Down the Rabbit Hole

Shooting the Coach: After one hour of shooting I decided to take a break. I can’t seem to find the right light. If there’s a bad hair day, you can call this the bad light day. I kept on trying for another hour until I got what I want. From three lights to one. (Model: Lorie Enriquez, Makeup: Catherine Diala)

I am at a helpless level in photography right now. Gears cannot help me anymore. Majority of the challenge right now is creativity. The pace of Improvement at this stage is very slow. Tons of effort with few positive results. Still don’t know how long and far this level will be and what will be next down the rabbit hole.

When I started shooting fashion inspired photos back in the 2010, I had my eyes fixed on a target. I know what I want and where I’m headed. The destination was clear. I also know that there will be many challenges ahead. I had everything planned and although I made some adjustments along the way, it was manageable.

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Three things about Photoshop

I’ve been using Photoshop for more than two decades now. I started with the version three sometime in the mid 90’s. We were so thrilled that we can change the color of the hair and remove unwanted elements in the photo. Surprisingly, the same basic editing function of Photoshop is still the core engine of the application after twenty five years.

Adjustment layers stacked up under the layers panel. You can individually adjust them anytime in your work sequence. All adjustment is temporary until you flatten the image. Credits: Ali Globin, Dexter Alazas' Ad Models.

Adjustment layers stacked up under the layers panel. You can individually adjust them anytime in your work sequence. All adjustment is temporary until you flatten the image. Credits: Ali Globin, Dexter Alazas’ Ad Models.

Here’s a few functions you might not know or have been using but failed to maximize its use. Here we go:

Curves – this is an adjustment tool that lets you edit the tones of an image. You can add as many nodes as you want in the line between highlight and shadows. From there you can increase or decrease the tone on every nodes.

Curves can also be used to edit tones based on color channel. If you’re working on an RGB file, you can individually edit the Red, Green and Blue channels to fit your desired color. I normally use this when editing skin tones. Continue reading “Three things about Photoshop” »

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” »

Crop sensor vs full frame

 DON’T know of any photographer who is crazier than Zack Arias. He’s the type who doesn’t care if you like him or not. Recently, I saw a video of him trying to differentiate a crop sensor versus other sensor sizes. I didn’t expect him to end up choosing Fujifilm’s APS-C sensor.

A PRO’S RECOMMENDATION. A renowned editorial and commercial photographer, Zack Arias recently released a video in which he differentiated the crop sensor versus other sensor sizes. Despite the common practice of using full frame to supposedly ensure high quality, he made the surprising choice of going for a smaller sensor. (ZACKARIAS.COM FOTO)

A PRO’S RECOMMENDATION. A renowned editorial and commercial photographer, Zack Arias recently released a video in which he differentiated the crop sensor versus other sensor sizes. Despite the common practice of using full frame to supposedly ensure high quality, he made the surprising choice of going for a smaller sensor. (ZACKARIAS.COM FOTO)

Zack, no matter how much success and popularity he has, maintains his independence. I’m pretty sure he was not asked to endorse Fujifilm without his personal preference over the brand—making him trustworthy amidst the circus of brand endorsements. Continue reading “Crop sensor vs full frame” »

Color Management for Photographer: Monitor Calibration, Part 2

For those of you who missed the previous article, I’m actually doing a series of articles about color management. In the first part, I explained the theory of monitor calibration. I also covered how the software works with a monitor calibrator and how ICC loads the monitor profile in the operating system.

Just before the actual calibration, the software will ask you to set targets for gamma and white point or color temperature. The gamma settings you choose will be the basis to set your brightness and contrast while the color temperature will correct the rendered white point of the monitor.

Monitor calibration target white point copy

Monitor calibration target white point copy

Continue reading “Color Management for Photographer: Monitor Calibration, Part 2” »

A Cast Of Blue In The Shadows

One photographer I know once told me that it all boils down to photo editing. It sounded that if you just expose your shot properly, all you have to do is click on the famous “Nik” software and a masterpiece will just emerge from it.

While it’s true that post processing is as important as photography itself, no amount of post processing can transform a bad shot into a money shot.  A good shot on the other hand can stand alone without any post processing at all. The idea is to get the shot nearest to the image you imagine it to come out and let post processing enhance it.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot at stake and too many to consider when shooting that the chance of getting a money shot is not instantaneous in every shot you make. You can sometimes call it a lucky shot but setting yourself up to be in the right spot at the right moment is definitely a must skill for every photographer out there.

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Gift Ideas

This is a collection of my landscape photos. I had this printed and binded with GraphicStar.

This is a collection of my landscape photos. I had this printed and binded with GraphicStar.

Having all your photos stored in an external hard disk, sometimes we forget that there’s a lot of interesting landscape or portraits that are long forgotten. Here are some things you can do to bring those photos into life and maybe offer it as gifts.

Before we spill the beans, let’s talk about the different printing process that’s available for you to choose from. Some photographers don’t print their photos anymore because of the high printing cost. True, printing is expensive unless you know your alternatives.

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Photographic Journey

18mm, f8

Last week we conducted a photography workshop for Landbank staff. It was part of their employee development program. There were so many who enrolled that we have to divide the workshop into three schedules.

Our contact informed us that not everybody who enrolled owns a DSLR, some would just like to understand photography in general. To my surprise, many attended with the latest model camera having multiple lenses. Continue reading “Photographic Journey” »

What Lens To Bring

A PHOTOGRAPHER has to go through a rigorous task of deciding what equipment to bring when traveling. Should I bring two camera bodies? What lenses should I bring? Do I need a flash? My tripod is quite heavy, can I survive the trip without it? Continue reading “What Lens To Bring” »