Wednesday, November 29, 2006

PoW! 5th Week

What was Nate thinking amidst the spotlight beaming?
Was he aware of the clicking of camera photo-taking?
Or at Morrigan was he looking while she was flirting
With the moon shining behind the red clouds looming?

'Tis also possible he was dreaming of a gadget porn
Not a thing that's small, A camera branded "reborn"!
To shoot us all, esp. the woman in "Maskara," untorn,
Who's got mole, 2 moles, shining; no one would scorn!

These are this week's
PoW!, in no order of preference:

Nate Farnsworth

"Nate Farnsworth"
by Joachim Guanzon, a.k.a. "джоачим"
Essential exif: Canon EOS 20D; 0.004 sec (1/250) ; f/2.8; ISO1600; 70-200mm @70 mm

Photog's Comment : The rockstar candid. he's my wife's boss. i saw him walking along those lights behind him, so I took a shot and got exactly what I had in mind.

Editor's Comment : What can I say about this pic? It was taken at the spur of the moment and the photographer has captured a very good one. Despite the entire scene being busy and all, the subject simply stands out from the rest of the crowd.

I also liked the way the exposure was well balanced despite the strong lighting directed towards the camera. I this was shot with fill-flash but still . . . look at the subject, look at the background. I don't see any hint of flash in there.

morrigan moon

"Morrigan Moon"
by Ronald Bayan, a.k.a. "captchaos"
essential exif: Nikon D50; 1.6 sec (8/5); f/8; @80 mm

Editor's Comments: For the "Miniature/Diorama" Category, I'd say this one stands out among those shared by Ronald this week. If you browse through the FPC pool, there are other noteworthy creations by him, e.g., the "Jaguar SS 100" and the "Drift Nissan Silvia" in cityscape backgrounds, the sexy "J-Dolls," and another "Morrigan Moon" flying for the moon, even Darth with a cool Ford (did you know that Sith Lords?)! I would have gone for his very imaginative "Obiwan" attack-on-buildings but we always love a sexy beauty, don't we? What more a voluptuous heroine!

Creativity and imagination clearly mark the work of Ronald. It is obvious that he has a deft hand at Photoshop and that's very inspiring! Where else to celebrate his ingenuity but here in FPC's PoW!?

Sith Sabers

"Sith Saber"
by Perry Chua, a.k.a. "powerpee"
Essential exif: Canon EOS 350D Digital; 0.05 sec (1/20); f/4.5; ISO400; @ 53 mm

Editor's Comment: This has "GADGET PORN" written all over it. Theres nothing like a photo that makes you feel go and grab the latest toys you could lay your hands on. If this photo made you feel like dirt for not having something to level or to surpass what is featured, then the owner have already won!


by John Willy Uy, a.k.a. "joeyuy"
Essential exif: Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/50 secs, f/5.6, ISO800, @ 35 mm

Editor's Comment: A very unusual approach on portraiture, the lighting is perfect and the angle of the face is well composed. View it Large to appreciate it. Thumbs up!
- end -

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ansmann Digicam Power Set Traveller

Ansmann powerset
Originally uploaded by: Ed's

Rechargeable batteries are what’s "in" these days, not only because they are far more cost effective—they’re capable of accepting up to 1000 charge/discharge cycles-- than alkaline cells but also because alkalines shows operational inefficiency and short life when used with digicams. Our camera’s supplied rechargeable batteries need some taking care of also. They will not last to the factors of such deep discharges, over-charging and over-heating.

Have you ever experienced shooting an event wherein your batteries would just die on you? What you need to go with your batteries is a "smart" battery charger, one that diagnoses the condition of the battery, refreshes the cell and optimally recharges them--like those that a German company, Ansmann, have produced for our benefit. Majority of us, FPC members, are hobbyist and most of us probably only need a charger which can accommodate 4 pieces of AA or AAA batteries.

Ansmann Products from Germany boast of its charging and power technology for the perfect charging of your NiCD (Nickel Cadmium) and NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydrite) cylindrical/block cells. In addition, their high performance batteries are the perfect energy source for today’s various applications including digital cameras, flashlights, musical equipments and torches.

One of Ansmann’s charger that I recommend is the Digicam Power Set Traveller, consisting of the award-winning PowerLine 4 Traveller charger with 4 NiMH AA cells. This “Power Set Traveller” is an ultra-quick, microprocessor controlled, lightweight & compact charger.

It has been voted and given awards for its high and cost-efficient performance; these awards include: the Digital Photographer Buyer and User Best Buy; the Digital Photo Gold Award; the Photo-Industry Awards for Best Accessory; and, Highly Commended by

Let me explain to you what this charger does. First off, the Digicam Power Set comes complete with four AA size 2400mah cells (also includes plug adaptors for UK, Euro, US and Australia), and an automatic supply voltage changeover. It is a microprocessor device that features individual cell control. When rechargeables are inserted, it (1) first makes a quick check on capacity, (2) auto-diagnoses the state of each cell, and then (3) uses Delta Peak control for each cell’s recharge. Delta Peak has to do with the control of input voltage and cell temperature, thus minimizing damage to the cell’s chemistry and structural integrity.

Ansmann Battery Charger
Originally uploaded by: Hocchuan

By the way, this model also has a manual feature for discharging/refreshing your batteries, for when you like the option to refresh the cells for optimum peak performance. Personally, whenever I encounter a problem with some of my old rechargeable batteries (other brands), I use this charger to refresh them, they would work fine again. The charging time is approximately 3 hours for the New NiMH batteries, 3 to 5 hours with discharge option, depending on the capacity left on the batteries. When the batteries are full, it will automatically switch-over to the safe trickle charge feature preventing it to over-charge the batteries. You will know when your batteries are ready for use if you see a steady green light on your chargers LED.

Here's the specification of the Digicam Power Set Traveller:

DIGICAM POWER-SET w/ 4pcs 2400mah NiMH Rechargeable

Here's the specification of the Digicam Power Set Traveller:
Plug in charger for 1-4 cells AA or AAA
Comes with 4 x Ansmann 2100mah cells.
Microprocessor controlled, intelligent charger
Delta V control
Top-up charging
Totally automated
Individual supervision--each battery is charged and monitored independently
Suitable for all your rechargeable batteries, including the latest high capacity versions.
Auto-diagnosis of inserted cells
Faulty cell detection
Individual charging indicators for each cell
Refresh function
Includes plug adaptors for UK, Euro, US and Australia, automatic supply voltage changeover.

Based on experience, I say that this is a quality charger which takes good care of your batteries. And to top it all, it has a 3-year warranty! What else can you ask for? If your interested with the Ansmann Digicam Power Set or have some questions about it, please do let me know. Flickr mail me.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Loyal Photog-Scholar

There are so many descriptions I can ascribe to this week's featured photographer. He is a serious model Director-Photographer, a caring and approachable HR competency evaluator and a garrulous dinner companion. But one trait permeates all his roles. He is a loyal person – to his studies, his job, his friends and FPC.

My wife and I met with him at Yoshinoya at Parksquare 1, Ayala Center, Makati last November 14, 2006. He was carrying his camera bag (as to why is explained in the actual interview) and his trademark ready smile, which I first noticed at the Nirai Party last September 14. We were still at the counter ordering food but I already noted that I was up against a tough time with keeping up writing down answers to the interview questions! This guy really loves to talk and tell stories! It made me wonder if it would have been better for me to have chosen the e-interview option instead of an actual interview. Hehe

Eventually, we sat down with our Japanese food at a nook behind the restaurant, where there was few people eating and thus, it is more conducive for the ensuing conversation. Before we dig into the persona and opinions of a loyal Club member, let me introduce him first:

flickr Name: JC
Real Name: Christopher Perez
Lives in: 98B Dr. Sixto Antonio St., Maybunga, Pasig City
Day Job: Technical Associate – Corporate Technical Services, San Miguel Corporation
Current Gear: Canon 30D and Canon Powershot S2 IS
Dream Gear: Canon DSLR full frame
Favorite Photo Subject: Nature/Landscapes, People (including models)
Favorite Photographers: Dominique James (who opened my interest in glamour photography), Reggie Santos (a fellow Filipino Photography hobbyist who have been an inspiration to me when I almost gave up. He lives and works in Canada), and countless good fellow FPC members who undoubtedly possess extreme talents in all areas of photography that keeps my eyes popping every time I see their photos.
Photographic Ambition: I want to take powerful photos that can reach and touch the deepest part of a human being… the heart.

These are his candid answers to the questions we dished out to him:

A. Person and Family

FPC: You are a working student and we’re pretty sure working and studying at the same time is very hard already. How do you still find time for Photography? What’s the secret?
JC: I make sure that my Photography does not interfere with my work and my studies. I don’t go to shoots when I have class. So, me and my shoot buddies, Lenard [Po, another FPC member] especially, always communicate to arrange for a common free time for photo sessions. Usually, we do shoots on Sundays, when every one of us is free. Sometimes, after office. I have to work to support my hobby.

FPC: What are you a student of in what school?
JC: I’m taking up Master of Technology Management at UP. And my second semester classes start tomorrow.

FPC: What can such Masters degree afford you when you graduate?
JC: I haven’t thought of that yet. [Laughs.] The reason I took up post-graduate school was that I was bored at home, wasting my time watching all the telenovelas [soap operas] there is to watch! I decided to be more productive so I decided to study. I chose a degree that is related to my work evaluating the worthiness of employee vis-à-vis a possible promotion or upgrade. San Miguel is such a diverse organization. We need specialized skills to manage the competence across all the related companies.

FPC: Are you also a fulltime student? What year are you in now?
JC: Yes, I’m a fulltime student. Fully loaded. I’m now in my second year and hopefully, I will graduate next year.

FPC: What does your family think about your passion?
JC: My Father is gone. My Mother is a very itinerant businesswoman. Last time I checked she was in Baguio. But she calls in once in a while to tell us what part of the Philippines she is at. So, she has no idea of my photography which I took on just last April.

I got no support from her ever since High School. I wanted to enroll in a Photography course in college but she said we have no money. So I ended up with Engineering.

My sister is supportive of my hobby. As long as I can afford it, she has no qualms about it.

FPC: Girlfriend?
JC: None. Right now, I’m not pressuring myself into such a relationship. I got my hands full with my work, studies, and of course Photography.

B. His Photography

FPC: What got you into Photography? When?
JC: I got an iPod and joined the online community. Someone there posted a question about the best camera to buy. I did some research and eventually bought myself my own digital camera in April this year.

Before I became an FPC member, I joined an online photog’s group but had a traumatic experience with it, the details of which I choose not to mention here. It was when I spent time in Corregidor, taking photos of the ruins and the rundown landscape, that I became serious about Photography.

Corregidor 24

Then, I got into glamour photography when Lenard organized a model shoot but we had no studio. Fortunately, John Chua offered use of his studio in Makati for free! I enjoyed it and was happy with the beautiful models and nice studio lights on my photo. I was hooked by that studio shoot and told myself I’d do it again!

So when Dominique James, whom I knew via the iPod online community, had an exhibit of his celebrity shots last summer, I also joined the free photo workshop he conducted. There I learned the basics of many things about Photography.

FPC: What was your first camera?
JC: A non-SLR. It was a Kodak film camera which we used for family activities. My first digital camera is the Canon PS S2is which I bought only April of this year. But after a month of using it, I already felt limited by its capabilities, so I bought a Canon 30D.

FPC: How do you describe yourself as a Photographer?
JC: [Thinks hard.] Hmm… the last comment I got from the previous 3 consecutive shoots, they say that I was superfriendly, funny during off-photo hours but serious during the shoots. When not in session, I befriend models, make jokes, make faces. And during the photo sessions, I get into the director mode. I don’t just shoot away. I wait for the emotion I want to the model to show, then find the appropriate angle, then I shoot, paying special attention to the eyes.

Two quotes by Dominique James I keep in mind whenever I have a shoot:
1 – “There are no bad subjects, only bad Photographers.” He stressed to look for the beautiful side of everyone. Everyone has it.
2 – “Photography is not to show but to hide.” A photo is a one-dimensional and limited representation of things so one only needs to show the beauty and hide the bad things from the limited frame coverage. So when I make a model more beautiful than reality, I feel I have succeeded. Just like my portrait [shown above]. I hid a lot from reality!

FPC: You said you “want to take powerful photos that can reach and touch… the heart.” How do you relate your style with your “Photographic Ambition?”
JC: With glamour shoots, I tend to relate Photography with acting. If the model feels sexy, then she should show that physically. Therefore, I challenge the model to evoke the emotion. When emotion is at its peak, I lift the cam to shoot.

Hunky Angel

With landscape, sunset and sunrise sceneries are by themselves powerful images. I think the challenge is how to make them more dramatic in post-processing.

FPC: It says in your flickr Description that you are a "Photography Enthusiast/Hobbyist." But we see that you’re on your way to a Professional track. What are your plans?
JC: Yesterday somebody asked me if I have done weddings. I said not yet, but have plans of becoming a VA [Volunteer Assistant]. He replied that he was thinking of taking me as a primary Photog.

I’ve been thinking of putting up a business with some friends soon. We’ve already started scouting for the place to conduct the business, probably forming a company that will make people’s photographic fantasies a near reality. My would-be associates are involved in wedding and stock photography, while Lenard and I in glamour.

FPC: Do you see yourself taking up Photography as your “bread-and-butter?”
JC: No. We’re planning to do business in photography only as a sideline. I will still pursue my corporate career. I’m still in love with my job of helping other people move up in their career and I’m finding fulfillment with it, especially when someone comes up to me and smile, thank me and say he or she was promoted because of me.

FPC: Have you even been paid for photo jobs?
JC: Yes. Once. My first paid shoot involves the “bagnet” photo in my flickr photostream, which everyone loved [and made it to Explore].


I did it for a friend so the pay is not much, and so there was also not much pressure. Before I did that job, I made some research and found techniques to enhance the food, making them sumptuous and inviting. [JC will do another paid food ads job in the latter part of November.]

FPC: Are you the type who attends seminars and workshops? Or do you “grab the basics, then, advance by intuition and experience?”
JC: I want to have a formal study in advanced Photography, but right now I just don’t have the time. So, in the meantime, I do research, then, I try to apply what I read.

FPC: Where do you get your beautiful and handsome models?
JC: Lenard is actually the “pimp.” [Laughs.] He has many friends. He works at UST and there are many students there who could pose for the camera. He also has a network of contacts among the students but the best advertising we have is by word of mouth.

I have also acquaintances at work that are willing to pose for some shots. For instance, there’s the daughter of the Secretary of an executive who looks like KC Concepcion. I started out with good-looking personal friends and officemates.

Samantha 02

FPC: Do you enjoy nude photography? How many times have you done such sessions?
JC: I haven’t really done nude—the kind in which the model bares it all and the Photog plays with the lights. What I did are only semi-nude and for me, it’s not artistic Photography. We just did it for “Sexy” Photography.

Ashley 04

FPC: Do you always carry your camera with you?
JC: No. I’m carrying this tonight because we did some test on the new flash my officemate bought, which was not working with a new Nikon. My camera stays at home and I take it only when there are planned shoots. And we usually plan the shoots at home.

FPC: How do you use Photoshop a lot? Do you see it as a big factor to your Photography?
JC: Yes, I do use Photoshop. And yes, I depend on it very much. After the shoots, when I review what I think are good shots, I find them usually lacking and needs further processing. For example, in the last shoot with Rachel Lobangco, I had several shots that were underexposed. So I rely on Photoshop to improve them.

All my photos in flickr are Photoshop'ed. Because before I post, I hide something—some things that not good, like a mole, a pimple. It’s a challenge for me how to make a rather ordinary face into something beautifully extraordinary, which makes the models and viewers happy, and frequently surprised.

C. As an FPC Member

FPC: What got you into FPC?
JC: I used flickr as a photo host to where I provide URLs in my other photo groups, linking them to the flickr photos. Then, one day I received a flickr mail from Tito Perry [Chua, another FPC member, who was the 3rd featured photographer], inviting me to join FPC. Now, as an FPC member, I know the peak and offpeak hours of FPC activities in the online group.

FPC: How do you compare FPC with other Photography organizations you know or connected with?
JC: Although I maybe one of the first 10 members of DPP online, I never became active in it. And I have also been a member of other online Photography groups, but only in FPC do I see that photogs admins do not make it a “career” being "Mods" [or “Admins”]. It is apparent that they don’t let their role get into their heads and that’s good for me because I am tired of politics.

I have been a moderator too so I know the temptation of “lording it over” the other members. I don’t see such thing happening in FPC. The Mods obviously do not feel superior to the members. I spend my online time now exclusively with FPC and I am happy with it. I told that to Tito Perry and thanked him for inviting me to FPC.

Having such experience, I also invite others to join the Club and just last week, I brought in four new members. I said to them that I would not invite them to something I don’t consider worth their time.

FPC: What do you envision FPC to be? Do you see yourself being part of that vision?
JC: Hmmm… Me, I am envisioning FPC to be more popular online community of photogs. There is this culture of equality, respect and a good mix of values in FPC and I think the Club can leverage on this culture to pursue the visions, like the vision for an FPC Magazine.

I am really excited about the future magazine, and I am envisioning it to be more popular than [a well-known Digital Photography magazine]. I am also excited about the plans for a website for which we acquired the domain name already.

With the activities going on in the threads, I sense that there is also the passion to pursue the vision—the blogspot with the encouraging interviews, like that of Sir Alex’s [alexdpx] and his article on the interview’s aftermath. There is pursuit of the vision. But it doesn’t do it to contend with other groups or clubs.

Lenard and my other friends agree with me.

FPC: Who are your best buddies in FPC?
JC: Lenard, of course, Jen, Karen, master Andrew…

FPC: Any message to FPC Admins and fellow members?
JC: For FPC Admins, I say continue pursuing the visions, maintain the culture of brotherhood in Photography. In FPC, we discovered something beyond Photography. Keep the friendship active, the passion alive, and help each other out.

For fellow members, be active, support the vision, keep sharing photos, promote FPC, and more importantly, maintain the quality of friendship and camaraderie.

To all, let us strive to become well-known, but keep the values that can not be captured by the camera alive—that “something” which binds us together!

- end of interview -

After the interview we drove him to Pasig. Along the way he told a lot of things, including how he got to be friends with Rachel Lobangco. Two days later, he sent an SMS to my mobile informing us that he just became a university scholar! November 20, I was with him again shooting the beautiful and sexy Rachel Lobangco! Thanks for the invitation, JC!

- end -