The Walking Grocery Store

​Believe it or not… This guy is practically a walking “sari-sari store” (… sort of a mini-grocery store on the go)! And he is doing the selling right along a major road artery in the Metro called EDSA!

No worries… with our traffic situation at about 5kph or less during rush hours, these ambulant vendors are “technically safe” while they sell their commodities in the six-lane EDSA.

Only in the Philippines!

The Back Button Focus

​We were travelling along SCTEX, one of the expressways in Luzon of the Philippines, at a speed of about a hundred kilometers per hour when I took this picture of a bird flying to the opposite direction. In capturing this photo, I had set my gear to use Back Button Focus and set the AF operation to AI Servo (or continuous focus).

What is Back Button Focus? In “normal mode”, DSLRs focus when you half-press the shutter and take the picture when you completely press the shutter. The problem with this mode is that it only works for still or stationary subjects. When the subject moves out of focus, there you go… You get a blur! Even with a high shutter speed, you may still get a blur if the subject moves out of the area where your gear had initially focused. And you may have to refocus and half-press the shutter again which by the time you’re able to do this, the subject has gone out of your sight.

This is where the BBF will come in handy, together with continuous focus (AI Servo in Canon). Depending on the brand and model of your gear, it may already have a dedicated BBF button or you can set a button, like the Exposure Lock, as the BBF.

The BBF, together with AI Servo, will allow you to keep the center of focus on a moving object without half-pressing the shutter. Technically, you have two buttons in play, the BBF (using your thumb) to focus and the shutter (using your index finger), to take pictures. What does that mean? You can press and hold the BBF to retain focus on a moving object and just press the shutter to take pictures anytime without the shutter doing a “focus and refocus”.

Just some fair warning, this technique takes some practice before you can reap the rewards…! 🙂

Philippines: The Ortigas Flyover on a Cloudy Day

I am really lagging behind in checking out the amazing blogs of those that I am following. My busy schedule will soon be over and I will again have some sweet time reading the wonderful blogs of my friends in the virtual blogworld. Missing you all…!

And just to have the blogworld know that I’m still here… Here’s some few photos I took going to the office today. 🙂

The Ortigas flyover on a cloudy Tuesday morning… Free of traffic because everyone is stuck in several kilometers of traffic from West Avenue to Santolan EDSA. And the hellish traffic again appears near Shaw EDSA.

That’s life on EDSA!

Philippines: China or the USA?

Ika nga ni Ompong

From a Filipino who has seen the world…

I like China because they sell cheap alternative products. I like America because of Star Wars, Titanic, Resident Evil, and of course, The Walking Dead, my favorite TV series!

I like China because of the birthday noodles, and that delicious lariat-style cuisine. I like America because of their hotdogs and hamburgers. Let’s add Disneyland and Universal Studios theme parks that bring out the child in you.

But of course, I also don’t like certain things from China and from America but these things will not make me “hate” them. Simply put, I love China, America, India, Russia, Australia, Japan, Canada, and the rest of the world!

View original post

Custom White Balance versus the Presets

DSLRs have built-in white balance correction presets. Usually, they are “sunny”, “cloudy”, “shade”, “tungsten”, “flourescent”, and “flash”, with estimated Kelvin/color temperatures.  In certain cases, these presets may not work precisely to show the natural colors of your photo subjects.

The two photos below show two preset white balance correction: the “Auto White Balance” and the “Tungsten” white balance. The ambient light is a warm, yellowish color. The “Auto White Balance” miserably failed to correct the color temperature in the first photo. The “Tungsten” preset, to a certain degree, managed to correct the ambient light in the second photo but not completely as there were still traces of “yellowish” light appearing.

Using Auto White Balance

Using the “Tungsten” white balance preset

This is where the “custom white balance” could come in handy. All DSLRs have this feature and using it is as easy as clicking the shutter. First, take a photo of anything that is originally colored white (of course, it will be “yellowish” under the light condition as mentioned above). Second, select the “Custom White Balance” FUNCTION of your gear and load the photo you took in the first step. And lastly, go to the preset white balance and select the “custom white balance” PRESET.
There you go, that’d be it. In the photo below, the “yellowish” ambient light has been completely corrected by the “custom white balance” making it appear as if the ambient light is in a white, neutral color temperature showing the natural colors of your subject(s).

Using the Custom White Balance

The Tagalog Word “Diyos” (god)… Where did it come from?

One of those things that is good to know…

Ika nga ni Ompong

​Ever wondered where the Tagalog word “diyos” (god in English) came from?

The word “diyos” had its roots in the Latin word “deus” (pronounced as de-yus) which means a god or a deity. The Latin word “deus” can also be translated as “dies” (Latin; pronounced as di-yes) or Sun in English.

The ancients worshipped the Sun as a god. In the Grecian Pantheon of Gods, they had Zeus as the primary god of Olympus which was also seen as the Sun-God. Many scholars believe that the word “Zeus” was the origin of the Latin word “deus”. Yup, they’re actually phonetically similar.

The early Spaniards, who invaded the Philippines, said the mass in Latin which used the word “deus” to mean a god. The Filipinos later on adopted the Latin word “deus” as part of their language, pronounced as “di-yos”, to mean “god”. And that’s where the Tagalog word “diyos” came…

View original post 18 more words

Abby Uy… A Budding Street Photographer!

There’s a new girl in town… and oh boy! Her photographs really caught my eye.  I have featured one of her photographs which shows a dramatic image which made use of colors amid a dark, woody foreground. The image above is an artsy photograph of a concert with the band members placed inside a bokeh “peep hole” of leaves. Genius, isn’t it?! And I like it a lot!

Believe it or not… she’s a newbie in photography and is really a fast learner. Imagine what else she can do with her camera after a year!

Introducing, Abby Uy and her blog site Abby – Street Photography! Please do pay a visit at her blog site and share your photo experiences with her.  She’ll very much appreciate it!

A Portable Softbox…!

​Want to have a soft box for that awesome portrait shots but it’s bulky on the go?

Introducing… Pixco Portable Diffuser Soft Box for the strobists! It fits all types and kinds of speedlites and is only about Php400 (about US$9) at Lazada Online Store. Just got mine delivered today! :D:D:D



The Three Monkeys!

​In the Philippines, it is now somewhat “dangerous” to be unknowingly associated with someone who is into illegal drugs. To be safe, refrain from being with or having a picture with people you don’t really know, including high profile personalities like mayors, councilors, congressmen, and even generals and showbiz celebrities who could eventually be named or accused as involved in illegal drugs.

We now have a new adage, “Hear no people assumed to be involved in illegal drugs, see no people assumed to be involved in illegal drugs, and speak no people assumed to be involved in illegal drugs!” Otherwise, you’ll might end up as a “collateral damage”!

The bad side of being killed nowadays is that, majority of the Filipinos, specially those avidly supporting the new president, will immediately judge that you’re into illegal drugs even though you are not! We have a new justice system, it is called “presumption of guilt: guilty until proven innocent”!