Bulky DSLR

Sydney QVB, I was using the Fujifilm XE-1 18mm with APS-C sensor. It was small, compact and lightweight. Quality is at par with my DSLR.

Last week during the Camerahaus Photo Festival in BGC, I noticed that a lot of photographers are still in DSLR. I was expecting to see more mirrorless camera this time around. The same festival last year was dominated by DSLR users but with the trend going to the mirrorless side, it was surprising to see less of them. Continue reading “Bulky DSLR” »

Best practice using Photoshop

In my many workshops in the creative industry and that includes photography, it is very common to know that some Photoshop users are still using the application like it’s the 90’s. They are using the current version but the approach and practice is way back couple of decades ago.

Somehow, our source of learning is from a colleague who learned it from a senior colleague who also learned it from another one. That’s how an old practice travelled through time and up until now is being practiced. Although, Youtube tutorial has introduced newer approach, some of the tutorial are using it the wrong way.

Edited this image using Adobe Camera Raw for global color adjustments and more intensive editing in Photoshop.

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Camera Phone

Photo taken using OPPO F1s Expert Mode, f/2, 1/5, ISO400, Snapseed (Camotes, Bukilat Cave)

Over the long weekend, we travelled to Camotes Island. It was my second time to visit the place. The first time was a commissioned travel to take photos of tourist destinations. I was travelling in full battle gear. My pack was around 15 kilos or even more since my tripod was like a tank. I totally love the scenic views of the island. Continue reading “Camera Phone” »

Gear Matters

In this photo, we had to use a battery pack strobe since the location has no power outlet. Hi speed sync strobes will allow you to shoot at higher shutter speed which is helpful when shooting wide open apertures. (Nathalia Diorio)

Before you start the argument that skill is more important than gear, give me a chance to explain. I’ve been preaching it ever since that before you upgrade your equipments, you should upgrade yourself first. Find out if buying a new equipment will match your skills. Do you deserve it or you probably used the excuse that I’d be more inspired if I’m using a better gear.

My first digital camera lasted for three years before I added a new one. I even only had one lens, 50mm 1.4 back then. Oh I also had a dole out 28-105 lens. Basically, these are what I had for three years. Our brains are so creative that they can really find the most convincing reason to upgrade and often times, we all fall victim to it. Continue reading “Gear Matters” »

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” »

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” »

Just Relax

I always witness a photographer or art director, maybe the agency rep tell the model to relax. This also happens in any type of shoot whether shooting couples for prenup or a teenager for her pre debut pictures. “Relax lang” is what I always hear hoping the subject would loosen up and project a more ideal result.

Unfortunately, asking the subject to relax never results in a more confident subject. It’s not a magic word that changes the state of mind. I wish it would but it won’t. We encounter this a lot during shoot when subjects would just freeze in the set and you’d wish that they’d relax and show more confidence.

First time in front of a camera, Danny Romero told me that he doesn't know how to pose. I told him "you don't have to, let me worry about that". After a short pep talk, he was in the zone and did really well.

First time in front of a camera, Danny Romero told me that he doesn’t know how to pose. I told him “you don’t have to, let me worry about that”. After a short pep talk, he was in the zone and did really well.

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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

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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” »