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Monday, June 29, 2009

Photoshoot: DJ Zita at Poleng Lounge [06/27/09]

Last Friday I stopped by Poleng Lounge [SF] to take photos of DJ Zita. We've been emailing each other on the possibility of having a future photoshoot and so I decided to come out and shoot a few shots of her at work to showcase my style [and to finally meet her in person!]

With the help of my girlfriend, she was the one who assisted me on this shoot as she held the "lightstick" as I've come to call it--a single flash head on a monopod.

A more directional lighted photo of DJ Zita.

DJ Zita looks at the camera as she preps for her set.

Probably one of my favorite shots of the night. I realized I can easily take photos that evenly lit but in my opinion this is something out of the ordinary.

Stay tuned for a future 'shoot with DJ Zita!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Photoshoot: Self-Portrait "Soloist" [06/24/2009]

I completed a self portrait series for 1) practice with my new boom arm, 2) practice in general lighting, and 3) for my cousin's request of a [new] photo of me.

The Setup:
The first time I used my garage to take pictures and am only wondering why I haven't use it before. The only drawback is the low ceiling otherwise, this is what my set up looks like.

Equipment Used:
  • Alien Bees 400 strobe with standard 7" reflector
  • Alien Bees 800 strobe with 32" inch umbrella on Boom Arm [I hate attaching that 11lb counterweight]
  • Alien Bees Vagabond II Battery Pack
  • eBay heavy duty light stands
  • Clamps/Grips Home Depot
  • Calumet Photo seamless white background
  • Manfrotto tripod
  • Minolta IV Light Meter
  • Sony a700 + Tamron 17-50mm lens
  • Sony wireless remote trigger
I got lazy first of all so the white background is only lit by 1 Alien Bee 400 strobe head [instead of the usual 2 on opposite sides to create an even background]. Connected to both strobes are CyberSync's to make sure it is triggered correctly from my camera. The white seamless background is from Calumet Photo in San Francisco for about $20. Clamps [green ones] are from Home Depot and are about $2 each instead of buying in camera specialty shops for about $6/each. The new boom arm I bought will allow me to take photos using overhead lighting without having a light stand in my way.

Here I am posing on my [client-autographed "Photograher's Chair"] triggered by the Sony remote [something you Canon and Nikon users don't have that comes in the box! =P haha] You can see that I'm holding in my right hand. The glasses are from Perpetual Kid online store. I've been using a photo of myself in 2006 as my avatar for many online sites which had a camera instead to cover my eyes.

The concept in short is that photographer's in general are known for their pictures and not themselves [at least initially]. I'd like to keep myself anonymous and let my work speak for myself with my name written all over it.

For anyone wanting to know the settings:
  • Background light set to f/16
  • Main Light set to f/8
  • Shutter speed 1/125
  • Aperture f/8
I'm planning to print [one of these] for my cousin and possibly wallets for myself. I don't know who to give it to but maybe use it for my senior pictures? haha jk. I might plan to blow it up and replace my 24x18 picture hanging above my bed of a previous concept I created.

This is the photo from above's set up but finalized with the white background and black and white conversion.

This happens to be my favorite tie by the way. So I tend to wear it a lot. [Look at the cotillio of Mary Ann below and I'm wearing it as well haha]

Thanks for the look and hope you enjoyed the post and its details.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cotillion: Mary Ann @ Crowne Plaza (Burlingame, CA) [06/13/09]

Ok, so it's been awhile.. like May 29 in awhile since I last blogged. But I did go to a Washington DC trip with my girlfriend and had this cotillion to shoot and so now here are the images--a whopping 17 of the 400+ I shot alongside my girlfriend who assisted me.

Starting is one of my favorite group shots for an event--Mary Ann and her cotillion entourage on the dance floor [above photo].

The "standard" group shot--all the ladies on chairs while the fellas are right behind.

My personal standard--the funny face shot. For some reason I usually stumble on my words when I try to say it: "Alright uh ah everyone... gomake go make a funny face! Here we Go... ago one--two!---THREE!!" I think it's because I'm trying to rush it so that they will make a funny face. :shrug:

Table setting.. the usuals--plates, tons of forks, white napkin--and then BAM! Live fish in vases in the centerpieces!! Didn't realize it until my girlfriend pointed it out. And oh, her color theme was orange by the way.

Mary Ann's amazing cotillion cake. It surely is massive by the way up close. Photo by my girlfriend Cherry.

Up close and personal to the cake and its decorations.

Mary Ann's entrance with her escort Manny.

Father-Daughter dance.

This is Mary Ann's older sister Liezel who can sing very much so! Before the cotillion started, she warmed up a bit and practice "Superwoman" by Alicia Keys and even commented to her that she sounds good! Wish I had some recording... if only I had the Canon 5D Mark II.. =)

One of my favorite dance photos of the night--showed Mary Ann's dress in its good light.


I don't know how nor do I remember when I suddenly got pushed to be behind these photographers. But I do remember one of the moms smiling to me and said "It's the family--all the cousins."

I don't know why, but those candles were quite stubborn. Mary Ann had to try at least twice to get the flames out.

Mary Ann's Thank You speech. [Thanks by the way for the shoutout! I've been the photographer for some events and they forget to mention me!] Photo by Cherry.

Light out--dance floor!

Another favorite shot of Mary Ann. The dancing photos in the end make it so easy for a photographer to get good shots. Follow your lead and snap away--you're bound to get some good captures of emotions and fun.

Lastly, a photo of Mary Ann and I taken by my girlfriend Cherry. Thank you for having me capture your evening and I do hope this night is never forgotten! Happy Birthday and Happy Cotillion once more.