Lighting Technique

One thing you should be aware about lighting is that the more you work with it, the more you can’t shoot without it. Not all photographers are into artificial lighting, there is natural light that we all enjoy and it takes another skill set to master what you cannot control. A different paradigm when it comes to creativity.

There are moments when everything just falls into place. The lights, the camera settings, the model and makeup was just right on target of what I had in mind. These are times when Photoshop becomes irrelevant. The objective is to do it right when shooting so you don't spend too much in post processing. (Model: DJ NIsh, HMUA: George Villamor)

There are moments when everything just falls into place. The lights, the camera settings, the model and makeup was just right on target of what I had in mind. These are times when Photoshop becomes irrelevant. The objective is to do it right when shooting so you don’t spend too much in post processing. (Model: DJ NIsh, HMUA: George Villamor)

I was cleaning up my backup files lately and I had a chance to review my shots from five years ago and it was a mix of emotion. I felt proud to have seen some good shot even when I was just starting up. I also felt embarrassed with a lot of my shots, I can’t believe that I even shared the photos in social media.

Everybody has to start somewhere and definitely you cannot start an expert. I am wherever I am because of what I’ve been through. In every shoot, you always encounter difficulties and from that experience you gain your experience no matter if you solved it or not. The next time you encounter it, you know if it’s solvable or at least know what needs to be done. Continue reading “Lighting Technique” »

Bigger Sensor, Better Quality?

I congratulated a friend of mine on his purchase of a full frame camera. He said that he’s been saving and waiting for it for a long time and finally his new camera came and he’s excited to try it out. Why would photographers upgrade to a bigger sensor and expect better results compared to cropped sensor.

It is a known fact that a larger sensor would give you more dynamic range. This means that you’d be able to capture more gray levels or tones in your image. Since a digital sensor’s weakness is dynamic range in comparison to film, a better sensor will at least minimize the gap but film is still king.

Recently, Hasselblad, known for its medium format size, released a mirrorless version making the bulky camera more compact and ready to go outside of the studio. Medium format camera has an entirely bigger sensor size than full frame cameras. It’s not your everyday camera, prize is just too steep that you can buy a decent car out of the camera body alone.

Smelted. Winning shot of Victor Kintanar during the Global Fujifilm Photowalk, June 2016 - Cebu Leg. Fujifilm X-T10, 35mm, 1/160sec, f/2.8, ISO800.

Smelted. Winning shot of Victor Kintanar during the Global Fujifilm Photowalk, June 2016 – Cebu Leg. Fujifilm X-T10, 35mm, 1/160sec, f/2.8, ISO800.

Continue reading “Bigger Sensor, Better Quality?” »

Getting The Right Exposure

When shooting landscapes, the idea is to sharpen up to the background. By reducing the size of your opening or aperture, you get a longer depth-of-field which leaves you with the shutter and the ISO to control the light. f/16, 1/110, ISO400

When shooting landscapes, the idea is to sharpen up to the background. By reducing the size of your opening or aperture, you get a longer depth-of-field which leaves you with the shutter and the ISO to control the light. f/16, 1/110, ISO400

I think that every photography book has fully explained that there are three functions in every camera that controls the amount of light. These are shutter, aperture and ISO. They are also known as the exposure triangle. Their only function is to control the amount of light coming in and incidentally, they have a side effect.

The shutter controls the light through duration of time. If you allow the light to come in a little further, then you’ll have more light. If the light intensity is so strong, you can control it by limiting the time it passes through the shutter. The side effect when controlling light through the shutter is motion or blur. This is normally used to freeze a moving subject or capture the motion. Continue reading “Getting The Right Exposure” »

Boils Down To Taste

Shooting with the warm sunlight at the back of my subject. I had this image in mind but it came out a bit washed out, I had to bring back most of the details in highlight using Lightroom. When shooting raw, you have a lot of latitude especially in the highlights. (credits to Cherry Maine Balagtas)

Shooting with the warm sunlight at the back of my subject. I had this image in mind but it came out a bit washed out, I had to bring back most of the details in highlight using Lightroom. When shooting raw, you have a lot of latitude especially in the highlights. (credits to Cherry Maine Balagtas)

With the explosion of the mirrorless cameras in the market today, photographers are given more options on what device to use or to add to their arsenal. If you’re new to photography, it would be best to try as many camera in your hands as you can before you decide which one best fit your taste.

With the geniuses in marketing, a product can be really enticing and often times very convincing. Then the hype comes and suddenly you see photographers around you starts using the same brand. You probably will end up getting one. That’s ok. If it will help add confidence in you to make the shot, why not. Continue reading “Boils Down To Taste” »

Sharpening The Saw

In our backyard, I asked my team to pour in their creativity. We painted the wall with kalsomine and applied corrogated carton to add texture. Styling was designed to contrast the background. Shooting tethered in Lightroom, everybody pitched in their thoughts. It was one fun day. 85mm with ND8, one strobe light with standard reflector. color toning applied on the fly. (models: Zorena, Cherry. HMUA: George Villamor, Styling Jennifer Cataraja Asst: DJ)?

In our backyard, I asked my team to pour in their creativity. We painted the wall with kalsomine and applied corrogated carton to add texture. Styling was designed to contrast the background. Shooting tethered in Lightroom, everybody pitched in their thoughts. It was one fun day. 85mm with ND8, one strobe light with standard reflector. color toning applied on the fly.
(models: Zorena, Cherry. HMUA: George Villamor, Styling Jennifer Cataraja Asst: DJ)

One of the books that preach when I was still working full time in corporate environment is Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits”. One of the habits there is sharpening the saw. No matter what level you are in your profession, because of the changing times, what you know will become obsolete or your competitor or the market will move on and you will be left behind.

On times that my schedules are loose and seems like not much bookings are coming in, instead of feeling bad about myself which I sometimes do, I try shake it off by experimenting and stretching and exercising my creative imagination. At the end of the exercise you get a ton load of new learnings and maybe a smile in your face to bring in the clients.filmstrip
Continue reading “Sharpening The Saw” »

Speedlight

I visited a camera store a few days ago and while waiting for my order, I checked out some items and of course their prices. Something you shouldn’t be doing if you don’t want your “I need this” syndrome to come out and start giving you the best excuse to buy the item.

I was surprised to see the Canon 600EX RT reaching the 30k mark. If you’re new to photography, this would be absurd. Flash investment is the same if not more expensive than entry level DSLR. How come there are those expensive flash or Speedlight and there are those that’s even less than 5k investment.

Unfortunately, not all flash are created equal. Some are actually dumb flash and there are the intelligent ones. You can buy a flash as low as P2,500 and create photos just like the expensive ones. You wonder if there’s something special in the properties of light used in the more expensive class over the cheap ones.

The image shows the difference between ambient lighting and fill in flash. Left photo is shot with ambient lighting. Right photo filled-in ?with dumb strobe and light modified using umbrella. Both photos shot with the same camera settings. f/2.8, 1/80, ISO500.

The image shows the difference between ambient lighting and fill in flash. Left photo is shot with ambient lighting. Right photo filled-in ?with dumb strobe and light modified using umbrella. Both photos shot with the same camera settings. f/2.8, 1/80, ISO500.

Continue reading “Speedlight” »

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” »

Lucky Shot

Nikon Facebook This is the image that Nikon posted in Facebook page which drew a lot of reaction. Nikon already acknowledged their mistake and apologised. In the end, it was still a good PR.

Nikon Facebook
This is the image that Nikon posted in Facebook page which drew a lot of reaction. Nikon already acknowledged their mistake and apologised. In the end, it was still a good PR.

I downloaded the photo and applied curves adjustment to the image. It's quite obvious don't you think?

I downloaded the photo and applied curves adjustment to the image. It’s quite obvious don’t you think?

Recently, Nikon Asia created waves of reaction from netizens after they posted a photo of Chay Yu Wei in their facebook page. The photo passed through judges and eventually won. After all the praises and thank yous, the photo turned out to be edit. Not only edited but badly edited.

Continue reading “Lucky Shot” »

Before Buying Your First Camera

The multi-awarded Fujifilm XT1. Mirrorless camera using X-Trans sensor that gives the sharpest image. This time, the new model XT1 IR offers Infrared features.

The multi-awarded Fujifilm XT1. Mirrorless camera using X-Trans sensor that gives the sharpest image. This time, the new model XT1 IR offers Infrared features.

As the bonuses starts pouring in, so as the consumers finally buying their prize. Before you invest on a camera, here’s some points you need to consider and maybe questions you need to answer. When you’re an impulsive buyer like me, I really wish you read this first before rushing to buy one.

Camera System 

Somewhere along your photographic journey, somebody would ask you what your camera system is. He is actually referring to what brand you are using. By default, lenses and other camera accessories only works with a particular brand.

If you’re using a Nikon camera body, then only Nikon lens, flash, triggers, etc will work on it. Your next camera body should still be Nikon so you can use your existing equipments. If ever you plan to shift brand or system, you have to sell the entire setup. Continue reading “Before Buying Your First Camera” »

Solving The Problem Backwards

So after a month long battle against Lightroom’s mess and how it messed up my workflow and to the point of almost losing a client, I’m finally seeing the sunlight after a storm. I hope it stays this way but just like in a horror movie, the villains will always try to make a last scare.

One of my favorite tool in LR, the adjustment brush, has become more powerful in its CC release. Adobe added more sliders for more precise adjustment allowing you to edit images in LR in particular parts only. Just like masking in Photoshop. (Photo Credit: Congrats Edmund and Nica)

One of my favorite tool in LR, the adjustment brush, has become more powerful in its CC release. Adobe added more sliders for more precise adjustment allowing you to edit images in LR in particular parts only. Just like masking in Photoshop. (Photo Credit: Congrats Edmund and Nica)

After a numerous tense sessions with Adobe’s help desk and countless hours of frustration waiting for a best solution to remedy the problem, it turned out that the solution is not to solve it but to step backward and go back to where it was running error free. Continue reading “Solving The Problem Backwards” »