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Saturday, November 22, 2008

USF Social Justice Fair: "Pieces of Poverty"

For closer look: jcasasphotography.com

Couple of weeks ago, I received a message from my friend Kimiko that she received a message from someone at USF needing photography for a social justice fair coming up. I got his contact info and got more details and that the fair was targeted towards poverty/homelessness.

Until yesterday I finally was able to have time to shoot the image I've been having in my head. I've been wanting to do this concept for myself really but when this opportunity came up I decided to apply for the poverty/homelessness theme.

If you haven't seen this puzzle toy when you were a kid... well... you missed out [it was quite a troubling puzzle that I had my mom figure it out and then I learned since then]. Anyways, this toy was a cheat because there was glue on it! [It came with my cat when I adopted him and it actually has paw cutouts on the toy but I just cloned it in Photoshop].

But back to the image and its meaning: I did a quick Google search on "poverty solutions" and ended up with Wikipedia's entry on poverty. [I know.. wikipedia.. sorry]. But! These terms under the solutions made sense so please go over there and read it.

I hope this image is self explanatory. The pieces represent the solutions and all together it becomes the solution. The hand represents someone that initates change or causes the change in order to solve poverty not just in San Francisco but worldwide.

Review: Grado SR 80 Headphones


That's what I call Old School packaging.. especially in the 2008. hahah

To my suprise, I received the headphones I've been contemplating over in mail today via Amazon [email said it would arrive on Monday.. shrug].  Anyways, I've been researching for some good high quality headphones that are 1) good quality with a good name attached and 2) not over $100.

Remembered my friend mentioned the Grados and gee whiz the other models are about $500 and up to $1000 for the studio ones.  There are the known SR 60s headphones which are about $69 which provide beginner audiophiles a good option to get into high quality phones and then there's this model--the SR 80 ($95) which is in between the SR 60 and SR 125. Price wise it's up there still but I decided if I was going to get a high quality item, might as well step it up a bit.

And speaking of audiophiles, I'm getting into appreciating music by really listening to them.  Call it boo sh*t but I find enjoyment really listening to the different sounds, backup vocals, and all the ranges and tones of music. [For example, listen to Usher's "Something Special" with a good pair of phones during the chorus.. just friggin hear the back up vocals and it really is impressive].
As of now, I'm listening to Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak with them. Volume is about 2/3s up and I'm finding it comfortable to wear: they're lightweight and the headband sits comfortably on my head--not too tight or loose. They are open-eared so music does leak outside [for sure this isn't a Bose noise-cancelling set].  

Do listen to  "Paranoid" feat. Mr. Hudson from his album.
I'm finding the sounds are crisp, clean, and bass tones are just right. I was at Best Buy the other week and put on Beats by  Dr. Dre ($349) and they really packed that thing with sound so the bass is just thumping so loud you'd probably have a headache after a minute or go deaf by then.. whichever comes first.
Will an ordinary person who just bought an ipod appreciate these 'phones over the iconic white buds? Well, there are pros and cons:

Pros
  • Honestly, any headset is better than the white buds--trust me.
  • Comfortable to wear over a period of time
  • Sounds are full and rich--music sounds "close" to you
  • Bass tones are just right
  • These phones have been described as "neutral" so don't expect deep bass [ I find it just right though]
Cons
  • Pricier than what already comes with your ipod
  • They dont fold: you either wear em over your head or your neck or set it aside and hope no one crushes it by sitting on em
  • Cord is long [can be a pro if you're listening over a home stereo but I don't know anyone yet who listens to their home stereo].. but yea I already rubberbanded them so it doesn't drag on the floor
Conclusion:

If it's for enjoyment of really listening to everything that makes music well music... a good pair of headphones is required. The white buds don't cut it here. Do you need to spend a fortune on them? If you have the money well why not. But if you're looking for something very good for just right of a price.  Also, if you want to appreciate these headphones you have to listen to music [which is most likely around 2/3's of an iPod's volume capacity] alone. These headphones aren't closed so people around you [on bus, office, library, etc] will hear. So leave them alone and keep music to yourself.

Plus, it's good to spend time alone. I call that my-time and I spend mine with music. Try it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

[Preview] Photoshoot: Kid Heroes Productions: Online Store Catalog

photos by cherrymae jumoc

Today, I completed a photoshoot for my friend from kidheroes.net. He needed some shots for his upcoming Christmas holiday sale for his line of tshirts. Shoot started from 12:30pm and ended up around 4:45pm.

There was some down time in between but fortunately there was some food provided [like lumpia!]

Hard work, but good work indeed.
My friend wanted me to pose with my camera and I decided to bring my Minolta TLR to pose with my favorite shirt "indie."

Please visit his website and check out the online store!

More pics are to follow!

[Personal] Thank You Cards

So after my 21st birthday, I'm still working on my Thank You cards.. so sorry for the delay everyone [who gave me a gift!] I started writing them on Nov. 11 so if you receive them even later, please don't be surprised by my lateness. =/

These cards are made with regular card stock printed from my HP inkjet PhotoSmart.

The design folds into itself revealing "you" after "thank" is read on the very front of the card. Once unfolded entirely, the message can be read inside.


My personal jC logo on the back as usual.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama Wins! Aaand the xB is Reborn!

My mom, uncle, and I were at the Oakland Toyota/Scion dealership for the entire night waiting for the new car. While my mom was signing papers, it's announced that Obama is the president! He makes his speech as my uncle and I inspect the car in order to go home ASAP. We were there from 630pm til 945pm!

Hypnotic Teal Mica. Didn't know a color can be so damn descriptive.

And here's the keys. Got my first real test drive by driving home and I must say the car is pretty quick which offsets its shortcomings [in my opinion]: lower visibility in the car, pretty bad blind spots since they removed the windows between the rear window and the door windows, no more wiiide front windshield view, smaller back interior space in order to make room for a bigger trunk.

But I can't complain: my mom was able to get the car.

Unboxing: MACBOOK PRO 2008

Photos by Apol Perea

I ordered the Macbook Pro through Amazon on Friday and got it yesterday. So my friend Apol suggested to document the opening and so we did.

I've been using my Gateway tablet for a good 2.5 years and it's definitely struggling with today's applications and my needs when editing... so I thought it would be a good investment to get a new laptop [my new credit card with 0% APR til 2011 helped too] and why not go all the way and get a mac.

So now I "sold out" according to a graphic artist friend who uses Windows.. but damn I look good now selling out. hahah
It's so cool that laptop itself is cold.. lovely laptop crafted from a block of aluminum.

"I have to get your reflection." - Apol


I've yet to get used to mac's operating system but soon and very soon I shall.. especially when I get it outfitted with my photography programs. From there, I'll make the switch as my primary computer. Yee!

Unboxing: Wacom Intuous2 4x6 Tablet

Photos by Apol Perea

Picked one up at Best Buy using my gift cards. This thing cost $199 but with my birthday gift cards, got it down to a good $36. Tee hee.

A definite upgrade to my other Wacom tablet [Graphire 3.. which I'll posting up for sale sometime soon for anyone out there who hasn't used a tablet].

This will work good with the next thing I bought.... the MACBOOK PRO!

VOTE!

Made my trip to my polling place and casted my vote and got myself a nifty sticker.