Hearing mass on the first of day of a new year is something that I’ve been doing the last 4 to 5 years. With a clean slate, I always want to begin by saying thank you for all that has happened the past year and for what is to come.
It seems like it has become a yearly event that two blocks of Stockton Street between Market and Geary are closed off during the holidays. This area has been transformed into a rest stop for tired shoppers. The street is scattered chairs and tables and various food trucks. I decided to check it out before heading back to the East Bay on the BART train.
Saturday morning, I happen to spot T’s leftover snack while I was clearing away the dishes. An apple wrapped in white napkin was perched on top of the stove. I picked it up after finishing my chore and photographed it near the window. Simple but powerful food. The body can heal itself when it is given the right fuel. We discovered it seven years ago when we switched to a Whole Foods Plant based way of eating that cured my eczema and T’s asthma. We celebrate this incredible transformation in our lives this month and we are so grateful.
I stopped dead on my tracks when I saw the leaves scattered on the grass and the Christmas lights wrapped around the tree trunk. I love the juxtaposition. For me, it spoke of the transition between the end of autumn and the ushering of winter/holiday season. On a deeper level, it is a metaphor for that familiar place for some of us who are in this life journey when we’re not quite where we want to be. My cousin calls it “a holding pattern.” Pema Chodron teaches us to remain open and be friends with whatever is happening at this moment no matter how uncomfortable it is. The only way is through. Appreciate its beauty.
Last August, I had two hours to kill before meeting my colleagues for dinner.
Everyday, we take a U-turn on this road which takes us to the I-80 on ramp to the Bay Bridge and eventually to the city. Today, we drove a bit further towards the water and parked near the Marina for our early morning walk. How different can this scene be with the fog and the warm golden light from the sun? I was stunned. With the highway obscured by the fog, I am temporarily transported to a different place in a different time. Beautiful— so beautiful. And, the camera is the perfect tool to capture this fleeting moment.
T & I did an early morning walk at the Marina the day after Thanksgiving. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw the fog hovering by the bay. Beautiful and serene. I particularly focused on the ducks gliding through the water. Their presence makes these images so stunning. Walking and photographing always puts me in the present moment. I am grateful.
One of the best things about working in a hotel especially this new company I am with entitles their employees to complimentary nights! The universe aligned and I was able to get a night at the hotel plus I had enough miles to fly out to Sydney from Manila. My cousin was also in town so I was able to stay with her for a few nights. I haven't seen her since 2004 and have never met my niece. I wanted to spend some quality time to catch up. So, I took advantage of the opportunity and visited the city for the first time. I loved it! It's a cross between San Francisco and Santa Barbara because of the nearby beaches that could be reached via ferry. I did the whole tourist thing and tried my best to take photographs that describes my experience. When given another chance, I would love to come back there and stay longer possibly travel to Melbourne or stop over if we ever make our way to New Zealand.
I enjoyed an afternoon soaking in a jacuzzi with my siblings and my niece. A friend of Malyn's was kind enough to have us stay overnight in their vacation home in Punta Fuego, Batangas. It is rare that we get together so I always make sure I document these fleeting moments. We caught up on family stories and of course, we shared so many laughs.
We passed by this gentleman who was talking to his buddy seated inside the moving truck. He saw me as I raised my camera to my eye. I decided to make a quick portrait instead of waiting for a moment since he had the right stance and was juxtaposed perfectly with all the other elements within the frame.
I didn't shoot much in a way of street photography when I was in NYC this past week. It was more of an R&R kind of vacation but I still had my camera around my neck in case a moment presented itself. And, this gem did!
As I approached one of the reflecting pools at the 9/11 site, my eye immediately caught these single white roses lodged in a few of the names around the perimeter. A sign nearby gave the explanation: "As a tribute, the 9/11 Memorial places roses upon victims' names on their birthdates." And, so I began photographing the flowers as I walked around the pool This particular image was spiritual and somewhat haunting. The morning sun creating a shadow between two buildings and a halo on the white rose against the dark metal. It sent shivers to my spine as I clicked the shutter.
How does one make an interesting photograph when people are immersed in their mobile phones? This is a question that always comes to my mind whenever I walk the streets after work.
The theme was "Root" with esteemed guest juror Susan Spiritus. A big thank you to Susan as well as to Laura Freitag for giving space for these photographic projects at the same time giving back to social causes. I am honored to be in the company with these talented photographers:
1st Place: "I Wish Her Then" Amy Kanka
2nd Place: "Heritage" Ellen Jantzen
"Who I am" Theresa Tarara
"Family Tree" Marilyn Carren
"Treehouse" Sam Tucibat
"Artist Rock" Karen Klinedinst
"Artifacts (Kodakan)" Stella Kalaw
We had a few days this week where the temperature in the city was in the mid-70's. I felt comfortable enough to walk around without a jacket. I am out in the streets again with my camera looking around for some type of gesture or an interesting facial expression. Here are two that I like so far. I am still feeling rusty.
Last Thursday, I was able to carve out some time to finally get out and walk the streets with my camera around my neck. I can't tell you how good it felt to be looking and composing within the frame and pressing the shutter. This past year, I switched employment unexpectedly and my attention shifted to learning the new job. Such endeavor took up so much brain power and energy that it depleted my will to go out and shoot. However, I did manage to work on a quieter still life series on the weekends so I was not without my camera for the entire period. I am quite rusty but the good news is that I've reached a point where I am able to put my energies where it truly belongs and focus on taking pictures again. And, by God's grace, I got my old schedule back so I have time to walk regularly.
T sent me a link from NYTimes last week asking their readers to share images of their hometown/city taken with fresh eyes. I had just taken this image that evening and thought: "Why not?" Little did I know that a week later, it made its way to the New York Times' Opinion page! I was thrilled when I received the notification that I wanted to scream in my office pod. Reading through people's comment on the NYTimes Instagram feed, It was very interesting that people mistake this as the Flatiron building in New York when in fact, it was taken at Market & Grant Street in San Francisco. Maybe that is why people find it appealing. This image is actually a part of a series that I've started developing and is still a work in progress. I am actually very pleased with the initial results.