The Rookie Blogger

October 9, 2010

Sony A330's ISO Test

I always see blog posts about ISO tests of certain cameras and I always observe that they always capture images in a well-lighted room. Testing the ISO capability of your camera in a perfectly-lighted room is useless. Most often, the owners of these cameras are boasting that their systems produce little or no noise. Obviously, if there is perfect lighting for the subject, then there will be few or no noise in the digital image. I have heard that some expensive DSLRs can’t produce noise even at ISO 6400, way beyond the limit of my camera which is only 3200.

Increasing the ISO sensitivity of a camera will help brighten the image when the subject is not well lighted. Increasing the ISO level of the camera is also way better than using the built-in flash of a camera because these built-in flashes produce strong shadows when used in dark places.

So I decided to test my Sony A330’s ISO capability in a low-lighted room. Well, the results are quite promising for ordinary sizes like 3R and 4R but for 100% crop, some photos are unusable.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

All of these images are unedited except for the comparisons between the full size and the 100% crop. Overall, Sony A330’s ISO sensitivity is excellent since the noise produced even at its maximum ISO level is still good for 4R or 3R prints. Adobe has also developed a software called Adobe Lightroom that has a feature that can remove noise without destroying much of the detail of a photo.

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August 28, 2010

Venus Raj takes over Manila Hostage Crisis

From a tourist bus, to the big stage, Philippines made some big news within 48 hours. First, an ex-cop hijacked a tourist bus filled with tourists mostly from Hong Kong along with three other Filipinos. Second is Miss Philippines' answer to the final question in the Miss Universe 2010 pageant.

Photo just to show two topics in one.

Let’s discuss first the Manila bus hostage crisis wherein Rolando Mendoza, 55, hijacked a bus parked near Rizal Park in Manila. He demands media to arrive by 3:00 PM because he has important announcements to make. Instead of the hostage taker to be the center of attraction of the news, the slow-moving SWAT and police was scrutinized by international media and organizations. Facebook and Twitter was then filled with topics involving Philippine police and SWAT’s shortcomings. A lot of people are now blaming the Filipinos for such incident but all I can say is that Rolando Mendoza or the PNP and SWAT doesn’t make up the whole Philippines just like Muslims are not terrorists.

Major major news in Yahoo international.

After the hostage crisis, Maria Venus Raj made a “major major” mistake in her life after answering the final question in the Miss Universe 2010 pageant. She said that she doesn’t have any “major major” problems in her 22 years of existence which is quite unbelievable for a normal person like her. She ended up 4th runner up in the pageant but according to Donald Trump, co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, she could actually win the title if only she answered it a lot better. The good side about Venus Raj is that she made it to the top 15, down to 10, then to the final 5. The last Filipina who became a finalist in the same pageant was Mirriam Quiambao who was a contestant in the Miss Universe 1999. Now, after the pageant, Venus Raj has a major mistake in her life because she did not answer the final question properly. Overall, she did a great job and I salute her for making it all the way to the final 5.

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August 12, 2010

Me Rivaling Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Michio Kaku

I just want to make my own view of the universe. You may be wondering why I am writing this but don’t worry, I’m not crazy. Some may find this post boring but I think someone out there likes this topic.


Most of us or maybe you are fascinated about the universe. When someone asks me how the universe was created, I would immediately answer the most famous theory of creation, the Big Bang. I can still remember when I was still in Grade six that there were theories like the Steady State Theory and the Bubble Universe existed but those two were sort of trashed when someone proved recently that the our universe is expanding. If you are going to ask me how big is the universe, well, it depends on when will you reach the question mark of that questions because the universe is still expanding up to this moment. Approximately, the universe as of this moment is 13 billion light years across; meaning, light will travel from one end to the other end of the universe for 13 billion years. That is also the approximate age of our universe.

Now, if you can conclude that our universe is way too big, you may be wondering about the “others”. You may be asking right now, “Where are they?” or speculate about the existence of aliens. There are a lot of reasons why we haven’t seen any aliens yet. One obvious reason is that the vast distance from one star to the other. We are sending radio signals to other stars hoping that any alien out there has a satellite dish and receives our signal. That’s rubbish! We are sending radio signals using our own electrical power but we have to consider that stars also emit radio signals and we all know how powerful stars are. It’s not just stars which produce massive amount of radio signals but also supernovas which is a hundred times more powerful than a normal star. The radio signals from the stars and supernovas will be mixed with our sent signal and thus destroying its form. The signal that will arrive to the alien’s receivers will be garbage not to mention we have obviously different languages. The other reason why we haven’t seen any aliens yet or aliens haven’t found us yet is that we humans and the species of the earth are not interesting. Similar to the analogy of man and ants, when we pass on an anthill, we don’t care who’s living there because for us, ants are not interesting. In this analogy, the humans are the aliens and the ants are us stealing food from the humans. Ants is somewhat interested in humans similar to us, we are interested about aliens.

Let’s talk about civilization. We have Mesopotamia, Persian, and a lot of civilizations we learned in our history class but at this point, we will be talking about the civilization in a universal scale. According to Michio Kaku, author of the book “Physics of the Impossible”, there are three types of civilization. Type 1 civilization is an empire who can control earthquakes, weather, climate, and anything planetary. Type 2 civilization is stellar; an empire who has exhausted the power of their planet and get their energy from their parent star. Type 3 civilization is galactic; they travel from one star to another star to acquire energy from it. If you are going to ask where we belong in these types of civilizations, well, according to Michio Kaku, we are type zero. We can’t control anything planetary and we get our energy mainly from fossil fuels not from the sun. Dr. Kaku has only three types of civilization but in my wildest opinion, there could be a type 4 civilization. Type 4 could be the creator civilization, our God. This civilization creates and watches the universes created by them. Sounds crazy but that’s the only way religion can get into physics and science - to be treated as the most powerful of all.

Now let’s go back to the universe. People nowadays are talking about when the world will end. I strongly believe that 2012 is a hoax. The movie is telling us that the earth, sun, and the center of the Milky Way will be aligned on December 21, 2012. Astronomers said that the alignment of the sun, earth, and the center of our galaxy happens every December and it’s not even a one day event, not only December 21 of each year. The end of humanity may not be exclusive as the end of the earth. But if ever the world will end on its own, one of the causes maybe is that our sun will undergo supernova and earth can’t withstand the blast. Another cause could be gamma burst from other stars that will directly hit and fry the earth. If we are going to imagine the end of humanity in a galactic scale and use the concept of the big bang and the expanding universe, there will be a time where everything will be ripped apart (a theory called the big rip). Just like a balloon being inflated, there will be a time that the balloon will explode. But the universe’s end will not be slightly different, instead there will be pieces or remnants like a blown up balloon, everything will be ripped from the atomic level and no one will ever survive, not even the type 3 civilization.

That’s all I can say as of this moment. I will write additional posts if I realize something.

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July 18, 2010

LightBox for Blogger

I actually planned to create a WordPress blog with a webhost because of the lightbox plug-in for WordPress but when I try to search for this plug-in for blogspot blogs, I was astonished that there’s a way to install the lightbox plug-in. I carefully followed the simple steps and after 5 minutes, one of the photos of my blog can be viewed using this plug-in. You can view the tutorial in the website.

Click to view image using lightbox plug-in.

The next day after installing the lightbox plug-in, I was so excited to take photos around so that I can make use of the plug-in. But before I can use this plug-in, there are some HTML codes to be changed.

Feel free to post comments on the photos. I am just starting in the field of photography that's why most of the photos taken looks crappy.

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May 26, 2010

Because of Love

I am always unfair to myself because I exert more effort in loving someone than taking care of myself. It's like an investment that I don't care if I lose big time. Love is the only element in a person's life in which I can fully offer, no doubt, and lots of guarantees. I don't care if someone screws me up or wastes my effort, what's important is that I showed to the person I love, or maybe a group of connected people, that I truly love someone and moving on is not my option.

I got a job, a very nice one, but still, happiness is not attainable. As if I am not allowed to enjoy or grasp the meaning of happiness like any other people in the world do. Filipinos are one of the happiest people in the world but I think statistics failed to count me. Even though all the other factors that are happening in my life right now are doing so good, some are even the best so far I have experienced, I am still unhappy and depressed because of love.

Some people are trying to cheer me up and I reply them a smiley face because I don't want them to go with my depression. Moving on is not a choice for me.

Thanks for reading this post.

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March 29, 2010

Gerald Santos - Birthday Concert

Gerald Padua Santos, Pinoy Pop Superstar Year 2 grand champion, will be having his first major concert this May 15 at Cinema 6 SM North Edsa. He was born on May 15, 1990 that’s why the concert is entitled ‘Back on Track, a Birthday Concert’. Jolina Magdangal and Kyla will also be performing in his concert.

I have been following Gerald since he was still a contestant in the Pinoy Pop Superstar. Up to now, I am still watching and downloading his videos from the internet. I also joined recently the Geraldicts fans club which helped me track videos of performances of Gerald. My ‘My Videos’ folder is filled with Gerald Santos’ shows.

Ticket prices are P200, P300, and P750. For more information visit Gerald Santos’ fan page in facebook at I really hope I can book a ticket to Manila and a ticket for the concert or else I will miss a portion of my life.

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March 11, 2010

My Design for the CSG Shirt 2010

Last February, all CS students of the University of the Philippines Cebu were informed that there will be a t-shirt design competition sponsored by the Computer Science Guild. The prize is a free t-shirt with the winning design of course. During the first few days of the competition, I was lazy and pay little attention to submitted designs posted in the CSG wall and facebook photo albums. Then one Sunday, I was encouraged by my classmate to join the competition. I created a design and then emailed it to the CSG president.

I was informed by the president that I submitted my design late and there is already a winner. Even though my design was in vain, I still uploaded my t-shirt design in my facebook album and tagged some CS students in it. There were a lot of people (take note the word phrase ‘a lot’) who likes my design and wants it to be the official shirt of CS students for 2010. I explained to them that I was late to submit and I was disqualified in the t-shirt competition.

One day, the CSG president messaged me asking for the PSD format of my design. I was so happy because I thought he will reconsider mine. I was shocked when they released the final design of the t-shirt for CS students - a highly modified version of my creation. This is the first time that I did not order an annual CS t-shirt.

People might think that I am angry to certain people but I am not. To people who might be offended with this post, I am sorry. I still have to blame myself for submitting late because I did not pay attention to the poster of the contest. I just learned a lesson.

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February 23, 2010

Steven Silva - StarStruck 5 Ultimate Male Survivor

Steven Silva is not my bet for the title Ultimate Male Survivor for StarStruck V, my vote actually goes to Enzo Pineda. I think judging was fair because he (Steven) deserves to win; it’s just my favoritism pushing me to sort-of complain with the results. Sarah Lahbati was also proclaimed that night the Female Ultimate Survivor. Enzo, Rocco, and Diva ended as runner-ups in the reality based star search. Steven, as well as Sarah, won a 3.5 million contract with GMA-7 and 1.5 million pesos money.

For me, this StarStruck Season V is the best season so far not just because of the wonderful episodes and amazing hosts but also because of the beautiful and handsome contestants like Princess, Sef, Ian, and Piero. My favorite hopeful of all time is Sef Cadayona, a commercial model who was unfortunately third to be eliminated.

The final judgment night was held at the Araneta Coliseum last February 21. The venue was crowded with color coded fans.

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February 14, 2010

We Are the World Music Video - Haiti Tribute

The song ‘We are the World’ was originally written to raise awareness for famine victims of Africa. Composed 25 years ago by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, this song topped the music charts across the world. The last recording date of the song was held on February 28, 1985 and on March 7, 1985, the song was released worldwide.

This year, ‘We are the World’ was revived to initiate a fundraising activity for Haiti earthquake victims. This time, the song was sung by over 70 stars and singers which include Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, and Justin Bieber. Justin sang the opening of the song with a very cute voice quality. There were also parts of the music video wherein Michael Jackson’s original rendition was incorporated.

Some famous stars I know who were in the music video are Josh Groban, Carlos Santana, The Jonas Brothers, Nicole Scherzinger, Mary J. Blidge, Miley Cyrus, Enrique Iglesias, Jamie Foxx, Pink, and Jennifer Hudson. For me, the revival of the song was a great masterpiece by the producers and the artists who took part in making the music video.

To know more and help Haiti earthquake victims, just visit ‘We are the World Foundation’ website. To donate $ 10, text ‘WORLD’ to 50555 or buy this song at the iTunes store.

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February 11, 2010

Paul Jake Castillo as PBB Double Up Big Winner

Honestly, I only watch PBB Double Up once or twice a week because the rest of my days are reserved for thesis. Among the housemates, my favorites are Tibo, Johan, and Paul Jake and yes you’re right, my favorites belong to the big five. Of course, my vote goes to the Cebuano businessman Paul Jake Castillo.

Paul Jake is a 24-year old businessman who loves online games and Brad Pitt and yes, he’s still single. He literally changed the way I live my life because before, I hate text voting in TVs and radios, but now, I already cast my vote for Paul Jake four times. Even before, I hate texting even to my friends but now, I can’t imagine I’m texting and receives a machine generated reply. To vote via mobile for Paul Jake, just text BBS JAKE and send to 2331 for Globe, Sun Cellular, TM and Bayan Wireless subscribers and 231 for Smart and Talk N’ Text subscribers.

I think Paul Jake deserves to become the big winner of PBB Double Up because his attitude is so real – a typical ‘hambog na lalake’.

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February 7, 2010

Gliese 581 c, d, and e - Possible Habitable Planets

Just 20.3 light years away from earth lay a red dwarf star as old as our own sun named Gliese 581. This star has planets of its own and is the 87th closest star system next to our sun. The Gliese 581 star system is believed to have four planets; Gliese 581 b, c, d, and e.

Artists' impression of the Gliese 581 star system.

Most extra solar planets found by astronomers are closely the size of Jupiter or a lot bigger but Gliese 581c is just one third of the earth's size which means that the planets' gravitational force is just similar to that of our own. Gliese 581c lies in a belt called the habitable zone, an area around a certain star which enables water to be in its liquid form.

Gliese 581c is believed to have a runaway greenhouse effect and is more similar to Venus rather than earth. Just within the border of the habitable zone is the Gliese 581d which is roughly 7 to 14 times the size of the earth. Because it is in the habitable zone, water in this planet could be in liquid form and therefore, life could possibly exist.

In April 2009, astronomers found out that a planet which they named Gliese 581e in the same star system exists and has the size roughly close to earth. So far, this planet has the size closest to that of the earth than any of the extrasolar planets discovered.

More at:
Philippines Best of Blogs

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January 23, 2010

Café World Delays My Thesis

I can honestly say to myself that I am so addict with Facebook applications like Farm Town, Farm Ville, and Mafia Wars. These past few months, I’ve spent so many hours playing Café World. Even though I am so busy working with my thesis, The Rookie Slide Presenter and Editor, I still allocate a time everyday just to play this cooking-inspired flash game by Zynga.

Presently, I am level 44 (Pots and Pans Chieftain with 148,307 experience points) in Café World. I can already cook lots of food at this level. Please feel free to add me as a neighbor in this humble sophisticated flash game (if we are friends in Facebook).

I really enjoyed playing this game because the fun never ends as long as the cook (yourself) is still cooking. My only message to the players and future players of this game is that don’t be addict like me…

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January 21, 2010

Gerald Santos - Pinakahihintay

I am so frustrated that I wasn’t able to buy Gerald Santos’ latest album ’Pinakahihintay’. I saw his album once in Audio City but I didn’t have enough money at that point of time. I decided to buy it the next day. When I went back to the store, the sole copy of his album was gone.

I really love Gerald’s songs because it is so melodramatic. My favorite songs in this album are Gotta be Strong, Because of this One Song, I Promise You, and Hanggang. Other songs included in this album are Dadalangin Sa’yo, Andyan ka Lang, I Cannot Imagine, Pinakahihintay, Kailan Masasabi, and This Feeling Inside. This album is under Prinstar Music Philippines which is a new independent recording company.

I already bought Gerald’s first album ‘A Day on the Rainbow’ way back in 2007 and it's a great album. I also love his pictures in this album because it has a pastel theme.

Inside Gerald's 'A Day on the Rainbow Album'.

I wish I can buy Gerald’s new album ‘Pinakahihintay’ as soon as possible but before I can buy it, I have to scour every music store here in Cebu and find it.

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About The Rookie Blogger

This is a personal blog of James Arnold. This blog contains posts about travel, technology, dining, and many more. James is also a freelance photographer that caters events such as weddings, debuts, birthdays, and even personal photoshoots. You can contact him through +63 916 659 7001 if you have any questions or plans to advertise on this blog.