Sunday, December 21, 2008

Esplanade Outdoor Theatre in HDR

Esplanade Outdoor Theatre in HDR. Just a little experiment I did yesterday while taking my day off and idling around Marina Bay. Shot the scene with exposure bracketing and used Photoshop to merge into an HDR photo.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Night Portraiture - Group

As an amateur, wannabe professional photographer, I never appreciated the importance of a good tripod, well at least until now. For the longest time, I loved to shoot night photos hand-held as much as I could (actually I still do). But now I've realized the beauty of having a good portable tripod to carry around every time I will shoot. It allows shooting with a deeper depth of field and longer exposure times, of course, you still need the cooperation of the people you are taking photos of - they need to be still until the end of the shot. I'm also beginning to appreciate the importance of using the flash - but not too much of course. I always disliked having to use the flash as it washes out the color of your subject. However, one shot that I'm really proud of, as of the moment is the photo of my friends jumping in front of a huge Christmas tree at VivoCity, Harbourfront (below). I used to think this wasn't possible with an ordinary kit lens mounted on a D80, the shutter just wouldn't be fast enough. It's really not possible, at least not without the aid of a tripod and flash. Okay it's not the best shot of people jumping but at least I got it on the first try. Can't wait to go out and shoot more night photos. For more photos, visit VEC1.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Attempt on Interiors

My attempt on shooting interiors using a 50mm prime lens. It was very challenging because the space was limited and I had to shift and adjust my position most of the time to frame the shot properly. I really gave it a warm look to give a summer feel to it.
Location: Tanjong Puteri Golf Resort, Johore Bahru, Malaysia.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bleeding Love

The reason for this Christmas season - Jesus. (Above) Photo of our christmas lantern (parol) made out of recycled items. (Below) Bleeding love. This is the cross at the center of our lantern, which sums up why Jesus came to Earth to become human in the first place - to die on the cross, for ME and YOU. Merry Christmas and enjoy the yuletide season rememberting God's great love for us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cityside Skyline

Shot on the 6th level of Avon Park Condominiums, Potong Pasir, Singapore, while having our dinner before making our Christmas lantern (parol).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Esplanade Drive

Esplanade Drive, Raffles Place, Singapore. Taken about a week before the F1 season in Singapore. Anyway, I may have to change my format of posting. There will be times that I will just post a photo and not include any lengthy descriptions due to time constraints since I'm pretty busy nowadays. I hope you continue to enjoy my photos and I will try my best to post as often as possible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This is a horse-drawn carriage or kalesa I shot from my trip to Vigan a few months back (edited with photoshop). This is a common sight in the streets of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines and a common sight as well in the streets of Chinatown in Manila. This post should've been posted a long time ago, but since I'm quite busy nowadays I haven't got the time to shoot some new photos, so I decided to sift through my old ones, which also explains my absence for two weeks. Also, this photo is exactly how I shot it, minus the radial blur. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My East Coast Sunrise

Shot just before sunrise at East Coast Park, Bedok. We had our VEC2 Caregroup getaway event. Lots of food, drinks, fun and fellowship in the Lord. Lots of fun but little sleep (for me at least). I just to wait for dawn and see the sunrise in this part of the world and it was good. (Below - photo of sunrise by the beach). Both shot with 50mm. The 50mm is a great walk around lens for me, so far, may it be night or day. Just have to adapt to the very shallow depth of field at large apertures.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Light Subdued

It took only less than two minutes to have an opportunity to capture this shot. The rest of the day was sunny and cloudless, when all of a sudden this huge puff of cloud came into view and seemingly engulfed the sun. A minute later the sun shone brightly again. Good thing I was out practicing shooting with my CPL. I love moments like these.

Side note: I'm actually dressing up a new blog, ShutterMAX. It's still under construction but will be up soon, maybe.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spanish Village

I looked out the window and I saw the beautiful blue sky, enticing me, taunting me to go out for a walk with my camera, Dates (haha, just thought of giving it a name). But where would I go? I was undecided. So, I just stayed put and took out Dates and shot from the bedroom. This is the Spanish Village as they call it. This is a low-rise condo just across the street from where I was standing. Took this practice shot using a CPL filter. There aren't much clouds so the sky turned out really blue. I'm still getting the hang of it. It took me about 30 seconds to figure out this shot. My first shot had great contrast but the buildings were quite underexposed. So I adjusted the exposure bias by +0.3EV and got this shot. It is very easy to underexpose a picture with a CPL filter on. Anyway, I'll continue to practice. More photos to come.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Marina Bay Skyline

Marina Bay Skyline. Shot both photos at the same day. Basically waited until around 8PM before it got dark enough to shoot a night photo. Anyhow, I was blessed with a beautiful day when I went out for a stroll and a photo-op down at Marina Bay. The sun is up and shining. The clouds and the blue sky makes it one fine, perfect day. Actually I decided to shoot to see my circular polarizing filter (CPL) in action. The photo above was captured with a CPL. What I noticed was the beautiful color contrast that it gives compared to a photo shot without CPL (sorry, wasn't able to provide comparison, my observations are based on previous landscape photos shot without CPL). Reflections were also reduced giving the water a clear, mirror-like texture. The night shot of the skyline (below) was taken with the CPL on. I've read from other websites that it is not advisable to shoot at night with CPL on, but I guess I was too lazy to take it off so I just left it on. This night shot was tricky. I had no tripod so I had to find a stable surface to put my camera. Shot this at ISO-400, 24mm, f/8 and a 4-sec. exposure.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Haw Par Villa - Tiger Balm Gardens

Haw Par Villa. The Tiger Balm Gardens, located along Pasir Panjang Road, is one the "free" sightseeing spots in Singapore. So, if you are on a tight budget and would love shooting in Singapore for SGD 5 (for your bus fare, max.), this is the place to be. It was fun coming here since somehow I got reconnected to my chinese heritage by viewing the different tableau exhibits scattered all over the garden. There was also a special exhibit, the Ten Courts of Hell, which costs SGD 1.00. The exhibit depicts the ten courts of hell that you would need to pass through for the punishment of different sins committed before being reincarnated into another being, but this is for another post, I think. I personally do not believe in that but still it was worthwhile to view it and learn more about the culture. The photo above is the pagoda view near the main entrance of the garden.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Understanding Bokeh

Bokeh, derived from the Japanese word bokeaji, meaning "blur". Bokeh is the photographic term for the out-of-focus area in the photograph produced by a camera lens rendering a shallow depth of field. Different lens bokeh produces different aesthetic qualities in out-of-focus backgrounds, which are often used to eliminate distractions in the background giving more emphasis on the subject (definition quoted and paraphrased from Wikipedia), usually seen in portraits, macro photos and nature shots, such as the one above. Actually I have only encountered this term while comparing specs for 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.8. They say f/1.4 has better bokeh, better blending of colors, and why not, it is far more expensive than the f/1.8 - about 2 to 3 times more expensive. If you're gonna pay more money for that, it must definitely give you better results. Anyway, just wanted to post this to show "bokeh". This photo actually is part of the "50mm - Daylight Series" post.

Friday, September 5, 2008

50mm Edition - Daylight Series

What a great way to start my September series. Pictures shot purely at 50mm focal length. Well what's so special about it? I have never been forced to shoot at a fixed focal length before, because I got so much comfort in using the zoom lens that instead of moving forward or backward, I just let my lens do the work. By the way, this is entitled daylight series since all my photos (more photos here) were shot before 5pm. This picture is one of my favorites. I shot this flower while strolling down the Heliconia Walk of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. You may notice that I always post pictures taken from this place. It just so happens that I have visited this for several times already since this is one of the few places in Singapore that has free admission. But not to worry I will post pictures from other places in upcoming posts. It is a very tiring but rewarding experience. It trains you to think about your composition really well before shooting. It was tiring because instead of the zoom function, you are doing the zoom manually. Good thing there were not much people around, otherwise they might think I'm weird. More photos to come. Side note, I really love the 50mm f/1.8. The money you pay for it is justified.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My New Toy

My newest toy - the Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8D armed with a Tokina 52mm UV Filter. I'm very happy with this new acquisition. It is the cheapest fast lens in the Nikkor line-up I think and so far it's serving me well. I actually thought of buying the f1.4 model, but figured it was too expensive, so I settled for this one. I'll just save money for later purchases. Anyway, I can now capture night portrait shots hand-held with more ease and magical night general shots and landscapes as well - although this is not really for landscapes, but I can't afford to buy the 35mm/f2 right now. It is very compact, very lightweight and focuses fast. I also love how soft the images come out. This is going to be great especially for portrait shots. I also get the difference in depth of field which is important in portraits. I feel that I would learn how to be more disciplined when it comes to composing my shots using this lens, since I got so much used to using the zoom lens, I prefer staying in one position and just zoom-in to get closer. I shot a night scene while waiting for a bus to go home (below, shot at ISO-800, 1/25s). Can't wait for future shoots using my new baby. Enjoi.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Orchard @ Night

Orchard @ Night. This shot was taken during one of our early evening strolls down Orchard Road. Orchard is like the Makati City of the Philippines, minus the congestion. I mean there is still traffic but not like what you see at Epifanio delos Santos Ave. (EDSA) during rush hour. We first went to Tang Plaza first, famous Filipino community hangout at Orchard. During weekends, especially Sundays, the place is really packed. I had my picture taken at Lucky Plaza, adjacent to Tangs, and ate dinner at a small cafeteria-like diner serving 2 Filipino viands + 1 cup of rice + 1 can of drinks for SGD 5.00. After dinner my friend and I decided to take a stroll all the way to Plaza Singapura (below), near Dhoby Ghaut MRT. That is about two MRT stations away from Orchard MRT (yeah, Singapore is that small). But it ain't true that you can see all of Singapore in one day (20 years ago, maybe). There are lots of nice places to see and visit. I'll post more in the days to come. By the way, I wished that the sign on the picture above was Canon Nikon (Thank you Lala for the correction), oh well.

Both shots were taken at ISO 1600, thus, they're a bit grainy, but sometimes grain is good.

Monday, August 25, 2008


The Singapore Botanic Garden is really huge. Actually I haven't had the chance to see the whole place really. These are some of the creatures I shot at the garden. Another reason why telephoto lens are fun to use especially in wildlife photography. Good thing I didn't scare this one away. The one on the below was running away when it felt the presence of people around him. Thus, it was blurred because I had to chase it. The swan (white border, below) was so far away but I was glad to shoot it with the sparkling water effect. Anyway, I know I can do better. I will improve on my wildlife photography in the days to come. Cheerio!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Have FUN with Photofunia

This is a photo I took at our little photo shoot with my best friend at the botanic garden. Now, I discovered something new while surfing the net. It is a website called Photofunia. It uses face detection technology (according to the site) and recognizes the features of the face from your photo and merges it into another photo, creating a stunning new photograph. Face detection is currently used in newer generations of point-and-shoot cameras nowadays. I'm not sure if it is available in DSLRs as well. The above picture is the original shot taken by me and the one below is the photo merge at Photofunia. Just sharing my new discovery. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Water Lily and a Man-made Stream

Water Lily (Nympheae sp.) Still taken at Singapore Botanic Gardens, with a little tweaking to make it look more artistic. Lovely place, good for nature shots. Some fast facts about water lily. It is a water plant with leaves that float on the surface. It is the national flower of Bangladesh. It is the birth flower of July. In Singapore, these are commonly cultivated in parks. It is a water plant with leaves that float on the surface.

Since I haven't been regularly, I've decided to add this photo also. It's a man-made stream found at the botanic garden. Took this at ISO-100, 1s exposure, f/22, 95mm. It was hard doing it without a tripod. I had to put my camera on top of a bench, but to no avail, it is still quite blurred though.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Swan Lake

Swan Lake, Singapore Botanic Gardens. I was strolling around the botanic garden, one fine day, when I saw two happy kids with their mom feeding some swans on the man-made lake. Somehow this photo made my day. After I shot this picture, I said to myself: "Ah, now I can go home." I love the seldom times I use my 70-300mm. It really gives me great photos while shooting at a distance without bothering my subjects, allowing them to perform normally as if nobody is watching them. I usually carry my kits lens around since I'm more of a landscape shooter. But when it comes to these kinds of environment, I find it best to carry a telephoto for nature shots. Enjoi!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Photoshoot Anyone?

The photo above is a shot I took at the Photography Living Gallery Exhibit at the National Museum of Singapore. This is the kind of studio camera they use to photograph people back in the 19th century (Thank God for compact DSLRs nowadays). The second photo (below) is a picture of the device they use to manually retouch the photos, somewhat like the darkroom processing of films. Talk about manual photoshop. Basically, these were some of the more pertinent equipment that a photographer needs to produce a sound photograph. Anyway, it's just amazing how these things are preserved so that younger generations such as ours will be able to appreciate and see the creations of the past. My visit to that museum was particularly extraordinary. It was very modern, hi-tech, creative and educational at the same time.

* More photos and stories from Singapore soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cig Lighter

This is my dad's cigarette lighter, although he already quit smoking for years. It's nice to have one of these things around for display or for still life subjects. I was practicing with the flash mode of my camera. I'm trying to utilize the flash effectively without making the picture look "washed-out" or too white because of the built-in flash. One thing I've realized in this exercise is the importance of the use of white balance. In Manual mode shooting, it is best to adjust the WB according to your shooting environment to have the best results, in this case I used the flash white balance option. I still have to work out on the glare seen when shooting shiny, metal surfaces --- the natural way, meaning no photoshop.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Paoay Church

St. Augustine Church, more commonly known as Paoay Church, was built in 1964 by Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo. Completed in 1710, the church was built of baked bricks, coral rocks, tree sap and lumber. Local materials used inlcuded mixing sand, lime sugarcane juice. These were boiled with mangeao leaves, leather and rice straw for two nights. Considered as the most outstanding variant of the Earthquake Baroque, this site is now included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The belltower of the Paoay Church was once used by Katipuneros in 1896 as an outpost and was used again by Filipino soldiers during the World War II. This was one of the first churches that I have visited in Ilocos. The massive structure of the church was just breath-taking. We only spent a couple of minutes here and took some pictures. It just great that we were able to preserve such structures which is just awesome. Below is a shot of the interior of the church.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Paoay Lake

Paoay Lake (panoramic view). Well, sort of. I've been bitten by the blogging bug. After a month of only a couple of posts, here I am with my third post for July. I've been bonding with my CS3 lately and I compiled three shots of Paoay Lake to form this one single panoramic shot, which shows a portion of the lake. Malacanang of the North overlooks Paoay Lake, which is said to be shaped like a horse, although, you can't see it from this angle. As I've read, in 1969, Pres. Marcos declared it a national park. Anyway, there has been a lot of fuss about an emerging photoshop artform, which is an HDR (high dynamic range) image, which is a blending of photos shot at different, bracketed exposure values. I have not yet produced a genuine HDR photo, however, I've tried experiementing to create an HDR-like photo by follwing the procedure I've read on Adobe Photoshop User and tweaked it to my own liking. Here is the HDR-like version of the panorama above. Feel free to C&C.

Malacanang of the North

Malacanang of the North. Last May, I went to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte and stayed there for several days. It was my first time going there and I was extremely excited. We stayed at a budget hotel just a 5- to 10-minute tricycle ride outside Laoag City proper and took a budget Cebu Pacific flight. Though it is cheap, we waited for more than 3 hours just to pay, book, get confirmation and print the ticket for the flight. I would've tried driving from Manila to Laoag if only the gasoline prices weren't soooo high --- now, that would've been a great road adventure. Anyway, this was one of the first famous tourist spots we went to, the White House of the North. Overlooking Paoay Lake, Malacanang of the North is one of the 29 summer residences that former President Marcos built during his term. It's a great feeling visiting such places where once famous and important people have been to. Anyway, I'd be posting more photos of the other places I've visited. 'Til next entry.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bread and Fish

"They all ate and they were satisfied..." Mark 6:42.
Five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish. This is my still life attempt on fish, given as a photo assignment last May. It took me more than two days to figure out how to interpret the topic. Finally, I decided it would be interesting if I can tell share the story of Jesus feeding 5000 people with just 2 pieces of fish and 5 loaves of bread in just one picture. I had to find a nice basket to place the bread and fish. The bread is actually spanish bread and the fish are little "galunggong tinapas" I found at the supermarket. I arranged them and after employing the painting with light technique, I shot about 100+ shots to get the perfect one. When we were taught how to shoot still life with nothing but a flashlight, I was fascinated by it. Couldn't wait to try it at home. And once I tried it, I realized it wasn't as easy as it looked. It took a lot of trial and error to get a really good shot. That's why it took me more than a hundred shots. At first, most of my shots were way underexposed. Eventually, I got the hang of it after about a dozen shots. Anyway, when the time came for judges to critique our work, I received some interesting comments on my picture (which was fun by the way). There were some who appreciated it. Some even suggested ways for me to improve it. Some of course didn't like it. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but it was all good. Great learning experience, especially from the experts. There's just one comment I would certainly never forget. I remember one judge saying the the fish doesn't go well with bread, it should have been shot with garlic rice on the side (famous Filipino breakfast). I tried containing my laughter, but perfectly understood where he is coming from. We all have different perspectives and interpretations on what we see. He just happened to be an advertising photographer (forgot the name though), thus, he wanted to see a material more inclined to advertising or promoting a product, I guess. Anyway, I'd be definitely doing more still lifes shot this way. It's totally cool, fun and at least something new to me.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Xier P. My very cute nephew --- first nephew actually. Isn't he adorable? Born December of last year, Xier is six months old, yet he is still very tiny. He is our miracle baby, born just barely 27 weeks. The odds of surviving was a 50-50% chance. He has a twin, Xavier, but unfortunately he didn't make it. Just survived around 2 weeks I think. He had pneumonia and wasn't strong enough to fight it. They were so little when they were born and they weighed around one kilogram each. Thank God Xier made it and is now a growing healthy baby boy. I took shots of him at my friend's house. Sorry if the pictures are a bit grainy. The room was dimly lit at the time and I had to boost the ISO to 800. I didn't want to use flash because he gets startled easily. It's quite difficult to shoot babies without proper lighting. They move around a lot, thus some blur in my pictures. It's good practice though, keeping yourself as steady as possible. Tweaked it with photoshop to enhance the color and the tone.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cloud 9

Cloud 9. It's been a while since my last post. I have been quite busy with stuff lately. I got back from a trip barely 2 weeks ago and I haven't finished arranging my pictures yet. Anyway, I also can't remember the last time I posted nature pictures so here's one. I went through my Batangas photos and I found this shot focusing mostly on clouds. I remember playing with the aperture on this one to get the desired effect on the clouds. I used 18mm, ISO-400, f/22, 1/320s. I used a smaller aperture to be able to get detail from the clouds. I've been trying to shoot with a wider aperture but sometimes all I get is plain white background. This has been my problem especially when shooting during cloudy days. When it's cloudy, my shots tend to have clear white background (bald sky) even if there are distinct clouds in the sky. Still working on it though. Tips and comments are very much appreciated.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bridal Portrait

Bridal Portrait (for more photos). This is my first collection of bridal portraits, as a matter of fact my only collection, so far. These photos were taken during our bridal portrait photo session in our advanced class. Everyone was pumped, excited to shoot. The moment we arrived on location, people just started shooting away. I thought it was a lot of fun and challenging, especially getting the proper exposure for each shot. We shot both indoors (studio) and outdoors. Outdoor shots were more tricky. Aside from minding how the model poses, you also need to constantly mind your exposure settings, since the light source is variable. Indoors, lights were controlled, the environment is controlled, thus, you don't have to always vary your settings and you can focs more on the pose of the bride. According to our lecturers, bridal shoots are a lot more harder than they seem. In the actual event, it's a lot faster since you only have minutes to shoot the bride before walkng down the aisle. It is also very tiring and intense at the same time, but financially rewarding, that is if you do it properly.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Mickey. Yet another one of my attempts at shooting a still life - more of like a product shot actually. I shot this in my room with nothing but a flashlight. I think I haven't got it quite right yet. I need more practice - I have failed to properly illuminate Mickey's ears. Anyway, I have to give credit to Mr. Victor Sison, a reknowned paintographer (painter/photographer) here in the Philippines, for teaching us this technique in shooting still life with nothing more than a completely dark room, a tripod and a flashlight as light source. I love this method of shooting. It gives you more freedom to choose the kind of lighting you wish to use and artistically create lighting effects in shooting a subject. It gives you the chance to express yourself in a whole new way.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Night Portrait

Night Portrait. Last night I was out looking for scenes that I may use for my photo essay assignment for the last day of my advanced photography class. Instead, I ended up shooting night scenes and portraits. This is a portrait of my best friend shot at the Bay Area of SM Mall of Asia, one of the few people, so far who willingly poses for me in any situation, without hesitation (hehe). We were supposed to shoot nearer to the bay but to our disappointment it was raining. After a few shots we left and went to buy some stuff for my still life assignment on fish. I'm still working on that, but as soon as I get a good shot I'll be posting it here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Aliwan Festival 2008

Aliwan Festival 2008 (for more photos). The country's largest gathering of different festivals from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Held last May 1-3, starting from the Quirino Grandstand and culminating in front of the Aliw Theater. Sorry for the late post. Anyway after almost 2 weeks of not posting, I'm aching to kick of this month with some of my shots during the festival. This is actually my first time to watch an event as huge as this. More or less 22 different contingents gathered to fight for the 1M pesos grand prize for the best street dance performance and for bragging rights. The mood was very festive. I was there as early as 930AM. Because after reading other blogs, I figured that there would be thousands who will also watch the show, so I thought, in order for me to shoot good pictures I ought to find a good vantage point early. As early as 2PM, me, including several other photographers were already all lined up just below the judges stand. There was some tension though when some of the organizers said that only media personnel and official photographers were allowed in that area. I approached this very nice lady, I think the head organizer, too bad I didn't get her name and asked if we could at least occupy a small area so that we could shoot for their photo contest. She asked me to show her my camera so that she could confirm I was legit and not some spectator just wanting to get a good view. After doing so, she agreed. Otherwise I would've stood there for more than 5 hours, only to find out I won't have a good view of the festival. So at around 3PM we were all settled. Cameras already brought out, anticipating the big event. But to everyone's disappointment, at around 4PM, it started to rain really hard for more than an hour or so. Everybody scrambled for cover. This delayed the festival by 3 to 4 hours. I was hoping to start shooting at around 6PM where at least there is still enough light to get me good action shots. But to my disappointment, the street dance started around 9PM I think. As any problem with a standard telephoto lens - not enough light causes blurring due to low speeds. Which reminds me, I really need to save up to either get a better lens or a Speedlight. Anyway, through patience and sheer luck maybe, thankfully I have managed to produce shots without motion blurring. Another added problem was when after the rain, the area that was supposed to be occupied by photographers were already occupied by all sorts of people. And as you can imagine, there was a lot of pushing around which made it even more difficult to shoot at night. I took about more than 250 shots and saved about only half of them. Anyway, it was one heck of an experience. Good experience. Next year I know better. Not unless I have a better set of lens. I won't wait for them to reach the end of the parade. I'd go to the starting point and shoot away.

Monday, April 28, 2008


What's life without a li'l drama? Sorry I haven't been posting lately, but rest assured I haven't gone cold on my photography. Took this picture last weekend on our little trip to Lian, Batangas. I asked my best friend to pose for me, facing the sun, so that I could make her a great silhouette and, thus the result. As I have said before, I love shooting sunrises and sunsets. Some people even call it the magic hours of the day. The color and mood is really great. This was taken a few minutes after sunrise. I woke up pretty early waiting for the sunrise. I had several shot, but alas, my friends are all still asleep, so I had no subject whom I can ask to pose. I had to improvise, nonetheless I got the shot I wanted. I'll be blog hoppin' and posting more of my shots during the trip in the following days. Thanks to all who dropped by and left their comments. :D

Monday, April 21, 2008

Black and White

Black and White. Ahh, it's been a week since my last post, so I felt like posting two pictures today. Yesterday, we had the privilege of joining the company of Mr. Ed Santiago, a reknowned black and white photographer and photojournalist. He shared with us his collection of photos which are of course mostly black and white. He also shared his experiences in photojournalism and his insights in creating a photoessay. He didn't really teach us the technical side of photography but rather his 50+ years of experience in the profession. By the way, he is one of the more rare photographers nowadays, who prefer film over digital cameras. Moreover, he values the B&W prints more since according to him, it can be preserved in its original state much longer. I was inspired by his stories and I have to admit, after seeing his portfolio, I had a deeper appreciation for black and white photographs. So, I tried practicing on shooting B&Ws.

The first photo was taken at a Starbucks store. We bought some coffee and hanged out for a while. I remeber the first time a Starbucks coffee shop opened near my school in Makati. People rushed in the store buying coffee like crazy. Maybe it was for the love of coffee - frappuccino, latte, espresso - you name it. Maybe it was for the whole new coffee experience - students drinking expensive coffee while reading the newpaper comfortably sitting on the couch, chatting, or maybe it's just the rush of everybody wanting to try a newly opened store. As time passed by, as expected, the number of people dwindled. Sure there were still customers, but not as much as it first opened. Then came the rise of San Francisco coffee, Seattle's Best, not as strong as Starbucks though, but competition emerged - the nature of things. I don't know with the others, but compared to the other coffee shops, I still would love the Starbucks experience. I am not an endorser of Starbucks coffee. In fact I hate their iced tea and iced fruit juices, but I have to admit, I love their iced mocha frappuccino. That's my favorite.

Coffee and cars. This second photo was taken inside the car parked near a gas station. I was waiting for my friend, who was buying something. I got bored and took out my camera and began shooting. It was almost night time when I took this picture, so I had to use flash to illuminate the interior of the car.


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