Vanie Castro Takes Pictures

Lamp Posts – Colmar, Alsace, France

In case you haven’t received a mail, or have not been forced to look at it on my phone or in a computer, then you probably don’t know about..

It’s a new domain dedicated purely for photographs I took and soon will take. Thanks to 500px, it doesn’t take too much resources now to set up a fancy web site like this. I couldn’t be happier that finally, my photographs have found a new home where they can be shared to everyone instead of living in the dark shadows of my hard and online drives.

Photography and I go a long way back. As a child, I recall looking through the pages of interior design catalogs or hanging out at bookstores browsing through books I could not afford. But it wasn’t until university years when I learned about this wonderful world called the internet that I realized how much time I could spend looking at and searching photographs. Back then, or even now for some, flickr was the site to join if you are a photography enthusiast. I spent quite some time on flickr explore, seeing the rest of the world through the eyes of other photographers. Someday, I used to say, I will also travel, take pictures, and bring a smile to someone’s gloomy day 🙂

I still have 2 accounts on flickr, one I couldn’t recover because Yahoo decided to disable my account which I haven’t used in years in favor of gmail. Fortunately, even as a teenager, I knew better than to post unnecessary images online.

I worked as a Software Engineer for Canon after getting my bachelor’s degree. Due to non-disclosure agreements, I can’t really share what I worked on, but I can tell you that they involved looking at high quality photographs. 🙂 I still have professional images of Moscow and well prepared still life table arrangements in my head which we used as test data. Working in Canon also means every other person is a photography enthusiast. People who goes to business trips and long term assignments would post beautiful pictures from Japan on social media which I envied looking at every time. As of writing, I still haven’t been to Japan, but it is at the top of my travel list. Finally, we used to get discounts on Canon products as employees, which is most likely why all my 3 cameras are Canon. I don’t think I will ever switch brands. 🙂

I was 22 years old when I got my first camera. It was from the Canon PowerShot line, but I couldn’t recall the exact model. It was pink and silver, and I paid CHF 140 for it. It died a natural death after a few years, and just before I left Canon, I managed to ask someone  to buy another candy bar point-and-shoot from Japan for me. This time, it was a purple Canon Ixus. I still have it and even brought it with me to Switzerland. I don’t use it anymore, but I think it still works perfectly fine.

Around 2012 when I bought my first DSLR. It was a Canon EOS 650D. I bought it in Singapore, but since I would prefer that it documents my family’s life (whom at this point I am 3.5 hours flight away), I left it in the Philippines after my first visit. I couldn’t afford to buy another one for myself so I kept photography at the back of my head. A year later, I couldn’t help it anymore and I bought myself a Canon EOS 700D, which I still happily use as of today. Despite my love for photography, I never sat down to understand the jargons of lenses, so I stayed with the kit lens until December 2016.

I have been very lucky to have found new friends who could figure out easily what brings me joy, or perhaps because I tell them anyway. They gave me a Canon EF-S – 24 mm – f/2.8 STM lens last Christmas! It is a prime lens that is sooo light, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my SLR to hiking trips anymore. 🙂 It was after I received this gift that I realized again how much I enjoy taking pictures. I had the impression that Flickr doesn’t inspire me as much anymore, so I moved to 500px. And it is from there that I am able (with a fee and some fiddling) to create

Have a nice week ahead!