Feathered Lighting

Few weeks ago, I was experimenting with a lighting style I experienced when I was assisting another photographer in Australia sometime 2014. Back then, I was actually surprised as I was setting up his lighting based on the diagram he gave me before the shoot, he suddenly adjusted the angle of the main light facing farther from the subject.

I adjusted it back in between shots and he quickly adjusted it back to his preferred angle. He said he wanted to use a feathered light. I didn’t understand it immediately but it seems like he is getting it right and he is happy with his shots. I know I heard feathered lighting somewhere but I never really tried it.

The Doctor is in. Beauty Dish, feathered as main light. Fill-in and backlight added. (MHAM College of Medicine)

The Doctor is in. Beauty Dish, feathered as main light. Fill-in and backlight added. (MHAM College of Medicine)

Continue reading “Feathered Lighting” »

Why Photography?

Photo by Ariel Pascual from General Santos. TUNA at ang Mangingisdang General: Tuna Toneladang Pagpupugay sa mga HARI ng ating Karagatan, Fuji XT1 + Fujinon 18mm

Photo by Ariel Pascua from General Santos.
TUNA at ang Mangingisdang General: Tuna Toneladang Pagpupugay sa mga HARI ng ating Karagatan, Fuji XT1 + Fujinon 18mm

I used to be associated with graphics and prints. It seems like I’m the photographer guy this time around. I’ve been shooting since I was high school and it was only 6 years ago when I decided to be a full time photographer. It’s an interesting experience when people talk to me about photography. These are both new acquaintances and those I’ve known quite sometime who suddenly pops the topic of photography.

I’ve been with the masters and neophytes both professional and amateur, their way to photography are all unique. What I know based on my experience is that some are gifted with the eye for photography while some, including me, are slow in terms of creativity. Whether you’re gifted or not, the secret of learning photography is the level of interest.

You may have the God given gift but if you lack the interest, you won’t get out of your way to practice shooting which leads us to the second secret which is practice. There is no shortcut in learning photography but to practice. I’m more of a strobe guy so every time I do a shoot, I have to mobilize around 30 kilograms of equipment and if I don’t have enough level of dedication in my way of shooting then an excuse is just a snap of a finger. Continue reading “Why Photography?” »

Iloilo Photo Festival

I’m imagining a blackboard and chalk hearing the student’s answer in chorus as I ask about shutter speeds and apertures. Like Math and English subjects, students of Iloilo National High School together with other public school under the DepEd Division of Iloilo, take photography subject just like one of the subjects.

Students from different public school all over Panay together with amateur photographers attend the weeklong photography activities during the Iloilo Photo Festival at Robinson's Mall in Iloilo.

Students from different public school all over Panay together with amateur photographers attend the weeklong photography activities during the Iloilo Photo Festival at Robinson’s Mall in Iloilo.

The Iloilo Photo Festival, now on it’s 6th year offers a weeklong multi-events to students who are interested in photography. The idea is to pool professional photographers from different discipline and share their knowledge and thoughts about photography to the students completely free.

The organizers of IPF6 believes that the high cost of photography workshop limits the chance of the students to hear it from the experts and learn further about photography as an art and as a profession. Several local photography clubs in Panay are also invited to join the weeklong event with a minimal fee just to cover the cost of running the festival. Continue reading “Iloilo Photo Festival” »

Camera Evolution

Hermit's Cove. Shot using Oppo F1s. Edited in Lightroom Mobile.

Hermit’s Cove. Shot using Oppo F1s. Edited in Lightroom Mobile.

Last weekend, I had a chance to talk about my passion in front of an audience who are phone photography enthusiasts. They call themselves, phoneographers. I bet that just before the 50s, photography was only done by a few. These few photographers has spent a lot of time in their lives operating the massive camera. Today, maybe 7 out of 10 people is taking photos.

The handheld devices where you can load a roll of film minus the bulky size followed. The number of photographers increased this time around since the camera is more handy. Still a high level of expertise needed though. Then SLR followed, designed for both professional and consumer. Continue reading “Camera Evolution” »

Post Processing Internally and Externally

I understand that editing your photo has been an argument even back in the days of Ansel Adams when Photoshop did not even exist. Some editing comes to the point of reconstructing the image that the art of photography is exploited. Advertising images has been criticized about false advertising due to mis-representation of their product using too much Photoshop.

I carry a small point and shoot camera with me when travelling so I can take quick snaps along the way.  Shooting raw using canon G11(small sensor), 1/60, 5.6, ISO 100. Edited in Adobe Camera Raw.

I carry a small point and shoot camera with me when travelling so I can take quick snaps along the way. Shooting raw using canon G11(small sensor), 1/60, 5.6, ISO 100. Edited in Adobe Camera Raw.

While it’s sad to know all about the negative effect of photo editing, it also has it’s highs. Photo editing allows you to correct and enhance your image and fills in the camera’s limitation. By putting photography first and polishing it after with editing, you’re keeping the art. Continue reading “Post Processing Internally and Externally” »

Photolab printing is still King

This image is heavy on the dark areas and inkjet printing would sometimes pour too much ink on it to get a good density. That's the reason why inkjet adds additional cartridges in different shades of black to solve this issue. Density in dark areas is never an issue with Photolab.

This image is heavy on the dark areas and inkjet printing would sometimes pour too much ink on it to get a good density. That’s the reason why inkjet adds additional cartridges in different shades of black to solve this issue. Density in dark areas is never an issue with Photolab.

I’m a color management specialist. I’m a pro digital guy who believes in the digital revolution. However, there are conventional process that simply works and in some cases, better than the digital counterpart.

Recently, I needed to print a few of my images for submission so the quality requirement is somewhat critical. It was an automatic course of action to have it printed using a digital printer. I have been calibrating and optimising a particular inkjet printer to print this kind of quality requirement. I made some few prints and it looks okay except for some overflowing ink in the dark areas. Continue reading “Photolab printing is still King” »

Rejections

Sliding off the norm, I overexposed this shot to get a washed out effect. Yacht Club, Roxas Boulevard. f8, 1/160, 70-200, 5D.

Sliding off the norm, I overexposed this shot to get a washed out effect. Yacht Club, Roxas Boulevard. f8, 1/160, 70-200, 5D.

When you’re a photographer or any type of artist, you’ll go through many challenges and one of them is rejection. The issue is worsen by social media. However, perspective matters and if you reposition your thinking, you’ll see it in a different way.

I was scrolling through my facebook feed and read a post from Mai Pages, it says “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese. After reading the line, I felt the waves went through my past experiences and released a ton of stress. Continue reading “Rejections” »

Slow Starter

I normally consumes around four terabytes of storage per year. Until now, there’s still no permanent solution on how we can safely keep our digital image. DVD is an option but it takes a lot of time to burn a disc and the possibility of getting damaged. As I was transferring my old files to the slower drive, I get to have a run down of all the images that I took for the previous  year.

It brings you back to that moment and you start to remember the feeling and the mood in the set. What’s surprising is you get to see some shots that didn’t caught your attention at that time. That’s the reason I never delete unselected files. I enjoy looking at the frame by frame development of the shot.

This photo is one of the unselected images couple of years back shooting Calendar for Plantation Bay. Sometimes the photo needs a review in another time before you can see it sparkling with beauty.

This photo is one of the unselected images couple of years back shooting Calendar for Plantation Bay. Sometimes the photo needs a review in another time before you can see it sparkling with beauty.

Continue reading “Slow Starter” »

Plan and Improvise

There’s a lot of things that can happen during a shoot and no matter how you prepare for everything, something will always come up and challenge your ability to improvise to finish the shoot. Although there’s that very common human error, equipment failure is a definitely the bummer.

Shooting with two strobe lights bounced through both side of the wall and ceiling. No light modifier needed except for the standard reflector. The entire room becomes a big light source making the light soft and even.

Shooting with two strobe lights bounced through both side of the wall and ceiling. No light modifier needed except for the standard reflector. The entire room becomes a big light source making the light soft and even.

Last week I was doing a corporate shoot and the first challenge was doing it without my assistant. I had to prepare all the equipment and made a checklist to make sure I got everything. When deciding which equipment to bring, you have to have alternatives just in case something goes south in the middle of the shoot.

There’s a reason why you bring two camera bodies and an extra lens during a shoot, just in case one equipment decides not to perform. Same goes to your  lighting setup, backup is necessary and some few extra cables, battery, trigger and never forget the all around solution, duct tape. Continue reading “Plan and Improvise” »

Lighting Technique

One thing you should be aware about lighting is that the more you work with it, the more you can’t shoot without it. Not all photographers are into artificial lighting, there is natural light that we all enjoy and it takes another skill set to master what you cannot control. A different paradigm when it comes to creativity.

There are moments when everything just falls into place. The lights, the camera settings, the model and makeup was just right on target of what I had in mind. These are times when Photoshop becomes irrelevant. The objective is to do it right when shooting so you don't spend too much in post processing. (Model: DJ NIsh, HMUA: George Villamor)

There are moments when everything just falls into place. The lights, the camera settings, the model and makeup was just right on target of what I had in mind. These are times when Photoshop becomes irrelevant. The objective is to do it right when shooting so you don’t spend too much in post processing. (Model: DJ NIsh, HMUA: George Villamor)

I was cleaning up my backup files lately and I had a chance to review my shots from five years ago and it was a mix of emotion. I felt proud to have seen some good shot even when I was just starting up. I also felt embarrassed with a lot of my shots, I can’t believe that I even shared the photos in social media.

Everybody has to start somewhere and definitely you cannot start an expert. I am wherever I am because of what I’ve been through. In every shoot, you always encounter difficulties and from that experience you gain your experience no matter if you solved it or not. The next time you encounter it, you know if it’s solvable or at least know what needs to be done. Continue reading “Lighting Technique” »