Monday, April 28, 2008

"Cumulonimbus Clouds" - Our 11th Weekly Contest Winner!

About The Winning Photo:

This shot was taken last year during the summer. My son, then 3, and I were practicing putting in a nearby golf course, when I noticed these humongous cumulus clouds. The form and shape was out of the ordinary, as the forecast that day was clear and sunny, no rain or snow. Snowfall in Colorado in the middle of summer is nothing new, just like having 85-degree temperatures on any given day in winter.

For a while, the cloud formations reminded me of the movie “Independence Day,” (in that scene when the black clouds covered the cities and reveal the big UFO at the end).

Lucky for me, I had the camera in the car, and got the shot. I always remind myself to bring the camera with me, even if I'm only going to the grocery store. My wife sometimes asks me why I need to bring it, and I tell her, "what if we see Elvis buying gas or an alien spaceship landing? That would be our proof!!”


-- from *DEE~ - (?)

My name is Dan Aquino, and my flickr ID, ZELCA, is taken from the last syllables of my son and daughter's names. I'm Bicolano, but born and raised in San Juan, Metro Manila. My wife and I immigrated to the United States in 2000. I work as an Architectural Designer.

We chose to live in Colorado because living near the mountains allows for more scenic photography opportunities. We are within driving distance of many US National Parks: to the North is Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore, to the west is Moab, Bryce in Utah, Southwest is the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley (but to the east, there really isn't anything except Kansas and Nebraska, if you want to chase a tornado!).

I bought my first camera in 1998, a Canon EOS 500, before the camera critical mass. I bought it not because I like photography, but because as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) I thought I deserved at least one expensive toy for myself. I used it once in a while, nothing fancy, just point and shoot, never bothering to adjust the shutter speed or aperture.

It was only after coming to the US that I gave it a try and started to learn more about how to use my camera correctly, as we traveled a lot and took a long drive to the state of Minnesota.

Film after film, I was upset with every photo print that I got, feeling it was all crap. I lost interest in photography. Then, in 2002, my brother and some friends decided to take a 20-hour drive through Yellowstone National Park, and that was the moment that restored my love of photography.

Before our trip, I researched the internet how to photograph landscapes. That was the smartest thing I did, as I then had ideas how to photograph the awesome scenic route to Yellowstone.

I couldn't believe I was seeing the majestic landscapes that I'd only seen on tv and in magazines. My instant reaction was to bring the scenery with me so that I could look at it all the time. It felt like Heaven!

The following year, in 2003, I bought my first digital camera, a Fuji Finepix 3800, which is the gear I still use for taking photos till now. I am looking forward to getting a DSLR, hopefully by next year.

My friend Roger Aninag from Houston suggested that I try photography.

My main subjects of interest are Landscapes and Architectural photography. I'm still learning, and Flickr is the best source of any subject that I want to pursue. Lately, I'm very interested in Rural Decay. For me, it's a challenge to photograph an eyesore that can be seen as interesting photography.

Five years from now, I'm not really sure, but I hope to be good enough to pursue a career in part-time freelance Architectural/Realty Photography, or creating postcards. I know there isn't much money in this undertaking, but it will be alright, as long as I keep my day job!

Thanks for the votes. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) this is a vindication of sorts for me, as my first entry was the first #44 that did not win the contest. :p Back then, I just discovered the group and jumped into the contest out of excitement (I didn’t know the “legend” of #44, too).

I have seen a lot of good photographers in this group, and the good thing about it is that most of them are my KABAYANs! Let's learn together from one another!


The three photos that best describe me are:

“Rainbow in the Prairie”

Rainbow in the Prairie

My first winning photo and featured in a calendar.


“Magnificent Mile”

magnificent mile

This photo has been short-listed for inclusion in the fourth edition of Schmap Chicago Guide.


Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

This one is my personal favorite photo taken in Yellowstone National Park, since it restored my love of photography.

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