Thursday, June 24, 2010

Photography Fridays

... a few weeks ago I blogged about acquiring a new toy - a Sony Alpha 330 DLSR

... and now that I have it - I have to use and practice taking pictures with it right??? right!

... and so begins 'Photography Fridays' - every friday (schedule, weather and social calendar permiting!!) my brother and I (because he is the one who urged me to buy the DLSR) made an agreement to go and visit the most noteworthy places in Abu Dhabi like the Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace, Heritage Village etc etc.

... I have always wanted to visit these places but it is difficult to find someone who shares my passion for going places to appreciate art and architecture, scenery and history and now I have the perfect excuse!! I won't feel like a nuisance for the person tagging along - my brother has to put up with this particular quirk of mine with no qualms because "if not for his urging I won't be buying" so I tell him "no complaining while I go a-shooting!!!" ...

... so heres hoping we DO get to visit all these places on my list and I sincerely hope my brother enjoys Photography Fridays too!!!

clikety click!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

too much skin is in... NOT!!

lately I have observed that expat Abu Dhabi women are fearlessly flaunting their skins - and well their gams, and cleavage and and and....

... one morning a few years ago my friend and I decided to have breakfast at a cafe across the street from the hotel we were staying. We had a  bit of time to spare and as it is we weren't fully dressed for work yet. As we sat down to read the breakfast menu, my friend commented on how 'brave' I was for walking the streets in a skirt with out any stockings on. I was dumbfounded at my friends' observation because it didn't occur to me that I might have been being indecent (my skirt fell below the knees) in this conservative country. Since then I have been mindful of what I wear - drawing the line at sleeveless blouses...

... but nowadays I might as well be called 'manang' (tagalog for old lady) for always wearing pants and long skirts if at all. I really get surprised when I go out and see the expat women of today's Abu Dhabi??!! WHERE IS THE CONSERVATIVE ABU DHABI OF YESTERYEARS!!! women today go out wearing hot shorts and thin strapped tops with cuts down to here.

... fashion they say is a form of expression - no argument about that but when you belong to a nationality which are most often than not stereotyped into - something I don't even want to mention here we have to watch what we say and do and yes wear. While I have no authority or right to tell women - specially our kabayans what to wear, I wish they'd tame it a little bit. Just a few hours ago while walking to the grocery I saw one lady in a super hot pants and a very low scooped necline tank top - I mean too much skin is too much. I just hope they'd think about what they are representing even a little bit. By working abroad we - expats, represent our country. Its sad to think that we can not rise above the stereotype and are not getting the respect we deserve because we fall victims of fashion.  Call me a prude, call me old fashioned, call me uptight but I think a few wolf whistles and horn honking isn't the kind of admiration I want.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I fancy myself a photographer

I fancy myself a photographer...

If my memory serves me right, I believe that the every first big purchase I made with my very own money (my school allowance that I had saved) was a film camera. all I wanted to do back then was to somehow 'document' what they say would be the best years of my academic life - high school.

The pictures that I took were nothing special really, just random shots of people, events and places but sometimes a gem of a picture would come up and when it does I do feel proud.

When digital cameras and blogging became popular, I invested in the 'best value for money' digicam I could find and started online journals by posting entries and pictures of family holidays, travel trips, D-I-Y projects, food etc etc.

I upgraded cameras but I can't say if my 'photographing skills' went up a notch too. I just continued to 'point and shoot' with the hopes that the pictures would come out as what I had in mind.

A few months ago while malling, me and my brother saw a bunch of people with large cameras, with long lenses hanging from their necks - the DLSR camera craze had begun! - I never really saw myself buying such camera, I was quite happy with my point and shoot digicam, although sometimes taking night mode pictures can be frustrating.

My brother - the gadget lover, urged me to buy one 'just so'. I was reluctant because for one, those cameras costs a lot and besides I argued 'is there any difference in the photos taken?'  I spend a couple of hours per day for weeks online, checking out these camera's features, reviews and sample shots, everytime we go malling I would stop by the electronics store and stare and hold and test various DLSR to my bothers' annoyance.  In the end I was cajoled into finally deciding to buy by my brother with the argument that I wouldnt enjoy the money I have been saving if I died tomorrow - morbid I know

Deciding to buy was one thing - choosing what model to get was another. And so I again browsed and joined photographer forums asking the pro's for the best entry level DLSR. In the end I settled for a Sony alpha 330. Its less expensive than a Canon or Nikon, and more practical too if I want to build a good lens system over the years as the Sony takes Minolta and Sigma lenses.

And so one day we finally finally decidedly (and hurriedly - lest I back out hahahaha! cheapskate!!) headed out to the elctronics store and purchased a Sony Alpha 330. What a beauty!! :D

Me and my Sony self portrait!!!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

after a day's work

I picked up a copy of Abu Dhabi Week Magazine today as I power walked my way to the office and was quickly browsing the pages when I saw a familiar photo published on page 22 (Through Your Lens section).

It was a picture I took and sent three days ago. It was an unexpected surprise because never had I thought (though I wished ) it would be published and so soon at that. I almost lost footing as I stepped up the curb with my eyes stuck to the magazine - and did I mention I was power walking??? leathal combination that is: power walking while reading LOL!!!

                                After A Day's Work - a still life photo

The picture is a simple still life of a pair of work boots left unattended. I saw these boots one day on my way home from work and felt compelled to take a picture because it evoked in me a feeling of satisfaction and relief for completing another hard day's work - I imagine the owner sighing in relief as he took the boots off, relax his tired feet and cool off with a cold beverage with a smile on his face.

There was nothing fancy about the set-up. No vivid colors, no cool lighting effects, no awesone landscape or architecture - just a pair of work boots...

... what do you see and feel when you look at the picture??

Friday, June 4, 2010

... hoo-hum, humdrum..

... it's been a while since my last post...

... I told a new friend once that I am not a very interesting person. I lead  pretty ordinary life - nothing 'big' ever happens to me - and by 'big' I mean great, unbelievably exciting stuff like winning something in a raffle - heck I have never even won a mug or something less valuable which for sure I will treasure because, well have I ever told you I am a hoarder?? I have a tendency to be but anyways....

... the point is I haven't been updating because I haven't been out and about Abu Dhabi these past few weeks thus the lack of anything interesting to post...

... but I surely will make an effort from today onwards to post at least something once a week. I want to revive my blogging activities and be the frustrated writer that I am - harhar!!