Little Adventures

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Survivors - Weatherproof, Whenever, Whatever

 Survivor - this concept was the main reason for returning to Fuwairit.  We were hoping for a sunny day but rain clouds and natural breeze provided an even more dramatic effect. 

Bad weather, for most people, is bad news.  But bad weather never really stopped me from taking pictures, especially if it's something planned for some time.  All it does is present new lighting challenges.  Remember the first trip to Fuwairit, when the day was gloomy and ambient lighting was generally flat?  I solved that with off-camera flash.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pocket Sunlight

You can get away with available light most of the time, especially if you're doing a swimsuit shoot.  Oftentimes, these are done outdoors - by a swimming pool or at the beach.  For such situations, you'll probably only need reflectors and diffusion panels to have some control of sunlight.  Or even use direct sunlight.  Sunset would usually be an ideal time to shoot.  But sometimes, shoot schedules go beyond the planned time - and the sun will never wait for anyone.  It will simply set "as scheduled" and you will be left without sunlight.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Available Light On A Gloomy Day

Overcast cloudy day acted like a giant soft box producing extra soft, wrap-around light.

This is a counterpoint to my previous blog.  Of course you can still take beautiful pictures with ambient light on an overcast and gloomy day.  Many of my friends at DPSC has proven that.  With so many models and so little time, many avoided the complication and time consuming task of setting up strobes.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brighten Up A Gloomy Day

Example 1 Photo 1.  A little blast of flash will turn dull daylight into a warm and wonderful picture.  Unmodified flash lighting positioned at a distance to the model and at minimal power rendered it barely noticeable in this shot yet revealed considerable details and warm color saturation.  I used a wide throw to illuminate the model' from head to toe.  Whatever light spills onto the rocks is not much of a concern since I'm shooting from a low angle.  See related photo below without flash and compare.

"Learn to light at any light."  That's the motto I learned from being a regular visitor at David Hobby's  Since then, no lighting (or weather) condition is too dull or too harsh for me to take pictures.  All I need is 1 (sometimes 2) speedlite.  These little babies help transform what is otherwise a gloomy scene into a dramatic one - high in contrast and rich in colors.  I have taken pictures this way countless times - under the rain, a cloudy day, a foggy day, a dusty day . . . you name it.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Phottix Tetra

For 3 years now I've been doing off-camera flash photography with a Canon ST-E2 Speedlite transmitter.  While it had its limitations, they were not that much of an issue to me before because most of my photoshoots were done indoors.  The outdoor shoots I did were usually in the evening and very rare do I shoot with bright sunlight.  But soon enough as my skills and knowledge improved, the limitations of IR based triggers became apparent and the numerous misfires due to line-of-sight and bright light issues became annoying.  I realized I had to work with a different system.

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Spark of the Moment

"Do Not Put Off For Tomorrow What You Can Do Today."

Opportunities don't always come knocking at your door twice. Neither do ideas. In life, not just in photography, I've learned that when such moments come, opportunity or idea, you have to seize it, right there . . . right then. If not, it will just pass by, and most likely, you'll never get a second chance. If you can't, then of course, don't kill yourself over it. But if you can, like Nike says, "Just do it." Don't postpone. What is possible today may no longer be possible tomorrow.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What I Bought With My Prize

"Best recession-friendly GPS you can buy."  Source:

After a couple of weeks of window shopping and contemplating what to do with the prize money, I finally decided what to buy with it.  I know the prize is practically free cash but when I was there I simply did not felt like wasting a single penny out of it. 

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Tips on "The Blue Hour" Photography

Doha Corniche, Qatar. Taken just after sunset. The twisted building shines and stands out from the rest as it reflects the remaining daylight. Luckily for me, a bus, with high-mounted tail lights, passed by during the 10 seconds exposure providing added interest to the picture.

Blue Hour - This happens just after the "golden hour".  To those who are not familiar what I'm talking about, twilight is what photographers now call as the blue hour.  It is that time just after sunset (golden hour) when daylight fades and darkness takes over.  At this time, the sky turns into a deep dark blue and artificial lights  - building lights, street lights, etc. - gets turned on. 

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