Color Checker

In my last article, I mentioned about matching the color of what you’re shooting. In this article, I’ll try to cover as much as I can about the process and why you need to understand it. When taking photos, you are actually reproducing the scene and when you’re capturing colors you can either choose to get an accurate reproduction of it or come up with something very pleasing to your eyes.

Camera manufacturers are making a difference on how they interpret the captured data. Their goal is not only to capture the scenes with the best quality but also the best version of it. The algorithm on how the image is processed is a tightly guarded secret by each manufacturer. I think that Fujifilm has been really successful when it comes to in camera image processor. They have captured the heart of a lot of photographers when it comes to image treatment.

On the left is a RAW file applied with camera color profile while on the right is a JPEG file with Portrait Style in-camera settings. It’s two image showing two different tones. The RAW image with applied color profile is very much accurate.

When shooting products, garments or anything that needs to be accurate when it comes to colors, most camera are a bit poor in performance. They have an image treatment to accurately match the colors of the product but it still lacks the pin point accuracy. Getting the right color plays an important role when it comes to online shopping. Buyers online expects to receive the same color they have seen from their computers.

Maybe not a perfect match but at least it should be a decent match. The best way to get the best match is to use a color checker by X-rite or any other brand that serves the same purpose. The idea is to calibrate your camera by finding the difference between a captured color swatches and the known expected colors of the sample swatch. Once the difference is computed then you can create a profile to correct the difference. Continue reading “Color Checker” »

Better Workflow

Recently I took a reproduction project. The objective was to document all the paintings of a collector. It came in many sizes and the image details should be excellent enough to be used for printing reproduction. It is not the most difficult project that I faced but it’s definitely something out of my regular type of shoot.

Automated way of transforming your images from the effects of lens distortion. It used to be under Lens Correction, now it has its own tab. This feature came in sometime 2015, I just don’t use it a lot. (Melbourne, Australia)

After shooting it hundreds of paintings, it turned out to be harder than I expected. The lighting was a breeze. Two strobes 45 degrees both sides with an umbrella as modifier. I measure the exposure on all sides of the painting and it was nothing new to what I do. Continue reading “Better Workflow” »

Set A Course

After a full lunch and copious photography talk with Ceasar Azanza and Arlene Donaire, we can’t help but capture this photographic spot just as we were headed out. When you’re a photographer, you just have to take a snap. (OPPO F1s)

I had a very tasteful lunch with photography friends last week and it was out of the ordinary lunch. Ceasar Azanza, owner of Macys Camera Shop was in Manila to attend the Canon year end party so he invited me and Arlene Donaire, travel photographer for a lunch. What do you expect with photographers having lunch together, of course there’s a lot of photography discussion.

We had a lengthy coffee after and more photography talk. It was amazing to hear about photographer being passionate about a particular genre, especially a genre you don’t do a lot. I begin to realize that the more I discover how much there is to learn in fashion photography, other genres has equal amount of depth as well. Continue reading “Set A Course” »

Over Prepare

In this location shoot, we brought two hard cases of equipment, a heavy duffle bag for the light stand and a big suitcase full of outfits. Me and one assistant carrying everything to the site.

The big question is always what camera equipments to bring to a shoot. You know what you need but what if the condition changes and you need another set of equipments. You can’t bring your entire arsenal of gears especially when you’ll be travelling and weight is an issue. Are you willing to take the chance of missing a shot because you didn’t bring the gear needed for the shot. Continue reading “Over Prepare” »

Taste And Preference

In my fashion photography workshop last weekend I was surprised to see my students diverse in terms of camera brand. I normally just see domination with Canon but this time, no Nikon, it was an equal footing with Canon and Fujifilm. Not just the ordinary camera but we are talking about Canon’s 1DX and Fujifilm’s GFX.

I was so glad I didn’t bring a camera. Firstly, mine has no match with their camera and secondly, I can always grab their camera to do a demo. It was a very productive two days since the level of interest of the students was all worth it. I cannot forget another workshop I did when a student was holding a 5DMk4 with a 50mm 1.8 lens. My heart just broke at that very moment.

I used a now disregarded 5DmkII with 50mm 1.4 lens in this shot. There’s a lot of people selling their 5DmkII with just a third on how much they bought it for. Brand and new technology will make shooting easier but not photography as an art.

I’ve been a Canon fanatic ever since but I also get to experience using almost all brands during workshops and at times when I’m doing a review of other brands. There were many times, I’d trade off all my camera to shift to another brand but by the time I’m back and shooting with my camera again, I’m reminded again why I’m shooting with my brand of camera. Continue reading “Taste And Preference” »

Learn From Test Shoot

In this photo, I’m trying to shoot Stephanie with a look that I haven’t seen from her previous shots. It’s a challenge for both the model and me plus it’s our first time working together. I learned a lot creatively from this shoot. (model: Stephanie Fontanel of Stacy’s Model Management)

I can still remember vividly the first few test shoots I did. It was horrible and embarrassing when thinking about it now. But when you try to look back at your beginnings, it will also shows how much you’ve progressed. We call it fun shoot back then, I didn’t really know the terminology used in the industry. It was only in the later part while working with wider players involved in the industry that I was corrected.

Test shoot is the best way for you to learn in a lot of ways. It is a complete learning experience that cannot be learned through workshops or youtube university. The idea is to simulate the shooting experience so when the actual commissioned job rolls in, you can handle the problems like a pro. Continue reading “Learn From Test Shoot” »

Color Management For Photographers

Colors are often disregarded or misunderstood. If you plan to keep your photos to yourself and have no plans of printing it, submitting it to a client or maybe post it in social media, then you don’t have to bother understanding color management. When color is shared, viewed in different display or reproduced to different media, then it must be managed.

Colors are common for us to see everyday but what we don’t see is how they can easily deviate and you would question its complex behaviour because they are suppose to be simple and straightforward. I’ve been dealing with color since the mid 90s and up until now, I still encounter a lot of people working with colors who has no idea what they are dealing with.

Is the red in prints and the one in the actual fabric the same? If you’re buying the gown online, can you trust your monitor colors? Colors are not as simple as you see it.

Continue reading “Color Management For Photographers” »

Photography Journey

Here’s one of my first captures back 2011. We were shooting outdoor with off camera speedlights. (Model: Shing Villarias)

Recently I attended a wedding of a colleague in Sacred Heart church and after the ceremony as I congratulated the newly wed, the couple told me that the priest told them that one of your ninongs is a really good photographer. He told them that he reads my article in SunStar Weekend.

In another situation, I was doing a training for a power plant in San Fernando. After I finished the seminar and about to leave the compound, the guard called my attention and asked me if I’m the same guy who writes about photography in SunStar. I said yes, are you a photographer? He said, no I just find it very interesting and asked if he can get a selfie with me.

I’ve had more amusing and inspiring experiences since I started writing about my journey in photography exactly six years now. I am no professional writer, often, I would just cross my fingers and hope my editors will iron out most of the wrinkles in my articles. I just genuinely write with my thoughts and ideas and hope to share my growing knowledge of photography. Continue reading “Photography Journey” »

Inverse Square Law

Did this experiment using a speedlight, my trusty old light meter and a steel tape. You will notice that between 10cm to 40cm, the jump between apertures are significantly wide but on the 50cm mark onwards, aperture gaps between reading is relatively close.

I never thought I’d be writing about this particular branch of science that covers the characteristics of light. Because photography is all about capturing light, we need to understand how it behaves. It’s a bit technical if you try to put numbers on it and start making a mathematical computation out of it.

The inverse square law is surprisingly very much applicable to photography especially if you’re using artificial lights or strobes. It might seem obvious on how light behaves since we experience it everyday but you’ll be surprised to know that some of your understanding of light is quite different from what actually happens.

The inverse square law is defined as the intensity of an effect such as illumination or gravitational force changes in inverse proportion to the square of the distance from the source. Stop, don’t panic! This is a general law in physics that applies to any electromagnetic wavelength and that includes the light. Continue reading “Inverse Square Law” »

Welcome To The Cloud

It’s in the cloud. If ever you returned back in time and you start talking about data found in the cloud, people would probably look up and wonder if you’re crazy or just plain stupid. Who would ever thought that we are now in the cloud technology. All electronic device and even business models and softwares are all directed to the cloud technology.

The new Lightroom CC is an independent application that you can install in your desktop. It is linked through the cloud which you can access from any mobile device.

Recently, Adobe decided to up their game with their involvement in cloud technology. They have been in this direction for the last three years when they decided to shift to Creative Cloud and now a major update with Lightroom. There’s now two Lightroom versions, one is the Classic Lightroom and the other one is Lightroom CC.

The Classic is the same old reliable and powerful software for photographers working on their desktops. The newly introduced LR CC is for the on the go photographer who wants access to his files anytime through any mobile device connected to the web. The application works exactly the same whether in desktop or in your mobile device. Continue reading “Welcome To The Cloud” »