife got the nicest surprise of all when she learned that her entry won the "Amazing Bokeh" Theme!!!  At the same time, my entry made it as the First Runner-up.  So we ended up celebrating both our wins! :)

Here's the entry of my wife:
<to follow>

Here's my entry (the one in the left which I entitled "Hanging by a Thread"):

But wait there's more! My wife yet informed me that another entry of mine made it to the Longlist of Benjamin Arthur's Daily Photography Genre Challenge for Thursday's NATURE Challenge! :)

Here's the Longlist:

And here's "Sammy the Turtle", my entry:

Manila Mini-Photowalk: BPI (formerly Prudential Bank) Bldg.

If you want to see ancient Greek architecture in Manila then look no further than the BPI (formerly Prudential Bank) Bldg. in Sta. Cruz, Manila. It has excellent Ionic columns complete with several sculptures plus a working clock.

Here's a shot I took right after shooting Plaza Lacson:

And here's a much closer look. Check out the details on those sculptures. Amazing!

In the next post: More sculpture goodness at another old structure, the Monte de Piedad Bldg.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Manila Mini-Photowalk: Plaza Lacson

Last Monday, I would need to meet-up with an eBay seller from Ongpin since I'm buying  a Lego Toy Story from him. My wife and I took the LRT to Carriedo Station and walked all the way to Ongpin. On the way there we saw Plaza Lacson and my wife reminded me that I have always wanted to take a picture of Arsenio Lacson's monument. I agreed and so right there and then we had a Manila Mini-Photowalk since we saw other subjects that are worthy to be shot.

Here are some of my Plaza Lacson pictures. Actually, Plaza Lacson looked much better during the administration of Mayor Lito Atienza. He transformed Sta. Cruz into a large public plaza complete with benches, lamps, food stalls selling inexpensive food and cobblestone streets. Sta. Cruz was very clean during that time. Our one big regret is our inability to capture this scene on cam. Sadly, after Mayor Lim took over, he removed all these beautification projects and now Sta. Cruz is back to its former messy self :(

Plaza Lacson by {israelv}
Plaza Lacson, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
I hate those big billboards! They ruin the significance of the monument of an important figure in Manila history:

Plaza Lacson by {israelv}
Plaza Lacson, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
Here's Mayor Lacson with the LRT Carriedo Station in the background:

Plaza Lacson by {israelv}
Plaza Lacson, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
This sculpture had managed to capture the machismo of the late Mayor Lacson:

Plaza Lacson by {israelv}
Plaza Lacson, a photo by {israelv} on Flickr.
In the next post: Greek Architecture in a BPI (formerly Prudential Bank) Bldg.

Hanging Out at Harbour Square: Setting of the Sun

The sunset has a magical quality to it that attracts people from all walks of life. Most of the persons at Harbour Square are always waiting for this magical moment. And we were not the exception.

Upon noticing the golden hour, I scrambled out of Starbucks with my camera and tripod in tow hoping to capture that fleeting moment. I was not disappointed.

Here are some of them:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hanging Out at Harbour Square: Instagram Snapshots

Last Monday, after a mini-Photowalk of Manila, my wife and I just hung out at Starbucks, Harbour Square for some badly-needed R&R. We just sat, read newspapers, browsed the Web, watched TV, read eBooks, etc., while slowly sipping our Starbucks drinks. We also brought our cameras so we could take shots of the setting sun later on. I also brought my Lego Star Wars figures for some quick Instagram snapshots:

Earlier we've also met with the eBay seller to buy this Lego Toy Story figures. Another Instagram snapshot is in order:

Coming up in the next post: Sunset Shots... :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Light of the Moon

Finally, my photographic goal for the Holy Week holiday was achieved! A week ago, I planned to get a shot of the full moon. I even added the Phases of the Moon Calendar on my GMail so I could know when the moon would be full. Based on the Calendar, there would be a full moon on the 7th of April. But I noticed that the moon was already full on the 6th so I took out my gear and tried to take a picture. Here's the result:

I'm so happy to have finally taken a shot of our Mother Earth's nearest celestial neighbor. Next time, I would also like to take a shot of the moon while the sky is still blue before the sun sets. Last week I saw this scene but sadly, I didn't have my camera with me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Instagram for Android: Finally!!!

After waiting for what seems like an eternity, the app that changed mobile phone photography has finally arrived for Android devices. Get ready for Instagram for Android. Download it now at

Here's my first ever post using my GALAXY mini Android phone (I used to transfer pictures on my iPod touch via Dropbox so I can upload them to Instagram and it sure was a hassle!):

Thanks to the Instagram developers for porting this excellent app over to Android!!! :)

BTW, this will in no way stop me from using Lightbox since I love the community built around Lightbox, plus  I also have a wonderful photoblog at (pardon the shameless plugging!) and I enjoy using the cool filters of their Android app. For me Lightbox and Instagram actually supplement each other. If I feel like using the square format then I would go for Instagram. If I wanted to post in the traditional format then I would go for Lightbox. In the end, either we use Instagram or Lighbox, the photographers in all of us would end up being winners.

My entry placed 6th in the Nikon Club Philippines Photo of the Month for Mar. 2012!!!

Finally the winning entries for March PotM has been posted in the official Nikon Club Phil. forum and I now know which of my entry made it to 6th place :)

  • NCP PotM February Theme: Happy Pinoy

It was actually my wife, Lei, who spotted these children during our field service. Their smiles really captured the essence of the theme for March. Well, except maybe for that one little frowning kid at the corner :)

For the other winners, you can check it out here:

Next month's theme: Creative Shadows

Monday, April 2, 2012

So happy to have reached 7000 pageviews!!!

Upon checking my blogger page this morning I was so happy to see a round number.  Thanks to everyone for my 7,000 all-time history pageviews!!!

Or should I have waited for 7,100 pageviews before having a shout out? :)

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