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” »

What’s in your heart

Choosing the right genre in photography is as complicated as finding your partner in life. While the basics principles of photography applies to all genre, the differences in terms of subject matter are extremes. Expertise from different discipline is one-half of the needed skills to master a particular genre, the other half is the technicalities of photography.

I don't normally shoot in my own workshop, maybe I do some demo but not to the point of zoning in. Some of the rare times that inspiration to shoot is too strong. I had to steal half an hour after the workshop to take some of the imagination out in the real world.

I don’t normally shoot in my own workshop, maybe I do some demo but not to the point of zoning in. Some of the rare times that inspiration to shoot is too strong. I had to steal half an hour after the workshop to take some of the imagination out in the real world.

I started shooting when I was in high school just for the fun and curiosity of taking pictures and developing it in the dark room. In college, I was shooting for a publication and I was shooting products during my early working years. I never had a genre that really fired up my interest. Something that will inspire me to do it all over again no matter how many lifetimes. Continue reading “What’s in your heart” »

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” »

Photography School

It’s been five years now that I’m teaching photography and I have to admit that I’m sometimes frustrated with myself for failing to inspire some students and to those students as well who failed to see the art. John Free, a documentary photographer shared his thoughts about photography school and how it damaged the potentials.

Travel photography always fascinates me. In one of my trips in Sydney, a good friend showed me around the city. Harbour Bridge, Fujifilm XE-1 18mm.

Travel photography always fascinates me. In one of my trips in Sydney, a good friend showed me around the city. Harbour Bridge, Fujifilm XE-1 18mm.

In a video posted in PetaPixel, John Free vents his thoughts about photography schools who are just there for the money. He said that his personal experience enrolling in a world’s top photography school was horrifying. He was glad he went out early enough to keep his passion going. Continue reading “Photography School” »

Focal-Plane Shutter

Shooting with strobes. One artificial light and ambient light in the background. Shutter is set at 1/160. Most cameras x-sync is below 1/200. Anything more than that, you'll capture your shutter in your frame. Normally a black strip will cover a portion of your image. Model Credit: Stacey Nicole Swardt

Shooting with strobes. One artificial light and ambient light in the background. Shutter is set at 1/160. Most cameras x-sync is below 1/200. Anything more than that, you’ll capture your shutter in your frame. Normally a black strip will cover a portion of your image. Model Credit: Stacey Nicole Swardt

One of the most precise mechanism in every camera whether mirrorless or conventional DSLR is the focal-plane shutter. This is the mechanical part of a camera that controls the amount of time the light is allowed to pass through and expose the sensor.

The sound that you hear when your camera takes a shot is not the audible sound you hear in your cellphone but its actually the movement of mechanical pieces opening and closing the window just before the sensor. Focal-plane shutter is one of the three exposure controls you can adjust when controlling the amount of light passing through your camera.

Shutter speed is not dependent on your lens but your camera body. This means that even if you change from one lens to the next, you’ll still have the same shutter speed options. Those camera with no focal-plane shutter like point-and-shoot or those camera mounted on your cellphone controls the amount of exposure time by turning the sensor on and off electronically. Continue reading “Focal-Plane Shutter” »

Color Grading

Have you noticed how photos in magazine ads or in their editorial looks dramatic or cinematic?That’s color grading or if you’re trying to go extremes, that’s creative color correction. This can be applied to any picture where you want to break the norms.

Maybe you want to do away with color grading on family portraits, food or products. Anything where color is essential to the truthfulness of the image. Color grading basically is used for bringing out a certain mood.

Colors are communicators. It conveys a mood. So aside from the composition and elements in the frame, color talks to the audience as well. Controlling the colors and bringing them straight to what you’ved imagine contributes a lot to your image. Continue reading “Color Grading” »