Monday, December 8, 2008

This blog is 1 year and 6 months old... plus minus...

Ok. Totally non-photography related post. I just thought I'd take the time out to say that a year and a half (give or take a week) has passed since I started this blog. I hope that, in its own little way, it's been able to help those who've made its way here. I hope my intermittent nuggets of information mattered, in some little way to you, my dear readers.

I would've wanted to be more active in my blogging, but as it stands, it seems I have barely any time for it. So out the window goes all my resolutions and goals for the blog for the past year and a half... But as the birth of a new year looms ever closer, my passion for the blog will perhaps be reborn as well.

I don't want to make excuses but... I know life's been busy, and I've been preoccupied with living it, and for that, I apologize to you dear blog. I shall endeavor not to neglect you again. But perhaps not with the fervor I once believed I'd possibly have.

Starting today, once a week... perhaps once a month, at least, I shall write a new entry.

For now, good night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

D-I-Y Product Photography: Light Tent Photos

As I was writing my previous entry about using available light for photography, I thought I'd blog about product photography using (sort of) available lighting as well. Now, I don't claim to be an expert in any of this. While I was fortunate to apprentice with Carlos Legaspi for a very short time, I still feel that I lack the equipment and experience to go into commercial photography and be successful at it like he is. However, I've made my attempts at such on a small scale by using materials available to one with a small budget.

I may not have the high-powered flash units, the sprawling studio, or the material that a successful commercial photography studio has, but I think that I've been able to come up with some fairly acceptable product shots using several PVC pipes, joints, stiff paper, white cloth and several fluorescent clip lamps (by acceptable I mean good enough to use on ebay or on multiply, and even for a certain stock photography site). All above mentioned equipment will help you build your own light tent!

There are a lot of D-I-Y light tent tutorials available on the net. Based on the product shot samples I saw and the availability of materials, I decided to go with building one using PVC. Instructions for this particular design available here. A flash tutorial is also available here.

The lights used in this particular set-up were halogen, though he also mentioned that he'd been using CFL bulbs as well. I've personally been using 40W CFL bulbs, 4 of them to be exact. It's helped me even out the lighting on several different products. However, while CFLs, or any other hot light (not strobes / flashes) for that matter, provide sufficient light for us to see clearly with, they might not exactly provide enough light to enable you to take your product shots with a hand-held camera. Or rather, you can, however it might require you to increase your ISO / ASA / film speed, and thus sacrificing the quality of the image. If you intend take better quality shots to show detail, you'll have to lower your film speed and shoot with a smaller opening (higher F number). This means slower shutter speeds for you, making this an impossible shot if you don't use a camera support. So, in short, get a tripod.

The following photos were taken using the light tent, a tripod, and the C-8080. I forget the exact settings, but the opening was at f 8.0, ISO at 50, and the shutter speed was damn slow. I used a remote to prevent my hand from blurring the photos.


Crystal Prism
Mustang replica
Boo the bear
Red Glass Ring
Black Brown Nefrite Nazca Necklace (tikanchay)

The last 2 photos in this set are samples of products I shot for a little business my girlfriend and I had / have. It was early on in my light tenting and I was experimenting with some circular fluorescent bulbs as is obvious in the catchlight on the stone and on the ring.

If this is, at all, helpful, leave a comment. :) Thanks!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Available Indoor Light and You

I don't pretend to be an expert when it comes to lighting. I have an idea what good lighting is like (portraiture) whether indoor or outdoor, though I can't say I'm able to achieve it with precision. Taking photos with available light, avoiding flashes and strobes, gives one's photos a different feeling, even letting a viewer feel as if he or she were truly there. Outdoor portraiture depends a lot on the sun as your major light source, and it's not something you can switch on, and off at will. Light modification outdoors takes a lot of creativity, and often other people besides yourself.

Lighting subjects indoors is another challenge altogether. Different indoor lighting fixtures give off different colors, not to mention different amounts of light. Depending on the situation, there are several things you might need to consider to adapt to said light, or in a different circumstance, you might consider having the light adapt to you.

If you're lucky enough to be able to shoot a subject in a room with available track lighting, and have the permission of the owner, you could manipulate said lights to provide you the illumination you need. Point high ceiling-mounted spot lights on the subject and go!

Then again, there are those lighting fixtures that might make good elements in the pictures themselves. Colorful hanging lamps or chandeliers might help provide the light you need and add a touch of interest to your end photo.

Keeping in mind that you'll be using artificial light sources, and different ones at that, you might consider changing your White Balance setting around to figure out what kind works best. More on that in another entry perhaps.

Personally, I would seriously consider investing in fast glass (lenses with big openings - f1.8 to 2 if possible) and / or a stable tripod. Depending on just how much available light there is, you might also consider telling the subject to be extra still.

I hope something made sense in this post. Hehehe. Will post pictures illustrating what I mean in future I hope. For now, however, I must switch off my lights and get some sleep.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I heart Olympus

Why Olympus?

I've been asked this question many times, by Nikon and Canon users mostly (as they make up majority of the camera-toting population of the country). I've owned 4 digital cameras in my time, the latter 3 being Olympus units. And each time I was readying myself to upgrade, a friend or a relative would ask me why I stick to the brand. I'm writing this entry basically to answer said question in case it is posed by anyone else who has yet to ask me and have not heard my long-winded answer.

So Why?



The short version: Basically coz I'm used to it. Basically. Yeah. That's about it.




Long version:

1) I like the 4/3rds standard. Olympus cameras use the 4/3rds standard, which, if you're not familiar with, is the same standard your monitor display uses. Shallow reason, fine. But I like the standard. I figure that you lose less detail in most photograph croppings compared to other brands. Canon and Nikon both use the 2/3rds standard, which is fine for your usual 4x6 prints, but you lose detail at both ends of the shot if cropping for 5x7 or even 8x10. It could be said that the reverse then is true for Olympus and 4R prints, particularly with top and bottom detail in landscape shots (sides on portraits) but who cares? Plus the 4/3rds standard helps to make the camera smaller than its 2/3rds counterparts, particularly true for the E-410 and E-420. I'm sure there are other arguments against the 4/3rds standard, specially locally, but who cares? :) I don't.

2) I like the feel. Mind you this is model-dependent, but I've been lucky enough to like the cameras I've owned in the past (with exception perhaps to the first digital camera I've ever owned, which wasn't Olympus - I liked it at the time, but digital wasn't cheap then - but a 1.3 megapixel Aiptek pencam with limited onboard memory with no flash or preview screen). Every button is placed logically, each function easily reached (specifically I'm describing the C-8080 WZ, though the C-5000 Z wasn't bad either). This can be said of any camera if you've lived with it long enough, but I liked this on the 8080 from the get go.

3) Storage: Truth be told, it wasn't exactly easy to find affordable XD cards locally when I first got the C-5000 Z. However, I was lucky enough to have been given a 256Mb card, which was a lot back then. Plus they've been getting cheaper and readily more available as time passes. Another thing I like about the C-8080 and all the E series cameras is their ability to use two storage media: XD and CF. This can come in handy in a pinch if you have the right memory cards.

4) Made for Digital lenses: That's one thing the Olympus - Zuiko partnership has over the others. Their lenses are made specifically for digital photography, and not just adapted from film. There's an advantage here that I've read before but can't put my finger on and expound on (if you happen to read this post and know what I'm talking about please feel free to comment so that I might, in future intigrate it into this post). That being said, Olympus lenses are a bit pricey. :) But then again good glass is always expensive.

5) For DSLRs, if you know where to look, who to trust and when to buy, these cameras are relatively cheap. :) But you get bang for the buck. I promise.

Sure. As a brand it's not quite so easily serviced (a point a buyer should consider always) as it's not quite officially an entity here like Canon is, but it won't stop Olympus loyalists around the country from patronizing the brand.

If you're an Olympus user and you read this, please leave a comment! :D

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby Basket: Case Logic Digital Video Camera Bag available at Living Well Podium

I think most of you now know that I'm the proud owner of an E410 two lens kit. :) And it has dawned on me that I need a better carrying case.

I used to be able to carry my digicam around in a neat little pouch, or wrapped in thick cloth / one of my shirts and inserted in my bag. While that provided my C-5000-Z ample protection, and was relatively ok enough for the bulkier C-8080 WZ (though somewhat more difficult as its general shape was a bit awkward for any of the pouches I owned, and it occupied a lot of space in my already always full backpack), I couldn't bare to do that to my new baby. I'd been looking at camera bags since I got it but couldn't bring myself to spend the amount of money needed to buy something that would look good and do the job. Luckily though, on the way back to the store from the restroom (its a long walk) I decided to take a quick peak into Living Well at The Podium. Low and behold, amidst all the sale items, that which I needed appeared to me. :) at 50% off! :)



The Case Logic Digital Photo-Video Bag DC90 is an ultra-padded, weather-resistant Koskin case, has multiple accessory pockets, dividers for lenses and any other accessories, and fits a good sized video cam or a 35mm, which meant plenty of space for the E410! Sure, it's not quite ergonomic, like the ones I saw in Island Multi along Gamboa, however it costs 1/8th the price (what I was looking at cost something like 2500++ so you do the math), provides the space and protection that my gear needs. How could I pass it up?


Get yours today at Living Well in The Podium, while supplies last! :)
Reg Price php 655.00
Sale Price Php 327.50

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Workhorse Upgrade: E-410

To those who know me and / or read this blog semi-regularly, you probably know that I've been using two very functional point and shoots for my personal photography. Those who've had a personal relationship with those cameras know that they've served me well and have provided many an entertaining moment (particularly with the video recording function hehe). However, after so many years of experiencing their limitations, I've decided to upgrade. To do so, I had to say goodbye to one of my cameras, to my Olympus C-8080 WZ.

I've said good bye to the 8080's amazing versatility, it's video recording capability, it's comfortable bulk and all-in-one lens (all-in-one kasi wala ka naman talagang choice. hehe). And I've finally said hello to my first DSLR, the olympus E-410. :)
It's smaller than the 8080, and doesn't have your standard camera grip, which has made it challenging to handle and stabilize. However, it is lighter, faster, and since it is a dslr, I can, theoreticially if I had the lenses to do so, switch between the lenses to suit the situation. At present however I only possess the dual-lens kit lenses, which offers coverage from 14mm to 150mm (equivalent to 28mm to 300mm on 35mm set-ups). They aren't the fastest lenses, but they do the job (so far). I haven't really been able to take them out to shoot as I only got the whole thing recently (2nd hand from its first owner and in extremely good condition).

I'm actually pretty excited. I'm looking forward to the 3 weddings I expect to be going to within the coming 3 months. We'll see what it can do as far as events are concerned. :)

The Podium is on Sale and so are we! :D - shameless plugging

SALE SALE SALE!!

:) The Podium Mall is having its 3 day sale from October 3 to 5. In line with this, The Picture Company is going to give free sessions for non-members on those dates. :) For those who would want to become members, you can get in on the action for 30% less than the original price! That's a big discount! :) With the membership, you can enjoy unlimited photo sessions during your membership year and pay only for the prints that you want, plus loads of other freebies and priviledges! :) Come one, com all! :D

Visit The Picture Company Podium
this October 3, 4 and 5 to avail of this wonderful discount and FREEBIE!!! :D




To see the perks of being a Picture Company member visit this site:
http://www.picturecompany.com.ph/member.html :D

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tech-lust: Olympus E520

Woohoo!! I mentioned this model in a previous entry about the E420. And it's finally arrived. Was it worth waiting for? Well, near as I can tell, it is.

pictures from dpreview.com

Announced May 13, 2008, the E520 is Olympus' upper-entry level camera upgrade to the E510. The E520 sports similar features to its older counterpart, with nearly identical external features, even down to the measurements and weight. One of the few cosmetic differences one would notice between the two would be blue markings instead of green. Another would be a differently texutrized and finished command dial. However, one of the biggest differences between the E510 and E520 comes in a bigger 2.7 inch, 230,000 pixel LCD screen.

E510 rear (photo from dpreview)

VS

E520 rear (photo from dpreview)

While both the E510 and E520 have the sensor-shift image stabilization feature, (a feature you won't find in their compact little brothers, the E410 and E420), other improvements you'll find in the later model are...
  • Contrast detect autofocus (with select lenses)
  • Face detection in live view mode
  • Auto Gradation (Dynamic Range enhancement)
  • Faster continuous shooting speeds (3.5 vs 3.0 fps)
  • Wireless flash control (Up to three groups)
  • Additional Image Stabilization mode for panning
While most of the features that the E520 possesses would be a considerable upgrade from the E410, or even from the E420 that it came out with, if you're able to do without the above mentioned new features, you'd probably be set with the E510. But then again, who wouldn't want additional Image Stabilization for panning, or wireless flash control? :)



For a more indepth interview, please visit depreview.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Free Portrait Session at The Picture Company Podium

Ok, long time no blog. :)

In light of the inadvertent success of CBTL's promo (though I think they didn't intend it to be so), The Picture Company Podium is proud to present (tantananan!)...




Just print out the above coupon and present it at our Podium branch to avail of this promo. :) It's advisable to call 6375929 or 6342632 in advance to book a slot. :) Hope I get to shoot your photos. :)

I repeat. FREE SESSION. :) just pay for the prints you want! :D

See you all there!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Macro Photography: Spider

I haven't been blogging in forever. :) Just want to share one of the few photos I've taken lately that hasn't involved work or travel. :) I'll probably blog about the travel, but let's reserve that for another, more serious entry. :) Click for bigger image.

For now, lets take a look at what we get when I try my hand at Macro Photography...


Jumping Spider
Spider in halftone pattern...

jumping spider
the bloody spider kept jumping to the camera.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Photography Paths (and some shameless plugging)

First of all, I've to apologize for the erratic nature of my blogging life. :) I haven't been really able to follow through with many or any of my personal projects, and I guess that's the price one pays for being dedicated to one's craft. Being a kiddie portrait photographer slash child entertainer isn't quite as easy as it sounds. It's fun though, to be sure. :) (If you happen to be reading this blog entry and are interested and the above job, you can check out the www.picturecompany.com.ph site).

If portrait photography and kids aren't your cup of tea, there's loads of other photography-avenues to travel. There's landscape photography, Product Photography, photo journalism, Events, and wedding photography among others (beyond this small list, I cannot think of any more, but that just goes to show what little I know, doesn't it?:p)

Of all of the above, aside from kiddie portrait photography, I could say I've had experience with products, some events and weddings. The first was when I had to take pictures of the items we sold when Neng and I had our jewelry business, as well as when I apprenticed at one Makati-based commercial photography studio. My events photography experience has been earned basically at work-related events and parties. My experience with photographing weddings is basically limited to the weddings of friends I've been invited to and have attended.

Personally, I've found that while product photography can be fun, in the way that I've been exposed to it, it can get a little tedious. I think I do good work however, with what little I've been able to do (look for tikanchay on multiply, or check out the albums in my multiply).
The events that I've been able to cover so far have been limited to company-held events, in the different places I've previously and am now working at. I've covered sports-fests, school assemblies and activities, office parties and the like. All of which have me in an environment and with people that and who are basically familiar to me. In being a wedding photographer however, it hasn't been quite as easy.
While I've been fortunate to know most people who were invited to one or two of the weddings I've attended, my comfort level as a wedding photographer slash guest hasn't been high in any of these occasions, which limits the opportunity for kodak moments that I allow myself to take advantage of. It takes a special kind of kapal to do that with so many strangers in front of so many other strangers, particularly if you happen to be the bride or groom's wedding guest too.

But anyway, that's just me. While I fumble around to find my identity and purpose as a photographer, I will continue to take kick-ass (and by this I mean adorable and memorable and priceless) photos as a kiddie portrait photographer at The Picture Company at Podium.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Discussing the Term: Maniniyot

I was recently introduced to this term by a co-worker who said she'd been called one by her friend when said friend learned that she is now a photographer at The Picture Company. Supposedly "maniniyot" is the tagalog / filipino word for "photographer".

Ok, first off, as far as the word goes, I'm not even sure if it's a real word. I can't begin to fathom what tagalog root-word could've birthed such a word (obvious from this reaction perhaps my revulsion to the term) if it is at all, in fact, tagalog. But language being such that it is, evolving I mean, I'm sure it was only a matter of time before we would invent such a word.
Spurred on by curiosity and annoyance, googling (also an invented word now that one thinks about it) the term pointed me to several websites and blogs having to do with photography, and to a youtube video entitled "Mr. Kodaker (Ang Maniniyot) - Max Surban - Karaoke". All said links, none of which providing definitions, only allusions, irked me a bit more. "Mr. Kodaker" or the term "kodakero" would make more sense as Kodak was one of the more popular brands of film back then, which gave birth to the term "kodakan" for a picture-taking session.

I can only assume that the root word of "Maniniyot" is, in actuality, the word "shoot". That's what photographers do, after all. They take pictures, they shoot their subjects with their cameras. However, I can't appreciate how it has evolved into said label for my profession. Personally, I would've preferred "Litratista" - yung kumukuha / gumagawa ba ng litrato.

Medyo may pagka-elitista ano?

Yun lang.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bird Watching Update: Grande Island Kingfisher

Just so people don't think I'm BSing about the birds I've seen...

I know it's not my best work. It's grainy and pretty backlit. :) I just need a more capable camera.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

An entry for the birds...

Well hello world. Long time no blog. :)

I wish I could dazzle the world with amazing tales of my travels as of late, it being the summer months and all, however my current occupation is keeping me busy at the moment. I'd love to be able to travel and go on safaris and what not. Though the closest to a safari I might ever really get to go to would be in Zoobic.

I discovered something recently however. Or rather I remembered something. I once heard my mom's officemates talk about bird watching around the Ateneo Campus. I think there was even a bird-watching club of sorts there. Didn't give it much thought at the time. I really couldn't imagine myself running around campus with birding binoculars and camera in tow, waiting for the slightest sign of wild, feathered friends. Recently however, after my little adventure in Rizal park, having encountered the not-so-wild variety of resident birds and after reflecting on the birds I did see in captivity on a recent visit to the Arch of Avilon, the notion of active bird watching is starting to appeal to me.

One might expect to see either one of 2 types of "wild" fowl when living in the metropolis: the diminutive common-place brown maya, or the larger and more annoying pigeons (one word: poop). With the former getting not so common-place anymore (their numbers seem to be dwindling as of late) and the latter usually already belonging to domesticated flocks, one couldn't justify the purchase of birding binoculars to use on them.

However, armed with the knowledge that there are wild birds within my, er, reach (within the campuses of UP diliman and Ateneo de Manila University anyway), such a purchase could be and would be justifiable (so would good zoom lenses / add-ons for my camera!).

To date however, I don't recall having ever encountered anything wilder than a Maya when I was still studying at the AdMU. I think the only wild birds I've seen, in the wild, would be mostly sea birds. I remember having seen what I thought was a kingfisher while staying at Dive n Trek in Batangas, and I thought I saw an eagle or some similar bird of prey as well as wild crows when we went to Palawan. Here in Meycauayan though, I've seen several heron fly over head some eventful afternoons gone-by. Without birding binoculars however, I can't be sure about the eagle... but It really did look like one.

At any rate, by writing this article, I am challenging myself to yet another photography challenge: wildlife photography, specifically wild birds. Whether I'll ever have the equipment for such a challenge is beyond me. haha.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Travel Photography: Subic Sweet Water Accomodations


I
just thought I'd share some photos I took of some of the accommodations available at Subic Sweet Water resort. Mind you, we didn't get to go around all the villas, just the two main buildings of the resort (hitherto fore called building A, which the building where the kitchen is located, and building B, which is newer and bigger - I think - than the previous). And even in those buildings, I just took photos of the living areas on the 2nd floors of both buildings. :) Just to give you an idea, basically, you'd be able to pretty much house at least 12 people in each of these rooms (16 in the bigger space in building B). We wanted to explore some more but the army soldiers occupying the rest of the resort were kinda intimidating.

For the original blog entry about Subic Sweet Water, please click here.

I apologize in advance for the sucky wide-angle shots. :D I'll take better pictures next time. I promise. :D


above the kitchen 0
"Building A"
living area
Living Area, building A (above the kitchen)
You can see from this view that there's a smaller room straight ahead, and a bigger master bedroom to the right. What you don't see is the open ceiling and big ceiling mounted fans that help cool the space.
Wideangle room2
wide angle view of master bedroom (building A)
Wideangle room2
wide angle view of master bedroom 2 (building A)
view from room
View from the room...
above the kitchen
"Building B"
We didn't get to explore the first floor of this building though. :)
big space veranda
veranda, building B
big space living area
living area, building B
Wideangle room big space
wide angle view of 2nd building, bedroom (building B)


For the original blog entry about Subic Sweet Water, please click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Monuments: Jose Rizal at Rizal Park

One of my recent entries had to do with setting personal projects as far as photography is concerned. I talked about possibly going around town to take pictures of monuments and iconic places. The other morning I was able to do just that. Here are some photos I took of the Rizal Monument at Rizal park, the surrounding views and statues, as well as the people who frequent / visit the area.

I don't think I've ever actually been to Rizal park. Or at least, I don't ever remember having gone there, even when I was younger. Basically, the trip there was very much like my first time, if it wasn't in fact my first visit ever.

I decided to park in front of the Museo Pambata (if I'm not mistaken). From there, I walked to the masonic clock which is across the road from Jose Rizal himself. My first few photos show the KM 0 marker and the clock itself.

KM 0 Masonic clock

I don't know who decided to make Manila, or this point in Manila the basis for distance to and from almost any location in the Philippines, but the marker says it all I guess. KM 0. The Masonic clock was put there basically because Rizal was a Mason, and because it was the centennial at the time. If you care to read the plaque, here's a magnified version.


Local Transpo / Caritela

Local Transpo2 / Caritela 2

Before crossing the road however, this Caritela driver and his horse spotted me and offered to drive me around. I said no politely as I intended to cross to take photos of the monument, but maybe I ought to reserve that ride for another day.


PedXing

PedXing2

PedXing3 button

Crossing took me a bit of time because I was patiently waiting for the lights to change. There was, after all, a designated pedestrian crossing crosswalk, sign and stoplight. I stood there for quite a long time, with a couple of other would-be-park visitors. It became evident that the lights wouldn't change even after pressing the goshdarn button, so eventually we all did some Jay-walking.


Rizal Monument0 Rizal Monument1 Rizal Monument2

The above are pictures of the monument itself, as well as the honor guards watching over it.

I took more pictures, several of which merit their own blog entry. Check out yakaposo for my entry on professional roving photography. Others, which I haven't put up in this entry, shall go up soon, in a later entry.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Travel Photography: Subic Sweet Water Beach Resort

I've previously shared with you several instances of my travels around the Philippines. This is the latest in the series, I guess. Hahaha.

It's summer time, and what better place to go than the beach? Because of insistent public demand (well, more like glowing reviews from beach goers from certain forums), we decided to go to Subic Sweet Water Beach Resort. And I gotta say, this particular place is probably one of the best beaches I've been to lately, if not one of the best beaches I've been to period.

Don't let the name fool you though. It might be called a resort, but it's really not (well, technically it really is but...). I'd say, it's more of a haven actually. I home away from home, away from all the hustle and bustle and stress that the over-commercialized Subic Bay freeport area represents. It's fine and nearly white sand, it's breath-taking vistas, cool and surprisingly not so salty water (my personal estimation compared to some beaches I've been to, probably where it got its name), and gracious staff make the trip out of town well worth it.

view from room sweet water beach saturated sweet water beach with boat

I'm told that the resort was and pretty much is a private rest-house. Due to it's under-utilization, the owners have decided to share their bounty with the world at large, and what bounty they have! The sand, the surf, and that sunset...

sweet water sunset1 sweet water sunset2 sweet water sunset3

If you're looking for a vacation somewhere quiet, and aim for the relaxation and lazy days that a cool breeze, fine sand and wonderful location could possibly afford, I'd say that Subic Sweet Water Beach Resort is the place for you.

Panoramic View of Sweet Water Beach
Panoramic view of Sweet Water Beach (click for bigger version)


No, they haven't got a website yet, but they do have a friendster account. For reservations, best to call 09178507292. When you get to the resort, do take the time to get to know the staff. :) They'll be your best friends from there.

======

ETC...

Directions:
  1. Get your butts to Subic. Either you take the more scenic route, via San Fernando and along the National Highway (you'll pass through San Fernando, Bacolor, Guaga, Lubao and Dinalupihan), or via the SCTEX (which by the time of this writing, has yet to open) which pretty much gets you to Subic quicker.
  2. From Subic, follow the signs pointing to Ocean Adventure. This road will take you past the airport, FedEx, and lead you towards the Morong Gate. The drive towards the Morong Gate will see you passing a fire station to your right.
  3. Exit Morong gate and drive straight through, following signs for Anvaya Cove. You will encounter a fork in the road, with the main road going up the mountain, and the road to Subic Sweet Water (and other small resorts) will be going down to your right. The Tarp they have at this juncture is torn so keep your eyes peeled. You'll pass a small church to your right, and come upon a gate with the Subic Sweet Water resort tarp. Enter the gate, drive straight through. There you are! :)
Sidenotes and Factoids:
  • The cast and crew of Kamandag shot an episode at Subic Sweet Water.
  • Roxanne Guinoo's white-castle commercial was also shot here.
  • I heard that some Marimar episodes were also done at this beach. :P
  • At certain points in the year, Marine turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach. If you do find a nest, please leave it alone! :)
Don't:
  • Don't leave your trash on the beach. The cove's pretty clean and I'm sure the resort owners as well as other beach-goers would appreciate that it stays that way.
  • Don't park under a coconut tree heavily laden with fruits! :) Don't tempt fate. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you.
Do:
  • Book in advance. I heard the place was fully booked for the weekends of March, though I'm not quite sure what the April schedule is like.
  • Try to go during a weekday and not on a weekend. If isolation and relaxation's your aim, weekday overnights are preferable. Let them know when you'll be arriving though so they can prepare for you properly.
  • Take the SCTEX to Subic (we weren't able to). It's new, and faster than the usual route. It officially opens for business this April.
  • Enjoy! Relax! Have fun!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Personal Project: Doing Charles Traub's To Do List

Just thought about this right now. I blogged about advice Charles Traub gave to aspiring young photographers the other night. Now I'm thinking of going down that list and "doing" them tasks one by one.

:) A challenge to myself! I've to be able to do it all within... 3 months? Is 3 months fair? Hmmm. Well, maybe not all. At least 50% of them. Haha. Actually understanding or interpreting the list and putting it into motion will be the bigger challenge I think. We'll see. I'm particularly interested in the one that says "Do fifty of them—you definitely will get a show." Hahahah. Maybe I'll combine that with "Do it big, if you can't, do it in red." Hmmmmmmm.

I'm excited!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hot Stuff: Hot Shoe

In a previous and unrelated post, I mentioned this handy little component of my current digital cameras. I actually considered this a requirement when I went shopping for both my digital cameras in the past. Why? Well, for a couple of reasons really, which really points to the main issue of the need for artificial light in everyday and almost every night photography.



olyc5000zhotshoe
Olympus c-5000z hot shoe

olyc8080hotshoe
Olympus c-8080wz hot shoe

So basically, a hot shoe on any camera allows the photographer to use additional artificial light sources because, hey, let's face it, the on-board flash can only do so much. :) Aside from being able to use an actual flash unit directly connected to the flash via the hot shoe, with the right accessories, you can also use other flash units (professional studio or otherwise) that are off the camera as well, giving you a wide range of possibilities lighting-wise.

While the presence or absence of the hot shoe does not necessarily measure a camera's worth or a camera's ability to produce the pictures that you'd want, the presence or absence basically tells you it's ability to access additional light options.

While I'm no expert at using a flash and the myriad of accessories you could possibly use with them (like a light dome, bounce cards, inflatable diffusers, etc., ~some of which are kinda worth bupkiss though), I've found that additional light is quite useful when covering events in dark places. It extends your camera's battery life too as you won't have to rely on it to power the on-board flash.

For a more thorough exploration of off-camera flash usage involving battery-powered individual low-cost flash units, try visiting strobist.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Visita Iglesia part 2

Here are a few more noteworthy photos from Maundy Thursday's trip around Manila. Other shots on my FlickR. :) tamad kasi i-post lahat. Hehehe

After visiting most of the churches on the list and saying our prayers, we ended up in the parking lot behind the CCP where we sought shade and relief, and ate lunch (and discovered that the CRV actually has a fold out table in back by default).

UST sa loob
UST church, probably the squarest church ever...

San Sebastian
Gothic, yes. Rusty too.

San Sebastian, from inside
view from the back, San Sebastian Church

a window to the past
Stained Glass Window

Gothic Ceiling
a Gothic ceiling

Mom, Nabe, Maia and her payong
The Payong in use

San Marcelino Church
I remember coming here... but I never realized that it shared the compound with Adamson.

Visita Iglesia on two wheels
Encountered these folks at two churches. UST and at Nstra Sra. de Guia

Nstra Sra. de Guia
The statue / image encased in glass is oooooooooooold (and miraculous too). Greenest indoor color cast not attributed to fluorescent lighting ever (I think).

Malate Church
I should've taken a picture of the doors to this place... last church we visited that day.

Answer to Somebody's prayers
A reminder to Parishioners at Malate Church

pamewang
Maia, pamewang behind CCP


Just thought I'd post those up before we go on to see what Good Friday looks like. I'll have to gear up for tonight's walk around the city (Naks! Meycauayan City), candle-wax stained streets and night shots in and of the crowd.