Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings: Blog en-us Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings (Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings) Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:09:00 GMT Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:09:00 GMT Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings: Blog 105 120 Photography and Life Photography is more than art to me personally. It is a way of life. For example:



Photography: If you want a good photo you have to take many pictures.

Life: If you want to get a good job you have to be aggressive and send a lot of resumes.



 Photography: You have to sort through all the rejected photos and keep on taking shots until you have a good picture.

Life: Don’t let rejection knock you down. Get back up and try again until you get what you want.



Photography: An excellent photographer always is pro active at getting good angles.

Life: It is good to be creative and make your own luck. Sometimes luck doesn’t find you. You have to find it.



Photography: Adjust and correct your mistakes from incorrect exposure and technical error.

Life: All ways strive to be a better person. It is good to admit mistakes, learn from them, and change.



Photography: Work hard to learn the various settings and know your own camera. know how to work with many different camera’s as well.

Life: It is good to be a hard worker, be open to learn new things, and master your skills in your career.



Photography: Don't take no for an answer when someone tells you can’t take a photo when it is legal.

Life: Be persistent and have perseverance.



 Photography: Push the boundaries and create innovative forms of art.  If there is a wall in the way of your shot find a way around it.

Life: It is good to be a creative problem solver.



Photography: If someone says that they don’t like your photo for sale.  Finds someone else who does.

Life: Have confidence in your abilities



Photography: My brother asked me once, “Why do you think you are a good photographer?” I replied,” Because I can see beauty that no one else can see.”

Life: It is important to see the beauty that no one else can see not just in photography but in life.


For example: A man is disabled. He has a terrible impairment. A lot of people might not be able to see past his disability. But if you look past the disability. You may be surprised to see a beautiful person full of character and heart. A man that can teach you how to be happy when you don’t have a lot. How to focus on things you have instead of things you don’t have. How to generally appreciate things more and be a happier person.


Because of these principles of photography I have some good pictures and even better experiences.

]]> (Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings) Appreciation Beauty Buy Prints, Character Confidence Disability Awareness, Life Morals Photography Photos Prints aggressive creative hard working, helping others, lessons rejection Sun, 22 Dec 2013 12:11:50 GMT
A Rainy Day in Sydney Australia Australia


               On the plane to Sydney I chatted with a nice man on the plane. I asked him if he knew of any good restaurants in Australia. He recommended going to the Sky deck in downtown Sydney. They had a buffet there that had a 360 degree view of the city. The restaurant revolves around the buffet and you can see the entire city as the restaurant turns. He also recommended Oliver’s Italian in little Italy. I then became hungry as I watched, “Anthony Bourdon’s: No Reservations” It is a great show and I like the character. Anthony Bourdain went to Porteno a Argentinean restaurant with excellent meat entrees, Harry's Meat Pies, The Golden Century in Chinatown, Winston Churchill’s one of the oldest butcher shops, and Chadwick’s Restaurant.  Anthony has a cool life similar to mine except he makes money off traveling and eating food. While I only spend money doing it. One thing I would have to say about the show is that the main character complains a lot throughout the show when something doesn’t go right. But on the other hand if everything went perfectly on the trip it wouldn’t be as interesting. I also could understand how Anthony must be a weary traveler at times and he is an older man. What am I talking about...I complain a lot too.

               I was really excited to land in Sydney. It had been raining in New Zealand for 8 days straight; I was looking forward to a little sunshine. After talking to my friend and reading my book called, “1001 places to see before you die,” The plane landed. It wasn’t the smoothest landing but I was happy I got there safely. I opened my Airplane window slit and to my surprise it was raining dogs and cows. The flight attendant then announced that it would be raining throughout the week and weekend. Four days straight. That would make two weeks straight of rain. After departing the plane I went to the currency exchange to change my us dollars for the Australian currency, it was a rip off. I went to the ATM instead and withdrew 4220 Australian dollars. I tried to get a cab it was 50 Australian dollars so I took the train for $16.00 Australian dollars from the airport to central station.

                I picked up my luggage from the baggage claim. As I pulled my roller suitcase it seemed a lot heavier than usual. After I got off the train my luggage felt heavier than ever. I looked at the ground and to my despair the two wheels on my roller suitcase were destroyed. I had been unknowingly dragging my 65 pounds roller suitcase for about 30 minutes on the ground. I noticed black streaks on the airport pavement as far as I could see…oops. That’s what happens when you a buy a $50 dollar suitcase at target I guess. You get what you pay for. My bags made a loud squeak sound as I dragged them. People stared at me oddly. I knew what they were thinking, “stupid typical tourist.” It’s to no surprise I got that look. When you throw squeaky luggage, a large over sized map, pouring rain, and a flimsy umbrella. You have one very big pain in of a tourist. The stupid questions. The lost expression on my face. On top of an American accent. It’s a big smelly storm of gas to any Australian. I walked to my hostel in the pouring rain. The Australians stayed out of my way as if I was Moses and they were the parting of the sea.

                           I turned my roller suitcase backwards. It had four wheels so I turned it around so the working wheels were facing the ground. The squeaking stopped but then I looked ridiculous dragging my roller suitcase the wrong way with the luggage part of the suitcase pointed to the ground. It was a lose-lose situation. Eventually my roller suitcase didn’t roll anymore. It transformed majestically into a over sized 60 pound brief case. I tried to look at it in a positive way. I don’t run into too many Gym’s on my travel and it could be a good work out. Or it could just give me back problems. But I was hopeful carrying the suitcase would be a good work out. That was until my suitcase zipper broke…

               The lesson of the story…don’t go to Target to get a $50 suitcase. Go to Ross and get a $50 suitcase. And don’t act like me in Australia. Strike that. Don’t act me anywhere. Act like Anthony Bourdain. He gets free meals at the best restaurants and doesn’t have crappy luggage from Target.


]]> (Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings) 50 dollar suitcase, Airplane Anthony Bourdain, Australian Restaurants, Baggage Bags Food New Zealand, Photography Rainy day, Restaurants Ross Steaks Target broken suitcase, suitcase Sun, 22 Dec 2013 11:44:23 GMT
My Trip To Egypt During the Revolution -August 2013 Egypt



Here is a conversation I had with my Brother via face book when I told him I might go to Egypt:


Michael Reeves

Hey, I've been watching BBC world news. They say Egypt is on the verge of another revolution, they want the president thrown out. It looks like they're heading towards a civil war

  •, 5:14pm

Michael Reeves

The government and police work for Allah. It's extremely unsafe for anyone who does something secular, like not being Muslim. Egypt has morphed into something really bad.

  •, 5:51pm

Michael Reeves

CNN reports the same. 13 killed at Cairo University. President vs. Military. Major Clashes. I'm not asking you to not go; I'm begging as your brother. Please avoid Egypt.



Dare I go to Egypt?


I accessed my decisions with the Pro’s and Con’s…


Pro’s of going to Egypt:


 If I did not go I would not get a refund for my plane ticket I booked 5 months ago. I also have travelled around the world on a 5 month journey. My goal was to join one of 2,000 members of World Century Club. A club exclusively for people who have travelled to over 100 countries. I also wanted to see all the wonders of the world. This Civil War was getting in the way of my goal.


Con’s of going to Egypt:


I could get shot, beat up, or robbed. Thrown in jail. Be a political prisoner. Get kidnapped. Lots of ugly options here. It seemed like a no brainer not to go.


I thought about it for several weeks and came to the conclusion:


                  I was not going to go around the world and not see the Great Giza Pyramids! I would feel like an unaccomplished traveling fool to have traveled around the world and not see the pyramids. I don’t care if I get shot, beat up, or robbed! I was going to see those damn pyramids. I felt like a stubborn child who would refuse to listen to his wise elders. But I didn’t care. With this final decision my stubborn hard headed nature was truly revealed.


The day before my departure to Cairo I became nervous. I told my friends at my hostel in Israel that I was going to Cairo tomorrow. They thought I was crazy. In some ways I agreed with them. My stubbornness defied logic and common sense. I was simply that stubborn.


                  I arrived in Cairo late Thursday close to midnight. Once I got my luggage at the baggage claim midnight had passed and it became Friday early morning. The sun had not come up and it was still very dark. I then realized the dilemma of my situations. I had arrived at precisely the wrong place and the wrong time in Cairo. This was a receipt for disaster. Friday is “The day of Rage,” for the Muslim Brotherhood. The day where the Muslims come back from their Mosques and protest against the fall of President Mohammed Morsi Regime. Two weeks ago a protest left 1,500 protesters dead as well as many injuries. The high death toll shook financial markets around the world and lead to heavy criticism from the United Nations. The Protest was held 7 km or an estimated 4.5 miles from my hotel.  Am I crazy? Maybe. But a wise American Billionaire Entrepreneur named Warren Buffet once said, “When those are fearful be Greedy. When those are Greedy be fearful.” I know this is out of context as it applies to the Stock Market. But for some strange reason I felt it applied to my dire predicament that I foolishly placed myself in.


As I walked through the airport I noticed it was empty. There was no sign of tourists. Only a lot of military guarding the airport with machine guns. They guarded the airport as if it was a fort that needed to be protected. On second thought maybe it was.


As I walked out of the airport it was pitch black. A horde of Muslim Taxi drivers waited for me like vultures. One aggressively approached me and grabbed my luggage out of my hand. He pushed me aggressively in order to grab my luggage. I pushed him back and reclaimed my things.


“I do not need a taxi!” I yelled as I puffed my chest to look more intimidating.


“Ok. Ok!” he yelled back.  He then turned around to go back to the horde of taxi drivers waiting hopelessly at the empty airport.


“You scared him away!” a taxi driver screamed. They then starting yelling at another and a fight ensued. Several taxi drivers started beating one another up. I was worried I was next. I hurried back to the airport entrance. The automatic door did not open and I was locked out. I knocked furiously on the windows. A guard opened the automatic door with a key. I told him about the situation and he said he would get me a cab I could trust. The cab driver arrived after about 15 minutes. The Military police escorted me to the car. The military turned around back to the airport entrance. As I negotiated with the cab driver about the fare outside of the cab.


I turned my head and noticed at the corner of my eye that5 Muslims approached me.


Where are you from!?!” yelled one of them.


“Are you American?!” he yelled.


          I didn’t know what to say. I knew I couldn’t say I was American. Who knows what would happen. They obviously were pissed off that I might be American.  My survival instincts kicked in and I stopped negotiating with the taxi driver. I threw my things in the back of the cab promptly and slammed the door as hard as I could. I then locked the door.


The man then yelled again from outside the cab,” Hey I was talking to you! Are you America?!?


I thought of a clever plan: I pointed at my ears and raised my hands and pointed at my mouth. I was signing that I was deaf. I didn’t mutter a word.  It threw them off guard for a moment. One of the men reached into the slightly opened window to unlock the door latch from the inside of the taxi. I punched the man’s arm a few times and yelled at my taxi man, “Drive!!!”


This wasn’t the best start to my trip in Egypt. I just hope this taxi ride to my hotel doesn’t take too long…


                    Long story short. My taxi ride to my hotel took a long, long time. About 7 hours longer than what my G.P.S. reported as about a 40 minute taxi drive. I was questioned by dozens of military for hours at a time at 3 check points. The freeways and all roads were  barricaded by military personnel and tanks after sundown. There was no where to go but through the check points. At the check points the military searched through my bags thoroughly. They concluded that my vitamins in my bag were, “Chemical weapons.” after hours of persuasion they let me go. I finally arrived to my hotel and stayed in my hotel all day and slept.  I was told not to go outside by the hotel staff as it was too dangerous. It was pointless to go outside as well because all the major tourist attractions in Egypt became closed down on that day. Bad timing…

                    But the following day on a Saturday. The sun was bright. The air just felt right. I triumphed. The Great Giza Pyramids became open again that day. The protests had died down. First thing in the morning I took a taxi to my destination. On the way to my final destination the streets were empty. There were signs of mass protests on the roads from the day before. Trash and broken windows was a common scene. As well as ambulance sirens. The taxi dropped me off. As I arrived I negotiated with a man to borrow his camel. After paying $30 US dollars I hopped up on my Camel. He was a very stubborn camel and took some time to tame.  He was almost as stubborn as me. I put on my white Turban. Then smoked a victory Cigarette on my camel’s back. I then approached the Great Giza Pyramids. We were the only stubborn crazy ones there. It was empty and what a sight. Right in front of me stood the 2,000 year old Remnants of the most fascinating civilization of all time.  It was well worth it and I had it all to myself.

                    The next few weeks I did not have any trouble with the Egyptian military and the protests died down. The rest of the trip was a smooth ride. I visited Luxor, Aswan, and Alexandria in addition to Cairo. I was the only tourist in the Valley of Kings, The Temple of Karnak, and the Library of Alexandria. As a photographer this was heaven. Not only did I have the treasures of Egypt all to myself to take countless unobstructed photos. But I stayed at 5 star hotels for $30 US Dollars a night overlooking the pyramids and Luxor. There were more hotel staff than guests so the service was unmatched. Buffet meals included as well as some discounted taxi rides. Most of the time being stubborn doesn't pay off. Especially for a American tourist in the middle of a violent conflict  between Military and Civilians. Luckily for me it did.









]]> (Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings) 5 star hotel, Airport Alexandria American tourist, Aswan Blog Buy Travel photos, Cairo Egypt Egypt Revolution, Egyptian Military, Egyptian Protests, Foolish Kings Luxor Military Photography Revolution Tourist Valley brother buy prints dangerous day of rage, family funny lucky of photographer photos pictures prints story stubborn stupid tourist, the travel pictures, Sun, 22 Dec 2013 11:04:39 GMT
The Top 10 Pros and Cons of Traveling Top 10 Pros of Traveling


  1. The International Food: France, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, and China.
  2. The Photography
  3. It’s a spontaneous lifestyle when you are traveling by yourself. You can do whatever you want…when you want.  Every day is exciting…you never know who you are going to meet and where you will be the next day.
  4. It is good to take a break from American culture. A break from untalented music stars on the radio, box office flops, social media sites, cell phone addiction, and reality TV.
  5. Traveling changes your perspective on life. You don’t just have an American perspective. But a diverse perspective on what life means.
  6. While traveling you learn new things about various cultures such as cultural practices, history, and language.
  7. After traveling through third world countries it helps me get through my low points. When I have had a bad day or I catch myself complaining too much. Which I may at times.  I remember the poor families in the slums of India making three dollars a day for hard labor. The 83 year old women servant carrying a 75 pound bag of rice up a steep hill in La Paz, Bolivia. Or the homeless children in Manila, Philippines who beg for money and food. After these experiences. I realize at times my weekly issues aren’t really issues at all. Compared to these people.
  8. You can get great deals on clothes and food. In Indonesia I got a $1 all you can eat buffet. In Koh Phi Phi, Thailand I stayed at a 5 star hotel ocean view suite for $75 dollars a night.
  9. It’s good to get away from a mundane and predictable lifestyle. The 8-5 pm job and boss. It’s good to have a change.
  10. As an American you lose a lot of weight traveling for 6 months. There isn’t a McDonald’s or Starbucks for thousands of miles…well maybe hundreds of miles. McDonald’s is everywhere spreading their mystery meat, fried potato strings, imitation cheese, and lard shakes.


Top 10…..Cough…14… Cons of Traveling


  1. Annoying questions like:

"Where are you from?" Followed by, "Did you vote for George Bush?"

"Are you Ryan Gosling?"

"You’re from La?" I respond, "yes." Then they ask, "Are you an actor?" Then I think to myself, “Yeah everyone in Los Angeles is an actor…there are no teachers, doctors, or police officers. We are just playing our part in a big movie like in the Truman Show with Jim Carrey.”

 Lastly of course… "Do you eat a lot of McDonalds?"

  1. Fellow Travelers  that are unpleasant towards Americans based on stereotypes
  2. Getting hassled. For example: an X-ray machine security guard or police officer asking for money.  Or guides asking for money for taking photo’s at “forbidden places.”
  3. Crying babies on planes
  4. Different weight requirements on airlines. Some weight requirements are 40 pounds while others are 12 pounds. So what I am I supposed to add and subtract 20 pounds of luggage per flight?
  5. Taxi drivers that pretend they don’t know English…until they need to negotiate the fare…then they are fluent.
  6. Hostels: Sharing a room/bathroom with 6-10 people, stereotypes, culture clashes, no heating or air conditioning, cold showers, and not safe at times.
  7. Solicitors
  8. Broken or lost luggage

11.) A person that is sitting next to you on a flight and wants to talk about American politics for 12 hours.

12.) Dread Aussies (Australians with Dreadlocks). Had a bad experience with an Australian with dreadlocks once. Somehow the Aussies Dreads got in my mouth while we hit turbulence during my flight.

13.) Wrong directions from people that think they understand English and tell you to go 2 miles in the opposite direction.

14.) People that think you should know there language for a 5 day stay in their country. For example…I met a group of people who knew English but refused to speak it. Seemed like a good waste of the English teacher’s time.

]]> (Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings) 6 6 months traveling, 6 months, America American Culture American Stereotypes, Bolivia Cell Phones, Cons Countries Culture Disadvantages of traveling, Diversity Education English English Language, Food Helping Others, Hostels India Obesity Perspective Photography Poverty Pros Pros and Cons of traveling, Reality Television, Social Media, Travel advantages of traveling, Sun, 22 Dec 2013 10:10:39 GMT
Best Countries in the World for Photography South America

  1. Brazil
  2. Argentina
  3. Ecuador
  4. Peru


North America

  1. Canada
  2. USA
  3. Mexico
  4. Costa Rica


  1. France
  2. Italy and Sicily
  3.  Greek islands
  4. England
  5. Ireland
  6.  Spain
  7. Slovenia
  8. Germany
  9.  Austria
  10. Luxemburg
  11.  Belgium
  12.  Amsterdam.



1.) Thailand   2.) Laos   3.) Burma  4.) Indonesia  5.) Malaysia   6.) Japan


The Pacific

  1. New Zealand
  2. Inland Australia outback
  3. Philippines
  4. Indonesia


Middle East

  1. Jordan
  2. Israel
  3. Yemen


  1.  Egypt
  2. Kenya
  3. Zimbabwe
  4. Tanzania
  5. Morocco
]]> (Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings) Best Countries Photography World Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:02:39 GMT
The Basics of Photography: Exposure, Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed. When taking a photograph it is important to know the three important components that affect how light or dark your picture is processed.  How light or dark your picture is characterized as exposure in the field of photography. The three components that affect your exposure are shutter speed, ISO, and Aperture. White balance affects your photos exposure as well but I will discuss that in another blog. It is important to have your camera on manual most of the time. This is the “M,” on your DSLR camera dial. Having your camera on “M,” allows you to adjust your ISO, Shutter speed, and Aperture manually. This gives you more freedom to be creative with your photos than the automatic mode.  The Aperture priority and shutter speed priority are other modes on your camera dial that will be discussed in another blog.

How do you know if your photo is underexposed or over exposed?

DSLR cameras commonly have an exposure meter. If the dot is in the center it is a “perfect exposure.” I don’t necessarily believe it is important to have the dot on the center of the exposure meter every time. Most importantly just look at your photo on the live view after you take it! If it is too bright it is underexposed. Too dark under exposed. Adjust your ISO, Shutter speed, and aperture to get a more balanced exposure if it is too bright or dark.

Aperture: An analogy of aperture would be your pupils in your eye. Have you noticed that when it is dark your pupil gets much larger? Well your cameras aperture gets much larger for the same reasons your pupil gets larger in the dark. The reason why your pupil gets larger is to collect more light into your eye so you can see in the dark adequately and not bump your head! Well the camera aperture (pupil) gets larger it collects more light. More light is collected in your sensor.

Shutter Speed:  The faster the shutter speed the faster your camera takes a picture.  High shutter speeds (example: 1/4000 of a second) are good for wildlife photography, sports, and other fast moving objects (if you want to capture the object at a precise moment). Slow shutter speeds are good for moving objects as well. Objects with a slow shutter speed are recorded for a longer period of time than a fast shutter speed. Slow shutter speeds can give an interesting effect on moving objects. For example taking a picture of a waterfall or ocean with a slow shutter speed (example: 1/10 of a second) will give the water a blurred effect. An analogy of shutter speed would be the door (shutter) in your house (sensor) on a hot windy day. The longer the door (shutter) is open the more light, heat, and wind goes into your house (sensor).  But if your door (shutter) is open for a less amount of time less light, wind and heat will go in your house (sensor).

When the camera has a high shutter speed it also collects less light in the sensor. When the camera doesn't collect enough light it becomes underexposed. This can be a problem with high shutter speeds at night. With high shutter speeds at night your photo’s most likely will be underexposed (too dark).


The ISO range on DSLR cameras goes from below 100 to slightly above 25,000. The higher the ISO the more light the camera collects. Predictably when your camera has a lower ISO it is collecting less light into your sensor. An analogy of ISO would be sparrows collecting food for their baby chicks. The more sparrows (ISO). The more food (Light). High ISO is undesirable because it adds noise to your picture. High noise reduces the quality of photo’s by making your picture very grain and unclear. There are noise removal options in Photoshop and other software programs.

After discussing ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed. I hope you have a good understanding of how to get a good exposure and a unique picture. Now it’s time to use what I taught you. Go Camera Crazy. Take some pictures!

]]> (Jon Roberts Photographic Paintings) Aperture, Exposure, ISO, Shutter, Speed Tue, 17 Dec 2013 07:29:02 GMT