Retrospective: Reflecting back on 2016

Retrospective

When I first created this blog, one of my biggest goal was to improve in my creative writing.  To challenge my self to express my thoughts into words. Something that I don’t do to well. The toughest obstacles for me in 2016 is writer blocks, what should I write? What would be interesting enough to get my followers to read and to come back to my blog, plus attract other readers. Continue reading “Retrospective: Reflecting back on 2016”

Discovery Challenge: Flaneur

Flâneur

I would consider myself an observer. No matter where am at, if am alone or with people am always observing everything that around me.

Walking the street of downtown San Antonio, Texas, I blend into the 23449503249_004221f738_b many tourist who roam the street like zombies. Slowly walking, looking lost, some with their eyes on their cell phone, others with their eye wandering around with their hands on their camera. I myself also carrying a camera, but not acting so zombie like, observing my surrounding, looking for that right photographic shot.

99060018My ears and eyes observing as people pass me by running along the riverwalk. Listening to the ducks quaking, listening for the sound of foot steps pounding on the pavement as people walk and run coming from behind me.  My eyes taking notice what people are doing, what they are wearing, whats going on around town that attracts the tourist.  Some stopping to take a selfie, families stopping by to get an ice cone from the small vendors station through out town.

99010018Sometime there will be moments where I talk with a tourist or someone local about what going on around town, or asking for direction.  Other time I’ll get stop and get ask about my camera.  Most time I will stop to take a break from walking and drink water from the water bottle I carry with me.

After a couple of hours walking, I decide it time to return to being a local and catch my bus ride back home. As I wait, I continue observing every walk of life passing by. Listening to the few words the echo my way.  Finally my bus arrive

Discover Challenge: Analog

Analog

Call me old fashion, but I love the analog world.  I grew up during the 80s and 90s before the digital revolution took over the world.  Don’t get me wrong, digital is cool, but when you grew up in the analog world, things were just simple. Simple that it didn’t control our life. There were only a few channels to pick from when deciding what to watch on TV.  If not, you were outside with friends,listening to music on those good o cassette taps or vinyl records.

Today I try to incorporate both analog and digital in my daily life. I still shoot film today using both a Nikon FM10 and a Canon AE-1 camera.  Since I don’t develop my own film, I have to wait for it get developed so I can see my photographs. It always interesting when I get stop by someone, “are you shooting film?” or “is that a canon AE-1 camera?”. One guy told me I was hardcore for shooting film.  Every now and then I get ask why I don’t shoot digital, it cheaper. Well I can give you several reasons, but I think the number one reason is that it just doesn’t feel the same. To give a simple way of thinking about it, do you prefer a home cook meal or one of those ready meals you can heat up in the microwave?

Beside film photography, I also enjoy journaling, both writing and art.  I keep a journal where I use pen, color pencil, water-color to write my thoughts and express my creativity. Am sure a lot of people forget the enjoyment these type of things bring to us.  They are simple, they exercise your mind and help reduce the tension and stress.  Today people are so zoned and glue to a screen. We’ve become zombies in this digital age where we would prefer to interact with our phone then have a verbal conversation with a stranger at Starbucks or a family member. The advantage of the digital age is I can share my film photography along with my simple art and writing with the rest of the world. If you are one who also express similar interest in film photography or/and journaling please feel free to follow me here or on my photo blog.

Learning

Learning

May 2000, just finished my last day in high school and will be crossing the stage.  In three months, I will begin a journey in the world of learning.  My mind a empty hard drive ready to be loaded with new software and updates.

As I move away from home, to a university dorm, and then to my own apartment, I learned a variety of things.  Some of these things self-taught, some learned by taking a class, and some requiring time and practice to learn.  Throughout my years attending college I learned how to dance by joining a dance club and reinforcing it with a class, private lessons, plus going to the clubs and social dancing.  Dancing is like any sport where you have to practice in order to get better and it helps to have a dance partner to.

The internet began to take over our life when I was attending college.  I began to teach my self html and css to built my personal website,plus to add it as a skill that I could sale to employers.  During my last three years in college I took addition classes such as photoshop and programming to enhance the skills I already acquired.

Living in an apartment also meant frequent visits to the swimming pool area during the spring/summer seasons.  A get away visit from all the learning and stress of attending a big university.  I was never a big fan of hanging around the pool area beside the beautiful college girls working on their tan and wearing their bikini.  One reason is that I didn’t know how to swim, so I stayed away. In fact I was just never taught how to swim when I was little.  It just happened that I needed an elective class and an easy class to boast my gpa, so I took a beginner swimming class.  I took the class three times.  Each time improving and learning how to swim and float.  By the end of my first time enrolled in the class, I learned and mastered how to float.  The second time I got down how to breath when doing the free style and still practicing how to recover when I needed to stop awhile in the pool. The toughest challenge was being able to tread water awhile being in the olympic swimming pool.  I was finally able to do that when I took the class again for a third time. Yes!, a third time, but it paid off in the end.  I was comfortable swimming on my own and now I had a good reason to hang out at the pool area.  Any guy would say, just to check out the beautiful girls is a good enough reason.  For me, now I wouldn’t feel like the only one in the pool who would just sit and stand in the pool and couldn’t swim.

Raison d’être

Raison D’être

What motivates me to let out my creative side.  Well after months and years of searching for full-time employment and not having any success, it was 20160508_185333time that I give my mind a distraction.  A outlet to let it wonder and express whatever I may be feeling, experiencing, or just to do something to pass the time.

I photograph, draw, write, watercolor, and blog.  Some of these I’ve done for awhile and others, I recently just started to learn about them. Do I prefer one over another? No, I just do whatever I feel like doing at the moment.  I photograph when I take my morning and afternoon walks. During this time when am walking am not only clearing my mind, but also just being clam and aware what going on around me. Watching people go about their business, feeling the sun and wind hit my skin.  If I see something that interesting to me, I’ll take a photograph.  There are time when I can’t carry my camera with me such as going to my temporary job or maybe the weather just make it too ugly to go outside.  In that case I can draw, write, or blog in the comfortable of my home.  Writing and blogging help me not only to work on my writing and communication skills, but help me reflect on what going on in my life.  It also a way to channel that stress and/or conflict inside me and trap it on paper using words.  When I draw, watercolor or anything that involves art, it bring out that little kid that still inside of me.  Forgetting whatever may be running in my head and just using that creative instinct.

The positive side of creating whether it be art, photography, writing, dancing is that every time you create you see the progression of improvement in what you create.  For me, that not only the improvement in your skill, but in yourself to be a better individual. Aren’t we all trying to better ourselves?

 

**Raison d’être is a French term, meaning “the reason or justification for existence.”