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Sunday, September 28, 2008

[Filipino] Spaghetti Tonight!

See in the lower left hand corner? That's hotdog and that' what makes it Filipino.

Courtesy of my mom's culinary skills. =]

Friday, September 26, 2008

Christmas Wish List: Canon G10

Photo courtesy of from their Photokina 2008 coverage.

Freshly announced in Photokina 2008, Canon will be releasing an upgrade to their popular G9 semi-pro compact camera. There are some minor cosmetic changes but they also upped the megapixel count from 10 to 14.7! [Megapixels are getting higher and higher.. meaning they just eat up memory cards like cake!]

Photo courtesy of from their Photokina 2008 coverage.

Why would I want this when I have a DSLR?

Well, for one, it's not that big to take around. I also wouldn't have to compromise image quality when getting a compact digital camera.

But the coolest part: I can use these with my strobes to take shots with incredibly fast shutter speeds. [I'm going to get geeky here:] On my DSLR that I use for my shoots, I have a shutter speed that will only sync at 1/125. With this camera [and because of its shutter mechanism], I can take a photo with 1/2000. That means I can stop just about anything in all its crispness! [Water droplets, action shots like my famous jumping shots] But that means I can shoot studio shots with a shallow depth of field for more creative options when shooting with strobes.

I also would want it because caman now.. look at it. It's a beautiful beast.

Ok, I'm down with geeking out. But definitely, this is an amazing camera/tool to be used.

Beginning Photography: Semester 2

It's Semester 2 for my class with Daly City's after school program I've entitled Beginning Photography.

Those two kids behind might look familiar... they were in my "first semester" earlier in the year and were real excited to take my class again to build upon their basic knowledge of photography [a total of 5 have returned and I'm real proud that these 5 students wanted to come back to my class]

Anywhoo, this is a photo of me taken by one of my students. I was demonstrating Rule of Thirds and I had each of them use my pocket digital camera to show me if they understood it. They were suppose to take a photo of the lens cap I was holding and frame it so it was in one of the thirds of the photo... but from the looks of this photo, I think this is from my new students since he/she placed it in the middle. haha

All good.. I'm in for this for fun and it's real great teaching a class of kids who are like sponges wanting to absorb the material but more importantly wanting to go out and take photos!

Book Signing: Tamim Ansary, author of West of Kabul, East of New York

My girlfriend and I went to Excelsior Branch Lirbary in SF last Wednesday to attend a book discussion and signing event with author Tamim Ansary.

I have a lot of books to read and cool thing is that most of em are signed!

Tamim patiently waiting for his introduction to end so he can talk about his book.

Tamim, the first Afghan-American, writes in his memoir of what it means to be Afghan-American and the hardships of it especially post 9/11. After that event, he sent an email to 20 of his friends with his thoughts and feelings of the event and the reponses that were elicited from that tragic event. Because it was a moving email/letter, it was forwarded to others and forwarded to hundres to even thousands--not just here in US but across the seas as well. This book is an extention to that.

Cher getting her book signed.

He asked us what school we were and we replied USF but for some odd reason he kept saying [SF] State. lol :shrug:

My turn!
Well Cher... it turned out blurry but regardless, we have proof we met a cool guy [look at those yellow suspenders!]. Plus, I did pitch in my business card to him saying that it would be a cool opportunity to photograph him for a portrait.

He goes "Well... I'm busy with writing right now..."
"Well ok, if anything, do take a look at my website.. and shoot me an email if you can."
"Ok. Ok."

So we'll see. I told Cher I'm going to be the one taking the cover photo for his next book. haha So we'll see if that happens.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

J-Ricz: Genesis album Preorders!

photo by JJ Casas

Just received confirmation earlier that my friend, J-Ricz, is now accepting orders for friends and family. If you know me, you know him.. [or at least should know him]. So do support indepenent artists and this guy for sure you won't be disappointed from hearing his music!

During the summer, we shot his album cover and came up with a clean concept that goes with his album title "Genesis."

I'd post more pictures but I'll wait until I get a confirmation from him that I can. heheh But for now, order a copy! For his friends and family promo, it's a steal at $8, including shipping and handling! (Retail will be $11.99 + shipping, taxes, etc]. Plus, part of the proceeds will be donated to "Shirt the Kids" campaign through where it benefits the impoverished children of the Philippines.

So hit this link NOW and go order a fresh copy of his long awaited album [which happens to have my album photography] =)


Out of all the places...

...I see a menu for a Mexican restaurant in one of the bathroom stalls at USF. Whoever brought that into the bathroom I already assume was taking a number 2, but there are two other assumptions I have that I'd like to know: 1) was the guy figuring out what he ate that gave him a stomache ache or 2) was the guy figuring out what to eat later on. Either way, what a strange find.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Patricio Ginelsa: "Your Power"

My friend Patricio Ginelsa just completed a PSA. Thought I'd like to share this piece of work from him but also a friendly reminder to go out and vote!

Book Signing: Danica McKellar [from The Wonder Years] "Kiss My Math"

So.... this book... isn't for me. "Kiss My Math," written by actress and mathematician Danica McKellera [aka. Winnie from The Wonder Years] wrote this for teens.. more like for girl teens to help them out in math. But hey, a photo/autograph/meeting opp should never be missed, right?

Kiss My Math.
I always get nervous as far as what to say/ask in these book signings. So I decided to ask, "Was it hard choosing this major over acting? And what did your friends think of it?" She answered that it was very difficult to choose but once she knew she was good in math, she decided to major in it. And how many years here she is, a second time author of a New York Bestselling book.

This time around there was minimal awkwardness. She asked who is Cherry and I said that's my girlfriend and JJ.. that's uhm.. me. hahah

That dude in the back... happens to be a Borders employee but come on man, get out of the pictures! You're giving Danica an extra head for crying out loud!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Photoshoot: Reeza's Headshots

That's my friend Reeza signing my standard release forms that I'm doing now to keep record. I had her sit in to do a few test shots right before the actual shoot.
Within an hour, we shot over 100 shots in which I narrowed down just below 100 for her to send me her selections. She needs a standard 8x10 photo to accompany her resume.

Part two of this shoot will be taken outside... most likely in downtown San Francisco. We just need to find a spot and from there, part two!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Book Signing: Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea @ USF

Today at USF, author Greg Mortenson stopped by to not only sign copies of his book but also give a talk [which I missed since I had class].

While he's suppose to come by 2:30pm, he arrived by 2:50pm in which the line waiting for him grew pretty long.

Finally, around 3:05pm I get to him and I'm pretty much nervous since I'm always looking for words to say when I meet well known person. Plus, I haven't even read the book so I couldnt bring up anything. hahah Oh man, that was a wreck. But I did come out to get my copy signed because I heard it was really a good book and now I'm more pumped to read it.

This was the awkward moment we had--he signed my copy as well as my cousin's copy I got for him.. all the while I'm taking these photos. He then looks up, and I have my camera about 2.5 feet from his face. No words were exchanged at this moment. He just smiles and I just smile too behind the camera. Awkward indeed.

Finally, I was able to muster up a few words and say "Hey, can I take a photo with you?" And he says sure so I give the camera to a friend waiting in line as well to take my photo with him.

It was a strange, exciting, and awkward moment all at once. It's like meeting someone for the first time, with knowledge of his achievements that are nationally known, but only hearing itall  through the grapevine because you yourself haven't takent the time to read up about him.

Yea.. that's how it felt.

Book Signing: Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea @ USF

I'm in line waiting for Greg Mortenson to show up on now cool and overcast San Francisco (can you believe that it was 90's in SF past few days?!) But yea, to be honest I've yet to read this book since I'm still finishing another one (and have many other books on queue) but I will get to it! I'll post an official picture of Greg and I once it's taken by my friend. Yee!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Nonage: $300 Donated!!!! (Sept 5 2008)

My goal was to donate the funds that were raised from every book sale of Nonage to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at the end of summer... while I did send it a bit later than I wanted to (I already started school and that means it's already the end of summer!), I finally managed to prepare the package that I sent to them before this weekend.

Started at the end of 2006, participants photographed in 2007, and stories edited and finalized by beginning of 2008, the final product finally reaches the hospital that inspired this project.

In the package is a DVD of the digital copy of Nonage as a .PDF format. The disc is customized using LightScribe to engrave the title.

I wrote on the DVD case "Feel free to share this with others! - JC" I would love for all the staff, patients, and even families to read and look at this book. Who knows, it could circulate in the internet. Ok maybe not.

My one page letter to St. Jude introducing who I am, the meaning of this project not just to me but to others who have participated, and the reason for me donating.

I note the amount that is donated and sign off.

I also included a copy of the Nonage (that will soon be covered with fingerprints all over... I still am careful with my copy.. the book's a fingerprint magnet!)

"9/5/08 Dedicated to St. Jude's wonderful staff and patients. God bless always!"

The final amount enclosed is $300 to St. Jude's. The actual amount of books sold is 52, raising $265 dollars. My mom, feeling generous, decided to round it to $300 to make it even.

So once again, this being the conclusion of my project Nonage, I would like to thank everyone who participated--giving their time to take their photo in their rooms and writing a short story--to make this project a reality. Not only did we make something together that will be remembered but something that I hope St. Jude will remember as well.

God bless.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Product Review: Seagate FreeAgent Pro 1TB

Arrived two days ago from Amazon is the Seagate FreeAgent Pro 1TB desktop hard drive.  Definitely need to secure my files as my laptop's space is always near a 5 GB and left to delete it after I transfer it to my Western Digital World Edition II 500 GB network hard drive (later found out that transfering files wirelessly is not just slow, but sometimes unsafe since I have lost some files... it's somewhere in the air.)

Packaging from Seagate is done really well: the contents are secured and protected by cardboard molds inside that remind of an egg carton... and everything is individually wrapped in anti-static bags--the hard drive itself, the power adapter, the usb cord, and firewire cord.

This will be my current set up: the drive itself using the firewire cable.
The hard drive enclosure is really nice itself. It's brushed aluminim and not that heavy to move it to other places if needed. The base, while looks like it can be attached, cannot. So it's to stay on your table top standing upright.
The back of the base contains the connections needed to hook it up to your computer: firewire port, usb port, eSATA port, and power supply.
The FreeAgent Pro compared to my Palm Treo 680. It definitely has a small footprint.
The drive itself is not that much thicker as you can see with my Treo. The drive itself is fanless so it's very quiet.

None of the photos show when it is on but on the top and front has a yellow light indicator to show that it's on and in use. It's not too bright but is definitely cool to bring some color into the drive.

One caveat I have is that there's no real button to turn it on/off. Instead, in front of the base is a touch-sensitive button [that happens to be dark as the drive and in my opinion, a bad design]. I wished it would light up as well so you can see it if it's powered on.

Other than that, a nice looking hard drive with plenty of space for all my files and will definitely work alongside my file back up workflow.

Current file backup workflow:
- New images are downloaded to my laptop's space
- Image files are named with the date and short description. (i.e. 20080906 - Seagate_001)
- Files are backed up to my portable external hard drive (Seagate FreeAgent Passport 160 GB)
- Files are backed up to my network hard drive (Western Digital World Edition II 500GB)
- Files will now be backed up as well to this new hard drive
- Once the images are edited and finalized, the same process applies to secure the files.

Reasons for multiple place file locations:
Alot is basically due to the "What If" scenarious or "Just In Case" thinking...
- Portable hard drive [usb powered] is a must when you want to transport files easily and quickly to another computer without the hassle of plugging in a power source
- Network hard drive is used to centralize my files so it contains not just the new image files but also the old ones
- Because the portable hard drive is not big enough to hold all the newer image files (160 GB), the new 1TB will hold everything [including the ones from the network drive] just in case my network fails or disconnected.

I've learned the hard way after completing my book Nonage that all my final files weren't save because they weren't backed up correctly and methodically. =( All I have is the .PDF document that's ready for print... but no JPEGs, PSDs, or TIFFs of anything for the final revision of the book. Gah!