Sunday, May 27, 2012

Digital Photographer Philippines Anniversary Party!

The Digital Photographer Philippines, the best photography magazine here in the Philippines held its Anniversary Party at the Bonifacio High Street. The event was attended by so many photographers and photography enthusiasts alike. Young and old, im sure they had a great time. Its information overload actually but these knowledge is what i need to perfect my craft as a photographer. Im happy I have been a part of this wonderful event.Even though the weather is scorching hot, i dont mind the sweat, its all worth it. I would like to thank Ms. Rose for inviting me at the event. I arrived early at Boni High Street. As early as 7:45 AM. I anticipated the huge volume of people who will attend and luckily I did because when I arrived theres already a long line at the registration. After signing in, I immediately bought a DPP shirt! Not one, not two, but three different DPP shirt designs! I always wanted to have a DPP shirt. I even planned make one for myself. Coz of this event, I already have the authentic DPP shirt. And I  have it both in Black and White :) 
Right beside the Canon booth, there was a yellow mini cooper parked in front of the tent. I stayed there for a while then suddenly a gorgeous model arrived and started modelling beside the mini. I had the perfect point of view coz i was the first one at the scene. Boy, photographers flocked like mad crazy. Firing, shooting away.

I saw her actually when I was buying a cup of double vanilla latte at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf early that morning. I didnt knew she's modelling for the event. She's pretty and she has this glitters on back.. hmm.. hey.. i was at the line and i was just behind her ya know! My eyed just glanced at her..

They call this the "Group Hug" where all the participants gather along for a one big photo op. After two shots, I instantly went on top and took a photo of my own. What a view! I always wanted to have a photo like this when i saw it on DPP. Photography is shared by a lot of people and many embrace the beauty of photography and the beauty of this profession. If you love taking photos, you are welcome to join this one big group hug... well only by name, they didntt really hugged each other...

My first lecture was with Jo Avila. He is a pro photographer and he is one of the best food photographers in the business. I was so lucky to be at the front rows of this lecture. He held his lecture at the Mango Tree Bistro and they served three dishes. He showed us that food photography can be simple and being not to extravagant on gears. All you need is a kit lens, yes, a standard 18-55 f/4 lens will do. Its light, you can shoot close at the food, it can be sharp at a certain aperture (like f8) and you can achieve creamy bokeh at its widest. The best thing about the kit lens, its usually comes free with your camera. :)

Jo is using a Sekonic Flashmate L308 to measure his desired settings before taking the photo. He uses this device as a baseline, making it easier to set the right aperture and shutterspeed that you will use on your camera. Its an essential tool because it cuts work time in an istant! I need to buy one coz i chimp most of the time.Taking a lot of shots before I get the right exposure. These things are accurate. You can just oveexpose or underexpose from your baseline reading whichever you like. It also makes you look more.. professional looking according to Jo. :) He quoted "Dont underestimate the power of Porma.." 

Essentials when shooting food according to Jo Avila : 

  • choose the window. Natural light is always the best
  • Use P mode sometimes. 
  • Highlights and shadows are keys for a great photo. 
  • The ISO on the light meter should match the ISO of your camera
  • White Balance - Cloudy
  • Shoot in RAW
  • Transcend SD Cards has a data recovery software that you can download
  • Buy a small mirror for those reflections 
  • Some blue tac to hold the mirror

Now here's the secret! Jo told us that you dont really need to buy expensive gear to capture great food shots. You dont even need a soft box or even a tripod! All you need is an assistant, your flash and a remote trigger to fire it up and a sheet of bond paper. Yeah bond paper! It acts as a very useful diffuser that when you put it closely on top of the dish, the light envelopes the food once the strobe is fired. But the first thing you should do is never fire your strobe in front of the the camera (using the pop up flash is a mortal sin!). Put your strobes at the back, on the right or left but never at front. Putting the flash in front gives you a flat photo making it not interesting. Putting the light at the back gives you the highlights and the details making the food more enticing and delicious. Also, shoot a portion of the food , and as much as possible dont shoot the whole plate, or the table coz you are not selling the plate, the spoon, the fork.. you are selling the food and that should be the hero of the photo not anything else. Also, never shoot food top view.. (oops...i sometimes do that and probably not anymore).

The lecture with Jo Avila is lot of help for me since im really interested in food photography. I learned a lot from him and watching him work is amazing! "One shot, One Kill". He takes photos really good and he's fast! Experience is the key. When you know what you are doing, you will definitely do wonders. Thank you sir Jo for all the tips and tricks on food photography.

I never seen personally a 400-600 mm f/4 lens in my entire life and yesterday not only i saw one, i gave it a try as well! I went to the Nikon booth and and tried this 500,000 peso monster lens and it just gave me goosebumps! This is a photo of Ricky Ladia and Jigie Alejandrino way way far from the booth. What an awesome lens. Ricky and Jiggy had a lecture on  Portraits and how to use Strobes, wether it may be speedlights or studio lights all fired up by an amazing brand called Phottix. =) Hope someday, Phottix will sponsor my gear as well hehe. They just have this really amazing line of wireless triggers, studio strobes that other studio equipment. 

I cant help myself taking  a photo of the model's shoes. Those heels are sooo high! Isnt it hard walking on those?

Ricky demonstrated where the photographer should position the model. The photographer  should always consider where the shadows will land on her face. Shadows and highlights are very important in portraits. Well, in all aspects of photography i guess. The masters showed us how to do it and they are really good. 

After Ricky and Jiggie's lecture, I went to the Nikon tent to listen to Lito Sy. He's one of the best Wedding Photographers  here in Asia, and probably in the world! He won a lot of International Awards with his and tell you, he is definitely one of the best out there. His post processing skills are outstanding and its really inspiring to see someone as successful as Lito Sy. Travelling around the world doing workshops..doing photography as his first love and getting paid top dollar.. I saw a quote before that says, "If you dream of something that you wanted to be, you are already halfway there"So dream it, Have a goal. Who knows it may come true. 

Lito said, its important to focus on your subject and nothin else. Close your eyes, and open it, what do you instantly see. Where does your eyes lead you?? You should emphasize on that and mind the details and crop out the unnecessary things.

Meet Val Rodriguez. He is the chief photographer for Philippine Star. At the age of 60 plus, he has many awards under his belt. He is a Pultizer Awardee - the most prestigious award any photojournalist could ever have. He showed us how dangerous, how hard being a photojournalist. There are times, he only sees his family three times in a month and everytime he goes on location, he wouldnt know if he will ever come back alive. He's been to the frontlines in scarborough.., went to afghanistan...seen a lot of action. He is the official photographer of the late Ninoy Aquino.   He was also assigned as the official photographer of the late President Cory Aquino. He is also a National Geographic photographer and his photos grazed the covers of the popular magazine... He is also a photographer from Associated Press or simply AP. What a photography resume!

Val told stories of his work... his experiences and even his work flow at Philippine Star. Its a hectic job really. He told us, during film days, they have to develop their photos in a minute. They will get two rooms, one to sleep in, one to be converted into a dark room. Now, its much faster. With the technology now a days, in just seconds, he can submit his photos for editorial, wherever he may be. He is a devoted Canon user and he has the lenses that he needs. From the long ones to the wide ones. Same goes to his team of photographers at Philippine Star. The lecture kinda went emotional when he reminisced the Maguindanao Massacre. Few of his fellow photographers died in vain there..Saw the actual photos of the massacre and it was scary..Life of a photojournalist is always on the line. Thats why, you got to give them with such respect. Here, he is with fellow Canon ambassador Bong Donato.

Keynotes from Val's Lecture :
  • One Situation - three kinds of shots 
    • Establishing Shot (usually the original situation shot)
    • Medium Shot (cropped usually)
    • Detail Shot (zoomed in, detail enriched)
  • Back-up your photos always. Play with the backed up photos not the original. 
  • Photojournalist literally sleep with their cameras
  • They should always have a photo of every event. No excuse. 
  • Never say 1,2,3 when taking photos...instead say " Cheese!!" or "Kabayo!!" then hold ur breath for 2 seconds then shoot. 
  • The best professor is yourself. Experience is a great teacher.

The much awaited Carwash babes is starting! After Sir Val's lecture, i headed instantly to the mob of photographers at the middle of the street. Carwash babes is on going. My point of view sucks that literally i have to climb a truck to get decent photos of the girls but failed.. :( Look at that crowd! 

I just have to get close..I went down and joined the crowd. Live View is much of a great use right at this moment. 

Its Crazy! I love this photo! Lot of details, stories that the photo is telling. You can see the car, the girl, the mob of photographers at the background and an L lens on the foreground. You can just feel the intensity.

After the carwash babes, I head on to the Canon tent once again. Pro Fashion photographer Raymond Isaac showed us his work and gave us tips on fashion photography. He said, a photographer must do the exact opposite of the other photographers do. Thinking out of the box.. Read a lot. Imagine a lot. Be creative. Dont be afraid to ask questions. Theres money shooting male models...

Raymond brought along Jinri Park as his model for the lecture. He said its important to have this connection with the model. Talk to her.. make her comfortable. He also said that, models are not psychics, they dont read minds.. so as a photographer, make them do what you want., what pose or where the model should position herself

Ask nicely. Be polite.  Dont be rude. Dont ever say "You dont look good at this... at that dress" but instead tell them " I FEEL., this one is much better.." If the model has her/his own opinion, respect it.

Never hold the model as much as possible. But if you must, never hold the model's hand. Its kinda akward. Hold her wrist instead. Dont hold her back as well. Raymond never holds the camera when he positions the model. He leaves it on the table for a while then once the model is ready, thats the time he picks up the camera and shoot.

Hearing these tips from Raymond is really a treat for all the budding fashion photographers out there. Raymond Isaac is a great artist. A visionaire. He does wonders with his camera..Again with experience and practice, those are the keys in becoming a good photographer. Thanks to Jinri Park for posing for all of us.

Abby is around the area as well. She had a make-up shoot with maffi who is studiying make-up school in Burgos Circle. After class, they went to Boni High Street and wow.. My girl Abby looks really gorgeous! Nice job with the make up Maf! They went along with Noel, Maf's boyfriend and we had dinner at Aria.

Meanwhile at the Nikon Tent, Manny Librodo shared some tips in capturing his awesome portraits. I went to the Nikon booth once again and used the 600mm f/4 lens. That lens is just outstanding... its so  sharp even at high ISO (ISO 1100). 

Bumped in with Edge of Light Photographers Xander Angeles and Niko Villegas with his ladylove Kate.  Thanks to Spam for taking the photo.  

Xander and Niko had their lecture near the Phottix booth. They shared how they got into the business. How to become a really good fashion photographer. The importance of doing things you love and make the most out of it. These guys do photography almost everyday. They value their work so much. Xander said, you should believe with what you can do. If you are good, believe in yourself. Market yourself.

Before i end my super long blog, i just want to share this photo of the Nikon D4. This is like, holding a dream...its in the palm of your hands...but then again its a dream, if you wake up its gone. I want that camera someday..or.. the Nikon D800. Hopefully someday i can have one of those without disappearing. 

I learned a lot today. But one thing seems to be the common denominator among these masters of photography, they dreamed to be  a master. They dreamed to be the best. They practiced, worked hard and shoot everyday until they perfected the craft just like riding a bike. I pray someday i can be one of them. Not only to be as good as them, but also to become a great photographer who can affect change from my photographs. Congratulations DPP! I really had a great time. Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cookbook Kitchen

 Cookbook Kitchen is one of the new restaurants found in Eastwood City. It was a great experience shooting there coz the place looks really good. The ambiance is superb. Not to mention the aroma of great food is all over the place.  Photo above is their Temecula Ribs. One of the best ribs ever. By the looks of it, its screaming satisfaction! 

This one is their best-seller. The Paremesan Crusted White Fish. I had a chance to taste this one and it soooo good. The fish is so soft and the taste is really delicious! If ever im gonna come back at this place, id definitely order this one. Im sure you will love it as well.  

Place is really clean. They have very nice and hospitable staff. When i was doing the shoot, the man beside me asked me what camera and lens I am using. I answered him politely. Turned out he loves photography as well and he even has his own studio. The great thing about it is that he invited me to shoot at his very own studio and boy i was excited. Best thing about my work is I meet a lot of interesting people..and sometimes i get free food :) Watch out for this great deal at Ensogo-LivingSocial. Im sure you will love dining at Cookbook Kitchen. 

Chewy Junior Cream Puffs

Creampuffs!!!! I so love creampuffs. They are one of the best things on earth! I had a photoshoot at Chewy Junior and boy I was lucky to taste their super delicious creampuffs for free! Its available in a box of 8 and in a box of 15.  You got to try this one. Im sure its gonne be your instant favorite!

Swiss Legend Neptune for Her

Swiss Legend is one of those premiere brands of watches that is intricately designed and crafted. I had the privilege to shoot before the Swiss Legend Neptune before. Now they have a new version of the Neptune this time its for women. 

Very classy design. Its kinda heavy assure it is tough and robust. The bezel has this capiz like surface which makes it sound like it came from the God of the Sea.. It has this soft rubber white strap that looks really stylish and elegant. 

 Ensogo-LivingSocial will soon launch another deal with Swiss Legend and im sure a lot of people will be interested to purchase this one fine time piece. Please do watch out for it. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Impressca Restaurant

Impressca Restaurant over at Quezon City is one of the healthiest restaurants i ever been to. They serve the healthiest kinds of food anyone can afford. I was lucky to take photos of the said restaurant. Its about time to eat something healthy and something organic..something super fresh and not your ordinary salads and greens.  Photo above is Corned Tuna with Pasta and Organic Lettuce. Partnered with brown rice. 

Ms Beth, the owner of the restaurant made a pact that she will only serve healthy and organic food. She wants it as healthy as possible. She has her own garden where she gathers all her herbs and spices for her dishes. Imagine, whats inside your meal is freshly picked! Impessca will soon launch a deal with Ensogo-Living Social. Please watch out for their amazing deal coming real soon at Ensogo's website

The salad is really delicious. The lettuce is so crunchy and the dressing tastes really good. You should try this one out as you visit the place. 
Impressca is located right in front of ELJ building near ABS-CBN. Once you see Ministop, you will see a big alley on the side where shops and restaurants are lined up. Impressca is at the far side of that big alley. Visit their store im sure you will enjoy their nice and humble place. Very homy and and very relaxing to dine in. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Ensogo Studio

Just recently, Ensogo-LivingSocial was kind enough to give me a little space to shoot products for retail. Not only that, they provided equipment to shoot portraits, group shots, group jump shots and a lot more! Just today, I was shooting  these really nice Satchel bags, soon to launched at Ensogo-LivingSocial's website. My model for today is the lovely Ms. Dee who looks really good with her purple Pashmina, that goes along with the brown and purple strapped bag. Ms. Dee is one of the freshest faces of Ensogo yet shes one of the most hardworking individuals the company ever have. Lucky enough to have a portrait of her due to her very busy schedule.  She kinda looks like Alice Dixon isnt she? :)

I also took photos of Carol, one of our awesome Web Developers. Shes just a beautiful pregnant woman and photographing her is my pleasure. I just love her prenatal portraits. Thanks to Luisa Gimenez for helping me out with the make-up :) 

Here's Luisa with Renz having photo of their own 

Jocy and Tin raided the studio as well and gladly captured photos of them. 

 Of course our boss deserves a good portrait! This is actually a candid shot. 

 I should have a photo of my own of course! Here with Clarisse with this wacky shot. 

I always dreamed of having a studio of my own and this one is so close to reality. I am really thankful  for these blessings and I do hope that someday i will have my own studio...a big one! Its free to dream right?  There are a lot of things to learn . Lot of actuations to burn. I want to be really good at this. I so love photography and i think im gonna be doing this even if im really old... Thank you Ensogo for giving me the privilege to learn how to become a better photographer. I promise to return this favor by giving the best photos i could ever have.  

More photos at my facebook. Click on this link

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ensogo's Summer Adventure at Canyon Cove

Wohoo! Its time for our summer outing at Canyon Cove in Batangas. This is my 2nd time to attend the company's yearly summer event and this year was a blast. Canyon Cove is breath taking! As you can see from the photo above, the view of the hotel is simply spectacular with the big pool upfront. Awesome! 

Everyone is excited to hit the beach! Its time to relax a little bit after long hours of work and this summer getaway at Batangas is just one of those ways to frehsen ourselves out. Im honored to capture my officemate's smiles and candid moments.

Sir jojo grabbed my camera and told me join everybody and lemme take your photo. This is one of those moments im included at the photo! :) Thanks sir. 

Upon arriving at canyon cove, there are last minute alterations for the room assignments. We waited at the holding room, took some photos and ate our lunch. Our boss, sir Jojo right at the middle gladly joined the jumpshot with the girls. 

Im part of the committee that is why im exempted from the games. I need to document every action, every stumble, every gasp of air, every rage of emotions! Teams are separated into colors, they are blue, red, yellow, orange and green. The committee also has a team color of their own which is pink. We had a kick ass cheer before the games started!

Let the games begin!

 At the end, the orange team emerged victorious! Such teamwork! 

 took some photos while the sun is setting down. Grabbed my speedlight and had my self working with strobing techniques. :) 

As the night goes.. we had some booze at the bar and partied all night. It was awesome. Meggy doin her moves! :) 

 The summer outing was really fun. I really had a great time. Bonding with my officemates, cracking up silly jokes, and eating like theres no tomorrow! How I wish we have outings like these every other month! haha. Its just fun.. super. Im leaving you with this sunset shot of mine.... 

more photos at my facebook page at this link