Saturday, August 29, 2009

Photoshoot With Kirstie

As previously posted, we were able to push through with the planned photo shoot.  The model is Kirstie Babor with Jackie as our stylist; Jackie also directed some of the shots.  We chose to go to the Mountain View Resort instead of going to the Bagacay Point in Liloan.
Overall, the shoot was a success.  However, not without a few hiccups.   Kirstie has quite an experience with regard to fashion shoots, fashion shows, beauty pageants, and etc.  This makes the life of the photographer a lot easier since she already knows her poses.  Here are some of the pictures I took:

Shutter speed: 1/200
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 100

Shutter speed: 1/30
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 200

Shutter speed: 1/160
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 400

Shutter speed: 1/125
Aperture: 7.1
ISO: 400

Have something in your mind?  Please feel free to comment.

Pop-up Flash Diffuser

Have you ever tried to shoot indoors using the pop-up flash but find it too harsh?  Now  here's your solution, the Pop-up flash diffuser.  I bought this  Php900 at GIZMO.  Here's how the diffuser  looks:

Here is an example of a shot without using the diffuser:

Here's a shot taken a few seconds after with the flash diffuser:

Both shots are of the same settings and shot only seconds apart.  There's not much difference here, except for the fact that the shot with the diffuser looks a bit warmer (which works for me).  The shadows at the back of the figurine are also software with the flash diffuser on.  This may not be the best test to show the benefits of using a diffuser as both shots are not in low light.  

If you have pictures using this pop-up flash diffuser, especially on location and shooting people, please share to as a link.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sony launches A850 full-frame digital SLR

Wow!  At MSRP $2000, that's just be about 97,800 PHP.  Still expensive, but I think that's already cheap for a 24.6MP full-frame DSLR.  Quoted from

"Sony unveiled its second full-frame digital SLR in the shape of DSLR-A850. It offers almost all features of the company's flagship full frame DSLR A900, but at a more affordable price. It is built around the same 24.6MP CMOS sensor and incorporates A900's 3.0 inch 921k LCD, sensor-shift image-stabilization and Dual Bionz processors. The only compromise is a 98% viewfinder coverage against A900's 100% and slower continuous shooting. To complement the A850, Sony has also announced a mid-priced 28-75mm constant F2.8 SAM lens to fit with the A850's affordable full-frame ethos. The A850 will start shipping from September 2009 with the 28-75mm lens available from November 2009.

MSRP of the new camera (body only) is $2000/€1999"

August 30, 2009 Photoshoot With Kirstie

We're planning a photoshoot session this coming August 30 with Kirstie Babor.  The plan is either to go to the Bagacay Point (Lighthouse) in Liloan or at the Mountain View Resort.  I'm still confused between the two.  The Bagacay Point seems very far while the Mountain View Resort is a very steep climb and I'm not too sure my car can manage.  It's just a 1.3L Mazda 323 LX sedan and it's been a long time since I last went there.

My arsenal includes my trusty Canon EOS 1000D.  I think I'll be using my Canon 55-250 mm IS which is a good portraiture lens for me.  That is, as compared to my Canon 18-55 mm IS kit lens.  Well, hopefully I won't regret the place I'm going to shoot at.  I'll post pictures I've taken in this blog once I'm done.

How about you?  Where do you think is a good place to shoot here in Cebu?  Feel free to post a comment.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Camera Shutter Life

With digital SLRs, we no longer need to worry about expensive film.  We just click on the shutter button repeatedly until we get an exposure that we want thinking that we have this unlimited number of shots.  We think that we're only limited by the size of our memory cards.  But, is that really the case?  Can we really continue to press on that shutter button as much as we want without worry and without wearing out our cameras?

I found out that this is not the case after all.  In time, our camera's shutter mechanism will start to wear and bug down.  At first, that got me worried.  There even came a time that I would no longer take that "useless" shot for fear of adding life to my camera's shutter mechanism.  So, how many clicks does it take before the shutter mechanism will fail?  I tried to search for the life expectancy of the shutter mechanism for my Canon 1000D and I found out that there is no determined/fixed shutter life; some died sooner than others.  I found a great resource and you can check it out from the link below: 

From that site, survival estimation (Kaplan-Meier) rated 85.7% at 25,816 - 32,637 shutter clicks.

I bouthgt my Canon 1000D at Php 32,000.00 at the Canon store in SM Northwing, Cebu.  If my camera's shutter mechanism would still be alive at 32,000 clicks, or even if it died at that number of clicks, that would mean that each click on my shutter button would just cost me Php 1.00.  That's really cheap considering that the memories we preserve when we take pictures is priceless.  So, to those of you newbies like me who may be worried about your camera's shutter life, DON'T!  Continue to click away on that shutter as each click on that shutter is another learning experience to improve your craft and freeze an important memory in time.

The data from the link I posted above is mostly derived from people who go to their page, indicate their current number of clicks, and indicate if their shutter is still alive or dead at that number of clicks.  The more people add their data, the more accurate the figures will be.  So I encourage you to also visit the page and add your data there.  For your convenience, let me post the link again:

Something I got from another website:

ModelRated Shutter Life
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS / 1000D 100,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i / 500D100,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi / 450D100,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi / 400D 50,000
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT / 350D50,000
Canon EOS 50D100,000
Canon EOS 40D100,000
Canon EOS 30D100,000
Canon EOS 20D50,000
Canon EOS 5D Mark II150,000
Canon EOS 5D100,000
Canon EOS 1D Mark III300,000
Canon EOS 1D Mark II N200,000
Canon EOS 1DS Mark III300,000
Canon EOS 1DS Mark II200,000

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Basic exposure is controlled by three factors: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.  In this article, I'm going to discuss in very basic terms, and in my understanding, what the aperture is.  The aperture is the opening in the lens that allows light to pass through and hit the image sensor of your camera.  The size of the aperture is indicated by the f number (e.g. f/1.4, f/3.5).  The smaller the number the bigger the hole.  Note that increasing the aperture size by 1 stop will allow twice the amount of light to pass through.  For example an aperture f/5.6 will allow twice the amount of light to pass compared to f/4.

Below is a diagram to illustrate.  Take note that these are not the actual size of the aperture when set to the indicated stops, they're merely examples so that it is easier to understand the smaller the f number the bigger the hole is.

Some lenses have the same, or constant, aperture for all its zoom range while others have changing aperture sizes depending on the focal point selected (e.g. Canon 18-55mm).  Lenses with fixed aperture sizes are generally more expensive compared to their non-fixed counterparts.  The kit lens of the Canon 1000D is the Canon 18-55mm IS which has an aperture range of F3.5-5.6.  This means that at 18mm focal length, the lens has a maximum aperture size of 3.5 while at the longer 55mm end, the lens only has a maximum of 5.6.
Aside from controlling the amount of light that hits the image sensor on the camera, the aperture also controls the Depth Of Field (DOF).  DOF is the area of acceptable focus of an image.  When the lens is opened up (lowest f number), you will have a shallow DOF.  For example, if you're shooting a person's face at F/1.4, the eyes might be in focus but you will notice the image start to soften from the ears to the back.  When the lens is set to a bigger f number (smaller aperture), you will have a deeper DOF.  Which means, more of the image will be in acceptable focus.  When shooting portraits, you would want a smaller aperture so that you will have the background out of focus.  On the other hand, when you want to shoot landscapes, you want a smaller aperture so that you will have a deeper DOF and have the foreground, middle ground, and the background in focus (e.g. f/22).

Here is an example of a pictures shot with a large (small f number) aperture.  As you can see, the background is blurred.  This makes the subject of the image stand out  more. 


As I gain more experience, I may write more article about this and possibly include some starting/base aperture sizes that you can use for certain situations.

I'm not an expert in photography.  I am basically trying to share what I learned so that others like me might learn as well.  If you see some articles in error, or if you have more to share, please feel free to share/comment.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shooting Plants And Flowers

After I got my camera, I was addicted to reading articles about exposure and composition.  The good thing about it is that the internet provides you with free access to a huge resource of photography study materials.  On top of that, there are forums with some users kind enough to share their knowledge.  

I still didn't know what to shoot so I tried to practice on still objects.  So, I tried to shoot plants and flowers since they don't move much (the wind tends to make them sway) and they look good.  Here are a few sample shots:

Shot at my girlfriend's house.  I don't know what lfower this is.

Alpinia purpurata

Tv( Shutter Speed )    1/125
Av( Aperture Value )    5.6
ISO Speed    800


Tv( Shutter Speed )    1/160
Av( Aperture Value )    5.6
ISO Speed    640

Droplets after the rain.
Tv( Shutter Speed )    1/125
Av( Aperture Value )    5.6
ISO Speed    200

Tv( Shutter Speed )    1/125
Av( Aperture Value )    5.6
ISO Speed    800