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April 2, 2009

di ko malaman bakit

wala akong mahugot na sagot

ilang araw nakong ganito

halos ibagsak ko na lahat ng subject ko

araw-araw ko pinapagod sarili ko

pero parang wala akong maramdaman

yung tipong masabe kong GANITO yung nararamdaman ko

ewan, wala talaga

dapat umiiyak ako

o kaya nalulungkot

pwede ding masaya

oo kinakabahan

ANU NA NANGYAYARI SAKIN?

kung magka-emosyon man ako

sandali lang

nawawala rin.

mapapagod ako,

maya2 wala na

inaantok ako

iidlip

ayos na.

para na ata akong makina

tipong gagana pag ginagamit

pag hindi naman

wala lang din.

gaya ngayon,

wala pakong tulog

dapat nagpapahinga nako

pero eto ako

me gana pakung magblog.

ewan talaga

i need to feel something

anything

seriously.

nagwoworry ako ngayon

pero mamaya nito

hindi na.

eto ba resulta ng madameng gabi

na ginugol kakapuyat

kakaisip

kakasulat?

masama ata epekto sakin ng sobrang rationality.

nawawala pagkatao ko.

lately din

biglang mawawala ako sa sarili ko

hindi makapokus sa ginagawa

pag sobrang nakapokus naman,

halos di na napapansin yung ibang bagay

I NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP

and i need to take a bath NOW (argh)

PS.

nagkukulay uling naku. waaah

NEED TO REVIVE MYSELF

NEED TO REVIVE GOLD!

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PLAYgirl – the other ME (and the things you don’t know yet)

March 13, 2009

Since I was in high school, people around me had been speculating that I was a homo, in short “tibo”. I can’t remember particular circumstances that led them to think of this foolishness. But I do believe that it was my “fashion sense” (if ever it can be considered fashion) which deceived them. I loved to wear boys’ clothes- not because I want to be like them, but because I adore them! This might be the craziest thing one can ever hear.

There are what I call “vamp attacks” that I sometimes experience. Yup, vamp, as in “A woman who uses her sex appeal to entrap and exploit men”. I call it vamp attack (like asthma attack) since it happens occasionally. I’m not naturally a vamp, but sometimes, the name can even be an understatement to my potentials.

Whenever I’m having an attack, one could not expect me to be the bitch who wears seductive micro mini skirts and tubes. What happens is the opposite-I tend to act boyish. I love it when I wear extra large t-shirts, loose pants, rubber shoes, and baseball caps.

I’ve looked for an explanation for this, and all I got was this…

Since the moment I learned that women and men are for each other, and that I was capable of getting attracted to the opposite sex, I began to admire men. The first time I experienced having a crush was in 4th grade. In my 5th grade, I had fully developed my senses for “boys”. As I said, I was not the typical flirt. I never showed my girly little giggles. It was that year that gave me some of my first surprises, confusions, and frustrations with love. I had this crush named Harold James, the drumer (ooh, so hot). He was the suplado type, MY type. He never noticed me aside from recognizing that I was the teacher’s pet. Before my 5th grade ended, I’ve received 2 freaking love letters from 2 different boylets. The names were Gerald, the bubbly chinito, and Sam Cyrus, the smart ass. They were also my classmates. I was so sad that Harold never showed signs that he also liked me. Poor me.

In sixth grade, the same thing happened. I had a new crush, Deo Sean, the Japanese-looking guitarist, and like Harold, he never noticed me. Gerald kept doing papansin. And 2 new boylets also came – Emerald, the funnyshort guy and _____(forgot), the serious fancy-jewelry-giving guy. I was not lucky you see.

To fastforward this, well, more papansin, pacute, paligaw-tingin, pasimple,  sigurista, desperado, maangas, and hopeful boys came my way (oo, ksama si Jhon Wilfred sa listahan ko), yet my crushes never noticed me!

With the number of those boys whom I liked before, I’ve already memorized their whole being-the maleness, personality, fashion, movements..everything. I had this hobby of staring at boys – I observe them. I think I’ve overdone my hobby, because I ended up imitating them- the boys. With the observations I did, I became obsessed. I adored the boys too much that I acted and dressed like them! Yes, acted..as in do what they do best..papansin and pacute sa mga girls. I’ve also developed the charms that of boys.

So much was my obsession that I was branded tibo.

This boyish me was not meant to get to girls. I used/use it to get to boys. My vamp attacks triggers my sudden shift of actions. From being the book-reader teacher’s pet, I start to flirt around. This boyishness serves as  my sex appeal-I would like to believe.

I’ve tested this phenomenon several times already. I would have a crush, I’d have vamp attacks, I’d act boyishly, I’d attract both boys and girls, yet my crush would never notice me.

Can you guess how I got wifred? That would be another story.

As of know, I still at times get to experience the attacks. The thing that’s changed is my sense of clothing. I’m now actually considered transvestite. There are moments that I would have the urge to dress “normally” again, but my conscience would always nag at me.

These are all the me in ME.

Yes, I’m straight lady

No, I’m not a Homo

Yes, I LIKE/LOVE men

No, I don’t LIKE girls

Yes, I can kiss girls

No, I don’t get aroused with girls

Yes, I’m a PLAY(full)girl

No, I don’t play with boys

Yes, girls play with me

No, I’ve never had a girlfriend

Yes, I have lots of girlfriends

No, I’m not a two-timer

Yes, I’ve wished to have long list of boyfriends

No, I’m not a nymphomaniac

Yes, I have sexual desires

No, I am not abnormal

Yes, I can act abnormal

No, I’m not hungry for boys

Yes, boys are hungry for me

No, I’m not unfaithful

Yes, I Love HIM.

To add something different, here’s my naughty pictures of playing around with my playmates.

my krisha

my krisha

posers

posers

kissing REA

kissing REA

my SUITOR

my SUITOR

bitefull Corinne

bitefull Corinne

my PROSPECT

my PROSPECT

lovely ANJ

lovely ANJ

A for adorable, B for BEANS

A for adorable, B for BEANS

pouty JOAN

pouty JOAN

irresistible Stella

irresistible Stella

JERlord Ydel

JERlord Ydel

certified PLAYgirl

certified PLAYgirl

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Winning yet Losing

March 5, 2009

DATE:

March 06, 2009, Thursday; 5:o0 PM

SETTING:

Inside a jeepney (Mintal-Roxas Route)

CASTS:

gold- the persuasive bitch

marianne – the concerned citizen

PLOT:

gold (with an infamous reputation) trying to convince marianne (with an always-late reputation) that she has to “libre” her “ng pamasahe”

PRIOR to the ENCOUNTER:

Gold dropped by to Rubia to ask Anj about the friend-asking-favor-to-another-friend matters. After deciding to stay for a while, she felt that her stomach was begging to have some bananacue. Discovering that she only had exactly 18 pesos in her purse, she thought of a way to get what her stomach wants. She went to Corinne-Krisha-Stella’s room. With that puppy-dog look she failed to imitate, she told (no, begged) Corinne “Coh, gusto ko kumain ng saging, libre mo ko beh.” Lucky enough, Corrine was also starving! She agreed to Gold, providing that Gold buys the bananacue. “Sige, libre ta ka, basta kaw magpalit.” Of course, Gold would never disagree nor think twice.  Stella commneted: “Grabe jud si Gold o, pag libre gani..” And so, Gold left and did her task.

While Gold was on her way back to Rubia, she remembered Stella’s comment and pondered. “Kung tutuusin, di naman to pwedeng iconsider na libre, kasi pinahtrabahuan ko na rin to sa ganitong lagay. Sila lang nagprovide ng pera, pero ako nag-effort. Anyway, I don’t really care at all, basta makakain ako ng saging! And I’m very thankful to Coh and Ste for this.” Gold enjoyed her bananacue so much that she consumed two sticks of them.

When Gold arrived at Rubia, she was shocked to find Marianne there. “Anong ginagawa ng isang Marianne sa lungga ng barkadahang tunay?” Gold was very curious as usual. She asked Marianne: “Marianne, ba’t ka nandito?”

Marianne: “Ngano man? Dili diay pwede?”

Gold: “Nagulat lang ako na nandito ka. O, ba’t nga andito ka?”

Marianne: “AH5 ui”

Gold: “Ahh.. Kain ka saging”

Marianne: “Dili ko nagakaon ana. Ai, mukaon gud, basta”

Gold: “Aba! Maarte to. Sana sinabe mo na di ka kumakain ng saging nang di natin sinet ang venue sa Kasagingan nung Lunes.”

Marianne was busy waiting for the paintings for AH5 that Beans was burning. Gold hates it when Marianne was silent. And so, while Gold was happily eating her bananacue, she felt the urge of being a nuisance to Marianne.

Beans: “Unsa email-ad nimo Marianne?”

Marianne: “(something2x..) riane@yahoo.com.ph. Ang ph ha)

Beans: “Riane as in Rhian Ramos?”

Marianne: “Riane na R-I-A-N-E

Gold: “Double N diba sau Mer, Mar, Marianne. Marianne diba. Merianne. Marianne. Ano nga dapat?”

Marianne: “Samoka nimo ui. Dugay na na ba. Marianne”

Gold: “Ahhh.. Hahaha.. Marianne ano?”

Marianne: “Raphaela”

Gold: “Tas, anu apelyido mu?”

Marianne: “Samok Gold ui. Malinao”

Gold: “Ahh, tama pala” (smiling)

To make this part of the story short, Gold told Marianne that they would go home together. The other didn’t have a choice but to say yes.

THE STORY, REALLY

While Gold and Marianne were trecking their way to the main road, Gold continued irritating Marianne. She remembered her 18-peso-coins left in her purse, thinking: “Sakto lang to pamasahe. Teka, luko-lukohin ko kaya to si Marianne.”

Gold: Marianne, libre moko pamasahe beh, wala naku money.

Marianne: Saba Gold.

Gold: San ka magbaba? Hanggang Matina ka lang?

Marianne: Oo, sa Matina Crossing lang ko.

Gold: Sige, bale libre moko ng pamasahe na worth Mintal-to-Matina lang. Bale mga 13 lang yun diba.

Of Course, Marianne wasn’t in to the thought of paying for Gold’s fare. Gold was challenged to really try convincing Marianne to “libre” her. Marianne wasn’t letting Gold persuade her too. And so, with all their might, they battled, verbally. If one would listen to their conversation, one would think that they were two lawyers defending their clients.Let’s see what happened.

Gold: Marianne, sige na

Marianne: Saba Gold. Daghan ka kwarta. Ikaw pa.

Gold: Promise, wala naku pera. Ubos na allowance ko.

Marianne: Ngee, daghan man kay source. Datu man ka. Mahal kag mga sanina. Dili ka musuot pag kanang dili branded. Naa man gani kay converse. Ako wala. Unya wala ka kwarta.

Gold: Hindi no! Kala mu lang yun. Syempre, hindi man ako bumibili ng damit ko. Yung iba bigay lang ng mga pinsan. Pasalubong. Buti sana kung may trabaho ako na may sweldo. Wala! Mama ko lang nagbibigay sakin ng allowance. Tas naubos na, kawawa na nga ako eh.

Marianne: Diba naa kay mga pinsan. Ingon nimo ginahatagan ka nila. Naa kay ig-agaw nga unsa, uyab nga unsa pud.

Gold: Haha.. Unsay unsa? Di yung mga yun nagbibigay. Uyab ko? Wala yun. Promise. Kulang pa pera nun. Tas mga pinsan ko manlibre sila, pero hindi sila magbigay sakin ng pera. Saka di rin ako humuhingi. Mahiya ako. Di naman nila responsibilidad yun. Pero pag kelangan na talaga, siguro hihingi rin ako.

Marianne: O, pangayo na sa imu pinsan.

Gold: Di ko man alam kung san sila ngayon, Sympre busy din yun. Saka makahiya.

Marianne: Ngano man wala na ka allowance?

Gold: Ubos na. Grabe ako kagastador this week. Siguro mga isang libo na naubos ko. Tas hindi pa baya weekend.

Marianne: Kanus-a pa man nagpadala imu mama?

Gold: Sa Tuesday pa.

Marianne: O, okay lang. Weekend na bitaw.

Gold: Weekend nga. Pero syempre, kelangan ko magmerienda pag weekend. Magutuman ako nyan.

Marianne: Hahaha.. Oo noh. Kina vince diay ka maghulam?

Gold: Hindi ako sanay manghiram ng pera sa iba. Magpalibre naku basta wag lang mangutang. Kasi basta. Unless kelangan na din.

Marianne: Bitaw, kwarta na man gud na ba. Lahi na gyud. Ngano man gud nahurot imong allowance? Isang libo in one week? Grabe ka. Palainom man gud ka! Mao nang dali maubos imong kwarta.

Gold: Haha. Minsan lang ui. Saka nagdepress depressan lang ako. Sa thesis kasi

Marianne: Si Divina pud. She comforts herself. Daghan siya ginapalit nga sanina.

Gold: Kaya nga, kung si Divina, bumibili ng damit. Ako, iniiyakan ko, tas iniinom.

Marianne: Basta, hindi ko ginatolerate yang inom2. Dili nako librehon kanang mga tao mahurot ang kwarta kay sigeg inom.

Gold: Pera lang man yan Marianne. Di mo yan madala sa libingan mo. Pero yang mag-enjoy ka with your friends, that’s something else. Ako, kung papiliin ako, pera o yung mag gastos sa inom kasama mga kaibigan ko. Dun nako sa  mga kaibigan ko. Kasi dun ako mas masaya. Ikaw, sinu piliin mo, magtipid o maglaag2 kasama si Divina?

Marianne: Kabalo man ko. Sige man gani mi pa.SM. Nagapanghagad si Divina. Tas minsan ako manlibre kay ginalibre man sad  ko nila.

Gold: O, kaya nga librehin mo naku.

Marianne: Saba Gold! Manong, panauga gud ning pasahero nimu kay wala siyay pamasahe o!

By the time the jeepney reached Ulas, Marianne took out her purse. Gold just commented that Marianne still had enough money to pay both their fares. Gold had already planned to quit the “kalokohan”.

Marianne: Tag-pila gani ang mangga.

Gold: Ambot, Hindi naman ako bumibili ng mangga. O may pera ka pa man pala.

Marianne: Sa mama man nako ni. Gipapalit niya ko.

Gold: Sabihin mo lang gud sa mama mo na Ma, hindi ako nakabili kay may pasahero kanina sa jeep na walang pamasahe kaya ako nagbayad. Kawawa man gud.

Marianne: Haha. Naa pa man ko extra money ah. Pasalamat ka naa! Basta dapat maggraduate ka summer ha! Para ako naman librehon nimo. Pag dili ka maggraguate kay bayaran nimu na.

Gold: Summer? Hahahahahahahaha Sure!

Then suddenly, Marianne handed her money: “Tag-pila ba pa-Roxas? 12 lang akong ilibre nimo ui.” Gold didn’t expect that Marianne would fall for her theatrics! All she could do was to laugh. Laugh. Laugh. Marianne just stared at Gold. She never changed her mind about the libre. Gold was waiting for that one. But, nothing, Marianne was serious about it. And then Gold felt a little guilt thinking she overdid it. Now, who do you think really won the battle?

ANALYSIS:

I really don’t know if I’ve won anything here. The challenge was good. Really good. Yet, I wasn’t happy with my trophy. Maybe I was fighting the wrong battle. I’m trying to prove that I am good, yet I ended up being the bad one. But I also know that joke2 lang lahat yun. Lahat ng sinabe ko drama lang.

Madame ako naiisip

1) madale makumbinsi si marianne

2) siguro mahirap din, talagang tinamaan ko lang yung right spot (luck)

3) pwede din na nakulitan lang siya sakin kaya napilitan sya

4) or magaling lang ako mag-drama

5) ako kaya naiisip sakin ni marianne pagkatapos nun?

6) marerealize nya kaya na everything was fake?

7) sisingilin nya kaya ako?

8) balak ko naman bayaran siya bukas

(oo, tinanggap ko yung P12. Kasi baka mas magalit siya sakin pag nalaman niya niloko ko lang siya)

9) sasabihin ko kaya ang totoo

10) totoo naman lahat ng info. exxagerated lang konte tas sinabayan ko ng arteng pang-BEANS ang dating.

11) grabe na ba ako kung magpalibre?

12) yung tipong nakakapangit na ng image?

13) tipong, pag naaalala nyu ko, naiisip nyu yung bitch na palaging nagpapalibre (kapal ng mukha, hindi nga sya nanlilibre)

14) di naman ako super-kulit pagdating sa libre2 kung isipin ko

15) takot lang ako na baka ganito na tingin sakin ng marami.

16) mas magaling paku pag mga ganitong kalokohan inatupag ko!

17) pero sa ibang bagay, ewan.

18) naisip ko, pag may pera talaga ako next week, babawi ako kay Marianne!

19) Pati sa barkadahang tunay, sige manlibre (kung may money ha!)

20) I thank Marianne very much; she’d made me realize a lot.

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continuing

February 21, 2009

I’ve been down there, and never will I let myself go back to that damned place.

oo, madrama. pero simple lang naman yan. I’ve been depressed, for the second time. Anu nga ba nangyari nung una?

Flashback.

The first time happened when I was 18 years old. Para maiksi, oo, tungkol sa lalaki. Nagpakagaga. Umasa. Nabigo. But it also had some positive effects. I was able to concentrate on my studies. I passed my Statistics! The depression gave me the drive to be good at other things. It was also my way to shift my mind from the hurt I was feeling. I tried not to let the hurt eat me whole. It was not easy. I was happy and busy during the mornings, yes, but I had wet pillows at night. It took me weeks to recover. It took me months to finally heal. Iwas proud. I did it all by myself. I’ve proven that I deserved to be treated seriously and justly. I’ve proven that it was HIS loss, not mine. ahh,, redemption.

Second time around.

Naulit na naman ang great depression sa buhay ko. I’ve learned my lessons, and so this one isn’t about stupid boys. It’s about school. Since I started studying, I was always motivated to do good. I was best in class. I was on the top list. I believe I was a teacher’s pet too. I think my classmates hated me for what I am, but hell, I didn’t care. As long as I was getting grades from almost-perfect to perfect scores, I was happy. I had the idea that I was getting the attention of my parents by being like that. And it was always disappointing when it seems like I haven’t done enough. But when I stepped college, things were different. A hell lot different. I was just another ordinary student just like everybody else. It was a good excuse that it was to be expected since I’m in UP. But secretly, I’m still gold, the achiever. To boost my stupid ego, I compared my grades with those who I knew got a  lower score. It was like cancer on my skin. I can’t get it off me. I always tried to reflect on this. I always tell myself “tama nang compare-compare, there will always be someone better than you are”. Yet, I always end up doing the same thing! It is my defense mechanism because I know that I’m good at nothing; that I’m stupid; and that nobody loves me but myself. Na.prove ko to lalo nung nag.defense ako for my thesis. My hispocrisy was slapped on my face. Parang narinig ko “Ang tanga mo gold! Akala mo kung sinu kang magaling, e wala namang laman yang kukote mo!”. I was hurt. Badly hurt. Kahit mga grammar sa thesis ko e mali mali. What a shame. Kaya nagka.2nd.great depression ako. Akala ko mawawala din kagad yung feeling kasi talaga namang maton tong pakiramdam ko. But I was wrong. I cried buckets. The good thing was it was the time I had my friends with me. My good friends. Isang text lang, (kahit pa nag.doubt sila kung seryoso baku o najojoke lang), todo encouragement kagad sila. The feeling vanished overnight.

I realized how greatly I have changed from that self-centered teacher’s bitch to the barkadahang-tunay-centered gold. I have inserted my friends sa hassle kong buhay. Kung dati, sinosolo ko problema ko, ngayon, humihingi na ako ng support from them. And they’re good at it. So I guess, I did the right thing. Dahil kung di ko ginawa yun, baka umiiyak parin ako hanggang ngayon over my mali-maling thesis.

I’ve decided, I’ll continue living, fighting. Di ko hahayaan na ang lecheng thesis ko ang magdidikta sa buhay ko. Kung matatapos ko siya this sem, edi swerte, gagraduate ako. Pero kung di talaga kakayanin sa oras, edi magsusummer! Di naman mahihinto buhay ko kung di man ako makagraduate “ON SCHEDULE”. Importante, makagraduate “ON MY OWN TIME”. Napagod na rin kasi ako kakapressure sa sarili ko na i.meet lahat ng expectations ko. Nakakalimutan ko na kasi tuloy na mas mahalaga na maging mabuti akong tao.  O diba, tama naman. I already spoke with my mother (isa pang pressure-monster..sa kanya ako nagmana, obviously), tingin ko naman naiintindihan niya sitwasyon ko. Dapat lang din na hayaan nya na ako kahit once lang, kasi since then I’ve obeyed her naman.

What I badly need now is divine intervention. Sana sapian ako ng spirit of perseverance nang matrabaho ko na lahat ng dapat kong tapusin.. *smiles

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Of the beautiful and the not

October 5, 2007

What is aesthetically pleasing? This question could be so subjective. But as they say, beauty itself is subjective. One may see beauty the sublime, the uniqueness of a certain quality, and some may see it from a an artwork.

To begin with, I would ask myself what is beautiful or aesthetically pleasing for me. Of course, anything that is simple, with grace, colorful, or whatever it is that would define beauty, that I think would be what is beautiful.

In the way that I answered my question, I’m saying that whatever it is that is pleasing for other people would also be pleasing for me. It is the society that defines my on view of the beautiful, and not actually myself. This is what Hume tried to point out, that some people sees things, in general sense, in the same way. They agree on the idea that one thing is beautiful if it be judged in its general characteristics. And so, there’s possibility for a standard of taste, which now makes beauty objective in the sense that they will now define the boundary from what is beautiful and what is not.

aesthetics, a word associated with beauty. so simple yet so hard to define. as they say, everyone has their own way of seeing what is beautiful or how beautiful is beautiful. according to edmund burke’s ‘the sublime’, anything that astinishes the soul, in a state where all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror. in this case the mind is so entirely filled with its object…. simply by this, it could already be said that sublimity depends on the ignorance of one person. what i mean is, when a person sees something, it will be according to how that person is being amazed by the object he sees, that he could consider it sublime or not. anything could be sublime as long as it will astonish one. a ‘promdi’, new in the city, could consider tall skyscrapers sublime for it is not everyday that she sees such things from the place she came from. ghosts could also be a sublime thing for anyone who sees it for the first time. between fear and awe, the thing that connects them is their ability to create great feelings or emotions to people. maybe this is one, if not the first, thing that people should consider in determining the beauty of something, which really contrasted to my own definition of beauty- which is anything that is pleasant to look at.

Kant discussed the way that each and every person experience beauty. He says that aesthetic experience if pure intuition. Which means that beauty again I judged subjectively according to the intuition of a person. When he sees an object, he would appreciate it as it is and not because of the other factors that makes it beautiful for him. Real aesthetic experience is that the judgment is between the eye and the object only and the mind is free from other intentions.

This idea of Kant could even be per se subjective. One can say to other people that the beauty he sees in an object is the real aesthetic experience, but the truth is, at the back of his mind, he already has intentions and desires that make him want or like that thing. I mean, for example, when I go to the mall and go window shop, I would look at the things from the window. Everything would just go past my eyes. My attention might get caught by the shoe, can I say that what happened there was the “aesthetic experience”? it might be yes, it might also be no, because in the first place, I went to that place to “window shop”; there is that kind of intention of being able to like something that I see. Also, I might have liked that certain shoe or it might have caught my attention because it was my “favorite” color or because that was the kind of shoe that I was always longing to buy, though in that day, I didn’t intend to “buy a shoe” but only to window shop. Something already defined or affected that aesthetic experience I had. I like Kant very much. with his idea that beauty is subjective, one thing comes to my mind, that no one can truly judge one to be “not beautiful”. and another one, it heightens up my self-esteem because it means that i won’t have to always listen to the comments of other people about me, especially everytime my sister teases me “hindi ka kagandahan”, and at the same time be happy when other people appreciates the way i look. this beauty, it really makes some people, like me, to be insecure of themselves, which i think is very bad because some people tends to be very harsh on their body. some would stop eating, become bulimic or anorexic when people comments on them that they are fat, which is not at all true.
one thing that I really learned in the lesson is that you shouldn’t always listen to what other people say about you, about your look, because whatever they say is not always important, though of course, one must also learn how to take good care of their self. beaing healthy is enough beauty for me.Now let’s go to the more specific sense of beauty. In art, they define beauty in every artwork according to the pleasure it gives without being based on concepts. This is this issue again. They say that it is not based on anything, though actually thee is always really something that makes one like something. For example, he lived a life where he always sees trees, mountains, animals and all that stuff found in rural areas like that in the backyard f Up Mindanao. He might have grew up a simple life. The tendency then is that, either he will see al kind of painting beautiful because he is ignorant of it, or the other thing might be that he would only appreciate things that have the pictures of the things that he grew up seeing for everyday of is life like the farm, the trees and the likes.
Now. Let us go to art’s real definition. Of course, it would be impossible for me to define art by myself. So, before I give my own explanation, let me just quote some definitions first. To some “people”, art is….

For Plato, the forms are more real than the copies of them in the world of space and time. The forms in ‘nature’ are due to God, “whether from choice or necessity.”

Here ‘nature’ does not refer to the world of space-time, but to the world of forms, which is an abstract, spaceless, timeless reality. For Plato, art is an imitation of an imitation – like Van Gogh’s bed – and hence goes in the wrong direction from truth.

if art is three times removed from reality, then how would plato describe “physically” what he really meant of that thing “real”? or is it even seen physically? what was his basis of saying that there exists this kind of reality. i think he was just complicating things, you know, making people think about things, so they would go crazy and all that stuff. anyway, why the big fuss?.. i don’t really care if art really is three times removed from reality so long as i know how to appreciate art and that i know that it’s kust an imitation of whatever reality it tries to imitate. that is what it’s purpose is all about right? to imitate? the part there where they say that it’s only the “scientific” part of life that is important, i totality object. in the first place, why would there be art if there is it isn’t important to people? it may be an imitation, but it is already “natural” for people to make imitations, and nature does nothing in vain.. in conclusion, art, just like science, is very important. though they’re approach is different.

Art takes us away from, not closer to, the truth. For Plato, it is through philosophy that we know the truth, not art. Painting is not even an imitation of things as they are, but only as they appear. And Plato thinks that “The real artist . . . would be interested in realities, and not in imitations.” Painting gives us, not truth, but appearance. According to Plato, the arts, such as painting, are concerned with appearance, whereas philosophy is concerned with the truth. That is a main point of his allegory of the cave, in which the prisoners of the cave take shadows to be the truth when, in fact, they are only appearances. Plato do not insist on the truthfulness of an art but to what it intends to do, and that is to show reality. But I think Gombrich has a different view on this.

According to Gomrich, there are limits to objectivity, to reproducing nature or subject matter as exactly as possible.The following things influence an artist’s attempt to reproduce something “with the utmost fidelity:”

– The artist’s personality or temperament;

– His or her selective preferences. The angle at which an object is pictured and from what distance will have to be determined, as will what will be emphasized and what not;

– The style(s) of the artist (e.g. Picasso);

– The style(s) of the period in which the artist exists (e.g. Cubism, Fauvism, Abstract Expressionism).

Realism in painting, drawing, etc. is relative, not absolute. Different cultures at different times have different systems of pictorial representation. A culture has to learn to read the system of representation of another culture. A system of representation can be standard at one time or place and not in another. Art may really be like this. That though according to Plato art is objective because the artist only makes thing appear in his artwork just as how it truly appears in reality. But to Gombrich, there is still subjectivity to this. This just made my mind go twirl. Maybe with Benjamin things will be a lot clearer with his idea of the mechanical reproduction of art. Benjamin notes that, whereas it has always been possible to reproduce a work of art in principle through copying, “mechanical reproduction of a work of art represents something new.” Since the advent of photography, reproduction is no longer dependent on the hand, and accelerated the process of reproduction since “the eye perceives more swiftly than the hand can draw.”

Film in particular allows the artist to “keep pace with speech.”

“Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.”

“This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject during the time of its existence.”

“This [its history] includes changes which it may have suffered in physical condition over the years as well as the various changes in its ownership.” This idea of reproduction thus has advantages and disadvantages. First, it deletes the classical uniqueness of art because there could be millions and millions of copy of one single art. It’s sense of being rare is gone. On the other hand, at least with mechanical reproduction we could be able to get hold of the art that we want so much in a lower cost. But what about photography as art. Barrett says that we commonly mistake photographs for mirrors of or windows onto reality, so that photographs are taken to picture things as they really were, or to think of them as “mere mechanical transcriptions unencumbered by knowledge and values.”

However this is incorrect, and he says that the photographer’s eye, as Nelson Goodman puts it about the artist’s eye, “selects, rejects, organizes, discriminates, associates, classifies, analyzes, and constructs. It does not so much mirror as take and make, and what it takes and makes it sees not bare, as items without attribution, but as things. Nothing is seen naked.”

Terry Barrett: “The meaning of any photograph is highly dependent on the context in which it appears.”

Each of the preceding four slides contains the same photographs, but the photographs function differently according to the context provided by the accompanying language. A linguistic context in which a photograph is situated shapes how a photograph is seen.

Barrett: “The texts that surround the photograph eliminate any residual ambiguity and decide the meaning of the picture.”

A photograph paired with language does not stand alone, but takes on a meaning determined by that language, and so the “same” photograph can have a different meaning by being pared with language that makes us attend to it differently.

Barrett also talks of “different presentational environments,” which “in themselves determine how viewers are to understand the photograph.” Such presentational environments would include a commercial or not-for-profit brochure, a magazine, a newspaper, a gallery or museum, or an art book.

A photograph’s presentational environment tells its observer how it is to be understood and responded to.

A photograph paired with language does not stand alone, but takes on a meaning determined by that language, and so the “same” photograph can have a different meaning by being pared with language that makes us attend to it differently.

Barrett also talks of “different praesentational environments,” which “in themselves determine how viewers are to understand the photograph.” Such presentational environments would include a commercial or not-for-profit brochure, a magazine, a newspaper, a gallery or museum, or an art book.

A photograph’s presentational environment tells its observer how it is to be understood and responded to.

A photograph not intended by its maker to be seen as fine art can come to be seen as such by exhibiting it in a museum or gallery.

When this happens, the photograph is transformed. For instance, a journalistic photograph is looked at one way in a newspaper, and is looked at differently as framed and displayed on the wall of a gallery. In the context of a newspaper, the photograph functions as visual information which reinforces the language of reporting as it is itself shaped by the reporting which it supports. In a fine art context it would be viewed aesthetically, and its aesthetic success would be assessed in formal terms.

In film, many ideas are presented. To give a simple explanation of some of those ideas, I’ll give my short criticism of a film based on them, where the film I’ll use would be Kubrador. Getting into the technical side of the film, it is evident that the movie is a low-budget film because it could be noticed that the camera shots are coming from few angles, which led me to the conclusion that they might be using only one to three cameras. Also, the cinematography is not as good as the Hollywood-produced films, with those glossy shots. Because the film intends to give revelations of the “reality”, the shots are coming from angles where “reality” will also be seen. The shots were not “manicured” to hide the ugliness of the setting, which is the squatter’s area. As seen in the movie, one would not think twice that the place is really a squatters’ area, which is typically dirty, unmanaged , small and very close houses, and with narrow streets. In short, the director succeeded in presenting the setting as realistic as it can be for the audience.

According to Noel Carroll, there are three formal devices for directing the movie’s audience’s attention which are indexing, bracketing and scaling. These three elements were not all present in the film “kubrador” and were not emphasized like to the other films because I think what the director intended was to get shots from distances that will define the detachment of the characters from the viewers or the audience. The one “seeing” the events in the life of the “kubrador” would then be always “away”, like a bystander, in such a way. The film doesn’t have those dramatic effects like that in the movie Citizen Kane, where the presence of indexing or the “pointing” was obvious. In the beginning of the film, there is this man walking along the alley of the squatters are. He seems to be going somewhere. The camera shot was form behind him. The camera moves with that man, like someone was actually following him. I noticed that the shot was coming from a “moving” camera because of the unsteady shots. So, it might be that the cameraman was really following the actor while they were shooting and not just zooming in the image so it would look like it’s following the man. This added to the sense of “reality” in the movie. Because in reality, when a man is in motion, his perspective is also in motion. The three formal devices of Carroll intends to assure the spectator that he is perceiving exactly what he should be perceiving as the precise moment he should be perceiving it. When the camera comes in for a close up, there is no possibility that the spectator can be distracted by some detail stage-left. The spectator doesn’t have to find the significant detail because is already delivered. And this assurance was also seen in the movie. The viewers are assured that what they will see on screen is what they ought to see. Though, there was almost no close-up shots in the movie because the director might intend to give a far-off view of the important object to also give the audience a concrete view of what was going on in relation to that object of importance. There is a sense of consistency in the film regarding this matter where the director defines the important objects at a certain time, but at the sometimes consider the setting round that object. The setting thus becomes part of all that is important in the film. I will discuss further on this matter later. Another, I noticed that when the camera moves towards an object, they do not bracket everything to be outside the camera focus, rather only half or a part of those things that might be “unimportant” to some scenes in the movie. Example, the part there in the movie where the focus was the main character while walking along the streets of their place, with her umbrella hooked hanging on her dress and with her bag in her right shoulder while she was smoking, the camera was focused on her from one side from the rear, but the look of the place could still be seen from that angle. There was also a part there when she accidentally stepped on a dog shit. The first thing that could be seen was her expression, then the camera moves from her face to her body, to her feet, to the back of her slippers where the shit got stuck. This scene, I bet, according to what I’ve experienced, will never fail to make anyone who will watch the film feel the “yuckiness”. They will suddenly imagine themselves being on the same situation, or some same memories will suddenly rush through. It will always give a good laugh. This kind of feeling might be simple a feeling but the process of getting this feeling effectively demands techniques. And the technique in this film indeed was effective. The device of bracketing was properly used. Now we go to the ideas of Laura Mulvey. Mulvey talked about the issue of sexuality in film. Traditionally, the woman displayed on film has functioned on two levels: as erotic object for the characters within the screen story, and as erotic object for the spectator within the auditorium, with a shifting tension between the looks on either side of the screen.

In the Philippines, gender discrimination is an issue; that males are dominant compared to females. I did not research if the director of Kubrador was a male or a female because I think the gender of the filmmakers are not the issue here, rather the gender focus on the film. I think that the film was feministic, only because the main character was a woman. But feministic or not, the film surely was not made to focus the woman, the main character, as an object of desire or an erotic object. This one is or sure because even if most of the time, the camera was focused on the woman, there were no shots which focused on the “sexually desirable” parts of her body, and in the first place, the woman is blatantly not sexually desirable! There was even a part there in the movie where the woman took off her clothes and changed it. The scene was taken in the angle and sense that there will be no any kind eroticism. If it had been a different movie, the tendency would be that they would close-up some particular parts like the bosom or the legs, then slow down the motion while she was taking off her clothes to create this eroticism, but with that kind of body, it would probably just create a funny scene. The film again has not failed the audience of focusing the only to the life of the main character of the woman as kubrador by being sensitive not to show any sense of aura that would be unnecessary for the film.

To conclude, aesthetics, no matter one, however smart and intelligent that person is, justifies his idea on it, is still subjective at the end of the day, and will always be subjective. It’s like a question to oneself that could never have answers; like if humans really evolved from apes or have we been created by the omnipotent one, or what is the missing link, or what came first: the egg of the chicken, or why did the chicken cross the road, or who really killed Magellan. The world is full of uncertainties, that’s for sure. So, to be able to recognize beauty could be a big deal or it could also be not. It all depends on the person if he lets himself get affected by this matters of the world, or would he rather focus on world peace.

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KUBRADOR: a film

October 5, 2007

The film “Kubrador” is just one of the many Indi or independent films produced in the Philippines to reveal some of the more realistic side of the Philippines status regarding the society, the economy and the government. The film was about a ‘kubrador”, the type of life she lived, the experiences she has undergone, her fears, and her sentiments as a longing mother, a wife, a neighbor, and a “kubrador”. Many revelations were shown in the movie, from a person’s personal problems to the government official’s crime of involving themselves to such illegal act of graft and corruption. Another big issue presented was the illegal “jueteng”, a game played mostly by people of the lower class society. It is operated by people from a higher class society. Many patronize it even if it is illegal.

This type of work, being a “kubrador”, is what most of the people in squatter’s area do to earn money to feed their family. These people, who go to the street everyday, bringing with them that small sheet of paper and a pen, and risk themselves getting caught, actually earn pennies compared to the thousands, even millions, politicians get from managers of these “jueteng”, who just have to sit in their comfortable couches, grow up their tummies till it blows up. Life is so unfair for these “kubradors”.

Getting into the technical side of the film, it is evident that the movie is a low-budget film because it could be noticed that the camera shots are coming from few angles, which led me to the conclusion that they might be using only one to three cameras. Also, the cinematography is not as good as the Hollywood-produced films, with those glossy shots. Because the film intends to give revelations of the “reality”, the shots are coming from angles where “reality” will also be seen. The shots were not “manicured” to hide the ugliness of the setting, which is the squatter’s area. As seen in the movie, one would not think twice that the place is really a squatters’ area, which is typically dirty, unmanaged , small and very close houses, and with narrow streets. In short, the director succeeded in presenting the setting as realistic as it can be for the audience.

According to Noel Carroll, there are three formal devices for directing the movie’s audience’s attention which are indexing, bracketing and scaling. These three elements were not all present in the film “kubrador” and were not emphasized like to the other films because I think what the director intended was to get shots from distances that will define the detachment of the characters from the viewers or the audience. The one “seeing” the events in the life of the “kubrador” would then be always “away”, like a bystander, in such a way. The film doesn’t have those dramatic effects like that in the movie Citizen Kane, where the presence of indexing or the “pointing” was obvious. In the beginning of the film, there is this man walking along the alley of the squatters are. He seems to be going somewhere. The camera shot was form behind him. The camera moves with that man, like someone was actually following him. I noticed that the shot was coming from a “moving” camera because of the unsteady shots. So, it might be that the cameraman was really following the actor while they were shooting and not just zooming in the image so it would look like it’s following the man. This added to the sense of “reality” in the movie. Because in reality, when a man is in motion, his perspective is also in motion. The three formal devices of Carroll intends to assure the spectator that he is perceiving exactly what he should be perceiving as the precise moment he should be perceiving it. When the camera comes in for a close up, there is no possibility that the spectator can be distracted by some detail stage-left. The spectator doesn’t have to find the significant detail because is already delivered. And this assurance was also seen in the movie. The viewers are assured that what they will see on screen is what they ought to see. Though, there was almost no close-up shots in the movie because the director might intend to give a far-off view of the important object to also give the audience a concrete view of what was going on in relation to that object of importance. There is a sense of consistency in the film regarding this matter where the director defines the important objects at a certain time, but at the sometimes consider the setting round that object. The setting thus becomes part of all that is important in the film. I will discuss further on this matter later. Another, I noticed that when the camera moves towards an object, they do not bracket everything to be outside the camera focus, rather only half or a part of those things that might be “unimportant” to some scenes in the movie. Example, the part there in the movie where the focus was the main character while walking along the streets of their place, with her umbrella hooked hanging on her dress and with her bag in her right shoulder while she was smoking, the camera was focused on her from one side from the rear, but the look of the place could still be seen from that angle. There was also a part there when she accidentally stepped on a dog shit. The first thing that could be seen was her expression, then the camera moves from her face to her body, to her feet, to the back of her slippers where the shit got stuck. This scene, I bet, according to what I’ve experienced, will never fail to make anyone who will watch the film feel the “yuckiness”. They will suddenly imagine themselves being on the same situation, or some same memories will suddenly rush through. It will always give a good laugh. This kind of feeling might be simple a feeling but the process of getting this feeling effectively demands techniques. And the technique in this film indeed was effective. The device of bracketing was properly used.

Now we go to the ideas of Laura Mulvey. Mulvey talked about the issue of sexuality in film. Traditionally, the woman displayed on film has functioned on two levels: as erotic object for the characters within the screen story, and as erotic object for the spectator within the auditorium, with a shifting tension between the looks on either side of the screen.

In the Philippines, gender discrimination is an issue; that males are dominant compared to females. I did not research if the director of Kubrador was a male or a female because I think the gender of the filmmakers are not the issue here, rather the gender focus on the film. I think that the film was feministic, only because the main character was a woman. But feministic or not, the film surely was not made to focus the woman, the main character, as an object of desire or an erotic object. This one is or sure because even if most of the time, the camera was focused on the woman, there were no shots which focused on the “sexually desirable” parts of her body, and in the first place, the woman is blatantly not sexually desirable! There was even a part there in the movie where the woman took off her clothes and changed it. The scene was taken in the angle and sense that there will be no any kind eroticism. If it had been a different movie, the tendency would be that they would close-up some particular parts like the bosom or the legs, then slow down the motion while she was taking off her clothes to create this eroticism, but with that kind of body, it would probably just create a funny scene. The film again has not failed the audience of focusing the only to the life of the main character of the woman as kubrador by being sensitive not to show any sense of aura that would be unnecessary for the film.

Like what I’ve said, that character is important in the story that was why she was always focused by the camera. It’s as if a nosy neighbor has all her senses and attention focused on the very intriguing main character. In this film kubrador, the actress or star playing the role of the kubrador was Gina Pareño. She used to be a bold star but was later on considered as one of the respected actresses in the Philippine film industry. Knowing that she would be playing the lead role, one would immediately think of the character she was going to be like the same character that she was where the audience seen her play, like her role as aunt to Ysay in Ysabella. Though Ysabella is not movie, the fact that she is known to be a character of that show would affect the first impressions of he audiences to the character that she would play in Kubrador. And so, the establishing of a character is important. And, I think that was done well. The figure of a multi-tasking kubrador was created in her. I think that after seeing the film, whenever I hear of the words kubrador, jueteng, and abuloy sa patay, I would think of Gina Pareño the kubrador. Regarding the other characters, the actors and actresses who played them are not so known people like Richard Gutierrez or Angel Locsin, who were highly-paid celebrities. With those actors and actresses, the characters could easily be defined because the audience do not have their own pre-definition of the characters. The roles of each character could easily be accepted by the audience.

Of course, being the actress playing the role, Gina Pareño, and the other characters, is important; same is the importance of the audience according to Stanley Cavell. The audience is mechanically absent in the actor or vice versa, unlike in a theatrical play where both actor and audience are present at the same time at the same place. Cavell said that these actors and actresses ought to be called “stars” because they are only to gaze at, which is true for audiences inside a movie house with that wide movie screen in front of them.

Now we go to the ideas of Alexander Sesonske. He said that film is an independent art in relation to painting, sculpture and architecture. In all these forms of art, the primary categories or the sense of space, time, and motion are all present, and they only differ in the modes. In film, though the movie screen is two-dimensional what we see within the movie is three-dimensional; there is space. Though the audience is only sitting comfortable in a chair and looking at a flat wall, he could be able to feel the action space that the actors are moving within. We see in Kubrador that everything inside it is solid or real. The characters could touch anything they wan and go wherever they want to go because inside it, the flat movie screen, there is space. And in space, this includes the setting. The setting is always important; it is always a part of the whole movie. It what gives or defines the mood to the story. It makes the movie more realistic for the audience. When the audience could always take a glance of the setting, it would be instilled that in Kubrador, the characters were living in a squatter’s area, where everything is dirty and unmanageable, and not some kind of stereotypical setting in other movies where the characters live in a mansion and everything is beautiful. Also, there is the manageability of time, or he temporal order and duration can be manipulated when the film is edited. We don’t have to see every little thing that is happening in the life of the kubrador to be able to understand what the film was trying to tell the audience. It is not like watching Pinoy Big Brother in a 24-hour coverage, rather, it’s like watching it on their 1-hour long program where what they show are only those that are interesting for the audience, like that when Wendy entitled Je-Anne and Bea as Best actress and Best supporting actress on a Pretending Role. In Kubrador, only the “highlighted” moments of the life was shown. There are times that the time frame in the story would be the same as the time frame in real world, like the moments the main character was walking inside the film. This is what Sesonske calls viewing time. The other aspect of cinema time he calls dramatic time. This is the discontinuous order or segment of time. In Kubrador, the dramatic time was lesser observed compared to other films which requires a long period of time to present the movie the way the makers wanted them to be seen by the audience. There are some movies which we would see some texts in the screen saying “After 10 years” , or the likes, to indicate that the next scenes will already be days, months, or years ago from the last scene showed. Sometimes, some directors even use time to show the drama in their movies. Some do Medias they would start from the end or he conclusion of the movie to get the interest of the audience and make them think of what might had happened in the past that the movie ended that way. Then, they would follow showing scenes from the supposed to be “past”, which would be the start of he solving of the puzzling the story. Going back to Kubrador, the director didn’t use any of these brouhahas in manipulating time, rather just the simple use of few dramatic times and more on the viewing time. Viewing time could actually be dangerous because it might make the movie dragging, but in Kubrador, the scenes in the viewing time were unique from each one, but were all the same surprising. The “dragging” part was eliminated. Each scene were carefully selected carefully so it would not bore the audience and at the same time, still focus on its purpose of presenting h the life of a kubrador. The last category is motion. Motion could be simulated in other art forms, but in film, it could be real. In Kubrador, like I already said, the action could not be seen only in the characters but also to the camera which serve’s as the audience eye inside the film. They moved the camera as how a real person’s eye would also move when looking at something. The motion is actually unique to movie.

All these three categories are present in Kubrador, and not only that, the movie was successful in presenting these three where it would be unique, effective, and affective to its audience.

David Antin said that video has distinctive features as a medium. I agree to this. Compared to print and radio, video is most effective because it conquers the senses when it is played. One would have to use both eyes and ears when watching a video. It could catch the attention of the audience quickly. It is the aesthetics of video. Kubrador, as video, could have a greater number of audience, it would then succeed in terms of the effectiveness of spreading the “idea” or the message”. In using video as medium, sympathy could be easily achieved from viewers, then response old be faster and of wider scope. I think that one of the purpose of the Kubrador is not only to show a reality in the life of a kubrador, but the reality of the society; that Philippines is really like this and kike that and that we are experiencing problems economically and politically, and that we need help from the government. We need them to “move” so that there would be no more “kubradors” like the main character, where she was the only one working in her family. Her daughter, considering that she already has a family of her own , still is dependent to her parents. The husband, also, because, he doest have any work, drowns himself in watching Wowowee for everyday in his life. Some of the other “hidden messages” of the film is that, officials from the government and the police are aware of jueteng, yet they tolerate them just because they are also benefiting from it. These kinds of issues could be given answers if concerned people could be able to realize the seriousness of these situations that needed solutions. If showing the video once is not enough to achieve its higher goal in the society, it has the feature of being played again and again, according to the demands of the goal. This is how powerful videos are. They could rule over the world, which they had actually already begun. The emotions it can stir up in any moment, its being comprehensible even to the children, its ability to make people stop whatever they are doing to just stare at them, and a lot more; this what makes videos so popular. Anyone can access anytime and anywhere, provided with appropriate gadgets. Video has gone far from being an entertainment to being a medium of giving out relevant messages.

Kubrador is a film to be patronized and not the other that focuses only on one aspect of filmmaking. Kubrador is not a perfect film but it is a good one in the sense that its is with real sense, it was created, though with low-budget, with creativity and it was well-thought of. It is not like a garbage picked up from the streets then covered with beautiful decorations and sold in the department stores in a high price, rather it is something which came from indigenous resources, carefully painted, designed and made useful them was sold to department stores but of a lower price.

Indi films nowadays are starting to have a name of their own. They are he ones that actually win international awards. More of these should be produce. These are the films that should be given enough budget so they filmmakers could be able to improve their pieces.

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On Photography

September 23, 2007

The ‘Painted Lady’ Butterfly

I love the colours in this photograph. I was fortunate enough to get in several shots of this butterfly before he/she flew away and this one is probably my favourite photograph of the Painted Lady Butterfly.

-Denise Mitchinson

painted lady butterfly

Title: The Painted Lady Butterfly

Camera Model: Canon PowerShot S70
Shutter Speed: 1/318 sec.
Lens Aperture: F/5.3
Focal Lenghth: 21mm
F-Number: F/5.3
Exposure Time: 1/320 sec.
Date Taken: 24/07/2006 14:24
Photographer: Denise Mitchinson
Location: ** Summerhill, Hartlepool UK

** Summerhill is a one hundred acres site on the edge of Hartlepool that has been transformed for the benefit of nature conservation and outdoor sports. This is where I have taken most of my close up photography.

I like the way the photographer positioned the camera because it gave the subject a good angle where the light would be good enough to let the bright color of the butterfly be emphasized. The simulation of the texture of the butterfly and even the leaf could be seen in this photo, again because of how the light was directed into the subject. The camera is position close to the subject that’s why the image of the butterfly is big. The butterfly, and its colorful wings were given good emphasis.

According to Mitchinson… “Photographing butterflies in the wild is extremely difficult. Not only do you have to deal with problems of low lighting, a very shallow depth of field and a subject that won’t keep still long enough to be “snapped”. It requires a great deal of patience and a lot of luck. I have a macro setting on my compact digital camera which I use for all of my insect shots. Obviously this is nowhere near as efficient as a true macro lens (which I now have) but it is a lot cheaper since a good macro lenses will cost you in the region of £250-£350.”