Wednesday, September 26, 2012

GalaxySIII Diaries #486: Reading about the Simpsons

Chapters. Sept 26th.

GalaxySIII Diaries #485: Red

parking lot at the Stone Mall. Sept 26th.

Bob Nicolas and his wedding videos

Not unlike most wedding videographers, I browse through other videographers' works, hoping to be inspired and learn a few things that may be applied to my style of shooting: one camera DSLR, photojournalistic style. I came across Manila-based Bob Nicolas' vimeo site; I am bowled over by the consistency of high quality in his massive output. 
Doubtless, his way of working is different from mine: multi-camera with a crane, dollies and steadicams, much higher budgets and fees. And yet, I admire his point-of-view: the angles, the close-ups, and the smooth seamless editing (audio-video syncs, the choice of music). 
But most important of all, it is evident in the expressions of his subjects that he does his filming in a most unobtrusive manner. This is a quality that I admire most in a Stills photographer (and which I try to apply in every shoot I do) but which I have always thought was near impossible to apply when shooting video, with its inherent and attendant need to shoot a story line, as opposed to capturing moments. This is even more of a feat to achieved in Philippine culture where being discreet is expected (as opposed to the in-your-face-shooting, whatever-it-takes culture in Toronto/Canada).
I love his work and it is something to emulate. As they say in my Cebuano: pwerte kaayong pachadaa!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Photographer at the Gladstone

Noted photographer and blogger Andrew Pateras at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen Street. Saturday, Sept 22nd.

The power to create (and change) is in your hands

An excellent article on microloans!
Please contribute to Kiva with loans that change lives, $25 at a time. Make a world of difference in somebody's life. Skip that one coffee once in a while, save the empties' monies, or better still, ask that the guests to your child's birthday party donate cash in lieu of landfill-bound plastic junk! Did you know that the salary for an experienced senior carpenter in the Philippines is equivalent to the price of one(!!) tall-boy can of premium German beer? And did you know that with this money, he has to feed his family, buy medicine, school supplies, etc? And that this kind of payday is not guaranteed from day to day?
I for one, am donating the proceeds from a wedding video shoot towards Kiva (see the sidebar on this blog site, "My (Our) Sharings"). This is not a boast; rather, it is meant to inspire other folks to do likewise, either financially, or in kind.

David Chambon's ephemeral jewels... and taking care of our environment.

I'm an avid observer of all things ephemeral and transient. My own website,, is surtitled, "A celebration of the impermanent, the ephemeral, the transient". I also love sparkly things: Swarovski crystals, tiny translucent beads, and dewdrops. I am a crow in a previous incarnation. So imagine my delight when I came across the macro-photography work of David Chambon. Amongst his other photo subjects, David takes close-up/macro photos of dew-encrusted insects in the pastel colours of the early morning light. I imagine his window of opportunity is less than 30 minutes in the day, in the early spring and late fall, early winter. For those of us who appreciate this type of raw and delicate, unvarnished fragile beauty, for those of us who associate these images with the primal smells of damp and cool dawns and early mornings in fields and woodlands, David's images are works of art and a generous gift made available for viewing free-of-charge through Flickr and other sites who showcase his work. 
I think that in exchange for the joy of viewing his work, we endeavour, in our own unique way, to return the favour by being good stewards of our environment, in our own backyards.
BTW, everything is ephemeral.... our lives are ephemeral... it all depends on how we define a unit of time.

A new business model for wedding photography

What do you get when you combine  a decent eye for visualizing images, affordable professional digital equipment, WordPressKijiji, and smartphones?
You  get the key components for a talented wedding photographer to bring their services to market all on their own, without the infrastructure that used to be essential to translate one's art into a commodity made visible to the consumer.
A "pro-photographer" is by definition, a photographer who earns a percentage of their income from photography... "pro-photographer" is not a measure of the quality of the images produced, although the market has a way of vetting the ranks of photographers. But it is a big market out there, and there's a market for anything.
There have always been considerably more people who are innate photographers than actual "picture-taking" photographers. Innate in the sense that they see these images in their minds but have been technologically (and financially) hampered by the analogue, film-based processes to partake in image capture beyond point-and-shoots. The last few years have seen a plethora of very affordable digital equipment that, along with social media, has resulted in  an explosion of images taken and disseminated all over. Technological advances have democratized the whole process.
Bloggers, and self-styled publishers have piled on top of the commercial magazine world to cultivate an image-aware generation(s). A photographer with something to say, and something to sell, is now enabled to say it for next to nothing, blogging using the free versions of Blogger and WordPress (add in online albums such Picasa and Photobucket, or full-blown websites such as Smugmug, Zenfolio, and PBase).  And to let the city/province/state/world  in which they live in know about them, there is Facebook, Kijiji, and Craigslist, or preferably a combination of all of these, for free or for a small fee. 
As for an business office, the savvy image-maker has the take-it-with-you office called the smartphone with voice-mail, call-forwarding, skype (free), and emailing. An office and a meeting place may be a coffee shop with a wifi connection (for the price of a coffee and a doughnut, washroom included).
And finally, we now have a generation of photo consumers that are not bound by the conventions of the past: mass mailings, magazine advertizing, billboards, brick-and-mortar stores, tv and radio commercials. To be sure, there will always be a market for the boutique photo studio, just as there will always be a market for BMWs and Hermes. In these recessionary times, value-for-money has never been more essential, and opportunities abound for the talented photographer/videographer who is able to use the tools available.
Having said/written all these,  these tools will only let you get your camera/foot in the door, so to speak. You still have to have a product that consumers like, at an affordable price. It's always wise to remember that  with wedding photography, just like with surgery (I know, a bit extreme analogy here), you're only as good as your last job.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 Booty Bash

My latest video, shot in a really, really dark venue. It's a challenge in itself but in addition, the Sony a65 I used is capped at ISO1600 for video. I wish I had the hacked GH2 with the high ISO and high bitrate.
Now that I have the Sony a57 (capped at ISO3200), I'm looking forward to my next wedding video in early October. I used 3 lenses: Minolta 50f1.7, Sony 35f1.8, Sony 16-50f2.8. Lighting on some clips was with a Lumahawk 144LED.
I couldn't use the soon-to-be legendary (and proprietary) Sony phase detect autofocus because this closes down the aperture to f3.5. I used manual focus and although the focus peaking works really well, the room was so dark I had to pull and push the focus quickly to find out where the focus was. It was a constant battle looking for focus in a fast moving crowd. I used 1980x1080 @60p.
The soundtrack needs to be redubbed as "the highlights are clipped", to use a photo term. Not sure what the proper wording is in the audio world.

Monday, September 10, 2012


on a rhubarb leaf. Sept 9th.

glorious morning glories

Sept 9th.

Yellow respite

Respite: A short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.
If everyday life itself is viewed as (at times) difficult or unpleasant, then a barefoot walk on the wet morning grass to look at the beauties that have been nurtured from seed is the best thing to do.
Sept 9th.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

LX3 Diaries #481: Namaste

on one of the many caves that dot the cliffsides at the Elora Gorge. August 2012

LX3 Diaries #480: The 7 doors.

Elora, August 2012

LX3 Diaries #479: a window in Elora

August 2012.

LX3 Diaries # 478: Face only a hoser mom can love

(Hoser is both a slang term and a derogatory term, originating from Canada and used primarily by those imitating Canadians)
August 2012

LX3 Diaries #477: The lady with the yellow umbrella

Kensington Market, Toronto. August 2012.

LX3 Diaries #476: Echos of the past

I'm sitting here at the newly-renovated Mcdonald's on Gordon and Wellington on a bright sunny Sunday morning, making use of the free wi-fi after our home internet connection became unavailable (since Friday). Before I am going to fire off a bunch of irate emails to our service provider bemoaning the lack of support, I thought I'd relax by putting up some blog entries taken on the Elora Gorge, where the cliffsides have exposed reminders of the past.
August 2012