04 September 2010

Bear Mountain: 1, Stella : ZERO.

a couple of weeks ago, through angela's sheer persistence and peskiness - i was convinced to go hiking on Bear Mountain. I went because i have never been, and i could take pictures.


first off, i didnt have hiking shoes, i wasnt in hiking clothes and it was raining. on and off and hard. Its a hard and embarrassing lesson to learn because i tagged along a bike and hike meetup group (kill me, kill me now.) and if i were in their hiking shoes, i would be the person i would ABSOLUTELY HATE. i could recite a litany of excuses, but what i did was totally ANNOYING.

but it wasnt a total waste (even if i didnt last for more than half an hour) i did get some pretty interesting photos.

There is a bit more photos in here. But not much. I gave up right away, remember?

I commend all the wildlife and nature photographers for taking all the wonderful photos. The whole time i took this i was scared to lose my balance and roll down this steep mountain and into the road below.

Thank you to Angela and Garret and the rest of the meet up group for the patience. (this is angela - the rest of the group are already out up in the mountain when i took this.)

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

23 July 2010

Summer Lovin' in the City and in the Hamptons (Magazine)!

I havent been updating this blog, but i do have a VERY VERY good reason why I havent. As you can see, my name is now officially longer.

Dave and I got married on June 1 2010 at Roosevelt Island Lighthouse Park. Being a bride is not only stressful, it is also tiring. In any case, I had fun.

Some of the photos are here. Our wedding slideshow is here.

Thanks to everyone who came, and super thanks to Angie Dykshorn of Angsnaps Photography for our wonderful wedding photos!

In this issue of the Hamptons Magazine, I have more photos than our weekly ad. I love seeing my photos come out in the editorials and the table of contents.

That 8-karat gold ring (yes, that's right, EIGHT karats), has also appeared in the JCK magazine. They also did a small write up for the store, and there are more photos there.

I didnt take the turquoise ring photo - but i sure did take the 24KT Gold Necklace (yup, its pure gold!) with rose cut diamonds.

YAY! it really is the summer of love!

12 May 2010

Surprise, Surprise!!!

In this month's JCK magazine, I was told by Mayda (the boss' wife) that not only do we have one photo (see previous entry) but TWO!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!

That's MY PHOTO! right above the page number!!! WHOO HOO! i have sent this photo to them a couple of months ago and i didnt think "it made the cut" so i was kinda sad, i really thought my styling of this photo is superb, and im glad that they thought so too.

In any case, JCK magazine has answered my email with regards to the wrong credits. Im just waiting to see that erratum notice in next issue.


07 May 2010

YAY JCK Magazine Editorial!!, Wrong Photo Credit, BOO!!!!

The May 2010 Issue of the JCK Magazine came in the mail today. I was ecstatic. There on the bottom left is a photo that i have taken and submitted to them to be considered for this editorial. (JCK Magazine sends out mass fax messages to manufacturers for inclusion in their editorial. I send one in, almost every time - this is my third inclusion, so far)

Upon closer inspection, I noticed the small caption on the side that says "The Jewelry Book". I didnt give it much thought at first until i realized that they were all photo credits!!! (AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!)

I have never put my name for a photo credit for these product photos i submit, because they never really put any names beside the editorial photos - with the cd, i just send a letter that says the photo was taken in-house. What a huge mistake that is.

I have sent an email to the editors of JCK. I am hoping to get the proper credit i deserve.

Or at least a logical explanation.

Still, I got published again, YAY (sadly, i dont sound too credible. Boo!)

06 March 2010

Point and Shoot Shooting Pointers

Before anything else, let me just make it clear that the camera you have is the best camera in the world. (say it with me 100x "the camera that i have is the best camera in the world.")

BECAUSE YOU ALREADY HAVE IT; CHANCES ARE YOU KNOW HOW TO PUSH ALL THE BUTTONS AND YOU HAVE THE MANUAL (in the hopes that you did not throw it away- in that case, there is always youtube). Of course someone will always have a better camera than you do, but that does not mean that it takes better photos than yours. Technically, it may be better, but visually – no.  


to prove my point, I have taken this photo with my old Canon A400. (it is 3.2 megapixels.)

Some things you might like to keep in mind if you are using a point and shoot camera (p&s).

1. Turn off your flash as much as possible.
    Cameras nowadays are light sensitive that they can capture images even in a dark room. Blurry images are not necessarily bad - it could convey movement. (this photo was taken in the dance floor. half naked guy eventually strutted his stuff!)

Not only does flash wash out your subject, it usually makes for very uneven photos of your foreground and background. Most of the time you end up with a bright foreground paired with a very dark background. This allows you to take photos without disturbing your subject with a flash of bright light.

It also allows you to shoot through glass - i was inside the other cable car when i shot this.

This also allows you to capture the true time of day, or the true colors of the moment that you are documenting. had i taken this image with a flash, the "neonness" of the colors will go flat. you can also tell by the tone that i had taken this photo late in the afternoon.

2.  Manual setting is your best friend if you have the patience to learn it. Otherwise, Night Mode (MOON AND STARS) is your best bet.
I have noticed how this feature is underutilized by most p&s shooters. When you are outdoors and the lighting is inadequate for a non-flash photo, switch your photos to night mode and shoot away, even if it isn’t night yet. The night mode button is for low lighting conditions. You may notice there is more blur and there’s cloning of light bearing objects (lamps, lampposts) you can minimize this by turning on your timer and setting the camera on a steady surface. It would be most helpful to tell your subjects to hold their pose a second or two extra.

If the flash goes off and you are still not happy:

Set camera to manual mode. Scroll to the 0 scale. 
All cameras would have a -2, - 1, 0 +1, +2 scale.
Set the “needle” to choose to the + side. What this does is it makes itself more sensitive to light – hence you get “clearer” photos.

(this image was taken with a Canon A400)
if there is too much light/sunlight, set your needle to the minus side - this setting allows less light into your camera and reduces glare and reflection.
When i first took this photo, the "luke's lobster" sign was just a white oval and you cannot see the people behind the window.

3. The timer serves more than including yourself in the group photo.
The 10second and 2second timer allows your camera to be rid of camera shake so your photos don’t come out blurry. This is quite helpful when you are taking macro shots (close up-detailed shots) and when your camera is set to that FLOWER mode. 

4.  Always shoot in the highest resolution possible , or second to the highest resolution.
This allows you to be able to print your photos nicely. Most web printing services have a minimum resolution, and they will warn you if you have uploaded a small resolution size and they will say that it is a “bad print size."

You may really know how to operate your camera, but you might be in a rush to delete the bad images that YOU MAY ACCIDENTALLY ERASE ALL THE IMAGES IN YOUR MEMORY CARD. I have noticed people delete “bad photos” of themselves immediately. If you seriously detest that angle of yours, deal with it. Better have that bad photo than no photo at all – especially on vacations. If you are travelling, make sure to bring another memory card (which is really cheap nowadays) rather than deleting images while on the go. (in other words, vanity=stupidity.) this is definitely a rule that all professional photographers live by.

Remember to always bring a camera with you. Not all phones have good cameras attached to them (especially mine – paging Motorola!!!) and its best to be prepared to have it when a good photo opportunity is at hand.

Have fun and take lots of photos! It really isnt about the gear that you own, its how you use it and if you use it at all. 

Disclaimer: All photos have been taken with my Canon Powershot SD1100 except where noted. All photos have not been enhanced except for the first two photos and the last photo. ALL ENHANCEMENTS ARE MINIMAL.
First photo had red eyes corrected and was enhanced in Adobe Photoshop using Levels.
Second and Last photo was enhanced in Adobe Lightroom for exposure and black clipping.
Watermarks, if present, are all added in Adobe Lightroom.

21 February 2010

I heart Notar

thank the lord this love is not unrequited at all! *swoon* (of course, with these photos, HE SHOULD LOVE ME, right Mike?)

I met Mike Notar through my fiancee Dave, after we got engaged, and Dave met him through his friend Ryan. I bet Notar isnt alien to girls swooning to him (nyahahaha) but the first thing that popped into my head was... why am i meeting this hot guy after i get engaged? WHY?!

The day before his show in Canal Room, there was a snowstorm. Thinking that the next day would be a work day, i didnt take my off camera flashes and telephoto lens from my desk drawer. Im really paranoid about carrying equipment around, so i usually either leave it at work or at home.

and then they close the office. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. all i did thursday morning was to schlep to huntington, take my flashes and schlep back. total time wasted: 4 hours.

and it gets better! when i got to the venue, i couldnt find my flash diffuser, so i mcgyvered it and put napkins held by a rubber band on it! so i took and took photos. of course, the lighting at canal room was GOOD that i ended up NOT USING MY FLASH MOST OF THE TIME.

and when i got home? inside the backpack i brought to the show was the diffuser!!!!!!!!!!!!

with these photos, who knew all of that happened?

the rest of the photos are HERE.

27 January 2010

Maggie and Dieter's Wedding a.k.a. Mind your manners

third time's a charm, they say.

Maggie and Dieter's Wedding is the third wedding that i have taken since i started - Fourth, to be honest, but the ultra first one was Joe and Christine's. Never got around to posting those because i didnt know how to use my camera when i took those. i did give them a nice wedding present.

Maggie, is a photographer. Admittedly, i havent seen her work, but still. She will know what a good photo is when she sees one.

She asked me to come at her friend's apartment, Barbara, so i can take photos of her when she gets ready. I got there earlier than she did, so i took photos of her shoes and her other wedding paraphernalia.

among all the weddings ive attended here in the united states, this was the first one that had a church ceremony inside the church. when maggie emailed me all the "photography requirements" for grace church, which was more restrictive, i bailed on photographing while the ceremony was going on. of course, i couldnt refrain myself from taking photos so i took these.

and wished so hard for a very good telephoto lens when it took what felt like forever for the best man to give the bride and the groom the rings.

one of the most important lessons i have learned from taking wedding photos - is to always interact with guests. this is me practising what i preach... (and have had my camera doused with screwdrivers while i was at it)

and the effects, to me are just wonderful!


the strangest experience i got while photographing this wedding was when the "official" photographer told me off. he said that "i was making it hard for him to do his job". well, mr. photographer, that's not nice. so unprofessional. and he definitely made me feel so bad - but whatever. i didnt say anything to him, and the bride's sister heard him and soon told his husband - to which he started imitating him.

thank you, for setting the bad example that i shouldnt be following.

going back to the good stuff... 

dieter sang to maggie - and it was the sweetest thing. aaaaaw.


to maggie and dieter (and gypsy and sebastian), thank you.

the rest of the photos are here.

hello, edible queens blog!

as the exact opposite of my preparation to get my flabulous body into a wedding dress, i joined a food group.

joe di stefano, one of the members, asked if he could use these photos for his blog at the edible queens website. words by jenni miller, other photos by jeff orlick.

Interestingly enough, my photo of jeff and his photo make a cute diptych

Photo by Jeff Orlick

and here's the link!

one more lesson out of this activiy: TAKE PHOTOS SERIOUSLY, even if its just for yourself.

21 January 2010

shooting is eating

"oh look she's taking a photo of the food!!" (thats not my hand, btw)

I have heard of this comment one too many times. For the most part, id say half of the people in this world think its just weird to take photos of your food before you eat it. I, for the reason of documentation take food pics and also because food is a pretty subject.

I have, without even looking for it, found a group of people who eat for learning about new cuisine. i stumbled upon Jeff through yelp.com and he invited me to a food ambassadors group, to which i quickly presented to ambassador Filipino food. I popped my food ambassador's cherry at M&T Restaurant in Flushing, Queens.

The food was good, and it had none of that heavy greasy feeling after you eat from "americanized" chinese food. i highly recommend the place. (but this is not a food blog.)

In any case, i had to do some extreme multitasking acrobatics by doing all of these at the same time:

a. meet new people
b. drink beer
c. taste new food
d. listen to a food ambassador explain what we were gonna eat
e. eat with chopsticks (its easy, but gets complicated when you are balancing a camera on your lap)
f. take photos

another stupid stunt i pulled out was to take the macro lens instead of my other lens which i dont know the name of. my photos have the smallest DOF, i cannot focus well because my macro lens is light hungrier than the rest of my lenses, and i was trying my bestest to not look too weird to a bunch of people that i am meeting for the first time.

thank god i decided against bringing a flash. that would have been too much to deal with. everyone would also probably think im weird, annoying and a showoff.

the rest of the photos are here . (hopefully i get descriptions soon)

16 January 2010

a photo a day x 365

Some Flickr users have a 365 project. This project consists of taking one photo a day for the entire year. I heard about this last year, but when i did it was probably too late to start it.

that, and i have this extreme laziness to download images from my camera.

Shanna, one of my photography buddies told me she was going to do the 365 project around new year's day and since this year is my "transitional year" going from singlehood to being a missus, i decided about doing the same project for this year.

The thing about Shanna's 365, and some others - they do it also to learn new techniques and to explore the craft. As i have mentioned, i have the extreme laziness, so i decided to take photos as they are, unedited, uploaded straight from my cameraphone (unless its really too dark) and is captioned with my current stream of consciousness of the day.

this is photo #1, taken on new years eve/day.

i am liking my project so far, thanks to my android phone.