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Paputok 2013

Last Media Noche was the first that I ever got to take fireworks photos of ours. Reason: I’ve always had asthma attacks. This year was not an exception but since I have anticipated it, I went out to watch and shoot while on a face mask.


Quite a problem I had was that I did not have my tripod with me so I have to make do with what I have, that is…the camera and a steady hand. Without a tripod, I cannot make long exposures that is recommended to draw the trail of the fireworks. The goal is to capture the time it explodes in the air until it fades away which is about a few seconds. The slowest shutter speed I’ve used on this set was 1/8s so I have to be as still as I can to reduce camera shake.


Another thing to sacrifice for not having a tripod is the aperture. I had to set my aperture to the biggest to allow more light into the lens which is f/3.5 in my case. That is to compensate for the fast shutter speed and also to make the smoke shots more hazy. Technically, we do not want smoke to be seen in this kind of photography, we only want to see the trail of light. But this is smoke in vivid colors and I want it on my photos.


I’ve never seen someone do a bokehfied fireworks shot so I did. I focused the ceiling instead.


I pumped up my ISO as well but in real-life pro fireworks photography, it should be kept to a minimum. I’m looking forward to the coming Pyro Musical in February and hopefully this year I’ll get a better view of the show.

I just realized that I spoke mostly of my fireworks display frustration for not having a tripod but most of the photos were just firecrackers shots.


Just sharing more photos from New Year’s Eve.


This is the first time I used Adobe Photoshop on an entry here. It isn’t really difficult to put photos side by side like what I thought. Photoshop noob here, I want to know how to reduce grains, help me out!


Kelly’s Day Out

Meet my seven-year old niece, Kelly.


She does the peace sign on half of her photos

Today, I  make up for my being a serial drawing in keeping promises of  taking her out for a date. Since it was so hot, I figure I should bring her to somewhere presko to get a fresh authentic cool breeze unlike the air-conditioning of a mall. So I chose UP, the most accessible source of a more concentrated Oxygen from our house.


Just posted a photo. Chos.

With Kelly, I never get bored. She’s very articulate and just like many ordinary kids, asks the most out-of-this-world questions non-stop.

I like it when she makes a goofy face but I seldom capture them in photos.


Kelly insists on using the Holga Jack CFN. She never the advanced the film, though.

The reason is, she transforms to this in an instant when I point the camera at her.


Kelly does all her poses.

Or worse, to this.


Please do not use the photo on lighters and tabloids.

I should tell her that if she’ll pursue this career, she should start her diet pronto. But how can we resist food, it’s the only bonding we know.


There’s dirty ice cream every where in UP.

She told me that she likes this particular ice cream. But there was never an ice cream on earth she has ever disapproved of!


We still both can’t avoid ice cream dripping on our shirts.

Guess what, we ended up to  the mall too! SM North EDSA still has this Hello Kitty thing going, so I showed her the place.


With Lolo and Lola Hello Kitty


Hello Kitty in Santa costume is not really cute.

We wrapped up the day eating the fried chicken of her choice, KFC. Not to mention that our tray of food was spilled by a kid rushing to me. I was immediately assisted by the concerned mother and that quite calmed the #Amalayer in me. Yikes!


She’s a faker. We didn’t finish the small box of Mac and Cheese Bites.

Finally, the day is over and she’s got nothing to make tampo  anymore.

Quest for the Best Ramen: Omakase

Good morning early birds! Feels good to wake up early in the morning like this. Duh, so fake. Of course this is on queue. I must still be lying flat on my stomach dead asleep at this time of the day. I just wanted to write something about my quest for the best ramen in the world! Yes, I should be in Japan, but my world is confined in Metro Manila so let’s start with Omakase in Greenhills. No laughing please.

Since we started faking this, I mean, I started with faking my wakefulness, might as well deceive you again. Whut? Let’s pretend that this is my first attempt in search for the best-tasting ramen there is, okay? I regret that I didn’t write about the past ramen-tasting sessions(?) but since I just numbered this first, then I must create a second and so on.

Quest of the Best Ramen #1 

  • Restaurant: Omakase (where I allegedly lost my precious films, huhu.)
  • Branch: Greenhills
  • Ramen of Choice: Shoyu Ramen

Presentation: The soup is not So Hott. If it’s a big bowl of soup, isn’t it supposed to be caution-worthy hot? Yes it’s a big bowl of ramen they served, but not the biggest I’ve ever downed. Nyaha. (I shouldn’t be comparing, this is truly a fake first attempt.) Speaking of bowls, theirs is quite thick that could have helped keep the freshly-cooked feel had it been served, again, So Hott. Bottomline, I want my ramen as super hot as to melt a thermometer. Verdict: 3 out of 5 pairs of chopsticks.

Taste: Shoyu ramen is very common, it’s like a generic kind of ramen if there is such. Correct me if I’m wrong but as far as I can remember, Shoyu is just what the soup is called, just the base, the broth. In Omakase, Shoyu ramen is topped with chicken, fish cake, hard-boiled egg and a few leaves. The soup was so tasty and I can attest that there is no hint of Knorr cubes. Verdict: 4 out of 5 pairs of chopsticks.

Service: Their team is not well-trained in customer service. The restaurant was a little more than half full but the service crew were already confused on who’s to attend to whom. Our bowls were not placed directly before us. I feel like although it wasn’t a hard work pulling our bowls from the far end of the table, it is still considerably uncourteous to just leave the food without even asking which is for whom. Verdict: This is 3 out of 5 pairs of chopsticks.

Ambience: I like the wall papers and the lamps. The couch is comfy. The interiors looked like it was intended for little Japanese girls but the lighting was a little dim for it. I like it like that!Verdict: 5 out of 5 pairs of chopsticks.

Price: Price range for ramen is around 195-245 per bowl. (I will get back to you on this, I’m not so sure.) Price is just right. Verdict: 4 out of 5 pairs of chopsticks.

Digital Photographer Philippines 6

It’s a magazine I haven’t read, go to their website here. Although I have once taken advantage of their forum to get answers to my stupid questions, I never attended any event or join contest they host. I always feel that they are are only for pros and their amateur level is still pro-ish. Gah. Where do I put myself, below amateur, baby amateur, under zero amateur… I’ve been an amateur photographer for more than a year, am I therefore a professional amateur photographer—mastered being an amateur. Clap. Clap. Clap. Bow.

Here we go. I got to Boni High Street at 4PM. I knew I missed a lot already, but what I missed I don’t know. There were quite a number of speakers in line as per their DPP’s website but none of them excites me. (Read: Da Who) Not until I got a seat from a gentleman in a tent where Val Rodriguez was doing his talk. This man, as he introduced himself, is a photojournalist from Philippine Star. Later after his talk, he was again recognized by the host as the chief photographer of the newspaper. That was not shocker, for he has told us not a lecture but a sharing of the best and worst things he has gone through as far as photojournalism is concerned.

He was with Ninoy on the same plane that landed in Manila the day he was shot dead. He took pride in taking most of the published photographs of that historical event, maybe not only on newspapers but on books too. Just when I was enjoying re-watching that part of the history in mind while he browsed quickly on the photos, he asked if anyone has a 500-peso bill. You got it. The famous pangalungbaba photo of Ninoy, he did it and it’s on Philippine money. That I cannot fathom if happened to me.

He showed more photos from the Marcos, Aquino and Estrada regime. One thing I pictured in my mind was Marcos being so sick. He took a photo of the inside of the bus that’s always in convoy wherever Marcos’ go. It was a bus complete with medical equipment, it’s a hospital bus! It was followed by a series of photos of Malacañang. His room was a hospital too, even the bathroom showed a trace of an illness. The photos of the sick Marcos did not give me an inkling on how sick he was than these all-furniture-and-medical-equipment photos.

More and more photos and stories were told until we got to Maguindanao Massacre. He showed us some familiar photos of the lifeless journalists scattered all over the vacant lot. I don’t know how hard could it be for him to take photos of two of his friends brutally killed like that and submit the photos to the news for printing. He spoke so little about it and suggested that we let the photos do the talking instead. I also don’t want to say much, except for JUSTICE PLEASE.

He showed a few more photos mostly from the current regime. Some festivals, rallies, natural calamities and hostage takings…

Val ended the discussion with a heavy heart. He wants two more days to tell his stories and so he encourages us to send him our photos we think deserves a few columns in the newspaper to compensate the limited time.

I like Val. It was an honor to hear the history from a firsthand experience.


There was a Mini Cooper parked at some odd space.

I realized later it was for a photoshoot. Hihi. It just didn’t look like it is unlike this yellow car set-up sponsored by Sony and FHM. On the programme they call it Carwash Shoot something-something.

I used my Nikon to take photos of Canon

…and of the closed road


I got back at the tent early to secure a seat. The next speaker will do a live photoshoot with all of us around, suffocating him and the model. Exciting.

This is Raymund Isaac with a U. He’s just concerned with being found in twitter and the likes. And it helped. Guess what, I just checked and he’s on tumblr! His stint on this year’s DPP anniv party was on doing an outdoor photoshoot. He said he doesn’t bring strobes all the time (and he’s a pro photographer probably making hundreds of thousands a month) and that we should make use of the available light. As for me, natural light is the best lighting we can get for a photoshoot. High-five to that!

He started with measuring the light then shared us his Canon camera settings. He also mentioned that he’s turning his white balance to tungsten on that cloudy afternoon, he wants to give the photos a bluish tint for a Japanese/Korean feel. I set mine to flash though, because I always wanted a warmer color. Okay, enough of that, I don’t want to bore you my dear reader.

The model by the way is the stunner Jinri Park—DJ, FHM girl and Korean. Hey Jinri, I remember Raymund said that we should get your approval before publishing your photos because you don’t like ugly photos. I don’t want to take your time approving or denying them, I’ll just post no unflattering photo of you instead. But it’s still your call if you want this removed, tweet me.

The shoot was done from behind the Mini Cooper…

while I was behind the industrial fan.

I just have to say that the ultimate shocker of the day was this CDR King flash gun! I shall never be shocked when one day I discover a CDR King car engine, USB powered.

Thank you for bearing with napes and for reading.

Nude Dude

I want to do nude photography. I have tried to convince several friends to pose nude for me but none of them has ever agreed. 

I remember the day I bought my first camera. I was accompanied by a friend and his FPPF (Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation) classmate. They were surveying me from head to toe while on our way to Hidalgo, then went cheeky on me. They kind of jokingly asked me to pose nude for them. I thought for a second.. and replied a resounding “No!”. 

So yes, I knew how nerve-wracking it was to be asked, just to be asked, by that question. I know it’s going to be double the work convincing girl friends so I am posting this as the official classified ad open for the male species who dares to be naked in front of me the camera! He is preferred to be the imperfect kind—beer belly, long coarse beard, can be bald, looks grumpy and exudes high level of testosterone. He should be comfortable not only with being, but also with moving around, undressed.

I would like to work closely with the model and will definitely entertain his ideas to come up with the best nude photography concept.

PS: Had the two FPPF boys asked me now, I could have said yes.  

Apply here. 

Related posts: 

Long Exposure of Sex

Bucket list no. 10

Aliwan Festival

Warning: This is a long post, also a draft post.

I was also there for the first time at Aliwan Festival, another opportunity to practice digital photography. I did not realize that it was going to be more festive, as compared to Panagbenga, mainly because Aliwan is a gathering of many cultural festivals of the Philippines. (Read: Patalbugan)

It was a day full of colors and grandeur. Their costumes were intricately tailor made, you won’t feel any of the provinces who participated to be short of budget for this event. One group made cow spots on their bodies using body paint, the quality one that blends naturally to the skin and doesn’t smudge when you sweat. The headdresses’ weight were no joke, given that most of them are just in their early teenage years. But the best thing they wore that day was their smiles.

Field trip with Yen

So there were fishes, a lot of them

Yen is the easiest to request for a pose, thank you so much sister. She already knows what to do when I pointed at some nice place for a background. Good thing she kept her sanity well when I showed her the way to the crocodiles. 

This is my only good deed today—fed fishes. I still think it’s a good deed since the fishes are still alive when we left and didn’t die of food contamination.

Just Yen and I, gpoying. Hehe.

I’m always masked by a camera, I like it and that’s what led me to taking pictures forever.

Sunflowers of Baguio

7AM. I’ve never woke up early in the morning like this in 10 years, when the sun has just risen and the heat is piercing. Apart from the heat to combat is the bright sunlight to block. I used my hand to reduce the extra light striking the lens as an attempt to substitute for a lens hood. My hand didn’t suffice and as a consequence, lens flares resulted on the third photo. A happy accident.

The Faces of Singapore

The one-man orchestra

The oldies barkada chillin’ by the Tiong Bahru Road. *Naks “chillin’”*

The half-blind man in transit

The McDonalds cashier said, “Anong sa inyo?” in a strong Indian accent.

Cheerful grandma heading to the market 

Chinese New Year promotional mascot at VivoCity

Senior citizen utility girl happy to serve

Universal Studios cashier

The sales talk master

The commuter at the bus station so eager to small talk 

Happy Birdday Richard!

I took a picture of them…

they took a picture of me too—solo…(to return the favor) hmpf!


Murder the birdday celebrant! It’s more fun in the Philippines. LOL.

It occurred to me late that I can set the camera timer on and jump on these bad boys’ asses! 

We played with the camera while the other 3 are asleep

Then played with their foot… such a work of art.

Played some more…

Then the revenge!

This is all I’ve got on my feet, cause every stroke of the pen wakes me up.

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