Cheerleader

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This outfit that I’m wearing today gave me so much high school feels. I loved dancing when I was a kid—I still do today but, well, my time has passed. I loved it so much that when I got into high school I decided to come out of my shell every night after class to join our batch’s cheering squad. It was the only place where I felt I was accepted and needed. My then-scrawny, tiny figure was perfect for lifting and throwing stunts, and I remember not feeling any ounce of fear whenever I stand on my teammates’ palms and shoulders or whenever they throw me in the air.

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I loved it, or should I say, I lived for it—I felt like I was on top of the world every single time. The high I felt during practices and competitions were magnified whenever we take home the champion’s trophy. We were fearless, from our stunts down to our costumes. Despite my dark complexion, I didn’t mind wearing mini skirts and midriff-baring halter tops. IDGAF, AMBIDEX won twice in a row; we were a force to be reckoned with.

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Indeed we are. Until today, students from younger batches would tweet me and tell me they know who the AMBIDEX are, that we are legends in the school—not just in sports but also in academic competitions. It feels great when they say that because that means we left an indelible mark at Naga City Science High School. Afterall, nobody wants to be forgotten by their own alma mater.

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Years later I coached my own team of cheerleaders in the school where I first worked, Ateneo de Naga University High School. I still remember how ruthless our trainer was, I was too but a little lenient. My girls and I would make routines, invent cheers, and decide on their uniforms together—and this teamwork eventually led us to bagging the first place. The girls (+ 1 boy) were so happy, and I can only imagine how much that win boosted their self-confidence.

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Cheer and dance did wonders for my self-esteem; I will always be a supporter of the sport.

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Runway Dreams dress | Forever 21 purse | Faridez shoes | Persunmall bangle | Ring from bazaar

Taken in timer mode using a Canon AE-1 film camera with Kodak Pro Image film

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Overcast

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about the things I wanted to happen in my life, my future. I used to think I had everything figured out; I even have a 10-year plan that I made when I was 21. I was on track for the first 3 years, but I kinda lost my way when I was nearing my 24th birthday. You know what they always say about people in their twenties—they are meant to be lost. And that holds true for me.

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I guess that’s what happens when you experience, when you go out there. The future seems bright as day, but you’re thrown out in the jungle and suddenly you realize…you don’t know a thing. Scary, yes, but there lies the adventure. If this happened to me when I was fresh out of college, I would have freaked out. Now, I may be confused but I’m not afraid. I’ve learned to accept spontaneity in life—we can only control things so much, we must also learn how to go with the flow. I know these challenges I’m experiencing right now will only show me a clearer picture of myself.

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And speaking of pictures, this entry is titled Overcast because the pictures are taken on an overcast day (duh). I’ve been utterly frustrated with Manila’s recent weather—everytime I wanted to shoot, the rain decides to come pouring down.

I’m practically a novice when it comes to shooting with film cameras, but since I’ve used Chad’s Canon AE-1 a number of times on timer mode in the same location (my terrace, lol), I thought the pictures will turn out okay. But I was wrong, so I had to think of ways to “repair” them. These are the only ones I managed to save from the set. Oh well, charge it to experience.

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Forever 21 cross print top and long skirt | Trinkets MNL necklace | John Lennon glasses and bracelets from bazaar | Suki shoesdiptych1

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Movietime!

Due to the incessant rain the whole country has been experiencing lately, I couldn’t come up with a proper outfit post. My apartment is not that big that I can’t take decent shots… but I do have something exciting to show you guys in the future. I’m not telling yet because I don’t wanna jinx it (which is actually another word for I-absolutely-have-no-clue-what-to-do haha).

Anyway, I’m writing today because I wanted to share something. I’d like to think I’m a cinephile, but my knowledge about movies is not as extensive as other real cinephiles. Every now and then I discover films (some of which are recommendations by my boyfriend, Chad, who has great taste by the way) that not everyone has seen. You see, many people only depend on what is shown in the mall theaters, which are mostly mainstream ones such as highly commercialized Hollywood flicks—I know because I used to be one of those people.

Thank heavens for the internet and movie streaming sites, they’re a sanctuary for bored people like me. So the past month I got to watch A LOT of films and the three below struck me the most:

American Beauty, 1999

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I actually saw the movie poster a lot of times in the past, but I always refused to watch it; I thought it was just another cheesy teen movie. Fast forward to last month, I caved in and decided to watch it and it’s the best decision I made.

It’s a story about a father, played by Kevin Spacey, who got infatuated with his daughter’s best friend while having a midlife crisis. The lines are sharp and witty, with the right amount of darkness to it.

Garden State, 2004

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I have a bias toward Natalie Portman. I’m in love with her. She’s just weird, in an adorable kind of way. Fangirling aside, the visuals are both quirky and eccentric without sacrificing the sincerity of the story. Garden State is about a troubled young man (Zach Braff) struggling to adjust to life after discontinuing using antidepressants and simultaneously mourning the loss of his mother.

Almost Famous, 2000

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I just finished watching this a while ago. Almost Famous is not a typical teen movie, as it shows the story of a 15-year-old aspiring journalist hired by Rolling Stone to write about a rock band. The boy later meets Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and a group of girls who call themselves “Band-aids”, but are actually groupies.

They are extremely thought-provoking and I recommend that you see them. I don’t bother finishing a movie with a lame plot so I can assure you these movies are worth your time. Plus, they have really interesting lines which you could post on Facebook. 😛

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool. —Almost Famous

P.S. This is fun. I should do this every month, yes? Have you seen these films? Share your opinion below! 🙂

Afterparty

Say hello to the 25-year-old me! Many people today don’t like revealing their age after turning 21 or 24; I, even, used to be one of them. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that humans grow older every year. Why hide something that’s natural?

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So this is me–a year older and definitely a year wiser. I just celebrated my birthday on August 5 and it was, by far, the best birthday I’ve had. When I was a kid, I never had birthday parties. We couldn’t even afford a cake, so I was used to letting the day pass by. But of course, I’d always wish for a better birthday. I finally got it this year and I couldn’t be more grateful. 🙂

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TrinketsMNL necklace, Asianvogue heels

The celebration was a little unplanned, but I’m glad I and my family did it. I was not supposed to go home for my birthday, like the past three years, but my grandma was ill and was looking for me. Who am I to refuse such request? So I traveled to Naga City and stayed there for a week. And I’m glad I did.

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I prepared my special spaghetti carbonara, my sister and my best friend brought 2 cakes, and my mom and Chad (through Skype) bought me presents. I was with family, loved ones, and friends in our soon-to-be-finished home… it was the best birthday ever. Nothing beats celebrating with the people that really matter. We may have differing characters and opinions on things, which at times cause misunderstandings, but they, especially my family, have always been there for me. I’m a difficult, ambitious person, but my family never ran out of support in my endeavors. That’s why they’ve always been my number one priority; everything that I do is for them.

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So what’s next for Daphne? I don’t know yet, but knowing myself, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing something bold again. Just last month I took sewing classes and this wine red skater skirt I’m wearing is just the first of my many sewing projects. You’ll be seeing more of my ‘creations’ in this blog and in my future OOTDs–that’s for sure.  This skirt is pretty easy to make and a perfect project for sewing beginners like me. You can view the tutorial I shared here.

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By the way I finally managed to take my own OOTD using my Canon AE-1 film camera’s timer setting. Needs a little getting used to though. How do you like the outcome? 🙂

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My birthday blowout is still ongoing! Giving away amazing goodies HERE! By the way, thanks to everyone who sent their birthday greetings and wishes! <3

Project: Headshot

Months ago, Chad taught me how to use his film camera. I thought of putting my recent ‘learning’ to good use, so I decided to make this project. I used our Canon AE-1 camera and Solid Gold ISO 200 film in natural light. I don’t have much equipment with me except the camera and tripod. Someday, I’ll have lights and what not, you can bet on that.

Tiana

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Tiana, as you all know, modeled my first ever collection. I really love the contours of her face so I decided to photograph her again. Unfortunately, by the time I finished fixing Tiana up (I did her make-up as well), it began to rain. I got really scared we won’t be able to take single shot, but thank heavens our location had a roof. I’m really happy with how the photos came out.

Zel

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Zel and I knew each other from Meg Magazine Face Search. She’s done a lot of commercials so you’ve probably seen her on TV. It was really hot when we shot these and we were in quite a hurry so I wasn’t able to fix my camera settings (let’s just pretend I know how to set my camera :P). I need to learn how to do that.

So that’s my first legit photography project. More photos to come, I hope. I’m constantly looking for fresh faces for this project, message me if you want to work together! 

Junkie

Hello everyone! It’s February and I’m celebrating it with a blog post. I love this month because people seem happier and more in love during this time of the year. I was a little bit sad during last year’s February because my boyfriend was in another continent, but I’m feeling great this time around because he’s here in the country. I’m quite excited for our Valentine activities, although I know it won’t be much different from our daily activities since we always have fun every time we’re together.

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That has always been our mindset since we started dating. We’re no ordinary couple—he lives in the States while I stay in the Philippines. When you’re not always together 365 days a year, you tend to make the most out of every second you have together. We never argue; we respect each other’s opinions. We do misunderstand each other sometimes, but we come to a resolution right away. We communicate and talk a lot and I think that what makes our relationship special, aside from our common interests.

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And speaking of common interests, we tried a new roll of film today–Kodak Pro Image. As you know, we’ve been using film in my posts. We tried Solid Gold ISO 200 and recently Kodak Gold. I love both of films but without the right light, photos can look muddy and murky sometimes. Kodak Pro Image, however, is a stunner. Colors are more alive; the sun was setting when we took these photos using Chad’s Canon AE-1 film camera but photos looked like they were taken while the sun was high. You’ll definitely see a lot of Kodak Pro Image film in this blog. So if you’re an analog junkie like us, visit my blog and Chad‘s often. 😛

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Last week I got this awesome magnetic bracelet, sent by ULINX, and I love the fact that it’s a very versatile accessory. More on that on my next post!

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‘Been abusing this awesome Aztec wedges for a while now. You can really not go wrong with Marikina-made products. The quality is just superb.

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 ULINX jewelry | Forever 21 oversized top (used as dress) | Cocco boater hat | Thrifted bag | Marikina Aztec wedges

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 Chad and  I have something for you guys. We’ll be announcing it next week so I’m hoping for all your support. Ciao! 😀

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MadHouse MNL January: Andro-Jenny

Hello! I apologize for being MIA for the past couple of weeks. I was stuck in the doldrums and nothing seemed to entice me to do stuff—until last night. Madhouse MNL, the online magazine where Chad and I regularly contribute, has just released their January issue dedicated to M-E-N.

Chad and I didn’t like the idea of using a male model wearing masculine clothes, because that’s what the magazine would have expected us to do—and we didn’t want that. While discussing the matter, I suddenly remembered Brittani Kline’s advertorial for Benetton published in Vogue Mexico. She looked really boyish in the pictures but they’ve decided to add a few feminine elements as well. Chad and I were like, “we can definitely do that.” 🙂

Pants and accessories from Trunk Show (6)

Finding a model proved to be difficult. We wanted someone with short hair and someone who can be pogi (handsome) but effeminate. Chad and I are novices in the field so we only know few people and none of them were androgynous enough, except for Ginelle, who was miles away from us. Fortunately, her dad allowed her to travel to Manila, et voilà we have a model!

Pants and accessories from Trunk Show

Ginelle reminds me a bit of Ann Ward, who imitated Alexander Wang in one of the ANTM episodes hehe. Like before, we did three layouts—smart casual, spring casual, and grunge.

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Grunge was my absolute fave. The look reminded me of Johnny Depp’s I-don’t-give-a-f*ck aura during the ’90s and Ginelle did an excellent job at owning the look.

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I love working with amazing people. They inspire me to think and do more, and do better of course. I’m actually excited for our next shoot; hopefully it’s as fun as this one.

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Thanks to Trunk Show, by the way, for the wonderful pants, accessories, and shoes. Do check out their stores in Trinoma and Powerplant Mall. In the meantime, like their Facebook page here.

Photographer: Chad Verzosa

Model: Ginelle Chavez

Hair and make-up artist: Elaine Silva

Stylist: Me 🙂

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Our editorial spread can be found on pages 296-313 at http://madhousemnl.com. Please check it out! What do you think of the photos? We hope you like it! 🙂

 

Bonne année!

Bonne année! (Happy new year!) Posting my holiday outfits just now because, let’s get real, who reads blogs during the Yuletide season? I don’t. 😛 Anyway, how was your Christmas and new year? I hope you guys had a wonderful vacation. Surprisingly, I had the most amazing Christmas in years, as I have become quite accustomed to welcoming bad luck every December.

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As I’ve shared to you quite a number of times already, I came from a humble family and we didn’t normally ‘celebrate’ (meaning cook and give out presents) in our household for the holidays, until almost all of the children in the family graduated from school and began earning money. For a long time, we were satisfied with visiting our relatives, spending time with them, and letting the night pass.

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The past three years was full of, shall I say, disaster. There were accidents and death in the family, all of which happened during the Christmas season for three consecutive years. Surely you’d understand why I have feared a month that is eagerly anticipated by everyone. 2012 was different, however. And I’m glad that finally, our luck has turned.

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I’m thankful for a lot of things, really, which I will blog about soon. For now though, here are some photos of the outfit which I wore during my cousin’s wedding and my nephew’s christening. I may look like a tree, but there’s something about green that makes me happy and hopeful.

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Primadonna dress | Forever 21 necklace | heels from Zalora | Arm candies from Boutique de Reines

Do check out Boutique de Reines‘ stuff! They’re really pretty!

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Photos by Chad

Profound Escape

Hello everyone! Below are some of the photos which made it to Madhouse Manila magazine’s vintage December issue. I styled 3 layouts, inspired by the medieval peasant life with hints of modern trends, of course. I teamed up with Chad (the photographer), Hennie Fortuin (the model), and Ms. Elle Lubigan (the hair and make-up artist). Chad used his Canon ae-1 film camera with a Kodak ColorPlus film.

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Supposedly, the first layout is about a farmer’s daughter who is young, playful, and carefree—hence the flowers, braids, and lace—but we kind of forgot about that so we ended up with these shots. I like the first photo because it reminds me of a child who is hopeful of the future, plus the light on Hennie’s face is just gorgeous.

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The second set represents the transition of the peasant’s child from innocence to maturity, that stage where children are introduced by their parents or by circumstance to the realities of life. So, I chose a a dark and checkered ensemble with a lace collar to add youth. Browns and maroons always remind me of farms.

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The last, but certainly not the least, set is my absolute favorite—not just because the Anne Boleyn hairdo suited the model nicely, but also because all the elements meshed together. I only came up with this look during the last minute, as I wasn’t quite sure if the heavy skirt will complement the printed top. And it did! The Scandinavian cross matched the top too! It was actually Chad’s idea to buy and use the cross. I love the fact that he knows a lot about history and whatnot. 😛

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This set represents a full-grown woman, who has been forced by unfortunate events to take care of her family. Innocence is now lost. However, I don’t really consider this as a sad ending to such a story. I’d like to call it ‘bravery’, instead. I deeply admire people who are driven, tough, and mature. A lot of us today do not like taking responsibilities, and people who do deserve so much respect.

So there you go. We really hope you liked the sets. Please check out Madhouse MNL, and you can find us on pages 137 to 149. Special thanks to ForMe clothing for providing the floral jacket and printed long-sleeves.

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Also, I told you last week that Chad and I went to this Vinyl Dump store in Cubao Expo to interview Joel Devicais, the owner. Chad wrote an article about it and took photos too. Read about it on pages 108 to 111.

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And apparently, Madhouse MNL decided to include the Feral Child pictures which I previously shared here. You can also see them in pages 128 to 135.

Thanks to everyone who supported us! Watch out for another Chad & Daphne collaboration! 😛

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Equinox

No, I don’t play the guitar or any instrument for that matter. Heck, I don’t even know how to use a triangle. But before you bash me for being a pretentious beyotch, let me tell you why I look this way. I warn you though, slight negativity awaits you.

Chad and I usually use our days off to shoot for his portfolio (and  my blog hehe). This week’s theme is music, hence the guitar, headphones, and speakers. My current look (meaning the hair) reminded us so much of 90s grunge, so we decided to use it as inspiration. I won’t tell you why I’m wearing a Union Jack shirt (yes, it’s a shirt) though because that’s errm confidential, at least for now.

However, just like every time we go shooting, it always rains. I don’t normally mind the rain as it sometimes gives a nice touch to photos, but every f****** time? Seriously? It’s gotten to a point where Chad and I would feel so annoyed and depressed because we didn’t get the shots we needed for our ‘project’.

We’ve thought of giving up already.  It’s really disappointing. But we realized, it will be much more disappointing if we will let an opportunity pass just because of some weather and financial constraints. Money can be earned but opportunities can’t. I mean, they are rare and once they’re gone, we can never get them back.

So here’s to hoping next week will be a better day for us.

We shot these with a Canon EOS Rebel G film camera using a Solid Gold ISO 200 color film. Also, this photo reminds me of Skrillex’s Equinox video. IDK. What do you think?

Flashbacks

Many people would often tell us pictures are deceiving. Unless they are altered and manipulated, I think they aren’t. In fact, pictures show us reality; they immortalize a fleeting mood and capture minute details we seldom or refuse to notice.

The first two pictures were taken using my Bell & Howell BF35. It’s like a toy film camera and it doesn’t need any batteries. I carried it around  with the intention of taking pictures of the trees and buildings inside the UP Diliman campus.

I’m not sure but I think this is near The Sunken Garden.

This is the view from the College of Arts and Letters Library. Looks very 1920s, yes?

The next photos were taken using a Canon-AE1 film camera with a Solid Gold ISO 200 color film, but we developed the film in B/W chemicals that’s why the photos are in B/W.

The succeeding photos were shot by Chad, except the last one. The rest of the photos can be seen in this post.

After publishing several posts back in 2010 and 2011, I began asking myself what makes me different from the thousands of fashion and non-fashion bloggers in the Philippines. And the only answer I could think of was ‘I don’t know.’ It bothered me so much I stopped posting regularly, and eventually lost the spot I once held. Don’t be silly, I wasn’t part of the elite 10, or 25, or 40. I was content being part of the top 50, but then the crisis happened.

With Chad’s help, I regained interest in blogging, without thinking of that proverbial question. Who cares really? I started blogging because I like sharing my interests and discoveries—why do we always have to compete?

So I guess that’s what sets me apart—I am not interested in competition, endorsements, cliques and what not, at least not anymore. If I get approached or recognized, then thank god someone enjoyed reading my blog. There’s no need to be catty. Blogging is supposed to be, first and foremost, a therapeutic and fun activity. Higher blog ranks and the perks that come along with it are just mere rewards and should not be a cause of conflict.

With all the things I’ve heard and read lately concerning the blogosphere, I realized being a nobody in the industry has its benefits after all. Besides, my life is already a movie, I do not need any more drama.

If only people would practice humility…

and extend love, life will be much happier.

Developing Photographs

By now I think you’ve already guessed that my boyfriend is a complete photography junkie. Chad is adept in using both film and digital cameras, but he enjoys using the former more especially when he gets to develop his own photographs. And it so happens that I’ve been wanting to do that for a really long time.

I’ve been curious about darkrooms since I saw Alicia Silverstone’s 1993 debut movie The Crush. If you’ve seen it, you can recall that Adrienne (Alicia Silverstone) had this BIIIG crush on Nick (Cary Elwes), who happened to have a photographer girlfriend named Amy. Being a complete psycho, Adrienne tried to kill Amy by locking wasps in her darkroom. Okay, I just realized that’s quite disturbing. Haha. *crickets*

Anyhoo… Last week, Chad taught me how to develop photographs and I will be sharing the stuff I learned.

Since we could not find an extra space for the equipment, we used my kitchen as a makeshift darkroom. We had to cover the windows with towels so light can’t come in and avoid exposing the film and photo paper.

Above are trays where the magic happens. The developer is the chemical that makes the image from the film visible.  The next tray contains the fixer, a chemical which stabilizes the image and makes it insensitive to light, hence the term ‘fix’. And last is the stop bath, which ends the development process and permanently preserves the photograph.

Of course, you cannot begin without your filmstrips…

negative holder…

and enlarger. The enlarger projects the image from the film to the photo paper. The photo paper is highly sensitive to light, except red light, so make sure to keep it in its folder when you’re not using it. Last week I had to cut paper in my pitch-black bathroom. I am not kidding. But I was able to do it! 😀

We wasted three photo papers before successfully printing a photo. It usually takes a few seconds to a few minutes to expose a photograph under the enlarger but our equipment’s light was a bit dim, so we had to expose the photo paper for 10 to 12 minutes.

Afterwards, we soaked the paper in the developer (1 minute); transferred it into the fixer (30 seconds); and dipped it in the stop bath (10 seconds).

Chad holding out our first product. This one was exposed for only 10 minutes, which probably explains why the background is not clear (?).

We decided to leave the next paper under the enlarger for 12 minutes, and we were so happy with the results. Here we are looking so proud. 🙂

The third one was okay but it had fingerprints on it so we decided to throw it away. Sad.

But hey, at least I got to use one as cover design for my fashionary sketchbook. 🙂

Come back soon for more wonderful photos! Finally got to print some from my Bell & Howell film camera and I’m really excited to show you. 🙂

Vintage

I like looking at old photographs, especially my parents’. They remind me so much of how innocent and unperturbed the times were back then. Sometimes I feel like many of us today are constantly chasing the wrong things. In the past, people’s ways of living are just simple and uncomplicated, unlike now.

These photos were taken using a Canon ae-1 film camera. My boyfriend is so much more comfortable using film cameras than the digital ones. These photos can already tell you why. I tried shooting some things using his camera too (which I will share really soon), and I immediately understood why he loves using it to take pictures.

More photos under the cut!

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Kickstarter

Hello, everyone! If you can still remember, last year I went to the beaches of Zambales and Daet to accompany Chad. Chad has been skating, surfing, filming, and taking pictures since he was little, and these activities have contributed to who he is now. He is the most passionate person I know, especially towards surfing and making videos, and this passion of his inspired him to make a narrative film about Filipino soul surfing:

He has finally finished it and showing it on April 27th in Tampa, Florida. So please, if you happen to be around the area on that day, do drop by the theater. Here’s the address and schedule:

The ticket is basically free, all he needs is for people to come and see how’s surfing like in his native country as well as the culture and lifestyle of Filipino surfers. It will be very worth it, I assure you. Recently, however, Chad has launched his Kickstarter campaign, a site that funds independent artists like Chad through people’s donations. It uses the “all or nothing” funding system, where people pledge a certain amount to reach a certain goal. If the artist don’t get to raise his goal by the deadline, the backers won’t be charged. In Chad’s case, he’s aiming for a 500-dollar goal, which will cover the rental of the venue and logistical aspects of the film premiere. Please watch the video below to know what you’ll get in case you decide to pledge:

Kickstarter Ad (extended version) from chad verzosa on Vimeo.

Seriously, you got nothing to lose on this. As of writing, Chad has 7 people who pledged a total amount of $255, about 50% of his goal. He only has 18 days left to raise the money, so it would be lovely (and will be definitely appreciated) if you could help us out. Here is his Kickstarter link:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/431093423/fluid-vibrations

Below is another awesome video he made for the film:

Moving Pictures… from chad verzosa on Vimeo.

I hope that convinced you more. Chad is a very talented guy and he has been doing this since he was really young—don’t you think it’s awesome if you’ll be instrumental to his success? 😛

Do not forget to like Fluid Vibration’s Facebook page! 🙂