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Posts Tagged ‘art

The Hidden Art of Silent Films

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The Hidden Art of Silent Films reminds me on the movie Hugo that I had watched with my dearest people.

Written by blueroselady

March 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

Posted in movie

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Painting: The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

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The Beheading of St John

Venue: St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral is the church with the most beautiful marble floor that I have been.

“The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist” by Caravaggio
is one of the memorable paintings that I have seen.
At first, I felt it was scary,
then yesterday I started to realize how mighty St John is,
he has to suffer such a humiliating death.

The painting is large, very large,
it stretches 1-storey high.

When I was 6 years old,
I stayed up late and my busy parents were too busy earning a living to take care of me.
I watched a scary scene in TV where the entire family members were beheaded.
I wondered how human beings can be so cruel to another.
Now, I do not remember the story, but that scene.
I have to keep telling myself that it is fake,
but movies are often based on real life experience,
if not imagination of people.

Lesson 1:
Roderick MacKinnon is right.
TV is bad for you,
including news.
Many news are about disasters and wars.
Do not watch or read about news
the 1st thing in the morning and
the last thing at night before you sleep.
If you must know about particular news,
it will come to you through your family, friends, or colleagues.
Dramas about personal (at smaller scale) to national (at larger scale) conflicts
are bad for you,
you may subconsciously pick up
how women quarrel with each other,
how men fight over money and women,
how countries grow greedy wanting other resources belonging to others.
Do not let your children watch shocking scenes without proper parental guidance.

Lesson 2:
Life must go on.
We can do nothing about the past,
we cannot help / save people who had gone / events that have occurred.
Learn from the past.
Focus on the present
and work for the future.
We can promote peace and harmony.
We can empower our future generation:
our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren.

Written by blueroselady

March 15, 2013 at 3:29 am

Reasons why Blueroselady needs a 50mm lens

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1. light (in term of weight)
2. makes you think / walk
3. everything looks right
4. versatile
5. bokeh (I always LOVE THIS)
5. fast (to capture the spontaneous action of our subjects e.g. baby)
6. f/1.4 allows taking photos in low light condition
7. can take portraits with depth of field (LOVE THIS)

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G (SGD$339)
AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G (SGD$1019)
AF 50mm f/1.8D (SGD$229)
AF 50mm f/1.4D (SGD$649)
Pricing info is as of December 2012

I want to buy AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. eBay sells at SGD297.
USD220 (according to Nikon USA website), which is cheaper!

Written by blueroselady

December 30, 2012 at 4:16 am

Posted in beauty, IT, photogprahy

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Global dream destinations

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Many writers and artists use travel as their inspiration.

Barcelona
Catalan capital
Antoni Gaudi’s still-unfinished church the Sagrada Familia (sagradafamilia.org)
The Eixample district: a groundbreaking 19th-century urban layout where the bold bourgeoisie gave free rein to their avant-garde architects.
Eat the ubiquitous menu del dia (a lunchtime set menu).
Mediterranean Sea.

San Francisco
Gold Rush, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
Transamerica Pyramid skyline by bay.
Grace Cathedral : Gothic Revival design
Leland Stanford and Collis P. Huntington: both railroad tycoons.
Visited and learned at Stanford. Want to do so at UCSSF and UC Berkeley.

Churchill, Canada
Polar Bear Capital of the World.
lies on the rim of Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada.
Northern lights.

Besides traveling in space, one can also travel in time through imagination.
Golden Age of travel between 1900 to 1940.

ALEPPO
northern Syrian city.
has the longest covered suq in the Middle East.
What is suq? a teeming stretch of alley ways connecting mosques, inns, hammans.
See WHIRLING DERVISHES performances (originated in Turkey) at the restored (but not operational) 14th century psychiatric hospital of Bimaristan Arghan (itself worthy of a visit).

@~@
LEBANON
Byblos: (1) home to many Maronite Catholics, (2) was where our alphabet originated: a hieroglyphic version that read from right to left and which the Greeks reversed.

From Manhattan to Trollhattan

@~@
NEW ZEALAND
Northern Light

@~@
ARMENIA, a hot spot between Turkey and Iran, thus people are tough as nails and full of grit and determination. After our hot Turkey trip, should we consider visit Armenia? The Kite Runner.

@~@
SPAIN, PORTUGAL
2 weeks for Madrid – Toledo – Zaragoza – Barcelona – Montserrat – Pamplona – Burgo – Leon – Santiago – Porto – Fatima – Santarem – Avilla – Azpeitia.
Inspiration: St Teresa Sep11.

PS: beware of pickpockets in Spain. A friend of mine (EL) lost her wallet (Spain, winter 2011).

Written by blueroselady

December 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Tips: photography. Practice makes perfect

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Wake up call for my deteriorating photographic skills.
1. Pre-trip: always revise summary notes + images in Ideas folder.
2. The art of combining (beautiful shots + less artistic but memorable). Think summer 2010 in China.
3. The art of post-processing (crop, rotate / tilt, saturation, bw / sepia, clone).
4. The art of narrative (label with venue and dates, quotes / poems).
5. Open your eyes, heart, and mind.
6. Thank God for letting us to see through another angles and lenses.

PS:
1. see diary
2. keep on shooting

@~@
Ref: Portrait and candid photography. Photo workshop. Erin Manning.
I am donating this book to libary, though I have not finished reading.
It is better to share with more people.

Tell a story.
A wide shot of a room
a medium shot of someone’s face
a close-up of a foot / hand or other detail in the scene.

How to photography children or even the grown-ups?
people want to feel respected, appreciated, and comfortable.
begin shooting by talking with everyone.
turn on some music.
blow bubbles.

Written by blueroselady

March 29, 2011 at 12:48 am

Platinium versus titanium versus white gold wedding bands

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Platinum is very popular right now, nice but expensive.
Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form (approximately 95% pure). Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be Rhodium plated like white gold.
Platinum is very dense (heavy), so a platinum ring will feel heavier than an 18kt gold ring.
Platinum is, however, very expensive. A platinum ring will be approximately twice the price of an 18kt white gold ring (excluding gemstone costs).
Sarah Moore (Princeton, New Jersey): I wanted you to know that both my husband and I have had our platinum rings for 3 years now, and the finish is very dull now. The platinum no longer shines like it did when we bought them. I actually brought my ring back to the jewelers to be cleaned and “re-shined” since the platinum was looking so dull. So, my point is that the platinum also loses that brilliant shine you had when you walked out of the jeweler with it for the first time. I think the only thing that always keeps its shine without having to bring it in occasionally to be rebuffed is yellow gold.

White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as silver and palladium. White gold can be 18kt, 14kt, 9kt or any karat.
18kt white gold is made by mixing 75% gold with 25% other metals such as silver and palladium.
Traditionally nickel was used in white gold, however, nickel is no longer used in most white gold made today as nickel can cause reactions with some people.
When white gold rings are new they are coated with another white metal called Rhodium.
The rhodium plating is used to make the white gold look more white. The natural color of white gold is actually a light grey color. The Rhodium is very white and very hard, but it does wear away eventually. To keep a white gold ring looking its best it should be re-rhodium plated approximately each 12 to 18 months.
Gold has more value and possesses a much higher resale value than titanium.
if you plan on gaining some weight over the years, consider going with gold versus titanium, otherwise you might walk around with a very swollen finger.
Owning gold will cost more over time due to the fact that gold needs to have rhodium reapplied every 1 to 2 years to keep from having a dirty, tarnished look.
Gold can be worn for a longer time and retains a higher value over titanium.
Important: when buy white gold ring, check if they have nickel? Nickel causes allergy.
Check what alloy is the white gold?
Rhodium is tremendously reflective (more so than any other metal), it is very hard (which means it can support a very high polish), and it is absolutely brilliant white (whereas white gold is more dull and grayish or slightly yellowish).
Jane Christin (Chicago) said: Our jeweler, who is a family member of my husband told us that especially for very thin bands like mine platinum scratches much easier than white gold. He told us to go for white gold to avoid more scratches. I have had my ring for one year and so far so good. I know someone else who has a thin platinum band and she has a ton of scratches.

Titanium is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form (approximately 99% pure).
Titanium is extremely long wearing. Titanium is so strong that airplanes use the metal for various parts of construction.
Its natural color is a gray color.
Titanium is very lightweight, so a titanium ring will feel much lighter than an 18kt gold ring and much lighter than a platinum ring.
Titanium is also 100% hypoallergenic.
Unlike other metals (such as gold, platinum and silver) titanium is a difficult metal to work with from a jewelry perspective. Titanium is a very hard metal which wears down jewelry making tools very quickly. Titanium also cannot be soldered (joined by heat).
Titanium is normally less expensive than white gold.
Titanium is a really durable material, but it’s more popular with men’s jewelery.

How is about the mix?
High quality white gold, especially from around a century or so ago, is an alloy of gold and platinum. Most platinum rings should be 900 plat. That means 90% platinum, and 10% iridium. Rings made from this alloy are much harder than gold rings, even white gold, which is harder than yellow. If you are going to have your own rings fabricated I would suggest, much to your jewelers chagrin, that you try the plat/gold alloy. It will be easy to care for, have a less yellow appearance than white gold, be solderable by nearly all jewelers (900 plat is not), and have a more reasonable price than a solid platinum ring.

http://www.chowtaifook.com has a mix ring of platinum and yellow gold.

Conclusion: old days jewelleries seem the best and most durable.

Our brilliant idea for the engraving:
God [love shape] [groom name] [love shape] [bride name]

References:
http://gilletts.com.au/information.php?info_id=26
http://www.preciousglow.com/read/8/278/white-gold-vs.-titanium.html
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5919516_titanium-white-gold-wedding-bands.html
http://gilletts.com.au/information.php?info_id=13
http://www.finishing.com/256/14.shtml (Note: I love this website)

Written by blueroselady

January 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Posted in family

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Photography tips on PORTRAIT (Part 1)

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PEOPLE / PORTRAIT
The most striking portraits in Flickr are those that break all the rules!
1. Alter our perspectives (take not only from eye level, but also from below looking up, climb up to shoot down).
2. Varies eye contacts. Subject (1) look at the camera, (2) look off camera, (3) look within frame e.g. A child looking at a ball, a woman looking at her new baby, a man looking hungrily at a big bowl of noodle.
3. Break the composition rules.
4. Give our subjects room to look into.
5. Experiment with lighting. Side-lighting can create mood, backlighting and silhouetting your subject to hide their features can be powerful. Using techniques like slow synch flash can create an impressive wow factor.
6. Shoot candidly. Some people don’t look good in a posed environment and so switching to a candid type approach can work. Photograph your subject at work, with family or doing something that they love.
7. Use prop(s). We have been doing this to create the atmosphere.
8. Focus on 1 body part. Photographing a person’s hands, eyes, mouth or even just their lower body… can leave a lot to the imagination of the viewer of an image.
9. Obscure part of our subject. We can do this with clothing, objects, their hands or just by framing part of them out of the image.
10. Take a series of shots.
11. Shoot with a wide angle (I love this kind of shots, but I don’t have the lens!)
12. You can use landscape to take portrait, i.e. camera in horizontal position.
13. Hold our cameras on an angle.
14. Take unfocused shots. But (1) Focus upon one element of the image and leave your main subject blurred. Use large aperture e.g. f1.4 f2.8 etc.
15. Introduce movement.

INTERNATIONAL STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
1. BECOME FAMILIAR / FRIENDS. Every location is different, so keep safety in mind. Generally, if you return to the same location multiple times, or if you slowly browse the area it is easier to familiarize the locals with you and your camera. Without some level of familiarizing, it is more challenging to get permission for taking portraits – or even pictures of the neighborhood. Be friendly, become familiar, and people are more likely to welcome you.
Nod to people. Smile. Seek permission.
2. Make Eye Contact and Ask Permission
3. The STORY. Who is the individual? Where are they from? What do they do? What is their background like?

LEARNING FROM HISTORY
Leonardo’s use of a pyramidal composition which shows MONALISA with a wider base at her arms and her hands forming the front corner and everything is in place to draw the eye up her body to her eyes and her infamous smile.

Leonardo has positioned Mona Lisa’s eyes at the eye level of the one viewing the image. This brings a sense of intimacy to the image as we the viewer gaze directly into her eyes (there’s not a sense that we’re looking down on her or that she’s doing that to us).

Leonardo uses light to draw the eye of the viewer to the parts of the image that he wishes to be highlighted (the face and hands) and balances the image nicely by placing hands and face in positions that counter one another.

Leonardo also uses shadow (or a lack of light) to add depth and dimension to different aspects of the image – particularly the area around Mona Lisa’s neck and in the ripples on the dress on her arm.

CATCHLIGHT: the highlight of a light source reflected off the surface of the eye.
Many portrait photographers use a reflector placed in the lap of the subject, or in a similar position. This usually produces a larger catchlight in the lower half of the eye. A studio portrait will show the final product with a single catchlight in each eye, typically in the 10 or 2 o’clock position, created by the main (”key”) light.

Consider that early artists didn’t have the luxury of multiple lights in a studio, using instead the Sun or light from a large open window. The result was a SINGLE catchlight and because the Sun illuminated the subject from a high angle, the catchlight reflected from a higher spot on the eye.

Use every opportunity to study the position and shape of catchlights in other photographers’ work, and in the eyes of your friends and coworkers. Study the paintings of old master portrait artists to learn how they used light. Your portrait work will benefit from this effort.

Think of ANIME EYES.

Next is on NATURAL LOOKING PORTRAIT
1. Handle subject HANDS. Give them things to hold.
2. Let subject SIT. Carry a stool. When people sit, they will 9 times out of 10 loose the nervous rigidity they have when they’re standing.
3. Use DISTRACTION. Distract your subject. Get them talking about something you know they’re interested in, ask them questions about their family, pets or favorite super heroes if you get desperate. Do whatever you can to pull their attention away from themselves.
4. RESPECT RESPECT RESPECT.

FASHION
1. Ask our subjects to bring few outfits.
2. The comfort our our subjects are important.
3. Clothes can put people in context.
4. Darker top slim your subject. No crazy patterns, lines, dots or bright colors – just understated basics that allowed the person to shine. Beware of complexion. A very fair complexion with a very dark top can be too much of a contrast and when shooting someone with dark skin tones dark clothing can mean not enough contrast. COLLARED SHIRT can frame men’s face.

WEDDING PHOTO
1. At a wedding it’s so fast paced that we often don’t have time to perfectly compose each shot for the rule of thirds. So what can we do? Just don’t compose in the center! COMPOSITION is the core of any photo.
2. Get the first kiss.
3. FOLLOW THE LINES. If you see a bunch of lines going in the same direction, follow them. There’s usually something good to shoot at the end of those lines. If you’re posing the couple, put the couple right at the end of those lines. The center aisle is always a converging line leading to the couple. Use those lines.
4. FRAMING. Hide in the bushes and shoot. Peek around a corner and take your shot. Peer over someone’s shoulder and take the shot. By doing this you frame your photo and give it depth and mystery. It’s sometimes difficult to find depth in a hectic wedding, so create it. Jump behind something and shoot away!
5. TWO PEOPLE ONE PORTRAIT. Weddings are all about the relationships and it’s great when we can show the relationship in the portrait even when we’re taking a portrait of just one person.

Acknowledgment: Darren Rowse, Christina N Dickson, Natalie Norton, John 3:16

Written by blueroselady

March 13, 2010 at 3:21 am