a monochrome experiment

I have always liked monochromes black & whites or sepias. On a recent trip to Puerto Galera, Mindoro I took plenty of color photos but I also took a handful of monotones.

I wanted to see how the places I visited would look like in sepia rather than in the traditional colored photographs. I was surprised the photos invoked a feeling that I was back in that period of time in the early 1900s and there wasn’t much people around.

Photo notes:
The photos did not go through any post processing save for the waterfalls which I scaled down to meet the maximum upload size of the blogging software. The images were taken with a Canon EOS 100D in one of the programmable monochrome modes which I set myself. The lens is a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM set

re: Flickr

I have been a Flickr user since 2006. At the time, I have been looking for a place to store my digital photos. I’ve tried using external hard drives but (at the time) capacities were small — least the ones I could afford. Flickr offered free storage for up to 200 full-resolution photos. If I go beyond 200 I would only see the latest 200 photos and the rest are just hidden. This was what I remember. It has been twelve years. At one point, Yahoo! decided to open up and lift the 200-image limit and they gave one terabyte of storage space per user. This was too good to be true, I told myself. But I am not complaining.

I am not a professional photographer. I even consider myself half an enthusiast even though I have over 26 thousand photos in Flickr. I love taking photos of places I’ve been to, of friends and loved ones and each time I take a camera out I tried to improve on something even just a little. So my Flickr account contained mostly personal stuff. Memories. The added storage allowed me to see improvements I have made (if any) through time comparing photos from a year or two before to the ones I take today. It became more valuable to me since my wife passed away in the second half of 2014. I gathered all the photos and videos I had of her and uploaded them to Flickr. This was the point I started to use some more of Flickr’s features — grouping photos into Albums, once in a while I’d use tags for easier searching, looking at EXIF data. Flickr offered a lot more for the professional photographer but all I needed was a place to store the memories I’ve taken. It was like a box of photos taken over time. It was a large plus that I can organize things by using albums.

But I did say it was too good to be true. And be it good or bad, nothing lasts.

Yahoo! got sold to Verizon and Flickr got snapped up by SmugMug. Things are changing. I got mails about what’s going to happen and for the most part it was good. Someone who knows photography is going to take care of a neglected Flickr. Finally.

Change is inevitable and, for the most part, change is good. There will be some collateral damage but hopefully it will be at a minimum.

So okay let’s be candid then. SmugMug is a business. It’s acquisition of Flickr is a business decision first and foremost as it offers a promising growth path for both companies. And I say, “Good for them.”

So what do I, as a user, do now? To be honest, I’m on the fence on this one. The Pro offer is good but not in the budget as I am not even a professional. If stay with the free Flickr I get free storage for thousand photos and videos and the rest gets deleted. Deleted. That royally ticked me off.

I was thinking, “They’re going to delete my memories.” That’s over 25,000 mostly family photos and a handful of videos gone. And they make it sound like it’s not a big thing to them. Wouldn’t you be pissed?

Fine. I can just download everything and go. But I can also take the Pro offer with the 30% off and I can sit on the fence a bit longer. So I go and visit the site and and I found out it’s not 30% off as stated in the email.

It became 15%. No explanations. This is something getting close to shady, guys. It just makes me think you cannot keep your word.

Fine. Maybe I can still swing it. But if you guys decided on something like this, don’t change it. It just makes you look like you’re unsure of what you’re offering.

So with pouted face, I am still on the fence. Maybe I’ll get the Pro for one year so I can prep everything I need to prep. And then go.


I caught sight of this sunrise during one  of my morning walks around the Sampaloc Lake and it made me linger a bit. It seemed like the mountain was giving birth to new clouds.

mornings and sunrises

This scene made it feel like there’s something new coming, that there’s something to look forward to.

The photo was taken on my Dad’s 40th day.

Cameras I’ve used

That is what I like about taking photos — to capture a moment or series of moments so I can remember the faces and the places I have been at a point in time.

taking photos with a CanonI started with a borrowed Kodak instamatic film camera when I was in grade school. I even tried developing my own film roll using an empty but minuscule storage cabinet as a dark room. Of course, naive that I am, that exercise was a failure. In high school I eventually moved on to a borrowed SLR — an Canon AE-1 Program — which I fell in love with. When I started working I used another borrowed SLR — a Pentax (I forget the model) — which I used to experiment with black & white film.

I eventually bought my own SLR film camera — a Canon EOS88. It was nothing fancy. I wanted to start recording memories of a newborn as he grows up.  Years later I eventually got myself a DSLR for a birthday — an EOS 100D — the camera pictured here.  The kit lens was replaced by a prime and I was quite satisfied with the results.

Without me being conscious of it, just taking photos transformed into a hobby.

The film camera is still working fine but it’s due for bit of cleaning. Instead of the kit lens it is now fitted with one of Canon’s low end prime lenses — a 50mm f1.8, It is very good glass inside a plastic body and mount. I still use it every now and then whenever I forget to be lazy or when there is an itch to use film.

Between the two cameras, I have recorded more than 25,000 slices of moments and I would probably take twice more given enough time and opportunity.