Friday, May 16, 2014

An Inside Look at Digital Photographer Philippines 8

digital photographer 8, DPP 8


The conclusion of Digital Photographer Philippine's 8th Anniversary brought about new converts, new camera models, free insights from the pros, and yes, there were pretty women to photograph too. 

May 10, 2014. There may be no other event in the country that can compare to the number of lenses, cameras, and photographers all bundled up into one than the anniversary of Digital Photography Philippines. 

Photography has grown much in the country over the years. From a handful of European photographers promoting the Philippine Islands in the 1800's, Photography today is as much a hobby as golf and bicycle riding (and now equally as expensive).  

The event, held at Bonifacio Global City's High Street was a celebration of the photo magazine's 8th year in the country. A feat only made possible by the increase of photography enthusiasts nationwide and their willingness to invest time, effort and cold hard cash to get premium quality, top-of-the line photographs.

Camera Porno at It's Finest

Did I mention camera porn already?
The DPP event is Camera Porn at its finest. Filled to the brim with anything and everything photography related.The one day event was a photo hub where photographers, photography clubs and brand enthusiasts could all congregate and share their love for the light recording machine. 

The word of DPP spread like wildfire through the net, largely contributing to the event's 4,000 person attendance. A word of caution though, DP and porno shouldn't to be searched together with safe search off unless you're in to that stuff and its late at night. 

Like all porn I watched growing up, it ain't complete without the lovely ladies. If you are the type of person who'd rather shoot "candid" because you cant afford to, or lack the confidence  to talk to a model (or member of the opposite sex for that matter),  The DPP anniversary offered you an opportunity to live your fantasy feeding your CMOS sensors with megapixels upon megapixels  of the beauties.The  event was far from short of offering beauties from each brand to aim your grade-A glass at.  

A word of caution for women though, photographers are more mindful of how the sharpness of the third pixel to the corner of your eyelids are than how you well you are dressed in a picture (he could be having an affair with his camera). 
big lens
The lens hood can help   overcompensate
your manlihood

For better or for worse, porn is filled with "guns" of different sizes. For the sake of making this post safe for work, by guns, I am referring to one's lens, and under no way am I trying to make a phallic reference to camera lenses whatsoever.  That  is reserved for a future post. 

Whether its for practical-sake or an extension of your manhood, you could find and/or purchase a plethora of lenses for bargain  deals from the different booths around. 

Short on cash? then trade insights and stories with your man friends who have equal focal lengths as yours. It's empowerment.

Nowhere else can you see a bundle of lenses big, tiny, narrow or wide all stuffed into one tightly knit event. Again, these are lenses we are talking about.

In case you forgot, there were models too.

A Congregation of Denominations

More than just lenses, Digital Photographer Philippines' 8th anniversary was a congregation of the different denominations in the world of photography;

nikon Camera brand
Loyal to the end

Among the people you would meet are

The Brand Loyalists - Always staying true to their choice camera maker (down to wearing their brand color)

The Big Gun Users - Always equipped with their biggest baddest lens plus lens hood to get that added length,  

The Boy Scout Shooters - Ready for anything (I saw a few people bring a studio's worth of equipment to the event), 

The Mirrorless Loyalists - Free spirits who believe in not being encumbered by heavy gear, and 

The Go Pro Boys - Adventure enthusiasts who document the entire experience out of anything humanly possible.

Ease of Access of Gadgets

Pentax q 10 philippines

40mm lens filter philippines
Hard-to-find 40mm lens filter
Regardless of what weapon you choose to wield, The Digital Photographer Philippines Anniversary offered something for everyone. This included bargain prices on usually expensive lenses, and equipment, New product launches, and the offering of some pretty hard to find stuff (40mm lens filter anyone?).

Pentax released a limited edition Philippine Themed DSLR for those patriotic-at-heart shooters.  The design will also go well with any early Manny Paquiao themed apparel if you are into that.

Another great thing that might be overlooked by the occasional photog is the ease-of access of camera shops including Henry's and Camera House. This could save you a trip to the mall or in Henry's case, the dreaded Quiapo walk. 

Lessons from the Best  

famous photographers

The best part of the event though was the plethora of knowledge to learn from free seminars from many of the country's greats in photography. That alone gives you a pretty good bang-for-the-buck in attending a free photography event. 

More than just your photography 101, These guys give you straight out insights on their own specialized craft.  Were not talking freshman photography lessons here, but lessons that you can major on and even earn a profit with.  

A credible photography 101 seminar would could cost you between 7,000 Pesos ($160.00) to 15,000 Pesos ($343.00). Multiply that by 14 speakers and you get a shitload of lessons for the meagre price of a mild summer sweat.  

Eric Kim, International Street Photographer and funny man also gave a lively seminar on street photography with the added bonus of hearing his quirks about eating pork sisig and uttering the lines "Boom Panis!" to his partner and Co-Fuji Ambassador Rommel Bundalian.

Live  Pro Photog SHOOT-OUT

popular photographer shoot out

The evening festivities only got better with a shoot-out between Fuji Boys Eric Kim and Rommel Bundalian (Seriously, these guys should have a sitcom together sponsored by Fuji). Their 30 minute run around the town to get the best street photographs on the spot was a classic DPP8 moment in itself but add the quick witted antics of Eric going up against Omeng's fun photog bashing, and you've got an event that would be recorded into the anals of Pinoy photographic history. 

Oh, and there was also a pleasant surprise black horse in the challenge who completely stole the show.

popular photographer shoot out
Let the match begin Rommel VS Eric
A live group shoot-out challenge was also seen between the  team of Niko Villegas going up against the team of Lito Sy and Pilar Tuason. If you grew up watching wrestling as a Kid, this was the royal rumble of photography. Imagine Stone Cold fighting The Rock in a tag team match where one is partnered with Kane and the other, The Undertaker while the Ultimate Warrior referees. 
(Yes, I'm that old) 

No matter who won these pro-tog head-to-heads, the winners were the viewers and attendees. The mere fact of seeing these guys do their magic from scratch and pull off great pieces of work in a matter of minutes is a testament to their experience in their craft.
HIPA, or the Hamdan International Photography Award also made their presence felt at the event, inviting all photographers to test their talents with the HIPA 2014, one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world. The Award appeals to all talented photographers across the globe, and also nurtures national talent, which will in turn attract international art and cultural attention.   
popular photographer Zack Arias
Zack Arias on DPP9

To top it all off, the crowd was in for a surprise with the announcement Fuji Ambassador and camera extrordinaire  Zack Arias  coming to next year's anniversary.

The announcement came from no other than the Z himself in a short video of him speaking in Tagalog while mentioning his eagerness to try balut.

To sum up the events of the DPP, it was a great place to meet, great, learn, interact, purchase, shop, exchange and simply have a good time with like minded people. 

An escape from the daily grind of the modern world where time can limit one's passion. 

Again, thank you to the DPP team and all of its sponsors for making this event another memorable one.

Till next year.

Friday, May 9, 2014

5 Tips For Digital Panoraming

panorama vanilla cupcakes

Panoramic pictures. They offer you a wider view of the world through the viewfinder without much the cost of purchasing a full frame camera or an ultrawide lens.

The advent of digital technology has given panoramas a more "user-friendly" approach to the point that many of today's digital cameras (and smart phones) offer in-house stitching to instantly create these world view photographs.

If you don't have access to in-house camera Panoramic features, Adobe Photoshop allows automatic Panorama production through it's Photomerge feature.  

Panoramas are a fun, cheap, and now, easy way of getting a world view or establishing shot of  the place you want to photograph. Below are some tips to help you get the best out of your Digital Panorama.

Shoot portrait
Shooting portrait in panorama gives you more resolution to the overall picture. It also gives you a more balanced look on the final shot as compared to shooting in the landscape view which makes it look like a long film reel. 

If you are one of the few people who doesn't understand what I mean by shooting portrait, refer to the camera position of  the person below.

Pictures steal your soul, so stop taking selfies.

Lock your exposure
In most cases, it is best to keep your exposure locked as you shoot your panorama to make sure that you don't get a merged picture of overblown highlights in one end and heavy shadows on the other (unless that is your goal).

Watch out for moving objects
Moving objects are the bane of panoramas. Unless you plan on shooting yourself as a ninja traversing from one part of a shot to the other, moving objects only cause problems to your  finished product. 

The problem with moving objects is that they may be duplicated in your shots and therefore come out twice, three times or more once stitched into a panorama. 

Panoramic shot moving object
Going all ninja mode with the discovery of the Panoramic Feature

Keep yourself level headed
Keep your Horizon Levelled. Keep it straight. One of the golden rules of landscape photography stands especially true when Panoraming. 

Keeping your horizon straight serves two things; you save more resolution of your final object because you reduce the need to crop to offset your shaky hands, and you reduce the chance that your camera's in-house panoramic feature will render your  horizon into Super Mario steps leading him to the flagpole at the end of a level.   

Errrr, close enough.

Use a tripod
This tip is more of a support to the last tip. if you can, the best way to get an even-level horizon is to use a tripod so go get that tripod.

Below are a few shots Panoraming off the coast of Baler in the Philippines. 

Panoramic shot Baler

panoramic shot baler church

Like it, hate it, have a comment? share it below.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Who's Who at DPP8

With DPP8 fast approaching, would-be photogs from all around charging their batteries, cleaning their lenses and sunscreening up for 12 hours of Photography workshops, camera deals and the like. 

This year, DPP announced through their website that 13 of the best photographers from  will offer practical and technical advice (for free) from their levels of expertise. 

Like any basketball loving fan, you have to know the members of the team or you are not a fan. Coming from that point of view, heres a take on who's who at DPP8. 

Eric Kim is a world known street photographer based in Los Angeles with a South Korean heritage.  If you are a fan of Kai Man Wong's antics in their online channel Digital Rev, you can find Eric Kim on their AnalogRev feature where he shows his street photography prowess using an analogue Leica camera he got from a fan. 
If you watch the video you'll see that he's pretty smooth with the ladies too.

Jun de Leon is known as the Philippine's bad boy of Photography. The hair, the stare and the the cigarette always clasped between his two fingers with smoke blowing out in most of his pictures does wonders in giving you the bad boy look.  If Pepe Smith took up photography, you would wind up with Jun de Leon. 

He is an old-school photographer and one who can tell you his war stories during the film days. Many photographers now opt to go film, this man lived through it.

You can learn more about Jun de Leonin an article about him here.

Pilar Tuason is a renowned  wedding photographer and  the only filipino wedding photographer  to learn classical technique from none other than the late Monte Zucker himself. 

She specialises in black and white fine art portraiture.

Another photographer to have the bad boy monicker attached to his name, Raymund Isaac was known both popularly and notoriously for his nude and risqué photography.  A style he has been doing long before the pregnant and naked Demi More cover photo in Vanity Fair made it cool.

The photo was recreated countlessly around the globe though, for better of worse. 

Internationally known, and multi-awarded, Lito Sy's move into the world of wedding photography was by chance. He has a degree in engineering but decided to follow his passion as a photographer. 

Lito Sy has established himself as a pedestal in Philippine photography, working under the art for over a quarter of a century.  

He is also a brand ambassador for Fujifilm.

For those who love camera 360 effects, this guy makes a living out of those images. Panoramas are his specialty with works featured in both national in international publications.

Of all the photographers in this list, Xander Angeles is the only one with his own Wikipedia Page! Unless your into making your own autobiography, people referenced in wikipedia are important people, as dictated by the unwritten rules of the web. 

Based on is wiki, Xander got into photography during his stay in his mountaineering club. As the groups club archivist or photo documentation specialist (the guy taking photos of the team) he played around with a Pentax while he climbed. The initial exposure would eventually lead him out of the mountains and into the studios of FHM, Digital Photographer and Profiles Magazine.

You've got to know that at some point you are destined for photographic greatness if you were named after a camera brand (seriously, an article mentions this here). 

He also studied in photography abroad, holding a Bachelor's Degree in Photography making him the perfect person to discussing the better technicalities and theories of photography. 

Though he specialises in fashion photography working with a number of celebrities and clothing brands, billboards are his bread and butter. 

For those who commute or drive around the country's capital everyday, there is a very good chance that you have seen at least one Dix Perez photo.


Known as the Flash (Okay, I made that up, only because it is a befitting monicker who specialises on speed lights), Jiggie Alejandrino specialises in the use of speed lights for photography. 

You can say that he could be a Philippine version of the Strobist: David Hobby. 


If you are looking for photos that are out of the ordinary, you can expect Jan Gonzles to deliver just that. He specialises in Modern Conceptual Portraiture, offering a bunch of amazing and really creative concepts. (Think Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch made into a series of shots).  

If we could assign a name for Mark Dimalanta, we would have to call him the Photo Jock. The guy is built compared to your average photographer (He is an avid surfer). So much so, that we would forgive bystanders for thinking that he was Rambo holding a Pentax branded bazooka.

Exhibit A

Thats not even the best part. The guys a freaking Doctor - a medical doctor. So not only can this guy shoot a camera, he can surf his way up to a drowning man in the beach, save his ass and give him a written medical prescription on how to make his life more awesome while documenting the whole ordeal in 12 frames per second.

Kidding aside, Mark Dimalanta is well respected in the photography world, acting as Pentax's star presenter on the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas in 2007.

This guy is a Doctor too.

If there is a man of eloquence and style it would be Wesley Villarica. Wesley completed a degree in psychology, had a brief stint in law school and earned an MBA while dabbling in photography.

If that distinction was not eloquent enough, he was also knighted by the big boys in Canon as one of their Crusaders of Light.  

Crusaders of Light Circa 1100s

This paladin of photography has pictured many high profile celebrities including Manny Pacquaio and Anne Curtis.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

DPP turns 8 this May

For those who don't know, Digital Photographer Philippines (DPP) will be celebrating its 8th year with a bang at on May 10 at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.  

The DPP Anniversary, which began as a small get together of its loyal community members has grown to become the largest single-day photography event in the country.

The best part of the event is that it is FREE. all you need to do is but register on their website to be able to participate in their workshops, join the raffle draw and get a free gift bag (as mentioned in upon registration).

Photographers from all walks of life will surely be attending as the event sponsors feature many of the big boy camera manufacturers including Fujifilm, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic and Pentax. You can also expect some great deals from popular stores  and fellow sponsors such as CameraHaus, Henrys.  

Apart from the stores and discounts, DPP8 will also have workshops featuring local and internationally acclaimed photographers including Eric Kim, Jun De Leon, Pilar Tuason, Lito Sy, Raymund Isaac, Rommel Bundalian, Xander Angeles, Niko Villegas, Dix Perez, Jiggie Alejandrino, Jan Gonzales, Mark Dimalanta and Wesley Villar.

The only difficult bit of this free event would be the commute to and from BGC (depending where you live of course) expect going home being a pain as you struggle with a whole group of people going their respective places with the conclusion of the event so make your trip to DPP 8 worth it by visiting all you can visit and learning all you can learn.

For more info and to register for free, you can check out their website here.