Dynamic Range

A famous term in photography is backlight. Even a non photographer would know that shooting with the light coming from the back is undesirable. Whether shooting with the most expensive camera, backlight issues are known to mess up your shot. Unless if it’s intentional like silhouette, then you can get away with it.

Aerial photography is trending lately. The technology of drones has opened an opportunity to photographers in offering a different perspective. Respected photographer Dr. Erwin Lim has covered photography from underwater to land and air. (Photo by Dr. Erwin Lim)

We experience the same situation when the sun is low and beaming straight towards us, most likely we cannot see what is in front of us. Just the same as when an approaching car’s headlight is set to high. Our eyes cannot see the extent of brightness and low light at the same time.

This is the same dilemma when using a camera. What’s worse is the camera has a narrower range between bright and low light compared to human eyes. Often times, we can still see it when we look at the scene with bare eyes but the result comes out with flat shadows and shows no details. Continue reading “Dynamic Range” »

Ecosystem

Shooting outdoors at shutter speed 1/800, possible using Phottix Indra500 high speed sync. It can go as high as 1/8000, no need to attach the ND filter to reduce the light. (Samiria Santana)

After 5 AC strobes, 3 battery pack strobes and 4 speedlights, 10 wireless triggers, only now that I realize how convenient it could have been if I invested on an ecosystem. All my devices would have worked together smoothly. If only I’ve know this when I was starting up, I could have saved myself from all the troubles.

Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know these things unless you experience it yourself. There’s a lot of things to goes through your mind when you’re starting up and most of them are associated with cost of equipments. You will always find branded equipments to be very expensive and the cheaper brands were very much capable. Continue reading “Ecosystem” »

Hassles in fashion photography

In the recent workshop that I conducted for PCCI in Makati, the students asked me why I chose fashion photography over the others. I told them that I like the pressure. The idea that I will almost always call it quits everytime fuels my passion to even play harder. Above all, it’s the satisfaction that I get producing artworks with style.

My challenge to my students during the fashion photography workshop was to shoot the subject in style and capturing the motion. It’s about finding ways to shoot it differently.

Behind every fashion photo you see is a mix of beauty and style. The problem that arises in and out of the set is as simple as missing memory card to one of the creatives decided not to show. There’s weather if you’re shooting outdoors and equipment failures here and there. But in the middle of chaos, a work of art is brewing. Continue reading “Hassles in fashion photography” »

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” »

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” »

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” »

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” »