Endless Learning

When shooting in low light, it’s important to capture the ambient light to show the realistic feel of the scene. I then added strobes for the hair light and another one to fill the subject. The trick is to reduce the power of the strobe close to the ambient to capture both light. (LINX Lounge)

I always get a mix of inquiries from different photographers. There are those who are about to start doing photography, some are just thinking of doing it and there are those already into it. The questions range from too easy up to complicated ones. With all the different level of photographers I meet, I can’t even define how many levels there is. Continue reading “Endless Learning” »

Phottix Indra Hi Speed Sync

One of the limitation of a focal plane shutter, both used by mirrorless and DSLR, is that it can only allow shooting with strobe at 1/200 shutter speed and below. The maximum shutter speed that the camera can allow with strobe is called flash sync. Should you decide to shoot faster than the flash sync, you’ll see a block of line in your shot..

Well it’s quite easy to digest that as long as you’re below the flash sync, you’re safe. However, what if you want to shoot at faster shutter speed? What if you want to open up your aperture to create a shallow depth of field and increase the shutter to control the exposure while using strobe to fill in the light?

Perfect for shooting portraits. Beauty dish mounted on a Phottix Indra500 set on hi speed sync. 1/1600sec, f/1.8

Continue reading “Phottix Indra Hi Speed Sync” »

Monitor Calibration

Few weeks ago, I was reading a thread about a photographer crowdsourcing on how to match his prints against his monitor. He positioned his photo side by side his monitor to show just how much injustice there is to the imagery. He also said that it looks perfect in the monitor only to find out it looked terrible in print and to other monitors.

This is a typical scenario that many photographers experience. This is a situation that you cannot be saved by crossing your fingers, hoping it won’t happen when doing commissioned shoots. Fortunately, no need for rocket science to figure this out. Just a plain understanding and a particular device called monitor calibrator.

Even mobile devices can now be calibrated. The operating system for both Android and iOS accepts ICC profile to be loaded to the video card so color can be consistent up to mobile devices.

Given the different monitor calibrators available in the market today, there’s more than one procedures to follow. What’s important though is the processes involved. You need to understand it more than following the step by step procedure. Continue reading “Monitor Calibration” »

What lens to buy?

I always have a difficult time answering to photographers who asks me what lens to buy. Not that I don’t want to help, it’s just that the answer need a more serious sit down and discussion to ge explain it right. Lenses are specialized based on your specific needs. That is the major advantage of having a replaceable lens camera.

17-40mm is the go to lens when it comes to landscape but in this shot, I used a 14mm lens. It offers a different perspective with just enough distortion. It’s a very interesting lens for landscape.

The rule when buying lens is that quality and durability will always speak its price. There are variables that needs to be considered, focal length and aperture. There’s also the zoom and prime lenses. Here’s a list of lenses and their usage based on a 35mm sensor. Continue reading “What lens to buy?” »

Breaking Barriers

Photo taken using Fujifilm GFX 50s body, GX120mmF4 R WR lens by Jan Gonzales.

Last year, when Fujifilm announced their medium format mirrorless camera, I have to admit, I had no excitement at all. I know that it’s going to be great just like the other medium format cameras in the market today but I was also sure that it’s going to be out of reach in terms of price. However, I was wrong, Fujifilm always makes product with the consumers in mind.

First stop, size. During the launching of GFX 50s, I tried it and it feels like holding my Canon 5D. Size and weight is very similar except for the 1.7 times bigger sensor inside. It felt good in my big hands and easy access to camera settings with the straight-forward dials which Fujifilm is known for. Continue reading “Breaking Barriers” »

Finding the genre that fits you

Travel Photography is one genre that still captures my heart even if I think of a model subject to add to the composition. (Hermit’s Cove, Aloguinsan, Canon 5D, 17-40)

First of all, I would like to congratulate all the winners of Sinulog Photo Contest 2017. The effort, skill and talent all rolled together to emerge as winners out of the thousands of participants. Sinulog is always a spectacle that photographers cannot resist. I can only wish though, that we can be more disciplined next year.

Photography has a lot of genre for you to choose from when you’re a greenhorn. Sometimes there’s too much for you to try that you end up doing everything but hasn’t mastered one. Any photographer can easily get interested about anything about photography, especially if they see a work of a master photographer. Continue reading “Finding the genre that fits you” »

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” »

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.

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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” »