Saturday, June 21, 2014

Digital Storytelling: How to Maximize Your Photos

Digital StorytellingThe road to inspiration is not one-way. You may look for one idea, and down the road you find another path that leads you to a completely new one, and so on. 

I recently came across an article, that had a link to an article that I shared on Facebook. While I was scouring the deepest bowels of the internet on what to write, I came back to the article that I shared. 

The article, titled 10 Photography Tips by Michelangelo's David, offered a brief story of the marble stone behind the famous Statue of David. That piece of marble represents every photograph taken but deemed "unsuitable" for sharing or printing. The marble stone shared a similar backstory to these photographs as it was once an abandoned project.

If you read the article, it advised the reader not to delete any photograph they took. It hit me hard, particularly because I, among many others are guilty of the crime.  With the limited space in our hard drives, saving virtually every photo you took is close to impossible.

I took this advise as a challenge to incorporate my photography into Digital storytelling.  A few words help give your photographs a back story, creating more context to the reader/viewer, while its linear form of storytelling makes it easier to plan shots. 

Digital Storytelling is straightforward

Digital Storytelling is pretty linear. You can plot your story based on the sequence of shots taken from your camera. This also gives you more direction on what shots to take so you can incorporate it in your story (Also limits those macro shots, sunset shots and other shots you usually take to 1!).

Digital Storytelling trains you in creative captioning

Yes,a picture is worth a thousand words, but unless you are picturing World War III or any other event of great importance and significance, your readers might have little context of what's going on. Not all photos need captions, but I believe that some readers would appreciate a little backstory on your photos. Even the best photos found in magazines and newspapers are highlighted more with captions.

I like to come up with fun captions that can sum-up a thought or put an idea on my reader's head. These few words help invoke emotion to its viewers so choose it wisely.    

This neophyte project of mine aims to help me keep all my "marbles" as well as show them to the world. (marbles I mean). They may not be Michelangelo's David yet, But these marbles all serve a purpose.

Heres the first Digital Storytelling Project I came up with from a short trip to the barber.


In preparation for a big trip, I was convinced to finally have a change of hairstyle. Though I do  go for haircuts every now and then, It is rare that I come upon a change of hairstyle. 

Compared to women who could spend a week’s pay on hairstyles, many of us men are simpletons who would prefer the cheaper 50 Peso (roughly 1 US Dollar) haircut.

Seeing as I might not see these overgrown locks again for the next few weeks, I decided to bring my camera and narrate a short digital story.

In preparation for the World Cup Series, why not get hair like this guy:

Digital storytelling David Beckham
Yes, I am well aware of the fact that barbers and stylists can only give you a person's hair, and not their face, muscles, athletic ability or a Spice Girl wife. You can't expect too much from a $1 haircut so I wasn't.

What happened during the short walk to the barber? Scroll down bellow for the full story.

digital storytelling manequin
How many mannequin dolls do you see in a barbershop? Hopefully this wasn't a disgruntled customer.

digital storytelling free haircut
Three things you learn from your Father: 
How to shave
How to tie a tie
Never accept a free haircut 

digital storytelling the line man
You have to wait till your name is called from this guy. Lines are a good sign that barber shop may be good to you.

digital storytelling waiting for haircut
Customer is either eager for his haircut or afraid for his life

digital storytelling haircut in progress
Same person during said haircut

Digital storytelling final procuct

Hope you enjoyed the marbles. This is my first work on Digital Storytelling. Expect more posts on this in the future.

Did this article inspire you? We would love to hear your digital storytelling article, share it on the comments below!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Types of Cameras: The Camera Belief System

The modern camera today has grown in droves and styles to the point that the object has grown its own belief system. The emergence of new ways to capture light has caused the creation of denominations among many of its enthusiasts, many frantic, many fanatical over the culture heralded by their choice of camera.

types of cameras
Your soul is mine...
For Instagram purposes
Cameras and the spiritual have had ties since the very beginning, where many people once believed that having your picture taken meant having your soul literally stolen from you.

Below are some of the types of cameras, based on their established denominations as well as the myths and legends behind them; cooked up by the minds of Point and Shoot (Satyr Warning).

After that, be sure to try our Camera Denomination Quiz

 SLR Guys

"Bigger is Better"

types of cameras
The SLR Guys pride themselves as king of the sensor wars. One of the oldest denominations of photography in this list with over a hundred years in existence, they pride themselves as the few who have lived through the ages of the darkrooms and film.

SLR Guys have types of cameras that bodies that are as heavy and rugged as they come.  With a century of existence also comes the widest range of lenses and accessories among all denominations.

SLR’s have a broad history in them. One of which is their battle and eventual triumph over the twin reflex cameras of days gone by.

Many fundamental traditionalists of photography, as well as serious photographers can be seen bearing the SLR banner.  The large base of following for SLRs have both played roles in uniting, as well as dividing this large denomination.

One such division can be attributed to the “purist” revolution of photography.

The digital-purist revolution (False Renaissance) occurred sometime during the early days of the arrival of digital photography and The Great Price Drop. Both aforementioned events caused an increase in young individuals to join the SLR following. Many traditionalists believed that the Great Price Drop and the Digital Revolution were threats to the very balance and traditions that their SLR’s stood for, eventually leading to the Purist Revolution. 

Some believe that the SLR and DSLR following should be separated entirely because of this.

Today, SLR  Guys enjoy their peak in the realm of professional photography, holding the title as the number 1 gear of choice. Many new photographers are initiated into the SLR belief, but the rise of new denominations of photography has recently contributed to a decline in the olden tradition with the emergence of new types of cameras.

The Mirrorless People

"Life Without Mirrors" 

types of cameras

Though not as new as many may think, the Mirrorless People take their ties from the early rangefinder cameras during the film era.  The term mirrorless grew in popularity though in the digital age during the mid 2000’s with their father camera, the Epson RD-1.

Unlike SLRs,These types of cameras draw their belief and strength by harnessing a balance between portability and sensor size. They have been preaching that one day, technology will evolve, eventually bringing down the SLR market.

“A day will come, when image sensors shall no see no more bias in size, age or camera brand signaling forth the birth of a new age of camera without Mirrors” – Mirrorless Prophecy

These prophets profess this mainly through the arrival of many state-of-the art smaller cameras that offer full frame capabilities without the use of mirrors.

The Go Pro-er

"Worshipers of Action and Movement"

types of cameras
To the Go Pro-er, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. For them, living the moment is equally as important as capturing it.

Not since Mcguyver have you ever seen versatility come from such a small gadget such as the GoPro. The belief is so impactful that these types of cameras are the only denomination in this list confined to one brand.

The youngest of the belief systems here, Go Pro-ers are the men and women of adventure and action. Legend has it that it’s founder Nick Woodman was approached by the Australian surf goddess of the sea during one of his vigils, and it was there that he was endowed with the knowledge and wisdom to create a system suitable and pocketable enough to capture the waves and its surfer’s in the most up-close manner possible.

Today, Go Pro-er’s capture extremes far beyond the seas as many have taken upon the skies, the air and even dark caves.

Compact Wielders

"Portability and Simplicity"

Compact Wielders compose a majority of the photo followings of picture takers ever since the first Great Price Drop.  Compacts have gained a following by many of the common folks primarily for its portability, practicability and price range.

These types of cameras have gained a massive following. Though not as devout as the other denominations in our list, amassed a large crowd from the late 60’s to the late 90’s, reaching a point where virtually any urbanite owned or used at least one compact camera in his/her lifetime.

Almost everyone growing up under the Compact Era, whether they admit it or not, started out as a compact wielder, eventually moving to other systems of belief when they reached the age of maturity. (The age when you can buy your own stuff).

Dark Age of Compacts
Alas, the standard held by the compact wielder as the best selling type of camera was rivaled in 2000 with the advent of the camera phone, making many compacts to never see the light of day as they were shelved in the darkest corners of closets or bargain stores collecting dust.

Reemergence of the Compact Wielder
The compact camera has seen a reemergence these past few years with the aid of technology. Though no longer holding the top shelf as the number one camera for the average person, it has taken on a mid-ground in between enthusiast and hobbyist.  Compact Wielders pride themselves in the affordability and compatibility that today, draw the line between Iphonographers and Mirrorless People.

Though the Compact Wielder’s glory days have past, it still has a following large enough for a belief system.


"Everything at your tips" 

types of cameras
Though these types of cameras is not limited to the late Steve Job’s Iphone, the term quickly grew more steam in 2007 primarily for being one of the first camera phones to capture camera worthy images.

The father of camera phones was SCH-V200 of Samsung, which was capable of taking up to 20 photos at .35 megapixels. The invention was the first mark of the compact downfall. In time, the mobile phone gained the favor of technology and soon enough, cameras were the new staple to mobile phones.

Iphonographers emerged with the rise of the Smart Phone Era, where the combination of affordable mobile internet connection, better camera sensors and Instagram all played a part in creating the Iphonographer system of beliefs.  

Iphonographers are the worshipers of technology. It has birthed their generation, and though that, they prosper in droves. The trend has gained popularity in quick and easy documentation as well as notoriety from what many critics mark as the end of privacy.

The Iphonographer today is what the Compact Wielder was in the past. Ask a child to bring you a mobile phone without a camera and they will be dumbfounded. Regardless, it is a popular term around the world, even enjoying a Wikipedia article referencing its namesake.

What other types of cameras created a following big enough for a religion? Got any more that we've missed? hit us on the comments or contact us.  We'll do our best to add to our list.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pro Photographer: Rommel Bundalian - Keeping grounded and on your feet

Popular photographer philippines Rommel Bundalian

When doing street photography, there’s no better way to begin than having your feet firmly planted on the ground. Being well grounded gets you that stable and sharp shot. Being well grounded in life also allows you to keep the best compsure despite life’s ever-changing high’s and lows.

Rommel Bundalian is a successful photographer. His photographs have been seen by countless eyes, through publications such as Mabuhay Magazine, AfterCapture, Lifestyle Asia, Mega Magazine, People Asia, and View Magazine. Being also one of an elite team of Fujifilm ambassadors representing the brand in his country, “Omeng” has seen an amount of success brought by his passion in photography many of us would only dream about.

Despite the success, he remains well grounded to life. Having his feet firmly planted allows him to continue his voyage as a photographer with true and raw passion in his craft.  Many of those who meet him in photowalks for the first time see his passion as a photographer first, and then noticing his big name on the back of a projector screen. The realization that Omeng-the same person shooting and conversing with them is actually Rommel Bundalian as he is called on stage to share his wealth of knowledge and vast experience.

I was able to catch up with him for a short talk, and here are some of his insights and takeaways.

When doing street photography, Always Travel Light

When asked what gear he brings when he goes on street photography, Rommel Bundalian says he tries to bring as little as possible when doing street.

His idea behind this is that street photography is about mobility, and the less you have, the more mobile you become, opening more windows for taking better photos. For Rommel Bundalian, he also usually limits himself to one lens, the reason of which he explained in his second takeaway.

Use one lens the entire shoot

Rommel Bundalian mentioned that when he goes to the streets, he forces himself to use only one lens the entire shoot. “It removes options and allows me to think more creatively” said Omeng.

According to him, many photographers bring too much gear with them that it creates confusion. They often worry a lot about what lens to be the best tool for the job, while the opportune moment slowly passes them by. 

When doing street, Rommel purposely brings with him only one lens because to him,  “Having multiple lenses is a temptation". Limiting yourself to one lens allows no room for regret, because it is all you have.  

When shooting street, establish the location of your shoot

In one of his seminars, Omeng stressed the importance of establishing the location of your shots, which is one reason why he has a particular fondness of wide angle lenses.

When working in the industry, you are brought to places to shoot the environment but also it is of equal importance to give your viewers a look of the location  of where you are shooting.

Establishing Jones Bridge 
Photo by Rommel Bundalian

Pulling off  a “Zack Arias”

Rommel keeps true to his experiences sharing tips he learned from others along the way. One particularly interesting tip he gave in doing street photography was a technique made popular by Zack Arias which involved a little bit of acting and sleight of hand to pull off. The technique is used in taking candid portraits on the street in order to not attract too much attention from your subject.

Simply take your camera up and act like you are taking a picture, then bring it down to give the impression that you were viewing what you just took when you are really taking the actual photo.

Sounds confusing? here’s a clip to the sleight of hand tip as taught by Zack Arias himself.


With a little bit of time left, we held a short Q&A to pick his mind.

Favorite Food?


Favorite Focal Length?
14mm on his Fujifilm Xt1

Favorite Time of Day to Shoot?
Early Mornings

If you were not a photographer today, what would you be?
Graphic Artist specializing in digital printing

Favorite Camera Settings?

I shoot full manual. When shooting on a sunny day, my settings start at f16, shutter 125 and ISO 200 and I work from there.

You can learn more about Rommel Bundalian through his official website