(EZRA) 52/52 : Every day holds new magic

This photo was inspired by an anime she’s currently watching. It’s called Magi : The Labyrinth of Magic.  I don’t watch it so I don’t know much about it, but she told me that those little butterflies are called “rukh”. They don’t look exactly like this in the anime because I used redheadstock’s butterfly brushes for this, but they look pretty similar to the reference photos Ezra sent me. Anyway, these rukh things are supposed to be some kind of life essence or life energy in the show.

I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, considering I edited it in about 20 minutes. We only have a few minutes left before the end of 2013 and I want to get this up on time 😀

I’m very sad to announce that this will be Ezra’s last 52-week project 😦 She’s decided that she won’t be doing it for 2014. It feels kind of weird having to do it without her since we’ve been shooting self portraits together since 2010.  But she told me she’d still be asking me to take her photos and she’d still let me use her as a model for my photomanipulations every now and then, so that’s good.

This will be my last post for 2013.  Happy new year everyone!

Week 52/52 : You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one

Another 52-week project finished. I can’t believe that this is my 5th one! Wow. I started doing this back in 2009 out of sheer boredom, and I never imagined that I’d still be doing it 5 years later.

I think in all my years of doing the 52-week project, this was the first time that I seriously thought we wouldn’t be able to finish all 52-photos by the end of the year. I think there came a time when I was about 7 weeks behind, and Ezra was 14 weeks behind. I have no idea how we managed to catch up after that, but I’m really glad we did. I’m thankful that the holidays started early this year so it gave me plenty of time to shoot and edit.

I’m not entirely sure why this year was so bad in terms of us being able to submit our photos on time. I this was just really busy year for Ezra and me. We both have jobs so it’s harder to find a time for us to shoot, unlike when we were students. In the past years, I used to be really anal about only posting photos that were taken that week. I considered it cheating when we post pictures that were taken at a different week. But this year, due to our schedule, Ezra and I would usually shoot 3 to 5 photos in one session and post them at different times. You would think this would make it easier for us but editing takes a lot of time too, so even with this strategy we ended up falling behind. But I think the two main things that really set us back this year was our month-long visit to California this summer, and my grandmother’s passing last August. I usually find time to edit photos and post them even when we’re on vacation, but our visit to California this year was so packed with activities that I barely had time to sleep, let alone edit anything. And of course when my grandma passed away, Ezra and I weren’t in the mood to shoot self portraits so we ended up taking a month hiatus.

Anyway, even with all the stress of having to catch up this year and make it to 52 photos before the end of the year, I think I’m still going to do this project for 2014. I’ve been doing it for so long now, it’s going to feel weird if I stop. Let’s just hope I do better with deadlines this time. Wish me luck guys!

Stock credits:
The room came from hellonlegs on deviantArt (http://hellonlegs.deviantart.com/art/Empty-Room-211774585)
The books were from gothicbohemianstock (http://gothicbohemianstock.deviantart.com/gallery/3876782), jojo22 (http://jojo22.deviantart.com/art/Stack-of-Old-Books-Stock-416860960) and barefootliam-stock (http://barefootliam-stock.deviantart.com/art/old-books-dictionary-10-7163808).

(EZRA) 51/52 : Take a spin!

This was taken at one of the pavilions at the Bang Pa In Palace in Thailand.  It was another place we stopped at during our Ayutthaya tour (blog entry HERE).  Ezra saw this pavilion and there was no one inside, so she rushed over there to have her picture taken before the crowd arrives.  We didn’t have a lot of time since we were already behind schedule due to traffic, so I only managed to get about 4 shots of her spinning around.  This was the most decent one because she looked crazy in all the others, lol.

(EZRA) 50/52 : Days go by like a hand out the window in the wind

This shot was also taken at the Wat Phra Sri Sanphet temple we went to in Thailand (blog entry HERE).  There was a traditional Thai house there meant for government officials, and it was open to the public.  We went inside to have a look and we loved how everything was made of teak wood.  We only had a little bit of time before we had to get back on our bus but we managed to take this quick shot for Ezra’s 52-weeks 😀

(Quote in the title is by Keith Urban from his song “Days Go By”)

Week 51/52 : One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things

I just came back from a 5-day trip to Thailand (blog entry HERE). We left on Christmas day and arrived around midnight the other night. While I’m glad to be back in my own room and sleeping in my own bed (sorta – I loved our hotel in Thailand), I’m definitely going to miss Bangkok – that place holds a very special place in our hearts.

This photo was taken at Wat Phra Sri Sanphet during our Ayutthaya tour (blog entry HERE). It was the royal temple during the Ayutthaya period. If I remember correctly, this pagoda houses the ashes of the 10th king of Ayutthaya.  The place was lovely and I’m so glad our parents decided to take Ezra and I there.  They’ve been on the same tour several times (for work), and the only reason they decided to go again was so Ezra and I could go sight seeing 😀  Thanks Ma and Da!

(Quote in the title is by Henry Miller)

Week 50/52 : Don’t expect the world to play by the rules just because you do

I read a quote that goes something like this about a month ago. I forgot to bookmark the page and now I can’t find it again. I’m not sure what the exact wording was, but it was something similar. I’ve been trying to find it on Google and similar results pop up, but not the quote I want. The closest I’ve found so far goes

“If you expect the world to be fair with you because you are fair, you’re fooling yourself. That’s like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat him.”

But that wasn’t it, because I remember immediately thinking of doing a self portrait with chess pieces when I read the quote I’m talking about, so I’m thinking it probably had the word “game” or “rule” in it. Note to self : next time you find a quote you like, bookmark it or write it down!

Anyway, even though I can’t remember the exact quote, the message stuck with me. All my life I’ve been a goody two shoes – I make an effort to know the rules so I can play by them. I think that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but the thing I need to remember is that not every one will live their life the same way. Just because I stand patiently in line doesn’t mean that I’ll get to the front faster than some jerk who managed to talk themselves into cutting in front of someone else. Just because I pay my bills, follow the proper steps and don’t cheat in life, doesn’t mean that life will reward me for it. As children we are often taught that if we follow the rules we get a prize, and if we don’t then someone will come and punish us – but this is not always the case in real life. People break the rules all the time and many of them get away with it. In fact, sometimes the rule breaking comes from the people who should be enforcing the rules themselves. After all, what’s to stop them from taking a few shortcuts to get what the want? The answer should be integrity, but I’m learning that this doesn’t mean as much to some people.

Those are some pretty heavy thoughts to be having the day before Christmas eve, so I’ll end my ramblings here.

(EZRA) 49/52 : Ivory

Ezra’s been really into these kinds of headbands lately.  She went for a hair treatment a few weeks ago and the stylist told her to avoid tying her for about a month.  She usually has her hair in braids and she’s not used to having it down without any sort of styling, so she decided to start wearing headbands.  She bought a bunch of them and she’s been trying to get me to wear them with her so we’d have matching hairstyles.