Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week 6 - Water Droplets

This week I managed to get some time in the house, received the old school Nikon SB-25 speedlight from E-bay and borrowed a flash trigger from a friend in the office. And voila! A cool water drop photo is what I did for my weekly project.

Settings: f13, 1/200sec., ISO 100
Post process: Cropping in LightRoom 2 and watermarked with Picmarkr

Settings: f13, 1/200sec., ISO 100
Post process: Cropping in LightRoom 2 and watermarked with Picmarkr


Nikon D90
AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Nikon SB-25 Speedlight
TwinLink Wireless Flash Trigger
Bowl (covered with a anything black)
Sandwich plastic bag
Rubber bands
Safety pin
Red & orange shirt
and lots of perseverance plus a bag of patience!


1. Find a good spot where you can hang something or ask somebody to help you hold it. Half-fill the tray and the sandwich bag with water. Tighten the sandwich bag and suspend it with rubber band. Place it in the middle of the tray making sure it won’t fall of. I covered the bowl with black so that the backdrop color will be maximized, otherwise the edges could be seen. A colorful pattern can also be used instead.

2. Prepare the tripod, flash trigger, lens and camera. Assemble the flash trigger as indicated in the manual. Assuming the lens is properly fixed with the camera, set it slightly elevated from the tray.

3. Get your backdrop. I used a red and orange shirt. If you have something with a colorful pattern it will turn out nice too.

4. Position the speedlight towards the backdrop. The backdrop shall be aimed at not the water.

5. Poke the sandwich bag with a safety pin. Do not poke too big as the water will run too fast. Do not poke too little as it will be difficult to time each drop.

6. Automatic focus the camera to where the drop is. When a good focus is achieved, put it on manual. I recommend shutter speed that’s complementing the speedlight. With the D90, 1/200sec is good. Aperture could vary and ISO settings to the lowest.

7. Time to shoot! This is where the perseverance and patience come in. After some good timing, you will come up with water droplets in mid-air.

8. The most important of all ingredients – towel. This is to assure any spilled water won’t be there in our precious gadgets.

This is the basic in liquid drops... a lot more can be done. Say, use milk dropped with dates..... Apple dropped with water.... Let's not limit our imagination. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 5 - Albert

Lots of fun was once again is how I would describe the past week. Not to mention a reduced working hours due to Ramadan, as well as making some quality time to my dearest. And so, to do my weekly project aiming for innocence, I am most proud to present my son. The most innocent in my eyes, Albert. He has such gorgeous brown eyes, the camera loves him. But of corz, that’s coming from my motherly love opinion.  Here, he is playing with shapes. By the way, he knows it when he was 14 months. I’ve created a video if you don’t believe me. (Albert's Milestone - He knows shapes!)

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF-S DX 35 f/2.8 ED, low light
Settings: f1.8, 1/30sec., ISO 200
Post process: None but watermarked with Picmarkr

Now, the second, changing nappy is not a nice thing to do specially if there’s something smelly and sticky. I’ve done this many times. And mind you, boys come with surprises. I had experiences with some near-miss and some bull’s eye. Since Albert is becoming a toddler, he’s on the stage of potty training. Check out this shot I took when his Tita Julie cleans his p**p and see the look at Albert’s eyes.

Gear: Nikon D40, Nikkor AF-S DX 35 f/2.8 ED, low light
Settings: f1.8, 1/40sec., ISO 1600
Post process: None but watermarked with Picmarkr
Isn’t it obvious who influence me the most in photography? It was him definitely! I’ve always wanted to document every milestone he does. As a parent, I’m hoping I understand how he develops. I just hope me and Raynan could be the best teacher Albert will ever have. And when time comes he does have a good grip, we will teach him how to take images. I know that the best of all whatever we teach him, this could bring us closer together, establishing a life-long bond of learning and love.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week 4 - Light Trails

So, Raynan and I went to Dubai to attend some photography workshop. I was hoping I could get a good shot for my 52 Week Project but time is not on my side. We were hungry and cannot eat publicly. It is Ramadan and no restaurants are open for dine in customers. We didn't even have a chance to stop by for some good places. We wanted to drive home fast and spent sometime with Albert.

During our way to Abu Dhabi, Raynan asked me if I could try to capture light trails created by vehicles and lamp posts. And since I'm getting used to Manual mode, I am up for the challenge. This were actually a good training shoot for someone wanting to experiment with low light at long exposures.

With a little experimenting, I've captured the road curves and light trails. I was inside the vehicle so there appears a very obvious camera motion. The output shot is not as good as having a sturdy tripod in a motionless location. It's good enough for my eyes that I see instances that our car hits the road's cats eyes. My imagination further sees the image as something electric. A grounded wire producing some sparks.

Here it goes.....
Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF-S DX 35 f/2.8 ED, low light
Settings: f22, 15sec., ISO 200
Post process: Slight increased saturation (3%) and added watermarking from Picmarkr

Gear:  Nikon D90, Nikkor AF-S DX 35 f/2.8 ED, low light
Settings: f22, 15sec., ISO 200
Post process: Slight increased saturation (3%)  and added watermarking from  Picmarkr


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week 3 - Erick & Cathy

Let me start by saying thank you to the couple for making last Friday's shoot a hit. It was a great way to end the day! I've expected a scorching hot day and full force humidity. But all is well and I did enjoy the breeze. Erick and Cathy are easy going fun loving couple whose engagement shoot took place at one of the best sites in Abu Dhabi, The Heritage Village - Corniche.

It was a pleasure shooting two of my newly found friends. We share the same interest in photography and knowing that, we were like long-time friends. Erick was a little conscious since he was used to taking photographs and not being photographed. But later on, he managed to put on the nicest smile you could get for their moment. On the other hand, Cathy was the all natural smiling girl. She was up for anything and so laid back on their engagement shoot. Both were lovely in their own simple ways.

The only problem I had with Erick and Cathy's engagement shoot was trying to narrow down which two photos to blog for my 52 Week Photo Project! Thanks so much guys again, and congratulations!

Gear: Nikon D40,Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, natural light
Settings: f6.3, 1/80, ISO 200
Post process: NONE

Gear: Nikon D40,Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, natural light
Settings: f8, 1/100, ISO 200
Post process: NONE

I tried using LR3 for some minor editing but had hard time using it.  The software command effect is somehow delayed on what it used to in LR2.  And since I didn't have time for LR2, I'd posted the RAW unedited photo.  I just added my watermark.  No need to edit such a lovely couple anyway.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 2

I swear I had a hard time shooting for this engagement session. Waking up 4 in the morning was first on my list and second to it was the weather. It was hot as usual. I got my old school camera to settle before the shoot. Unfortunately the haze on my lens didn't fade for more than half an hour.

The couple was TROOPERS. They showed up with huge smiles and kept their awesome attitudes through the hot and humid weather. And although the sun was up early and sticky heat is all over me, I had a great morning. I did had a blast with these two and managed to get some great shots (at least in my eyes), despite Mother Nature’s wrath.

Here are my 2 shots for my 52 week project.

Gear: Nikon D40,Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, natural light
Settings: f5.6, 1/30, ISO 200

Post process: Lightroom v2
Adjusted crop area to focus on couple.
Used the tone curve to adjust color to make a summer-feel effect on photo.
Online watermarking with PicMarkr!

Gear: Nikon D40,Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, natural light
Settings: f5.6, 1/250, ISO 200

Post process: Lightroom v2
Used the spot removal tool to make skin seamless.
Graduated filter helped in correcting overexposed area.
Also did some post-crop vignetting to radiate out from the center making the subject to be in the center of the photo.
Online watermarking with PicMarkr!