Love has no limitations. It cannot be measured. It has no boundaries. Although many have tried, love is indefinable. – Steve Maraboli
I believe that love is a powerful energy, a force of nature that transcends beyond distance, gender, culture and nationality. We cannot demand nor command love. One can initiate love through friendship and courtship, but the course of love is undisputable. How love expresses itself between two human beings is beyond our control. Differences in religion, skin color, language and social status can put a strain in a relationship, making anyone doubt its longevity. Not to mention the deeply embedded negative attitude of society towards some of these differences. But remember that love is bigger than what we are. You cannot put it in a box – delimit its full potential – without risking total destruction of its very essence.
Accepting love from another race or culture doesn’t mean presenting the same image as the other person. It does not mean changing your own values and outlook; it only demands understanding and appreciation of the beauty that can only be seen in diversity. Those who already find that rare connection with another person know that love chooses no particular time or place. You can fall in love with someone with opposing set of beliefs, a person you initially thought is impossible to love, someone you may not be attracted to at first.
But love is persistent. Love exists even when you are afraid, even when you fear that it may not last; so much so that when you already have it, you strive to keep it. In a world of uncertainties, of harsh judgments, of things that are doomed to fail, we continue loving. You may have a lot to lose, but love is always worth the effort.
Love is Without Limits
I, for one, have to admit that one of the best reasons for buying a Leica Camera is the idea of pairing it with a Leica lens. And, after tinkering with the idea of selling all my other photography gears to buy a Leica M9, I know for a fact that I won’t able to buy a Leica lens (for now). And I would also have to settle for just one third-party lens (for now). Then the long debated question exists, “If I would have a Leica M9, what one lens would I use?”
It’s actually a toss up between a Carl Zeiss and a Voigtlander – a 50mm F2 Carl Zeiss against a 35mm F1.2 Voigtlander. After comparing the two lenses, I ended up buying the Voigtlander for two reasons. It is 35mm, and it is F1.2
You’ve seen my previous photowalk test with my M9; those shots were mostly taken with F11 to F16, and the long exposure which plays with different ISO settings against different aperture on bulb mode at around 12-15 secs. So now, I think that I should test my lens on its maximum aperture of F1.2.
Using F1.2 with a Manual Focus for the first time was quite hard, but once you know where to turn the focusing ring to achieve the perfect focus, then you are all-set to go. Then it becomes fun.
Shot in a clear day light with a distance of around 1.5-2 meters from the subject
Shot in the afternoon with a focusing distance set to infinity
Shot in the afternoon with a distance of around 4-5 meters from the subject
Shot in the afternoon with a distance of around 5 meters from a moving subject
Shot in the afternoon with a distance of around 0.8 meters from the subject
The Voigtlander 35mm F1.2 is one super fast lens. It’s just pretty amazing how sharp the subject comes out. F1.2 is heaven like, even after 100% zoom. And how it plays with a shallow depth of field? Well, it is BOKEHLICIOUS.
M9 does well on long exposures. ISO used was mainly ISO 80, but I tried some photos with ISO 400 and the noises were still acceptable.
The only thing I hate about this was the amount of time the M9 takes to “reduce the noise” during the processing of the photo. Since these were “long” exposures, around 16 secs for most of my night shots, the photo processing also took a “long” time.
Based on that night’s experience, the “photo processing” slash “reducing the noise” took the same amount of time as the exposure time. If I would expose my image for 16 secs, the M9 also takes the same amount of time to process that image. In my standard, and me being a patient man, that is TOO LONG. I don’t know if it’s about the type of SD card I’m using or because some of the images were in DNG files. But still, compared to most modern SLRs, that was like a snail’s pace.
But once again, after that; lo and behold, the images were sharp even at 100% crop. The noises were very minimal and the colors were alive and vivid. Yes, patience is a virtue.
So last friday, I did a test shoot (photowalk) using my Leica M9. It was my first time to use a rangefinder, a first time to use manual focusing, a first time to use an M.
It was difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s definitely worth it.
The images captured using M9 (even at F1.2) can also be achieved with most SLRs. The ISO was good, but not that great considering its worth. The LCD, compared to high end DSLR, left a lot to be desired . The aperture priority was such a tricky thing to control.
But what makes it more enjoyable than the common SLR is the way you use it. How you get back in control of everything. How fast can you make a shot (since it’s not auto-focusing). And how it seems like no one is noticing you taking pictures of them. I may sound like Kai (Wong), but trading my SLR for an M9 was a fucking good choice.
A car can get you from one point to another. But if you have a choice between a Peugeot and a Ferrari, don’t tell me that you won’t take the prancing horse.
As more and more couples are loving the idea of establishing prenuptial photo shoots, concepts and themes are no longer bound to the traditional formal studio sessions, wherein the results are sometimes unnatural and awkward, and fails to depict the couple’s personalities. Since a lot of photographers have already pushed the boundaries in creating modern, artistic, and ingenuous concepts, it is a challenge to come up with a strong theme that the couple would like and enjoy doing. I have long flirted with the idea of creating a sensual, passionate, but not too risque (not porn material lol) prenup shoot, so when Kian and Elle asked me if I can shoot their prenuptial photos, I gladly welcomed it as an opportunity to make my ideas come to life. Just my luck, they were pleased with my working concept.
Although boudoir, in photography, is often used to emphasize women’s sensuality, I chose this style to exhibit the couples passionate love towards each other. One of the main challenges of this photo shoot is how to make everything look natural, and I’m happy with how the couple played their parts. I also admire how comfortable they are with each other, and their photographs clearly showcased that. In some of the shots, I gave them the liberty of making fun, simple, natural poses to create a romantic appeal to the already sexy atmosphere. I wanted to create something that will give people a glimpse of the couple’s personalities, as well as their intimate feelings. I wanted to capture a love that is tangible. And I thank them for letting me become a part of this important highlight in their lives.
You can view the full gallery here
2009 is the year I started photography. It is also the same year I started a famous photography project called “project 365”. A project in which jumpstarted my love and knowledge for photography.
Fast forward to 2011, two years after I got hold of my first DSLR (canon 450 D), I am still in-love with the field and still craving for some exercise to fuel my knowledge.
Aside from my on-going “15 minute stranger project” and my upcoming “Project: Man v Food” , I will be starting a new project for Christmas 2011 with my friends, Michael Zuniga, Mau Reen and Jayson Bustamante. This project will be called “25 days to Christmas”.
I will be adding a small additional rule for myself here, I will be taking all photos with my 50mm 1.4 lens, using the maximum 1.4 aperture, and I will also try to add some inspirational quotes along with the image.
I wish we can succeed with this project. And advance Merry Christmas to all.
Throughout the years, the human figure has been envisioned and represented in every medium imaginable. Much has been explored in different forms of art, especially in photography. Nudity is where most photographers would like to delve into, and it doesn’t come as a surprise for there is no limit to the beauty found in the human body. The owner of the body may get old, the human figure, as a subject, doesn’t.
They say that if we want to prove the existence of God, look at nature and witness the innumerable beauty of his creations. That same idea inspired me to try nude photography. One can search for beauty anywhere, but I need not go very far; I choose to seek beauty in the many facets of the human figure. That though there may be a thin line separating art and pornography, I want my images to go far beyond an interpretation of another graceful figure. Nudity is not something to be ashamed of, but it is not something to be exploited either.
I will try to move away from the stereotypical view that nudity can only mean sexuality. By using photography as a medium, there can be no shortage of imagination and vision. I want my photographs to be sensual, not sexual; to allure and not to titillate. Ultimately, I want them to exude surrealistic emotional response, of uncertainty and mystery. Let it baffle and intrigue. Let it evoke human imagination, so that what they look like will be more powerful than what they are. I want something that can challenge and startle the viewer’s eyes while allowing it to embrace the unfamiliar and ambiguous. Let this be a personal affair, a visual relationship between the subject and the viewers.
I know I’m a far cry from being an expert. I’m not here to give you pointers or discuss the benchmarks on how to consider a nude shot as a fine art because I have a lot more to learn myself, and a long way to go. But I believe—you’ll know it when you see it. This is my first take on bodyscapes. Let it be my tribute to the enduring beauty of the human form.
I am the kind of person who, despite having good looks, doesn’t have good social skills to match. Well, I was lying about the “good looks” part but I’m dead serious about my lack of social skills. I successfully finished my first photography project, the “Project 365” last 2009 where you are tasked to take “one photo, one day” for a whole year. Now, I am eager to start a new one.
I come across a photography project named “100 strangers” where you need to approach 100 strangers, get to know them, then take a photograph portraiture of them. Shooting strangers is fine with me as Photojournalism is something I’m really interested about, but asking information and talking to them is a big difficulty for me. But I believe it’s worth giving it a go.
As I don’t have my own car here in Doha, Carlift and Taxis are my mode of transportation. The idea for “15 Minute Stranger” is get to know the driver of the car, learn something about them, their age, how is their life in Doha, and everything that will get them socially comfortable with me. Then asked them if I can take a portraiture of them. This is the radical way of learning by doing.
I don’t know if i can do justice on this project but I will try my best to learn from it. To get my photography skills and social skills at par with my good looks. Oh well, I am kidding again.
Full Gallery Album – Updated last Nov 27, 2011
It has been two years since I did a decent photoshoot with Tonie. The schedule, the theme and the fact that this girl is so damn busy are the factors to blame. But then finally, last Thursday, I did get to shoot her.
There is really no definitive theme actually as we ended up doing a fun shoot. The pearl is just an accessory we highlighted. I did three types of shoot on my set. One high key, on a black background and another with a red backlight. And I can say all are superb.
We met Tonie at around 7pm just outside her accommodation and proceeded to a fashion store to buy the dress needed for the shoot. It feels awkward helping a girl looking for a dress when the lingerie section is just beside us and me surrounded by Arab ladies. After that, we went to Sir Ed’s crib to proceed with the shoot.
The pizza arrived before the shoot proper plus the pancit and lumpiang shanghai prepared by Mam Lorie makes us eat first before snapping our cameras. Unfortunately or fortunately, Tonie didn’t join us since she doesn’t want any bulging tummy during the shoot. But as for us photographers, we having a big tummy doesn’t matter.
The full shoot lasted til midnight. And with an awesome canon photographers with me plus an equally stunning model, I can say that the shoot is a wonderful one.
Here is the BTS (behind the scene) video of our photoshoot.
P.S. ; After the shoot, we (jace, tikboy, julian, me) decided to unwind and relax at Starbucks. Thanks to Juliano for the treat. We left past 2am with smiles because of our shots and a prospective model we just met.
113th Independence day. 113 years that the Philippines is considered free and independent. We have progressed since. We might not have the privilege of being under a “better” US government or Spanish government but we are free. We are liberated.
Freedom, for me, is more important than privileges. It is more important that you can do anything you want, anywhere you want. And not being asked to do something out of your liking.
WARP celebrates the 113th Philippine Independence Day together with the common crowd. Shooting at their liking and enjoying every moment of the event. With camera at their helm they captured the event the way they wanted to. Snapshots of people, taking Group Shots anywhere (I mean literally) and roaming around the event shooting everything like predators eager for a kill.
teAM Creations takes over booth no. 17 with BnB and Simply Pinoy Mag. Angel rocks the runway at the Gala Night. Econ and the rest of Areacode974 rocks the stage as well as Lyka leading the vocals together with her Eccentric Band. Phoya and Gorgatz WARP members show their wares at the Transhow. ProudNoypi banners their personalized shirts at the event. WARP is just everywhere. You may not see all of them wearing an official badge photographer around their neck but you will see the radical trademark all around.
People tends to get attracted to what is popular. To things that will bring them recognition and gratitude. We may not be as rich as other Spanish or American colony but we are free and liberated. We can do things “more”, we can do things we “like”. We may not be registered but we are recognized.
Kudos WARP. Keep being radical. Happy Independence day.