Monday, November 17, 2008

Black is back

Winner: Jobarracuda

in a different light

1. Please give us a brief background information about yourself.
I am basically a newbie in this field. I started photography last December 2006 when I bought myself a point and shoot bridge camera – Lumix fz50 and joined flickr the same month. I’ve worked in various field and in various positions…artist for 2 years, creative director for 9 years, ad & promo officer in an office handling casinos for 2 years and science and computer teacher for 2 years.

2. Is photography a full-time job or is it a hobby? and how long have you been in photography?

It started as a hobby but has become a passion for me now. I’ll be approaching my 2nd year in photography this coming December.

3. What inspired you to capture this winning photo? Please give a brief description about it.
I love taking photos of old people the same way I love taking photos of kids. The moment I saw that old lady, I immediately knew I wanted to take photos of her. I sat down a few feet away from her so I could observe her. I took out my cam and waited for a good moment to capture her.

4. Did you have any professional training in photography?
No I don’t have any professional training in photography, although I want to, if given the chance.

5. How do you keep your photographic skills/knowledge up-to-date?
I keep just keep on shooting and learn as I shoot. It helps a lot as well that I am surrounded with skillful and talented friends.

6. What is the most memorable experience you have in photography?
The stories behind some of my fave photos are very meaningful to me. Some of those I still read over and over again. Some are still making me cry when I read them. Those are special moments and experiences for me as a photographer. Of course I cherish the times I won in competitions. To be recognized in the field you love, even in small ways, makes you love what you’re doing all the more.

7.What are your gadgets and what software are you using to post process your works?
I have a Panasonic Lumix Fz50 and a Nikon D40x with kit lens. I use Photoshop CS2 to process.

8. What is your thought on post processing photos?
I don’t have any problems with post-processing. I try to satisfy myself with the photos I take and the way it would look, whether with or without post-processing. I think not doing post-processing and criticizing those who are doing it, or vice-versa, is not good for photography itself. Development in technology is so fast nowadays. We have to embrace the developments in photography…whether in camera gear or post processing the images…film or digital. I salute those who are pure in their photography and does not process their shots, the same way I salute those who are good in post-processing their images.

9. In which category of photography are you most interested and why?
I love images of human interests, street life and scenes, and street portraits.

10. What will be the best advice you would give to a beginner / amateurs photographers?
Determine what you want to shoot and just shoot. Find ways to shoot. Invite others to shoot with you and oblige if you can when they invite you. It is always a big learning experience to shoot with others…..beginner, amateur or even a pro. There’s always something to pick up from somebody.

Please include 3 of your most favorite images from your stream, and give a short description if possible as to why it's your fave shot.

Muslim Girl
in black & white
This photo is one of most treasured photos I have. I love the story behind it. It won in various group competition in lickr and this has been exhibited in Philippine Arts Festival in Hong Kong, Art Fest in Chicago and Charity-In-Focus in Icosahedron New York (the photo was bought by an individual and the money was donated to a charity of my choice).

To Give Or Not To Give, That Is The Question
to give or not to give, that is the question.
I love looking at this photo over and over again and it always bring a smile on my face. I am so thankful I have captured this instance.

Batang 888
batang 888
This photo has recently won me a Toshiba Laptop Computer. With or without the award it received, I love this image for the emotion it projects.

Thanks to Debbie, a.k.a. Shininglyt for the interview!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mystery and Drama

Winner: Frozenjester

pakanton ka naman!

Meet JP Alcaraz aka frozenjester of Meycauayan, Bulacan. JP is currently in Singapore working as a video editor in a production house

Hi photography journey started a little more than a year ago (Sep 2007 to be exact). “ I think most OFWs will agree with me when I say that you need to have something else to occupy your time aside from work in order to keep your sanity, being so far away from home *Hikbi*”, JP added.

The winning shot was taken at a beach in Zambales. This was during the time when he was at the peak of his addiction shooting sunsets. Fortunately, when he was looking for a foreground for the sunset, he saw Mang Jerry (the fisherman) who happened to be waiting for the sun to go down so he can go out into the open sea and catch fish. JP added, “I don't remember being inspired when I shot this, I just felt intrigued by the scene it created so I thought I'd capture it. Good thing I did because if not, I'd not be having this article.”

Like most amateurs, he started from scratch and learned the ropes by reading materials on the net. “If you ask me, the internet is such a goldmine when it comes to learning everything there is to know in photograpy. But then again, nothing beats going out in a group to shoot, comparing notes and swapping techniques along the way”, JP added.

“Ok I have to admit, nothing in my body of work is absolutely original. What I do is sort of "cut and paste" a little bit of techniques from diferent photographers and try to come up with my own signature, so to speak. I have this big dream that there will come a time when I can create enough of this signature so that when someone takes a look at my photo, they'll instantly recognize that it was me who did it.”

His work as a video editor and graphic artist helped him keep abreast with all the latest techniques in composing a good shot. He feels fortunate that his work allows him to be exposed on videos and footage created by professionals.

His most memorable experience in Photography was during a road trip to Pagudpud with his close friends, who are working abroad as well but are at home the same time as he is. “Having a shoot with a group is special enough, but shooting with your best buddies is something else altogether. All of us were just starting out in our common hobby, so everyone is learning from everybody while having the time of our lives in doing so. This so far, is my most memorable experience, which I hope will be trumped by another experience with the same group of friends in the near future.” JP added.

When asked what are your gadgets and what software that he is using to post process your works? “I started out with a Nikon D40 with an 18-55mm kit lens. Then I sold this (which is one of my regrets) and upgraded to a D200. Since then I have added a couple of lenses to my collection - Nikon 50mm F/1.8, macro 60mm F/2.8, 18-135mm F/3.5, 70-300mm VR F/3.5, Tokina 11-24 F/2.8. For my post processsing needs, I use Photoshop CS3.” - JP

For JP, post processing should only be done to help you reach the feel that you want to achieve in a photo because if you go too far, like compositing or something too drastic, he felt you defeat the purpose of shooting.

He always wanted to dabble in photo-journalism. However, Singapore doesn't offer much in this department, it is too orderly for its own good. “So if there's a major rally going on there, EDSA 5 or something similar, just let me know and I'll be on the next plane to Manila.” JP jokingly added.

When ask what will be the best advice you would give to a beginner / amateurs photographers? JP says “I think, at this point, I am in no position to give advices for I am also an amateur and still have loads to learn about the beautiful art of photography. So I'll just echo to them what I always hear from those people I look up to, which is - Just keep on shooting, no matter what. With enough patience and enthusiasm, you'll learn so much in no time. Of course, remember the first rule in photography: read
your camera manual first.”

3 of his most favorite images from his stream

Klang Klang
klang klang
She's always my favorite subject. Photo was taken in La Luz, Batangas. A memorable photo also because it won my first competition here in Flickr.You can check it out here.

This photo was taken in Batam, Indonesia, it was my first time then in Indonesia. This is also my most viewed, most favorited and most commented in my photostream.

The dragon has landed
the dragon has landed
I would consider this photo as my first successful macro shot. I always wondered how they capture macro shots until I did one. This has been my highest-ranking photo in Flickr
Explore - 72nd position on July 26, 2008.

Thanks to Light Stalker for this article

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Buhay Lansangan

Winner: rempleo

is the world safe for me?..

1. Please give us a brief background information about yourself.

Hi, I'm Roland Empleo.. but friends just call me Roe. I belong to a group of 3 young architects enganging in residential, commercial and hospitality designs (like spa and hotels). We also build some projects that we design.

2. Is photography a full-time job or is it a hobby? and how long have you been in photography?

Right now it's just a serious hobby.. but I'm setting my mind to venture into professional photography.

3. What inspired you to capture this winning photo? Please give a brief description about it.

I wasn't really into street photography before... not that I don't like it.. but it's just not my forte. But seeing these kids, basically living on a park in front of the Binondo church, makes my heart cringe.. I realized that my being adamant to street photography before is not because I don't like shooting street or poor people.. but because they affect me so much. I guess it was just the right time for me to accept their reality and capture them through photography.

4. Did you have any professional training in photography?

Yes, before... when I started being serious with photography, I enrolled in the basic photography workshops offered by FPPF in Fort Santiago back in 2001. I was still using Film back then.. the only DSLR I saw before was from the instructors.. But I never really had the time to enjoy photography before due to my work.. I eventually stopped shooting back in 2003.

5. How do you keep your photographic skills/knowledge up-to-date?

Before, I would collect books and magazines regarding photography.. then later, I became friends with some of my instructors and other great photographers, and I would request in assisting them in their shoot from time to learn from actual experience.. and to pick their minds about this profession...

But since my 5 year hiatus from photography... my only inspiration and source of knowldege right now are the numerous talented artists in flickr.. you could learn a lot by just seeing thier work and studying how they've done it....and most of them are from my friends and contacts... so I don't have to pay for workshops anymore. hahaha...

6.What is the most memorable experience you have in photography?

I'm not sure that I have a specific one... but I guess the experience and the overwhelming feeling of having the chance to work with great photographers that I respect and Idolize.. will always be memorable for me.

7.What are your gadgets and what software are you using to post process your works?

Before, I used to own a Canon EOS Elan II film slr.. but since I didn't pay much attention to it for 5 years.. it's now unusable.. huhuhu.

Right now, I'm using a Canon EOS 40D,.. with Sigma 18-200mm as my walk around lens and some of my macro shots.. then I added a 50mm f1.8 prime for my nature and portrait shots... then just recently I bought a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens...

Before, I only use photoshop CS2 for basic or auto options like levels, contrasts, curves and image sizing.. but later I was introduced to Adobe Lightroom (now Version 2) and found it very useful in editing raw files.

8. What is your thought on post processing photos?

I don't mind post processing.. I do it also sometimes... But personally, I don't want to over process my photos.. I always try my best to compose my shot through the camera so i wouldn't need to bother myself in tweaking it through PP.. and besides, I only know the basics in PP..hehehe.. although sometimes, I do make some experiments with it, just to see what other image I can create with my photos.

9. In which category of photography are you most interested and why?

Even before, I dont have any specifics on my subject or any form of specialty.. I'm still learning and it's still way far for me to have a specialty.. But I would love to hone my skill with Architectural and Fashion Photography.

Architectural, because it coincides with my profession.. and Fashion, because I just love beautiful women.. hehehe.. but seriously, I love bringing out the different personality of the model through photography.. it's just amazing how many characters you can create with just a photograph.

10. What will be the best advice you would give to a beginner / amateurs photographers?

To never stop learning.. to start looking at the world in a different view..... and alaways find beauty in every little thing that you can see.. that's how you can hone your eyes to photography and creativity... because taking a photograph is different from making a photograph. any child can take a photo.. but only an artist can create an image out of it.

Three of my most favorite images from my stream.

I don't really have a favorite as of now.. but i can share with you some images that's memorable to me..

Sunset at Mabini, Batangas
Sunset at Mabini, Batangas

This is one of my few shots from my old film slr.. already lost the negative years ago.. this is just a scan.. It's a memorable shot and place for me because it's our get away place.. me and my college friends love staying here and around those islands. and this sunset capture is one of my few good outputs from my film days.

dawn at Palawan...
dawn at Palawan..

This one is really memorable because it's taken on my first trip in Palawan in March of this year.. I just fell in love with this beach in Sabang.. I was still using a P&S back then...


This one is my very first explored photo.. I didn't even know that I have one.. only after a month when I've learned about explore. I'm just proud of it because it one of my first close-up shots with my 18-55mm kit lens.. just bought my camera that time... and it made explore on just my 2nd week in flickr...with just 15 comments and 25 views...
Thanks to Bobby a.k.a. Birdman@22 for the interview.

Pinoy Kainan

WINNER: Dengski


1. Please give us a brief background information about yourself.
I am Fr. Dennis S. Soriano, a Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Cubao. I am currently assigned as parish priest of Transfiguration of Our Lord parish, in Murphy, Quezon City. I was born in Bulacan and was raised in Caloocan.

2. Is photography a full-time job or is it a hobby?
Photography is a hobby. I just got into it seriously January 2008.

3. What inspires you to capture this winning photo?
The photo was taken from a Young Leaders' Camp, called JAM [or Jesus and Me], which is designed to invite young people to get more actively involved  in church. This "boodle fight" forms part of the activity for day two. I just love the effect of dof.

4. Did you have any professional training in photography?
No professional training yet, but very much wanting to have one. May be in the near future.

5. How do you keep your photographic skills/knowledge up-to-date?
I have been reading books about the basics of photography. I have John Hedgecoe's New Book on Photography and his The Art of Colour Photography. I also have Teach Yourself Photography and Icons of Photography 20th Century.

Flickr is an important source of updating too. If I have time, I read fora and threads about photography.

6.What is the most memorable experience you have in photography?
Being interviewed about photography - this is definitely unforgettable. Also, I will never forget the first time I was asked for a permission by magazine to use my photo. Although nothing came out of it. But being asked is memorable enough.

7.What are your gadgets and what software are you using to post process your works?
I am currently using a Nikon D40x with kit lense 18-50 mm. I just recently got a Sigma 18-200 mm.

8. What is your thought on post processing photos?
Minimal, as much as possible. There is a different high in capturing the image with one's camera and rendering it without any necessity for post processing.

Although I do not object to post processing. I look at extremely post processed photos as artwork.

9. In which category of photography are you most interested and why?
I am currently interested in landscape, the sun, children and nature.

10. What will be the best advice you would give to a beginner / amateurs photographers?
This is the best advise I found so far: "It's not the pana but the indian" This is the second best advice: "Practice. Practice, Practice."


This is in Calvary Hill, Iguig, Cagayan Province. This is one of the first images I took when I got my D40x last January. We were scheduled to arrive here much earlier but delays made our departure much later. It was a blessing in disguise. We arrived in Calvary Hills as the sun was setting. Perfect!


This my niece Alex; my first try with children's portraits and black and white treatment. After taking this image, I realized how eloquent children's eyes can be. This started my interest in children's portraits.

beautiful day 3

This is one of several morning shots that I have. It was taken right outside my convent and a few minutes before I celebrate my 6 AM Mass. That is how I usually take my sunrise shots; looking forward for more beautiful mornings.

Thanks to: Ron Miguel for the interview.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pinoy Affection

WINNER: jeridaking

Afternoon Stroll

Here is a short interview about jeridaking.

1.Who are you? Please give a brief background information on yourself.
I’m Ralph Matres. 31 years old.
I live in Ormoc City in the island called Leyte
Its located in the Eastern part of Visayas. I am married with two children. Their pictures are all over my stream.

2. Tell us about the winning photo. What made you shoot the pic? What adjustments did you make on it? What do you think makes it special?
The gentleman in the photo is actually my brother. It’s part of the prenuptial session we had a week before his wedding. I used manual mode F4.5, 1/80 ISO 100. I think the “moment”, the contrast of colors and the lined up trees made this special. I also consider the whole shoot a special one. Most of the shots I liked were taken during the “magic hour”, you know just before the sun totally sets. Ahhh I remember the lighting was just perfect. By the way you can view the complete prenup set here

3. How long have you been doing photography?
Two years

4. How did you start doing photography? What got you interested in it?
I’ve always enjoyed looking at landscapes. I wanted to shoot the countryside. And when I found out that a dslr was finally within reach, I borrowed money from my mother and bought one. Until now I still own the same dslr and I still haven’t paid my mother. =)

5. Do you earn a living from photography or you do use photography as your hobby/part-time job?
Photography is a hobby, although my friends and I sometimes shoot weddings.

6. What’s your day job?
I’m actually in a transition stage right now, between being employed and self employed. From being a 15/30 guy to a God knows when guy. =)

7. Do you have special education? Did you take courses or go to a school learn photography?
No I don’t have any nor do I plan to attend classes or seminars.

8. Are you specializing in a particular area of photography? What are your favorite places/objects to shoot?
I love portraits. I love the rural life. I love to shoot farmers and fishermen.

9. Who are your big photographic influences?
I don’t seem to have any. But the works of many many people in flickr absolutely inspire me.

10. How do you educate yourself? Do you read special literature, visit photography galleries? What photo books/magazines do you have on your bookshelf?
I don’t subscribe to any of the magazines nor do I have photography books. They’re too expensive.
I’ll give you five words though…..The internet is a goldmine.

11. What equipment and software do you use (camera(s), lenses, film, etc.)?
My camera is a canon 350d, I have a 17-85is and 50mm 1.8.
I use CS2 for editing and I’ve just started using lightroom.

12. What is your opinion on post-processing, especially enhancing pictures?
I’m all for it. But I’m not going to get into a discussion because you can never be right or wrong with this topic. Its like a Nikon vs Canon thing……

13. What advice would you give someone who is interested in photography and wants to improve their photography skills?
I shouldn’t be giving any advice. I have lots to learn myself.

14. What’s the most challenging aspect of photography for you? What’s the best part of it?
There’s really nothing challenging when all you are doing is having fun….Shooting landscapes, portraits and anything else with my friends, it’s really about having a good time. The challenging aspect would be going home late to an angry wife.

The best part of photography is that I get to be featured in this blog. Now how cool is that?



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