Pursuing Photography

I’ve been doing photography workshops for about 5 years now. Every time I start my workshop, I always ask why they chose to learn photography. A mix of answers would surface, some because there’s a camera lying around the house. A few would say my parents convinced me to enroll but almost always, one would say “because I’ve always wanted to do photography”.

Shot taken by Ceasar Azanza of Macys Camera Shop using Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens. F3.4, 1/125, ISO400.

Shot taken by Ceasar Azanza of Macys Camera Shop using Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens. F3.4, 1/125, ISO400.

Of course our learning curves are all unique. Some who joined without any expectation turned out to be a natural in seeing things creatively. And yeah, some with all the expensive gadgets will seem to have difficulty getting it right. There is really no absolute pattern or a common trait that a person may have for you to know that he will excel in photography. Continue reading “Pursuing Photography” »

Tethered Shooting

When shooting tethered, you get to see your work in a bigger display and will help you see more things that you can improve in your set.

When shooting tethered, you get to see your work in a bigger display and will help you see more things that you can improve in your set.

I had a unique scenario few years back with a client who wants to see the shots while we were shooting. It was on outdoor shoot so we had to connect my camera through its USB port to my enclosed laptop and use Lightroom’s tethering feature. It was a solution at that time but we encountered some concerns along the way.

Yes, the client was happy even if the shots were coming in slow. There’s about 5 seconds delay and I have to shoot it with a good interval between shots so the transfer of data, given the fact that we were shooting raw, wouldn’t be that overwhelming. The connection between the computer and camera somehow keeps on disconnecting.

This is something that I have to deal with every time we need to shoot tethered. I know that I must have done something wrong or a setting that needs to be set since those that I see in youtube are working perfectly fine. Continue reading “Tethered Shooting” »

Back to Studio

Christy Jane Perolino of Stacey Model Management, representing Cebu for the national Bodyshots 2016. Studio setup, fashion gray backdrop and gridded softboxes and some reflectors.

Christy Jane Perolino of Stacey Model Management, representing Cebu for the national Bodyshots 2016. Studio setup, fashion gray backdrop and gridded softboxes and some reflectors.

Recently, I did a portfolio shoot with one of the models of Stacy Model Management and it’s something I haven’t done for a long time. I left photography sometime late 90’s and when I started shooting again 10 years later, it was fashion photography that kept me with photography and the journey has become more interesting than ever

I worked with a lot of Stacy’s models when I was very much active filling up pages for IMAG magazine. I cannot say it was a training ground because until today, I still feel like an apprentice discovering a lot of possibilities and endless imaginations. The learning is always there, it’s up to you how much more you want. Continue reading “Back to Studio” »

An Arm And A Leg

Photography is always perceived to be expensive. While it’s not entirely true, yes there are skyrocket price tag for some camera and lenses. However, you have to understand that in photography, the quality always speaks its price. I think that the decision to buy the expensive ones is critical in your journey in photography.

There is always the question of whether to buy and entry level camera and lenses or to go with the mid level set. There’s always the option to buy pro level equipments if money is not an issue. But if you’re starting up in photography, no matter if you choose to buy the entry level or the pro cameras, your output will almost always be the same.

Pocket Wizard. This remote trigger costs 5 times more than the entry level remote. All for the benefit of reliability. It's pricey alright but it definitely lessens the stress in the set and builds your reputation too.

Pocket Wizard. This remote trigger costs 5 times more than the entry level remote. All for the benefit of reliability. It’s pricey alright but it definitely lessens the stress in the set and builds your reputation too.

The pro camera being expensive has features that are made for professional to be able for them to do their work more efficiently and effectively. By efficiently, I’m referring to the speed and quick functions for you to take your shots in split seconds. Effectively is more on the reliability issue. Continue reading “An Arm And A Leg” »

Rookie Mistake

Photo by Reginal de Guia. Last week I asked Reginald to talk to me about his love for landscape and using filters shooting it. After a short talk over coffee, I learned so much. Will share it in my coming articles.

Photo by Reginal de Guia. Last week I asked Reginald to talk to me about his love for landscape and using filters shooting it. After a short talk over coffee, I learned so much. Will share it in my coming articles.

I can probably say that in my current state as a photographer, I have charged a fee in exchange for my service and my client trusts my ability to deliver relative to their expectation. I’m a professional photographer, but despite of all my long experiences, I’m not exempted to mistakes just like any other rookie out there.

In one of my commercial shoot, I was surprise to see the settings of my camera at ISO1600. There’s nothing wrong using high ISO especially if your camera is capable of shooting better ISO or if your intention is to shoot it at high ISO. But if you were unaware of your settings, that’s where the problem comes. It only means that you were not checking your settings before you took the shot.

Sometimes when you’re too dependent on the LCD display and you just wait and see what you’ve got so you can adjust accordingly, it only means that you’ve become reactive to the situation rather than being proactive and be on top of it. You tend to miss the moment when you react to the situation. Moments that could have been the shot you’re after. Continue reading “Rookie Mistake” »

Just Relax

I always witness a photographer or art director, maybe the agency rep tell the model to relax. This also happens in any type of shoot whether shooting couples for prenup or a teenager for her pre debut pictures. “Relax lang” is what I always hear hoping the subject would loosen up and project a more ideal result.

Unfortunately, asking the subject to relax never results in a more confident subject. It’s not a magic word that changes the state of mind. I wish it would but it won’t. We encounter this a lot during shoot when subjects would just freeze in the set and you’d wish that they’d relax and show more confidence.

First time in front of a camera, Danny Romero told me that he doesn't know how to pose. I told him "you don't have to, let me worry about that". After a short pep talk, he was in the zone and did really well.

First time in front of a camera, Danny Romero told me that he doesn’t know how to pose. I told him “you don’t have to, let me worry about that”. After a short pep talk, he was in the zone and did really well.

Continue reading “Just Relax” »

In The Zone

It’s quite an experience to be able to teach photography to students coming from different background. I normally ask them how they end up wanting to learn photography and their answer just adds to the complexity of why people love photography. There is really no pattern, just the same end in mind.

The bridge between starting up and gaining confidence with your shots is long and full of doubts. One student of mine told me that her shots looks really bad and it seems like photography is not for her. However, in that long journey of discovering and doubts, you’ll also experience moments of euphoria from exceptional photos you’ll get once in awhile.

This will drive you for another long haul til the next jackpot shot. Then you will realize that the gap becomes narrower and suddenly you’re in the zone. The thirst for getting the best shot is still very much the goal and mediocre becomes intolerable as your audience are left in awe with trail of amazing photos you’ve shot.

Reflections. One of the interesting ways of shooting landscape. Lake Danao, Camotes

Reflections. One of the interesting ways of shooting landscape. Lake Danao, Camotes

Continue reading “In The Zone” »

Photoshop Update

I have a friend who’s into graphics and photography that uses Photoshop 7. This is way back late 90s just before CS and CC versions. He said that he don’t need any of the new features and all the tools that he needs is there. True, in my use of Photoshop, the essential tools are normally enough for me but I also take advantage of new features that can speed up my task.

No matter how much retouching is needed, I always start with Lightroom and do my retouching in Photoshop then back to Lightroom again for final correction and export. Credits to Danny, Anastasia and iioffice Cebu.

No matter how much retouching is needed, I always start with Lightroom and do my retouching in Photoshop then back to Lightroom again for final correction and export. Credits to Danny, Anastasia and iioffice Cebu.

Some photographers that I know, uses Photoshop exclusively only as a base application for third-party filters. The moment the file opens, they just dive into the world of filters and plug-ins. No quarrel on that, it’s always the final result that matters. Continue reading “Photoshop Update” »

Sensor Size and Dynamic Range

Recently, Fujifilm released their version of a medium format mirrorless camera. I very much agree that indeed, the camera is definitely better than any full frame camera. Just the same as Hasselblad and Phase One who has been in the medium format industry for the longest time, bigger sensor is always better.

What makes a bigger sensor better is the ability to collect more light in a surface plane. The more light collected, the more data you get out of a single shot. Do we need all the data collected or how can we take advantage of the available data? It’s quite surprising that not all the data will be displayed.

On my way to Camotes Island, I saw this pack of dolphins swimming gracefully and synchronised towards the boat. Shooting with a full frame sensor and 70-300 lens.

On my way to Camotes Island, I saw this pack of dolphins swimming gracefully and synchronised towards the boat. Shooting with a full frame sensor and 70-300 lens.

Our monitor cannot display all the available data due to limitation and this also applies to print. Even if the monitor can display it, our eyes is not capable of seeing more than 16.8 million colors. A normal 14-bit file can capture 4.39 trillion colors. Then you would wonder where would I use all the extra data that I get when using bigger sensor? Continue reading “Sensor Size and Dynamic Range” »

Wider Perspective

Adjust your aperture manually in the lens and set the shutter speed based on the camera metering. Estimate the distance of the subject and set it in the camera then shoot away. Sayang 14mm.

Adjust your aperture manually in the lens and set the shutter speed based on the camera metering. Estimate the distance of the subject and set it in the camera then shoot away. Sayang 14mm.

In my last few articles, I mentioned that I have issues on what’s the right lens to bring when shooting travel photography. It’s always been a hit or miss in my case. Recently, I went out for another travel photography project and made some adjustments. This time, my Samyang 14mm joined the gang.

I normally just bring my 70-300, 17-40 and 24-105. I’m most comfortable with these lenses and the level of sharpness and contrast is just enough for me to get the results I wanted. The issue of whether to bring two camera bodies was resolve in my last trip. I have decided that two camera bodies helps a lot in minimising changing lens in the field. Continue reading “Wider Perspective” »