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To weeks to go

So as I sit in my cubicle pretending to work (that’s ok, they pretend to pay me), I started to think about my last week here, comes Friday, I will be another unemployed individual and this time it will be by choice.

Funny enough, I’m not too worried about it, I’m more worried about the drive and lately I’ve been thinking about everything I’m leaving behind, specially my friends.

I will miss my Judo club and my coaches and training partners, I’ve developed a very close relationship with a lot of them, and they’re like the relatives I never wanted, and as such, I’m gonna miss them a lot.

Same with the people I’ve worked with in the past eight years, some of them became not only really good friends, but surprisingly (considering that I’m not exactly “Mr. People lover”), some of this friends became family (some took longer than others, but just like family, there are some favorites, and some not so much).

I’ve been looking back at the last 6 years and how things have changed for me. I have a beautiful wife, I learned I hate computer repairing as a career, I learned and teach Judo, I stopped being a guitar gear head and became a camera gear head, and mature and grew as a man, person and husband (all thanks to my wife).

I think I’m stressing out a bit due to the reality of what I’m leaving behind in terms of job security, but I really think (hope), that this is that part of the lizard brain telling me that I shouldn’t take a risk for greener pastures when the ones around are just fine. I know that this is the correct decision and it will be the best choice for my wife and me (especially right now that we’re talking about starting a family), I just think is hard to not think about worst case scenarios when you’re taking a decision that will impact your routine so severely.

Anyway, long rambling short, I just wanted to shared my thoughts and extend my gratitude and love to my local friends for putting up with my crap, to my long distance friends for still being there for me, to my coaches for teaching me everything they could in and out the mats, to my practice partners for pushing me to be a better Judoka, to my family for always being helpful, and last but definitively not least, to my wife, god knows it hasn’t been easy to live with me, and I still have much to learn, but I love her and as long as she’s willing to help me, I’m willing to become a better person.

Thank you very much

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Looking thru my doorI admit it, this new trend on interviews is killing me, I hate it. I’m talking about the whole thing about asking totally stupid questions (half of the time unrelated to the job at hand) in order to… well, to be sincere, I have no idea why they ask the stupid questions half of the time.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand that nowadays it comes with the experience, if I want a job, I’m going to need to jump thru hoops and prove that I’m qualify and that I will fit in the position/department… that being said, if my first three answers disqualify me for the job, why in the hell would the interviewer put me thru another 10 minutes of creative thinking type questions?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Anyway, looking forward to more interviews and even more crazy, unrelated questions.

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I’m Back!!!

So after almost a couple of years I remembered that I have a blog and I want to re start it.

I got my camera (when with Canon), I finally got my Black Belt in Judo, I got rid of the rats…. now we have roaches…. great, I’m moving to Virginia (partially because of the roaches), and I’m planing to go back to school (for something non-computer related).

this is it for now, but I will be documented the move as well as my new pics as soon as I can, and looking forward to blog about the search for a new Judo club.

Have a good one people

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Updates

2008 06 17_0011, originally uploaded by neko687.

So while I sit with my second cup of coffee and smoking another cigarette I noticed that I freaking hate being unemployed, I’m bored out of my freaking head, which is a good sign, it means that I’m not made to be sitting around doing nothing, but damn it if I can appreciate that as good news.

I want to go out and take some pictures, I’ve been looking at some nice picture books (Annie Leibovitz “A Photographer’s Life”, “Women” and “Olympic Portraits”) and a documentary about Diane Arbus, and I got to say, they’re highly motivating.

I started assisting a professional photographer in the area for no pay (he teaches me the trade, I’ll carry his equipment), and I went to my first photoshoot today (a baby shower), and even though I didn’t get to do much (ran to the car to get more batteries for the flash and kept myself out of the way) I learned a lot just by looking at a professional doing his job, and it was fun, who knows, maybe someday I’ll get to run around with the backup camera taking some shots myself (little word of advice for those who want to work for a photographer as apprentices, if the lens is pointing on your general direction, get out of the freaking way, the client doesn’t want you in their pictures, nor does the photographer).

I’m still looking for a more permanent job, and I have gotten a couple of call interviews, so hopefully by this time next month I’ll be working for real.

 

And that is all for this week, hopefully I’ll have more to write about on next weeks update.

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Weekend Update

Old ones-0017, originally uploaded by neko687.

Well, I have to admit that all this free time has been productive in some way, I got to clean up and posted some of my pictures, I learned a lot in this past couple of months about photography, and…. Ok, that’s it, I haven’t been that productive, I want to take a couple of photography classes in college to cover and understand how am I getting the results I’ve been getting in my photos (when good), and how to correct the mistakes I’ve been making (when bad).

For anybody who wants to learn photography, I would seriously recommend going to your local library and get everything you can by Ansel Adams, Joe McNally, Scott Kelby, Mike Aaland, Chris Bucher… hell, everything that mentions photography at all, I’ve have had some luck and found some wonderful books, and some that I couldn’t read for the life of me, but damn, there’s so much information is hard not to learn something in the process.

I’m going to Philadelphia in a couple of weeks, I was wondering if anybody has any suggestions on where I should go to get some nice pictures, I’m already going to the love plaza, the Philly museum, and Liberty Bell, but I would like to get some more pictures than just those three sites, any suggestions are greatly welcome.

Regarding Judo, I decided to move down on weight division from 100+ to 90 Kilos, so I’ve been staying away from sugars, carbs and pretty much everything but lean meats and salads (with no dressing), I lost 40 Lbs. already but I have some time to go before I hit my target weight.

Bullshido.net opened a new store (HERE) with some nice items, if you can, please drop by and help the cause.

Regarding cameras, I changed my mind again, I’m gonna buy me the Nikon D200 as the main workhorse and later on I’ll get the D80 as a backup.

And that is it for now, I’ll be writing more frequently now that I have the time, and yet, I won’t be putting anything life changing…. Such is life, good luck to Tomodachi Judo Club, those guys are right now on the Disney Martial Arts Festival, and I hope they bring some gold home.

Thanks.

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Well, in the spirit of writing something new, I just came across an article by Jeff Revell titled “10 Things I want to Photograph before I die”, and with that in mind, I figured I create a similar list (so I guess I won’t be writing anything new), but instead of going global with the ten things I want to shoot in the world, I will do it more location specific (10 things in the U.S., 10 things in Venezuela, 10 things in Japan, etc.).

 

So here’s my first entry, I’ll try to keep it up to ten, but I make no promises, this time it will be about the land that gave me birth, so “10 Things I would like to photograph in Venezuela” (Disclaimer: None, and I repeat NOT ONE of these pictures are mine, I used Google and msn searches to find matching pictures)

 

La Gran Sabana

Been there, didn’t do that, I went to the sabanas when I was 11 or 12 years old, and my mom brought her Olympus film camera, and even though I tried, I didn’t get any really striking shots, I would like to go back and fix that little problem with my digital camera.

At the border with Brazil, Santa Elena de Guairen is close to all the mayor things to watch in Bolivar (Tepuis, Pemon Tribes, Rivers, etc.), and I think (don’t quote me on this one) is pretty darn close (in airplane) to the Angel Falls, which is another thing I want to photograph.

And to add, we visited Santa Elena de Guairen in our way to El Pauji, on our trip to the Gran Sabana, So I definitively want to go back to El Pauji, and take some pictures there too.

 

Margarita Island

When I think of Margarita, I think about home, love, friends and freedom. I lived in the island for 5 or 6 years, and never got into photography (basically just surfing and trying [and failing] to be cool for the ladies), with many castles, one of the oldest churches in Venezuela and forts put by the Spaniards when Venezuela was still a Spanish colony, plus natural points such as mountains, sunsets in Juan Griego, and the many beaches, Margarita is another place I would like to visit with only my camera and shoot away.

Caracas


With all the historical places, people, night life, museums, parks and demonstrations (pacific and not so pacific), Caracas is not only the main city in Venezuela, but a very fast paced location to encounter some of the best pictures in the country.

Orinoco River


The mighty Orinoco, a beautiful location I’d always wanted to visit, and now off course, I also want to shoot it.
   

Merida

With temperatures dropping below zero in the highest locations, this beautiful state at the west of the country is another place that offers beautiful natural locations, and historical rich environments to shoot.

 Los Llanos 

Venezuelan cowboys, incredible landscapes and flora and fauna unique to this areas, makes the Llanos an area rich in photo opportunities (Plus, my family on my dad’s side are from the Llanos, and if I go to Altagracia and take pictures, but don’t do the same for them, they’ll kick my silly behind).

 Altagracia de Orituco/Guatopo National Park

My family (on my mother’s side), is from Altagracia; and Guatopo is a national park in the way from Caracas to Altagracia (tropical rainforest), there are a lot of waterfalls, rivers, ponds, and flora and fauna to photograph for a lifetime, and once in Altagracia, there are a lot of family history related places I would love to photograph for the family records.

Sucre

With Mochima (a national park), Sucre offers one of the nicest areas for underwater photography in Venezuela (I’m not saying is the only one), also, there are natural (caves, flora and fauna), and historical (Churches, Castles, Forts)  opportunities throughout the state to get nice pictures

Cuyagua

A surfing Paradise for all Venezuelans, Cuyagua is a beautiful location that offers sandy beaches, waves and sport shooting on one side; and nature, rivers, waterfalls, etc on the other (Thanks to the Henri Pittier National Park). And let’s face it, there are chicks in bikini in this location (come on, go ahead and Google Cuyagua, I’ll wait here) J 

Morrocoy National Park

No better place to photograph sea birds (seagulls, Flamingos, etc.), fishes, Caimans, and some very nice caves (with petroglyphs), This is another favorite place where we used to go at least once a year to help with birds and Caiman population counting, cause my mom used to work for FUDENA (Fundacion para la Defensa de la Naturalez = Foundation for Nature Defense [Partners with WWF]), another one of those places that I didn’t get the chance to shoot, but I will definitively go back and make another group of memories.

From Discover Venezuela:

”Even though this region is predominantly dry, the vegetation is diverse with several species of fern found here. The most common trees are mangroves and sea grape. In Mount Chichiriviche’s semi-deciduous forest you can find howler monkeys, matacan deer, crab-eating foxes, opossums, and pacas. Eighty percent of Venezuela’s hundreds of species of birds are represented in El Parque Nacional Morrocoy. Among these you will see flocks of scarlet ibises, pink flamingos, frigate birds, terns, lapwings, ducks, great blue and white herons, plovers, various hawks, vultures, boobies, and pelicans.

Of anthropological significance, gouged into Mount Chichiriviche is a 250-foot sinkhole named “the Cave of the Indian,” with petroglyphs dating to 3400 B.C. – the mysterious beckoning of a people called the Caquetios.

In another nearby cave you’ll find dozens of tiny statues of the Virgin del Valle, patron saint of Venezuela’s fishermen, and other saints adorning its pockmarked walls. Here and there are you will also see offerings or photos of loved ones. Each July, the Cave of the Virgin – formally known as the Maritime Sanctuary of Our Lady Mother of the Rock – hosts a procession of fishing boats that have been blessed by the local bishop. “

 

If you made it this far, thank you very much for reading, my next post will be about 10 locations here in the U.S.

 

Have a wonderful week.

 

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News

Old ones-0020, originally uploaded by neko687.

Well, I haven’t written anything in a while so this might be as good time as any.

Quick updates:
Well, I freaking lost my job last week, so the economy situation finally hit home, oh well, I have had a lot of time to take pictures and play with Lightroom and Photoshop so I don’t have a lot to complaint about.
I guess is going to be a little bit longer before I get to buy my semi professional equipment though, so that does gets me, I still plan to go to Philly next month, so I will have some new pictures to boast then.
There another two or three post coming up, but first I wanna set them up correctly, hopefully some time this week.

Please visit my Flickr Photostream and here are some of my galleries in Facebook here, here, and here.

Thank you for reading

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