Leaving a gem behind

The photography industry fed by the camera manufacturer with the latest functionality and technology has been in this cycle ever since. Photographers would mostly want the latest gears in their hand whether it’s essential in their workflow or maybe the thinking that it can improve your shots.

I should know, I’m one of the zombie photographer who always want the latest tech in my hand. My shots did really improved but I don’t think the camera has anything to do with it. Maybe I was inspired to shoot better because it’s top of the line equipment but no, it was all me.

Since I normally shoot tethered in studio, the LCD disadvantage in 5D MkII is not an issue. Maybe a bit issue in focusing but it’s manageable. Other than that, everything works perfectly fine. (Model: Danielle Pires, MUA: Catherine Diala)

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Models International

 

Hanna Weiser is Brazilian with German descent. Standing 5 feet and 10 inches tall, she is a freelance model. She loves to stay in the Philippines but she must keep moving to the next city.

In the past couple of weeks, right after I opened my studio in Manila, I offered to do some test shoot to foreign models just to start up the studio and to test my studio design if it will function as I designed it. Test shoot is actually a term used where models would do a portfolio shoot with the photographer with no fee and both party can use the images. Some would call it x-deal but internationally, it’s more known as test shoot. Continue reading “Models International” »

Creative Space

I started serious photography sometime 2010 and I started it in a studio. Although I took some landscape and a few outdoor shooting back then, still, my creative space is inside a studio. I guess you can say that my photography was born in a studio. There was a point in my photography journey that I feared shooting with ambient light.

Started shooting inside a studio again. One light setup. (GRP Studio – Malate)

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Retouching

Almost five years ago, I took this shot. We were practicing beauty shot and until now I’m still connected to this shot. Still feels like yesterday. Model: Cherry Maine, HMUA: Joshua

Every time I start my lecture about fashion photography, I almost always get a question if my photos are edited. In the back of my head, this guy probably is in the midst of trying to get his photos to look like the ones in magazine and at some point, he wanted to know if he’s missing something.

I totally understand the question and where it’s coming from. I’ve been there and I can remember it vividly on how I always get frustrated to achieve a commercial grade or at least gallery level quality photo. The answer is yes, they are all edited. However, as much as you want it enhanced in editing, the quality of photography will always draw the limits. Continue reading “Retouching” »

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” »

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” »

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” »

Wedding Photography

One of the challenges when shooting inside a room is space and lighting condition. In this case, I tried shooting from a higher perspective and filled in light opposite to the light source coming from the window. Congratulations JR and Jade.

One of the challenges when shooting inside a room is space and lighting condition. In this case, I tried shooting from a higher perspective and filled in light opposite to the light source coming from the window. Congratulations JR and Jade.

No matter how many times I shoot for wedding, every time the bride walks down the aisle and the moment the groom starts looking for his handkerchief and wipe out the tears he tries to hide form the crowd, I still get emotional. It’s the moment that your saliva starts getting thick that you have a hard time swallowing it.

The one thing I like about shooting wedding is the relationship you develop with the couple. You sometimes clap more than the guest and almost want to grab the mic and talk about the couple and how inspiring they are to shoot and the love story they shared to you. But you have work to do and your job is to take photos that will make sense to the most important day of the couple. Continue reading “Wedding Photography” »

Glorious Sunset

I was in Boracay lately and more than the powdery white sand and crystal clear water is the glorious sunset. Everyday, no miss. It’s there with or without audience. What makes it a really spectacle scene is that it only last for a couple of minutes. You stare at the moment and hold your breathe as the ray of warm orange and some chrome yellow skies slowly swallow the golden sun. Then a magnificent afterglow follows.

I was shooting a model at that time. We started shooting late afternoon to get a soft and less contrasty light. When shooting, i’m totally framed into my shots and can’t be interrupted by anything. So I didn’t realize that the spectacle has begun. As soon as I glanced upon it, like hypnosis, I stared at it and paused. I wanted to take a photo of it but decided to just sit in the sand and enjoy the view.

ISO 3200, Focal 195mm, 1/200, f16. Taken during sunset on the highest peak of Boracay.

ISO 3200, Focal 195mm, 1/200, f16. Taken during sunset on the highest peak of Boracay.

I’ve seen a lot of Boracay sunset photos but it’s incomparable to actually experiencing it yourself. The colors are out of range from any top of the line camera. The dynamic range it offers is just to wide to be captured. The feel of the soft wind and the damp fine sand in your feet completes the entire experience. Continue reading “Glorious Sunset” »