After a month of inactivity, I write once again.
No, I didn't really go anywhere; I was simply tied up with some of the activities done for the past thirty days, most of them concerning the current events here in my country like the Holy Week, graduation ceremonies, and others (for some of you who follow my writings, you'd remember that I'm also a musician as well as a photographer). I was also blessed with the opportunity to partake in quite a number of event coverages, but sadly I didn't have enough time to tell you about my experiences and stories with these, much less post photos in my gallery, at the very least. I did, however, manage to share some of my recent works in my Facebook Page, most of which needed some explanation as to how that shot was made, or the interesting anecdotes that would arise due to them. Plainly speaking, it is just a matter of time until I write all these things, and eventually place the site back on full-throttle.
It's great to be back.
As readers may notice, there was quite a lack of activity in my site lately, and this is because of the recent non-photographic works and activities that I must attend to. Nevertheless, even though I haven't updated the site, I've lots of topics already prepared in mind, and will share them to all of you as soon as I can.
For the moment, let me just share this (somewhat) cliché photo of a hair-flip-in-a-pool, courtesy of Jazz, my faithful Assistant. (yes, she gets to relax once in a while, while I still hold a camera in my hands. Okay, we're both taking a dip here, but only to keep our minds sane from the tolls of work and whatnot.)
Gear Used - Nikon D7000, SB-900 Speedlight, Sigma 85mm. f/1.4 Prime Lens
Camera Settings: 1/250th sec., at f/5.6, ISO 100, with off-camera flash
Will return to this photo on my next entry.
I'll be busy for a whole day event tomorrow, so I might as well share this now while I still have the chance to do so. ;)
Oh, about the background? Well, that's just a set of lights hung on a Christmas Tree (this shot was taken last Christmas Season). As for the way they look, I only slapped a cut-out of a heart shaped hole on a round cardboard in front of my lens, and the out-of-focus lights became just like that. A few tips to remember though: this method is best done using a prime lens, as the cardboard will block some of the front element, causing less light to enter the camera sensor. A Speedlight is also recommended to make your subject "pop" a bit. Also, you can try other shapes for your cardboard cutout, or you can even cut out an outline of your name. The possibilities are quite endless.
Happy shooting, and Happy Valentine's to all! :)
One of my little "habits" in covering events is that I would sometimes sneak up behind a photographer and take a photo of him/her taking a photo of a group of people, without him/her hardly noticing me at all. Another similar case is that I would take photos of people taking photos of themselves using their own DSLR or Point-and-Shoot cameras. Most of the time, they wouldn't really know that a "double exposure" was made until the photos are eventually shared to them by the clients via email, facebook, or the like.
I usually pull shots like this out of two simple reasons: 1.) a little story is made by capturing two interacting parties with their genuine expressions radiating in the photo, something that can be usually achieved if the photographer (in the photo) is someone dear and close to them, and 2.) if I need to take shots of interacting people, opportunities like this is one of the best ways for me to do so, without disturbing anyone in the process.
...which brings me to a little anecdote that I derived from a wedding that I attended, of which I came not as a photographer, but simply as a guest.
IMHO, in every wedding event, one of the best and fun moments is the part where the bouquet gets launched into the air.
Wait. What bouquet? Where is it? If it's not there, what are they doing? A little practice run before the actual thing?
Not really: it just so happened that the bride threw the bouquet a bit too high. :)
As I mentioned before in one of my old posts, for more than 8 months I was left to fend for myself against the outside world without a computer to aid me in my profession as a photographer.
I could recall the days where I had to rely on my friends for help just to transfer some shots to a hard-drive that was not even my own. Every time I would end a photo coverage, I would sometimes give the memory cards to my clients, giving them a stern warning to take good care of it, since it is, after all, the only storage device on the planet that houses those precious shots. Lose the card, or have it "accidentally" corrupted, and the entire coverage is gone, and a myriad of precious memories are brought to nonexistence because of it. Of course, eventually, the cards return to me, but I didn't have the capability to back them up in a separate hard drive at home. So the files remained there. And when the time came for all my memory cards to reach maximum capacity, I had no choice but to buy more cards. As of now, it's a good thing, since I have quite a number of memory cards, all of which I have found to be highly reliable and durable, since the files in them remained uncorrupted overtime, no matter how many photos I stuff in, or how often I use them, which is a lot.
Storage is one thing, processing the photos is another. The best "computer" that I had during those times was none other than my trusty iPad. Sure, there was (and is still) no real Mobile Photoshop CSWhatever app from Adobe, save for a Photoshop Express App that does basically 5% (and by five, I'm being generous here) of what CS5 can actually give you - cropping, rotating, and other basic features. There was, however, this great app called Tiffen Photo FX Ultra (yes, this app was developed by the same company that produces on of the highest quality lens filters found in the industry) which allows me to do some moderate processing on the photos, from the standard color retouching, image masking, up to the healing and cloning tools. Yes, I once used this app to do posts on a lot of photos, including a set of wedding photos which were printed to 12 x 18 inch sizes, but as far as batch processing is concerned, this still left me wanting for more.
For a good head-start this 2012, I am pleased to announce that I now include the creation of photobooks as an add-on for my products and services.
This is a 40-page, hardbound book, containing forty 8 x 10 inch photos, all printed in premium matte photo paper (other paper types are also available). The thick pages are edged with luxurious black paper lining, and metal corners are fitted on each for that elegant feel, as well as to protect the pages themselves.
The whole book is bound in padded leatherette, and a magnetized flap clamps the covers shut when this is stowed in the shelves.
Of course, all photos are meticulously picked, placed, and processed by yours truly, to ensure that each memorable moment may be reminisced every time you open a page.
For those interested, you may contact me at my email address or phone number for further details.
*prices and details are subject to change without prior notice
Starting tomorrow, I will be taking a break off the internet (or at least in updating this site) and will be back next year (it's not that long, anyway) with more stories, reviews, and anything else I may think of. For the moment, here's a photo I've been saving just for this occasion.
...and yes, that's a real background you're looking at there; Jazz and I brought up a myriad of Christmas lights at the back to provide the lovely bokeh-balls you see there. :)
A Blessed Christmas, and a happily prosperous New Year to All! :)
On my usual sunday stroll along my favorite mall in Ortigas (guess where), I happen to stumble upon a toy convention in one of the Megatrade Halls there (yes, in that mall. ^_^). Lots of people were abuzz there, a plethora of toys and collectibles were sold at fairly low prices, cosplayers, roughly platoons of them, were all over the area, and of course, photo enthusiasts with their cameras came in packs to take shots of everything and everyone there. As always, I brought along my camera, mounted with my favorite walk-around lens, the Sigma 85mm. f/1.4 prime (yes, more often than not, I prefer this prime over my 70-200 f/2.8, simply because I prioritize large apertures and better image quality over the benefits of a zoom, even if ti's an f/2.8 version) and happily mingled with the crowd. :)
Jazz, my wonderful assistant-slash-model-slash-and-more, once invited me to one of her school's activities, a Stoplight-Themed Pageant/Party at the Icon, a Club that is located at The Intercontinental Hotel in Makati. Since the Icon is pretty much what one would expect in a prestigious club - lots of laser lights, fog machines, sub-woofers the size of your average armoire, disco balls, and pretty much assorted visual effects all confined in a very dimly-lit expanse of a room - photography there would be quite a task, even if one would bring out a DSLR mounted with a very fast prime. No matter how one would look at it, a camera's AF system would still need a significant amount of light for it to function properly, otherwise it will just hunt in the dark (no pun intended). This is where the benefits of a flashgun becomes very apparent, not just as a stronger source of light versus the kind of light that pop-up flashes would give, but also as a critical AF assistant.