Japan Needs Our Help

March 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Since this Monday, I’ve been thinking about creating a poster design to show my support for Japan. Here it is, finally. You can help Japan by making a donation to the Red Cross via iTunes.

A Day in the Life of the Modern Filipina

September 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Two years ago, I was commissioned by Unilever to create a collection of photographs showing a typical day in the life of a modern Filipina. Because of the nature of the project, the photographs were never publicly displayed, but I was told that they have been shown to Unilever offices around the world, from London to New York. I’ve met a few people who have seen the images and they’ve said that the photos have given them a new appreciation for the consumers they create products for. The photo above is not part of the original collection, but it does capture the spirit of the original body of work. And just like the original set, it is a reminder of the wonderful things around us we can see if we are only willing to look.

Happy Independence Day, Việt Nam!

September 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Fireworks at the city center, near the Saigon River.

Are Foreign Travelers Safe in the Philippines?

August 26th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

This started out as an answer to a friend’s question, but has expanded into something that merits its own blog post. Please share with as many people as you can.

“Are Foreign Travelers Safe in the Philippines?”

I always tell people that all the bad things that happen in the Philippines are all unrelated to each other. And it’s true. Sure, foreigners are being kidnapped in Mindanao, tourists are being hostaged by the busloads in Metro Manila, and people are leaving explosives in the toilets of UA&P. But at the same time these events are happening, daily life on an idyllic island somewhere in the Visayas or in a verdant valley in heart of the Cordillera continues, unmindful that our standing in the international community has just been irrevocably screwed. This is the double-edged irony of the Philippines’ 7,107 islands: Some events are just too far away from some people for them to be overly concerned or minutely care. This is the first thing people interested in coming to the Philippines must realize. The country is, in truth, 7,107 different and independent places (much more, even). They are related only by the fact that they belong to the same archipelago on this lonely, typhoon-battered edge of the Pacific. Most of the time, the country’s right hand doesn’t know or doesn’t care what its left foot is doing. And so, armed with accurate information and a quick eye for trouble, anyone can drop in any time they want AND expect to return home safely with gigabytes of memories of a truly awesome time. No matter what the headlines suggest, THE PHILIPPINES IS STILL A PARADISE. There will always be a few rotten eggs at the top of the basket (And they are there anywhere you go in the world; any experienced traveler will tell you that.), but there are nuggets of gold in that bushel as well. Those with the heart to dig deeper will always be rewarded.

Now Accepting Projects

August 25th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Please send your inquiries to jerycpgarcia+designs@gmail.com.

Tonight’s Dinner is Brought to You by KFC

August 5th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Ask any of my friends here in Saigon (especially my Vietnamese friends) and they will all tell you that I’ve assimilated to daily life in Uncle Ho’s city extremely well. I enjoy Pho Bo and Ca Phe Sua Da on the street just like any self-respecting local. I hoard Vinamilk Sua Chua every time I go to Co.opMart. And except on days when I’m traveling outside of HCMC, I never miss having a Banh Mi Tuoi or two with Tra Da or Ca Phe Sua Nong at MY Bready on the corner of Nguyen Van Thu and Mac Dinh Chi.

But there are times when I just want to remind myself that I’m a foreigner. A stranger in this wonderful land of moto madness. On those days, I usually troop over to Vincom Center to soak in the atmosphere. But nothing says Nguoi Nuoc Ngoai better than stuffing yourself at a fast food chain like KFC. The meal above is Com Ga KFC or KFC Chicken Rice. For only 40,000VND (about 2USD/94PHP), you get a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup (which is what makes the meal distinctly Vietnamese), rice, a large drink, and a piece of KFC’s finger-lickin’ best. Add 9,000VND and you get the egg tart (which is worth 12,000VND outside of the combo meal). Ngon!

A Quick Hello

May 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Been so busy with my Adobe training that I haven’t had time to blog! So many parked posts. Regular programming to resume sooner than you think. Stay tuned.

Best Camera = The One You Always Take With You

April 20th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Sunday Sunset Ride. Taken with my wife’s HTC Magic mobile phone.

People who know me well know what a big Chase Jarvis fan boy I am. But I’m an irreverent fan boy, and I must say that before Chase came out with his “The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You” dictum, I’ve already heard it from the equally irreverent and blatantly partial Ken Rockwell. But who said what first is irrelevant. Both Chase and Ken are 100% on the money. And I’ll raise Chase’s brilliant marketing statement by paraphrasing it into something more active — The Best Camera is the One You Always Take With You.

Right now, the camera I always take with me is my Nikon D200, which I usually fit with a 35mm f2 Nikkor. If I’m on assignment, I’ll probably take my 20/2.8 and 85/1.8 as well. But for everyday shooting, the D200+35/2 is all that I need. This combo is compact, lightweight, and inconspicuous — just the way I like it. But on days when all I want to carry is a small beltbag or my Think Tank Skin 50, this configuration feels oversized and clunky. Now, if I just want to take pictures for my blog, my Sony Ericsson W350i, just like Chase’s iPhone, is certainly up for the challenge. But for images I can eventually submit to my stock photo agency? Probably not.

Just recently, a friend of mine finally stepped over to digital and bought himself an Olympus E-P2 — and blew open the world of Micro Four Thirds for me. In Micro 4/3 cameras, the pentaprism and mirror assembly are removed, paving the way for smaller and lighter camera bodies. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 is currently the smallest Micro 4/3 camera at 4.69 (W) x 2.8 (H) x 1.43 (D) in. Comparatively, my D200, without the 35/2 lens, measures 5.8 (W) x 4.4 (H) x 2.9 (D) in. With the 20/1.7 pancake lens and battery attached, the GF1 weighs in at barely one pound. The D200 with battery but sans lens? A little above two pounds. Go figure. Does the GF1 perform? Here’s an article about a 16-day field test in the Himalayas. Personally, I’m impressed.

Of course, like all other cameras, the GF1 is not perfect. Among others, people complain that the GF1′s 20/1.7 lens lacks image stabilization (the E-P2 has image stabilization built into the camera body). I’ve also stumbled upon some lens compatibility issues. But the backbreaker (for myself, at least) has got to be in the arena of High ISO performance. Neither the GF1 nor E-P2 can hold a candle to Nikon’s new generation of DSLRs. But in good light, the GF1 can give the D700 a run for its money.

All right, it’s pretty obvious that I adore the Lumix GF1. The E-P2 is no doubt an equally capable camera, but in my book, “feel” and affinity are what ultimately tip the scales. I “feel” that the E-P2, with its retro styling, is too much of an “urban” camera for my tastes. The GF1 proved itself every inch an adventurer’s camera by surviving 16 days in the Himalayas. That’s a sales pitch in my language right there. If I could, I’d fly to Hong Kong right now and get one in a heartbeat.

But even if I could, I won’t. Not yet, anyway. Going back to “feel,” I “feel” that Micro 4/3 technology has not yet reached the level where its cameras can replace my Nikons as my work cameras. But the door to the Micro 4/3 system lies wide open in front of me. I have seen the future, and it’s where I want to go. Also, no doubt Panasonic is cooking up a GF2 in the Lumix oven as we speak. I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome.

So what about getting a camera I can always take with me? Oh, do I have my sights set on a real beauty right now. Everyone’s gonna know when I finally get the GF1′s amazing little brother, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

Good Friday Pre-Dawn Via Dolorosa

April 17th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Two hours before dawn on Good Friday, almost ten hours before I put together my Good Friday Baked Salmon, I was in front of the San Isidro de Labrador Church in Pulilan, Bulacan, wide awake and standing in the middle of a crowd of more than a hundred people, all of us waiting for town’s yearly “Daan ng Krus” or “Way of the Cross” to begin. From the church, we made our way around the poblacion, through silent streets, past quiet houses and sleeping dogs, to 14 homes that were chosen as the 14 Stations of the Cross. We arrived at the last station at around 7am, three hours after we started. Soft candlelight had given way to brilliant sun. After the final prayers, the crowd dispersed the same way it came together — with lively chatter. There was still the grand procession in the afternoon to prepare for. The day had just begun.

More pictures of the Pulilan Via Dolorosa here.

Looking for Iconic and Insightful Travel Images?

March 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Looking for iconic and insightful  travel and destination photography for your magazine, website, or  advertising campaign? Check out the Outsidebound Images collection at Daiichicolour.com!

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