Practice makes perfect

Rouge Model

Challenge accepted. Shooting with natural light since I had no lighting gears with me and shooting at a very tight emergency exit stairs. (Rouge Models International)

A modelling agency called me about shooting test shots for their open casting. I ask what type of photos they are after, they told they only need professionally done mug shots. I was also informed that the studio is quite small, just about 35 square meters white walls and ceiling. With all these info I gathered, I decided to bring my standard camera gadgets and a speedlight.

The first test shot went really well as I just bounced the mounted flash to the ceiling which gave me soft overhead light. The walls kept the shadows really minimal and made the regular mug shot some professional feel to it. The dilemma started when the international models came pouring in. Continue reading “Practice makes perfect” »

Drive Your Passion

Recently, I handled a fashion photography workshop at Philippine Center for Creative Imaging in Makati. I had apprehensions on speaking tagalog as I might slip into speaking visayan. It turned out to be more difficult because I have to speak english all the way having students from Japan and the Oman who came to the Philippines just to attend the workshop.

Spills from the recent workshop I handled. Playing with gels to get out of the norm. Model: Camille Sedar, PCCI.

I’m always intrigued about each and every student’s story on how they end up taking the workshop. This is the next level workshop after taking the basics. I always wondered how they decided to take fashion photography over the other courses. It was fun being with other passionate persons loving the same genre. Continue reading “Drive Your Passion” »

New year, new learning

During the holidays, I was teaching my niece how to pose and project in front of a camera. Family members are the best practice models when you’re starting up.

Just before the end of 2016, I had a meeting with a fellow photographer in my hometown in San Francisco Agusan del Sur. I was interested to know how the photography industry is doing and the skills of photographers in the area. My idea was to conduct a workshop so I can contribute additional knowledge about photography and improve the skills of my town folks.

Learning in photography is forever. There can only be a start but never an ending. A photographer will always be a student no matter what level of proficiency he is at. The basic principles can be learned in a matter of day and pretty much, you’ll be shooting with you camera the following day. However, it’s the art and style of photography that goes on and never ends. Continue reading “New year, new learning” »

Fashion Photography

Last week, I attended the Christmas party of Philippine Center for Creative Imaging (PCCI). Officially it was also my introduction as one of the faculty member teaching Fashion Photography. There I’ve met icons in Photography like Mike Floro, Rommel Bundalian, Jijo De Guzman to name a few.

We didn’t utter anything photography that night but it only shows that these photography heavy weights is already in the level that they don’t have to prove anything anymore. To be with the greats, makes you feel one of them as well but I know for sure that there’s so much to prove in my end than theirs.

Organic. In one of my conversations with Eva, we tried to define the type of photographs I take and she told me it looks organic. Model: Eva Mania.

Continue reading “Fashion Photography” »

Outdoor Location Shoot

For those photographers who have a hate and love relationship with natural lighting, outdoor shooting can only go two ways, disaster or perfection. I know the feeling, I’m one of them. Although natural light is still the best light and cannot be perfectly mimicked by artificial light, it can also be a headache when you mix it with your strobe light.

We found this open space in north reclamation area with an old junked Koashiong bus. Looks like an eye sore for passersby but a gold mine to the eyes of a photographer. Natural light with a mix of strobe light. Model: Eva Maria.

We found this open space in north reclamation area with an old junked Koashiong bus. Looks like an eye sore for passersby but a gold mine to the eyes of a photographer. Natural light with a mix of strobe light. Model: Eva Maria.

I know and understood it long time ago that mixing natural and artificial light is a recipe for disaster but it’s irresistible not to do it. You know that natural light will change intensity without any warning and suddenly one of your light source is off the mark while the strobe is not compensating. However, if both natural light and your strobe blended correctly, the result is impeccable. Continue reading “Outdoor Location Shoot” »

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” »