“Bulalo at Patis na may Siling Labuyo”

I had a great game of golf earlier today… I won by just one stroke resulting to a free lunch of “bulalo” (beef stew with bone marrow). And of course, I cannot enjoy eating the free bulalo lunch without “patis” (local fish sauce) with several grams of “siling labuyo” (Philippine chili pepper with a hotness factor of about 80,000 – 100,000 SHU) with it!

Naka-dalawang rice nga ako. Di bale, libre naman.. di bale, isang timbang pawis naman nilabas ko! (I had eaten two platefuls of rice. Good thing it’s free… Good thing I sweated a lot during the game!)

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Managing Washouts in your Photos…

I may be getting too technical about this but I just want to share to you, good folks, something that will make your photos more pleasing by reducing or totally avoiding that nasty “washouts” when you take a picture.

In photography and the way I define it, “washouts” is related to that annoying “bright” background (back lit) as if there’s a giant white curtain hanging behind your subject. This is often unavoidable specially when you’re having your photoshoots under a midday sun.

There are several techniques in avoiding washouts. One is the “flash fill” technique where you use a flash to lit your subject making it a part of the brightly lit background… The camera automatically adjust the exposure capturing the subject in ambient mode. But then there are times when you cannot use a flash since your subject is quite far from the most effective range of your flash.

The other technique is the use of Neutral Density filters (just click on the link to get more information about Neutral Density filters). Attach this filter on your lens and it will reduce the brightness of the background but your subject may appear darker. Aside from this potential “darkening” problem, the use of this filter may need you to set a longer shutter speed than normal which might blur your image if you have unsteady hands.

And lastly, a technique which I often use when taking a picture of distant subjects beyond “flash fill” range with a brightly lit background: spot metering (a light metering mode that focus on a small area) and exposure compensation.

All DSLRs have a light metering mode with “evaluative mode” in Canon cameras as the default setting. This setting meters the overall light of a scene to be photographed and accordingly adjusts the exposure to balance the highlights in the scene. This is useful and applicable most of the times but in cases that there are extreme difference between the lighting in the foreground from that of the background, spot metering works well combined with adjusting the exposure compensation to balance the light in the foreground with the light in the background.

In the picture below, I took an image of a tree that is about 2 storeys high with the sun brightly lit in the sky in “evaluative mode” (the default) with no exposure compensation. As you can see, the background was completely washed out.

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Using the spot metering mode, I focused on the middle branch and adjusted accordingly the exposure compensation to -2 to lower down the brightness (there is no strict rule on how to adjust the exposure compensation, by the way). The camera adjusted the lighting exposure showing the crane in the background which was made invisible by the bright sky in the previous photo.

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To sum it up, if you find your background becoming too bright making everything in it “invisible”, try to set the metering mode to “spot metering” and adjust the exposure compensation to a point that both foreground and background are properly exposed to your liking.

The Leaves of Babel…

I dedicate this image to those devastated by the snow storms in North America, Mainland China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

As one leaf dies, another shall grow anew to bring forth hope
Life may be full of struggle and yet, it is worth living for
Like a tree that may soon be barren of its flowers and leaves
It is but a cycle that all of us shall go through!

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Vibrant

My Brother and I…

My brother and I share a common interest in almost everything… How we both liked playing in our own band with him as the lead guitar and I as the drummer. We also have similar taste on music genre, which is of course, rock and new wave songs. We also like to drink the same brand of liquors and have the same food that go along with it. There are so many things in common in us that it’ll take one whole day to list it all.

I used to blog using Facebook as my medium and he introduced me to a site where I can do my blogging instead. He is also a blogger by heart and as you might have guessed before hand, he is also a photographer himself.

We share the same passion of looking at photography not only as a hobby but as a visual art that speaks for itself. And this is where we made some sort of an unspoken arrangement… I’ll be using Canon while he, on the other hand, will be using Nikon for us to see both worlds which these two DSLR-producing giants have to offer.

Drop by at his photo blog at My Streets PH and his news blog at Emong’s Journal and I assure you, you will also like it the same way you liked my photo blog and my highly opinionated blog at Ika nga ni Ompong.

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The Diminution of a Master!

There’s too many people now with Master’s degree and too many people now certified in blah-blah-blah! It has become an ordinary title to have with no more added value to those employers who know the trade!

Ika nga ni Ompong

Nowadays, we got new graduates with practically no work experience with a Master’s Degree and are asking for high salaries.

Nowadays, we have certified blah-blah-blah with no practical experience at all in the field where they were certified and are asking to undergo OJT.

Nowadays, as long as you have the extra cash and time, you can have a Master’s degree and all these certification blah-blah-blah with zero working experience.

Imagine yourself having a Master’s degree certified in blah-blah-blah working as a waiter instead… Because no one will hire you and your expectation of your starting salary is high, yet you don’t have the adequate practical work experience! Unless you’re planning to be a university professor, having a Master’s degree or certification of blah-blah-blah is no longer competitive nowadays if you don’t have the adequate working experience with it!

There’s too many people now with Master’s degree and too many…

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The Filipino Daredevils…!

Imagine this, you are driving along a major road in the Metro and then suddenly, a jaywalker darted in front of you missing him by a few inches on a road where there shouldn’t be any pedestrian crossing the street in the first place!

But we, Filipinos, are known as the most bravest people in the world. We are Daredevils!

We pride ourselves of having fearless pilots flying second-hand military airplanes made almost a hundred years ago. We have motorbike riders running at more than 60kph wearing no helmets. We have glass cleaners hanging on the 30th floor of a building with very low safety standards. We have construction workers with no hard hats or safety gears. We have kids on the back of our cars wearing no seat belts when cruising at neck-breaking speeds on our expressways. I could fill up the entire volumes of Encyclopedia Brittanica just to show-off how brave and fearless we Filipinos are.

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Walk or Not to Walk, That is the Question!

Situation:

You can walk for an hour to reach your destination but you have to bear the heat and humidity under the sizzling Asian sun or;

You can bring your car and travel the same distance for three hours and in case you have to answer a call of nature, you have to use your empty plastic bottle as an improvised toilet.

Which one would you choose? To Walk or not to walk, that is the question!

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