Thursday, November 15, 2007

Only in the Philippines...

I know I haven't been posting much lately. It's been a busy life. :) I'm not complaining... well, ok, some part of me is. :P But it's been a fun sort of busy. I think, as a photographer, I'm getting a bit better. Though I've still got room to improve. If only there wasn't so much to do though.

Anyways, Just wanted to share these two pictures of two establishments that have recently opened in our city of Meycauayan.

I think these two store names are good candidates for forwarding, don't you? :) Only in the Philippines. Really.

On your way home, if your SO texts "WR Na U?", you could say "D2 na me sa D2NaMe" and buy them lugaw, or...

... you could buy them ukay-ukay clothes. Imagine, being here allows you to step forward in time... It hasn't been established yet!

Only time will tell if either of these establishments will make it into the history books as successful, but for the moment they'll spend some time in the limelight for such an inventive name. Pinoy talaga.

Friday, August 31, 2007

:) Isabela :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Being Professional A Month Later...

It's been a month since my last post. Gotta say that the excitement hasn't really worn off yet. I don't know if it ever will. I wish I could post some of the pictures I've taken lately. Soon I shall. I might be able to post one quite soon as I was able to shoot a friend's baby daughter this morning. Was she ever adorable. Though, like her mom said, medyo mahal yung ngiti nya. She only smiled maybe once or twice, and she hid her face whenever she did. :) I was able to catch one though. Enhanced the shot and her mom loved it. I'll ask them if I can post it here.

I'm learning new things everyday... well, ok, not everyday but I'm learning new things. And I'm having fun. While working with clients who are at first strangers to me might be daunting at times, and I think I've had my share of clients who've made me nervous, I think I've been lucky enough to be able to really establish rapport with most of them and have fun with them during their shoots. But I really need to pay more attention to detail. I am getting into a rhythm, and I hope that, no scratch that. I KNOW that in time I can be the best I can be.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Photography as a Job: A TPC photographer at last!

Ok, I have to apologize for several weeks, if not a month of absence. Training and working at The Picture Company hasn't always allowed me time to compose my thoughts. I haven't been able to post any photos of the day pictures either, and I apologize for that. Not that I haven't been able to take any good photos. Believe me, to my surprise and several clients' delight (relief on my part), I have. It's just that I don't think I ought to post them here without prior permission. But maybe, in the near future, I'll ask, and see if I can post some of them, at least small copies...

Anyway, updates. I've passed the three week training, and have been taking more and more photos of kids, grown-ups, families as the days have progressed. Tomorrow, being a Saturday, is going to be a heavy day for The Picture Company as weekends are when most families are free to visit the store. Saturdays and Sundays usually see fully booked stores, and this weekend is no exception. It's going to be all shoots from opening to closing. The prospect of which part of me revels in, while part of me is terrified by.
This nervousness is something that I verbally express at work, and experience whole-heartedly when I know I'm up for a shoot that day. I try to prepare myself, but I'm still a nervous wreck before, during, and sometimes after. I do my best, and that's all I can give. But there's still part of me that wants to be perfect for each client. Anyway, that's something for another blog or entry isn't it?

So far, it's been only 10 days since we ended training. And I know that I can see myself doing this for quite a long time. :) I'm a professional!!!:D

Now, if only money grew on trees.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Excuses and a delayed Photo of the Day: 24June07 TPC Podium

We've been without internet since the 24th of June, so I haven't quite been able to live up to my promises. Apparently there was some data cable theft, resulting in a loss of connection for almost a week, and then the Server couldn't give us an IP address because it forgot we existed. Now that it's back though...

Photo of the day 06.24.07

Rocking Horse, The Picture Company, Podium

Helpful Hints, and other Sites I wish I authored

I know I started this blog in the hopes that I might impart some knowledge about photography. :) Well, like a great philosopher once said, the first sign of wisdom is knowing that you don't know squat... or something like that.
Well, ok. I don't not know anything. I guess I know enough to take pics, though not always enough to know how to fix them, or take them well. However, the least I can do right now is point people to sites which I wish I had enough experience to have authored. One of those sites is Strobist.

Strobist is a site that's dedicated to helping you help yourself improve your flash using skills. I'm aiming to keep reading it and learning from it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Photography as a Job: Joining The Picture Company

the picture company

haven't been blogging in awhile. I know I could come up with loads of good excuses but I just haven't been able to blog. Maybe I was busy doing something, or was too tired after a busy day and I've just neglected this. I hope not to again. Now that I've something worth blogging about, in a photo blog I mean.

So yes, like the subject line states, I'm applying for The Picture Company for their Kiddy Entertainer / Photographer position. Hours are a bit hectic, and the daily commute is going to be an issue, and sacrifices will be made, and difficulties will be had. But then, there are always going to be complaints, right? Whatever job I take. But maybe it's worth it, these sacrifices for this particular job which just puts two of the things I like together: I get to work with kids, make them laugh or smile and take their pictures! And get paid to do just that!
I'm in the 2nd day of the try out phase of the application. I'm still iffy on some things, and am leaning towards going part time instead of full time so I can still give some time to my other pursuits and commitments. We'll see as things progress. But I'm giddy at the thought of being a "professional". We'll see.

this photographer's personal commitments

Anyway, I think I shall take this opportunity to commit to several things about this step into a life as a paid photographer. I've to take this blog and everything that I've started regarding photography seriously. So, in that light, I commit to the following:
  1. I shall take at least one photo a day, of anyone, anything, anywhere at anytime for no reason, or any reason whatsoever.
  2. ... in line with number 1, I will blog at least 1 photo of the day, everyday. If I can't post it on the day I take it, I shall post it when I can, and it shall not count as a photo for that day.
  3. I will treat my equipment with respect and not feel bad that they aren't this or that (in particular, not DSLRs). They are able to capture photos in the best way they can and are quite handy the way they are in fact. I will not feel equipment envy. I will use my gear to the best of their ability.
  4. I will buy, within this year, The equivalent of the "Starving Student PC Kit" to help my personal portrait taking skills grow and to count myself as a "Strobist" (more of this in a separate link in the near future)...
    • 1 - Vivitar 285HV Shoe Mount Flash
    • 1 - 8ft. Air Cushioned Light Stand
    • 1 - 15ft. PC Extension Cord
    • 1 - Westcott (or equivalent) 43” Compact Umbrella - Silver
    • 1 - Rosco 8x10inch Color Correction Gel Pack (optional)
    • 1 - Bongo Elastic Ties (10 pack) ... If I can find something like these.
    • 1 - Umbrella Swivel
Hmmmm. I think I'll add to that list as I go along. I'll start on those tomorrow.

Anyway, my shift at TPC tomorrow is gonna end late. Might as well get as much sleep as I possibly can.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dinner at Uno Restaurant: Food Photography

I love food. Doesn't everyone? Well, most people I would imagine. I know a couple who photograph their meals before they eat them. At least they did that when I was on vacation with them. But food photography actually isn't all that simple. I discovered that much at a class I took via Jo Avila.

The basic food photography and food styling workshop was informative and fun. It was actually more food styling than photography, in terms of time spent doing what. It turns out that you don't actually cook the food all the way when you want to professionally take pictures of it. Everything is half-cooked. And man-handled and, in the end, inedible. But that's professional food photography. I won't pretend to be an expert at it, seeing as I lack the gear and the know how / practice as far as half-cooking anything on purpose. The closest I've come to food photography lately was at a birthday dinner for a friend at Uno Restaurant on a street perpendicular to Tomas Morato.

A note about Uno: This fancy place serves great food and sells incredible breads and cakes. They change their menu every so often so it's a good idea to come back several months after your first dining experience.

Chicken Spiedinni
(Skewered Chicken with Rosemary Achiote marinade served with Harissa Dressing)

Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
(Broiled brined Pork tenderloin glazed with pink guava barbecue sauce)

Dory Curry
(Filets of Dory Fish with Leek and Lemon Curry Sauce)

Wrasse Parmeggiano
(Fillet of Wrasse with a Parmesan and Oregano breading served with Mushroom Marinara Sauce)

I learned that you'd need at least two lights to to properly light a plate. I just bounced my flash off the ceiling for these shots. They worked pretty well I think

Saturday, June 9, 2007

(delayed) Photo of the Day: 29 May 2007 Bohol

One of the first lightning bolts I've ever been able to take a picture of...

Panglao, Bohol 29 May 2007

Monday, June 4, 2007

Bulataos in Bohol Part 3: Bulataos on and In the Water

I wasn't exactly as active, photographically, our third day in Bohol. While I took some photos using the C8080, it became quickly apparent that I had forgotten to do something important the night before: charge. I was able to take some video of dolphins with the remaining power though. I took photos using the C5000Z too, most of them were underwater. However, those were limited by the fact that I had left the camera in the sun while we were spending surface interval time at the Balicasag beach, and moisture from the thing inside the case evaporated, later condensing on the glass in front of the camera lens. After which, the memory card decided to malfunction in the middle of the 2nd dive. Oh well.

Excuses aside, I share available photos and video here, now.

Dolphin Spotting Video

Black Forest which was more like a garden...

A School of Lesser Baracuda

Nemo: Anemone Fish

Cat Fish

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bulataos in Bohol Part 2: Tour of Bohol

The second day in Bohol saw us taking the land-based Bohol package tour, which had the following itinerary:
1) Blood Compact Site
2) Chocolate Hills
3) Man made forest (Drive Through)
4) Hanging Bridge
5) Loboc River Tour
6) DENR approved Captive Tarsier (exploitation) site
7) and 8) Baclayon and Daius Churches

We didn't quite follow it to the letter, making a stop in the middle of the man made forest on our way back from Choco Hills, and making a stop at the Loboc Church, inadvertently stepping in on the Loboc Children's Choir practice. All in all, it was a good day. Pictures in, more or less, chronological order. Click on images for bigger view:

Mom at the Blood Compact Monument

Parents at the Blood Compact marker

Marker details...

The much-talked about Chocolate Hills

Family Picture

Man made forest

Hanging Bridge

Buying a Tarsy

Loboc River Cruise / Lunch

At the DENR approved Captive Tarsier Sanctuary

Loboc Church

Loboc Church and Bridge...

Loboc Children's Choir

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Bulataos in Bohol Part 1: Travel and Resort Photos

Well, ok. I don't think any of these photographs would rate as high as, say, professional travel photogs' work, but since I was taking pictures while traveling to a region I don't frequent, I guess it should qualify as travel photography, don't you think? Apologies in advance though. Hehe.

At any rate, backgrounder on some of these pictures, our family, the five of us, went on vacation from the 27th of May to the 30th to celebrate our parents' wedding anniversary, as has become tradition. This year it was a trip to Bohol. Most of it was travel though, as we spent more than half of the first day getting to Bohol from home, and a similar amount of time during the fourth day getting home from Bohol.

Top Left: Brothers on Cebu Pacific Flight 5j 563 Manila to Cebu.

Top Right: One of many different forms (big and small) of public transport apparently available in Cebu.
Bottom Left and Right: Brothers on the SuperCat (2 hour ride)

For the duration of the stay there, we bedded down at Olman's View Resort. Personal review, not one of the best. Probably one of the cheaper ones, with airconditioned rooms, a pool, cable TV and a view of the Tagbilaran harbor (quite nice at night, though I took no pictures, sorry). However, considering that, while it was somewhat seaside (on a cliff), it had not beach access. Service wasn't all that nice and they required payment for lodging upon arrival. Only staff member who gave the best service was their driver, who took us on the land-based tour, fixed our room light, and gave us interesting bits of info about select areas around town.

Top Left: Cobbled driveway with Fish Fountain and (stagnant) Pond centerpiece.

Top Right: The view from the Restaurant, breakfast.
Bottom Left: Restaurant area
Bottom Right: Sandy volleyball area, lower level

This is Jing. He's a nice guy. Give him a call if you're in Panglao, and in need of a ride and a guide. Don't stay at Olman's though.

Dinner that first night was at the KFC a the Island City Mall. Sad, I know. But It was probably one of the better dinners we had there. Familiar, safe, and cheap.

Top Left: Giant Silver Mask for sale at Island City Mall.
Top Right: Giant Woven mask for sale.
Bottom Left: Family dinner at KFC
Bottom Right: No Testing... puwede na rin...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sharing Knowledge: Rule of 3rds

Ok. When I started this blog, I was aiming to impart some wisdom as far as taking good pictures goes. I was hoping to talk about techniques, some basic, like Rule of Thirds, and other things I've picked up along the way. Truth is though, I wouldn't know where to start. I wouldn't know what to call whatever technique I used to cover so-and-so's wedding or take product shots for our little business. I guess I'm more of an applied-photography sort of guy. Not to say that I don't know anything. I just don't know what to call them, or if it's even a technique at all. I just know I learned it from somewhere, from someone, and when I tried it by myself, it worked.

This is my first attempt at sharing something almost everyone knows. :) If it's at all helpful, please do say so. Comments welcome.

Rule of Thirds
Ok. This particular rule, for the uninitiated (if there are any out there reading this blog) is a rule of thumb for composition. It states that an image can be divided into 9 equal parts using two equidistant horizontal lines and two equidistant vertical lines. The four points where the lines intersect (and the lines themselves) can be used to align subjects in the or features of the photo. Supposedly, when this is done, the image is more balanced.

In the picture to your right, I tried composing the picture using just that technique. I placed Irvin, the father's eye in the upper left power point, and Haley in or at least close as I could to that bottom right point. I think the picture came out pretty well.