Sunday, December 06, 2009

The moon


Moon Shots
Originally uploaded by Jepster
I took some shots of the moon for the past couple of days. It looked so big just coming out of the horizon and the thin wispy clouds as it rose higher contributed to the eerie effect. I had this urge to howl while watching from the garage. :D

Moon Shots
Moon Shots
Moon Shots

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Luck in the midst of Ondoy's fury

I felt so lucky last weekend.

By now, everybody might have already heard about Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) and what was probably the worst flooding in the history of Metro Manila. That Saturday morning, I was supposed to attend a birthday celebration of a friend in Makati. By 9AM I had just finished eating breakfast in McDonalds with another friend who was also going to the birthday lunch. Vehicular traffic was starting to get heavy at Quezon Avenue and the rain was steadily pouring down in buckets with no sign of abating. We received word that the get together was cancelled due to the weather and that Makati was starting to flood. My friend and I decided to turn right in EDSA to go to Trinoma Mall perhaps watch a movie before heading back home. I parked my car in the open parking lot (I vowed never to park in Trinoma's covered parking ever again - but that's another story) and we noticed some localized accumulation of rainwater in the parking area. At the mall, we observed the weather only get worse. I felt agitated about leaving my car in the low parking grounds and would not have enjoyed watching a movie with that thought at the back of my mind. So I decided that we should just try to go home. We only got as far as the Quezon Memorial Circle. Traffic was at a standstill and the entire Circle was starting to look like a lake. After about an hour of staying in one spot, the cars at the back started to counter flow so we were able to get out of the gridlock. We went back to North Avenue but decided to go to SM North this time where we parked at the higher open parking at the back of what used to be the Super Sales Club building. SM North was in worse shape than Trinoma with some of the inner roads flooded and the entire basement where the food court is located underwater. They also suffered intermittent blackouts in the main building. We were soaked when we crossed to the main mall using only a small umbrella (which I started to call RoboPayong because it opens and closes with a push of a button) so we bought new shirts. The main department store was closed but the new Annex building (where the new CyberZone is located) had electricity and the restaurants were open. We were stuck there until closing time and I was complaining all the time that all we did was sit around and eat.

Traffic was flowing (albeit very slowly) by the time I went home at 10PM. Parts of Commonwealth Avenue was still flooded and only a few car lanes were passable in some areas. When I finally arrived home, I was shocked to learn that the flood waters reached up to neck level in our area. Our place was in a relatively high elevation, but since LaMesa Eco park and the Dam was just at the back, the area quickly became flooded when they released water when the Dam reached critical level. The flood water quickly subsided but this was enough to ruin the 1st floor units in our compound of low rise condominiums. The cars in the parking spaces were also not spared. I saw a lady pulling out a soaked travel pillow at the back of her SUV. Mud and garbage brought by the flood water were everywhere. The 2nd floor common area was filled with stuff from the first floor units that they were able to save from getting soaked. These were mostly appliances and some small furniture. My unit is located in the 2nd floor and was not touched by the flood. Had I stayed at home, I would have been in the same predicament as my other neighbors. i could just imagine their frustration as they were looking out of their windows to their cars slowly being swallowed by the flood water. Watching the news later that night, I realized just how lucky I was. I saw people spending the night in the rain on top of their roofs fearing that the flood water might rise higher. I heard stories about entire families getting trapped inside their house because of landslides. Of people getting trapped inside their ceiling and finally drowning when the flood water rose higher and higher and there were nowhere to go to. Somehow all of my frustrations and complaints when I was stuck inside a mall with nothing to do but sit and eat at the restaurants seems so trivial. Right now I am just happy that all of my family members and friends are safe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The man in a panda suit

There is a grown man in a panda suit at the train station. Nobody seems to pay him any attention. He just stands there in the middle of the crowd waiting for his companion. The suit looks to large and he looks like a sickly emaciated panda bear.

Very strange for me but probably not that uncommon around these parts.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

HDR Experiments


HDR Experiments
Originally uploaded by Jepster
I have been experimenting with HDR (High Dynamic Resolution) images lately and I would just like to share my first attempts.

This is a photo of the place where I stay near work. It's the end of November and some of the haloween decors still hang from the front.

This was taken by my Pentax *ist DS2 ("Stew") DSLR which in my humble opinion is better suited for taking HDR sets than my Canon EOS 350D ("Yosi") DSLR. I'm not basing this on any benchmark I have done to substantiate this claim. I just find Stew's more color saturated pictures results in HDR images that are pleasing for me.

The HDR set is a set of 3 exposures taken in succession (with the use of a tripod) with different exposure settings. This is done via the autobracketting feature found in most DSLRs. The images are post processed using photoshop or other dedicated HDR software such as Photomatix to "balance out" the exposure of the image (so the bright parts are not too washed out and the dark parts are not too dark). I personally find Photomatix very convenient to use and I have used it for the images shown here. Stay tuned for more of my experiments on HDR photography. :D

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Help me I'm stuck!


Help me I'm stuck!
Originally uploaded by Jepster
Yes. I'm stuck. I'm stuck here in the area where I work for the rest of the month. I won't be coming home until sometime early March. I brought enough clothes to last me several weeks at least. I'm still adjusting to my new night duty schedule. I still have about 3 hours left and I already feel light headed and sleepy. Sleeping during the daytime just isn't the same. Earlier today, I wasn't able to sleep continuously. I woke up at around 1pm because my body was complaining that I should eat lunch. I guess it will take to reprogram my body clock that lunch is actually at midnight and I should be sleeping throughout most of the daytime.

I still haven't posted the majority of the pictures I took during the holidays. I also have beach photos that I want to post in Flickr from our company outing just last Month. I will try to post them soon. The problem with this new schedule is sometimes I feel that I'd rather sleep than do anything else after work hours. :D