Sunday, March 27, 2011

Faking Daylight: Portrait Session with Michael Asino

A few weeks ago, Michael Asino, an artist, commissioned me to take his portrait to be used in his social networking accounts. Michael, being a very busy person, is just available at night. We did the shoot in my place in Santa Rosa at around 9:00pm.

Mike, wanted his photo to look a bit casual but still presentable as he is being contacted by his clients mostly in social networking accounts, particularly in facebook. We sat for a few minutes and talked about the "feel" he wanted for the final photo. We both agreed to make the photo, black and white to have that "classic" feel. I told him that the photo should also feel "light" and not stiff for him to look very cordial.

I wanted the photo to look as if it was taken during a sunny day. I sat Mike near a window and placed one of my speedlights behind him to make it look like as if the sun is just gleaming through the window. To light his face, I placed a reflector near him to bounce the light from the speedlight to his face.

Mike is not used to having his photos taken and looked very stiff so I started a conversation while I was taking his photo. I wanted to capture a very natural smile so I started asking things about his daughter. Right away, Mike, thinking about his daughter, let out a very warm smile and I was able to capture it. Here's the final photo and a simple diagram of my lighting set up.

camera: 85mm 1/200 2.8 200ISO
speedlight: TTL +1.0

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Monday, March 7, 2011

High Key Photography: Available Light

A couple of weeks ago, I had a portrait session with my friend's little sister, Grey. I took her portraits as my graduation gift to her. Here are the photographs...

(click to zoom in)

The location? A studio? Nope. I took the photos in my room's veranda. Grey and her sister, Gretle went to my place at around 3:00pm. I started taking photos at around 5:00pm after all the preparations (make up etc.) and chikahan (catching up). I took advantage of the sun's position in the sky during that time which was directly parallel to us. I asked Gretle to hold a diffuser (my big 5-in-1 reflector's diffuser) behind Grey, with the sun behind it. I metered at Grey's left cheek and overexposed by a stop, set the focus in her left eye and then started taking photos.

Here is a simple diagram of our setup:

Camera Settings: 1/200 1.8 85mm

At that time, the color temperature of the sun was a bit warm and gave the photos a reddish tint for I used the daylight white balance which I thought was ok but after a few adjustments when I was post-processing the photos, I ended up making the photos look colder, which I thought was perfect because Grey was wearing winter clothes.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Laiya, Batangas

went to Laiya, Batangas with friends and their friends. t'was fun meeting new people who loves spinning. new poi friends for me

PS this is my first attempt to shoot a video. bear with my shaky hands. lack of equipment. hehe Click here to view full entry...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Diane Wilson Matias

Shot in Kagoshima, Japan

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Costa Classica Friends

I haven't been posting anything lately, well, because, yes, I've been very busy. I've been helping my bestfriend's mom run her clothing business.

I've always wanted to post the reasons why I quit my job from Costa Cruises as a cruise photographer but then I really can't find the time to write about it.

For the meantime, I'd like to share some photos I took when I was onboard. People in these photos are those people I befriended while I was in Costa Classica.

I'll start with Chiara and Dimitri.

Chiara, Crew Lecturer

Dimitri, Dancer

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Back from Hiatus... The Nightmare that was Costa

I haven't been posting anything lately basically because life onboard is pretty much busy. A crew has to work 7 days a week 11 hours a day. Luckily, photographers doesn't have to work 11 hours a day. Everytime the ship is docked, the photoshop, my former workplace is closed. But having a workaholic manager, even if the ship was docked, I had to start to work again at night.

Former workplace, yes. I quit from my job. Why? There are a lot of reasons that all boils down to "it's not worth it."

It was fun being onboard. Partying almost every week, the people you meet and places you go. But being an artist, I got burned out with the job. I hate routine jobs... embarkation, gala night, portrait session, dinner shoots, etc etc then it goes back to embarkation shoot again. Also, there's nothing creative with my former job. The camera has been set and all I had to do was click the shutter release button. I wasn't a "photographer" i was just a "clicker."

I'll share the major reasons why I quit... soon... I'm still pissed of with Costa Crociere and how they do their manpooling (which, as a trained photographer, kinda insulted me) and how Costa Crociere treats their employees... Click here to view full entry...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My first

........warning. Yup I got caught violating a rule. "no cabin parties." Click here to view full entry...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Life Onboard as a Crew

Working for a cruise ship is a lot different from working at land. I am now considering my ship as my new country; a moving island, a different view from your porthole (cabin window) everyday. We all know that a country has its cultures. Being with different races, I must say that "my country" is very rich in culture. You'll learn a lot everyday; customs, traditions and even different words and phrases. But... you really have got to be a verrrry good listener here. Its very hard to understand a lot of people, well, basically because of the different language accents.

Apparently, all countries have rules and laws too. "My country" has a lot and people here are very strict in enforcing the law. One big mistake and it will cost you your job. As a new crew, you have to undergo a lot of training on your first weeks onboard and take an exam after. If you wont be able to pass the exam, you will be given another two chances and if you still won't pass it, then you'll disembark the ship in the next port. P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E!

Being in a ship as a crew, well, after working here for a few weeks, without a doubt, is not easy. Everyday, I'm missing my family and friends back at home. Its like starting over here; yes you'll meet new friends but it takes a long time for me, and I'm sure its the same with most of you guys, to really trust someone. It's a good thing that there are a lot of Filipinos here, its part of our Pinoy culture to be nice to fellow Pinoys. and with our number here, sometimes I feel like I never left home.

Ericson and Edgar, my Pinoy Colleagues

Another thing is the work hour. People here, well including me of course, work 11 hours a day 7 days a week. But as a photographer, my work sched is lighter; my workplace, the photoshop, is usually closed when the ship is docked.

me in Yokohama

Everyday, I am expected to smile as I am working now in the hospitality industry with my ship, being considered by our guests a hotel... a "moving hotel." Earlier this morning, I looked in the mirror and noticed some small wrinkles in my cheeks... talk about over smiling.

spell EXHAUSTING... Click here to view full entry...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Costa Classica

Finally! I'm about to embark my ship, Costa Classica and work as a cruise photographer. I spent the night in an inn here in Okinawa, Japan after a whole day of connecting flights.

will keep you guys posted.

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Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill Tool

I'm speechless

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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Jellies

Last Friday, March 26, 2010, I did a shoot in Manila Ocean Park, again, for my hometown. This time it's for the Rosas ng Santa Rosa Pageant. I had a hard time setting up the lights for flash photography is not allowed in certain areas of the park.

What I enjoyed the most in our shoot was the "jellies" part of the park. I was again with Anton and we were soooooo GV (good vibes) with the jellyfishes that we did a lil video thing.

Will post the photos soon...

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Life's a Beach... in Caramoan

I know, I know... this blog entry is long overdue. I've been busy lately with some projects (and trying to ask for payment from a certain client.)

READ: I've learned an important lesson. Never ever ever ever ever work without downpayment... even if that project is from an old friend... especially if he's working for the government.

Anyway, back to this blog entry... a few weeks ago, or should I say, a month ago... I went to Caramoan, Camarines Sur with two of my very good friends, Tom and Jojo (pretty much sounds like Tom and Jerry, eh? and yes, they're a couple) to celebrate their Nth anniversary (6th, I think). Jojo, being the oldest (hehehe) prepared everything. He booked our whole tour, the place where we stayed, and our transpo. Touring Caramoan is pretty cheap, I must say. It costed us 6, 000 PhP per head, all-in (transpo, accommodation and food for our 3days-2nights stay). There are no five or four star hotels in Caramoan. If you are the maarte (snob) type then I suggest you go to Boracay or Dos Palmas instead. What I love in Caramoan is of course, the beaches, they are all (well, the beaches we visited, six of 'em) pure and untouched by civilization and you're gonna miss this if you are "maarte."

We left Santa Rosa, Laguna (our hometown) at around 6PM to go to Alabang where we embarked on the bus going to Naga. Before embarking the bus, we had our dinner and bought a few snacks and drinks in Festival Mall, Alabang to prepare ourselves for the long trip ahead. The bus arrived in Alabang at around 10:30PM and left at around 11:00PM. Jojo, booked a bus with lazy-boy seats so our 8-hour trip was pretty comfy. We slept most of the time during our trip and tested if google map would work in places were 3G is a bit, umn, low. We arrived at Naga Terminal (beside SM City Naga) at around 7:00AM. We then took a two hour-long van ride going to Sabang Port and another two-hour long ride, this time by boat, to Caramoan.

(all pictures with dates are from Tom's camera. Click on the images to zoom in)

Port going to Caramoan and view of Mt. Mayon from the boat


We arrived at Rex Tourist Inn an hour before lunch. Rex Tourist Inn is located in the town's poblacion or bayan. We rested, had our lunch and started our beach-hopping tour with our guide, Eli.

way to the Inn and front view of Rex Tourist Inn

our room and what's inside Rex's

Eli helping me embark the boat we used to beach hop

first stop... Matukad Beach, Matukad Island

next stop... Bitchara Beach, Lahos Island. hmmm... dontcha just love the name of the beach? hehehe

on our way to our final stop for the day....

Carbanilad beach, Cagbanilad Island

by 5:00PM we were back in Rex's and rested for a couple of hours and ate our dinner.

view of the "bayan" from the inn's balcony and our dinner

there's nothing much to do in the "bayan." most shops are closed before 7pm so i just went online to post some photos and do some facebook updates. if you love beach partying, then this place is not for you.

We had our breakfast at around 7am and had our lunch packed so that we won't go back to the inn to eat our lunch. Food are included in the package (breakfast, lunch dinner). Eli (our guide) advised us to have heavy breakfast. We had no idea why but did what he said. After some rest, we started our travel going to the first stop for the day's itinerary...

road to...

Mount Carmel, Brgy. Tabgon

500 steps... (nah, just an estimate. lol)

halfway there. catching our breath. with our guide, Eli

view from up there

view from up there and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary

Lunch in Manlawi Beach, Sitio Manlawi, Lahuy Island
This place is absolutely stunning. We ate our lunch in a hut about a kilometer away from the shore but the water is just below our knees.

...and the last stop for the day was the location of Survivor Israel...
Sab-itan Laya Island (a.k.a. Bagieng Island)

we spent a couple of hours here, dozed off a bit and cam-whored.

The sunburn...

on our way home, since we expected that we'll all be tired, jojo booked us a plane back to manila.

more photos posted in my facebook albums... Caramoan and Caramoan from tom's camera
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