Over Prepare

In this location shoot, we brought two hard cases of equipment, a heavy duffle bag for the light stand and a big suitcase full of outfits. Me and one assistant carrying everything to the site.

The big question is always what camera equipments to bring to a shoot. You know what you need but what if the condition changes and you need another set of equipments. You can’t bring your entire arsenal of gears especially when you’ll be travelling and weight is an issue. Are you willing to take the chance of missing a shot because you didn’t bring the gear needed for the shot. Continue reading “Over Prepare” »

Taste And Preference

In my fashion photography workshop last weekend I was surprised to see my students diverse in terms of camera brand. I normally just see domination with Canon but this time, no Nikon, it was an equal footing with Canon and Fujifilm. Not just the ordinary camera but we are talking about Canon’s 1DX and Fujifilm’s GFX.

I was so glad I didn’t bring a camera. Firstly, mine has no match with their camera and secondly, I can always grab their camera to do a demo. It was a very productive two days since the level of interest of the students was all worth it. I cannot forget another workshop I did when a student was holding a 5DMk4 with a 50mm 1.8 lens. My heart just broke at that very moment.

I used a now disregarded 5DmkII with 50mm 1.4 lens in this shot. There’s a lot of people selling their 5DmkII with just a third on how much they bought it for. Brand and new technology will make shooting easier but not photography as an art.

I’ve been a Canon fanatic ever since but I also get to experience using almost all brands during workshops and at times when I’m doing a review of other brands. There were many times, I’d trade off all my camera to shift to another brand but by the time I’m back and shooting with my camera again, I’m reminded again why I’m shooting with my brand of camera. Continue reading “Taste And Preference” »

Next Technology

I was on my way to Canon office in McKinley Hill, Taguig and The Venice Grand Canal Mall happens to be right beside their building. You cannot resist the view so since I don’t bring my camera a lot, I used my smartphone OPPO F1s set to RAW to take this shot and edited it using Snapseed.

In my basic photography workshop, I normally talk about the history of photography, how it started and where we are today. I always make it a point that no matter how much technology we put in cameras today, photography never changed. We are talking about the same lighting characteristic experienced in the past and now.

The physics of light never changed and it applies even to artificial light. It’s the same shadows, light reflection and color balance that’s present even before. So what’s changing today? Technology and the method of capturing light is the difference. The artistic side of photography is as hard as a rock, technology will influence it but not so much. Continue reading “Next Technology” »

The Right Posing

The dreaded question. In all my seminar workshops all around the country, there’s always one participant that would ask me how to pose a model. I know somebody will ask at it at some point and it is just a matter of time that somebody will have the courage to ask. When the question is finally asked, I’m like a light bulb looking confident acknowledging the question.

In this shot, I gave the model a few suggestions for the pose which she then turned it into her own take of the concept. Aliya is one of the few models that I know who can throw you with stunning poses all day. (Aliya of Women’s Folio)

I would almost always start by saying that I totally understand where you’re coming from because I really do. I know the feeling and the pressure when the model would finally raise the question and ask what will be her posing. It’s the feeling you get when you’re taking the finals exam at school and you have no idea how to answer it. Continue reading “The Right Posing” »

Finding Your Light

Sri Lanka – Gone Fishing, Fujifilm XT-1, f/10, 1/8, ISO400 (Photo by: Arlene Donaire)

It’s always good to talk about photography over coffee. I had a chance to chat with Ms Arlene Donaire one afternoon and even after long hours of photography talk, it seems like the conversation keeps getting interesting. She asked to meet me in Harbour Square because of the chance to shoot the golden sunset of Manila Bay but we were lost of time with the never ending photography talk.

Indonesia – Zenphone, Mt Bromo spewing white smoke at sunrise (Photo by: Arlene Donaire)

Continue reading “Finding Your Light” »

New Year, New Learning

During the holidays, I was teaching my niece how to pose and project in front of a camera. Family members are the best practice models when you’re starting up.

Just before the end of 2016, I had a meeting with a fellow photographer in my hometown in San Francisco Agusan del Sur. I was interested to know how the photography industry is doing and the skills of photographers in the area. My idea was to conduct a workshop so I can contribute additional knowledge about photography and improve the skills of my town folks.

Learning in photography is forever. There can only be a start but never an ending. A photographer will always be a student no matter what level of proficiency he is at. The basic principles can be learned in a matter of day and pretty much, you’ll be shooting with you camera the following day. However, it’s the art and style of photography that goes on and never ends. Continue reading “New Year, New Learning” »

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” »

Tethered Shooting

When shooting tethered, you get to see your work in a bigger display and will help you see more things that you can improve in your set.

When shooting tethered, you get to see your work in a bigger display and will help you see more things that you can improve in your set.

I had a unique scenario few years back with a client who wants to see the shots while we were shooting. It was on outdoor shoot so we had to connect my camera through its USB port to my enclosed laptop and use Lightroom’s tethering feature. It was a solution at that time but we encountered some concerns along the way.

Yes, the client was happy even if the shots were coming in slow. There’s about 5 seconds delay and I have to shoot it with a good interval between shots so the transfer of data, given the fact that we were shooting raw, wouldn’t be that overwhelming. The connection between the computer and camera somehow keeps on disconnecting.

This is something that I have to deal with every time we need to shoot tethered. I know that I must have done something wrong or a setting that needs to be set since those that I see in youtube are working perfectly fine. Continue reading “Tethered Shooting” »

An Arm And A Leg

Photography is always perceived to be expensive. While it’s not entirely true, yes there are skyrocket price tag for some camera and lenses. However, you have to understand that in photography, the quality always speaks its price. I think that the decision to buy the expensive ones is critical in your journey in photography.

There is always the question of whether to buy and entry level camera and lenses or to go with the mid level set. There’s always the option to buy pro level equipments if money is not an issue. But if you’re starting up in photography, no matter if you choose to buy the entry level or the pro cameras, your output will almost always be the same.

Pocket Wizard. This remote trigger costs 5 times more than the entry level remote. All for the benefit of reliability. It's pricey alright but it definitely lessens the stress in the set and builds your reputation too.

Pocket Wizard. This remote trigger costs 5 times more than the entry level remote. All for the benefit of reliability. It’s pricey alright but it definitely lessens the stress in the set and builds your reputation too.

The pro camera being expensive has features that are made for professional to be able for them to do their work more efficiently and effectively. By efficiently, I’m referring to the speed and quick functions for you to take your shots in split seconds. Effectively is more on the reliability issue. Continue reading “An Arm And A Leg” »

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” »