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SELF PORTRAIT


I have taken so many pictures of myself. I took a picture of myself after coming home from a party. If the make up still looked fresh then doubtless it would be my latest Facebook and/or BBM profile picture. If the make up had already faded, then I would call my dermatologist friend and complained about my oily skin (sigh) Those pictures however are not self-portraits, those are proofs of Narcissism.

Then I read about self portrait. And literally, on Christmas eve, ten minutes after reading that article, I decided to give it a try. How difficult is it anyway? Like I said, I have taken a lot of pictures of myself. So there I was, taking out the tripod, picking up which cameras to use, making a concept of the self portrait photo session, taking out clothes to wear.

Now, more than 24 hour after my first trial of self portrait photography I can say that although intriguing and fun, it’s far from easy. I clicked so many (too many?) shots and only get a few good pictures.

Here are ones of them. Which one do you like?

Image

Mirror image.

I can't be without my earrings

Ashtanga yoga

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Dailies, Photography

 

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#3 My soon to be missed architect guy


Note : the series #1-#7 is the introduction to stories about the best friends I met during my high school years. They decorate my life so beautifully and they deserve their own category in this blog

You must know the drill, right? #3 is younger than #2, hence #3.

He’s also a good friend of #1. I met him the first time on that first Sunday in my freshman year in that dark and dreary classroom of the Photography club. He’s so tall and quiet, he gave me the impression of a quirky mysterious guy. He’s a great photographer, he knew all about the basic composition one-third rule, depth of field and all the basic photography theories, I told myself that he actually taught us better than the official photography tutor did.

Surprisingly, I am encountering problem in continuing this article. I thought we were really close during our freshman and junior years but I guess we started to bond during my senior year in high school. He sat behind me throughout that year -there was even a time when we sat side by side for a full week. From that moment, I learned that the first impression was all wrong. He’s not that quirky, not that mysterious. He’s an intriguing guy, a bit vicious in fact (but in a good term, go figure), and we shared loads of laugh since then.

He mentioned swing, Ella, Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick and Dizzy Gillespie. For a 17 year old girl, those are new names and had to be explored. I might have listened to lots of jazzy music in my younger years, but #3 is one who inspired me to really listen and enjoying jazz. He’s one to blame for my jazzy life. Not only we share the same taste in music, we also share the same opinion in TV series and films. During our college years, though miles (and 3 hour drive) apart, we sat quietly in front of our TV to watch Friends (on Sundays) and Ally McBeal (on Mondays). Episodes were discussed over text messages afterward.

A visit to his college city always filled with a private architecture tour in his jeep. Architect is his major passion and it’s one of my most favorite things to be photographed. Over the ride, the conversation was flowing from jazz to TV series, from chicks he liked to guys I flirted with. When staying over at his place, #7 would always interview us late at night (or very early morning) to get some inside scoops about things I can’t write here. My first impression about this guy was once proven right (mysterious quirky guy) when he drove a more than four hour drive from his college to our origin city just to spend a good 2 hour with me before taking me to see my date that Saturday night. Sometimes there are things best to leave unexplained.

He has become the hottest architect in town, and soon to be the hottest one in the region, I have no doubt about it.
I still have millions of things to write here but one has to stop writing when tears are hanging in the corner of one’s eyes.
For some beyond words reasons, he’s the guy I’m going to miss so much very soon.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Le Cirque

 

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#1 My camera-mate / dermatologist


note : The series #1-#7 act as introduction to stories about the best friends I met during my high school years. They decorate my life so beautifully and they deserve their own category in this blog

Age wise, he’s the second oldest (after me) in the gang, so let’s call him #1.
I am not pretty sure when the first time I met this guy. We were not in the same class in the 10th grade. He wasn’t even in any of my class during my high school years. I do remember seeing him on that Sunday in the old ugly classroom. Yes, we were one of the very few members of the photography club.

In my high school, joining this club didn’t mean you had to have your own SLR camera. I didn’t have one and enjoyed my time pretty well until came the hunting time. #1 knew this and generous as he is ever, he shrugged off and non-chalantly said, “Use my camera. We’ll use it together”. So that’s what we did, his were the films with odd numbers, mine were ones with even numbers. We ended up screwing the odd/even numbers arrangement but we had soo much fun. Later, when I published my first photography book, #1 would surely be mentioned.

He’s kind and generous aaand kinda cute that I used to have a tiny crush on him. Tiny maybe, but a crush still. (Un)fortunately (?), the timing was never right though. Whenever I had a boyfriend, he was single, and when he was dating some chicks, I was single. We’re just not meant to be. He knew it, I knew it, every body knew it, we just laughed it all.

He always wanted to be a doctor (he comes from a family of doctors) and he becomes one now! An advantage for us, a bunch of hypochondriac people.
I still see him twice a month for he’s now my dermatologist. And we enjoyed the 1 hour treatment time, where he can talk about anything in this world and me listening, in pain.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Le Cirque

 

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Color me, baby


I love black. I used to wear black all the time. I actually wore black too often that following things happened:
a. People from abroad would buy me something black without further thinking. Imagine that others got colorful Indian sari/Japanese kimono and I got the black one
b. When there was a get together with a dress code, I always found a way to create a “gothic” or “back to basic” theme so I could wear black
c. I could tell the difference between one black to another. For me my Biyan LBD is bluish black while the Mango LBD is charcoal black, for my friends and siblings they’re plain black
d. After spending nights and days in a road trip with friends, one of their girlfriends asked me if I wanted to borrow her top since I only brought one clothing item.
e. Authorities (read : parents) threatened me to pay them back for every black clothing item I purchased.

Not long after getting out from college, I read an interview with one of Hollywood starlets whose closets I love to raid, “wear color that’s opposite to your hair color”. At that moment I had my hair colored burgundy and man it looked pretty unattractive with my black tops/LBD/shirts. I instantly thought of my dad’s color palette. The opposite of red is either yellow or blue. The problem with blue was all my blue clothes are navy-blue, they were almost black. So I opted for yellow. You can say that yellow was my new black.

my LBDs : different black

I didn’t really believe that wearing a certain color could actually affect the mood and how you looked at life. But I have to admit that yellow changed my life. I found myself more optimistic of the unknown future and my gloomy days were gradually over. And unlike black, yellow does actually have a lot of hues, there’s canary yellow; mango yellow; sunshine yellow and other yellows I can’t name. Ah, but you can see lots of yellow in this below picture.

Ain't a mellow color

My love affair with yellow quite ended at the end of 2010. I treated all colors the same since then. I treated them fairly by keeping a journal. In 1 month I have to wear a certain times for certain shades of color. If you think I’m crazy, believe me that you’re not the first one and you’re welcome to think that way.

I still love black. My room is all black, the bed, the closets, the bookshelf, the dressing table. I just color my wardrobe colorful.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Dailies

 

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2011 Surprises : I’m not ready For This


At the end of 2010, I plan to do great things in 2011. I know they will come in my way as I know that the-not-so-good things will be waiting around the corner as well. I hope for the best and always prepare for the worse. Or so I thought but then the unexpected thing happens and I learn that I have never prepared for this.

You see, I am now in a position where I really despise my friend. He is not just any friend. He’s one of my really good friends and we’ve known each other for 12 years. I always look up to him for he’s a great guy (I know I really have to list his good qualities here but I’m already close to tears now).

Anyways, we’ve been through a lot. We both love yoga and meditation and have an ongoing debate on how to do a proper surya namashkar type 2 and do the proper sudarshan kriya. I learn a lot from him, he always has a profound understanding of spiritual things as well on the earthly things. And I introduced him to my other interest: photography.

Over time, he criticizes me on my pictures and at last on my Nikon D40 camera.

This Nikon D40 means a lot to me. This is my 28th birthday present from my (die-hard Canon camera lover) fiancé (he was still my boyfriend at that time) and this is my first DSLR camera. It took me almost a year and more than 5 trips to the camera shop to get it on the right setting. It becomes MY camera and I take a lot of great pictures with it.

Last February my friend looked at my camera in disgust and suggested that I should have my camera professionally cleaned. And despite my wish to only want to have the camera body cleaned, he ordered the technician (and not even a Nikon technician) to clean it inside out. That was the last time I saw my camera in one piece. The technician in that service place did something and my D40 just wouldn’t turn on. When finally they took my camera to Nikon authorized centre, the service charge cost more than a new Nikon camera.

If a shrink sits before me, he’ll ask me how I feel.

I’ll say that I’m sad, upset, and angry. I can’t tell you though if I’m feeling all that because of losing a camera or because I’m saying good bye for a 12 year long friendship.

Some lessons are learned, though.

I should never expect other people to know me and I learn that no matter how you think you’ve prepared for bad news, you can never be ready to part with something you really treasure. I know I’m not.

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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Dailies

 

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Snail Mail and us


Hm, I really can’t remember when was the last time I received a hand-written letter via snail mail and I can’t remember when the last time I sent one was.

But I remember the last postcard I received. It was just days before Christmas last year and it has a picturesque view of Volcan de Fuego of Guetamala on it. That postcard took almost 2 months to arrive. The sender – my fiancé- had been already back home when I got it.

Postcard from Guatemala

I also remember the last postcard I sent out to my fiancé. I sent it a few weeks back from a pretty busy post office in Singapore. The postcard has a picture of some Buddhist temple at the Chinatown on it. I wrote “In Singapore on this weekend” on the top of my usual “wish you were here, Baby” there. I didn’t seal that postcard with a kiss though. It would’ve looked so weird in front of those post office people if I’ve done that.

Yes, we’re one of the rare couples who still send snail mail to each other.

You see, there are thousands of miles separating us and we live by the Long Distance Relationship golden rule: Communication is the grand-daddy of any relationship. So we talk on the phone a lot when we’re at home (by ‘home’, I mean he’s there at his and I’m at mine), text a lot (thanks to the nerds who invent BlackBerry Messenger), send postcards when we’re travelling and send mushy Hallmark greeting cards celebrating our important days.

Sending postcards is not popular these days. More than once, I’ve gotten this strange look from my friends who happen to be with me in a bookstore overseas. “Postcard, really? Why don’t you just send emails from that smart phone of yours?” is a question I’ve heard too many times. And believe it or not, unlike bookstores here, not every bookstore sells postcards in most Asian countries. I have to spend some good time browsing for places that sell them. I usually have to go to those tiny book stores at the train station or at the airports.

Last October when I was in Bali, I was too busy taking pictures to send him a postcard. I sent him by email my photo of picturesque view of Balinese paddy field and wrote that I took great photos that day. He seemed to be okay with it and I thought I had found a perfect way to still send him “postcards” online.
But then came December, a postman hand-delivered my fiancé’s postcard from Guatemala to my office. Oh, to hold that piece of postcard that was once carefully picked out, carefully written, and lovingly sent by my fiancé I made a promise to myself to always send him snail mail when I was away.

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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty

 

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Spending $ 1000 in an hour?


That’s easy.

Nikon DoF Old Skool Lens Cap

I’d go to the nearest mall 10 minutes away from here and head to the camera store. I’d buy a Nikon lens that I’ve been dreaming about.

Geez, i can’t believe I just spent $1000 in 25 minutes.

It would have taken longer if I had headed to the shoe store.

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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Dailies

 

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