GEAR TALK: Nikkor 55-200mm VR Lens

I used to own a heavy and pro Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D lens. Now my new Nikkor 55-200 VR lens is a joy to use because it’s lightweight, cheaper yet as sharp as my old Nikkor, even when used wide open at f/4. But it’s made of plastic and has a “slow” f/4-5.6 aperature. Good thing modern DSLRs have better sensor and vibration reduction (VR) technologies to augmenting for my new yet “slow” optics. Have a look at the raw, unedited photographs I took of the beautiful Ms. Jodi Sta. Maria-Lacson with my new glass. Weak, continuous, mix lighting was used for that low-key effect.

Master Photographer: Bug Nieva

November is the birthday month of my mentor in Mr. Bug Nieva (the gentleman in red shirt above). He owns BVW Inc., a successful advertising photo studio in Makati city. Bug’s low-key presona belies the big-time ad agencies he services and the high-tech gears he uses in imaging. BVW’s website is under going restructuring and I will announce it here when it’s finally published. I took a peak at their updated portfolio and I was blown away (as usual). Till then, happy birthday boss!

300 Graduating Nurses at the AUP

Wow! Doing 300 graduating students of the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) is torture: the marathon procession (longest-ever personally!), capping, pinning, candle lighting ceremonies, speeches, family pictorials, candids, two photo booths, etcetera...I’m glad the contracting photog Jeruel Ibanez employed four more photographers, so that’s six photogs in all-if memory serves me right. Everything was taxed to the max! But thank you, Jeruel for the rewarding job and the valuable lessons we all learned from this project. The next graduation photo project will find us better and “badder” sir.

Josel and Marion Pre-Nupt in U.P. Diliman

T'was a drizzly pre-nupt shoot at the University of the Philippines' gardens for Josel and Marion. Three photogs (including moi) captured this couple and it was quite a spectacle to see three photogs doing a pre-nupt with their "strobist" equipment (off-camera flash with a lighting assistant or light stand). We thank Prof. Joey Tanedo of the College of Fine Arts for being our official chaperon (against suspecious university guards) within the sprawling university. Josel is an alumni who graduated as an economist. He proposed to the lovely Marion (Ateneo alumni nearby) very near the Oblation statue. By the way, aside form possessing beauty and brains, Marion is a famous tv personality-lucky guy! We are looking forward to cover your wedding in December, folks!

International Wellness And Sports Summit

Department of Tourism Undersecretary Cynthia Carrion is very determined to put the Philippines on the map of international wellness tourism-to compete with Thailand, Indonesia, et al. She hosted a historic international Wellness and Sports Summit at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel on October 22-25. VIPs, guests, and entertainers graced this prestigious event. I thank Pablo Beltran for selecting moi as one of the five photographer team to cover this hectic event that saw me darting around the Sofitel grounds, opulent spas, Ang Pangulo dinner cruise, and the PAGCOR power dinner with the Undersecretary. Whew! We even had on-demand prints for guests to have. What a super summit!

L’Oreal Power Instructors

Here’s a group portrait of L’Oreal Philippines’ instructors. Setting up my mobile studio in their small office in Pasig-Ortigas can be a difficult…but there you go! Their photos will used in their training manual and others.

Philippine Polo Tri-Team

Meet the Philippines’ Polo Tri-Team. I did their ad photography material for their many international sponsors. Here is an elite power clique of beauty, brains, brawn, and (economic) bounty. And they are a wacky, yet polite group to pose-a very pleasant encounter indeed.

Ostrich Farm Ad Photography

Going to Bustos, Bulacan was quite an adventurous photo project for me as I headed for the Red Ostrich Farm. Their website is still under construction but you can email the manager in Eva Panganiban for queries at: Ostrich meat is still exotic here, you see. I was warned that a mature ostrich can deliver a fatal frontal kick to the chest-when threatened. Gulp! So I did keep my distance for the guilt of having ostrich stew for lunch that day…well, it tasted a little sweeter than beef meat and it’s healthier to boot. Just avoid provoking that ostrich kick to stay healthy!

David Salon Club Transit Ad

I finally got to see my Team David Salon Club ad transit photos rolling down the streets of Metro Manila. I did their ad photography a few months back. Hey, the lady mountain bikers remembered moi!