I was thinking of having a bit of a story on this video. Not the usual montage of suggestive romantic footage or the cutie couple shots we commonly see on “save-the-date” videos or any “prenuptial” sessions. Yes it’s still a cliche but still an interesting concept nonetheless. Continue reading →
Words can’t express what I felt when I first saw her on the nursery window. It’s a different feeling when I had my first child. This time it’s more like at ease, maybe because being a father for the first time is a bit terrifying in a sense, ’cause who knows about parenting and I never been one. I know it’s a pain according to my Mum (sometimes, I know she’s just kidding) so having a 2nd child seems like having my next roller coaster ride, I already knew what to expect, well it’s not as simple as that but you get the riff. I always wanted to try a newborn photo shoot but never had the chance. I had some request but I’m always reluctant to do it on someone’s baby, feels like they’re too vulnerable for stuff like that, although I have seen some photographers doing some over the top poses to the new born babies, and seem like the little one can handle it. An expert told me that the bone of a newborn is more flexible than of a, let say a 4 year old child. Still feels like child exploitation to me, maybe I’m just worried how a baby can handle those poses with their soft fluffy arms and legs, then I realized that all those poses are natural poses, they’re not like something only a contortionist can do, but still a lot of responsibility and care must be present to this kind of project. My wife is really excited on doing this project and she had bought the baskets we used for this photo session. We also shop for the most comfy hypo-allergenic towels we can find, we all know that babies are prone to allergic reaction to almost anything. So there you go, our simple newborn photo project of our 2nd baby Kailin. Hope you like it and hope she likes it as well. We love you Kailin Jei and this is for you. Continue reading →
We have a saying that a baby is a blessing, and I guess it’s true, this new life brings joy to the couple, the family and the people surrounding it. It’s always a joy to capture this moment that is truly a miracle. I’m not a sentimental person but bearing a child is the most wonderful thing in the world. I’m just glad to have shot this lovely couple and their soon-to-be child that happens to be my Godson. I apologize for the late posting. Hope you enjoy the photos. Continue reading →
KHE Bikes (Germany) is one of the BMX brands I grew up with including big names like Haro, GT, Dyno, SE PK Ripper, Odyssey and Mongoose. Many years ago quality BMX parts were very scarce in my place so I settle for generic, unbranded ones that doesn’t last long in terms of quality and if ever there were branded ones it will definitely be very expensive and my puny high school allowance won’t cut it. Need to really save money or skip lunch to get me a nice shiny pair Alex Rims or an Odyssey RX5 brake levers (remember that?). Anyhow fast forward today, I had the chance to take product shots of KHE Bikes components for Flipbykes BMX Shop www.flipbykes.com with two (2) flash set-up with both having soft boxes. I used the Aurora Dragonfly Octagon shape lightbox, a Rime Lite square softbox and a thick black paper roll for background. No fancy lighting system here just a very straight-forward easy-to-do CLS set-up. Continue reading →
January is almost done and I haven’t even put a single post since mid-December. It’s been a busy year-end at work and other personal stuff. I’m glad to begin the year with a project that made me start photography which is BMX. A part from taking snaps of riders I also do ride on my spare time but for now I’m just the guy with camera – let the real pro-riders do their thing. I’m just happy to see how far BMX had become in the Philippines since the late 70’s. I didn’t actually witnessed the 70’s but from old photos, articles and people that told their wonderful stories on how they started in the BMX scene. How they make their own ramps like we do when we’re just kids. The schedule was very hectic and short but it was all made possible by our rider friends (Flipbykes Crew) that assisted me through the whole project. It was just a short time but all-in-all a time worth spending. For more about Flipbykes BMX Shop visit www.flipbykes.com. Without boring you any further here are the photos from the Flipbykes BMX Team photo sessions. Continue reading →
One early morning of July I saw Renz wide awake. Usually I always wake up earlier than him but this time he is really awake and full of anticipation. He told me that Med (St.Martin CEO) approved his sponsorship. We are both stoked about the awesome news so there’s no time to waste, we right away thought of making promotional shots for him but we still don’t know where it might end up. We’re like Yusuki Takeo(Green G) & York Uno tag team. For those who’s not familiar with Yusuki Takeo a.k.a. Green G, he’s one of the best BMX photographers of all time he is know for photos on BMX Plus Magazine. And York Uno is one of the top ranking BMX Flatland rider in the world. OK back to the promo shots, we’re not as close compare to them but we feel like we are and we have our own style. These are just few of the shots I’ve taken and there are a lot of good photos from the set. I’ll just keep them for the rainy season.
Every flatland rider in Southeast Asia or even around the world knows about Groundforce and the BMX Flatland World Circuit headed by Yasuyuki Takeo. It’s been almost 4 years since the last (Moto) Groundforce – it was one of the best experience I had. Meeting with other riders I only see on magazines and videos. Seeing them in person is like a shock to me – in a good way. I become more motivated in riding. And I did ride harder after a long time of no riding (almost 3 years from 2002-2005) ’cause I was busy pursuing my career in multimedia design. I can still remember the last Groundforce and it was indeed a wondrous day. I was using a Fujifilm 602Z Pro bridge camera and it was may precious possession that time (and an Aresbykes Dita frame). Without the 602Z I wouldn’t be able to learn the things I know today in photography.
When we look at magazines like Cream, BMX Plus, Ride BMX, etc. most of the riding photos specially the interesting ones were shoot with strobes. I my case I don’t own strobes so I use speedlights as an alternative. Basically influence by Joe Macnally and Chase Jarvis both Nikon users, not that I like them ‘coz they both use Nikon but because of their shooting style. They incorporate strobes on most of their works. BMX photographers like Yasuyuki Takeo a.k.a Green-G (BMX Plus) and Fat Tony (Ride BMX) are my personal favorites. It gives a lot of impact to the subject if you isolate the subject in any way possible. In some situation we use “bokeh” to isolate the subject from the background or foreground, Some cases panning is suitable specially for any types of sports racing, lastly and the most interesting of all (for me) is strobing. Some call it painting with light or light bending – derived from the animated series Avatar were light is considered as an element that produces power but light is actually not included on the elementals it’s just cool to call it that way so if you do strobing you are a “light bender”.
I use a basic lighting set-up – 2 speedlights a Nikon SB-900 and Nikon SB-600 and a light stand for each. On my sample photos the the speedlight where place face-to-face with a distance of almost 4-6 meters away from each other. The center will be the subject’s playground. You might wanna move around the subject to get the right angle of shot. See the diagram below.
Speedlight setting may vary depending on the situation but in my case I used manual mode 1/16 power on both flash, shutter speed 1/250 (max sync), lens used Nikon 16-35mm F4G VR II @ 16mm F4. Both speedlights were triggered by Phottix Strato 4-in-1. This strobing style was used by Yasuyuki when he visited Singapore for a promo shoot with York Uno (Ares Bykes Japan). I was new in photography on that time. I still use this technique on most of my flatland shots but the speedlight and camera settings were based my own liking and not based on a fix setting use buy a particular photographer. Continue reading →
There’s a lot of ways to achieve a good baby portrait – the right equipment and the right timing when the baby is in the mood for vogueing and there’s a lot of materials on the web to give you tutorials and advice but the most important teacher of all is experiencing it yourself. It’s not a walk in the park either specially for babies within 6 months to a year old but for babies with the age of 0-4 months is still manageable (‘coz they just sleep most of the times) You might wanna shoot the first yawn. I remember the first time I saw my baby on the nursery window she yawn at me good thing I have my trusty camera with me. You cannot direct babies on what to pose you have to shoot the right timing. Some babies don’t like props because it’s irritating to them. They put everything inside the mouth so don’t put any props that might get swallowed. If possible use hypoallergenic materials on your props so your baby or the client’s baby won’t get rashes – you don’t want clients suing you for that specially if it involves babies, people will see you as Dr. Evil or some evil creature that harms babies (hehe). Use lights that won’t harm babies. Just use a simple speed-light or much better if you can manage without one and use available lighting. A 50mm f1.4 prime will do the trick. Hope this helps, click away and treasure every captured moment (sounds like a good tagline to me).
A good remedy for stress (in my opinion and it works for me) is looking at baby photos. Why? Because it reminds us how beautiful life is. Babies grow fast. If you don’t monitor them frequently you will miss a lot on their developments. Every second counts – every expression they make; the first smile; the first sound; the first time they play close-open wiith their hands is just amazing. Before I say to myself “What’s the bigga’ deal with this baby stuff?” (that’s when I was single and no kids of my own) yeah it’s cute but that’s it – No! there is more beneath the cuteness and cuddliness of babies. The magic of something peaceful and vulnerable coming to this dangerous chaotic world gives me an indescribable sense of protectiveness so it’s my responsibility to make sure may little angel is safe from harm. This photo session with my baby means a lot to me (actually it’s my whole world). There is no single day that passes without me viewing the photos of my Baby Kirsten Jae.
To Kirsten Jae:
Eventually you will grow up and may choose not to be with us anymore (or get married… something like that) but one thing is for sure – You’ll always be my Little Angel.