Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PoW! 14th Week

Dancing with an icon, kissing on the sun,
peacock with a butt fan
A graceful lady's gait, a lifetime soul mate,
a tail's majestic state
I laud in admiration, envy their devotion,
Gawk at a feathery illusion
In a lively dance of life, an image of true love,
A fowl with a showy move.

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

"Sunset Wedding.....the dawn of a New Beginning"
by: shutterglass
Exifs not Available

Editor's Comment: A Perfect Wedding Moment. The composition of the photo, the Silhouette deserves a thumbs up. Great Job.

grounds for sculpture 400d 1 21 2007-44
"grounds for sculpture"
by: scubapup
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, 1/250, f/5.6, 150mm, ISo 400

Editor's Comment: Peacocks are very colorful animals and perhaps the primary objective when photographing them is presenting those colors in their most vivid glory. The picture above did just that and the concentric arrangement of wonderful patterns on its feathers drew my eyes to the animals vibrant blue head.

"Dance with an Icon (suggested)"
by: [2]rokbot[2]y
Sony DSC-R1, 1/1250, f/5.6, 71.5mm, ISO 160

Editor's Comment: Marvin holds an ace with one of the most vibrant photo of the Sinulog Festival. The proliferation of patterns and colors do not create a chaotic whole. Instead they enhance the primary subject who already has a captivating smile and gesture.

Looking at this photo makes me feel that I am missing a lot of great photographic oppotunities. However, the skill by which this one was captured may just be... well, making me feel like that.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Nikon CLS

When dusk sets in and the sky turns into a sunny overcast and you’re on an outdoor location shoot where guerilla-type of shooting is the name of the game, this is where the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) reigns supreme over its main rival, the Canon e-TTL wireless flash system.

With just a flick of a button, you can turn your Nikon SB-800 into a wireless slave flash unit and aim it at an angle where you can achieve better lighting effects to be triggered by the D200 in the commander mode. The niceties of the result is that you can expose the background and at the same time light up the profile of your subject. Doing this without a flash would overexpose and wash out the background or if the shooting is done with an onboard flash, soft or even harsh shadows would appear in the most unpleasant places. Results gained from previous experience usually dictates where you would intuitively place your slave flash unit to attain a natural lighting with less prominent shadows.

In the sample photos shown, Nikon’s CLS was called upon to light up an extremely difficult lighting situation. With shadows falling in and the face of the model appearing as darkly lit, a fill in flash becomes a necessity. I set the CLS of the D200 in the manual mode with the built-in flash acting only as a pre-flash trigger to avoid contributing further shadow cast on the background. The SB-800 acting as remote flash to fill in some light on the face of the model was placed below the eye level. Flash compensation was set at -1/8 EV which is just enough to clean up the subject where the use of a flash is not too obvious. The main advantage of doing this is that the use of a fill in flash would not blow out the highlights which can hardly be corrected even in Photoshop.

The last of the sample photos was taken under extreme conditions where darkness was starting to set in so I increased the Flash Compensation to -1/2 in the manual mode. The result – an acceptably well-exposed shot where the background was still captured with so much ambience to impart the time of the day when the photo was taken.

Modelling credit goes to Erica

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

PoW! 13th Week

Walking up the New York city streets.
In the biting afternoon of a cold winter.
Wishing to see sunny Pugong sheets
Greet me. Or a warm beach of summer
Where I'll find the smiles, like sweets;
Festival or just a plain walk of leisure.

Here are this weeks FPC's PoW!s, in no order of preference:

Ran Calendar Shoot
"Ran Calendar Shoot"
by: terenzever
Exifs not Available

Editors Comment: Summer is just around the corner and this photo is the reason why we should really look forward for it.

Softly the evening came...
"Softly the evening came...."
by: merlysunflower
Kodak P880 Zoom, 0.002 sec, f/3.5, 13 mm ISO 50

Photographer's Description: ~Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn~


Editor's Comment: The silhouette and the whole photo has a very calming effect on ones eyes. It makes me want to have a long vacation and enjoy the view as long as I can.

by: Farl
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/500, f/5.6, 48 mm, ISO 200

Photographer's Description: My pictures have been few and far between lately. Work and personal priorities have overtaken me. I am preparing for a longer trip to Indonesia in a few days so even attending the grand mardi gras parade of the much awaited Sinulog last weekend was in doubt. I was glad that excitement overtook my indolence. Being at the street party was a welcome workout for my lonely camera.

propsmen of the Inayawan contingent, at the Sinulog mardi gras, Cebu City, the Philippines

Editor's Comment: Of the sinulog photos I've seen this year, this one stands out. No it's not more colorful than the others and the smiles of the subjects are not the warmest but the basics of composition are well observed in this photo.

There's rhythm in patterns, elements and color. Also the contrasting yellows and reds add impact. All these qualities compliment the main subject and focal point of this photo, the boy in the middle.


Waking Hours
"Waking Hours"
by: scubapup
Sony DSC-R1, 1/30, f/2.8, 14.3 mm, ISO 800

Editor's Comment: No spectacular fireworks, no full moon, no streaks of vehicular lights. Yet this photo captivates my attention as I was going back and forth the pages to finalize my pick for this week. And each time I come back, there is more to say to this photo than the others. First, the choice of elements--a lit tree instead of fireworks, a lamp post light instead of the moon and the parallel lines of the big building in lieu of vehicular lights. And looking closely at the lower part, you see people, which adds to the perspective and to the mystery.

Second is the composition. There is no center subject so you are forced to look around the frame, which will guide you to the well-picked elements. The branches of tree at the top breaks the monotony at the top making it equally interesting with the bottom. Third is the gamut of colors blending at the middle. Nicely done, Lenny!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Sports Series Part 6: Greco-Roman Wrestling

This is the first combat sport that I have ever photographed, although certainly not the first one I've seen live. Unlike the ball games and race sports I've done before, wrestling (and perhaps combat sports in general) has the element of unpredictability. Of course, every sport has some level of unpredictability but wrestling totally caught me off-guard. For example, with basketball, you know that the player who has the ball will either dribble, pass or shoot the ball. In tennis, when the other player hits the ball, you can expect the player on the other end of the court will chase the ball and hit it back. In other words, there is a series of indicative action prior to the peak moment. In a race, the racers always pass by the same course that all you need do is wait for the right moment to shoot.

Combat sports, wrestling in this case, is somewhat different. At one point, the combatants will simply be sizing up each other and then, all of a sudden, someone will lunge forward and take the opponent down. Such action could happen very quickly and it will usually be over before you or your camera can have the time to take the picture. I said "your camera" because even DSLR's, fast as they are, still has a little shutterlag. I knew my 20D's shutterlag is just a teeny tiny fraction of a second and is usually unnoticeable. However, for something like this, that lag gets magnified especially when you know you've pressed the shutter at the right moment and yet fail to get the action you were trying to capture.


The venue for this competition was a relatively small arena with two rings. Two simultaneous competitions are being held. The one being held in the ring farther from my seat is still acceptably close so I was able to take some shots from two separate combats. My lenses certainly did not felt short.


First thing that came to mind when as I took my seat was that scene from "Born on the 4th of July" where Tom Cruise was in a college wrestling match. He was pinned down by his opponent, unable to move yet his facial expression shows he's trying really hard to escape from that pin before the referree taps the mat. He failed. I wanted to capture something like that and I have a couple of times. They just did not came out quite like what I wanted to. That scene from the movie was perfect because it was all set up. In my case I had to work with what was presented to me - with all the obstacles.

The first one I captured, I did not have a clear view of the pinned wrestler's face. The second one, I have a good view of both athletes' faces and their expressions but part of the referees behind was capture in the frame as well. Yes, the referee could be a big problem to your otherwise excellent shot. When you have a good angle, you can expect that the referee might be looking at the action from the same angle to make the right call.

Another peak moment is during a take-down or when one sweeps the other off his feet. This is actually more common than a wrestler being pinned.


This was a first for me. I have not photographed any combat sports for me so I basically just had my camera glued to my face and shot on impulse. I took plenty of shots with some decent results. It was a different challenge for me as a photographer.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Inquisitive Glass

Our featured photographer for this week is a prolific poster in the FPC discussion threads and a regular starter of fresh topics (or excerpts from other discussion groups and internet sites), which oftentimes educate, occasionally amuse, but always are focal points for bonding among members.

He likes to "slug it out" with the other members in a friendly fashion, exchanging banters and jokes, and of course, relevant information. He has an inquisitive mind, which led him into the colorful (sometimes B&W) world of photography, and it just might equally be the reason why he never runs out of topics to talk about.

And if you are wonder why his flickr screen name is "shutterglass," I failed to ask him that during the interview! Hehe... Does he break the glass of his lenses often? Or is he a melancholic touchy person who "shutters like a glass" when not tactfully handled? Or does it have something to do with the eyeglasses he wear? Maybe if we read on you might find hints. Let's start with his personal profile.


Data Vitae
Full Name: Don C. Garchitorena
flickr Screen Name: shutterglass
Present Address: Project 3, Quezon City
Occupation: Product Data Specialist of a rapid response supplier of technology solutions for business, government and educational institutions as well as consumers in the US, with over 100,000 different products from companies such as Compaq, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Cisco, etc.
Current Gear:
camera body = Nikon D50
lenses = Nikkor 50mm f/1.8; Nikkor 28-80 f/3.3-5.6; Quantary 70-300 f/4-5.6 Macro
Favorite Photographic Subject: In order: People (Candid/Posed), Places, Objects
Favorite Photographer: Manny Librodo
Dream Gear: Knowing the ever-changing models in a few months time, its hard to dream for the ultimate gear. I rather defined dream gear as realistic gear, as I dream for it, then one day i get to hold and maximize its potential.
Photographic Ambition: Solo exhibit is one. Being recognize having a different style in capturing and freezing subjects in time is another.

Tiendesitas is again alive and bustling with Friday "gimmickers" who come here to dine while watching musical performances by live bands at a close proximity. We were here last Friday when we shot another FPC member who is also a rapper. I'm back again. But this time, I will shoot questions at Don who has arrived earlier from work and is waiting for me (shame, shame) among the patrons of the eateries at the center of the premises.

I missed him on the first pass through the crowd of garrulous diners and other passersby zipping by. When I backtracked, I saw him waving at me. We shooks hands, exchanged salutatory words and decided to order pancit and bibingka. Then we found a quiet spot away from the blaring music. I put down my little notepad and my pen, then, we began to... eat! Hehe

Now, the interview while we're nibbling at the bibingka:

Person and Family

FPC: Are you married?
DON: No.

FPC: Girlfriend?
DON: Yes. One and only!
FPC: Is she an FPC member too? Also a photographer?
No. No.

FPC: Is she your officemate?
She was my officemate.

FPC: What's her opinion about your photographic passion?
DON: 50-50. I mean she is supportive when she gets me to do something she wants done. Then I get support for photoshoots. Otherwise, the other 50.

FPC: Does she know you shoot models?
DON: Yes. Even nudes shoots. She is matured enough not to get jealous. Arguments are a waste of time.

FPC: How many siblings are you?
DON: We're three. I am the firstborn.

FPC: So, do you support the younger ones financially?
DON: Not really. But when they need something, I help too--financially, and in some other means. However, when it comes to artworks, it's me they need to help.

FPC: Are they also photographically inclined?
DON: No. I am the only one different.

His Photography

FPC: When did you take up Photography as a passion?
DON: That's a long story. It started when I was browsing in the Tipid PC forum (an all-around forum, but primarily for buying and selling). There I saw photos by Filipinos and foreigners. Thus, I was inspired and became curious. I tried copying their shots with my Samsung point-and-shoot camera but, of course, failed. I asked myself: "What do they do to take such photos? Why can't I duplicate their shots?" I had many questions. Of course, I didn't know about DSLRs back then.
That was early 2005. By December, I realized that they used DSLR to take those kind of photos. I thought about how I could buy one of those, considering my salary. Still I went about window shopping, comparing features and prices. In my zealousness, I knew about the DSLR cameras functions before I even bought one!

The opportunity to acquire one came in January last year, when my Boss told me that I would possibly be sent to the United States for training. I thought it would be a waste of time and opportunity not to take photos in the USA. So, I pulled some tricks to be able to save on allowance and buy myself a camera there. After comparing Nikon D50 with Canon 350D, I settled with Nikon. Canon was my first choice, but I could save more with the Nikon.

But even with my new DSLR, I didn't enjoy taking photos with my new Nikon D50 because I didn't know the camera functions then. I read but worked mostly with the camera's automatic settings. I learned real photography is not just snapping shots.


FPC: And when did you learn to use your camera's other settings?
DON: When I joined PhiPho, I read from the threads, from the pros about aperture and shutterspeed priority. And that the automode should be used only in "panic cases." I asked a lot and was thankful to Hydroxycut [another FPC member] for welcoming my questions. I also came in contact with Rus88 [also an FPC member] in PhiPho and it was he who mentioned about FPC's Live Extreme coverage at the PICC Forum.

I wanted to go with FPC but it was late signing up for it. So I contacted the organizers so that my friend and I went there by ourselves as independent photographers. Yet, it was a failed coverage for me because most photos came out blurred. Most of the time I was in panic.

I recognized some FPC members with their IDs but I was shy to introduce myself. But I got this photo with ronrag smiling behind my friend when I was taking my friend's souvenir shot (ronrag didn't know me then):

Don's Friend & Ronrag

FPC: What is a good photo to you?
What do you mean? That's a hard one.

FPC: For example, when is a portrait photo good for you?
I guess when I take a long look at a photo and wonder how it was done. When it captures the attention of someone who lingers on that photo. Conversely, when a photo is viewed only cursorily, I think it does not have the qualities of a good photo.

FPC: Do you like your photos being critiqued?
DON: Yes, even when the comments are "below-the-belt." I think it is for the good of a photographer to take even those seriously so he is able to adjust his style. However, when it is me who gives "below-the-belt" comments and the photog reacts negatively, I leave and not come back.

FPC: What are your photographic plans in the near future?
DON: To make something financially beneficial out of my photo skills and perhaps a sideline taking photo jobs. It would be good barometer of how well I have honed my skills and surely, a means for me to acquire more gears.

FPC: How do you plan to make that happen?
DON: Hmm... I think it is wise to listen to those who are already in the business and get acquainted with the aspects of it, from package pricing to actually conducting the shoot. Doing that while honing my skills. I know of someone who has a day job and still manages to do paid photo shoots on weekends. That gives me the encouragement to pursue a profitable endeavor even while having a day job. There is living proof so the possibility is realistic.

FPC: Can you expound on your photographic ambition? What kind of photos do you want to exhibit?
DON: Right now I don't know my forte yet but I'm being inclined to taking wedding shots.

Caleruega Wedding

However, I am not really sure about that. I can safely say that it will be more of portraits than landscape because it is harder for me to shoot landscape without convenient transportation. For now, it is more convenient for me to shoot portrait.

FPC: Do you remember any photographic quotes?
DON: Not exactly, but I remember Librodo's idea about "being just a hobbyist and never becoming a professional." It conveys the idea of continuous learning. Even pros can't claim to know everything. I've seen some amateurs inspire some pros to some photographic style.

FPC: Have you had any paid jobs already?
DON: Yes, one. Hopefully, this big one in mid of this year. If I pull through it successfully, it would make me more confident and bankable. It could be a catapult to something bigger, who knows.

About FPC

FPC: Who invited you to FPC?
DON: Rus88 referred me to FPC. Then I think I sent a request to the Admins to approve me as member. But I was not yet posting much in the beginning. I didn't know how to introduce myself. Then there was this modeling thread by ronrag where I tried engaging Karen and LG in a conversation, starting a friendly light banter. They responded positively and that made me feel welcome.

It didn't take me long to prefer FPC over the other club. I also saw the pleasant atmosphere--there is belongingness even for first timers. Thus, I also started inviting others to FPC.

FPC: I remember you during the Fireworks shoot last October. What was your impression of FPC then? What do you like about FPC since then?
DON: I was impressed at how FPC organized the shooting event. It was my first time to go to the Mall of Asia so I don't even know where the Music Hall is but I managed to be there at the meeting place to meet you and the others before the fireworks display began.

Don's Fireworks

Unlike other clubs who plan photo events but never conducts it, FPC organizes and sees to its completion. I decided I fit in better with FPC. Here is where my skills are being sharpened and noticed.

Additionally, it easier to invite models to an FPC shoot because of the "many possibilities!" [Grins.]

I also recall what Boso said about posting in the threads. You don't get a pointed finger warning that you are off-topic. In other club threads, when you post something intruiging or controversial, others flare up easily. In FPC, everyone is cool and even when conflict arises, it is readily dissipated.

FPC is like a paradise island for photographers. Good reason to invite others.

FPC: Do you think that FPC is headed for "something big?"
DON: Yes. How it organizes and conducts its events, the harmony among Admins and members--these are indicatives that FPC is going somewhere.

FPC: What improvements do you think FPC should make?
DON: More sharing of resources, like workshops. Another example would be the sharing of announcements of photo contests. So that when an FPC members win, we are all proud!

FPC: Finally, what is your message to the FPC admins and members?
DON: Can't say anything about the admins. They are working hard, I can see. To the members: Share, share share! Your knowledge, skills, and resources (for example, easy access to information about studios, their pricing and models' non-confidential info! :D)

- end -

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

PoW! 12th Week

Nemo is not a singer of the musical genre called "rock"
Just a dweller of rocky corals in the water pitch black.
Neither should anyone the apostle called Peter mock,
When that light from heaven leaves us very awestruck.

Under the spotlight Kevin bangs his head in the air.
Throwing his locks all about, and a dance of his hair.
Singing a song probably synchronized in a pyro fair,
Sending colors, patterns, at which we gape and stare!

Here are this weeks FPC's PoW!s, in no order of preference:

Clown Anemone Fish
"Clown Anemone Fish"
Fujifilm FinePix F11, 1/200, f/2.8, 8 mm, ISO 100

Editors Comment: I have personally tried to do underwater photography, but only in a swimming pool. And its not as easy as it looks. I was awed with this photo. The Clarity, Sharpness and Colors are just perfect. All I can say is WoW, What a Shot.

Statue of St. Peter
"Statue of St. Peter"
by: bluejeans1200
No Exifs Available

Editors Comment: Beautiful lighting and accurately focused subject. Exposure is also spot-on despite the difficult lighting. Some might say it's post-processed but it doesn't matter. What counts is the end result.

World Pyro Olympics
"World Pyro Olympics"
by: ianong
No Exifs Available

Editors Comment: perfect timing.... The reflections of the light added x-factor! Some shots of fireworks are very ordinary. This one offers a good composition.

kevin roy
"Kevin Roy"
by: erxkulotz
No Exifs Available

Editor's Comment: 30 pages of shared photos and none matches the action in this concert photo by Eric. It has all the elements of a great concert photo--the spotlights, the tight grip on and coil of the microphone, the punky over-extended sleeves of a grunge shirt, the long hair and most importantly, that heavy set look and gritty teeth that is not equivalent to anger, but sheer enjoyment of the entertainer as he becomes one with the beat.

It's commendable how Eric manages a shot through that thick locks and still show the eyes and the teeth, the center of this composition. Was he banging his head in the air? That would make this even more an amazing shot :D

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"1 Yr Older, Wishful Thinking" - January Celebrants

Every new year gives us a clean slate to work with; a chance to correct our past mistakes and start anew. And with each brand new year, most of us set new plans and goals to improve ourselves. To start off the new year, FPC would like to feature our January celebrants and their hopes and dreams...

The Question:

What is your birthday wish and What do you want to achieve for the year 2007?

Harley501: (January 14 )

More wisdom and to have better images and hoping that this year would be the START of my plan to come out with a coffee table book featuring the richness of the culture and traditions of the proud Cordillera people.

Good health, of course, for me to reach out to more people, especially those in hard-reach areas.

To have quality time with my family. The earliest time I went home from work in 2005 was 6 p.m. and my two dogs are “clapping.”

rabbit's foot: (January18,1975)

Terenzever: (January 23, 1981)

mtxtremist: (January 24)

IceAllen: (January 31, 1981)

Hmm I've a lot of wishes on my birthday, figured if I only have one and it doesn't come true I'll just be disappointed.

Just to share a few:

-I want a spanking new 400D, still saving for this one
-leg injury to heal up soon so I can join climbs and not be a burden to other mountaineers
-get my application to work abroad noticed, hopefully i get to leave this Jan..who knows really, wish me luck ;-)
-meet more friends here in flickr and in multiply, and get to spend more time with you guys before i get to work abroad.
-and world peace...hehe joke lang, happiness and luck in lovelife ;-)

To all the birthday celebrants. More birthdays to come and hoping your wishes come true. Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Punny Punchies

Have you ever wondered how you would look like if you lost your hair completely?

We decided to have fun for a change and asked a question to our members to find out what they would do and how they would react.

The Question:

"Kung 2 piraso nalang ang buhok mo, anong mas gusto mo, magkakumpol (para ma-clip mo) o magkahiwalay?"

"If you had 2 strands of hair left, how would you like it to be? stranded together so that you can still clip them with a hair pin, or separated?

Here's the answers that we have received.

erxkulotz said: hahaha ok to ha.. icebreaker muna..:D hmm.. gusto ko magkahiwalay, para pwede ko pa lagyan ng highlights, magkaiba pa ng shade.. hehehe..:D

bert671 said: haha i'd have them clipped together. they're the last remaining hair. gives the illusion of there being more :)

gomi said: None of the above. Putulin na lang para kalbo! :P

eunicej said: huh? palaisipan ba to? siguro pagsamahin ko na. dalawa na nga lang sila eh paghihiwalayin ko pa. para masaya di ba =)

jaysonmaceo said: magkakumpol na lang para di na sila magkahiwalay.... hehehe!

kabukiph said: hahaha!!! magkahiwalay para mukhang marami!

powerpee said: hmm cute siguro separated :P

Daniel Y. Go said: Hahaha, naku malapit na ako sa ganyan kasi paubos na buhok ko - pa clip ko nalang hehehe, :D

code1700 said: hahaha gusto ko stranded baka sakali manganak pa :)

Boso said: wala ka magawa ano? hehe

paololluch said: Hahahaha.. id go for the separated.. mas marami tingnan eh.. kun naka clip baka akala nila isa nalang natira. :)

ronrag said: ang lalim ng problema mo, Pat! hehe seriously, bubunutin ko na lang yung 2 strands of hair ko para totally kalbo na! uso naman nagyon ang kalbo like vin diezel, di ba? hehe

[2]rokbot[2]y said: good question...honestly, I don't know. I can't even begin to imagine myself in that situation. =D

alexdpx said: Magka-kumpol sa gitna para malagyan ng ribbon - hehehehe =D

Joachim Guanzon said: funny ka ha... ako siguro gusto ko magkakumpol para madaling i-shave off...

raincontreras said: Kumpol!

merlysunflower said: LOL! Bunutin konalang! hehehe I'd pick separated! :D

*JC* said: ahehehe... what a question to start the year. c",) answer ko: magkakumpol (heehee)

igorms said: :P

rareimages by shutterbugrer said: Hiwalay para may hati pa rin sa buhok! Puwede kaliwa, kanan, o gitna pa rin ang hati! :P

stitch said: before you get two pcs of hair left, have your entire head shaved ;)

peterjohnb said: mag kahiwalay. para pag clip ko at mawala ang clip, meron pang isang strand na matitira.

Atari, Gracinha & Marco said: Bubunutin ko silang dalawa para clean slate. Tabula rasa. :D

wasaby said: I'd rather have them stranded together so I can still accessorize. At least when I talk to people, a big bow or clip will distract them from staring at my hair (or lack of it) :D

janzedrik said: None of the above:) I would rather remove them both para magmukhang matino ako, ha ha ha! :D

Deene said: papagupit ko na lang yung buhok ko para kalbo

Alvin Gumba Photography said: My answer is non of the above, i'd rather have it trim. Total baldness is better than having 2 strands of hair. Before, i used to have a very long strands of hair, also 2 strands but not on my head but below my chin. I have that for almost 35 years until one day, my officemate asked me to have it shaved. Now, i liked it shaved and clean.

borchie said: stranded, so why? survey says......

Neiltot said: Buhok Saan??

With everyones stressful everyday life. We hope that you had a laugh even for a minute or two.

Here's hoping that no one of us ever experience this situation. In any case that you do. I guess you'll know what to do now? :D