Simple But It’s Not

Few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a short talk by one of the most respected photographer, Mr. George Tapan. If you travel a lot, you won’t miss his photos lining up in the arrival area, promoting different tourist destination in the Philippines. I’d often stop and stare for a while and study how he makes those magnificent shots.

His photos are not the most complicated ones, it looks like ordinary but captivating. It looks easy to capture but it’s not. He has mastered how to capture photos that would take you in a journey and lets you take part of the scene. The hardest photo to take are the most simple ones that packs a lot of appeal.

I was walking along roxas boulevard and the smell of Manila Bay is almost unbearable. I saw this old man and he's scooping water bathing himself from the same foul smelling waters.

I was walking along roxas boulevard and the smell of Manila Bay is almost unbearable. I saw this old man and he’s scooping water bathing himself from the same foul smelling waters.

Continue reading “Simple But It’s Not” »

Getting The Right Exposure

When shooting landscapes, the idea is to sharpen up to the background. By reducing the size of your opening or aperture, you get a longer depth-of-field which leaves you with the shutter and the ISO to control the light. f/16, 1/110, ISO400

When shooting landscapes, the idea is to sharpen up to the background. By reducing the size of your opening or aperture, you get a longer depth-of-field which leaves you with the shutter and the ISO to control the light. f/16, 1/110, ISO400

I think that every photography book has fully explained that there are three functions in every camera that controls the amount of light. These are shutter, aperture and ISO. They are also known as the exposure triangle. Their only function is to control the amount of light coming in and incidentally, they have a side effect.

The shutter controls the light through duration of time. If you allow the light to come in a little further, then you’ll have more light. If the light intensity is so strong, you can control it by limiting the time it passes through the shutter. The side effect when controlling light through the shutter is motion or blur. This is normally used to freeze a moving subject or capture the motion. Continue reading “Getting The Right Exposure” »

Electronic Shutter

During my one-on-one workshop, my student was using a Fujifilm XT-1 and although my discussion is focused the theory of photography, I cannot disregard the different approach in handling this type of camera.

Fujifilm has no aperture or shutter priority in the shooting mode dial. It works like the classic camera where the aperture control is on the lens and where the auto aperture setting also resides. If you’re a DSLR user, it may take you longer than the usual to get familiar with the way settings are controlled in Fujifilm cameras.

Since I’m no expert in Fujifilm, I visited Ryan Go of F8 to give some few experts advice and true to what I’ve expected, there were a handful of info that I didn’t know. One of which that spiked my interest is the rolling shutter limitation when using electronic shutter. This happens if you turn off the mechanical shutter and let the electronic shutter control the exposure time.

My first reaction was, how come I didn’t know about this. Maybe because I had so much fun with my Canon G11 having flash sync up to 1/1000 sec. I was also experimenting a lot with Fujifilm X100s having high flash sync as well. Which part did I missed out that a rolling shutter limitation exist?

When using electronic shutter and turning of mechanical shutter, the delay in the CMOS sensor readout causes the stretched effect. This only happens when shooting at high speed setting and fast moving objects.

When using electronic shutter and turning of mechanical shutter, the delay in the CMOS sensor readout causes the stretched effect. This only happens when shooting at high speed setting and fast moving objects.

Continue reading “Electronic Shutter” »

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” »

Travel Photography

Photo Caption: Shots taken at Bakhawan Eco-Park in Kalibo. It’s a 50 hectares mudflats converted into a mangrove forest. The project started in 1989 targeting to plant 250,000 mangrove trees.

I love shooting fashion editorials but next to that is travel photography. You don’t have to travel abroad to do it, there’s 7101 islands in the Philippines to discover. Not only is it rich in culture and traditions, you’ll also be treated with the world class scenic views anywhere you go.

Recently, a former colleague of mine invited me to their wedding in Boracay. I decided to take the long route via Iloilo so I can check out some places along the way. I did some researching in the internet on places to go and scenic views to visit but it was not enough. It’s still best to do a proper planning and ask for people who actually experienced it themselves. Continue reading “Travel Photography” »

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” »

Before Buying Your First Camera

The multi-awarded Fujifilm XT1. Mirrorless camera using X-Trans sensor that gives the sharpest image. This time, the new model XT1 IR offers Infrared features.

The multi-awarded Fujifilm XT1. Mirrorless camera using X-Trans sensor that gives the sharpest image. This time, the new model XT1 IR offers Infrared features.

As the bonuses starts pouring in, so as the consumers finally buying their prize. Before you invest on a camera, here’s some points you need to consider and maybe questions you need to answer. When you’re an impulsive buyer like me, I really wish you read this first before rushing to buy one.

Camera System 

Somewhere along your photographic journey, somebody would ask you what your camera system is. He is actually referring to what brand you are using. By default, lenses and other camera accessories only works with a particular brand.

If you’re using a Nikon camera body, then only Nikon lens, flash, triggers, etc will work on it. Your next camera body should still be Nikon so you can use your existing equipments. If ever you plan to shift brand or system, you have to sell the entire setup. Continue reading “Before Buying Your First Camera” »

Back To Basics

Photo by Erwin Lim during Tour de Cebu 2015 - a 1000 kms historic car rally across the Visayas. Fujifilm XT1, XF55-200, 181mm, f8, 1/750 sec, ISO 800, Aperture Priority.

Photo by Erwin Lim during Tour de Cebu 2015 – a 1000 kms historic car rally across the Visayas. Fujifilm XT1, XF55-200, 181mm, f8, 1/750 sec, ISO 800, Aperture Priority.

I was taking an UBER ride in manila when the driver started asking me about photography. I asked, how did you know I’m a photographer, he said that my bag looks like a camera bag. He then told me that when he was still working as a manager in one of the call center in Eastwood, he was a member of the company’s camera club. UBER drivers are a mix of retired professional and more. Continue reading “Back To Basics” »

An Eye For Photography

albertpedrosaphotography_grp

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” »

Do You Edit Your Photos?

Gardens By The Bay. Global editing using Lightroom 5.

Gardens By The Bay. Global editing using Lightroom 5

I always get this question every time I do a photography training. I find this question very interesting and intriguing at the same time. Every time this question is raised, I try to understand where the question is coming from. Is it because you’ve been trying to create a particular image and has been failing or you’re trying to find the fine line between shooting and editing.

When I was starting out with photography, most of the photos that inspired me much are the landscapes that looks really engaging. Like in the movies, these are scenes you don’t normally experience in real life. They have the looks that would break your piggy bank and re consider your bucket list. Continue reading “Do You Edit Your Photos?” »