My photographic portfolio

Updated 8/16/09: I now have an entirely new standalone photo catalog with e-commerce enabled, which means you can instantly purchase prints (in varying sizes and finishes) or digital downloads (at varying resolutions according to your needs) of each of my published photos. The link is the same as below: See this page for more details.

A few weeks back, I announced my portfolio site, Raoul Pop Photography, and I got positive feedback about it, which was nice.

Raoul Pop Photography

Updated 1/12/09: Since I wrote this, I worked to create a standalone photo catalog, outside of my Flickr photo stream, and that’s what you’ll find when you visit my photography site. I’m leaving the thoughts you see below for historical reference, but keep in mind they no longer apply.

Now I’ve gone through an extensive process of sorting, winnowing and re-organizing the photos I’ve posted to Flickr, and I’m happy to announce that my portfolio site is all the better for it. You see, my portfolio site feeds directly from my Flickr account via Satellite. The big advantage is that every time I make a change to my photos and sets on Flickr, the change is reflected instantly on my portfolio site.

On the whole, my photos look significantly better now, because I deleted many, many photos that I didn’t think were good enough any more. Going through my photos has made me think hard about the sorts of photographs I take, and categorizing them into sets and collections has given me a new and deeper understanding of what makes me tick as a photographer. It’s all pretty interesting stuff to me, and I think you can tell it’s gotten me excited. 🙂

Also not to be missed, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, is my list of photos taken with each camera I’ve used over time. These photos are grouped into sets, and they’ll give you a good idea of the sorts of images you can get with each camera. Don’t read too much into it though. Short of various differences that can be limiting or advantageous between camera models and brands, a camera is only a tool. While it’s important that the tool perform as expected and be flexible enough to capture the photo, there are three more parts to a good photo: there’s the photographer, who’s got to know what he or she is doing, then there’s the quality of the light, which can make or break a photo, and finally, the post-processing, to make the photo stand out.


What we use on our hair

For about four years now, Ligia and I have used the same hair care product, and I thought I’d tell you about it. I’m doing it for a few reasons. First, I don’t like pretentious hair care products that cost a fortune and yield the same results as the less expensive stuff. Second, I like tried and true products. Third, I’m trying to do my part to see that this product doesn’t exit the market. (The last time we went to buy some, we couldn’t find it on the shelves… That could be both bad and good, I suppose.)

While we use some other things from time to time, and you’ll see them below, we use Murray’s Super Light Pomade all the time. Here it is.

Murray’s Super Light Pomade

Do you know those ridiculously expensive hair waxes they sell nowadays? They cost anywhere from $20-30, barely do the job, dry up in the hair giving you flakes, and have a TON of ingredients… Not so with this pomade. It costs somewhere between $1-2, and do you know what it’s got inside? Petrolatum, Lanolin, Coconut Oil, Aloe and Fragrance. That’s it. It’s had the same ingredients for quite some time. Not sure how long it’s been in existence, but I do know that they were using pomade regularly back in the early 1900s. Guess what? If it’s managed to do the job since then, I know it’ll do the job now as well.

The great thing about it is that it’s versatile. I used it back when my hair was short, and I’m using it now that my hair is long. I still apply it the same way, and it still works great. Back when I wanted my hair straight, it kept it straight, and now that it’s longer, it keeps it wavier. Love it.

Here’s a photo of me back when I had short hair. I was picking mulberries somewhere, I think it was the National Seminary before they started rebuilding it. Ligia took this photo.

Picking mulberries

Here’s a photo of me with longer hair. Same pomade did the trick on both occasions. Ligia took this photo as well.

Composing the shot

Don’t think I’m the only one using the pomade though. Ligia uses it as well, and her hair is wonderful. Here’s a recent photo.


If you’ve never used pomade on your hair before, particularly this pomade, it’ll take a couple of weeks to get used to the way your hair feels. You wash your hair as usual and apply it after the wash, while your hair is still warm and wet.

Should you want to purchase it, we’ve seen it at CVS and Bed Bath & Beyond. There’s another place that sells it, but I prefer not to go there if I can help it: Wal-Mart… Murray’s makes two different kinds — the Super Light, and the regular kind, which is thicker, and which I’ve never used. Make sure you get the Super Light.

Murray’s Super Light Pomade

We use some other stuff from time to time.

Hair care products

Nothing else I’ve tried works quite as well as the pomade though, and believe you me, I tried many other things, including other brands of pomade.

We use one more thing which works great to help comb longer hair. Ligia just loves it. Since she’s got curly hair and it’s fairly long, it always gets tangled. All she needs to do is to spray it into her hair, and she can comb it as if it were straight afterwards. I’m surprised myself at how well it works.

Olive Oil Sheen Spray


Merry Christmas!

I know Christmas isn’t celebrated by everyone, but if you’re one of those who does celebrate it, Merry Christmas! Even though the origins of the date are pagan, the meaning we have chosen to ascribe to it over time is certainly worth celebrating. For those among us who are Christians, it means our Savior’s birth. For others, it means that time of year when we think of others, and give them presents. For others still, it’s a joyous holiday time spent with family, winding down the year and looking forward to the next. However you choose to celebrate it, I hope you’ll enjoy these next several photos I’ve prepared.

As Christmas nears, I love the change that comes over the home. The decorations make it a special time of the year.

Christmas time

Keep the light burning brightly

Let’s not forget to pick out just the right Christmas tree.

Got that tree?

And fill it full of wonderful ornaments.

Play that golden harp

A wreath of holly

How about the last minute gifts that we forgot to get? What to pick, I wonder?

The last minute gift

As Christmas Eve draws near, some of us like to sing Christmas carols.

Let’s sing in the town square

On Christmas Eve itself, we have a wonderful Christmas meal. In my family, the food we make this time of year is always special and plentiful.

Seeker of light

By the way, this is how the sunset looked on Christmas Eve this year.

Christmas sunset

Those of us who choose to ascribe a religious meaning to Christmas remember the story of the star in the East, and of the angels’ appearing.


A star in the East

That ocean of angels that filled the sky on our Savior’s birth night must have been a glorious sight. This is a poor approximation, but it will have to do.


According to popular legend, the little town up North where toys get made is pretty quiet on Christmas morning. Perhaps it looks something like this?

The little town where toys get made

Merry Christmas!


Photography, take two, part four

I continued my ongoing effort to replace photos hosted at third party services with self-hosted ones, in order to reduce the dependence of my content on others. As part of that effort, I’m also re-processing some of the photos, and editing some of the posts to make them read better. Here are the posts I modified:


Document your community through photos

Trevor Carpenter is running the “2008 Challenge“, a project which is meant to encourage people to document their community through photos and to share them online. All it takes is to publish one photo per week (52 in total) to your site or to a photo sharing site. Check out Trevor’s post for the details.

I thought I’d share a few photos from my community a little ahead of the deadline. After all, I’ve been doing it all along, but you may not have known about it since I didn’t call attention to it.

This is a typical morning view from our terrace.

Reflected sunrise

We took a walk during a warm fall afternoon. This is one of the photos taken on that walk. A “Now Leasing” blimp floated in the sky above a neighboring building. The beautiful trees in the forefront obscured that photo, so it looks as if the blimp is advertising them instead.

Now leasing - trees

These next few photos were taken during various afternoon walks.

Red and redder


A brook dressed for fall


I am literally in love with the color of these tree branches. It’s not personal bias because I took the photo, but that shade of brown coupled with the fresh green just floors me.

Stretching toward the sky

This is another view from our terrace. It’s a night scene, taken during a dark and stormy night.

Night rain

You might think there’s something wrong with the next photo. It seems a bit off, and there’s that strange thing jutting out in the bottom left corner. Look carefully. That’s a reflection you see in the water of a lake from our community. The odd piece in the corner is the shore I stood on when I took the photo. If you examine the bottom of the photo, you’ll see tiny ripples.

Looking glass