That’s a rather flattering description of the way I postprocess my photos. XD I can’t give the step-by-step process exactly, but I play around with Selective Color, Brightness/Contrast, Curves, some fill layers and blending options. I hope that helps! :)
Hello, there! I edit my photos using Photoshop CS4 (Portable) and Elements 3. :)
This was sort of a mini-college fair/concert. Was able to catch on a few performances from some of the freshmen blocks. I kind of wish there was something like this back during my freshman days.
On another note, I tried taking pictures purely for the sake of taking photos of performances like these. I may or may not have mentioned this before, but my ultimate waterloo is event photography. That coupled with nighttime spells my demise. So it’s a rather pleasant surprise that I was able to take a few decent shots from this night. :)
Warning: This photo of this glass of coffee on the left is deceiving. Unless you like wine-tasting coffee, then this isn’t for you. Haha.
After “ditching” (or rather, being ditched by) a workshop we were supposed to attend, my mentor-slash-friend-slash-ditch companion decided to traverse the vast territory that is UP Diliman. Had lunch at Rodic’s at the Shopping Center, checked out stuff at Diliman Republic (Will someone please get me the awesome “Akala Mo Lang Wala Nang Slumbook Pero Meron, Meron, Meron!” slumbook?), and basically rode the Ikot jeep 12363457354954 times. Visited the Fine Arts building (I regret not being able to take a single photo of the graffiti wall for some stupid reason, huhu) and the Bahay ng Alumni for the first time. This also marks the first time I had been disappointed by coffee I thought of trying out (Then again, I’m wondering if it has something to do with my tolerance for alcohol)! Ended the day by catching a flick at Shangri-La. Again, first time watching an animated film at the cinema. This day was totally a day of firsts. Despite slight disappointments, I can say I had fun. :)
Title of this post is in reference to a text message sent by the same friend mentioned above. :P
Photo by Ysabel Rodriguez.
What started as something spur-of-the-moment turned into a really awesome experience. When Ate Nesh first contacted me back in August, asking me if I was interested in joining the J-Pop Singing Contest portion of the J-Pop Festival, I was surprised, skeptical even. I liked recording fancovers and doing JPop concerts in the shower, but I never really thought of joining actual competitions as I’m actually very shy and have a mild case of stage fright. At the back of my head though, I thought it wasn’t so bad trying something new, and so, given the opportunity, I decided to swallow my shyness and submit my registration form.
Days, weeks, and months went on after I submitted my form, and I had nearly forgotten I actually joined such a thing until I was tagged in a post saying I had gotten in the official list of participants. At the time, I was swarmed with academics and practically had exams almost every week. With final and removal exams happening a week short of November, I basically had no time to prepare. I thought about backing out.
Four days before the contest, I frantically started memorizing ayaka’s “Okaeri”, practicing in the hallways during enrolment. A day later, I found myself making very little progress, singing the bits of lyrics I could remember rather miserably. That night, I casually mentioned singing Judy and Mary’s “Sobakasu” instead to a friend, who asked me to sing it to him. After hearing the entire song, he told me it was the one.
I knew this song by heart, as I had been singing it since high school, but I had fears about singing it as it was difficult, execution-wise. Suddenly developing a hoarse voice on the day of the contest would be the end of me. And so despite having it memorized, I refused to sing it and only considered it a last resort.
I obviously had no other option left. I could either back out or humiliate myself in front of a huge crowd by getting off-key. Neither sounded promising, but something in me was reminded of that invitation back in August, and that back then it sounded like a good idea. I remembered the people who were genuinely happy for me upon finding out I had gotten in the official list of participants for the contest. They believed in me, and perhaps, it was about time I believed in myself.
Fast forward to the day of the event. Upon arriving, I already found a growing number of fans gathering outside the venue. Lining up and waiting for the organizers to start selling tickets almost took forever, but I guess it was a good thing because the nervousness hammering my chest soon began dying down, little by little. Perhaps it was the hunger mixed with fatigue, or perhaps it was seeing familiar faces reassuring me that everything will be fine.
Soon enough, tickets were sold, “gates” were opened, and guests started flooding into the theater. Participants were called to the backstage and right then and there I got the biggest shock of my life. As we were introducing ourselves to each other, we each found out the songs the other participants were going to sing. Right there I found out that another participant was going to sing the exact same piece as I was. As if that wasn’t enough to flip my stomach over, I also found out that she was contestant number one (as the one supposedly to sing first didn’t show up). It was rather freaky and funny at the same time, how two in nine people could pick the same song to perform on the same day. I felt my stomach churning. The little confidence I built over a few hours came crashing down. It was like a worst case scenario turned reality.
Nonetheless, the people I ran to told me I would do just great despite the situation, and I repeated their words as some sort of consolation. Soon, the contestants were being called over one by one to perform on stage. As my time was nearing, all I could pray for was to be able to sing decently. I came for the experience, after all. I wasn’t expecting anything.
As I ambled onto the stage, I vaguely remembered five years ago. There I was, standing on a similar stage, singing the same song. But back then, the audience were students who couldn’t give a damn about animé, and barely had any interest in Japanese music whatsoever. They were bored, almost expressionless as I sang my piece. Back then, I felt like a failure. And now, five years later, here I was, giving this another try. But this time it felt different. Hearing the people I knew (and even the people who barely had an inkling about who I even was) cheering for me put all my hesitation to rest. Earlier’s fears disappeared completely, and before I knew it, I was running around like I was doing my own concert. The notes I couldn’t hit perfectly during practices before came out effortlessly. My head began throbbing from adrenaline rush. But all I knew was that finally, I felt like I belonged here. This was my stage.
After days of hardwork over a t-shirt design became seemingly wasted, my awesome mentor and I decided to resume my training (read: spontaneous drawing sessions). By some odd coincidence, both of us thought of spending an afternoon at this quaint coffeeshop situated along Taft Avenue.
I first heard about it from some friends, and upon seeing photos of its quirky and absolutely adorable interior, was quickly lured in.
Seeing it for the first time only made me a very happy visitor. Lovely furniture and concept, from the random drawings on paper cups and writings on floorboards, polaroid photographs posted on walls and placed in between table surfaces, to the stuffed toys, robots, and wooden figures you can see just about everywhere. Compared to other local coffeeshops (which are overcrowded most of the time anyway), Café Noriter gives off a cozy atmosphere almost similar to home, probably owing to the unique pieces and mostly-personalized decorations to be found on display. Their coffee, either, did not disappoint. Being the traditional coffee-drinker that I am (as I like my coffee hot and bittersweet), I am pleased to say that they delivered just that. Aside from the slightly inappropriate choice of music (read: modern mainstream) early in the afternoon, I would say I definitely enjoyed my stay there.
Can’t wait to return soon! :) ♥
It may not have been obvious with my previous posts, but I do have siblings, and one of them is Stephanie. I think she’s really very pretty, but she dresses like a guy sometimes (read: baggy shirts, jeans, and sneakers) and generally avoids very girly things. So imagine my thrill when she asked me to take pictures of her (with makeup!).
Both Adrianne and I agreed that she looks immensely like my mom during her modeling days. And while she’s still in jeans in these photos, I can’t wait for the day to finally take pictures of her wearing dresses. ♥
(On another note though, I haven’t taken pictures in ages and I think I’ve gotten rusty, so sorry for the quality!)
Yesterday, a whole bunch of my classmates and I decided to visit Mia, who was confined at home due to an accident she had encountered a week ago. She was in high spirits despite of what happened, and was surprised to see us. (Apparently, Yanna’s little mishap wasn’t enough of a hint to beloved Mia, who still hadn’t a clue we were coming, hihihi. ♥)
Events ensued on the way there: I ran in Olympics-fashion to catch a bus in the middle of Pedro Gil, a tricycle we were on broke down, and we almost got lost looking for Mia’s house (due to and was saved by Yanna’s pwnsome navigation skills).
We learned a lot from our visit, i.e. the fact that Mia is actually a math goddess, her “love life” from high school, and as part of my own realization, that college!Mia and high school!Mia appeared one and the same. (Talk about being youthful, hoho.)
Good news is, Mia would be returning to school come Friday. Boy, am I excited to see her again. :D
Conducted an interview for our HumDev subject early this afternoon. Members for the “normal” group were Mikko, Mia, Nicole, Lilbert, Jex, Rej (who unfortunately wasn’t able to come due to certain reasons) and myself. The interview went well (except for the fact that I seemed tongue-tied and stuttered during the entire thing), much to our relief. Good job, guys! :)