*a constant parallactic paradox, sublime*

Author Archive

“Don’t let your past define you” is poorly phrased in the powerful mind of a Warrior Queen.

This is a shoutout to everyone going through battles, no matter how big or small, those with a dark past, and present… those who are to avoid a dark future… whether you are diagnosed with PTSD or not, to those who aren’t honest to themselves, to those who need help and those who can’t even self-help. For those who are afraid to address issues that haunt them. Those who are scared to open up.

2018-11-06 12_32_54-Ariane Pearl Hoekstra

To my dear Ariane, I’ve witnessed how your Love for God and your faith keeps you happy and even more glorious in His Path. Thank you for letting me share this here. I love you always!

Mayon Volcano Eruption – Jan 2018



Here you can mark yourself safe or help those who are affected or check on your family or friends in Albay.

“an estimated 40,000 residents (~8,300 families) have fled their homes in the Philippines for a safer location. While local authorities shut down some government operations and schools, it faces a shortage of emergency funds. The province is waiting for federal financial assistance in order to evacuate more residents and coordinate emergency management teams.”

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – Maya Angelou #savealife

A hold-up with 4 stabs nearly killing Chito Ochave Cortes, puts the world at risk of losing another good soul. He is the breadwinner of his family and one to always put others needs before his own. Now it is him who needs help and I am reaching out to anyone who could. Any help, monetary and prayers, would be greatly appreciated by many. Let us help one another, for we are born capable of doing so, and in doing so, we make the world, bit by bit, a better place.

Click on the link below or use the widget on the right panel.

https://gogetfunding.com/embed-widget?frame_type=t5&oid=519004Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse 2015 (as seen from Dortmund, Germany on September 28)

He appeared first perfectly bright and round, while all the stars gathered like an audience from the other side… He was a perfect view from our balcony, with the sun´s spotlight amplified for the upcoming show… We are part of it… Our Mother Earth´s shape is cast beautifully on him, deepening the soulful stares that let his shadow-kissed surfaces blush to a blood red liveliness. As these celestial bodies continue to dance more stunningly, our senses are heightened and overjoyed. When we moved to our room to finally sleep, so did he, prompting me to take pictures of the Earth´s shadow´s most graceful exit before I sleep… It felt good to be part of the Dance and this even made me feel more connected to God… I am overwhelmed with gratitude for His Love and Art. ❤

Now I really believe in blood red moons. I wish I can capture it well but this is the best I can do. Hope those who wanted to see it but couldn´t can take pleasure in these.

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(The images are displayed in reverse order to feature the Red phase first)


Help Find Family and Friends missing after the Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

Help Find Family and Friends missing after the Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

Latest info on the status of areas affected by typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan):

How to Help Donate to Victims:

Of Time…

Of Time…. – lamentations in poetry.xyldrae.com

14 Images of Grand Canyon West

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Our Himalayan Blue Poppy’s First Bloom!

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A Selection of 10 Photomanipulations

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These images are originally uploaded and credited in xyldrae.deviantart.com

Twenty Views of Mayon Volcano (Mobile and DSLR mix)

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I Love Dandelions! – 17 Dandelion Photographs

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La Tour Eiffel – 23 Shots of…

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A Dozen Snowflake Pictures

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9 Pictures of My First Winter and First Snow, and 9 Thoughts on 2012

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27 Shots of Amsterdam – By Day and Night

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Angela Monet

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Iris Hond live in Concerto, Amsterdam

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The Smallest Rainbow of All Time?

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10 Shots of Sunset in 9 Different Places

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“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.”-G.K. Chesterson

Photo Manipulation Tips for Beginners

Photo Manipulation Tips and Tricks

The artwork in this set is originally uploaded and published in xyldrae.deviantart.com containing the credits of stock images used.

Bear from happeningstock.deviantart.com/ | The lovely woman is my mom, from my wedding pictures | Log from jellybellystock.deviantart.com/

Photo manipulation is the application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception (in contrast to mere enhancement or correction), through analog or digital means” – Definition from Webster’s Dictionary 2006 edition

Tip 1: You are doing it right now.

Reading tutorials is a good way to improve. Know however, that there is not one Tutorial that will teach you everything. So you have to read specific tutorials on different subjects, such as essentials, technical solutions (ex. what software to use or how to use specific tools in a software), specific techniques (ex. lighting, toning, painting). This tutorial is one that aims to help an aspiring photomanipulator to get a good glimpse of the essentials, assuming that one is knowledgeable of the functions of the basic tools available in photo editing softwares.

Tip 2: Get stock images to create your idea or get your idea from stock images you see.

Stock photography is very under-rated. But it is one of the most beautiful arts ever. Herein, stock photographers can manipulate a photomanipulator into doing what he wants to be done with a stock image he/she took. Stock photos make up a final piece of Photomanipulation. And if you begin from an idea to getting the stock required for that idea, take your time in doing so, and know that it is just normal to sometimes spend more time looking for the perfect stock than patching them up. One more thing, digital BRUSHES are one of the best stocks ever!

Tip 3: Crop Cleanly and touch up the edges

A photomanipulation that is cropped lazily will easily be noticed as something unpleasant even on a thumbnail view. So take time in cropping. Do not always rely on magic wand tools or rely on feathering edges as if it really makes that object blend with the rest. It doesn’t do that all the time. Sometimes, there are subjects with areas almost impossible to crop perfectly, such as a person’s hair or the fur of an animal. A better way than just feathering their edges or smudging them, is to paint over them and blend in.

Tip 4: The background is one thing. The Foreground is another thing.

Pre-made backgrounds save up time, but each time you use a background and leave it untouched, this diminishes the originality and creativity of your work. On the other hand, have fun in creating your own world starting with your background.

Tip 5: Toning is vital!

When you have this ‘new world’ which you want to populate with the subjects you desire, you might want to adjust the color balance, brightness, contrast, curves etc. of every image you put on it. Do not mistake putting a photo of a person taken in broad daylight into a background that clearly depicts night time, unless that is your intention. Of course, you can do the toning later on, after you have placed all your elements in the canvas. Sometimes, it would suffice to just blend in a layer filled with the color (or gradient of the color/s) that represent the hue you desire.

Tip 6: Before you merge layers, make sure you’re done with the shadows and highlights, and sometimes, reflections.

Lighting is a powerful thing! Shadows and Highlights give dimensions to a photograph. Unless you want to create a one-dimensional piece, you need not concern yourself with shadows and highlights. The direction of shadows is the same as the direction of the light. Identify first, the light sources in your piece (or create them), and render the shadows they create. Take note, every bit of matter affects the direction of light. Does your light touch a mirror? the let light bounce accordingly. Is your light blocked by a tree? The tree puts a shade where it has blocked the light.

The artwork in this set is originally uploaded and published in xyldrae.deviantart.com containing the credits of stock images used.

Tip 7: Focus on the Focus!

Of course, your focus must be the sharpest and most defined area in your artwork. Know that even sharpness in an image can have a fade-in or fade-out effect. This transition makes one image gracefully blend in with another. Use the feather options from the selection tools you use to apply fade effects.

Tip 8: Textures give a sense of feeling

Textures bring certain moods to your final photograph. Textures can be applied to a certain area selections and to the whole image as a whole. Try out some textures but be careful in deciding whether it is better to apply them or not.

Tip 9: Smudge, but not too much

Smudge enough to make the effect you desire, whether you just want you just want to remove the noise in your image or blend some elements. Sometimes, people use built-in or plugged in noise reduction effects available in the software their are using such selective blurs etc. But these programs most often destroy the edges and flow of pixels in the artwork, that is why smudging is done instead. Herein, your control the flow of pixels and amount of smudging that occurs. If you have smudged enough to make the photo noiseless yet lacking in depth and detail, it is a good idea to paint over the image by running fade out brush strokes through the visible highlights (using a lightening color) or the visible shadows (using a darkening color).

Tip 10: Learn from Others

The world wide web is another world where we can find a multitude of good examples and bad examples. Yes, learn from both the good and bad. Look intently at the works you see and compare what you like with what you don’t like. Distinguish what makes one work different than the other. Try to imagine what tools were used on every part of each image and try applying what suites you. Lastly, embrace objective criticism!

This image is originally uploaded and copyrighted in xyldrae.deviantart.com where credits to images aquired are listed down. Exercise your eyes and try to spot the flaws in this highlighting exercise.

You may find technique-specific tutorials in deviantart.com

You’re Only As Deep As Your Diction

You're Only As Deep As Your Diction.

“There’s no such shallowness to which real depth can not compensate;”

“While favorites are fine, how would you know there are better things in Life
If you’ve shut your ears exclusive to just one genre of music?
Find all your assets a glass half full or a glass half empty –
Inevitably you always have something and that is terrific!”

Trivia: This poem is actually a collection of my tweets from Twitter sewed up to make one piece of decent poetry. I’m constantly working on it’s flow to make it really poetic.

Miracles Are Common

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” – C.S. Lewis

Phenomenon – A Pileus Iridescent Cloud – Horns

Phenomenon - A Pileus Iridescent Cloud - Horns

"a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. " - explanation taken from nasa.gov

– Photo taken by XYLDRAE DIANE JACOB BILLER from Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines | See also nasa.gov.

“Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.” – Saint Augustine

Phenomenon – A Pileus Iridescent Cloud – Halo

"a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. " - explanation taken from nasa.gov

– Photo taken by XYLDRAE DIANE JACOB BILLER from Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines | See also | See also nasa.gov.




Some Related Posts

A Pileus Iridescent Cloud Over Ethiopia
A Pileus Iridescent Cloud Over Ethiopia
Iridescent Clouds
Astronomy Picture of the Day for 8/24
Alien Clouds

Xonnette*Soul is now up!

On what expense does a man bare his soul
to a woman he does not intend to keep?
And on what expense does a man keep
a woman he does not intend to bare his soul with?

Excerpts from On What Expense.

Read More in poetry.xyldrae.com!

All New Web UZZAP!

Best part of the day: Proud to finally announce the beta release of the ALL NEW Web UZZAP! Faster, looks even Better, Greater and much Smarter! Try it & contribute to the ongoing community reviews!

OVER 1.4 MILLION ACTIVE users and growing!

WHAT IS UZZAP? (Taken from Uzzap’s Official Facebook Pages):

UZZAP is the first all – in – one messenger service for your mobile phone! It is also available to download on your PC or access it through the web application at http://uzzap.com/ , all you need is an internet connection.

UZZAP uses your data or GPRS connection through your mobile phone to go online, it’s FREE for SMART subscribers, so you can stay connected 24/7!
Once logged on, you can start enjoying UZZAP features and services, such as:

1. Extended Messaging (EM): send messages to your UZZAP buddies! (If an UZZAP buddy is offline, your messages would automatically convert into an SMS, so your buddies will always receive your messages!)

**NOTE: Standard Rates apply when you Reply to an SMS message (Php 1.00)

2. Group Chat: enjoy chatting with your UZZAP buddies in private in your own room!

3. Instant Messaging (IM): connect to you YM or MSN or Chikka or Gtalk account and see all your buddies!

4. Post TWITTER TWEETS from any of your Uzzap applications!

5. Chatrooms: Enjoy chatting & meeting new people, grow your social network with over a 1000+ UZZAP chatrooms!

6. User Generated Chatrooms (UGC): Create your own chatroom!

7. Share Media: Send & receive picture messages from your phone or PC!

8. Invite Buddies: Increase your UZZAP buddy list by adding them through your phonebook, user-id, or mobile number!

9. AUTO Buddy Matching: UZZAP automatically adds your contacts on your phonebook who are already UZZAP users to your buddy list!

10. Themes: Enjoy various themes on your phones & personalize your UZZAP!

** See FAQ’s ; Quick-start Guide & Quick Tips for more details & information.**

TEXT UZZAP TO 7272 or go to http://uzzap.com/download NOW!!!
or use in http://uzzap.com/
Enjoy UZZAP’s Services & Discover More New Features to Come!

I Know Where You Live!!!!!! (An Ordinary Love Song?)

A million smiles, I’ve lost to the world…
Your absence breaks my heart in vain…
You make me feel, strange currents move my skin;
Your touches storm the rain away…

A million kisses would make me breathe easy
I think that words are just so empty
Sing me a song…
Such Art in your eyes….
Just live in this moment with me….

Don’t run away….
Let’s make it together….
Don’t run away….
Believe in forever….

This is an original song (which is actually a love song) and collaboration between me, my cousin Doll for lyrics and vocals, and The Pissheads (Sam Osborne for vocals and bass and Gil Apuya for the lead guitar):