Nikkor Manual Focus Lense Appeal

For my first-ever wedding coverage in the 1996, I used film with my Nikon FM2 with a Tokina 17mm lense only. No flash and no backup photographer! Thus I was slightly traumatized by the photo challenge and the haunting fear that I might accidentally expose the film to light by absent-mindely opening the camera back. Well the wedding coverage was a success-thank God! Now digital photography has made photography very convenient and rewarding many times over. Yet something in me yearns to go back to the FM2 days. I found myself practicing manual focus on the Nikkor 28mm lense on my Nikon DSLR. Soon I will post some commercial projects here using this manual Nikkor.

High-end June Brides for 2008

Love is in the air this June and it's season for June brides' wedding. Thanks to Tri-Film studio for getting moi as their 2nd photog for David and Leirify's nuptial (above). David is a noted architech based in Hong Kong, and the Disneyland is one of his master pieces. David's vivacious bride in Leirify gave their wedding much gaity. Also muchas gracias to Photographico Jeronimo studio for Paulo and Dana's wedding (below) too. Both couple are medical doctors. Congratulations to them all!

The Flash Bracket Is Back (Again!)

A cloned Tiffen Stroboframe flash bracket was selling in Quiapo for only Php 1,400. It feels and handles like the Stobo at more than a third off the Strobo's retail price. I sometimes prefer to use the aluminum flash bracket to minimize wear and tear of tilting/rotating my plastic Nikon flash head. Here is the stylized photo of it attached to my Nikon DSLR in full cumbersome glory.

Stormy, Stylish Debut at the Sofitel

Amid the tropical storm that hit Luzon, Hannah Tan celebrated her way into adulthood with a fashion show at the Sofitel Hotel by the Bay. Her talent is fashion design and that she flaunted with the help of her fashionista friends who modelled her creations. What stole the thunder form other debuts simultaneously held that night at Sofitel was the mime artists of Air Dance, stationed infront of the ballroom entrance! Thus, picture-galor time with the guests and mimes. Kudos to director Avel Bautista for putting the show’s materials together at the very last minute with Zen-like disposition throughout.

Sasam & Clara Sexy Body Shots

Foreign models are invading Manila! We Filipinos are indeed fasinated by these "tall, white and handsome (and beautiful)" Caucasians. They are unlike us natives here in Southeast Asia. Here is the adonis in Sasam, and the delicate teenager in Clara who looks sexy and so wholesome -all at the same time. I shot these images for a famous derm clinic. Just be careful when you speak Tagalog in front of Sasam -he speaks it well too!

Team David Salon Club

Salonista David Charlston is not just fantastic at giving us a makeover, but the gentle giant is also a bona fide tri-athlete! Hence, Team David Salon Club is born: composed of an all-female David Salon employees delving into multi-sports. Our shooting session was faster than anticipated, considering that they are all first-time models. Great looks and fitness now their branding. It shows why! I used 5 strobes for this shoot in tandem with my Nikon DSLR. Many thanks to my trusty assistant, Ricardo ("Ding" for short).

Extreme Photo Restoration

This decaying photo (left side) of Mr. Javier is so old that I couldn't even remove the photograph from the frame without damaging it. Mildews, fungus and stains reign in every square millimeter! I took me three long days to retouch and restore. It's actually more like photo illustration as almost 50% of the details are decayed away (when viewed up close), so I had to use my "creative license" to ad lib lost facial features (right side). A good mouse, Wacom pen, and appropriate MP3 music helps a lot.

Designer Corsets For Irish

The weekend found me photographing the voluptuous model named Irish. She was the chosen one by London-based courset designers Jay and Jerry. The enhanced images are done by moi, but will have to be deliciously re-posted later after I finished working on all of them. These two gentlemen educated me on the high technology behind their intricate and intimate creations. Impressive!

Mario D’boro Shoes Billboard Design

Several billboard design studies were done by moi for Mario D’boro shoes. Here is the “mirror” concept look they liked. The photography was said to be done by the famous Philippine “bad boy of fashion photography” in Raymund Isaac. I was intriged by the lack of depth of field in some of the 22 megapixel photos. In some shots you can see that the shoes are soft and blurry (not shown here) when I “pixel peep” them in my 21” monitor. I check the images’ EXIF files and learned that the f-stop is at 13 and that the lense used was Canon’s 100mm f2.8. Maybe (IMHO) if a 50mm lense (set at f11) was used the depth of field would have been greater, thus, avoiding blurred shoes. Surely an f16 opening on the 100mm lense would have increased area of focus, but diffraction will have settled in and softens any image. Just my two-cents worth...

Pongkie and Sugar Maytime Nuptial

Just before going to the reception, the couple decided to make a sentimental visit to a McDonald restaurant. The groom’s mother and I thought that the priest would stop the wedding of Pongkie and Sugar, because the priest emphasized that marriage was for the mature only. You see, Pongkie comes across as a bratty “mama’s boy”. But the priest wisely blessed their sacrament. And rightly so, for no one can be truly prepared for this perfect and heavenly institutuion on earth as imperfect mortals. I know that some couples eventually “perfected” their marriages with help from the divine author of marriage, Father God above. Congratulations to Pongkie and Sugar! Thank you Ghie Javelosa for hiring moi as 2nd photog.

Santacruzan in The Fort Bonifacio

It is one of the most colorful Maytime festival which depicts the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. I was task by the Federation of Philipine Photographers’ Foundation (FPPF) to setup a photo in one of the Fort’s chamber and capture some of the participants’ in regal glory. Other freelance photogs covered the processional parade outside. In the chamber I tethered my Nikon camera to my Fujitsu laptop. A total of four studio lights were employed.

Saphira -the Cool, Cute Himalayan Beast

Pet photography is predictably unpredictable as animals are guided by instincts. Nevertheless it’s the photog’s job to get the “money shot” and satisfy both beauty (that’s Joan, the pet owner) and the beast (Saphira). Here is the shot Joan liked. Saphira is a fiesty male feline and Himalayan in breed and at four months. I’ve never seen a kitten so huge, macho, handsome, muscular, snobbish, playful and charismatic -all at the same time. A cool predator indeed-growl!