Recently, I allowed myself another lens purchase, the Sigma 8-16mm. f/4.5-5.6 DC ultra-ultra-wide lens.
Yes, for a photographer who focuses on portraiture photography, it is quite a strange and new experience for me to use one in the field, since I'm not exactly into landscapes. Most of the time, I'd be taking close-up shots of people in events, particularly when they're doing something quite interesting enough to be placed on print, like a sudden burst of laughter from them upon hearing a joke or seeing some antic, a bonding moment between the bride and the groom, or even the sight of two hands holding each other... These are the things that I believe would bring out the message or essence in any given wedding or party event. After all, I'm a people-person, so to speak. ;)
The reason I bought this is that as a portrait photographer, I still have uses for such a lens, particularly in events where lots of people flock together for a really big group shot. Sometimes a kit lens' wide end of 18mm just couldn't cut it, since there may be instances that space is limited and thus stepping back to fit 50 people in the frame may be impossible. It is not for me to tell them to, say, go only in groups of ten, or get rid of your respective girlfriends and/or boyfriends to save space... It is up to them as to how many people they'd like to have in any photo, and it's up to me to capture that group, no matter how insanely many they could be, or how ridiculously restrictive the space may be.
This is where this lens comes in.
I was hanging out in a certain school, waiting for my mother (who's a teacher there) to finish their meeting, when this little guy appeared. Coincidentally, I was eating a Fish-Fillet Sandwich (which would more-or-less account for the kitten's appearance), so I gave him some bits of bread and fish. Eventually, the kitten saw me not as a threat but as a "food source", so he inched nearer to me while eating his share of Fish-Fillet goodness, which in turn gave me the opportunity to take some shots of him...
...and yes, that's just a kitten you're looking at.
Camera Settings: 1/100th of a sec. shutter speed, ISO 800, at 200mm. focal length, no flash
Sometimes even the most mundane domestic creature can be interesting at times, especially when viewed up close and personal. ;)
...especially when others aren't looking. ;)
This is one of my favorite "tricks" whenever I'm in an event, or anywhere else for that matter. At any given point in time, I might find a person or two doing something enjoyable, like a good conversation with each other, or a little showcase /sharing of their belongings, may these be in handheld video-games, wallet pictures, or digital cameras. The moment I see anything of the sort, I go full burst mode and machine-gun my camera away.
I know, I know. Wait for the decisive moment, then shoot away. Because of this, I could even remember a funny quote from a famous web presenter on a Youtube video:
"...you don't need to capture the decisive moment. You just capture the whole moment, and decide later."
Then he shoots away on his Canon 1DMkIV at 10 frames per second. ;)
I was totally laughing my sides off when I heard him say this, partly because it's false, and partly because it's true at the same time (but actually, you should watch the video instead so you'll know why he's shooting at 10 FPS). True, there's the decisive moment to watch out for. But sometimes the decisive moment can be made up of the whole moment itself, or the little moments that make up an entirely new story....
...something that looks like this:
When it comes to me being in the church for any occasion whatsoever, I could be at least one of three things: a photographer, a musician (yes, I'm not kidding here), or a simple parishioner. Recently in one of Tagaytay's chapels, The Chapel on The Hill, I was the second. So I didn't really bring much of my camera gear there, save for one body, one lens, and one flash. Of course, I'd still expect to find something or someone nice there, so I brought along all of my batteries, just to be on the safe side. I glad though that I prepped up some of my gear (along with my wedding songs and lyrics), since I almost forgot how marvelous the place is, and how beautiful my good friend and choirmate Jazz is, who was also with me.
Since I only brought one lens, namely the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8II lens, taking shots of the scenery's not exactly ideal, if not easy enough. But I was expecting Jazz to be at her prettiest on that day, so I concentrated on portraiture photography, and simply took some casual shots of her just to spend the time while waiting for the bride and groom (among others) to arrive.
Unfortunately, despite the beautiful interior of the chapel, the walls and ceiling are mostly painted dark brown, so bounce flash wasn't exactly ideal; the dark paint would simply absorb much of the light from the flash, not to mention that any resulting bounced light would be deep brown in color. But there are lots of greeneries there, and the outside walls and ceiling were painted white (or at least some of them, but it's enough), so I decided to simply take shots of her then and there.
A couple of days back, one of my friends was generous enough to give me a new version of the Philippine Twenty Peso Bill during one of our batch reunions. I was even lucky enough to receive a note that has a quite interesting serial number, something that looks like this:
On the way home, I remembered seeing an article about the rebuffed security measures in producing these new notes. Being the naturally curious guy that I always am, I couldn't help but to wonder if there's anything else in this note that cannot be seen with the naked eye, save for the UV marking, of course. So, with my crisp bill in my hands, I decided to place it under a nano-microscope.... or rather, my camera, fitted with my AF-S Nikkor 35mm. f/1.8G lens, and a set of extension tubes. ;)