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” »

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” »

All About Food

Lately, I have been commissioned to do several food shots from different restaurants. Shooting food is not as easy as many thinks. This applies to the restaurant owners as well. It is as complicated as shooting products. It requires a lot of patience, creativity and an utmost attention to details.

Crabs in garlic butter sauce. f/8, 1/160, ISO 100, 2 strobe lights with 60" and 40" umbrella. Shooting for a long time friend Ace Rivera. Salt Seafood is located at St. Patrick Square near Redemptorist Church.

Crabs in garlic butter sauce. f/8, 1/160, ISO 100, 2 strobe lights with 60″ and 40″ umbrella. Shooting for a long time friend Ace Rivera. Salt Seafood is located at St. Patrick Square near Redemptorist Church.

Not a lot of people know that shooting food requires food styling, creative props, precision lighting and a bag full of tricks. It’s done by a group of creative people and not just photographers alone. The challenges you face when shooting food is always unique no matter how many times you have done it.

Since we started shooting food three years ago, we have accumulated more than thirty kilos of props, utensils, plates, etc. I know, I recently flew to Iloilo to do food photography and I realized that our props weighs more than our camera and lighting equipments. Not included are the fresh vegetables we have to acquire locally.

Food stylist prepares the dish. This is a normal set when shooting food.

Food stylist prepares the dish. This is a normal set when shooting food.

Continue reading “All About Food” »

Gear Acquisition Syndrome

In one of the stories in 500px, I stumble upon an article titled “Confession of a Gear Addict”. It was written by Pedro Quintela, landscape and travel photographer. As I was reading it, it dawned on me that at some point of my photography career, I’m as guilty as him. Am I cured from this disease? Probably not entirely.

Taking it from my personal experience, I tend to start blaming my gears when I’m getting mediocre photos. It occurred a lot during my starting up stage in photography. Maybe because I’m not using an L lens or the lights I’m using is just China made and those branded ones are producing really great results. The excuses and blaming is endless.

Streets of Bangkok. Shot using Canon 60D and 50mm 1.4 lens. My 50mm is one of my go to lens until now. It's been 5 years since I purchased it and still work wonders for me.

Streets of Bangkok. Shot using Canon 60D and 50mm 1.4 lens. My 50mm is one of my go to lens until now. It’s been 5 years since I purchased it and still work wonders for me.

Then you start seeing behind the scenes shoot from the professionals that you follow and you see them in jaw dropping lenses and really expensive equipments in the set. You would even see them using medium format cameras. Then you say that probably because they have the right gears so they produce great photos. Continue reading “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” »

Depth of field

In one of my photography tutorial, I was explaining to my student how depth-of-field works. Aperture as part of the exposure triangle, helps control the amount of light coming in by adjusting the size of the opening. By changing the size of the opening, you are also indirectly changing the depth-of-field.

Shot taken at f/5.6, focal length 155mm. The background is visibly blurred even at relatively small opening. (shooting for Ody's Cafe)

Shot taken at f/5.6, focal length 155mm. The background is visibly blurred even at relatively small opening. (shooting for Ody’s Cafe)

Depth-of-field is always dependent on the size of the opening. If your intention is to reduce the depth-of-field, meaning blur background and sharp subject, your objective is to increase the opening. The bigger the opening, the lesser the depth-of-field and vice versa. Continue reading “Depth of field” »

Passion for Photography

I started shooting when I was in high school. It was more of curiosity than passion. It was fascinating to see photographers in action and the wonders of chemistry in the darkroom. I continued shooting in my college years but I have to admit, I never felt the passion during those times.

I ended up working in the print industry for about a decade and a half. I was hooked in the industry because it is a mix of technical and art. Something that keeps my interest afloat. I still take photos once in a blue moon during those times. Most of it was work requirement and some family vacation here and there.

Later, I quit my job because I felt I was missing something in my life. It was then that I turned to photography. The same curiosity brought me back but this time maybe out of maturity or life’s experiences, I felt the passion in photography.

Shooting for Plantation Bay, I have to position in the middle of the lagoon to get the right angle.

Shooting for Plantation Bay, I have to position in the middle of the lagoon to get the right angle.

Continue reading “Passion for Photography” »

Adventure Savvy

 

GoPro is still the leader among action cams in terms of performance. SJ had some issues before but pulled it through with firmware upgrades. Xiaomi on the other hand is very promising in terms of quality, reliability and price. It's the cheapest of them all but surprisingly good.?

GoPro is still the leader among action cams in terms of performance. SJ had some issues before but pulled it through with firmware upgrades. Xiaomi on the other hand is very promising in terms of quality, reliability and price. It’s the cheapest of them all but surprisingly good.?

I dropped by Macys Camera Shop last week to check on the joystick tripod head by Manfrotto. Macys is finishing off their Manfrotto stock and the discount is just crazy. I was hoping that they ran out of stock already only to stop me from buying one but it turned out they still have a couple of heads in stock. Seems like i’m the only one crazy with this type of head. I really don’t need it right know, my existing head works perfectly fine but the offers is just irresistible. Continue reading “Adventure Savvy” »

Photographer for Hire

In between projects, I do experimental shots. In this photo, I was trying to do a fake out-of-the-freezer look. I used a matte acrylic top coat and glycerine based solution. I also played with a foil behind the glass and got the effect.

In between projects, I do experimental shots. In this photo, I was trying to do a fake out-of-the-freezer look. I used a matte acrylic top coat and glycerine based solution. I also played with a foil behind the glass and got the effect.

Just a few days ago, one of my students asked me what equipments will she need if she decides to open up a studio. She’s one of those students that is overflowing with interest. Her photo shows a lot of potentials. My answer was not something she expected. I encouraged her to shoot more and fill in more experience. Continue reading “Photographer for Hire” »

The New King of Full Frame

f_4, 1_60, ISO A7S

f_4, 1_60, ISO A7S

The evolution of digital camera totally changed the landscape of photography. Of course, it was dominated by the two popular brands, Nikon and Canon. Both camera manufacturers offered a product that ranges from newbie to professional use. Because of the size and weight of DSLR, compact cameras came in as an alternative.

It started out being called Bridge cameras. It was suppose to bridge the gap between a point and shoot camera to DSLR. They’re compact and fully loaded. It has the feature of a DSLR minus the size and weight. It’s mirrorless and comes with an electronic viewfinder. It was an instant hit and definitely filled up the gap with a bang. Continue reading “The New King of Full Frame” »

Back to Megapixels Race

Left side is Canon 6d 20.2MP, 24-105L f/16. Right side is Sony A7s 12MP, 24-70 f/16 Bottom image shows 200 percent view of respective files.

Left side is Canon 6d 20.2MP, 24-105L f/16. Right side is Sony A7s 12MP, 24-70 f/16
Bottom image shows 200 percent view of respective files.

Canon recently released their upgrade to 5D Mark III. This time they are maxing out the megapixel a 35mm sensor can accommodate. The new 5DS and 5DS R is packed with 50 megapixels. I feel bad for the photodiode having no room to breathe. In some forums, they claim that it’s not technically possible to get effective 50 megapixels.

Of course the laws of physics cannot be recreated so when you amplify one aspect of the sensor in recording light, you’ll have to pull down some other aspects. In the case of Canon, the newly released 5D chose megapixel over ISO. They claim that in commercial photography, ISO is not an issue since shots are mostly done in a controlled lighting environment. Continue reading “Back to Megapixels Race” »