Thursday, April 26, 2012

Subject of Opportunity: Kermit

I haven't been posting any of my personal photography lately. Most of the photos I've been taking have mostly been via phone and none really stand out. Tonight however found me nearly face to face with an invisible subject. Invisible because it was dark, and it was only by chance I saw him move.

Say hello to Kermit.

He was just sitting on the rebar minding his own business. 

He makes a farely decent ringlight subject too. Big eyes. 

Eventually I took one shot too many and he decided he'd had enough of a glamour shoot for one day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Helpful Hints and Other Sites: Buyer's Guide (ver 1.1)

Ok, I'm pretty sure someone out there has somehow compiled a list of websites from which you can get the best deals from. If no one has, well, I hope this particular entry will be it. 

For everyone who's ever been interested in photography, or have declared their passion for the art, I think it's common knowledge that it's a pricey endeavor. Every now and again you're tempted to buy new gadgets, be they bodies, lenses, or off-camera lighting equipment, or even little bits to build your own stuff. Every now and again I write an entry regarding a piece of equipment I myself have purchased or tried out and link you to some websites where you can buy them from. However, I have yet to come up with a comprehensive list of websites and links in one entry, so here we go...

The Philippine Photographer's (not nearly comprehensive) BUYER'S GUIDE (working title): some of the best places online to buy your photography equipment (list will evolve. watch this link).

1) Tay Hua Trading Corp. -- Sells different kinds of accessories. No cameras. Online purchase available, though payment is through bank deposit and G-Cash. They accept credit cards but only in-store. I've purchased my Starving-Student Off Camera Light Kit and Yong Nuo-560 from this store. I actually made the trip to Binondo for the former and had the latter shipped via courier. Personal store review here

2) DP Online Store -- Sells Cameras, Lenses, and accessories, big and small. You can get a whole studio set-up from this store. They also have different branches around metro manila, one of which is JT Photoworld along Pasong Tamo in Makati. I purchased my Spirit Pop-Up Flash Diffuser as well as Single Q Strap Curve (lets describe it as a China-made blackrapid-copy, except with different tripod mount and octopus-like friction pad on the strap) from Fotohub, their branch located in Il Terrazzo along Tomas Morato in Quezon City.

3) DB Gadgets -- Sells different gadgets, like cameras, lenses, mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and other accessories. So far, as far as the prices go, it's the place to get your equipment for cheap. If I were so inclined (and financially able) to jump from Oly to Canon, I think I'd get my first Kit from them. (edited 09.14.13)

4) Filters Exchange -- Despite its name, the website sells a whole slew of photography equipment other than filters, which it does carry. The company has gotten it's own .net domain since my last update. Still haven't purchased from this site. :-) Haven't purchased from this multiply-based Sulit-based site either, but it seems that they've gotten a lot of positive reviews. (edited 04.13.15)

5) Echo Store Ph -- located along P. Burgos off Gil Puyat Ave in Makati, the EchoStore is open from Monday to Friday, 10AM to 6PM, by appointment on Saturday and closed on Sundays. And hey, they seem to be on sale. Not to be confused with, which does not promote photography in any shape or form.

6) Kimstore -- What used to be a multiply based online store, they're a GoNegosyo Young Starpreneur Awardee for 2011. According to their site, they're the most successful online store as awarded by Multiply and GoNegosyo. They sell a lot of gadgets, aside from cameras and accessories. They don't seem to carry Canon though. They accept payment via credit card and paypal so that's something. Since multiply closed down, they've since opened their own dot com dot ph site. Link has been edited.   (edited 09.14.13)

7) TipidPC -- This forum cum swapmeet slash online trading site has many deals to offer for the person who knows what he's looking for. If you don't mind buying preloved equipment, or want to get brand new ones, you can check this place out. People sell computers, parts, accessories, cameras et al. If you're looking for phones though, check  I sold my old C-8080WZ and bought my Olympus e410 dual lens kit here. (added 04.25.12)

8) Photozuela -- I forgot to include this site in my initial versions as I'd never really checked it out. I only remembered them after a cousin and co-photographer pointed it out. They also happen to appear in some of my adsense ads. They carry a brand of hotshoe flash I haven't seen in any other store, be it online or physical, the Montana C600. This flash in itself is interesting, what with a GN of 38, option for external power and pc connection, and metal hot shoe, for the price of 2,500. They offer a Strobist Starving Student kit with said flash, on sale now for 3,500. Damn.  (added 04.26.12) As of this edit, I've purchased several AC type radio triggers and receivers from them for work. So far, quality is acceptable. It's easy enough to get to their office in The Fort. Just keep your receipts. (edited 09.17.13)

9) Lazada Philippines -- It's funny where I find these sites. I found the link from my iGoogle homepage. Probably targeted me because most of my widgets were photography related. This local version of an inter-asian site (seems that are available in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia) advertises itself as the largest online shopping destination in the Philippines. They carry a lot of cameras (no Oly sadly) and other goodies such as books, home appliances, sports equipment, toys, etc... They offer Free Nationwide Delivery, COD, and 14 day money back guarantee. Unfortunately their "Cheapeast Price in the Philippines, Guaranteed!" Tagline doesn't hold true. DB Gadgets still seems to be the cheapest option (compare their price for the 60D body vs. DB Gadget's offer). They're still worth a look though. (added 05.08.12)

10) Extreme Deals -- I came across this site as I was going through facebook pages as an ad on the sidebar. It's a multiply based site that ships free within Metro Manila. Their Starving Students' Strobist Kit sells for 2000 pesos, with a 2 in 1 umbrella (shoot through and bounce), though price-wise it's comparative to Tay Hua, there's the free shipping to consider. They sell the YN-560 at slightly cheaper too at 3,500. They only carry Canon and Nikon DSLR accessories though (like batt grips, TTL flash cords etc). (added 05.13.12)

Other Sites worth the visit:

> CDR King -- Ok, you don't really need to go online to buy from them. They have a store practically everywhere. However not all stores are equal. Some of the bigger ones are more complete with regard to the stuff they sell, however they also seem to be as busy and less likely to accommodate. Best to check out Podium branch (as they hardly get any costumers, but they don't have the most complete selection) and if you're in Meycauayan, check out the branch in Supima Square (Big branch, rarely full). If I were to go back to film, I think I'd buy me on of their negative scanners. I've purchased all of my Gorillapod-like tripods from them. They also sell filters and vertical grips, but sadly none for Oly.

> Deal Extreme -- This company's not based in the Philippines, and it doesn't exactly cater predominantly to Photography (though they do have a lot of stuff for sale, like Flashes, accessories etc.), however they do have a lot of other things for sale. You can build your own LED Ringlight with the Halo LED rings originally meant for automotive use (one of which I'm expecting in the mail any day now). 

That's it for now. If I can recall or think up any new sites, I'll add to this post. If you happen to know any websites of companies based in the Philippines that sell quality stuff for less than mall price, please hit me up in the comments.