Beauty Shot

Luara is an experienced model and can deliver hi fashion poses easily. This time shooting beauty, I noticed that it took her a while before she came to terms with her thoughts and emotions. She nailed it eventually, the professional that she is. (Model: Laura Herrmann, Makeup: Catherine Diala)

I’m always fascinated with beauty shots. Every time I find myself in Watsons or beauty products area in a department stores, I always end up staring at the different beauty ads. I try to analyse how the lights were set up and how the poses are done and most importantly, how the image is trying to connect and communicate. Continue reading “Beauty Shot” »

The Right Posing

The dreaded question. In all my seminar workshops all around the country, there’s always one participant that would ask me how to pose a model. I know somebody will ask at it at some point and it is just a matter of time that somebody will have the courage to ask. When the question is finally asked, I’m like a light bulb looking confident acknowledging the question.

In this shot, I gave the model a few suggestions for the pose which she then turned it into her own take of the concept. Aliya is one of the few models that I know who can throw you with stunning poses all day. (Aliya of Women’s Folio)

I would almost always start by saying that I totally understand where you’re coming from because I really do. I know the feeling and the pressure when the model would finally raise the question and ask what will be her posing. It’s the feeling you get when you’re taking the finals exam at school and you have no idea how to answer it. Continue reading “The Right Posing” »

Sources of Inspiration

I took my inspiration from a piece of garment that I saw. I love the texture and color of the material and many times I attempted to use it and apply it in my concept, all failed. This time, I shared my idea to my stylist and this came out.

In one of my workshops for Canon, one attendee asked a question on how to keep on coming up with new ideas for fashion editorial shoot. It was a difficult question to answer but somebody asked me the same question last year and after that I really tried to put my head on it and try to map my sources of inspiration and how my thought process works. I came up with not only one but many sources. Continue reading “Sources of Inspiration” »

Retouching

Few weeks ago I did my first class on high end retouching at Philippine Center for Creative Imaging. It’s a very challenging course that tests your patience and wakes up the obsessive compulsive nature in you. I’ve been using Photoshop since the mid 90’s and most of the tools used in the course are the same old tools found in the early versions of Photoshop.

In this photo, I was trying to retain the texture of the skin. In my experience shooting different races, European seems to have finer skin texture than South Americans who has more defined skin pores. Retaining skin texture makes the image more real and relatable.

There’s really no secret workflow when doing high end retouching, it’s just a matter of patience and utmost attention to details. A work of art takes time to finish. A proper retouching for me would take about two hours. Sometimes it takes longer especially if I can’t get into a zone. When you’re out of the zone, the details just seem to be homologous. Continue reading “Retouching” »

Finding your light

Sri Lanka – Gone Fishing, Fujifilm XT-1, f/10, 1/8, ISO400 (Photo by: Arlene Donaire)

It’s always good to talk about photography over coffee. I had a chance to chat with Ms Arlene Donaire one afternoon and even after long hours of photography talk, it seems like the conversation keeps getting interesting. She asked to meet me in Harbour Square because of the chance to shoot the golden sunset of Manila Bay but we were lost of time with the never ending photography talk.

Indonesia – Zenphone, Mt Bromo spewing white smoke at sunrise (Photo by: Arlene Donaire)

Continue reading “Finding your light” »

Pixel Dimension

More than megapixels and digital image, photography is still an art and no amount of technology will replace the eye of a photographer. Master photographer and Fujifilm ambassador Rommel Bundalian captured this timeless scene in Leon, Iloilo using a medium format Fujifilm 50s.

When you started learning about photography you probably asked what is the pixel dimension or megapixel of your camera. Of course, the assumption is always the more pixels the better the camera. It’s quite obvious that camera in cellphone is mostly promoted to have more pixel thus better quality images.

While it’s true that pixel dimension adds to the quality of the image, it’s is just a part of how an image is measured in quality. There’s also how big the sensor and how much noise can it avoid even in low light condition. There’s dynamic range that can really kill the quality of the image. All these considerations is part of how the quality of an image is assessed. Continue reading “Pixel Dimension” »

What’s holding you back

I saw a link in facebook that talks about photography and the topic was about what’s holding you back in your photography journey. It didn’t take a lot of thinking for me to jump into the article and find out myself what I’m lacking and maybe help it share to my students as well. Hoping that this article will free everyone from disappointment.

It’s always been a challenge for me to shoot close to fine arts type of fashion editorials. I love the photos but can’t seem to nail it. You just have to keep on doing it and continue to challenge yourself. (Model: Adriana Gots)

With a ton of excitement, I watched the video. After a minute of beating around the bush I decided to end the video and start the automated assessment, it turned out to be too general and definitely not something i was expecting. I decided to write about the topic instead and share my own experience in the ever complicated world of photography. Continue reading “What’s holding you back” »

Down the Rabbit Hole

Shooting the Coach: After one hour of shooting I decided to take a break. I can’t seem to find the right light. If there’s a bad hair day, you can call this the bad light day. I kept on trying for another hour until I got what I want. From three lights to one. (Model: Lorie Enriquez, Makeup: Catherine Diala)

I am at a helpless level in photography right now. Gears cannot help me anymore. Majority of the challenge right now is creativity. The pace of Improvement at this stage is very slow. Tons of effort with few positive results. Still don’t know how long and far this level will be and what will be next down the rabbit hole.

When I started shooting fashion inspired photos back in the 2010, I had my eyes fixed on a target. I know what I want and where I’m headed. The destination was clear. I also know that there will be many challenges ahead. I had everything planned and although I made some adjustments along the way, it was manageable.

Continue reading “Down the Rabbit Hole” »

The right camera for you

I’ve done a lot of beauty shot before and it’s a very challenging situation. It can come out perfect or a disaster. There’s no middle ground. Barely a year in modeling, Elle from Canada was a natural in the set. I used One beauty dish on top and a soft box below. I also added a highlight coming from the back.

Lately, I’ve been working with my JPEG files. I normally shoot both RAW and JPEG at the same time. Sometimes when I like the JPEG file, I use it instead of the RAW. The way a camera makes a JPEG file is unique in every brand. It’s actually their secret sauce that differentiate them from the rest. Even the part when signals captured are converted by the sensor into an image, that’s a brand secret.

Camera manufacturer would make sure that they are consistent as they add more models of camera and as the technology advances, the consistency of the color and taste stays. Canon is a bit softer tone in both RAW and JPEG. Nikon on the other hand is more on clarity. In technical terms, it adds contrast to the mid tone and a bit contrasty overall. Continue reading “The right camera for you” »