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” »

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” »

Thought Process

I’m occasionally asked about my thought process when shooting. I would hear the same question when watching photography video tutorial. When I was just starting up, that’s what I always ask every time I meet somebody I look up to. When learning photography the photos are output of the photographer’s creative process. Continue reading “Thought Process” »

Phottix Indra Hi Speed Sync

One of the limitation of a focal plane shutter, both used by mirrorless and DSLR, is that it can only allow shooting with strobe at 1/200 shutter speed and below. The maximum shutter speed that the camera can allow with strobe is called flash sync. Should you decide to shoot faster than the flash sync, you’ll see a block of line in your shot..

Well it’s quite easy to digest that as long as you’re below the flash sync, you’re safe. However, what if you want to shoot at faster shutter speed? What if you want to open up your aperture to create a shallow depth of field and increase the shutter to control the exposure while using strobe to fill in the light?

Perfect for shooting portraits. Beauty dish mounted on a Phottix Indra500 set on hi speed sync. 1/1600sec, f/1.8

Continue reading “Phottix Indra Hi Speed Sync” »

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” »

Finding the genre that fits you

Travel Photography is one genre that still captures my heart even if I think of a model subject to add to the composition. (Hermit’s Cove, Aloguinsan, Canon 5D, 17-40)

First of all, I would like to congratulate all the winners of Sinulog Photo Contest 2017. The effort, skill and talent all rolled together to emerge as winners out of the thousands of participants. Sinulog is always a spectacle that photographers cannot resist. I can only wish though, that we can be more disciplined next year.

Photography has a lot of genre for you to choose from when you’re a greenhorn. Sometimes there’s too much for you to try that you end up doing everything but hasn’t mastered one. Any photographer can easily get interested about anything about photography, especially if they see a work of a master photographer. Continue reading “Finding the genre that fits you” »

Drive Your Passion

Recently, I handled a fashion photography workshop at Philippine Center for Creative Imaging in Makati. I had apprehensions on speaking tagalog as I might slip into speaking visayan. It turned out to be more difficult because I have to speak english all the way having students from Japan and the Oman who came to the Philippines just to attend the workshop.

Spills from the recent workshop I handled. Playing with gels to get out of the norm. Model: Camille Sedar, PCCI.

I’m always intrigued about each and every student’s story on how they end up taking the workshop. This is the next level workshop after taking the basics. I always wondered how they decided to take fashion photography over the other courses. It was fun being with other passionate persons loving the same genre. Continue reading “Drive Your Passion” »

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” »

Pursuing Photography

I’ve been doing photography workshops for about 5 years now. Every time I start my workshop, I always ask why they chose to learn photography. A mix of answers would surface, some because there’s a camera lying around the house. A few would say my parents convinced me to enroll but almost always, one would say “because I’ve always wanted to do photography”.

Shot taken by Ceasar Azanza of Macys Camera Shop using Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens. F3.4, 1/125, ISO400.

Shot taken by Ceasar Azanza of Macys Camera Shop using Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/2.8 ASPH Lens. F3.4, 1/125, ISO400.

Of course our learning curves are all unique. Some who joined without any expectation turned out to be a natural in seeing things creatively. And yeah, some with all the expensive gadgets will seem to have difficulty getting it right. There is really no absolute pattern or a common trait that a person may have for you to know that he will excel in photography. Continue reading “Pursuing Photography” »