Friday, September 30, 2011

Notes to self: Shopping magnets

If you love refrigerator magnets, here's a set you may want to purchase to help you create your regular grocery shopping list.

Link via Foodiggity

Food Porn: Pie ala mode

Blueberry or Apple? How about both?

Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls

Ben & Jerry's new Dude Food

Coffee Break: Real Duff Beer

Well wouldn't you know it -- we turn around for a moment and find that the Germans have started brewing the famous fictional Simpson's Duff Beer. I wonder when they'll start exports...

via Foodiggity

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mental Notes: Great photographer

You don't have to be a great photographer to take great photos? Behold the future of photography... Nevermind the work of Robert Capa, Steve McCurry or James Nachtwey -- anyone can take pictures now, thanks to Panasonic!

Writer's Block: Isang litrong liwanag

This clip has been circulating in Facebook for a couple of weeks now. "Isang litrong liwanag" or "A liter of light" shows how a man from the slums of Sitio Maligaya (literally translated as "Happy Place"), San Vicente in San Pedro, Laguna (Philippines) has managed to help his neighborhood by providing light in their homes using nothing but water and a plastic soda bottle. It's a heartwarming and heart-wrenching story that shows how a little bit of hope makes such a difference to those who have nothing. (A nudge to spoiled momma's boys and girls who think not being able to afford a nice flat of their own is tough.)

Italian parents bring in lawyer to evict 41-year-old son

Fact is stranger than fiction. An exasperated elderly couple has resorted to legal help to kick out their 41-year-old son who they say has a good job and steady income.

"He has a good job but he continues to live at home and wants his clothes washed and ironed and his meals cooked for him. He never wants to leave."

Young Italians are renowned for their reluctance to leave home, with a study released last year showing that 48% of offspring between the ages of 18 and 39 still live under their parents' roofs.

This is a fairly common theme in Asia though, mainly due to poverty in developing nations (though you do get the occasional spoiled mommy's boys -- and girls -- with good jobs who refuse to move out). Of course there are those in more advanced nations who stay with their folks due to high housing prices  -- thanks to all the "foreign talent" coming into their country taking their jobs and all.

After all, there's nothing like meeting a guy, going on a date in an expensive restaurant and him inviting a gal over to his parent's place for a night cap -- they just might be sleeping in the master bedroom after all. Sexy...

For more on the Italian momma's boy story, click here. Link via Neatorama.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Writer's Block: Just because you own a camera...

Here's an interesting photography -- or should I say -- anti-photography blog I came across yesterday while browsing Neatorama.

You are not a photographer features photos from less than talented photographers who seem to think carrying a DSLR makes them a professional.

Having been in the industry for 16 years and having dabbled with the trade from the 35mm days, I still do not consider myself a professional. An advanced amateur at best. Why? Despite having published a handful of photographs over the years, I always compare my work to the likes of James Nachtwey or colleagues who live and breath it -- the stuff I come out with are merely decent, nothing spectacular.

I love taking pictures and one day hope to be as good as my full-time photojournalist friends. However having seen such beautiful work over the years, I would have to say I understand why such ire comes against the recent surge of digital photographers who sport a camera they usually don't know how to use and call themselves pros.

While it is great that digital photography has made this art form (if one wishes to call it that) accessible to everyone, it has also introduced a lot of mediocrity. Is everyone really a photographer these days? What makes a good photographer anyway?

Raw talent? An eye for detail? These days, all that has been muddled because many refuse to call a spade a spade. Once upon a time, if you didn't know what you were doing, you could end up with underexposed/overexposed or even blank strips of negative -- and even if you got that one right, there was no guarantee you had good composition.

Enter digital technology -- many carry the latest and or the most expensive equipment but don't even know what f/stop or shutter speed to use when going fully manual. Many are dependent on A (aperture priority -- bet some thought 'A' stood for 'Auto'). Do they even know what depth of field means? Do they really know what the ISO does when composing a photograph? Did you know some of the best photos in the world were taken with just a 35mm lens?

All this takes years to master and perfect -- until now.

Overexposed? No matter -- Photoshop can make it pretty. It can be called art photography. Sorry folks, this does not make anyone a photographer. It makes you an aspiring graphic artist.

Why the ire? Read more from Shit Photojournalists Like. They can tell you more about why real professionals can be so harsh on today's amateurs.

Oh, and just to emphasize on their point: Would you buy this out of focus for $499? (That's just the starting bid). More from You are not a photographer.

*Instagraham photos from Bakerella via Foodiggity

Best quotes from "Overheard in the Newsroom"

Online Editor: “You don’t have to worry about office politics in this department because no one wants our jobs.”

Editor talking about a hastily written opinion column: “Well, he fully admitted that he just shit on the page. But it’s Matt; there are no grammatical errors, so we’re running it. The kid shits in AP Style.”

Copy editor to news editor after reading the lede to a column: “There’s a serial comma you have to get rid of. Otherwise it’s still horribly written, but at least it will be grammatically correct.”

Copy editor: “That’s not a prediction; it’s a comma splice.”

Associate Editor: “What sort of note did you get?”
Editor: “Someone wants a photo we ran in the paper in 1971. Well, let me head over to the haystack.”

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mental Notes: Tis "Talk like a Pirate" Day!

Happy "Talk Like a Pirate" Day! For everything' pirate, go t' t' official website, ye scallywags!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mental Notes: Stay Awake

I haven't heard this song in a long time. One of my favorites by Ronnie Laws, "Stay Awake" aka the insomnia song...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Food Porn: Deep-fried bubblegum

Something they'll never have in Singapore...not that I think they're missing anything here.

Writer's Block: Gear

Shit Photojournalists Like is a blog with that already speaks for itself. Here, they discuss gear -- not any gear of course. Camera gear.

These days, there are a whole bunch of photogs, and even among photojournalists you do get a couple of d*cks now and again. Here's how they summarized it:

1.The “Latest Thing” photojournalist
  • If it was released within the last month, there’s a strong chance that this asshole has it. Who needs a 1D Mark IV, a 5d Mark II, AND a 7D? This guy.
  • Having a conversation with this person is painful. Jargon, jargon, fps, jargon.
  • Remember, there’s a chance that even though this photog is using a fucking D3bonermachine or whatever, their pictures will still be boring as hell.
2. The “It’s Not About the Equipment” photojournalist
  • More likely than not, this photographer is very insecure about their equipment, and/or doesn’t know how to use it. Therefore, this person will categorize every person with technical knowledge or nice equipment a snob.
  • Having a conversation with this person can also be painful. “What is this elusive ‘ISO’ of which you speak?”
  • Don’t be shy. Own your camera in all its shitty glory.
  • But you should prooobably upgrade soon. Best ways to make some fast cash: grand theft auto or hooking.*
3.The “Balanced” photojournalist
  • You know that the gear doesn’t make the picture, but it certainly helps. As someone who upgraded from a Rebel XTi to a 5D Mark II, it comes down to a simple conclusion: some cameras can just handle more shit.
  • And by shit, I mean shit. You’re still gonna make some god-awful photos with that mkii.
More from Shit Photojournalists Like.

Best quotes from "Overheard in the Newsroom"

#8393 Editor referring to a recently filed report: “This isn’t a story. This is a Facebook update.”

#8390 Editor on increasingly bitchy online comments: “You’ve got to lighten up, folks. Get a life.”

#8483 Editor, after intern describes harrowing drive in which she narrowly avoided crashing into a multi-car crash: “Did you by any chance get a photo?”

#8395 Obit clerk: “We had an obit cancellation, so you won’t need as much space.
Copy editor: “Ooh, a resurrection. I’ll reserve space on 1A for the miracle.”

#8394 Editor, to a defiant reporter: “Go to Hell!”
Managing Editor: “Let’s try and keep it professional, okay?”
Editor: “Oh, sorry. Please go to Hell.”