Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas meet-n-greet


 © Joselito Briones

more holiday get togethers.  some of my nicest friends since high school: (r-l) christie, cynthia (whose youngest is my godson, poor child), and joy (here with daughter nikki). they dropped by my parents' house when they learned (thanks, eric!) that i was gonna be there this holiday season.  last time i saw cyntch and christie was at eric's wedding last july, last time i saw joy before this was probably high school graduation day.  she seems a lot more down-to-earth now, and happier.  she has this spiel, poking fun on herself by saying that she breezed through high school because two of our senior year teachers just happened to be her parents.  first time she did it i searched her face for any indication that she might be looking at how someone reacts to this (if only to see if the intended audience agrees with the statement or not), then decided she really was doing this just for comic effects.

XXX

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

more holiday chow-downs


clockwise from left: choi, butch, me, ogie, d.a., jim, jomel, rina, rene, faye, jan, manuel

izhikaya japanese restaurant (food was so-so, company was so much fun!) in wellington street with hong kong friends, just before christmas.





XXX

Thursday, December 16, 2010

sp2 christmas dinner

the occasion: office christmas dinner of sp2
the place: pierre II at the mandarin oriental
in attendance: mr. joseph fung and his guests: stover jenkins, paul lau, bing kwan, sk kan, nicholas wong, and anita mak; me of course, and the rest of the people who work at sp2: ligaya, david, maggie (with hubby saturday), eric (with wife sally), wing, raymond, carl, danielle, and karen.

stover, joe, nicholas




wing, karen, danielle, maggie, sat, david, eric, sally, ligaya, raymond
joe, paul, bing
tk, sk, stover, carl
anita, wing
karen, danielle
maggi, sat, david

eric, sally
ligaya, me, raymond, nicholas, joe
the usual suspects


 well i did say that i was gonna post more photos. so there ya go.

XXX

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

resolutions




© Joselito Briones

not the new year's kind, timing's just a coincidence. it's more about this (link to previous post).

first one's long ago solved.  i couldn't remember the 4-digit PIN because, surprise - it's a 6-digit PIN. (how could i have forgotten this?) when i couldn't remember what it was, i looked at my secret place for PINs and passwords and such. it was there all along. i ignored it the first few times because i was looking for a 4-digit PIN.  doh. i actually had to convince myself to try the 6-digit one. how stupid is that?

as to stock photography, i've consulted my ever-reliable oracle in new york, source of high-wisdom and tips on the latest happenings at the local malls (do you know anyone who got excited upon hearing that target will soon have a fresh produce section?),  and the advice i was given helped me make a plan. i love plans. i don't even have to follow them through.  all i need is a plan and i'm in a happy place.

the third one - ah well, who cares.


XXX

photo above is of course me, from our office christmas dinner last night, at pierre's in mandarin oriental.  i'll post more photos tomorrow. or next year. and no, that's not the happy place i was talking about. that's the constantly flowing wine.

Friday, December 10, 2010

some guys


© Joselito Briones


you know how sometimes you feel bad for not keeping in touch with people you used to hang out a lot with? john (photo, above) is one such person so when i learned that he's in hong kong visiting i invited him for dinner to catch up.  last time i saw him was twenty or so years ago, in mapua.  so he does mostly turnkey projects now and lots of golfing and diving and underwater photography and traveling and shopping.


so anyway we just walked around lan kwai fung and soho and non stop talk and had big ass yummy steak dinner in staunton street, then drinks in a bar in hollywood road.  don't you just love it when you see someone you haven't seen for a long time and it doesn't feel weird? fun night.

XXX

p.s.
i remember we had a small group back in the days and we had a song! lol i've forgotten how it goes exactly but supposedly each of us represented a "type" in the song : "some guys have all the luck, some guys have all the brain, some guys have all the pain, etc. etc." silly song.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

coming to an airport near you



© Joselito Briones

spent the past week planning trips.  carmona for christmas (booked).  sydney (booked) and wellington (booked) during the chinese new year holiday.  san francisco in spring (was gonna be the baltics, but the schedule with the euro divas proved not too ideal), somewhere else in summer, then autumn in new york. and no, i don't have that much time off from work, i usually end up getting no-pay leave.

as for the maya thingy, it proved to be not too different from other 3d apps. it's more advanced, of course, and there's a lot more buttons to learn, buttons that spawn windows with lots more option buttons.  i still have half a month left of software trial but i'm sick of buttons already.  so no more maya for me, at least for the next few months, or until i get a new computer and i can download the software trial again.

hmn. what to do now?

XXX

Saturday, November 27, 2010

banana pancakes




i don't usually listen to the words of a song when listening to music so i was surprised that this one, from one that i've had for a while now,  registered:

"just so easy
when the whole world fits inside of your arms
do we really need to pay attention to the alarm
wake up slow, mmm mmm
wake up slow"

it struck me as something so simple and yet so endearing (not that i like romantic things. ok, maybe a little).  granted it doesn't say anything about "the whole world" NOT feeling like your arms was all it took to make him happy - what with all the events he wanted to go to because he read that that's what everybody else was doing - or the holidays his colleagues have gone to and that he has to do himself - or that you were not supposed to have any "lesser career" than in architecture, among other things.  but of course that's another song altogether - and one that frankly i wouldn't want to hear.

so yeah, thanks jack johnson for "banana pancakes".  i would've loved to have known the song under different circumstances, but it made me smile nonetheless.


XXX

Friday, November 26, 2010

pagsanjan falls



i took this photo off of one of my nieces' fb album. it's from a recent trip to pagsanjan falls where i went with norie, dave, ludy, toto, jane and jon.  find it strange that none of us had a paddle? that's because the boatmen did all the rowing, and they literally carried us (well, the boat - with us on it) on the rocky upstream parts of the river. if that isn't service i don't know what is.

and yes i'm posting this because i'm still busy learning them difficult (but awesome!) 3d apps.  

XXX

Sunday, November 21, 2010

what was i thinking?


 © Joselito Briones

i opened maya and got scared by the buttons.  how can anything have so many buttons?  i decided today is not maya day, hopefully i can recover from the shock.  i was already in geeky mode tho so i decided to walk to wanchai instead.  298 and wanchai computer center. tech/geek/nerd paradise.  used to be that if anyone needed pirated copy of any software, or any movie, these are the places to go to.  they've cleaned up of course. no more pirated software and cd's and they're are not as seedy (nor as smelly, tho they still are, kinda, and very stuffy.) as they used to be.  but still full of interesting things - computers of course, electronics, gadgets, comics, action figures, robots, and every imaginable kind of iphone case or any other phone case - from the simplest to the most ridiculously pimped up (blings!). i placed an order for an LED signage display and walked back to central.

when i got back to my flat, i felt dirty and overdosed of wanchai computer center - so i decided to do the complete opposite to balance things out.  i went to palace ifc and watched a gay movie.  alfred molina (spiderman 2's doc ock) and gary oldman (batman begins' comissioner gordon) as lovers.  they were so good!. and vanessa redgrave. but then she's (almost) always good. it's an old movie. "prick up your ears".  the british council brought it in as part of this year's hklgff.


XXX

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the autodesk maya 3d learning challenge


i'm kinda all over the place nowadays, so many things i want to do and i don't know what to do first.  so naturally, i decided not to do any of them.

i'm gonna try to learn a new app (new to me) instead - autodesk's maya.  it's basically a 3d modeling and rendering program and supposedly the best among all the ones geared towards cgi animation (avatar, anyone?).  the best thing about it, of course, is that it has a version for mac. i can play with it at home.  so i downloaded the trial app and i have a month to learn it. the objective is to have a working knowledge of the system and processes, enough to do simple photorealistic 3d renderings, before the trial expires.  the problem is that it's notoriously difficult to learn - which is exactly what i'm gonna say if i don't have anything to show after a month's time.  that, or that i got sidetracked by all the other things i wanted to do in the first place.  we'll see.

***above is a screen capture of the maya website.  i am not in any way affiliated with them.  unless of course they want me to be.  in which case they can always send me a full copy of the app.  hello? anybody there?



XXX

Thursday, November 18, 2010

h&m unveils the lanvin collab window display



© Joselito Briones


woke up today with the start of a migraine. there goes another weekend wasted, and it hasn't even started yet. called in sick and downed a couple of pills to hopefully get rid of it. early afternoon it's still there but not worse so i thought i'd take a couple more pills and take a breath of fresh air (let's just pretend for a sec that it's possible here in hong kong's central district).  i thought i'd walk to ifc so i packed an impulse purchase (a beanie, from agnes b., a wee bit too small for my ginormous head) i did last weekend to return it for a refund.

a block down my building a crowd was watching mannequins of h&m's display window getting dressed, so i looked and saw that they're preparing the window for the sale of lanvin-h&m crossover. something to do this week. they open at 8am tho. too early. last time i went to an h&m collab sale (with comme des garçons, in germany) there were very few items left an hour after opening.  people get crazy in these events.

i went to agnes b. and returned the beanie, only they don't give cash refund, so i ended up getting something else to use up the credit - a cardigan and a t-shirt - and paying a lot more.  that's me and my f*cked up idea of being wise with money.  return an impulse buy that i don't really need, and end up getting more stuff that are more expensive.  at least my migraine was starting to go away.

XXX

meh. no vasari for mac?



if you've always thought autodesk products are way too expensive to have a personal copy in your home computer to play with, you don't have an excuse anymore. autodesk has just launched vasari, a.k.a. revit light, a.k.a. autodesk's version of sketchup. it looks promising (hello, it's FREE!), and pretty cool especially if you use autocad or revit at work. now you can create all those fantastic architectural designs that you've been dreaming of - you know, the ones that would make you famous one day and show your boss why he should've listened to you all those times that you suggested something that you were pretty sure will be a hit but instead got buried under all those pragmatic mediocrity? (don't look at me, my boss listens to me, most of the time at least)

don't hold your breath for some vasari projects from me tho - it doesn't come in mac version and i don't have a pc at home.


XXX

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

anti-social (network) behavior



i never really saw how it's different from all its predecessors - friendster (r.i.p.), myspace (r.i.p.) etc.  it's gotten easier to publish, and there's a lot more users, of course - but surely these are brought about by tech advances in general and growing number of internet users, not groundbreaking innovations from facebook? unless of course including mindless games (farmville froze my brain at one point) counts as innovation.   anyway, as with friendster and myspace - facebook's now so full of junk it's unbelievable - and useless.  ok, not entirely useless as i can still link my website and blog posts there while waiting for the next big thing.

XXX

Sunday, November 14, 2010

full circle

 © Joselito Briones
i spotted this, my very first stock photo (bowls, on the right), used to cover up a shop for lease in staunton street, a few blocks from where i took the photo 6-7 years ago, with a pentax 67II.  made me smile.  

it also feels strange, because i don't really have any more drive to do stock photography.  it got me wondering if all the hard work i've put in it over the past 3 1/2 years will just be reduced to this - occasionally spotting them in use until they've all become obsolete and useless. sad. i still don't know what to do with all the stock photos that i've taken but never put up for sale.

anyway, i was walking around because i bought a new lens today and i wanted to try it out.  it's a canon EF 35mm f1.4L. nice. why i bought it, i don't know.  maybe i just want to go back to taking useless photos that are of interest to nobody but me.

XXX

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BIM BAM!




© Joselito Briones


haha! considering i've never opened revit before early this year, i've learned enough to do a functional BIM of this project, and another one progressing nicely. everything's custom parametric family, too! (families are the basic components of the model)  the great thing about it is that i was able to see possible construction errors while I was designing the project, i was able to get as many views as i wanted from a single model, and when the model was done, it was a cinch doing all the required standard drawings (altho still laborious, 80+ pages of drawings, two colleagues had to help me when it was time to issue them). revit's definitely the thing to use in a small design-oriented offices. now if only autodesk can do revit for mac!




© Joselito Briones


well then, that's it for 3d models.  i think i'll pick up on my video editing now.

XXX

Sunday, July 18, 2010

better be worth it now


floren emailed me these photos he took with his phone earlier today. first one's with the always fab and beautiful faye. am not even sure that's how she spells her name. maybe without e. i don't know. it feels like it should be with an e if only because she has cheekbones sharper than dunaway's.

second one's of me having breakfast. at 5pm, same table. 2 photos a few minutes apart. i know that glass of wine looks very wrong in a breakfast setting. i swear i only had one. not that there's anything wrong with having more. for breakfast i mean. if that's what you're into. woke up very late. i was supposed to be there at 2pm, but then i know that when floren says 2pm it means 3pm earliest. and anyway i wasn't expecting to eat there. i had a couple of snack bars before going. last time we had a mini party there we had to wait so long. i was already very hungry and cranky by the time we started eating. this time i was prepared. i was only going there to chat and catch up with them. that there was food was a plus. it was a bit disappointing that not all of the usual crowd wasn't there. but the ones who were there were fun. especially faye. she was there with her boyfriend simon of course, and their new spoodle (sounds yummy, no? like home-spun noodles) which is a two-tone bastard mixed breed of a poodle and something else. really cute. and looks really expensive. name's charlie. chuckie sounds right. kept fighting for attention against monty. the resident spoiled puppy. purebred poodle. yep. looks just as expensive. no wonder i can't hang out more often with these people (poodle and spoodle owners). they're just so damn rich i can't afford their lifestyle. i'd like to say i hate them but i can't really. they're nice people. okay i hate them. there. hahahaahah. ok not really.  sometimes they feed me really good food. excellent food. oh. speaking of expensive and good. chris told me that on one of their few celebrations this week (his and floren's birthdays are a few days apart), they popped a bottle of 1982 chateau latour pauillac. (that was the part where your jaw was supposed to drop and think to yourself, WTF?).  yes sir. that's HK$10,000-15,000 a bottle bordeaux. naturally i asked if it was worth it (when what i really wanted to ask was why i wasn't invited to THAT party). he said it was really really good but not that much better than other good wines he's had at, say, 5% of the price.  so i said, "well, the only way you can make it really worth its price tag is to tell as many people as possible that you've had it". so here we go.

XXX
(eta: currency)

Friday, July 16, 2010

my first revit rendering (fine, if you have a better title go ahead and change this)



© Joselito Briones


can you believe this stupid thing took more than 2 hours to render?!?!?. i really need to ask my boss for a new pc at work.

anyhoo.  3d rendering has definitely gone so far since i last played with it.  used to be that one had to create every single instance of every single object even if differs only slightly.   and then export it to a third party rendering software and readjust everything again. now with revit,everything's parametric. you do it once, if you're not happy with sizes, you change, say, a numeric parameter, and everything defined by that adjusts accordingly.  i created all the elements in this rendering (okay, except for that guy in suit, it was provided by revit) and they're all adjustable by mere changing of numeric values. yay! hahahahahaha. me's old. that i can still learn a new system is something i'm happy about.  best thing about this tho is that it can render natively. all i had to do was define the sun location/time of the day, and level of cloudiness.  2 hours of wait, and presto. come to think of it, 2 hours isn't all that bad, it used to take my old pc overnight to render a scene similar to this.

XXX

Saturday, July 03, 2010

simple doesn't mean easy


lol a friend told me that he didn't understand a single thing that i wrote with the photo design thingy, so here's another after/before comparison (a simple-looking one this time) and i won't even bother explaining it - enough to say that it was just as complicated to do, masking and all.

XXX

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

experiment in photo design (last part)



(continued from previous entry)
this is the finished product of this experiment, and for comparison, here is the original:



am not sure if i achieved anything in the final version, but i sure learned a lot.

XXX

Monday, June 28, 2010

experiment in photo design (part 3)



(continued from previous entry)
details. after seeing that the general light composition is as i wanted it, i added them back in, still proportional to the lighting designed. i started with the couple farthest to the sitting girl and their immediate surrounding, and made sure i didn't add more than 30% of the details of the originally cleaned up file. the idea was to create a diagonal visual link between the girl and the heart painting without letting the couple distract this link even tho they're positioned along this link.



next was adding details to the middle couple - i decided this was enough detail for the entire background so i added it to the rest of the image except for the first couple. i know there isn't a very pronounced difference, especially at this size of the photo, but it's there. i also added a general brightness to the whole thing as it was getting a bit too gloomy.



next was the couple closest to the camera - making sure to make them not too dark as to grab too much focus on them. i then added details to the girls, a little bit more clean-up (removed throw pillows behind the sitting girl, on the far couch), adjusted levels, then the finished product.

(to be continued)


XXX

Sunday, June 27, 2010

experiment in photo design (part 2)



(continued from previous entry)
fun part starts with a blank canvas. i added a simple circular gradient as a lighting guide, roughly following the thirds rule, to better bring attention to the main subject (the girl sitting by herself)



i then added partial luminosity of the cleaned up image in amounts following the lighting guide (20% of the couple closest to the subject, 35% of the middle couple, 50% of foreground couple, etc.)



a slight addition of the colors to check that they don't radically change the desired lighting.

(to be continued)


XXX

Saturday, June 26, 2010

experiment in photo design (part 1)


here's a bit of an experiment, brought on by a hastily taken photo - my excuse being that it was taken in a photo event where one is given about 15 minutes to compose, light and execute the photo. i guess you can say it's more a photo rescue job than anything, but i thought, what if i take it a bit further? after all by doing an experiment - you achieve something just by going thru the process - so no effort lost.

what i wanted to do was to see what it would be like if you approach a photo like you would a painting, i.e. do an additive process thereby ensuring control over the elements that go in the photo and the lighting relationships between them.



as per usual, i began by doing my typical clean-up edit. corrected perspective, toned it so that colors are not all over the place, replaced copyrighted content (painting on the wall), removed distracting elements (bit of balcony, upper right corner, and sloping window frame on the other side), etc.



right after "correcting" (there was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't the perspective i wanted) the perspective tho, and before cleaning up, i had to do the masking. it's just one of those things that one has to do when working extensively on a photo. better have it done with as early on as possible to make full use of it. everything else after masking is child's play.

(to be continued)

XXX

Friday, June 25, 2010

omg! my calves are so pretty!



 © Joselito Briones


haha! i got one of 'em harem shorts from i.t. very comfy indeedy. i'm wondering if the thing balloons up when i fart.

off to have beans for lunch. not that i need help in that department. just hoping for even just a slight lift off.

XXX

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