Sunday, January 31, 2010

Be My Dangerous Muse

'been terribly busy these past few weeks. won a bidding for a project in my hometown. i'll be shooting 14 guys for this contest thing. i've been organizing the photoshoot these past few days; been looking for assistants etc. we did a pre-prod meeting and the director told me what concept he wants for the shoot. i found it a bit tacky though so i'm gonna be tweaking it a bit.

a couple of days ago, i chanced upon this video in youtube and it hella inspired me to do the shoot asap. the video is by Dangerous Muse.

Click here to view full entry...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Click here to view full entry...

Monday, January 11, 2010

some notes on post processing portaits/fashion photographs

Lately I've been seeing a lot of works of "photographers" that look like, well, uber-edited. These photographs are those usually edited using photoshop 3rd-party actions... with the photographer or the one who post process the photo not exerting any effort to make the photo look like it was not edited/post processed. I've seen a lot of photographs of people having skin that looks very... unnatural... reminds me of photos of Mariah Carey and that Madonna for Louis Vuitton Ad Campaign.

I used to work for a magazine publishing company as a photo editor (long before I started taking photos myself) and learned a lot from my former boss about post processing photos of models/people. Being able to know what photo editors do, I always try to shoot photos now that requires little or no post processing at all because we all, well, most of us know that the more you photoshop a photograph, the more you destroy its pixels.

We've always been told that nobody is perfect. Physically, even models have flaws... pimples, wrinkles, scars, etc etc. What most people do when editing photos is like what I mentioned earlier, use 3rd party actions. These actions usually take the details off the skin of the subject by blurring off those details making the skin look smooth. Downside is, the skin will look unnatural... like the texture of a mannequin.

When editing off skin imperfections, I use the healing brush and stamp tools, making sure that my brush size is not bigger than 10 (for a photo from a 12 or 15 megapixel camera). This helps to retain the texture of the skin and as much as possible I keep some little imperfections to make the photo look unedited. It usually takes me 2 to 4 hours editing a 12-15MP photograph. A li'l practicing with the healing brush tool and you'll be able to master using it.

(click images to zoom in)

original image

edited using the healing brush and stamp tools

with Imagenomic's Noise Reduction in Portrait setting

I have nothing against using "skin perfecting" 3rd party applications in photoshop. It really depends on how you want your final photo to look like. But if you want natural-looking skin texture in your final photo, I suggest editing using the healing brush tool in 10 brush size. Click here to view full entry...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

D90 as a lomo camera

When boredom attacks, I always end up doing unexpected things. Lately, I've been hanging out with friends doing absolutely nothing. Obviously I got bored, picked up my camera and experimented. I wanted to come up with photos looking like they were taken using a lomo camera... Over saturated, high in contrast, having psychedelic colors and looking as if they were taken not following the traditional rules (perfect exposure, well composed, etc etc).

I am no expert with picture control settings of my camera so i just decided mess up with it. After experimenting and a few test shots... I came up with these setttings...

sharpening 5
contrast +3
brightness +1
saturation +2 (or it really depends on how saturated you want your photos to be)
hue - 3

WB (if gonna be used in daylight or with a flash) 2940K
G-M G5
A-B A4

As for the exposure, I wanted the ambient lights to affect the final photo so i followed my usual work flow when dealing with flash and ambient light (I've learned this from the Nikon website)... first, use the camera mode in auto mode to come up with the right exposure so that the ambient lights will end up showing in/ affecting the photo, then use the settings given by the auto mode in manual mode and use my flash, off-camera, to light up the subject. also, the zoom setting of my flash was 85mm so that it had that "spot light" feel. The flash power? well it really depends on you. but I think over exposing the subject looked nice.

Since d90 also has this multi exposure feature, I decided to use it to come up with multi-exposed lomo-looking photos.

The vignette.... we were taught back in my college photography class how to manually give photos those soft black corners. Either, burn and dodge the photo when developing it in the darkroom or just cut a piece of black paper and tape it at the end of your lens hood (you're basically extending your lens hood until you see black edges when you looked through the viewfinder). I did the latter, of course.

Anyway what's important if you want to able to take photos like these, you just have to remember the keywords... experiment, play and have fun.

enough said.. here are the photos....

no photoshop editing =)
Click here to view full entry...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Frances Karla Paderna

dresses by John Paras, Katie Pineda and Tracey Tabora
Click here to view full entry...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010