Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all and welcome the New Year!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mini Studio Work

From the recent post 'Be Your Own...', I worked again in my mini studio to practice product lighting but this time with a different light setup. Slightly different from the previous setup.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Be Your Own...

It's been awhile since I wrote a post and I hope that this new post can be an interesting one.

Be your own boss is what I can think of to finish the hanging title when I see the photo below.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

85mm Street Photography

On a recent trip to Singapore for the 2011 Formula 1 Grand Prix, I tried to do a little street photography with my 85mm as the event is surely filled with subjects.

I'm really not into street photography but I wanted to try it out and the Formula 1 Grand Prix is a perfect place to do it. So I tried a little of it on my last day. I was more busy taking photos of cars zooming across.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Playful Session

I had a chance to take photos of great comic character toy figures a few weeks ago and it was indeed a playful photo opportunity. I then wanted to try to do composite editing. I would like to share the result of my effort on one of the toy figures and here's what I got. It's not that great but it's a start.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Portraiture Workflow

I would like to share my recent workflow that I use to process select portraits. I'm sure, there's a lot of workflow out there but I thought of sharing mine today as I have been more out with portraits lately than product shoots.

The more I learn about portraiture, my workflow have changed as well.

Old WorkflowNew Workflow
Gaussian Blur
...Noise Reduction
Color Balance (Test Mode)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VW Beetle Photo Up!

I just want to share my excitement to see my VW Beetle diecast photo up at Infotex's website as I have mentioned from my previous post: VW Beetle Hoodie. I hope that this opportunity opens the door to new other possibilities.

Here's a screen shot of Infotex's website:

Infotex's website
Cheers and thank you to Infotex for the opportunity.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Share Eat!

Share what? Share Eat! -- the 'Joy of Eating' with Clara Olé. My family decided to go to this event at Mercato Centrale despite of the 'bed weather' last Sunday morning. We arrived early with just enough time to go around. It was my first time to go to Mercato Centrale which my wife boasts of having a wide array of food choices to fill up the belly.

Anyway, we were there to attend Clara Olé and Mercato Centrale's event for the day of Share Eat! It's an interactive cooking demo with Chef Eugene Raymundo with guest Appetite EIC magazine, Nina Daza-Puyat for Clara Olé's new slogan 'Joy of Eating'. In the event, they also held an on-the-spot photo contest that was open to everyone. Surely, a lot of photo junkies came as well as bloggers that somehow shared the pot alike.

Thanks to Clara Olé for the special gift I received for being one of the first 20 participants for the on-the-spot photo contest. Not bad for a weekend at Mercato Centrale.

Friday, July 08, 2011

On-Camera Flash And Small White Room

Last week I had a chance to participate in an open photo shoot organized by Terry Jorgensen at The Bulb Studios. It was my first time to shoot in a studio with those big mono lights with their big soft boxes. The first shot I took with those big lights made me drool over them and makes me wanna get myself some of those lights too. I will someday.

Okay let's get back to the title of this post before I get carried away with those big lights introduction. What I really wanted to share and concentrate on was my favorite shots that I was able to take outside of the studio, actually it still inside the studio but away from the big lights -- the reception area of the studio. The reception area that was about, maybe 10 feet by 30 feet with a ceiling height of about 10 feet also. What was great about the reception area was it's painted white all over -- the walls, floor, and ceiling. One more thing, the entrance to this area was a glass door that allowed lots of light to enter into the room.

Model: Cathy Frey
The photo above was shot in the reception area. The reception door is on my left (model's right) side. I had my speedlite on my camera and from what I've learned, direct on-camera flash isn't really flattering at all. I have been practicing how to bounce flash with on-camera flash and I believe this is one big accomplishment for the little speedlite. I bounced my flash towards my back angled up about 45 degrees. This filled up the room with light scattering all about and bouncing all around the walls and ceiling and floor and created this big soft light source. As a result of this, the shadows behind the model and the motorcycle was almost eliminated and created a wrap around light on the subjects. As I didn't have much experience with big studio lights but have ample experience on bounce flash, I was able to get this awesome shot! Below is another shot on the same setting.

Model: Cathy Frey
At the opposite end of the studio entrance was the reception desk and it had a stair case on it's right side still painted white. Again, I was able to use it as my "own" small studio with only having my speedlite as the light source. I applied the same technique as I have done above but tweaked the angle of the flash.

Model: Stephanie Gaña

In the photo above, I believe the flash was toward my back-right hand side. On the next photo, the flash was on the opposite side as the model change positions, I had to adjust the direction of the flash. If I didn't change the direction of the flash, I would've lit the model's hair instead of her face.

Model: Stephanie Gaña
I was able to make good use of the white walls and on-camera flash using bounce flash techniques. I have to thank Neil van Niekerk for his tutorials on flash photography techniques. I did quite learn a lot from his blog on the use of on-camera flash bounce.

The rest of my photos from this photo shoot session can be seen here: Heroes & Villains Open Photo Shoot by Terry Jorgensen.

Again, thanks Terry for the spot and opportunity.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Details, details, details...

Stained Fork
Got myself excited to shoot some detail shots over the weekend as it was very gloomy and rainy outdoors. Here are some of what I was able to take last Saturday night. How I did it at the end of my post. :D

Don't Fret Pegged

Glitz! Fedora Stitch
Here's my favorite shot of the night:

I made my bunch of cookies as my midnight snack after photographing it as it really made me hungry.

Sunday, blessed me with a slight overcast afternoon with a little sun peeping through the clouds. Since the rains have stopped since morning, little critters were out too and so was I. :D

Crab Spider

Big Red Eyes

I'm Hairy

Red Bulb White Veins
The leaf shot reminds me of science class where we used to peek into a microscope to look in closer on leaf structure though this is nowhere near as a microscope photo.

I just found this interesting.

The How.

I used an extension tube coupled with my 85mm with the shots that were produced on Saturday night and then with my defective-AF kit lens for the Sunday afternoon session.

The extension tubes that I used were the dumb cheap ones. It's really like a tube except that it has mounts for the lens and the camera body to be coupled together. Using the extension tubes meant physical manual focus. I said physical is because it's either I or the subject moves forward or backward to get the part I wanted in focus as this type deals with really narrow DOF (depth-of-field).

I used a flash with a diffuser cup with varying light intensity and distance to light the subject. The built-in flash can also be used but I wanted to control the direction of the light thus I used an external flash. Another tip, I used my maximum flash sync speed (1/200 sec for my camera) to eliminate camera shake and get photos that are sharp enough.

The physical manual focus was really a challenge but my love for macro has just been revived! :)


The rest of the other photos are in this album:


Brown Flower (Chico flower)

Friday, June 24, 2011

One Light

Here's a photo that is pretty much Zack Arias - inspired shot. I have been planning to take this heart pendant of my daughter but during the time I wanted to shoot it, we can't find it. So I told my wife about this plan I have and a few days ago, guess what, they found it and I just shot it.

Here's the result:

Heart Pendant (Zack Arias - inspired)

Yup, that's pretty much it! So, what's with the title 'One Light'? Well, I used only one light for this photo. I practically just lit the background to blow it away to close to white.

The setup. I had a small table propped up in front of a white wall in our home then I placed a white semi glossy white board on top of the table. The table was about a foot away from the wall. Yes, there was a gap between the table and the wall. I then placed my flash on the floor just barely beneath the table's edge pointed to the wall. The gap between the table and the wall was the place where I need my flash to light the wall and bounce that light back somewhere. During the shot I placed a card board wrapped in foil to act as a filler light to shine a little light on the front of the pendant.As you can see there's a small highlight on the metal loop that holds the beads and the heart. I hanged the necklace and pendant close to the glossy board enough to get a reflection/shadow for drama.


Heart Pendant (Zack Arias - inspired)

It was a very nice exercise as I had the chance to apply what I learned from reading Zack Arias' blog/website.

I hope you can pick-up something new from Zack Arias' blog/website as I did.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

VW Beetle Hoodie

In relation to my previous post: Volkswagen Photoshoot -- Die-cast, I received an email from a website design firm recently asking for my permission for them to use one of my photos that I took of the VW Beetle die-cast about a week ago as they would like to use it for one of their campaigns for their new website.

Naturally, I was flattered that they'll going to use one of my photos. :) Here's the photo they've asked permission to use:

VW Beetle 1/24 Scale Die-cast
I received another email from them with an attached e-newsletter they're going to use or are using with the VW Beetle photo of mine with an appropriate byline and I just wanted to share it with you how it looks:

Infotex E-Newsletter
This opportunity is a real big inspiration for me. Now, I'm really looking forward for more sets with die-cast toys. One more thing, this photo was taken only with a kit lens and only shows that creativity is what matters and how it's executed, right?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Volkswagen Photoshoot -- Die-cast

Diecast? What comes into your mind? Yes, toy cars, usually. Die-cast are model toys made by the die-casting method using metal, plastic, and rubber. More details about die-casting can be found in this link.

I am stuck at home and it's raining outside and I thought it was a good time to spend time with a little photography. Actually, I was really planning on taking some photos of a die-cast VW Beetle that I borrowed from a co-worker at the office.

I knew shooting this beetle will be a challenge as this model have a lot of curves. I was planning of using two lights for the photographs but I ended with only using one 24W CFL bulb in my DIY soft box and lots of card boards for fill-light and shapers.

VW Beetle 1/24 scale - Door Ajar

The above photo is edited. I frosted the headlamps with a hint of yellow just to give a little color. I wish that it had real lamps. The following photos, I retained the original color of the headlamps.

VW Beetle 1/24 scale - Parked
My one 24-Watt DIY softbox is placed directly on top of the model and card boards are placed around depending on the what needs to be filled with light and shaped.

VW Beetle 1/24 scale - Hood Up

Now from this shot you can really see that this is a die-cast car as the detail under the hood shows that it is really a scale model. I like though the detail of the spare tire inside the 'front' trunk.

VW Beetle 1/24 scale - Bin

Here's one shot that I did where I placed it beside a perfume cap. Actually, I thought that it can be substituted as a model garbage bin just to have some accessories.

Well, it was a very interesting afternoon and I'm looking forward for another set of die-cast stuff to shoot.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Who Wants Pear?

Related to my previous post: Back To Stock. Here's one of the unlucky ones that didn't made the cut. Actually, it's a good thing it didn't as I wanted to share how I lighted this and how I really liked the way it came out.

f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO 100
I had the pear on a transparent glass lined with tracing paper and a CFL bulb beneath the glass. Yes, this was a back-lit subject. I had to touch up a little flash on the upper-left corner of the pear. This then created  a crescent-shaped shadow. I had to lift up that shadow to reveal some details there by placing a white cardboard opposite of the flash. The flash was diffused by a DIY 12"x12" soft box.

The highlight and shadow defined the shaped of the pear while the back light revealed some texture - a bit wrinkled up. The pear seems to float as there are no shadows on the sides or beneath it.

The photo of the brown bear in 'Back To Stock' post had the same lighting applied.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Back To Stock

I've been out of the loop on stock photography for quite sometime as I have been preoccupied with portraiture. Here's an extra shot from the recent stock photo session I had. It's one of those shots not really for stock photos as this photo have identifiable marks as you can see below:

LV Bear Key Chain

So this was not submitted for review for my portfolio with Fotolia. I am currently waiting on my submitted stock photos' acceptance or rejection. I'm wondering how will I do this time? I submitted 15 new stock photos. Right now, since it's under review, it cannot be seen in my portfolio as accepted stock photos only appear in my portfolio. I hope all appears in my portfolio.


* Update: I got 11/15 stock photos accepted. Here they are: © MrGreenBug - Fotolia. :) More to come!


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Session With The 85mm

I was able to setup a practice session with Canon's EF 85mm f/1.8 last Sunday. The place where the session we went to was indeed nice and have probably lots of potential spots to shoot. But due to the private and high-class nature of the place, I was on my toes for anyone that might make us wrap-up prematurely. Brought  along the kids during the practice session to add a little distraction.

I've planned to shoot with ambient light only and some flash when possible. Oh well, the ambient light setup was a bit tricky as the afternoon was overcast. Moreover, add some wind and drizzle into the mix.

See what I mean? Though it wasn't drizzling when the photo above was taken. We were able to take shelter on a small play area for kids when it drizzled. It was a nice area as it has an open door and huge windows where an adult can easily pass through. It's a good opportunity for good light but if I were to consider the direction where the light should come from and and the subject's position, it meant I should be out of the play area?! Come on, it's drizzling outside.. =) Here's a couple of shots:

f/3.2, 1/100sec, ISO 200
Both photos were retouched to remove some blemish on the skin as the light direction emphasized it. Additionally, the corner where these two photos were taken was dark and it drowned the her into the background. I fired a flash behind her which is more evident on the second photo to give space between the subject and background. I liked how the black and white post processing worked on the image and the accent made by the flash behind her. =)

After the drizzle, we went back to the hut where we left our stuff and went on a break. After a light meal, we tried to get some snaps with one of the support beans of the hut. I had my 4-year old daughter hold up the flash for me when I took this shot. What a dandy light stand. =)

f/3.2, 1/320 sec, ISO 200 +  flash with diffuser cup
Jolly after the snack. =) We then headed out again since the drizzle had finally stopped but still very overcast. We found some steps and leveraged the steps for a different angle -- from a low point of view.

f/3.5, 1/160, ISO 200
The spot on the steps was very windy and we decided to look for a better spot. We strolled further after steps and found this green bench beside a tree. The sun was behind the tree and the bench in front of the tree. It's a good spot indeed. The sun peeked a little from behind the tree and somehow gave a slight rim light on her on the following photo below:

f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO 800
I wanted a shot seeing the green bench and how it complemented the green background and the flowery dress.Using the wind too to open up her face a bit.

f/3.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 200
f/3.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 200
It was a fun practice shoot with the 85mm but as I reviewed the photos, I was a little disappointed on the sharpness of the photos. Since the 85 is a longer focal range that I am used to using -- 17-50mm, it's really important to take note of the DOF and should be careful where to focus. Still the day ended well, a little exhausted but truly worthwhile.

f/5.6, 1/50 sec, ISO 800
Well, I guess I will be looking forward for another practice shoot with the 85mm. =) The next photo is not taken with then 85mm but I just thought it's worthwhile to post the cast and crew (supportive wife and adorable kids). =)

f/5.0, 1/80 sec, ISO 400, flash bounced on roof of the hut

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Coffee Assignment

I am a part of a young and passionate photography club called Quezon City Photography Club (QCPC). It's a growing club in the city where I currently reside.

One of the club members wanted to start of with something like of a contest or some sort and we ended up having a monthly themed assignment. For the month of March, we have a coffee-based theme.

I joined this activity to push my creativity and as well as to develop more my photography skills. It's really a part of learning I guess. When this theme was announced, it came to my thought that for sure there'll be lots of coffee cups and saucer and teaspoons photos. I wanted to be different so I thought of using coffee beans. Using just coffee beans was too simple of a shot and I don't how to make it more interesting.

Then I remembered seeing an ad on the TV of coffee beans being roasted. I wanted to recreate this picture I have in mind.

So, I was able to loan a half-cup of coffee beans from a colleague of mine from work. Here's the result of my session with the loaned coffee beans.

Hot Beans

I wanted an effect that looked like that the coffee beans were recently roasted and are still venting off steam.
Hot Shot

Took a shot glass and I wanted the same effect as the one on top.
Spilled Beans

Tipped off the shot glass and still trying to get the effect on hot coffee beans.

Where did the smoke come from you might be asking. The smoke came from some incense and I waited for the smoke to be wafted towards the coffee beans for an effect the smoke comes from the coffee beans itself.

The one that I entered in our club's themed assignment is the 'Spilled Beans' as it has some other element in the photo which is the shot glass and making it not look too bare like on the first photo: 'Hot Beans'.

All photos were taken at 85mm, f/11.0, 1/200 sec, ISO 100, Off-cam flash with the setting below:

Black background and coffee beans were set on top of a glass table for the reflections on the beans. The snooted flash allowed the environment to be dark and only shed light onto the subject. The reflector bounced of some light from the snooted flash to fill-in some light on the right side of the photo where the shadow should have casted due to the position of the flash.

Position of the flash was considered for two things: 1) to get the texture of the coffee beans and 2) to shine light on the smoke just like the way I did on my smoke photography.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Flowers Delight!

Over the weekend, my wife together with my two daughters and I, went to church early and ate out for breakfast as I wanted to go to the Orchids Festival that was just recently concluded last March 7, 2011. These were taken at the Quezon City Memorial Circle where the festival was held.

I wanted to be early so I can still have soft natural light and didn't want to use flash in this occasion. Indeed the day was blessed with magnificent light. I really like taking photos of flowers under ambient light. Flower photography is my first love in photography and I can't wait to get myself a true dedicated macro lens for this (but it has to wait for awhile).

So let me share some of my favorites which I am very happy to share with you along with some description of the photo.

Here's an orchid where my intention is to focus on only one or two blossoms and let the others in the cluster blur in the background. Though the other blooms are blurred, it retained it's general form, shape, and color suggesting that the only focused bloom is part of a group and not a solo.

f/3.2, 1/200sec, ISO 200

Here's another bloom where I intentionally took a shot of the top part only of the cluster and show the color and the remains of the previous night's rain on them.

f/3.2, 1/640sec, ISO 200

A close-up shot (not a macro) of a bloom from a cluster of orchid blooms where I intentionally shot only one to reveal the patterns and color of this particular bloom. Actually, if you can look closely, there seems to be an alien's face (similar to movies -- big eyes, small mouth, and probably a third eye on the forehead) there in the pattern.

f/3.2, 1/320sec, ISO 200

This particular bloom is quite interesting for me as this variety is very seldom seen. The common color of this bloom is pink. I am actually trying to grow the common variety of this in our garden.

f/4.0, 1/125sec , ISO 200

I remember that this is my second shot from the series of photos that I have taken from this trip. My wife actually spotted this particular bloom for it's peachy color. The shallow DOF was intentional as I wanted to introduce dimension to the flower. I hope I achieved this. :)

f/2.8, 1/125sec, ISO 100

Ain't that delightful? Thank you for viewing. I hope you were enjoyed the photos as I enjoyed taking photos of them.

Share your delight and mine by sharing this blog entry to your friends.