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May 112016

Topics: photos of strange signs, animals on the street, Shanghai, & more!

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Newsletter #4!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

This will be my first newsletter for 2016, so it will have more photos than usual. The photos in this letter were taken from January – May 2016. Please be patient and wait for the photos to load.

I was in Shanghai last month, so this newsletter will have a little extra foreign flavor. Click here to read my post about it.

I photograph signs a lot and there was a bumper crop of them the past few months since it was national election season. I’ll be putting together an album of those photos once I’ve organized them.

If you missed the last newsletter where I documented the evolution of the graffiti of a wall over three years, check it out here. Here’s a list of my past newsletters.

Hope you enjoy this month’s dispatch. Please forward this to friends of yours who may be interested, and ask them to subscribe too!

Always Fresh



roadside bike repair stall in Shanghai 
video length: 11 seconds

handmade rice krispie stall, Shanghai, China
video length: 13 seconds

This month’s addition to my ongoing series of various street side grottoes in the Philippines. 


street side grotto, Philippines

People often ask me where I find them. They’re actually everywhere, hidden in random nooks and crannies.

This was taken near Banawe, Quezon City, March 2016
Here’s a zoomed out view where I shot the grotto above.


street side grotto

Makati, March 2016


Makati, Philippines

Makati, Philippines



photos from the run up to the Philippine elections 2016

I like her clever visual pun on “lima” being the word for 5, and then drawing a hand with all five fingers on it. Most of the campaign signs I’ve seen weren’t that creative.


Philippines photos from the run up to the Philippine elections 2016

Only in the Philippines:


coconuts falling warning sign

And only in China… (Here are more photos of weird products I spotted in Shanghai.)

Oba Mao T-shirt (Obama + Mao Zedong)

Oba Mao T-shirt (Obama + Mao Zedong)

No dispatch is complete without an addition to my collection of Philippine graffiti:



That one was shot in Quezon City, on the corner of Roces and Tuason Streets.
Zoomed out view:



This one was shot along Hemady Street in New Manila.

graffiti new manila, Philippines
graffiti, new manila, Philippines

This one of a flying horse was shot in San Juan. The 3D perspective is really good.

graffiti- Philippines

Animals hanging out on the street:

cat Philippines

You wouldn’t want to mess with this one in a cockfight:


I spotted a bunch of monkeys randomly hanging out by the side of the highway outside Subic in January. I fired off some shots, but none were any good as I was too far and could not reverse. I went back to Subic this April and was able to get a few good shots.

There was also an enterprising monkey who was eating chips. Take a look at the 8 second video clip here.

Subic, Philippines

Subic, Philippines


This theater was built in the 1930s. See more of my Shanghai photos in my blog post.

Cathay Theatre- built in the 1930s

Cathay Theatre- built in the 1930s

I shot this in January on the road to Tagaytay. It was a mansion in the middle of nowhere. No other houses around.

big mansion in the middle of nowhere in tagaytay 2

Mandatory cheesy touristy shot of Pudong, Shanghai:

Pudong, Shanghai

Pudong, Shanghai

Street Key Duplicator:

Shanghai is ultramodern in many ways, yet still has a lot of old school tradesmen doing business on the street, as you can see from the rice krispie baker and bike repairman video clips I put above.

This street key duplicator stall reminded me of the numerous such street stalls here in the Philippines:

key duplicator street stall

Above: Shanghai, China | Below: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines (both taken April 2016)

key duplicator

These rides have messages:

truck with mud flap that says God gave me you
Thanks God sign on a jeepney
tricycle with an anime character


So this guy has a Twilight hoodie…

guy on a motorcycle with a Twilight jacket
Shanghai, China
guy selling bottles of pink stuff
san juan slaughterhouse window with green stripe

From top to bottom:
Roxas Boulevard, Manila, April 2016
Shanghai, China, April 2016
Banawe, Quezon City, March 2016
San Juan, Metro Manila, February 2016

From the Web

I thought this article in the March 2016 issue of Harper’s Magazine asking whether staged photographs can tell the truth was pretty timely.

As it’s easier to create manipulated images with software and post them online, more and more people who aren’t used to internet staples like memes and satire websites encounter such images for the first time and take them as gospel truth, get enraged, or scared, and reproduce their misinterpretation elsewhere.

I like how this article explains that manipulated/ processed/ staged images aren’t necessarily “fake”, but subject to different meanings depending on the context of the shoot, and anyway, aren’t all photos “staged” somehow when you choose what to exclude out of the frame?

Here is the link to this great article.


Blast From The Past:

may 2010 elections

photo taken on National Election Day six years ago (2010)

Stamp of the Day:

pacquiao-stamp low res

This dispatch’s featured stamp is this Manny Pacquiao stamp issued in 2015, in honor of his being elected into the Philippine senate a couple of days ago.

Visit my Stamp Library for more.

Friendly Reminder: Punk’s Not Dead.

punk's not dead on house Fairview, Quezon City, Philippines


Photographed last month outside a house in Fairview, Quezon City.

punk's not dead on house

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