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?” »

Outdoor Location Shoot

For those photographers who have a hate and love relationship with natural lighting, outdoor shooting can only go two ways, disaster or perfection. I know the feeling, I’m one of them. Although natural light is still the best light and cannot be perfectly mimicked by artificial light, it can also be a headache when you mix it with your strobe light.

We found this open space in north reclamation area with an old junked Koashiong bus. Looks like an eye sore for passersby but a gold mine to the eyes of a photographer. Natural light with a mix of strobe light. Model: Eva Maria.

We found this open space in north reclamation area with an old junked Koashiong bus. Looks like an eye sore for passersby but a gold mine to the eyes of a photographer. Natural light with a mix of strobe light. Model: Eva Maria.

I know and understood it long time ago that mixing natural and artificial light is a recipe for disaster but it’s irresistible not to do it. You know that natural light will change intensity without any warning and suddenly one of your light source is off the mark while the strobe is not compensating. However, if both natural light and your strobe blended correctly, the result is impeccable. Continue reading “Outdoor Location Shoot” »

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” »

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?” »

Rejections

Sliding off the norm, I overexposed this shot to get a washed out effect. Yacht Club, Roxas Boulevard. f8, 1/160, 70-200, 5D.

Sliding off the norm, I overexposed this shot to get a washed out effect. Yacht Club, Roxas Boulevard. f8, 1/160, 70-200, 5D.

When you’re a photographer or any type of artist, you’ll go through many challenges and one of them is rejection. The issue is worsen by social media. However, perspective matters and if you reposition your thinking, you’ll see it in a different way.

I was scrolling through my facebook feed and read a post from Mai Pages, it says “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese. After reading the line, I felt the waves went through my past experiences and released a ton of stress. Continue reading “Rejections” »

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?” »

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” »

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” »

Charge to Experience

OSLOB. I was testing shooting HDR handheld minus the tripod, and even if the shutter speed was fast enough for all the three frames, I experienced some softness during alignment in Photoshop. Tripod is still the best option when shooting HDR.

OSLOB. I was testing shooting HDR handheld minus the tripod, and even if the shutter speed was fast enough for all the three frames, I experienced some softness during alignment in Photoshop. Tripod is still the best option when shooting HDR.

Often, when a group of photographers is put in one room, it’s inevitable that the topic of gears will almost instantly be a hit. One would share a personal review on a particular brand while others would update the group in terms of new releases. On rare occasion, one photographer would open up and share one’s techniques.

This is the part that I really look forward to. While I’m quite technical when it comes to gears configuration, I’m also a sucker when it comes to shooting style and techniques. I probably spend 90 percent of my time learning the different photographic challenges and technique. Continue reading “Charge to Experience” »

Inspired to Shoot

As I was editing the winning raw files in preparation for hi-­res printing of the recently concluded Sinulog Photo Contest, there was this one photo that really inspired me more about photography.

Photo by Leo Sibi, 6th Place Festival Queen, ?NEF f/3.5, 1/000 ISO2500

Photo by Leo Sibi, 6th Place Festival Queen, ?NEF f/3.5, 1/000 ISO2500

The Sinulog Foundation would normally forward the winning printed photos in their standard 5R format together with the raw files to their printing partner, GraphicStar. I’m normally called to finalize and edit raw files to ensure the optimum quality for hi­-res printing. I would normally expect that the raw file would differ from the printed version. Continue reading “Inspired to Shoot” »