Category Archives: Captured Bits of Light


Resting Places

Trying another post from the iPhone, this time with photos.

Yesterday, my wife and I went to put flowers on her dad’s grave. He’s interred at a beautiful temple / cemetary near our house. We took a quiet walk around the grounds and I took a few photos, keeping others privacy foremost in mind and being respectful.

Anyway, here’s a photo of one of the small Buddah statues that surround the grounds and some of the flowering trees that are omnipresent.

I took the photo with my iPhone, using CameraBag and the Helga filter.

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Filed under Attack of the Robot Monsters, Captured Bits of Light, Left From Seattle

A Little Bit More

Here’s another couple of shots done with Camera Bag:

This is the cinema filter:


This is the Holga filter:


I’m really digging the Holga filter.

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Toy Camera Phenom

A couple of weeks ago I went down to the park for the annual Hanami festivities. This year, for the first time in a long, long time, I didn’t take a camera with me. Instead I decided to put my iPhone’s camera through the paces. More specifically, I wanted to see what the applications CameraBag and ToyCamera would do with Hanami shots. Here are two results:

This first pic. was altered with ToyCamera’s XXXX filter. I really like the effect this app applies to images; it gives things a nice retro feel as well as warming up the colors.


The second pic. was altered with CameraBay’s 1974 filter which has an even better “back in the day” feel to it.


Generally speaking, I like CB just a bit better than TC. CB’s filters are based around older camera styles, while TC is based more around classic film stocks. On the other hand, TC has better menus and community features. They’re really both worth having for photogeeks and for iPhone users who want something a little different for their photos.

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Street Photos

JPG has put out the first theme for their next issue – Street.  The editors have put in a clause mentioning that this is meant to be examples of Street Photography, not photos of streets; Street Photography is candid, natural photography, usually done with a minimum of set-up or apparatus.  The goal is to capture people as they go about their lives, doing the things that make them interesting.

Getting published in JPG is one of my goals as it is a different kind of magazine.  For one thing, for me, personally, it represents the more artistic side of camera-work, as opposed to journalism or advertising work and I would like to see some of my work in that category.  For another, it is socially based.  Photos are voted on and chosen by editors based on recommendations from readers and photographers who submit to the magazine.

All of which is a long lead-in to my getting up this morning and getting out into the rain with my camera to take pictures of people being people on a cold, wet Saturday morning.  Nothing fantastic yet, but it felt good to be out and working at crossing a goal off the list.  Managed to squeeze in time for some good curry and nan at lunchtime with a friend, so, even better.

I have a few more weeks yet, so I’m going to keep working the theme.  They’ll all be up on Flickr and JPG eventually and I’ll choose one to submit.  I’ll make sure to post something here for anyone who is interested.

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Intimate vs. Private

JPG is a good magazine.  It’s a good place for aspiring photographers to submit to; it’s a good place for fans of photography to see some of the best, newest, freshest, non-commercial work around; it’s a good place for supporters of internet freedoms like expression and community to gather and communicate their ideas.  It’s a good, good thing.

JPG is also a fairly unusual magazine in that it is very much for the people, by the people.  The magazine is run by a handful of people who perform tasks like selection of written content, design, layout, etc.  The photos, however, are chosen not just by an editor by by votes.  On the website, members can vote each picture on whether or not it fits the given theme.  It is important to realize that the voting has nothing to do with quality or composition or skill, or rather, it has everything to do with those ideas, providing they are used in support of the theme.

Each issue contains a theme or three and the editors pick from the highest rated photographs on the website to build an issue devoted to the theme.  Each issue is then printed on demand when a purchase order is sent in.  This makes the magazine a little more expensive, but it lets the magazine stay in business without major commercial or advertising support.

In short, I really like the magazine and think it is an interesting social experiment in the development of popular, readitly available, amateur media.  It is also somewhere I submit to on occasion, but without any success as of yet.

In fact, I have been thinking of possible compositions to submit to the current theme of “intimate”.  While contemplating my own ideas, I went onto the site to see what others had been up to and to place a few votes.  There are a ton of great photos already posted for consideration of the theme.  Fantastic photos.  Well made photos.  Photos exploring light and composition and boundaries.  Just not too many that I thought depicted “intimate” or “intimacy”.

The problem is, too many people seem to feel that “intimate” and “private” are synonyms when they are not.  Intimate means sharing the deepest, most secret parts of ourselves; revealing our hidden truths and scars.  This is why the act of sex is often described as “being intimate” and why lawyers cite “a lack of intimacy” as legitimate grounds for divorce.  “Private”, on the other hand, means only to be alone, or to be kept within oneself.  After all, diaries often contain “private” thoughts, but they rarely contain “intimate” thoughts.

This may seem like I am being pedantic or just splitting hairs, but it’s what I have been thinking about as I look through these photographs.  It’s what I wish I could explain to so many of these photographers who are taking such great photos that I vote to keep out of the issue; it’s what I’ll be keeping in mind as I keep my camera in hand this weekend, looking for intimicy in the middle of the crowd.

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Whale Shark


Originally uploaded by SunToad.

Ok, last Okinawa photo. Maybe. I took this at the Churaumi Aquarium; they have three whale sharks in this massive tank, along with sharks and stingrays and multitudes of little fishes.

Disclosure: The quality on this photo is not quite what I would have wanted, but I have always wanted to take one of these photos – the people in silhoutte in front of massive fishes.

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Back in Town

We’re back.

It was a pretty good vacation; some bad things, but mainly good.  Although, my absolute favorite part was the look on my wife’s face as she tried a root beer float for the first time at the Naha City A&W.  Let’s just say that she wasn’t impressed.

Anyway, expect lots of photos this week.  Enjoy.

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