Iloilo Photo Festival

I’m imagining a blackboard and chalk hearing the student’s answer in chorus as I ask about shutter speeds and apertures. Like Math and English subjects, students of Iloilo National High School together with other public school under the DepEd Division of Iloilo, take photography subject just like one of the subjects.

Students from different public school all over Panay together with amateur photographers attend the weeklong photography activities during the Iloilo Photo Festival at Robinson's Mall in Iloilo.

Students from different public school all over Panay together with amateur photographers attend the weeklong photography activities during the Iloilo Photo Festival at Robinson’s Mall in Iloilo.

The Iloilo Photo Festival, now on it’s 6th year offers a weeklong multi-events to students who are interested in photography. The idea is to pool professional photographers from different discipline and share their knowledge and thoughts about photography to the students completely free.

The organizers of IPF6 believes that the high cost of photography workshop limits the chance of the students to hear it from the experts and learn further about photography as an art and as a profession. Several local photography clubs in Panay are also invited to join the weeklong event with a minimal fee just to cover the cost of running the festival. Continue reading “Iloilo Photo Festival” »

Post Processing Internally and Externally

I understand that editing your photo has been an argument even back in the days of Ansel Adams when Photoshop did not even exist. Some editing comes to the point of reconstructing the image that the art of photography is exploited. Advertising images has been criticized about false advertising due to mis-representation of their product using too much Photoshop.

I carry a small point and shoot camera with me when travelling so I can take quick snaps along the way.  Shooting raw using canon G11(small sensor), 1/60, 5.6, ISO 100. Edited in Adobe Camera Raw.

I carry a small point and shoot camera with me when travelling so I can take quick snaps along the way. Shooting raw using canon G11(small sensor), 1/60, 5.6, ISO 100. Edited in Adobe Camera Raw.

While it’s sad to know all about the negative effect of photo editing, it also has it’s highs. Photo editing allows you to correct and enhance your image and fills in the camera’s limitation. By putting photography first and polishing it after with editing, you’re keeping the art. Continue reading “Post Processing Internally and Externally” »

Plan and Improvise

There’s a lot of things that can happen during a shoot and no matter how you prepare for everything, something will always come up and challenge your ability to improvise to finish the shoot. Although there’s that very common human error, equipment failure is a definitely the bummer.

Shooting with two strobe lights bounced through both side of the wall and ceiling. No light modifier needed except for the standard reflector. The entire room becomes a big light source making the light soft and even.

Shooting with two strobe lights bounced through both side of the wall and ceiling. No light modifier needed except for the standard reflector. The entire room becomes a big light source making the light soft and even.

Last week I was doing a corporate shoot and the first challenge was doing it without my assistant. I had to prepare all the equipment and made a checklist to make sure I got everything. When deciding which equipment to bring, you have to have alternatives just in case something goes south in the middle of the shoot.

There’s a reason why you bring two camera bodies and an extra lens during a shoot, just in case one equipment decides not to perform. Same goes to your  lighting setup, backup is necessary and some few extra cables, battery, trigger and never forget the all around solution, duct tape. Continue reading “Plan and Improvise” »

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” »

Glorious Sunset

I was in Boracay lately and more than the powdery white sand and crystal clear water is the glorious sunset. Everyday, no miss. It’s there with or without audience. What makes it a really spectacle scene is that it only last for a couple of minutes. You stare at the moment and hold your breathe as the ray of warm orange and some chrome yellow skies slowly swallow the golden sun. Then a magnificent afterglow follows.

I was shooting a model at that time. We started shooting late afternoon to get a soft and less contrasty light. When shooting, i’m totally framed into my shots and can’t be interrupted by anything. So I didn’t realize that the spectacle has begun. As soon as I glanced upon it, like hypnosis, I stared at it and paused. I wanted to take a photo of it but decided to just sit in the sand and enjoy the view.

ISO 3200, Focal 195mm, 1/200, f16. Taken during sunset on the highest peak of Boracay.

ISO 3200, Focal 195mm, 1/200, f16. Taken during sunset on the highest peak of Boracay.

I’ve seen a lot of Boracay sunset photos but it’s incomparable to actually experiencing it yourself. The colors are out of range from any top of the line camera. The dynamic range it offers is just to wide to be captured. The feel of the soft wind and the damp fine sand in your feet completes the entire experience. Continue reading “Glorious Sunset” »

Gear Acquisition Syndrome

In one of the stories in 500px, I stumble upon an article titled “Confession of a Gear Addict”. It was written by Pedro Quintela, landscape and travel photographer. As I was reading it, it dawned on me that at some point of my photography career, I’m as guilty as him. Am I cured from this disease? Probably not entirely.

Taking it from my personal experience, I tend to start blaming my gears when I’m getting mediocre photos. It occurred a lot during my starting up stage in photography. Maybe because I’m not using an L lens or the lights I’m using is just China made and those branded ones are producing really great results. The excuses and blaming is endless.

Streets of Bangkok. Shot using Canon 60D and 50mm 1.4 lens. My 50mm is one of my go to lens until now. It's been 5 years since I purchased it and still work wonders for me.

Streets of Bangkok. Shot using Canon 60D and 50mm 1.4 lens. My 50mm is one of my go to lens until now. It’s been 5 years since I purchased it and still work wonders for me.

Then you start seeing behind the scenes shoot from the professionals that you follow and you see them in jaw dropping lenses and really expensive equipments in the set. You would even see them using medium format cameras. Then you say that probably because they have the right gears so they produce great photos. Continue reading “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” »

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” »

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” »

Developing your creativity

Three months ago, my former student gave me a challenge to shoot her prenup in an unusual way. She wanted me to choose between star wars or apocalyptic theme. Without hesitation, I accepted the challenge knowing I still have three months to think about it. As the shooting day comes close, the tension started to sink in and days before the shoot, it was nothing less than panic.

Because I cannot resolve my thoughts on how I should shoot it in apocalyptic style, I decided to shoot it in an apocalyptic environment with some touch of fashion. Congrats Liz and Edo.

Because I cannot resolve my thoughts on how I should shoot it in apocalyptic style, I decided to shoot it in an apocalyptic environment with some touch of fashion. Congrats Liz and Edo.

Continue reading “Developing your creativity” »

True Colors

The Eizo ColorEdge is one of the finest monitor for photographer. It has a 4k resolution and comes with a built-in calibrator. For this 31" inch monitor, price is close to P300k.

The Eizo ColorEdge is one of the finest monitor for photographer. It has a 4k resolution and comes with a built-in calibrator. For this 31″ inch monitor, price is close to P300k.

One time, I posted a photo of my newly purchased macbook pro being calibrated. In the caption I said, “because even a new mac needs to be calibrated”. I got some few messages telling me that they thought that when using a mac, their colors are always correct.

If you’re shooting professionally, getting the right colors from your monitor is imperative in producing the right quality. Calibration is the key in getting a true colors from your monitor and not even a mac is spared from calibration. Although a mac may have its advantages when it comes to color but there’s more to consider when deciding what monitor to use. Continue reading “True Colors” »