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Muddy Woods

So this is one of the pictures I took while on my epic road trip from Birmingham, AL to San Jose, CA.

It was definitely a surprising experience, because all this time I thought that I needed an RV or at least a real big car to do something like this. However, my dad and I crossed the great USA in my small compact KIA Rio… without a glitch! Really impressed with the damn dinky! :)

The fun part was that I was getting a chance to work my Olympus E-M1 to the full (ok maybe not all the way but a lot :P lol). Just had one lens, the 12-40mm pro. Yeah, it’s much simpler having only one lens to deal with I guess? :-)

Anyways, enjoy the shot & I hope you like it and do leave a comment! Many more to come… ;)

Muddy Woods

Edited with LightRoom 5 + SilverFX Pro 2

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Olympus OMD E-M1, Travel Journal

 

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F**K YOU SAMSUNG … F**K YOUR PRODUCT & CUSTOMER SERVICE !!

F**K YOU SAMSUNG … F**K YOUR PRODUCT & CUSTOMER SERVICE !!

So YAY! after a lot of sleepless nights pondering over whom I should give my hard-earned money to, to get their phone, I went with Samsung… with all the appeal and utilitarian advantages of their newly released phablet – the Note 4.

I had always hated the company when it came to their Galaxy lineup for a weird reason, that it was every Tom, Dick & Harry had a Galaxy phone, if not the iPhone! Just hated it… weird, odd, crazy call it what you may, but that’s what it was.

I was using the LG G2 for more than a year before I changed service providers (that itself is another cry) and getting the Note 4. My brother-in-law had bought the Note 3 last year and used it like a laptop, and not like a phone or a little more than that. No seriously, he used the crap out of that phone and it had no issues whatsoever. I mean who posts resumes and applies to around a 100 job application using his phone?! Well, based on his user experience, I decided to go for the Note 4, since I had to get a new phone. My phone service provider (Sprint) sucked big time and had proved to be a joke. Any of you readers plan on going with sprint – DON’T !

So it was the Note 4 or the iPhone 6 plus… well, with the iPhones bending doggy-style everywhere, I thought of going with the more “conservative” and “discreet” phone, and thus bought myself the Note 4 – at the outright price for $805 otd. Very happy, very ecstatic and flying in air with joy on that day I was… oh yes sir!

Bubble Burst # 1:

After using it so very cautiously for 3 weeks and treating it like a first-born child, the phone started acting weird. Apps would open randomly by themselves, esp. the gallery app. Just super random.

Went to the store I got the phone from and the guy ran the “diagnostics” on the device (to be honest, i really don’t think that software does anything… it’s just a make-believe like the Open Door switch in the elevator), and as expected – nothing showed up! “So yeah, we’re sorry, but nothing showed up in the test.” “Please try factory restoring the phone and see if that fixes it?!”

Yeah, thank you very much for nothing! Won’t lie but I’m not sure if that was a “fix” or if my phone just forgot how to malfunction after that, becuz that problem didn’t show up after.

Bubble Burst # 2:

So 2 days ago, I remove the S-Pen to scribe, scribble, draw & paint on the phone. There is a part of the screen that the s-pen wouldn’t write on! Yes, I can use my finger and it works, but the Action Memo and on any other app (Papyrus, ArtRage) I can’t mark using the s-pen in this one area/patch that’s the size of a US quarter! WTF?!?! Yeah, it’s like 2am and I was tired and kinda sleepy, but after this – I’m wide awake!

Nothing I did changed it… so I went ahead and tried the following before deciding to go to the store in the morning again ~

  1. Factory reset
  2. Changing the tip of the s-pen itself
  3. Deleting any apps that I might have downloaded that would’ve been restricting (not that I know why)
  4. Switching Off & On multiple times and opening it in Safe Mode

I was exhausted and quite honestly, I thought that nothing will change no matter what I did. So I decided to go to sleep, hoping that when I wake up, this will all be just a nightmare!

Woke up and the issue was still there. I called T-Mobile and explained to them what was going on, and they said they couldn’t help me with anything, even though they sold me a freakin’ lemon! They wouldn’t exchange or take back the device and refund me back. The guy at the store suggested that I contact Samsung since it was still under warranty period.

Experiencing Samsung’s outstanding Customer Service

Call # 1

After a lengthy promotional speech advertising the amazing products by Samsung and the unmistakeable customer support the company provides, I finally got a real human speak… and after describing him the situation at hand, I demanded that my phone was defective and it be replaced by a new one. The guy tells me “No sir, we can’t do that! We can only give you a refurbished one.” … straight away without a pause. I reminded him that I purchased the phone brand new and I was entitled to it.

He suggested that I might not have to send it in if I followed his instructions, and if the issue resolved. Made me clear the touchwiz memory and restart the phone after taking out the battery. Must admit, the problem did solve…

… but after just an hour, the same problem came up!

Call # 2

This time around, there was another guy (as always is, ya know what I mean…?) and he suggested I switch off the phone and turn it back on in Safe Mode. I had to disconnect the call as I was using my phone to reach out. Did what he said but it was not a fix.

Tried calling him back but …..

Call # 3

Waited for 20 mins before anyone could answer the phone – no one did. Gave up!

Call # 4

Called again after 5 mins…. waited another 10 mins before someone answered. Asked him to direct to the Galaxy Note 4 dept….

Was put on hold for 15 mins! Things looking real bad by now…

Call # 5

Finally got someone and made her say the words “Samsung Cust. Care is BullShit!”, before having her direct me to the Note 4 dept. …. and yes, someone answered, and was again put on hold for 18 min. (I was counting..).

So there you are my friends, this is how companies act when they become all popular and don’t give a shit!!

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Public Awareness, Uncategorized

 

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MY FIRST TAKE WITH THE OMD E-M1

So I bit the bullet and got myself the Oly E-M1. I was dead set on getting the Sony A7 but after reading a post and discussing it with a fellow WordPress blogger and mirrorless user Rey, I changed my mind and got the E-M1, instead of the A7. A choice that I am happy that I made. Less expensive and way more bang for the buck for sure!

Sure, when I did get the package (I got the body with 12-40 f/2.8 pro lens kit), I was dumbfounded for a couple of days. The menus, the little tweaks and such – made me cry! I don’t know, the last time I owned a DSLR was way back in 2009. Since selling my Nikon D200 I was using the Ricoh GX200, that got stolen in 2012 and I later on got the Ricoh GR. The E-M1 is a totally different story altogether.

Anyhow, after some use, swearing and asking for help online, I did get my hands “used” to the E-M1 (still lot to learn though), and yes, the photos are simply mind-blowing.

Wanted to share some photos I took with it and especially since I haven’t posted anything here on my blog for a long time, I thought I would post some pics :)

… and yeah, I am IN LOVE with the Oly’s b/w grain!! Just incredible… did we just go back to film?! lol

Please leave a comment – if you like ‘em! ;)

GreatSaltLake_20140830_12

RedButteGarden_20140830_14

RedButteGarden_20140830_7

RedButteGarden_20140830_10

Great_Salt_Lake_1

RedButteGarden_20140830_12

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Travel Journal

 

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Humans are a virus

tigerclaws:

True as Hell… Lol

Originally posted on All That I Love:

“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.” Agent Smith, Matrix, 1999.

In this Earth Day I was picking up pieces of themes to make a post, so I remembered this anthological quote from Agent Smith (played by Hugo Weaving…

View original 92 more words

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Warming Up To The Ricoh GR

Warming Up To The Ricoh GR

Been a very long time since I posted anything in here, I know. Truth of the matter is, I’ve been lazy (wont deny), and didn’t know what to really post here. Didn’t take any really amazing shots or such and there have been major changes in life – for the better. I was troubled more with less photographic aspects of life.

One of the 2 major things that happened with me in 2014 is that I got a new camera – Ricoh GR. I was crying my heart out after losing my lovely and amazing little Ricoh GX200 (got stolen) that I just couldn’t help but stop taking pics.

It’s funny that there has been so many point & shoot sized cameras coming out that it’s almost impossible to decide which one you should buy. It’s like there will always be some sort of serious compromise with any system or camera model. It can be a good thing too, if you are very defined about your shooting habits and what you shoot. Otherwise, cramping everything into ONE system/camera is impossible!

Back in 2010 or so, when I was debating to buy the GX200, I had my eyes on the GRD III and I went with the GX200 (never regretting). So, when I lost my GX200 and the GR came out with an APS-C sized sensor, it was a no-brainer! I had to get it especially since I wanted to really try street shooting and yes, these Ricoh were a legacy with street shooting. And thus, I went for it.

It’s been a total different experience with the GR than it was with the GX200. Don’t ask me why, because I haven’t a clue! I just LOVED the super intuitive menu on the GX200 and I did expect the same with the GR. The GR menu I feel, is a bit more complex and deep-rooted than the GX200 was. Perhaps, it will take time to fully comprehend and grasp the camera.

I wanted to share a few pics that I did take and it would be nice if my readers left some feed back about the shots and their experience with their Ricoh GR … :-)

Little Eden_1 Little Eden_2 Love Forever What's There? Popsicle World Hippie Ride_1 Hippie Ride_2

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Random Shots, Ricoh GR

 

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Android / iPhone & ART : What’s Your Take?!

People for a long time consumed themselves with the DSLR’s, the amphibious mirrorless world, moving on if possible to digital medium format backs, have started to find themselves settling with their cellphone images, for sharing purposes for starters. Creating in no way any less artistic photographs than they would, if they had used anything else. The most significant detail in this trend was that, these “photographers” were not professionals or in many cases photographers at all. They were the happy-go-lucky snappers that found their artistic vision aided, nevertheless, by photo-apps.

It was a definitely a collective effort and a mass creation of sorts, that made an impact in the artistic world, so much so that even cellphone manufacturers took note, and the megapixel war that had somewhat died in the camera world, now trickled down to your regular cellphones.

If someone said today that a photograph from a cellphone isn’t valid, original or praise-worthy, he would get looks he never would expect. The craze of shoving more and more technology into that little palm sized device holds no boundaries, and with every new and more, comes the want and expectation, not need, for more!

I remember, back in the days when phones were “phones” and not an tech-toolkit. The addition of a camera in a phone was popularized by Nokia with their early GSM models (can’t remember the exact model that really made the “camera” feature popular). Well, that was then and this is now – 41MP camera, HD display, no-need-to-touch control, voice over command, GPS… frankly a mini computer, if not more, in your palm. The mere sight of a photo appearing on the “colored” screen got everyone excited back then, and it’s no different now. People just grew to expect and want more and more – that is all.

PLATFORM WARS

The purpose of my post is not just to evaluate the growth of technology, I wanted to vent out my frustration about the 2 platforms that have pretty much monopolized the phone market (sorry Windows, you ain’t there yet :P) when it comes to photo-apps.

One might think it is the hardware that would make the most impact and not the app/software when it came to creating a strong photograph. I started with Android with the HTC Droid. Thought it had a big lens element, would def. capture better pics. Through the time, cameras and phones got way better and many apps added, some really good ones and some just to fill the void!

It was only recently that I really got interested in “mobile photography” and started giving it a serious look, esp. since upgraded my phone to the LG Optimus G with 13 MP. The choices of apps in the Android market were many now, but still the ones that were worth keeping and trying were the same old ones. Sadly, the best photo app in the Android market was PicPlz. Alas, that got taken down in 2012. The apps that got people all crazy into taking more pics were and still are with Apple, and only very recently a couple of them made it to the Android market. Instagram for a long time was Apple only, Hipstamatic was and still is with Apple, Vignette has recently shown some presence in Google Play. Android did it’s part, in a feeble and slow pace to overcome the lack of those particular apps, but we all know it didn’t cut it – by a long shot!

So, coming back to the main issue at hand, is it better off to bow down to Apple’s Al-Mighty app power and make-do with the hardware it provides OR buy a powerful hardware (it is important to mention here that Windows based phones are proving to be mighty contenders with the new line of Nokia phones released) and do as much as possible with whatever (app) is at hand?!

SOLUTION

It has been a very frustrating exercise deciding where to spill the cash for the next 2 yrs iPhone or Android… let alone the choice between service providers. iPhone had the apps & Android had the camera.

Laying in bed, dreaming of a phone that was a love-child of Android and Apple, a possible solution came to mind. Capture with the best hardware (aka an android phone) and manipulate it in iPad. Now, this might not seem like an on-the-go method, but it sure seems the only way now, and probably for some time.

Shoot with any phone and download it on your iPad and edit there using Apple only apps. Almost all the apps o Google Play are there on the iTunes.

I haven’t as yet tried this out, since I don’t have an iPad lol.. but I would be very interested in what you guys think! Come to think of it, it would be a good exercise to see how shots taken with regular cameras look and if these apps can handle files of that size.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Mobile-O-Graphy, My Photo-Rant

 

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My 1st “Official” Book Puchase

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So, after quite a while I finally gave in and bought myself a “photo book”. I have bought photo-magazines mostly (or all of the time) and any photo “book” that I do have, has had a questionable acquiring to say the least.

The reason why I never bought a photo-book is mainly due to the fact that I didn’t see any “reference” value in it… once you finished the book, it was over! Now I am not talking about books that ARE meant for going back and referring to them till u get the trick a 100%. Example of that would be Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Diaries. Magazines on the other hand, tend to have the “look again, see again, feel again” effect. One might want to look at the pic he/she sees in a magazine once more at a later time just ‘cuz it’s – good to look at !

I have always been very interested in X-Games and more so photographing it. However, with a lot of things in life, they never happen and so I have (as yet) not experienced it. Will I? I certainly plan and hope so!

I came across some shots of Mike Blabac while checking out videos on YouTube and saw someone doing a review of his book. Gorgeous pics, Splendid design, Hardcover, Lot of pages – just had to have it! The book is definitely a collector’s must esp. if he/she is into skateboarding and the like.

I will take snaps of all the photo-books I have as soon as I get my room organized… which apparently is a 2-day ordeal! :D

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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