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Week Ender 89

There are just too many features in a piece of gear to commit to memory. Lugging around some manuals aren’t the obvious answer either. Memorizing them is even more far fetched. I’ve even experienced pro shooters who did not know some basic features of a Speedlite. Be a better photog and learn the features of your gear the easy way.


Quickguide to the new Speedlite 320 EX

The last time I wrote about Canon Quick Guides was in June of o ten. One year forward and there are more quick guides added in to the mix. There are currently 19 PDF files ready to download for print so you can stick it in your gear bag. Old and new shooters alike will benefit from these and you can download them at the Canon Digital Learning Center.


One other article that caught my attention is, A New Concept: Canon’s Zoom Fisheye Lens by Rudy Winston, a 14 year veteran of Canon USA’s Pro Products team. It’s a piece on the new EF 8-16 f/4L USM that replaces the old EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye. The EF 8-16 is designed to work with all the sensor sizes (full frame, 1.3x and 1.6x) to get the extreme view just in case you have the EOS 5D MK II, EOS 7D and EOS 1Ds. From some of what I’ve read from photogs who have the new fisheye this is one fun expensive lens to have.

Finishing Off This 2 Part Series

Part 1 is here.

The 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition (2010 Flora Expo) (臺北國際花卉博覽會) opened on November 6, 2010 and ran until April 25, 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. It is garden festival recognized by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH / IAHP) and is categorized as an A2B1 horticulture exposition. It was the first such internationally recognized exposition to take place in Taiwan, and the seventh of its kind to take place in Asia. It is located near Yuanshan Station. The Yuanshan site will re-open to the public following renovations (Estimated date- September 2011).

All photos: Canon EOS 7D+EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. Originally captured in RAW, converted and processed to Tif file in DXO Labs and saved to Jpeg in Photoshop CS5 for upload.

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Update: August 10, 2011

From forums around the web Lion looks like it is creating much trouble for some folks. I have not upgraded yet and yes, work files are all backed up twice over. I just don’t want to be on the other end of unnecessary Apple trouble. The best way to avoid the ongoing Lion upgrade fiasco is to wait and see if Apple does anything. By far the worst problems I’ve read are the SMART errors on hard drives that many Mac users are getting before even installing Lion.

More links for your reading pleasure.

  1. SMART error-Apple support forums
  2. Michael Willems- Is Lion Really A Chihuahau?
  3. Lion Recovery Disk Assistant

Week Ender 88

Roar… Mac OS X Lion 10.7.0 has finally been released. Since July 20 it has already sold over 1 million copies and one of the biggest upgrades for Mac users. Is it worth the trouble of downloading a 3.5 GB file from the App store at USD39.99 (PHP1720.00) with some third-party software compatability is still question?

Based on many reviews already populating the net, Lion, is a good but not a necessary update. Photographers running on Snow Leopard with hundred if not thousands of dollars worth of post processing software should have a look first if installed software are compatible. On a personal note, can not imagine the mess an update like this would do to a photography work flow with incompatible software installed. Though it is safe to assume that all major software giants have updated their software with downloadable packs waiting a few weeks for bug fixes isn’t a bad idea. Adobe has already updated CS5 (an easy to do update that was under 3 hours for me). Canon DSLR and related software also works with the Lion. If your Mac purchase was after June 6, 2011 you are eliggable for a free upgrade to Lion with OS X Lion Up to Date program.

A compilation of links below to make sure that you have updated all software before upgrade to Lion.

  1. Apple: How to upgrade
  2. Adobe
  3. Bootable copy DVD
  4. Bootable copy USB
  5. Canon DSLR
  6. Canon Australia
  7. Canon Printers
  8. DxO Labs
  9. List from
  10. List from
  11. Mac Rumors
  12. Nikon
  13. Photomatix
  14. Rob Galbraith: Canon Testing Software For Lion
  15. Various Printers

The best way to ensure a painless upgrade to roar… Lion would be to first update whatever software you have. If you don’t want to download, Apple will be releasing a flash drive version of Lion for US$69.99 in the coming months.

Quezon City, Philippines


Night time HDR with 3 exposures, manual mode. Shot RAW and converted in Photoshop CS5. Click to view large.

This memorial at the intersection of Tomas Morato and Timog Avenue was erected in memory of the Filipino Boy Scouts and scout masters who died in a plane crash in the oceans of Bombay, India on their way to the 11th Boy Scout World Jamboree in Marathon, Athens.. The incident in July 28, 1963 was considered one of the most horrific involving a plane. With a total of 62 passenger of which 24 were members of the Philippine Scouts and 22 of them just teens. There were no survivors and only 5 bodies were identified by next of kin.

This particular area is named Barangay “Laging Handa” (Tagalog for “Always Prepared”), the motto of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and many of the streets are named after the 24 scouts that perished. Today, the Laging Handa area has become an entertainment hub for folks living in Quezon City and surrounding areas.

Pictured here is the round monument with the recent addition of the obelisk with the statue of Tomas Morato, the first Mayor of Quezon City. The street on the left top corner is Timog Avenue intersecting with Tomas Morato starting from the right top corner.

Its too bad all that electrical and cable TV wires crisscross across the frame.


Another frame slightly from a different angle. 5 seconds single exposure, no hdr, captured RAW and coverted in Photoshop CS5. Click to view large.

Week Ender 87

The timelapse of Polish photographer Patryk Kizny at LookyCreative features his work in a compilation, Timelapse Cinematography Showreel.

Not very often do you see smooth movement of the camera in timelapse aided by some type of mechanical boom. The editing can only be done with hours and hours (understatment-of course) of photos. Look closely and there are parts that have a subtle HDR treatment. Maybe some of his mastery will rub off on me. These timelapse vids are tedious to work on having tried a few times.

In Mr. Kinzy’s Showreel there are snippets of gear being used inserted throughout the timelapse. Take a look and head on over to his site for the full version of each video.

Cebu City, Philippines

Built in 1972, the Cebu Taoist Temple is inside the Beverly Hills Subdivision. It was built by Cebu’s wealthy Chinese community at a time when temples were non existent. The temple holds several deities in multi-level Chinese style architecture within the vast compound. As the photos are proof, the temple is as colorful and clean as it can get. Much of the Chinese temples in Manila are the exact opposite.

The Taoist temple is open to worshipers and non-worshipers alike but must abide by a set of rules. Silence is definitely on the top of the list and photography is only allowed on the exterior but not inside the temple. Even the finer details near the doors and roof details are off limits to shutterbugs. For kids who like to side step the rules there are security guards around the premises who will whisper the rules.

The images below were shot handheld in a drizzle. 3 different exposures were captured as the sky was a washed out white with 1 exposure. So, to keep things short, all the RAW files were thrown into Photomatix and batch processed for good measure.


The entrance way to the temple. No cars ares allowed inside.


The grand view of the Taoist temple emerging from the entry way.


The main building. There were more tourist than worshipers that day.


The main building's front view. Remember, follow the rules: silence and only exterior photography.




A view of Cebu City from 300 meters above sea level.


Shooting a photographer shooting the Taoist temple


The temple is not accessible by foot-rent a car or hire a cab. Make sure the driver waits until you finish or it'll be a long walk down.

Impromptu Event Shoot

It just happened. No advance booking or details. Came home to the tune of 200 images with a stomach full of good food.

The Atrium is beautifully lit but a disaster to DSLR white balance. Flash was used on most of the photos (except the 1st and last 2) and had to be off camera for a bit of directional lighting. No flash diffusers were used. Exif details: Canon EOS 7D+Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM+Speedlite 580 EX II on slave mode. For ultra wide angle lenses it is better to use off camera remote flash. Just be creative with your hands and don’t forget to bring a tripod.








8000+ is the number of shots I’ve been editing and post processing lately. Most of you will probably have noticed the last post was end of June. Yes, even using power tools like Aperture, Lightroom, DXo and CS5 takes a fair bit of time. Good thing all the shots were combos of events, products and portraits.

In light of the situation Here is a preview of the contents in my gear bag in the x-ray machine at a hotel that will go nameless. The security guys were nice enough to let me put the bag through the conveyor a second time to get a shot.


Click for larger nakedness

Maybe a write up of my workflow in the future. Anyone interested? In between processing images and getting bug eyed there is a pretty good line up of posts for the coming few weeks. The photos are ready but the write ups will have to wait for that break in time. Stay tuned and see you around.

It’s now back to post processing.

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