Updated Website of Dan "The Man"

Another photo of mine of master video/artist Shierdan Pamintuan. Visit his new and ever evolving webiste here. I used my trusty old Nikon D70 with the AF-D 80-200mm f2.8 Nikkor. Again this was shot in the beach of Mindoro Occidental island during sunset. When it comes to videography and cinematography, Dan's the man for the job!

June 25-27, 2008 Cruise Ship Photography

Ahoy! The Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation will conduct a 3-Day Cruise Ship Photography Workshop for any Filipino intent to work abroad as a professional ship photographer. The 3-day workshop will be on June 25-27, 2008. Yours truly will conduct the workshop by helping prospective photogs increase their chances of being hired abroad. There is a Php3,500 fee per participant. The workshop starts at 9AM and ends at 5PM. Written below are the topics to be discussed:

Day 1
-Introduction to the cruising industry
-Steps on how to apply
-Adjusting to onboard lifestyle
-General camera adjustments
-Proper English script guide and decorum

Day 2
-Practical shooting: embarkation
-Practical shooting: the gangway
-Practical shooting: the proper table shots
-Practical Shooting: pirates' night

Day 3
-Practical shooting: Captain’s Night
-Practical shooting: formal portraitures
-Wedding and special events coverages tips
-Final evaluation
-Question & Answer session
-Distribution of Certificates

For your info the FPPF arranges the same cruise ship photography workshop for companies, recruiters, organization, clubs and groups.For queries: 302A FEMII Building, Soriano (Aduana) Street, Intramuros, Manila.Telephone: (63)(2) 524-7576 and phone/fax: (63)(2) 528-0371. Look for Karen or Lito (email: fotoatwork@gmail.com). Visit http://www.foto-at-work.com.

Gear Talk: Reflector & Trigger Attachments

In the near future all top-end flash units will incorporate a built-in radio trigger, and just maybe: a second flash reflector panel on the adjacent flash lid. Until then here is my do-it-yourself RF trigger attachment and second reflector. I used regular velcro for the reflector and Scotch recloseable fasteners for my TriStar RF transmitter. My detacheable reflector is an ultra-thin PVC white strip (black in color at the back side) that’s slightly bended near the tip (to prevent lense shadow). It’s effect is equal to my bulky and expensive Demb reflector. It’s not perfect but doesn’t my rig look vastly slimmer, professional, lighter and cheaper compared to a Pocket Wizard/flash rig mounted onto a bracketed DSLR? You can benefit from this too.

Wedding Fun Shots at the AUP

Many thanks to a great photographer, generous gentleman in Mr. Jeruel IbaƱez for inviting me as his second photog for Miko and Marzy’s nuptial on May 25. This is my second time to cover an Adventist wedding at the sprawling Adventis University of the Philippines in Tagaytay. Jeruel teaches at the picturesque campus and has the eviable blessings of talents in photography/design and a captive market-both here and abroad. You can visit Jeruel’s website here to enjoy his works of art. Jeruel is a “Strobist” and Nikon knight who uses the jumbo-sized Dem reflector that effectively softens his harsh Nikon flash. Here are some fun, wedding shots of mine: the lovely bride Marzy and her friends hail from Hawaii. Aloha there! Best whishes to Marzy and cool groom-Miko!

Edu Cortez's Bridal Fair at the SMX

Pro photographer Edu Cortez (middle of the picture) organized his first bridal fair exhibit at the SM Mall of Asia, SMX building last May 17-18, 2008. Edu is joined by his brother Tata Cortez who is veteran pro videographer and editor rolled into one. Their studio is named Extreme Details Photography. Edu was trained by Mel Cortez of Decisive Moments studio which joined the same bridal exhibit. Uncle Mel is one of the major proponents of wedding photo-journalism in the Philippines. He encouraged Edu to pursue his own vision. It's indeed a dream family team. Just beside Edu is the great Paul Vincent. Both men are very creative in their art and very, very generous to yours truly whenever they would hire moi (the guy in yello) as their second or third photographer. Both great men are also very forgiving of my conflict of schedules too! Edu had many bookings during those two intense days. Congratulations Edu! Here's more successful exhibitions to come. And thank you in advance for the future projects!

Gear Talk: Tri Star Radio Trigger and Receiver

For flash radio trigger and transmitters I use the Chinese-made, 4 channel TriStar brand name. The trigger is model RT01T, while the receiver is model RT01R. Both can be had in Quiapo, Manila for Php 5,000 (USD $120) a pair: one trigger (left item of the photo) and one transmitter (right item of the photo). A single trigger or transmitter can be procured for Php 2,500 only. TriStar claims to have a 25 meter effective range but experience tells me it’s within less than 20 meters. It misfires 10% of the time but you could always trip the shutter again -I guess you get what you pay for. Yet some photogs confide that even the top-of-the-line Pocket Wizard (PW) oddly misfires. There are newer (and cheaper!) Chinese-made brands out in the market yet mine is still working. I’ve attached the Scotch dual lock, recloseable fasteners on all my TriStars, which claims to hold 900g per square inch. I’ve modified (cut-out) one of my receiver’s jacks for portability (not shown). Soon I will post images on how I mounted the TriStars on my equipment.

Shierdan Pamintuan Corporate Photography

My photograph of wedding video guru Shierdan “Dan” Pamintuan working along the pier of Mindoro Occidental island was taken with my Nikon D70 with the Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 AF-D lense. He certainly is an artist with passion and action. Early in May, Dan went to Baguio city to cover a two-day corporate event as a pro photographer in my unavailability due to conflict of schedule. It won’t surprise me if he decides to do wedding photography anytime as he is well grounded in the basics since he started photography way back using his own Nikon FM2 film camera. Moreover, Dan gets to work with top wedding photogs in the land as videographer. Now he owns a Nikon D60 DSLR. The man is gonna render me obsolete soon -he he he! Now if Dan could just teach me more video stuffs to level the playing ground…

Gear Talk:

For many years I have struggled with all kinds of camera straps. What annoys me the most is the way it tends to block the camera’s viewfinder whenever I would rotate the camera into a vertical position for a portraite. So I modified and married both the Tamrac and Nikon straps into my own convenience. What I like about the Tamrac strap is the way you can unobstrusively detach it (into a fourth its length) should you decide to mount your DSLR onto a tripod (inset, top right photo). Because of my light-weight camera and flash I can risk to just attach the strap into just one camera strap holder. In lieu of the thick and foamy Tamrac neck strap, I used Nikon’s strap that came with my DSLR. Yes, I had to literally cut that Tamrac part out with a blade. Eureka! Joe’s hybrid camera strap. Try it!

Mark Gil Testifys for Svenson

Veteran actor Mark Gil is Svenson's spokesperson for Svenson. Advertising photo studio BVW got me to cover for the media PR drive of Svenson's campaign against hair loss at the Pepato Cibo di M restaurant in Greenbelt 2, Makati City. Such coverage venue are gastronomic nirvana for those photogs (and guests) inclined towards genuine Italian haute cuisine with Filipino fusions. Mark is a hobbyist photog and is looking forward to buy his first Canon DSLR. He uses film cameras like Olympus and Nikon. Go for it Mark!

Gear Talk: Nikon SB-27 Speedlite Flash

Here is a blast from the past! The “old” Nikon SB-27 Speedlight flash that can be had brand new for less than Php 6,000 (-USD $143) in Quiapo, Manila. Some photogs use the recently revived, powerful Vivitar 285 HV strobes (Guide No.: 120), but the Nikon Sb-27 is smaller, powerful enough (Guide No: 112) and durable. With the SB-27 on some Nikon DSLR you loose the auto zoom head, TTL metering (but you can set the SB-27 in Auto mode and the flash head can be manually zoomed) and AF-assist lamp. Now I use the SB-27 as my off-camera flash most of the time in manual mode. And with it I can attach colored gels, the Nikon SD-8A battery pack for extended shooting coupled with my small TriStar radio trigger attached (via 3M heavy duty velcro) to the SB-27. Aquiring the smallest, durable universal umbrella holder and light stand/monopod helps a lot in bulk-reduction. The photo on the right shows my off-cam rig: lighter in weight, smaller in size yet powerful enough. The usual off-cam rigs are bulky, expensive with top-of-the-line flash units (Guide Nos.: 100-plus) coupled with the far-reaching Pocket Wizard trigger. It’s great using top gears but “Light is Might”. By my minimalist mantra I meant about the weight of our photograhy gears in proportion to our light sources necessary for image capture–both in the figurative and literal sense of the word. The future promises us with better technology: better ISO noise control, long-lasting batteries and built-in “Pocket Wizard” in-flash. Until then, I stick to my off-cam ol’ lighting rig.

Celebrating Italian Food, Fashion & Passion

You have to credit the prestigious Rustan's Group of Compnies for bringing high-end brands like Armani, Polo, Lacoste, Marks and Spencer, Starbucks, etcetera into the Philippines. Now Rustan's Department Store will celebrate Italian culture in their boutiques for the whole month of June. I photographed Rome-based model Isabel De Quiroz for the launch print ad, flyers and poster of the upcoming festivities. Ciao Italia!

Minimalist Interior Lighting

Interiors are usually photographed using available (or ambient) light. When I assisted photographer Carlo Villongco I had witnessed how to do Trend Micro's office interiors with just camera flash units mounted on junior light stands. Some of the interior photos will be used for the corporate brochure. Now these flash units act as lighting "accents" to the interiors for dramatic effects. Kudos Carlo!

SM Celebrates 50 Years Of Shopping

This year we find SM (Super Malls or Shoe Mart) celebrating fifty years of Philippine shopping experience –which I ador. I missed covering for this special event with Shutterbug studio due to conflict of schedule (a wedding). But I happen to stumble in my archive a photo of SM tycoon Henry Sy celebrating forty five years then which I took with a Fuji Finepix S2 camera to show you. Shutterbug Inc. was the contracting photo studio and I was the second photographer (of four photographers plus Patrick Uy) then. Congratulations to SM! We don't have a lot of city parks in the Philippines but we sure are dotted with SM malls nationwide.

Julius and Eva Wedding At Fernbrook

Here is a couple based in Colorado, USA. Both are pro dance instructors and what ease it is to pose such graceful, athletic, lanky and willing folks! Studio A was the contracted photo/video outfit. Yours truly was the second photographer assigned to the Julius. Their grand garden wedding and reception was held at the majestic Fernbrook in Muntinlupa City.

Gear Talk: Two Camera Setup Worries

A quickie self-portrait with two cameras on-hand: Nikon D70 and D2x. They were used for two days during Chevrolet Philippines' 2008 Convention at the Hilton Hotel in Mimosa, Pampanga. Everytime I have two camera for events, they always scrape against one another. I'm seriously considering a Canon G9 (or such ranegfinder units) and the Nikkor 18-200VR lense for a Nikon DSLR just to lighten up the load during extended shootings (like weddings). The heavy Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 lense with the D70 (plus vertical grip) was used for this grabshot.