Tag Archive for 'photography'

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Guatemala, Day 1 – Arrival in Guatemala City

Recently I went on a trip to Guatemala. This is Day 1 of my 9 Day account.

cncl_martinez_a.jpgFlying out of LaGuardia to Miami. Sat next to a councilman from Washington Heights named Miguel giving a proclamation to a Dominican organization. Turns out he is a pretty prominent Dominican city politician. Glad I gave him my business card! We talked politics, mostly about the illegal alien drivers licence issue.

My Miami flight to Guatemala City was delayed. I finally arrive at Hotel Otelito, Hotel Otelitoand enjoy a great steak, with frijoles and black beans at the in house restaurant. The tortilla soup was pretty good too. Otelito is highly recommended by Lonely Planet, as a “boutique hotel.” My travel buddy arrives a little later on and we wander around Zona 10, which is where all the town’s hot nightspots are. We settle on Panagea for drinks. Everyone is very attractive, young, and very white, which surprises us. We are almost completely ignored but we have fun anyway. We call it an early night because we have to get up impossibly early tomorrow for a flight to Flores.

Finally, a wireless solution for digital cameras!

A couple of my friends have started a “one a day” photo project, which I am thinking of joining. However, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of uploading a picture every single day, so my laziness won out. As a result, I started to look into Wireless Digital Cameras. Basically, you had three options.

1. The Nikon Coolpix S50c (old model, $210) or S51c (new model, $264). 4126zd1pakl_aa280_.jpg These are the most recently released wireless cameras. While it was nice to have an wireless 8 megapixel camera (on the S51c) combined with a small form factor, there was still a huge problem. The wireless component only allows you to upload to Nikon’s proprietary image hosting site, myPicturetown. From there, you must log on to a computer to transfer those files to Flickr or your imagehoster of choice. So there’s that additional step you have to take, and all the while, your photos are inaccessible to your friends.
2. The Canon SD430 ($250). 41n3xe45rl_aa280_-1.jpgWhile it has the good optics that we’ve come to expect from Canon’s digital lineup, the problem with this model is that it is old. Originally designed as a response to Kodak and Nikon’s original offerings, the technology in this camera is dated, with only 5 Megapixels. There’s no image stabilization on this model as with Canon’s newer models. But you can upload directly to Flickr. Again, on balance, not the ideal solution.
3. EasyShare One ($240). 41kw0b1dvbl_aa280_-1.jpgThis camera is so old Amazon doesn’t even sell it anymore. Worse, in order to get it wireless, you have to buy a separate Kodak Wi-Fi Card that sits in a second slot in the camera. Finally, it is only 6MP, with no image stabilization.

Moreover, the problem with all these cameras is that the technology in them will ultimately become obsolete.

Enter the Eye-Fi SD Card. 51cbxrk-q4l_ss400_.jpgIt is, in my opinion, a terrific solution to the mediocrity of today’s wireless digital cameras. It is a 2GB SD Card that, when configured properly, will upload to a plethora of different photo websites, including your own website with Gallery installed. It is compatible with almost any SD card-based digital camera. Now I can use this with the camera I actually want to buy, the Canon SD870IS ($325). And if that camera breaks or becomes obsolete, I can still use the Eye-Fi with the next one. Gizmodo says the Eye-Fi works flawlessly. I think I am going to bite.

Douchebags aplenty!

I added a new Photography section, which you can access easily from the navigation bar at the top. It’s a little rough, but it gets the job done for now.

Nice weather in New York really brings the D-bags out of the woodwork. The following two examples are true stories of real NYC douchebags that I saw in the last few weeks:

If you are a fobby Indian in a Hummer H3 (which, by the way, is the official car of the douchebag) thumping the Panjabi MC/Jay-Z song from 2003 from your car stereo, then you are a DOUCHEBAG!

If you subject everyone around you in the subway to hiphop played from your tinny-sounding cellphone, then you are a DOUCHEBAG! Of course, your cellphone is “ruggedized,” because a gangsta lifestyle means your cellphone needs to be ready in case things get “heated.”

An unceremonious return.

My college buddies and I just got back from Rio de Janiero, and we are all depressed. Rio might be my favorite city. On our return, I half-joked: “New York sucks. It’s cold, its wet, and everyone here is fucking ugly.” Don’t get me wrong, I love New York. But sometimes, it feels a little….stale. You see the same people, and there is a real hostility, a real hatred, between people. I think New York really lacks a sense of community, so people can be and are horrible to each other here. While in the midst of being on the receiving end, I actually feel sad for the other person. But much later, I’m not just sad for that person, I’m disconsolate for the city that made that person. Traveling reminds me that not every place is like that. And Rio, like Costa Rica, and Iceland (the last few places I’ve been), is filled with warm, generous people.

Without really knowing it, I started to watch a movie about New York. The movie takes place right during the Great Blackout of 2003. Of course, everyone has their own Blackout story, and maybe another day I’ll tell mine. But everyone will tell you that it was one of those few days that you really felt any sense of community here. So in a way, it was one of the best things to ever happen in Manhattan. But back to the movie.

Now Shortbus is one seriously fucked up movie. But some moments are beautifully and brilliantly written. Some lines really resonated with me. Like: “9-11. It’s the only thing real that’s ever happened to them.” In a perfect arc, the movie begins with a recollection of an event that brought New Yorkers together for what felt like the first time ever, and ends with another event which had a similar effect. 9-11 was the day we mourned together, but the Blackout was the day we rejoiced together.

However, the part of the movie that had the most gravitas was the soliloquy by the ex-Mayor (played magnificently by Alan Mandell). I’ll excerpt it here:

But you know what’s the most wonderful thing about New York?…New Yorkers are…permeable…Therefore we’re sane. Consequently, we’re the target of the impermeable. And the insane. And of course, New York is where everyone comes to be forgiven. What have you done wrong? Tell me, how have you sinned? I’m sure it’s nothing serious.

How would you know?

Well, I’m– I’m sure you did your best. Imagine if you grew up here like I did. Home can be very unforgiving.

On that note, here are some of my favorite pictures from Rio. From the angle, it looks like he is hovering in the clouds. Click to open them.


Brilliant Photos.

I came across these photos and was floored. One of them is a photo of the Jesus in Rio. I happen to be going to Rio in about a week, and was thinking I wouldn’t bring my camera because of the high likelihood of theft. But now I wanna bring it. Anyway, take a look at these stunning photos. I’d post them here on Virtual Obscurity, but I think it looks better on the original site.

Sunset in Montreal

The other day in New York, it was 75 degrees. In January. Anyway, today its frickin’ freezing. It sort of reminded me of this picture I took in Montreal. So here it is.