Friday, November 19, 2010

Missed Shooting

After the recent Canon Photomarathon 2010, I felt so drained and wasn't able to take photos. I then got sick last weekend. Literally, I spent my weekend and a couple of weekdays at home in bed.

The last day that I rested, I went outside to get some fresh air and feel the warm sun which I took advantage since it also showered/rained the past few days.

I also took the time to ponder on my entry for National Geographic's Great Migration Photo Contest. I'll start with my entry for the photo contest and show other photos along the way:

I missed taking photos of flowers too..

And more insects..

It was nice to take photos again.

Canon Photomarathon 2010

I've just been a part of one of Canon's big events and that is the Canon Photomarathon 2010 (Manila Leg). This was just recently concluded on November 6, 2010 at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City. I've been wanting to join this since last year once I heard of it but didn't made the registration. That's why this year, I made sure to be able to register and participate.

So, I made the registration and was very excited. Then the day came. Slept early the night before, woke up early, headed early to the venue. I found out that there's more people excited than me... :)

The confirmation of registration on the day itself went on smoothly and was able to meet up with some photography club members from Quezon City. I tagged along one of my friends from where I work to join the event.

Photo courtesy of Eugene Martinez

The experience was truly worthwhile as I have learned to somehow squeeze those creative juices under pressure. I also realized that I still do have a lot to learn in terms of having that eye to get that "wow" effect on a photo I take. I did enjoy the event most especially with the freebies Canon gave away. Didn't went home empty-handed.

Anyway, here are my entries just in case you're wondering what I entered into the contest. Armed with my 1000D/XS, 18-55mm, 50mm, and dad's tripod, I was determined to push myself with what I only have.

Theme 1: Deep and wide, peaks and valleys go inside or outside, all the places you know. Near or far, it doesn't matter, It's the view that counts to the photographer

Theme 2: Big or small, we come in different sizes. Short or tall. we grow in spurts and phases, Round and round the circle of life goes, When we stop, only God knows

Theme 3: Happy, mad - sometimes we feel the blues, Angry, glad - our moods are changing hues, Up and down our lows and highs, We close our eyes and then... Surprise!

I also entered the best in print where in you're given a free print service when you enter this special contest and here's my entry:

There's next year to try and I've got the whole year to practice. See you next year Canon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's An Honor

It's an honor to have a photo that I took (enclosed in red dashed-line) in Digital Photographer Philippines' 4th Year Anniversary celebration to be featured in Digital Photographer Philippines Issue 34 (Page 11 top-right corner). The best thing is that this photo contains six (6) of the best professional photographers in the Philippines (L-R): Jay Jallorina, Jay Tablante, Pilar Tuason, Jo Avila, Xander Angeles, and Raymund Isaac.

I'm glad I stayed until the very much awaited portion of the celebration -- the Live Judging. I got a chance to present the Live Judging portion 'entertainers'. It was also a good thing that we had good seats in the house.

Thank you DPP and more power to you! We enjoyed every moment during the event and surely learned a lot of things from the best in the industry.

See you again next year, right?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sand Tumblers

Again, I'm stuck at home and I found myself photographing these kids that are doing back flips on a pile of sand next door.

Here's my favorite from the rest of photos:

Actually the above photo is a bit edited to throw off the background and emphasize on the kid. I did this by putting a blurred on top of the original image and erased the part of the kid and sand which I wanted sharp. It was a quick and dirty edit. So, here's the original photo:

Technicals of the shot: 1000D + kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 400, No flash, Hand-held, Crouching on the pavement.. :D

Here's the rest of the Sand Tumbler's gang... The last three are taken by using the kit lens..

Sand Tumblers

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Laya Experience on 10-10-10

On the THE day: 10-10-10, My wife have reserved lunch at Laya. It was definitely a memorable treat for THE day! I'm  totally speechless on our dining experience. I guess you have to try it for yourself. Here's a peek of our own experience:

The palate teaser.. The Chef's treat! I still can remember the Chef's words.. " gift to you."

Trio Appetizer

Warm soup...

Salad! Can't believe there were "dilis" in them!

The invigorating sherbet.. I like this very much!

Pasta for the kids..

Kids enjoying the pasta.

My LUNCH!!! Salmon..

Karen's LUNCH... Steak...

Dessert! That's ginger on top! Caramelized I believe.

My best regards to Chef Ricci and Irene, staff and crew of Laya for the sumptuous THE day (10-10-10) birthday lunch and the personal touch on every dish served! See you soon Laya!!!

Laya: To reserve a table at LAYA, please call them at (02) 9947978 or (0917) 8464322 or e-mail them at or click on Laya to go to their website.

My 10-10-10 Day & Laya Experience

First and foremost, I'd like to thank the Lord for blessing me another year.

Thank you to my wife, Karen for doing all the planning and preparations. I'm sure you can excel in this. Thank you to my family, relatives, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances for being a part of the 10-10-10 celebration.

My 10-10-10 day started on 10-09-10. I'm a bit excited and wanted a sort of "salubong" (welcoming) celebration for 10-10-10. Started early by putting up the tents and arranging the tables and chairs. Was busy too figuring how to connect lights and fans to be used. While I was busy with these things, Karen was busy with the food preparations.

10-09-10's main menu:

Of course, there were appetizer, side-dishes, and dessert. Here are some of whom enjoyed the dishes (I believe)...

Thank you everyone for joining us!

Our Laya Experience... Click  HERE! :D

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Muted Colors

I've been experimenting on some post-processing and I wanted a photo that have muted colors. What I meant by muted colors is something that's near black and white with shades of color still in them. This effect is different from color isolation wherein the black and white photo gets a pop of specific color that's in the photo.

I just tried this without any instructions and just played with the hue and saturation controls.

Here is the original image:

And after several days of tweaking the controls and trying out different combination here's what I got as a final image. What do you think of it?

The vignette is an extra on the photo which I think helps to make the viewer focus on the sneakers instead of roaming around the photo. I'm not actually a big fan of vignette but I wanted to try it for a little change from my work flow.

So how did I do it? Here's how:

1.) The photo. As always, I duplicate the image into another layer wherein I play around with different settings. In this case, I tweaked the settings in the Hue and Saturation control to my liking. I lowered the saturation on this and adjusted the hue to have more green tint.

2.) The vignette. I created another layer (on top of the photo) and filled it entirely with black. I then created an oval selection that is feathered which is a bit larger than the actual image. After the selection is made, I deleted it to reveal the underlying later that contained the muted color photo. I minimized the effect of the vignette by adjusting the opacity of the cut out black layer.

There you go! Hope this helps.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stuck At Home

Having on-call duty work gets me stuck at home apparently just to avoid connection issues. Wife and kids are out and I'm really stuck at home. It's both a bad thing since I'll be stuck at home and a good thing as I got a chance to practice on my product photography without staying up until the wee hours of the night.

Here's a preview on my practice.

On this practice session I came to realize that my watch have a lot of scratches on the bands. I actually get to see the gritty dirt too. The glass part though doesn't have much scratch that are visible and that's a good thing.

Photographing shiny things like this by the way is very challenging as it is important to take note of the reflections that can be seen like your face, your background, your camera lens, and many more things.

Talking about lens being reflected on the watch face especially the camera lens, a telephoto lens will help in this case, but since I only have the kit lens I have to position the camera where the reflection won't be seen.

I quite miss shooting these things.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flutter flutter

Flutter flutter.. flutter flutter..

I have seen for the past few days several butterflies flying around the garden.. I really want to get some decent shots of them but every time I sneak on them they fly away and flutter about. I guess it's really time to get some telephoto/macro lens for the job (sadly can't yet, but soon!).

Anyway, I have to do with what I have. With my beloved kit lens I was able to snap a photo of this butterfly.

It was perching on a high leaf and thus the angle of view. No time to get a stool or anything to prop myself higher as this will surely fly away again.

The following day, I tried camping on the grounds and wait some butterflies to perch somewhere near me but to no success, I wasn't able to get any photos that day. Then the next day, I went out again this time I was able to take photos something different though not totally different as this was on it's second stage of it's growth cycle. Do you have any guess? This was easier to take photos as it would stop on the sense of motion.

It's a caterpillar!

I was able to snap more than enough of this crawler but only a couple passed my taste for technical aspects of photography -- exposure, image quality, and composition. Here's another view of it:

Now, I am on the hunt on what kind of specie of butterfly this is. And yesterday morning, I was able to collect three of them and placed them in a glass enclosure with twigs and leaves. I am hoping to rear it into a full blown butterfly. When I got home, only one was left. I guess the other two was able to crawl out.

I'll try to search the grounds again for others and I think I'll be able to find some. It's butterfly time!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Feline Encounter

This morning, when I woke up, I heard a tiny voice of a kitten in the garden. At first I didn't mind it at all. After breakfast I didn't hear it anymore and so I forgot all about it.

Sometime around before noon I heard it again. The tiny squeak of the kitten. My youngest daughter and I went to the garden and looked for it. Surely, there it was. As we are approaching, the kitten got spooked and goes snarling against us but still we looked at it.

Then it hit me! This is a good photo opportunity to try and get this snarling kitten's attitude. I quickly grabbed my camera. As I went out, I checked the current settings and change the necessary parameters and visualized what I wanted to get.

I'm quite happy as I hit the sweet spot of my settings even before I got to take photos. In the back of my mind, I was already considering the amount of light since it was near noontime with patchy clouds and so I dialed down my ISO to my lowest. Then I wanted shallow DOF and dialed aperture to low value. Since, it was a bright sunny/cloudy day and with low aperture value, I need a fairly fast shutter speed. Though I need to dial down mu shutter speed from my original settings as the kitten went out hiding under the tree.

This little fellow has a really nasty attitude and every time it snarls, my heart jumps a beat as I was also taking caution as this little fellow might come charging and I really don't want to get scratches.