January 31, 2011

I ate the weekend away

January 29, 2011

Lazy Friday


January 28, 2011

Steve Beguhn American Idol

I used to be a huge fan of American Idol but for me after that amazing season with the David's the show just went downhill from there. I was sick of the judges and I was sick of the way they wanted every singer to sound kind of weird. So with Simon gone I thought this season would be it for American Idol. Then I watched the audition videos. I love watching the audition videos because the voices are raw and you see all sorts of talent. So take a handful of talent, add a dash of Steven Tyler and even a pinch of Jennifer Lopez to the mix and you've got a fresh take on the show. They even show you moments like these, when Certified Public Accountants like Steve Beguhn, age 27, finally get the chance to live their dreams. I'm a huge fan of academics and math people, but I'm sure at one point or another they envision themselves doing something -- different. I really hope Steve Beguhn makes it all the way to the Top 12. If not, I hope he'll start singing part-time during occasions other than weddings and funerals coz he's got talent.

Visit Steve Beguhn's Facebook page and "Like" him here
For updates on Idol, I really love reading this blog.
If the video has expired, you can click here.

Video courtesy of You Tube.

January 27, 2011

Another Snowday!

In around February last year, Snowmageddon hit the mid-Atlantic and I was stranded at home for a week. We had about 30 inches of snow and cars and houses were literally buried in the stuff. This year, a wave of several consecutive snowstorms hit the US and the wave has finally reached the mid-Atlantic, causing panic to breakout among many residents.

I personally think snow is beautiful. And as long as my building doesn't lose power, I don't mind staying in for another week. Anything more than that would make me neurotic though.

Pictures were taken using the Instagram application for iPhone. A wonderful creation.

All images (c)brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com.

January 24, 2011

I miss the family dogs!

This pug isn't my dog, but she's cute anyway. Her owner brought her to class one day and she [pug] slept on one of the tables.

I've always had trouble using a point and shoot to take pictures of animals coz they move around a lot.
So this shot was taken with a borrowed Canon EOS 7D + 18-55mm lens.


American Apples

America has some of the best looking apples I've ever seen. I love going grocery shopping and picking from all the plump, juicy and colorful options. As you can probably guess, I restocked my fridge today.


January 23, 2011

Princeton, NJ Christmas Card


To Princeton University Students: Here's to your Future!


Princeton University - the home of Physicists!

Ok, maybe it's not "the home of physicists"... Didn't really do extensive research about the school. I was just in awe to be visiting the campus. I've seen four Ivy League schools so far and although Stanford takes the cake, Princeton is a very close second. For some light reading about Princeton, click here. And for a list of Princeton's distinguished graduates, click here. One of them is actually a well known Filipino economist.

These pictures were taken on Black Friday. I've only now had the chance to edit and upload them.

Words of Wisdom from John Carey

"I have found that I am easily able to capture the photos I always wanted to take with my 5D. Impressive shots of things that I see around me. The beauty of every day life captured in perfect detail. It has become so routine for me that I grow more and more weary of shooting this way. Part of the reason for this is simply because I am not at all unique when I go out and shoot a gorgeous photo of a coffee cup surrounded by big balls of out of focus light (that precious bokeh that amateur photographers have become so enthralled by).

Heres a little secret. Shallow depth of field does not always make for an interesting photo. Nor is the perfect exposure or the perfect focus. It all comes down to understanding the rules and basic concepts within photography enough to capture an image that tells the viewer the story that you are capturing. If you are just snapping a photo to remember a moment you lived to share with others then just aim and shoot but if you want to take it a step further then try to imagine why you are shooting what you are shooting. Think about how best to approach the subject and use what you know about your camera and how to use it to capture what you are feeling so the people you want to see it will feel what you felt when you saw it. It’s certainly not the key to taking nothing but amazing photos but its something to consider.

Like any art form, to find your way to a place where you are creating art that is more meaningful than your average photo of a beautiful sunset you have to discover something beyond simply searching for the defined perception of beauty. Painters, sculptors, and other such artists distort reality and time to create from their imagination or using fragments of reality and using their medium to bend reality into an alternate meaning or feeling but photographers are tied down by reality and being in a form of art so grounded in reality it can be hard to find your way to something unique that is able to pull at others emotions.

Knowing this I think that as you come across a moment or object that you see as beautiful, before you shoot, think about what your looking at. If not for just one extra second to question your motive in shooting it and how you will shoot it. Do you really feel something for this subject or are you shooting it because you thought the rest of the world would relate to it and pat you on the back for taking the photo?

I guess what I’m trying to say is shoot from the heart. Don’t let others define you as a photographer.

I started out writing this part of the article in hopes to discuss my approach to photography overall but quickly realized that they are just as confusing as they are useful in a way. I think the biggest point I wanted to make was that if i see your soul in an image I tend to enjoy it more. Not in an obvious overconcieved poetic way but in a realistic way. A subtle way that shows me that you were shooting not simply to create some grand poetic statement but shooting because you feel something for what you have captured. I suppose I am a fan of subtle photography and this may not be for everyone but still, many of these ideas remain true for anyone taking photos.

Just remember that every aspect of a photo is a means to convey a feeling or the emotion in the moment you captured it and in this vein of thought you should consider why you are composing it the way you are, why you are shooting it with the camera you are using, how you will present it to the world (printed, online, etc.), and these sorts of ideas because a photo of a peaceful moment where you are capturing the beautiful light of the sun coming through a window is just that, yet another photo of a beautifully lit moment, but try looking closer at what you are shooting, try look through it. Is there something else that means anything to you outside of the fact that its just another pretty photo that will grab a few more views of your photo stream on flickr? I can admit I don’t always adhere to these ideas and often I will shoot something beautiful just for the sake of it. May as well admit to it, I’m certainly not perfect.

If you take nothing away from reading this please at least recognize the photos you take are very much capable of being something special and you should have confidence at least in the fact that you are capturing something that no one else has or ever will capture when you press that shutter release and when that moment does happen, realize its something unique and let that click of the shutter be a satisfying one. I know, for me at least, that click.. there’s nothing else like it."

- John Carey http://www.john-carey.com/

Swan Cream Puffs

I haven't been eating much since I got back from my trip. I've only been having one meal a day. Granted I'm struggling with jet lag and have been waking up at 3 in the afternoon since yesterday. I have however, been on a sweets binge and am craving for these pretty swan shaped cream puffs I had the pleasure of having at the Cafe-on-the-Ridge in the Taal Vista Hotel when I was still on vacation. Took me ages to decide whether or not to eat these. They were just too cute.

Credits are not mine for the photo on the left. My brother took that one.


January 22, 2011

Manila Sky

I'm back from my short vacation and I miss Manila already.
These are some pictures I took of the afternoon sky with a borrowed Canon EOS 500d + 55mm lens.

Location: Alabang Town Center

January 19, 2011

Patchi Chocolates

I saw this really interesting store on High Street today. It's a Lebanese chocolate store called Patchi and the displays they had were amazing! They had thematic displays for practically every special occasion: birthdays, baptisms, weddings - you name it. I guess the chocolates had to be glued into formation and on to the beautiful bowls, plates and trays they came in. The chocolates and the displays were quite pricey, but what a unique concept! I'd love to be the recipient of one of these!

January 17, 2011

Candid Portraits

I tagged along during a photo shoot in August last year and was able to take these quirky, candid portraits of the young model.
Photos were taken with a borrowed Canon EOS 450d + 18-55mm lens.

All images (c)brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com


Photos taken in Alabang Town Center with a borrowed Canon EOS 500d + 18-55mm lens.


Palm tree bark

Plant leaves
All images (c)brandmarie at thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com

January 15, 2011

Boston Flowers

I am still on vacation in Manila but have finally found the time to edit the pictures of these flowers I took in the Boston Public Garden.

All images (c) thecopyrightofbrandmarie.blogspot.com

January 12, 2011

The Makati City Skyline

Today I took a trip to the city to meet up with a friend at the Ayala Triangle Gardens. I sadly do not have pictures of the park, or of Wee Nam Kee (where we ate), but I did snap this picture of Makati while I was in the car on the way there.

January 11, 2011

Playing with Water

These photos were taken by the water fountain in my favorite mall. To achieve these images, the lens was focused on the water, then zoomed in and out as the photo was being taken.

Location: Alabang Town Center
Art Direction: Niograpiya