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.

Before and after applying color adjustments. Notice the lower level of saturation in the sliders and the adjustments in the blue channel of Tone Curves.

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” »

Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 Is Finally Here

It’s an exciting times for the X-men this time around. I’m actually referring to Fujifilm’s new addition to their lineup. Indeed, they started the year with a bang. Fujifilm X-series is making a statement to Sony Alpha and the mirrorless market.

The first ever camera in the X-series to go beyond 16 megapixel. The X-Pro 2 is equipped with a 24 megapixel X-Trans III sensor.

The first ever camera in the X-series to go beyond 16 megapixel. The X-Pro 2 is equipped with a 24 megapixel X-Trans III sensor.

I have been praising Fujifilm for its classic look and state of the art functionalities from the very beginning. I tested the X100s for quite some time and spend a good quality time with XE-1 during my trip down under and I’m all smiles the entire time. There were very few frustrating experience to write about. Continue reading “Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 Is Finally Here” »

What’s The Color Of The Ceiling?

It’s amusing to know that a photographer arriving in the venue would look up and asses the ceiling. Is it white? How high is it? Can I bounce the light? The client might not notice it or know his reason why he’s looking up but it is one important factor when shooting indoors.

In this photo of Wilson and Sheila, I wanted to to get a soft lighted high key effect so I bounced the light off the ceiling using a regular speedlite flash.

In this photo of Wilson and Sheila, I wanted to to get a soft lighted high key effect so I bounced the light off the ceiling using a regular speedlite flash.

When you talk about close door event, one of the major consideration is available light. It becomes worse for photographers when mood lighting is used in an event. This problem occurs because the lights were designed on how we see it thus it adds to the experience. However, what we can see is not the same as what the camera can see. Continue reading “What’s The Color Of The Ceiling?” »

Lightroom: Made for Photographers

Lightroom is a straightforward application designed for photographers. It is not made to replace Photoshop but rather to compliment it. All the functionalities are made to streamline post processing workflow.

Lightroom is a straightforward application designed for photographers. It is not made to replace Photoshop but rather to compliment it. All the functionalities are made to streamline post processing workflow.

My first experience with Lightroom was around 2007. It was the first version after a series of beta that came out. Like many Photoshop fanatic, I tried using the software the same way I use Photoshop. Obviously, it didn’t work for me because the software was never made to replace Photoshop. It was made for photographers. Continue reading “Lightroom: Made for Photographers” »

An Eye For Photography

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I’ve been teaching photography for quite some time now. I’ve seen those who can afford gadgets like buying a new shirt. And those who are more interested on camera specs and what’s hot on the market than actually spending time using it. Those who are overly excited to learn and of course those who has the gift of eye. Continue reading “An Eye For Photography” »

Finding The Right Angle

After about 4 kilometers of walk in and around Singapore’s Garden by the Bay, I finally got some decent shots. Finding the right angle and composition is a challenge every photographer faces.

Sometimes, your subject is perfectly positioned in your frame but the other elements like foreground or background to support your subject is just not there to support the composition. You’re almost convinced that you can’t get any shot other than what you have but you push yourself further.

Found this view of the city of Singapore with a good water reflection foreground. When I look back from where I was standing, I saw the coconut tree so I decided to put it in the foreground.

Found this view of the city of Singapore with a good water reflection foreground. When I look back from where I was standing, I saw the coconut tree so I decided to put it in the foreground.

Continue reading “Finding The Right Angle” »