Archive for August, 2008

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Photographers I respect

August 29, 2008

Last night, I masqueraded as a press photographer in a for trade only show.  I signed up armed with 70 – 200 mm L 2.8, a monopod, a Canon 550 EX, a couple of extra batteries, 3 extra CF cards, my trusty Canon 30D and and extra 28-70 2.8 L lens.

All of the above attached to me while wearing the customary photographers vest.. a bit cliche i know.. for whatever its worth.. I felt a bit strange.

Armed with photographic equipment that will rival a typical Swiss knife in function, I head off and registered.  I was quickly pointed to the press photographers reception where I got my very own press photographers badge complete with a cool clip on button with a cute drawing of a camera.

I had become official!  or at least it felt like that for two minutes.

Fortunately there was a fashion show scheduled.. (I really already knew that)…  and I proceeded to the venue.  Quickly jostled my place and in 3 minutes, the show started…

shot it at iso 1600 by mistake!  well a good mistake...

shot it at iso 1600 by mistake! well a good mistake...

The show was about 30 minutes.. but it felt like 5 minutes…   it was terrible.  To me, it felt like I was shooting the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in the 100 meter dash in the Olympics.  It was fast and furious.

The lights kept on changing, the models kept on moving, the guy beside you kept on bumping onto you…. it was just frenzy and mayhem.  It felt similar to being ambushed by 10 guys in paintball except less painful.

Before I knew it, I had taken 148, mostly crappy, photos of the event.I felt tired, my wrist was numb and I had a funny feeling in my belly.   I have never, ever shot this much in such a short time.  In fact I can do a photo walk for 4 hours and only be able to shoot 36 shots.  This was new to me.

After the show, I finally had a chance to sit down and think about the experience and the only thing ringing in my head over and over was…  thank goodness I am not doing this for a living!

Photographing events for editorial purposes is not easy.   But it was fun.. You learn to think fast, you do not have time to think about the shot… you just need to nail it… it surely helped make my heart to beat faster.

I have so much more respect for photographers who do this type of work…

It was a great experience and I will do it again…  and I do like the idea of getting another official press badge.

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the Generic Asian

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the “new” IPOD & Itunes 8

August 26, 2008
New Ipod as posted in www.kevinrose.com

New Ipod as posted in http://www.kevinrose.com

If you have been miserably been following my blog pre-wordpress, you may recall that I love my IPOD.  It has been with me in many trips, everyday, anywhere and it has not disappointed me any bit. blha blah blah…

I still have the IPOD photo 40gig and it refuses to die.   Its great!!!

Yet again, I see a “new” version, albeit rumored version, of the ipod.  It reportedly will retail below US$  199.  The photo is from Digg founder’s new blog www.kevinrose.com  as discussed in Leo Laporte’s show This Week In Tech (TWIT) (will he sue me if I use the above photo.. hope not.. I only have 28 Thai baht in my bank account)

Despite having my IPOD since 2004, I still have not seen any compelling reason on why I should ugrade.  In MP3 years, yes my IPOD is about 110 years old, but.. it still works and works well.

What does not work is Itunes…  I think Apples seems to be brewing a corporate storm by not allowing… people like me who llive outside of the USA to download podcasts via ITUNES for free on a new machine.  

This was a surprise to me as I thought it was just all a glitch.  I recently purchased a new laptop here in Bangkok and it would not allow me to access the Itunes store…  The error messages say, this feature is not available in Thailand…

Although, in my older XP machines, I can download the Podcasts, like TWIT, Buzz Out Loud, etc… I can’t seem to get it running on my new machine.

I though it was just me until a friend of mine.. who is not in Bangkok, but is based in Manila… had purchased a new Macbook and a new IPOD touch.  I told him how wonderful the world of PODCASTING is and that it was free.

He then tried to download a few select podcasts as per my suggestion and he said… dude this service in not available in the Philippines…

Being a new machine and a tech idiot that he is, I suggested he goes to the nearest Apple store… and guess what!!!

The guys said that in the Apple store in the Philippines said, if you want access to PODCASTS you have to pay US$39( not sure about the amount here ok).   When I lived in Singapore, it was free to download podcasts…

Hey I have nothing against paying, but hey, these podcasts content as far as i can tell is free to Apple. 

I guess someone has to pay for these things, but Itunes and podcasting has kept me locked in with Apple.  Heck the IPOD  even convinced me to buy a Mac over teh PC.   But looks like the fun is over and the bean counters are starting to take over.

And by the way, if the new IPOD photo is true…  maybe its time to say goodbye?

See ya!

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the Generic Asian

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Photography and intimacy

August 18, 2008

I recently shot with 5 guys…  and when I mean shot I mean photographed the model above.  I have never done a shoot with 5 men before.  On top of that, we basically needed to finish the shoot in 4 hours.

Now, we are a bunch of amatuers and we do this just for fun.  But boy was it physically and mentally demanding as I was the only one who had a sense of how to photograph using flashes or strobes… in this case we used a couple of Canon 550EXs.   Multiply that by the heat in the gym…  let’s just say I was a bit pressured.

I did not realise that shooting with four other photographers was not an easy thing to do… you had to shoot, fire and nail the money shot everytime…

Let’s do the math.. we had 4 hours divide by 5 = 48 minutes per photograher… we wanted to do at least 3 layouts = 15 minutes per then subtract the costume changes and the breaks and the time to set up the lights.. we basically had close to nothing left worth of time.

In short, taking photos with 4 other guys is not exactly a lot of time…  it is very much like making love, but you only have 2 minutes to get it done and over with…   There simply is no time to be intimate.

You basically become a plumber… you get there, open your tool box, crawl under the sink, shut up and do your job.

Don’t get me wrong I loved it… it had a heck of a time shooting with this guys… it was great fun.

I think despite the fact that we did not have much time… I guess you can tell from the photos that it was fun… or so I hope.

Here is pretty much how we lit the scenes…

The photo on top of the article was shot with two lights on a white foam core as background.  I placed a bare flash to it the background 2 stops over the main light which was on a shoot through umbrella.

On this next photo, we basically shot the model with a basic umbrella as the main light and a snoot for the hair light.  I had placed a white reflector opposite the main light and white foam core board to reflect light under the chin and that was it.  So far, it looks good to me.

There are a couple of more shots that day…. it was great, it was challenging and most of all it was fun.

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the Generic Asian

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I want to shoot for stock photography!!!

August 12, 2008

Recently I have been spending some time figuring out why some photos are better than other photos and why and how can I know if the photo I take is good enough or not.

Offhand, my photography, I think, I repeat, I think is technically sound.  Its the aesthetics which I think I am challenged.

So like the true student of the arts, I tried to surround myself with inspiration.  So I did an exhaustive search of the net for photos of the masters.  When I mean exhaustive, I mean until I was xhausted.

Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams…. the list goes on and on.

In a nut shell, and because I am a nut, I can’t seem to get the point in some of the photos.

I also “planned” to get feedback on my work by posting on blogs and joining associations for maybe a thought that I can show my work and get some honest feedback on the photography I make.

So far… very little progress.  So, I have decided to go a different route… I will apply on the great world wide web’s heaven of all photographs… the stock photography heaven.

There are many photos stock photography websites.  Istock, the imagebank, corbis, getty images, etc.

So now my plan is to try to get into one of these sites and try to get my photos approved for sale.

First of all, I have a day job… My job pays the bills, puts food on the table, clothes on our back, roof on our head and most of all it lets me spend some time with my photography.  I do not need the money.

Now I do believe that stock photography and fine art photography are two different worlds.  But like many things in life, when one is out there thinking they have to buy something, they tend to think about it carefully first.

I do not plan to sell millions on these sites, but it may be the affirmation I was looking for.

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the Generic Asian

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Water in Bulb

August 4, 2008

Just sharing how I shot this…

Basically dismantled two bulbs.. on by mistake really… so I had to do it again.

I had injected th bulb with some water, recapped it with the second bulb.

Then i set it on a blue background aimed the snoot behind the bulb… gelled it with blue and yellow cokin filters then fired away.

The effect varies as you change the position of the filters.  I like it… and I hope you like it too.

Shot it it with one lightsource using an “old” Canon 550EX on a lightstand, I attached a home made snoot.  No Photoshop was done all in camera.  : )

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the Generic Asian