Rookie Mistake

Photo by Reginal de Guia. Last week I asked Reginald to talk to me about his love for landscape and using filters shooting it. After a short talk over coffee, I learned so much. Will share it in my coming articles.

Photo by Reginal de Guia. Last week I asked Reginald to talk to me about his love for landscape and using filters shooting it. After a short talk over coffee, I learned so much. Will share it in my coming articles.

I can probably say that in my current state as a photographer, I have charged a fee in exchange for my service and my client trusts my ability to deliver relative to their expectation. I’m a professional photographer, but despite of all my long experiences, I’m not exempted to mistakes just like any other rookie out there.

In one of my commercial shoot, I was surprise to see the settings of my camera at ISO1600. There’s nothing wrong using high ISO especially if your camera is capable of shooting better ISO or if your intention is to shoot it at high ISO. But if you were unaware of your settings, that’s where the problem comes. It only means that you were not checking your settings before you took the shot.

Sometimes when you’re too dependent on the LCD display and you just wait and see what you’ve got so you can adjust accordingly, it only means that you’ve become reactive to the situation rather than being proactive and be on top of it. You tend to miss the moment when you react to the situation. Moments that could have been the shot you’re after. Continue reading “Rookie Mistake” »

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” »

Photoshop Update

I have a friend who’s into graphics and photography that uses Photoshop 7. This is way back late 90s just before CS and CC versions. He said that he don’t need any of the new features and all the tools that he needs is there. True, in my use of Photoshop, the essential tools are normally enough for me but I also take advantage of new features that can speed up my task.

No matter how much retouching is needed, I always start with Lightroom and do my retouching in Photoshop then back to Lightroom again for final correction and export. Credits to Danny, Anastasia and iioffice Cebu.

No matter how much retouching is needed, I always start with Lightroom and do my retouching in Photoshop then back to Lightroom again for final correction and export. Credits to Danny, Anastasia and iioffice Cebu.

Some photographers that I know, uses Photoshop exclusively only as a base application for third-party filters. The moment the file opens, they just dive into the world of filters and plug-ins. No quarrel on that, it’s always the final result that matters. Continue reading “Photoshop Update” »

Sensor Size and Dynamic Range

Recently, Fujifilm released their version of a medium format mirrorless camera. I very much agree that indeed, the camera is definitely better than any full frame camera. Just the same as Hasselblad and Phase One who has been in the medium format industry for the longest time, bigger sensor is always better.

What makes a bigger sensor better is the ability to collect more light in a surface plane. The more light collected, the more data you get out of a single shot. Do we need all the data collected or how can we take advantage of the available data? It’s quite surprising that not all the data will be displayed.

On my way to Camotes Island, I saw this pack of dolphins swimming gracefully and synchronised towards the boat. Shooting with a full frame sensor and 70-300 lens.

On my way to Camotes Island, I saw this pack of dolphins swimming gracefully and synchronised towards the boat. Shooting with a full frame sensor and 70-300 lens.

Our monitor cannot display all the available data due to limitation and this also applies to print. Even if the monitor can display it, our eyes is not capable of seeing more than 16.8 million colors. A normal 14-bit file can capture 4.39 trillion colors. Then you would wonder where would I use all the extra data that I get when using bigger sensor? Continue reading “Sensor Size and Dynamic Range” »

Wider Perspective

Adjust your aperture manually in the lens and set the shutter speed based on the camera metering. Estimate the distance of the subject and set it in the camera then shoot away. Sayang 14mm.

Adjust your aperture manually in the lens and set the shutter speed based on the camera metering. Estimate the distance of the subject and set it in the camera then shoot away. Sayang 14mm.

In my last few articles, I mentioned that I have issues on what’s the right lens to bring when shooting travel photography. It’s always been a hit or miss in my case. Recently, I went out for another travel photography project and made some adjustments. This time, my Samyang 14mm joined the gang.

I normally just bring my 70-300, 17-40 and 24-105. I’m most comfortable with these lenses and the level of sharpness and contrast is just enough for me to get the results I wanted. The issue of whether to bring two camera bodies was resolve in my last trip. I have decided that two camera bodies helps a lot in minimising changing lens in the field. Continue reading “Wider Perspective” »

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?” »

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” »

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” »