Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monochrome It!

The past weekend, I took photos of our visiting cat. Yep, the cat's only a visitor because it's not ours. It usually visits our lawn area to take naps and probably frighten the rats away.

I was able to take a nice photo of this cat while it was resting before it scampers away again. It usually goes away when I approach it as it is very aloof from us who are living in this house. Anyway, I was happy with the technical stuff of the photo but wasn't really happy with one aspect -- the background! I had no time to clear away the clutter or change angle or view. Check the photo below:

Very nice, right? Well, it is to me. There's a little distraction and would you know what it is? Yes, that's right! The green band on the background is taking away the attention from the cat. You tend to look that way, right?

So what did I do? You've guessed it right! Read the title again. I believe that by doing that, it helped bring back the attention to the visiting cat of ours.

Ciao or should I say Meow! :)

Which one do you prefer?

Back Lighting and Rim Lighting

The past weekend, I wanted to copy a two-light setup: Key light and Back/Rim Light. I only have one flash on-hand that made it a little tricky. I'm really thankful for the Internet -- it's easy to get information on this topic, actually on any topic. I was able to read lots and learn lots of techniques on how to do it and thus the first photo:

Okay, I used the sun as my back/rim light and the flash to light up the subject's face. The back/rim light acts as a separator between the subject and the background. Here's another photo from my experiment on the technique.

If you will see the back lighting on the hair that made a separation on the dark background add dimension to the photo. If the back lighting on the hair was not present, the subjects head would tend to blend in with the dark background.

I'm looking forward for another session on this experiment.


Blast at the Pyromusical Competition

I had a chance to watch the first Saturday of 2nd International Pyromusical Competition last February 19, 2011. Korea and Spain were the competitors on that day.

Here are a few o my favorites:

This weekend (February 26, 2011) will be the third Saturday of the competition. Here are the details if you want to find out more:

2nd Pyromusical Competition at MOA
Feb 12 - Mar 12 (Saturdays)

Program Schedule:

February 12, 2011
7:00PM Woori Fireworks, Inc. (KOREA)
8:00PM Pirotecnica Igual (SPAIN)

February 19, 2011
7:00PM Macedos Pirotecnica, LDA. (PORTUGAL)
8:00PM Jubilee Fireworks, LTD. (UNITED KINGDOM)

February 26, 2011
7:00PM Jinsheng Fireworks, Inc. (CHINA)
8:00PM Lacroix-Ruggieri (FRANCE)

March 5, 2011
7:00PM Tamaya Kitahara Fireworks Co. (JAPAN)
8:00PM Apogee Fireworks (CANADA)

March 12, 2011
7:00PM Fireworx (AUSTRALIA)
8:00PM Platinum Fireworks, Inc. (PHILIPPINES)

Friday, February 11, 2011


Last night, my eldest daughter asked her mom to teach her to draw hearts. After that, she was on her own drawing hearts and would occasionally ask me if it's okay to draw big hearts and in return I would reply 'yes, of course it's alright'.

After awhile, she asked for her crayons and kept bugging everyone when she wasn't able find her crayons. When she finally was able to find her crayons, she went back to her table and continued doing her own thing.

A few more moments, she then suddenly showed me her work. A very hearty-artsy work and a very nice one indeed! :)

I just couldn't resist to take photos.

Here's Thea's Hearty-artsy work:

Of course, here's the artist and her work:

Very nice isn't it and very timely for Valentine's Day, right! :D

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Macro By Reverse

Sometime December 2010, my beloved kit lens (Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS) broke it's AF. Probably an electronic problem within the lens. Anyway, I didn't bother to have it repaired as I need to upgrade my glass. Okay, enough of the intro.

So, what is this macro by reverse? It's a cheat on macro photography where a lens, such as the kit lens, is reversely mounted on the camera body by using a reverse ring adapter. Instead of having the lens mount correctly in place, the front element of the lens is fitted with this reverse ring adapter.

At first, when the kit lens was my only glass, I didn't bother to try this macro thing by reversing the lens as I didn't want my inner lens element be exposed out in the open. Now that I have found a replacement for the kit lens, I tried this cheat and I am absolutely going crazy over the photos I was able to get. Take note, this is my first try to do this.

Let me share you some photos:

This way of doing macro photography is quite difficult as the DOF on this reverse lens setup is very thin/shallow and the focusing is very much manual.

Now, I really want a macro lens! :D

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Yellow and Green

This photo has been long overdue and it was only last night I was only able to check on it. After doing my levels adjust on the converted RAW to JPG, I just can't help but be amazed on the output of this flower shot.

I'm loving the colors, sharpness, and DOF so much. I don't know if it's just me but I really do love the outcome on this photo.

Canon EOS 1000D + defective AF 18-55mm kit lens @ 49mm, f/8.0, 1/160sec, ISO 800
Thank you for looking.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

E-session: The other photographer

I was invited by a friend of mine over the weekend to shoot with him for an engagement session of his friends (the couple). He informed me that we were going to shoot with the organizing photographer. I thought this was a nice opportunity to test my 85mm f/1.8 I just recently acquired (thanks to my big brother). It was a good thing I had the 85mm on my 1000D and was able to stay away from the organizing photographers' view. I was trying my best to stay away from their view as not to disturb them as I was only a guest photographer. All my shots were like stolen/candid shots but I like most of them.

By the way, shots taken were somewhere between 10:30 - 12:00 noon with partly cloudy skies.

Joedex & Alyne's Engagement Photo Session (Best viewed full screen on black. Click on the image for the album photos)

Prenup: Joedex & Alyne
With regards to the performance of this glass was very nice. Fast and quiet AF. But after having the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 which was on the heavy side, I made some adjustments on holding the camera as it's very compact and light. Being it light and short, honestly I had a little difficulty on avoiding camera shake. Had to compensate with a little boost on the ISO.

Purple fringing is very evident wide open. I'm not sure if having the lens hood will minimize this. Oh well, will wait for the budget to arrive.

All in all, I'm happy with the 85mm.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Testing the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

*Disclaimer: This entry reflects my personal opinion on the said topic.

It was a wonderful day for taking photos and was a great time to test the new lens -- Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM. Here are photos of two models, Christine and Ynah.

Build. The Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM on my hands feels solid and the weight is noticeable but not on the heavy side. Pairing it on my beloved Canon 1000D feels a great combination in terms of weight -- not too light and not too heavy.

AF. Relatively fast and spot on. Though as my camera tends to back-focus a bit, I have to do a little focus compensation -- not ideal but I have no choice at the moment. It is quite audible and not as silent like Canon's USM technology but I don't really mind at all. The front element doesn't turn during AF which is a good thing but the focusing ring on the barrel does and it's a little tricky when my fingers are slightly on the focusing ring and I think that disturbs the AF. I hope I get used to not getting in the way of AF. There's no FTM focusing and so I'm back to my focus compensation thing.

Sharpness. I haven't fully tested it but on the wide end (17mm) at wide open aperture (f/2.8), there a softness in the entire frame. Zooming to the telephoto end (50mm) at wide open aperture (f/2.8), I believe about 75-80% of the frame is very sharp.

Other. In some occasions, I sometimes hear something inside that there something that's wobbling or disengaging. I have to check this out on what occasions this happen particularly.

Below, here are some sample photos I took with the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS lens paired with my beloved Canon 1000D on a recent fun shoot.

50mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec

45mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec

Tried it to take a family portrait where the parents of this kid is intentionally put in the background and blurred. A softer blur could have helped better from a narrower DOF.

50mm, f/2.8, 1/200 sec

At the end of the day, I feel good in having this lens as replacement for my AF-defective kit lens (Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS) and also for my nifty-fifty (Canon EF 50mm f/1.8). So, I'll soon be posting my nifty-fifty up for sale. As for my kit lens, I'll make us of it for my reverse lens macro shooting time.