Government Aphorisms#104


“We have the best government that money can buy.”


“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”


“That government is best which governs least.”


“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.”

“Governments never learn. Only people learn.”


Success Aphorism #102


“Perseverance is a great element of success. If only you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate , you are sure to wake up somebody.”


I did a little bit of post processing here using the software Perfect Effects 3 to emphasize the texture and the decay. You can see the original shot below. Any preference? Which one do you like better?


Bokeh #100

What is bokeh?

Bokeh is a Japanese word meaning blur or haze. In photography it means the aesthetic quality and feeling of the smooth, fuzzy, blurred, hazy, out-of-focus background or foreground not competing with the main subject. Bokeh could be defined as the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light. Very subjective quality and difficult to describe. When you see it, you know it.

Bokeh depends on:

1. Large aperture of the lens: f/1.8. f/1.4, f/1.2

2. Focal length of the lens: 85mm, 105mm, 200mm

3. Nine diaphragm blade lens

4. Distance of subject

5. Distance of background

Some lenses have famously excellent bokeh, including Nikon 85mm f/1.4 D or G (The cream machine), Nikon 105mm f/2.0 DC (defocus control), Nikon 135mm f/2.0 DC, Canon 50mm f/1.2, etc.

Let us look at a couple of sample images.


f/1.8, 1/2500 sec, ISO 100, 85mm

Notice the smooth, blurred, pleasing background. The blur circles have smooth edges.


f/3.2, 1/320 sec, ISO 100, 85mm

Look at the nice fuzzy foreground and background here.

Here are some great sites for further reading:$file/cln35_bokeh_en.pdf

In summary, Bokeh is a great photographic tool to make your pictures unique and


Long exposure photography #99

Did you ever try Long Exposure (LE) photography? If not, experiment, it is time to do it! LE provides you with a whole new dimension of photography. Everything moving, such as clouds, water, tree branches become wonderfully fuzzy and silky smooth. You will record something nobody can see by naked eye! It is like a miniature time capsule. Fascinating! It adds mood and atmosphere to your photography. By definition the exposure must be minimum 30 seconds. The only way to do it to have a neutral density filter.

Now let’s see how does it work?


30 sec, f/16, ISO 100, 16mm. B+W ND110 77mm (10 stop neutral density) filter

Notice the fuzzy and smooth clouds and tree branches.

Now the same shot without 10 stop neutral density filter.


1/45 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 16mm

See the difference? Let’s do another comparison.


120 sec, f/22, ISO 1oo, 16mm, B+W ND110

See how nice silky smooth is the creek.

Now check out the same shot without the filter.


1/25 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 16mm

Finally, here is my favorite LE comparison so far.


30 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 16mm, B+W ND110

See the beautiful and expressive silky smooth clouds and creek. Nice, isn’t it?

The next shot is done with no filter.


1/80 sec, f/11, ISO 100, 16mm

Not bad however this shot is missing that extra mystic and magic quality.

Next, what do you need for LE photography?

1. Tripod

2. Wide angle lens, minimum 24 mm or wider IMHO.

3. 10 and/or 6 stop filters. Various screw on or filter holder system brands available, eg. B+W, Lee, Hitech, Hoya, etc. You may stack a 10 stop and a 6 stop filter. More than two filters may deteriorate picture quality.

4. Landscape with moving elements, eg. clouds, water, grass, tree branches. The best possible location is probably the seashore. Unfortunately I am pretty far from it…  😦

5. Golden hour, dawn, dusk. You can’t do it at noon so get up really early! Windy weather after a storm is a plus.

6. Small aperture, eg. f/16-f/22 and minimum 30 seconds exposure up to minutes.

7. Make your composition off filter. You won’t see anything when the filter is on!

8. Calculations. First, check exposure time without filter, then adjust exposure 10 or whatever stop plus after switching to manual mode. Always use the same aperture! Apply filter.

9. Use self timer mode or cable/electronic exposure release. Don’t touch the camera during exposure!

10. Experiment! Add extra 1-2 stop. Trial and error.

11. At home use software to tweak your best shots. Perhaps convert it to black and white.

That’s it folks.

First it may look complicated but with time it will become your second nature.

See more info below on #72 Variations on a subject

Finally, some great sites for further reading:


Don’t hesitate, let me know your personal experience!

L’amour 2 Aphorisms #98


“The head is always fooled by the heart.”

“In love, first cured is always best cured.”

“All the passions cause us to make mistakes, but love is responsible for the silliest one.”

“The reason why lovers never tire of each other’s company is that the conversation is always about themselves.”


I had a dream.

The story of my first love.

For a few moments I was lost in my own world.

Nostalgy, you know…

I still remember my first love with dark blue eyes and fair skin looking at the flowers above. My first love was never returned. At that time I had no idea why? I thought I did everything in my power but no reaction. I still vividly remember the passionate feeling how I would change the world for her. Years later I realised I was more interested about myself, my own ego then about my first love. Than I stumbled upon this fellow’s maximes and learned a lot.

So, sorry guys about quoting this fellow LA Rochefoucauld again and again but I can’t help to admire his reflections of human nature, one of the most penetrating ever written IMHO. He published his collection of “maximes morales” in 1665 proving that human nature does not change. Period. His “maximes morales” are the result of half a lifetime of observation of his fellow human beings, recollected in the tranquility of “middle-aged invalidism” and condensed so as to be UNIVERSALLY applicable at all times. The above quotes are reflection of LOVE.

Do you guys think that his philosophy was bitter and pessimistic or just objective? Any idea? Was he  happy in his love life?

Do you remember your first love?

L’amour Aphorisms #97


“True love is like ghostly apparitions: everybody talks about  them but few have ever seen one.”

“There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand copies, all different.”

“We forgive so long as we love.”

“We never desire passionately what we desire through reason alone.”


Mother’s Day Aphorisms #95


“Childrens are the anchors of a mother’s life.


“Life began with waking up and  loving my mother’s face.”


“All that I am, or hope to be. I owe to my angel mother.”


“A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lightening up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.”


“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.”


“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”