Friday, October 29, 2010

What Your Choice of Camera Says About You

This was shared from our group, Pinoy Pentaxian, and it's one crazy read. Funny specially reading the comments!

Here's the link to the blog post.

Enjoy reading it. :D

Monday, October 25, 2010

Coastal Photography III - Lessons Learned

Wow.. that took months before I could post this one here..
You can see part I and part II here.

Our Zambales Coves adventure was awesome. It was not only relaxing and fun but I also learned a lot in just a few days. No, am not just talking about photography but traveling as well.

1. Pack Light. Don't bring so much as it will be a burden to you during your travel specially if you're going to a place where walking is the only option. Best practice to avoid this is to create a list, both for the important and not so important ones.

2. Light Sturdy Tripod. If you're into landscape, then better buy the best one as you will regret it along the way. Add this up with the weight you have in number 1 and things will be a mess. My tripod weighs 2.2kg and I was wishing during the entire trip for a lighter one. The number may look small but when your walking for hours it feels like it's 10kg!

3. Time. As in other aspect of photography, time is essential. Most shots in coastal photography are taken during sunrises and sunsets because these are the times you see those intense red and orange colors. This does not mean though that you should not shoot during those golden hours. You can check the difference in the following pictures..

Before Sunset

After Sunset

4. Filters. One reason why people don't do coastal/seascapes during golden hours is because they can't use longer exposures to make the water look smooth. At this point, Neutral Density(ND) FILTERS are used to have longer exposures. Another very useful filter is the Graduated Neutral Density Filter(GND). For me, this one is more important in seascapes compared to ND because of the uneven lighting with the scene just like when the sky is too bright but the water is too dark.

Cokin Filter

Hitech Filter

In the pictures above, photo taken by the Cokin filter shows strong magenta cast while the photo taken with Hitech .9 GND SL filter . When buying filters, get the best one you can get. :D

5. Settings : The only way to make the sea/water smooth and calm was to use a longer exposure. I usually use manual because my camera always underexpose these kinds of situations. For starters, use the lowest ISO (100/200)) and a small Apertures (F8 - F16). As for the shutter speed, I usually go around 30secs or more. Better use RAW so that there's more room for editing.

People might ask which to filter to get first. I guess if you do a lot of seascapes, you better get the GND first. Just shoot at the right time and at the right place. I was able to get those decent shots using only a GND. Now if you want to get longer exposures during golden hours, get the 9-stop ND filter.

I found Coastal Photography easy, well the settings maybe. For me COMPOSITION with CREATIVITY is still the most important thing. Although the hardest part of the trip was to find the best spot where we can shoot. Back then we didn't look for one until it was time to shoot. We realized we needed to move since our first spot was not that good. We did find one but I think there's a better one. Maybe scouting during daytime is a good idea but you have to know where the sun sets. :D

So far, this is all I can remember about the trip. If things come up, I'll just update this one.

Hope this one will help those who wants to try Coastal/Seascape Photography.