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Yellow~! Its been awhile since I made a write-up for my gallery (more than a year?). 2013 has been a very busy year for me because of work and freelance (mobile app development) --- causing me to hibernate in photography for more than seven (7) months.
Aside from work, my favourite lens (Tokina UWA) got himself some fungus and my EOS 1000D got injured (like hot-shoe problem and sensor dust) --- as a result, I end up rejecting every invitation because I don't have any gear to use on --- and it took me awhile to send it to a server centre because of tight schedule
On a brighter side, I think this incident is nice because I still have some awful backlogs to catch-up with from 2012.
PICKING A NEW CAMERA SO FAST FORWARD: Finally I got myself an editing device (a Macbook Pro for obvious reasons) and a new camera (Fuji X100S) because of my freelance.
Lots of my friends are asking me : "Why pick a non-interchangeable camera…?" "Why pick X100S..?"
That is because, for the past few years, I realised that I've been spending so much on lenses. Wherein on every shoot, I only use one --- and I was able to survive with only one lens - from 50mm 1.8f (2010~2012), to 30mm 1.4f (2012), and to 11-16mm 2.8f (2012~2013).
Aside from spending so much, I realised that they are so bulky bringing in a shoot. Last November 2012, my friend jrjs lend me his Sigma 70-200mm 2.8f -- which I used to cover the ANIMAX Event as one of the lead event photographers (unexpectedly) and the Canon PhotoMarathon.
I got sick after these said event because of stress --- and i don't want to experience that again.
Also with me out in photography for few months, I end up reading photography stuff instead. In this period, I bumped into someone's article about how your limitation makes you more creative. Such as one lens, small sensor, limited settings, etc.
Which proves to be right because during that hibernating period of mine, I tried shooting with an iPhone4. Here are the outputs:
These stuff made me realised that focal-length doesn't really matter that much if you're just a hobbyist. Its the creativity that counts!
Picking X100S because basically its "small and light" with an added bonus of technicality as a strobist like 1/1000~1/4000 shutter sync, hybrid viewfinder, dynamic range, colour, and lastly the looks! (cmon its RETRO looking!).
OK !! THATS ALL FOR MY NEW CAMERA !!
Thinking I made the right decision I tried shooting again using it. And there goes my next problem. I have to update all of my editing softwares!! Because I'm getting weird pixels.
Honestly I'm not that OC when it comes to small pixels but this one is really noticeably annoying.
LEFT : Lightroom 5 RIGHT : Lightroom 2
So in the end, I upgraded my Lightroom 2 to Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CS5 to Photoshop CS6. And along the way I learned some new stuff in post-processing --- shifting from 10mp to 16mp editing.
With me, my gear and software ready, its time to push for some shoots because its already AUGUST !! --- the last month before the annual deadline of the annual cosplay photography competition here in the Philippines:
But there's still a problem, I still have one more STOP before hitting the preparation for this competition. MY BORACAY TRIP WITH MY BATCHMATES !!
BORACAY TRIP I really like traveling! (who wouldn't ??) --- and take photos!! I started enjoying this stuff ever since our BOHOL TRIP last year~! So with this expectations, I geared up to test my X100S for the trip (I also bought some underwater casing but end-up not bringing it in the trip because its too bulky and I got lazy?? --- cmon I have to enjoy the trip right??).
Ok enough with the shiznits~ here are the photos:
PS : I enjoy my Bohol trip than my Boracay trip when it comes to photography stuff because I had a lot of stuff to shoot compare to Boracay.
FANTASY QUEST 3 : Live On! After the relaxing trip in boracay, here I am again, less than TWO(2) WEEKS away before the said cosplay competition. But hey?! there's still hope! One week before the deadline was Cosplay Network Philippines annual cosplay event in its 3rd year! The Fantasy Quest 3 : Live On! which will be held in awesome location Fernwood Gardens !! I think I can get few more snaps that will be valid as an entry for the competition.
By the way, Accidentally / Luckily / Unexpectedly, I won the last year's competition with this entry:
...was shot in the same event. So as these entries.
The competition was judged by which was also one of the guests in this year's event.
...And so, as expected, this event didn't failed me. Here are some of the shots I got from this event. PS : I was only able too shoot for 4 straight hours because my camera died (I really need a new spare battery).
WILD CARD ENTRY With me having the initial set of entry for the SnapshotProject4, the only thing left to think about is my Wild Card Entry. A wild card entry is a shoot with a concept I really really want to push for the year. A shot with a mystery in it --- how it was taken, done, etc. Here's my wild card entry last year :
This shot was inspired by Cloud Strife's Omnislash in combination with Ragnarok's Gunslinger skill Desperado. The added mystery in this shot is that "it was a slow shutter action shot".
How it was done?? See below:
But this year would be different, I don't have that much time to prepare and the weather is unpredictable (rain, floods, etc) --- courtesy of the STORM GODdreamshot08.
Having a random chat with yefa few days before the fantasy quest, we end up with a random plan : An Underwater shoot !!
Since I already had my underwater casing (which I bought for our boracay trip) and I had my secondary camera (EOS 1000D) to sacrifice and test on, I think this is the perfect timing to push this kind of shoot.
UNDERWATER SHOOT First thing I did in order to prepare for this shoot is to ask help to my ever-reliable-friend : GOOGLE.
And as expected, my all-knowing friend GOOGLE was able to provide some basic stuff like unreliable make-up, wig styling problem, water pressure, shoot in Manual Focus, etc -- I told myself "Is that all I need to know?".
Next step of planning is answering the question "What I really want?" Then the light-setup will follow.
So what do I really want? I WANT TO REWRITE THE STORY !! Basically, the theme that fits the underwater world is something DREAMY. Originally the OVA focuses on Lelouch definition of wonderland. What about Nunnally ?? With her little memory of reality?? These few question is what I tried to answer in this shoot.
FAST FORWARD: And so the day of the shoot arrives! Its not really a nice weather because its a rainy one but hey! who cares?!
I arrived in the location few hours before my model did. So in preparation, I tried testing my sacrifice camera (EOS 1000D) underwater if there's a leak or what, its settings under ambient, the feel of shooting underwater, etc.
THERE GOES THE FIRST PROBLEM : My Natural Light is not enough!! So I tried an alternative putting my Fuji X100S in action for extra ISO Boost (since based from the test its safe from water leak). This solves the first problem and so I moved on to the next step --- Setting up my Strobes.
The original plan was a 3 light setup (one main light, 2 coloured gel filler) but before setting up my third light, Im already having problem with the second light~! My fill flash is not strong enough to override the water colour (its blue (cold)) --- so I end up scratching this set with one light setup.
Few minutes after fixing the lights, arrives. She decided not to wear any make-up or contacts because it'll be useless underwater -- therefore it only took her few minutes to prepare her costume and we started shooting.
We began by locating the best spot of the pool (not so deep, not so shallow, just enough to get the poses I wanted because we both don't know how to swim) which will give us that perfect angle to produce that illusion from black and white tiles. And then place/direct the strobe I prepared --- one of the regrets of this shoot is that there's no assistant available that time because adjusting the lights every now and then really sucks!
With few snaps as warm ups (setting light, colour, etc), I noticed something, the water magnification. What you see above is different from under (well, depending on your angle). This is just minor stuff because Im a fan of "wide" lens. But something notable in future shoots.
Anyway continuing, after the warm up, we tried the first shot/pose on my list. HERE WE ENCOUNTERED OUR NEXT PROBLEM : Falling costume parts (Ribbon, accessories, etc) which results for us to recompose our storyline and rethink our poses.
It took us an hour or so to find a work-around in this problem (all thanks to yefa). This was a less active, less movement, more coordination on the shot.
It simply means that we lessen the movement or action of the pose, then during the transition, the model will fix herself underwater (accessory, hair, costume, etc) and the photographer will have this one-time-big-time shot every 10~20secs --- tight coordination between the model and photographer is a must!! XD
In this transition, I rely on my camera's auto-focus system --- even though most of the blogs I have read suggested to use manual focus. *hand salute on X100S auto-focus system*
But the problem doesn't ends there!! During these set of poses, I found out that my strobes doesn't fire all the time (which wasted lots of pose transition) --- and no its not overheating. The issue was my receiver can't be triggered at 1~2ft below water -- its not strong enough I think. This is a big thing in my composition because it will affect my framing and the distortion changes depending on your angle under water.
This results for us to rethink and recompose AGAIN for the last time. Finally we got our shoot in a smooth-sailing state and after few hours of battling with small waves, distortion, and oxygen. (2pm ~ 8pm shoot non-stuff). Here are some of the outputs: The rest of the photos are here: Nunnally in Wonderland ReWrite Shoot
I must say, I found the output of photos underwater really attractive but hey! I still have to Post-process it so that I can add that touch I really wanted to see. Well, its just basic adjustments of blacks, temperature, and tint so as final tip : SHOOT IN RAW.
As for my wildcard entry, I submitted this one entitled:
"Torn Between Reality; A Blind Girl's Interpretation of Illusion" Because I really love the water details that seems like boundaries of the two world. Also the arrangement of tiles (shot accidentally) that creates an illusion (which is unusual for a girl who is blind since illusion usually incorporates your eyesight --- a big PLUS for my STORY REWRITE).
PS : This one was able to made it to the Top 20 of this year's competition!
SEASON ENDER Aside from the annual cosplay photography competition, one of the main highlights of Cosplay Mania is the gathering of Cosplay Photographers all over the Philippines. And since we already have established a small community in Facebook : Cosplay Photographers PH Group, the event is the best time to meet these from far south like Visayas and Mindanao --- and to have a group photo.
TAKEN LAST YEAR : 2012 COSPLAY PHOTOGRAPHERS PH
Here are some from taga-gloria's camera because he's the one who has le Fish-eye lens
TAKEN THIS YEAR : 2013 COSPLAY PHOTOGRAPHERS PH
The list of photographers you can see in this group photos are:
I THINK THAT'S ALL FOR THIS UPDATE~ THANKS FOR READING MY LONG LONG LONG JOURNAL~!