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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tasty Durian Building (Singapore's Esplanade in Abstract)

Durian smells like hell but tastes like heaven. The durian fruit is being condemned when it comes to its smell but is aptly called "the King of Fruits." A seasonal fruit in Singapore, one can find in the island country an oddly-shaped building called the Esplanade that is referred to as "The Durian" by locals. Its architectural form projects the fruit's thorny physical tributes.
Upon arriving at the site, I was overwhelmed by its popularity and it was a challenged for me to compose an image that is not familiar or not the usual. Armed with a zoom lens, I was able to achieved this image by sheer observation of the sky. Thank God I was given great clouds on that short trip or else it was a failure. Hope you like this shot. Singapore has many landmarks but the Esplanade does stand out. An architectural marvel indeed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Words I LOVE U (The I Heart U shadow Illusion) *Ushaiger Photoadventure 2009

Little surprises usually come from boxes (READ: GIFTS) But tell you, some surprises come from nature and great timing. I have a surprise of my life when we were out on a photography adventure outside Riyadh. It was in Ushaiger, 2 hours from the downtown capital of Saudi Arabia. It was near-winter when we went there. Ushaiger has an old mud village and it is unoccupied. The eerie silence brings you to the past where people from all walks of life once existed. It was an historical compound made of mud houses and so I traversed into its walls and hidden rooms. One thing that made me surprised was when I climb a wall and when I looked down I saw a wall shadow illusion created by the sun. It was heart-shaped. So what I did was positioned myself into "I" and "U"...soon it resulted to I HEART U or I LOVE U illusion. It was indeed a surprise in my photographic life. It was magical. An awesome sign. I'm sure, pretty sure, i can't do this anymore since it's just occasional when we go for photography adventure plus the place is kind of strange to me, being situated in the middle of deserts. This is a priceless shot and an unforgettable experience so to speak.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Close Encounter with the 3rd Kind" UFO Illusion and accdng to a's a Flaming Torch Illusion

Note:This photo is straight from camera. (No Photoshop Process/edit)

At last! This is how my mind went when I came upon an image that I dreamt to shoot.
The Water Tower in the center of old Riyadh is a sight to behold because of its unusual resembles a UFO.
I've been living almost 3 years in this middle eastern city but I haven't got the chance to really capture the UFO-illusion that I ought to get on camera. But with utter patience and perseverance plus nature's gift to me (the natural clouds), I somehow arrived on my ideal image of a UFO invasion. But wait, one Riyadh-based friend even suggested a flaming torch illusion that is akin to Olympic games torches. (Thanks Jaevi! for that alternative suggestion). Great Illusion eyes you've got there! :) (Free to download as desktop wallpaper) Click to enlarge..

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This Way to Heaven... (Pointing Hand in the Sky Illusion)

(NOTE: Photo taken straight from camera. No Post Process.)

Cloud formations can surprise you anytime.
Without you knowing it, you are being showed with a baby figure or teddy bear (How cute ) or a smiley face (that's more cute..cuter, to be exact).
Personally, cloud formations surprise me most of the time. Back in 2009 during the 2nd day of Ramadan month, I opted to open my flat window to check out the crescent moon. In the Islam world, the appearance of a crescent moon starts the Ramadan month.
With a beautiful sky and a mosque located near in front of my flat's building, I was in for a BIG surprise: a packet of clouds seemed to point to heaven while the crescent moon glows just above it. So I took my camera and aimed for a composition but had a hard time to fit all three elements (the mosque, cloud hand and crescent moon) in one image. One solution for me was to tilt my camera and the result was awesome! As it turned out the tilt made my photo more dramatic as the cloud hand seem to point towards heaven, giving meaning for a Ramadan theme. After a few seconds, the cloud hand divided and then disappeared but I was happy to achieve that one-in-a million-image. :) Just check out below my previous post St. George and the Dragon of what I really mean when you are cornered with fancy clouds. Indeed, nature gives us puzzle images for us to capture and share to the world. Click on! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lola Basyang of the Valley Illusion (The Old Woman Storyteller)

Illusions are Mother Nature's puzzle games for us.
If you just look around you, there seems to be coded symbols and signs hidden around you, waiting to be unfolded as if it is waiting for the Indiana Jones within you. Just one click of a button and everything will be divulged to you like a picture puzzle.
We love illusions per se since these challenge our brains, giving us time to ponder and be wowed by what it could bring to our minds.
One hot sunny day, I went out to the Hidden Valley of Saudi Arabia with photographer friends. It was me, Mel Cuison and Sherwin Nora with his wife Shierly and two daughters, Sherinah Alyza and Mellissa in tow, who took a different path while other comrades trudged the other way.
It was there that I learned I have a fellow nature Illusion hunter in the group. I was surprised when It came to my attention that Sherinah Alyza, armed with a video camera, was also hunting for illusions. :) So, we tracked down the rock puzzles. As for me, I got a handful of illusions that day. Say, more than five and one of them is my Old Woman of the Valley which I believe is a hidden visual treasure that slowly fade through time.
Some say, taking photo illusions are kind of weird. Well, I think not. :) After all, everyone in us loves to make the over-used 'small-people-standing-on-our-giant-hands' photographic illusion. Would you Agree? Playful minds can produce playful results, indeed. Go shoot your illusions and Facebook tag me. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

St George and the Dragon Cloud Illusion (A Fairy-Tale book Story in the Sky)

No two clouds are exactly alike.
Remember when you were small and you have your notebook in hand memorizing the different kinds of clouds? Little as we were, we tried to put into our head some alien words like cumulus, stratos, altocumulus and altostratus to name a few. Cryptic language, eh! And of course, we were forced to imagine or visualize every cloud formation so once the teacher asks us, we will not be cornered with a blank sky in our minds.
Now, zoom to the present and the clouds will be your bestfriend if you are a nature or landscape photographer unless you like Photoshop to do it for you but then that would be unnatural.
Cloud formations are actually rich in illusions. Every child in us could have spent daydreaming and watching fancy clouds like faces or animals of any kind under bright cloudy skies.
Though cloud photography alone is usual and ordinary, one could create stories out of two combinations. I tried this myself creating a story by combining my two cloud shots taken in a span of just 3 weeks and the result is St. George and the Dragon with Knight George ready to slain the dragon with his cumulus sword. So Dream on and create your own fairy-tale cloud stories. Fin. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Self Portrait on A Van Gogh Landscape (Hyperspeed Motorcycle Ride Series Part 2)

NOTE: NO PHOTOSHOP effects! Straight from Camera...
Who says only oil and canvas, Corel Photopaint or Photoshop can do an impressionist art.
Well, I believe a DSLR or SLR film camera can do it too. With the right techniques, one can achieve Vincent Van Gogh's school of thought on cam. Yes, raw and unedited! Van Gogh, a dutch post-Impressionist painter, will probably put a smile on his face when he sees this. :) If only he were alive today, he would have experimented impressionism also on lens.:) Indeed, 'Motorcycle rides around countrysides' are so much fun...can't wait for another trip. Zoooommm! More soon :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fireball Attack Illusion (When Landscapes Speed Up)--Hyperspeed-Motorcyle Series

A motorcycle ride in the countryside is an enjoyable trip for a photographer like me. For one, I can ride hanging from the outside and get to view the vista around me freely :) Plus, I can create unique 'hyper-speed' photography since tricycles come in varied designs. Some are adorned with stickers just like the blue fireball stuck on a rooftop of one during my trip in a far-flung area in my hometown. Shooting 'hyper-speed' is tricky. So, with the right technique and settings plus a good hand stability, I get to capture a dramatic zoom effect as if the tricycle driver is Captain Spock of Star Trek and the motorcyle the Starship Enterprise:P So, here's the part 1 of of my Hyperspeed-Motorcycle ride series . Love to collect unique shots like this. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Darkness Versus Light (The League of the Heavens)


Deafening cheers. Head-turning movements. Agony and glory.
All of these are present in a volleyball match especially when two teams are at par with each other. With my fellow Kubo Photography Group members, I had the chance to photograph a volleyball league for women in a place where sandstorms are frequent.
So, I went one Friday afternoon when the sky was kind of unpredictable. The first game started with Mr. Sun still watching over the players, making them sweat, but suddenly, like an apocalyptic movie effect unfolding, an approaching sandstorm enveloped the blue sky. We thought it would rain and stop the games.
All of a sudden, it dawned on me that the dramatic sky could tell a story. So I positioned myself to where I can see an illusion of a seemingly "player cloud" spike a "cloud ball" while the other "player cloud" in the offensive side takes dire action. So, I set the camera settings to my own desires and took a shot. I was shocked to see the result and I'm so happy to have it on my collection of illusions. Behold Darkness Versus Light (The League of the Heavens)... You may click the photos to enlarge. :)

The "Urinating Lying Woman" of Don Salvador Illusion

Photography is not just about gears, it's about experience.
Well, who would debate me if photography should require expensive gears to capture a memorable image such as the"lying urinating woman" of Don Salvador Benedicto. This "urinating woman" illusion is created by imposing mountains and a magnificent waterfalls. If I will convert the image into words, it could be offending to any woman readers of my blog. So excuse me for my words. He he. ; ) If you observe closely, the lying "woman" spreads her legs open wide while she exposes her 'private part' in glory. It is a mind play since the mountains beyond the waterfalls may resemble her breasts, stomach or chin. And also, you can create on your mind an illusionary pregnant woman who just can't control urinating. So, it is up to the viewer to imagine and of course how to compose the image using a DSLR or point-and-shoot cameras (And, yes, even cellphone cams would do).
It was in 2005 when I first went there at the waterfalls viewdeck. It was a sunny day and I was awe-stricken, of course. But on 2009, it was a jaw dropping experience. The climate was completely different when I dragged some photography comrades up there. It was a day of cold temperature with series of raindrops that we were almost getting disappointed as the "urinating woman" was covered with fog. It was zero visibility. We almost gave up since it was getting dark but eventually at 5:30 pm, the fog cleared. I made the climate as an advantage to achieve cool strobist photos (see the photos above and click to enlarge). The pictures I took are results of our utter perseverance and patience. Well, after all, photography is also about patience. :)
If you are a nature photographer or an eco-tourist who wanted to see this, you can rent a van in Bacolod City and ply the route via Murcia. Don Salvador Benedicto lies at the mid-center of the hinterlands of the entire North of the Province of Negros Occidental, which is just approximately 30 minutes from Bacolod. (Click the images to enlarge)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Meal (The Island Monster Illusion)

Welcome to my "Illusion Lens" blog which features my natural illusion photography shots. This is my second blogspot to date. The other one,, is dedicated only for Photoshop Manipulation. So, the two blogs are completely on the opposite sides of the coin, so to speak. One is heavy on Photoshop while the other is Photoshop effects-free.
Other than photography and manipulation, I love writing so much but don't you worry this blog will be more on the experiences I encountered during my search for natural illusions or natural accidents which may contribute to the excitement on this blog. You will be spared with lengthy sentences. :)
My first post here is one of my favorite illusion shots to date. I found it somewhere in Aklan, Philippines where magnificent nature's bounties abound. Armed with a Nikon D90 and a Tokina 80-200 telephoto lens, I ventured forth on a boat ride and was overwhelmed with what I saw before my very eyes. I was caught up in an image of an illusionary monster island complete with eyes, hair, mouth and broken teeth and as if it wanted to swallow a fisherman nearby as its hearty meal. Needless to say, it was a worthwhile experience and the photo is timeless and very rare for me. Without that fisherman, it could have been different. Well, thanks to life's little yet awesome coincidences that could turn photographs into memorable illusions. You can click the image to download as a wallpaper for free of course. More Natural illusion soon. Watch Out! :D