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Basic Photography Workshop Experience

Location: Handuraw Pizza, Gorordo Avenue
Date taken: October 27, 2013

photo by Blue Pax
This October, I and my friends went to Manila and visited Intramuros. I was envious that there was a Basic Photography Workshop for a certain fee. Oh, how I wish I could stay in Manila and join the workshop but it would be expensive. So by the time I came back to Cebu, Cebu Shooters Guild (CSG) created a workshop for free on basic photography so I grabbed the opportunity to learn from the pro for free.

Photo by LA with the mentor Jan Mat
I wasn't so keen on taking notes but I am hoping that I could still remember what I've learned from the mentor Jan Mat. The discussion was not too technical, good thing because I am not good at it. The elements I need to remember in photography: light, camera and subject.

Make good use of the natural light. We don't need expensive flashes and strobes unless you are working in a photo studio. Even though you're just inside the house, as long as there is light from a window or an open door then it's okay. We had an exercise using our hand to find the light, it's a technique where you can place the subject.

The camera, either it's a digital or film slr, as long as you can manually adjust the camera then you're ready to go. 

The subject, in our discussion it was about portraits. In portraits, you can ask your friend to be your model for the photo shoot. After all the discussions, we had an activity to apply the things we learned from the workshop. Of course, the settings like ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed were also included. We also had a glimpse in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Since it was all portraits, most of us have the 50 mm prime lens f/1.8 or any lens that has a wide aperture of at least f/2.8. The wider aperture, the better because it renders natural and beautiful background blur.

Here are some of the photos I took during the workshop:

For my nifty fifty project, I guess I need some more improvement. :)

Shooting Fireworks - My First Time

Location: City of Naga, Cebu
Date taken: October 5, 2013

Today, City of Naga in Cebu celebrated its 6th Charter Day as the current mayor of the city is also celebrating his birthday. A while ago, there was a 5-minute fireworks display (actually I didn't know it was only 5 minutes until it ended). I had no idea how to shoot fireworks so I decided to search through Google what are the settings to be used for the said shot.

Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
I tried using the 50 mm prime lens and very anxious about it since I had no freedom to use a wide angle lens. So it was challenging for me and my tripod is not sturdy enough. As I was fixing my camera, there went the explosion. I was not really that ready at all. Forgive me for being a noob.

Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
I tried using the aperture f/2.8 but it was overexposed so I was using f/11 all the time. As what I've said earlier, I never thought that the fireworks display was just too short. I would love to play a smaller f-stop at least f/5.6 but I did not get the chance.
Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
All in all, I only got 23 shots and all of them are not that impressive but still I'm happy that I have experienced to shoot some fireworks. May be, if only the fireworks lasted for 20 to 30 minutes, I would have the chance to improve some of my shots.

Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
Some of the pictures here were cropped from the original size to frame the fireworks.
Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
I'm using Adobe Lightroom for some retouching. I got the process from this site but this is the process I use:

  • +17% for the Contrast
  • - 100% for Blacks
  • +5% for Saturation

Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm

Settings: 2 secƒ/11ISO 10050 mm
Take a look on my portfolio and check out the rest of my photos on my Flickr account.


Lazy Day - a Self-Portrait

Location: Playboy Mansion (joke)
Date taken: August 21, 2013

Settings: 1/6, f/3.8, ISO 400, 20 mm
Last Wednesday of August 21, 2013, I got bored and got nothing to do. Few days before that, I purchased some e-books about photography at the app store so I had that itchy feeling to take some snapshots. Well, I have taken photos of our cats inside the house and sort of a boring subject already. Hehe! I need a human to pose for me but to no avail.

I saw my liquid eyeliner I purchased few months ago and decided to apply it for some practice. I found some tutorial for some techniques but I'm no make-up artist. I even uploaded a selfie on Instagram for the result of my make-up. That's when I decided to create a self-portrait.

The photo shoot took place at the Playboy Mansion. Haha just kidding! My free tripod with low quality broke down so I just used the table. I used the sofa covered with white cloth for me to pose.

Settings: 1/8, f/4, ISO 400, 24 mm

Settings: 1/6, f/4, ISO 400, 22 mm
For photo enhancement, I was using Adobe Lightroom 4. Instead of black and white, I chose sepia tone. I scrolled for a positive exposure of my choice to get that soft feeling.

You can see the before and after of the image below:

Click image for large view
Take a look on my portfolio and check my other photos on Flickr.


The Nifty Fifty Project

I am happy to start this project because I am inspired from the different websites I get into. So now that I got this AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G, I go out and practice shooting. 

I created a subdomain for the Nifty Fifty Project. There, the blog would look minimal in design but with several snapshots, of course. This is an open-end project. I can post several photos all about 50 mm shots. I am excited for this self-study photography.

Please join me with my journey with photography. I'll be happy to seek guidance from photography enthusiasts and experts out there. :D


Philippines' 115th Independence Day

Location: City of Naga, Cebu
Date taken: June 12, 2013

Click image for better view

Happy 115th Independence Day to my country, the Philippines! I am happy to be back with a new set of photos for this blog. I am happy to announce that I now have a dSLR camera, a Nikon D5100. This is really a dream come true for me and this blog.

This afternoon, I decided to have a photo walk around my town or city, Naga, with my mom. I took several pictures but I chose to post these 5 photos first. I found these photos very dramatic. When the sun was going to set, the city turned on the lights. 

These images you can see right now are not edited through Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. I just let it stay the way it is.

Take a look on my portfolio and check my photos on Flickr.


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