Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Moving to WordPress

Hey guys, I've been debating this for a long time and I'm glad to let you know that I am moving my blog over to Wordpress.

Check it out at

I just find WordPress a bit more flexible plus the templates are better (and wider) for my photos. Check it out when you get the chance...have new stuff there. :)

Monday, April 02, 2007

300-like Effects

My Weekend Challenge - Achieving the 300 movie effects without Photoshop

After watching the movie '300' 2 weeks ago, I posed a challenge for myself - achieve the same effects in my photos WITHOUT using Photoshop! My primary objective was to achieve it just by editing the photo in Lightroom. Of course, you can still argue that Lightroom is technically 'Photoshop Lightroom', but since this is my challenge for myself, you can't do anything about it! :) hahaha!

So, after playing around with the Settings in the Develop Module of Lightroom, here's what I came out with. It's not quite there yet, but I hope it's a good start. Give me your feedback please.

As usual, click on the photos to view the larger version.

Here's the original version of the last photo without the effects applied.

After I complete my tweaks, I'll come up with a Lightroom Preset to apply this. I tried to do this last night but the shadows and blacks were too much!

For people wanting to play with the effects, here's what you can do in Lightroom:
  • play with Split Toning to achieve a 'gold color cast'; Sepia Presets are a good way to start with this
  • Adjust the following sliders in the develop module:
    • Blacks and Contrast: Increase
    • Recovery and Fill Light: Increase a bit depending on how you increased the blacks.
    • Saturation and Vibrance: Decrease
    • Exposure: Increase a bit
    • Tone Curve: Medium or Strong Contrast generally works well
  • Finally, Add a bit of Lens Vignetting to add more drama to the photo
Found this site ( that shows how he did it in Photoshop:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Adobe CS3 Launch

Okay - to Adobe fans out there, the Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) will be officially launched today in New York. To get you guys excited, here are some changes:
  • The CS3 comes in different flavors (packages) depending on your needs -> Design Package, Web Package, Production Master, and Master Collection. Both the Design and Web packages come in premium and standard editions.
  • Photoshop CS3 Extended version: new features that allow you to edit 3D and motion-based content. This is geared towards 3D and motion designers, architects and engineers, medical professionals, etc.
Wow! This version of CS3 will really help you reach a broader audience because it caters to all media - web, TV, phone, etc. With the new packages, we have the flexibility to get the products that caters to our needs. For those who want ALL, you have the Master Collection option! =)

For a breakdown on what's included in each package, click on the image below.
Image courtesy of

Now, time to read some links that will help you get excited with the new Creative Suite:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More Sitti...

Enjoy...(click on the pictures to view larger version)

D U X - Sorting in Lightroom

Time for some Adobe Lightrom Tips... I know it's been a while since I posted some tips (and entries in my blog). Anyway, Lightroom 1.0 has a very good system for you to sort/rate your photos. There are a number of ways to sort your photos by using the following tools available in LR:
  • Flags (Pick or Rejects)
  • Ratings (stars)
  • Color Labels
What has worked for me (after working with version 1.0) is:
  • After I download my photos to Lightroom, I go through the photos and get my 'Picks'. Shortcut here is 'P' for Picks. If I see that a picture is really blurred or out of focus, I just flag it as a 'Reject'. Shortcut for this is 'X'.
  • Once I go through the entire shoot, I then filter the library to only show all the 'Picks' I have. This is the time I rate my pictures.
  • Rating the pictures is relatively easy - just press the numbers 1 through 5 to give the number of stars you want for a particular photo.
That's it! A quick and easy way to get through the photos and get the good ones! Now, if you want to know why the title of the post is D, U, X -- well, it's because 'U' is for 'Unflag'. If you accidentally 'picked' something that's supposed to be a reject, or you just simply don't want to flag a photo as a pick anymore, simply press 'U' to unflag the photo.

That's all for now... In the meantime, keep on shooting! =)

Sights and Colors of Bulacan

Posting some pictures from Sunday's trip to Bulacan.

The colors/effects were all done in Lightroom using Develop Presets and sharpened them in Photoshop prior to posting them on the web. Some of the effects are inspired by the film 300. =)


Bossa Rocks!

Sitti - Bossa Rocks Concert
March 16, 2007
Music Museum

I got the opportunity to watch Sitti live last Friday courtesy of Sherwin (thanks for the free tickets!).

Of course, I made sure that I brought my camera with me. I actually brought my 2 lenses (17-40 f4L and 85mm f1.8) but I only used the 85mm one to get a tighter shot of the scene.

Some highlights of the concert (for those who have not seen it):
  • the different 'costumes' of Sitti :)
  • duet of Sitti and Cooky Chua (of Color It Red) for the song 'Paglisan'
  • Mo Twister's 'Forbidden Questions' - Interview with Sitti
  • Moe Twister - rapping while Sitti was singing
  • Sitti's Bossa Nova version of 'Narda'
And finally, here are the pictures... as usual, click on them to view larger versions.

Of course, the duet with Cooky Chua:

More pictures at my Flickr Site.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Useful Lightroom Links

Sharing with you some websites on Adobe Lightroom:
Enjoy surfing!

Patterns and Colors

Posting some of the new images I uploaded in my Flickr account.

These images were all developed in Lightroom 1.0 using the Lightroom Presets + some tweaks on the other 'Develop Settings'. Images were taken from my trip to Indonesia (Jakarta and Bali) on December 2006. Click on the images to view larger version.


"Not-so-yellow Brick Road"

"Bamboo Patterns, Part 2"

"Bamboo Patterns, Part 1"

"Inside Glow"


iLap - my new Powerbook accessory

New Powerbook Accessory - iLap! I saw this from the Mac store last weekend and I read the reviews to make sure it's really good. Finally got one yesterday (thanks to Ekky!) and all I can say is - it's a success! Hahaha!

More info on iLap can be found at:

Some good things about it:
  • gets the heat out of my powerbook
  • cool/sleek design and finish - matches my powerbook
  • cushion is comfortable
The only thing that I see bad is that I can't fold the rear cushion for traveling. It's not as compact as I want it. But then again (that's me rationalizing), it's not meant for that.

This is highly recommended for Mac Laptop users! Btw, checkout their website to see the other products they offer like the i360 and iGo.

Image courtesy of

iTunes 7.1 - Full Screen Cover Flow!

iTunes 7.1 has just been released by Apple today. One of the new features is the full screen cover flow view.

All I can say is - this is cool! This is a new way of browsing and listening to music! Makes all the hard work of putting album art in my music library worth it!

Download the latest version of iTunes at:

Sunday, March 04, 2007



Check out Paolo Dy's film in entitled QWERTY! His video has been voted as one of the top videos in the site. As of last week (March 2), it passed the 12,000 view mark and averaged about 1,000 hits a day.

Link to the film:

About the film:
QWERTY is a suspense-thriller. A mentally-afflicted young man named Benny is accused of murdering Professor Chavez, his longtime benefactor. Chavez' lawyer, Dan Ortega, is called in to figure out what really happened. The answer lies in Benny's mad obsession with the professor's old typewriter, on which he types relentlessly, day and night.
What are you waiting for? Go visit the site and rate the movie! Leave your comments too!

Pao - Congratulations! You make all of us proud!

For more information on Paolo Dy, check out his website:

Just a bit of trivia, Paolo was the one who introduced me to Photoshop back in college! =)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Published in Digital Photographer Philippines!

Good news to myself for Monday - I got my copy of Digital Photographer Philippines #9 and 2 of my photos got published in the Readers' Gallery! They featured Philippine Festivals for this month, and fortunately, they picked 2 of my photos from the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo! Woohoo!!! I am so happy! =)

Thank you, DPP (Nino, Nick, Pilar)!

Go grab your copies of this fabulous magazine to see my photos. Of course, the best things to see in the magazine (aside from the photos, of course), are my personal photo and write-up. I still laugh at myself for writing that down and submitting it! Hahaha!

The latest issue (pictured here) should be out in newstands later this week.

Here are the photos that were published (click to see the full version):

Lorenz & Vaneza - Prenup Shots

In case you want to see some pre-nup shots of Lorenz and Vaneza, here are some links from their photographer - Joel Francisco:
Photo courtesy of Joel Francisco

Lorenz & Vaneza

February 24, 2007
Santuario de San Jose, East Greenhills
Oasis, San Juan

To Lorenz and Vaneza, congratulations and best wishes! Some of the pictures I took (click to get the full version):

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lightroom 1.0 is here!

At last - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 is finally shipping! I downloaded a 30-day trial yesterday to try out the new features.

Here is a summary of my experience with Lightroom 1.0:
  • It took a little over an hour to upgrade my current library to the new one. My Lightroom Library was around 30GB in a firewire disk so I guess that explained it. Had to be patient when the process below was taking place.

  • Considering the amount of pictures I have, I can say that the application is excellent in handling files/folders for organizing your photos.
  • When it was over, I had around 3,000 photos with missing links (across 10 albums/folders). It took me around 20 minutes to get all links back together.
  • My Beta 4 Develop Presets are also gone! Don't know how to get them back. I gotta look for articles to get those back!
  • I noticed that it took some time to render pictures and I feel that the beta 4 was a bit faster. But maybe it was because the thumbnails were there already.
  • 1.0 has a lot of improvements in the Web Module. There are lots of templates to choose from and they render fast!
One thing that still bugs me is this option under the view menu: 'Enable Mirror Image'. I don't know what it is used for! When I enabled it, all my images are flipped. Maybe I just have not thought of a use for it yet.

An improvement for the application that should come out in the next version is support for dual monitors. I think this is a must considering that photographers need the extra viewing property for large photos.

If you want to try Lightroom 1.0 now, you may download them from the Adobe Lightroom Site.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Get Well Soon, Ekky!

Hey Ekky, get well soon! Glad the operation went well...I'm waiting for you here in the hospital room and I thought I'd surprise you with a blog entry! :) hehehe!

From Hoops & Yoyo: "Get Welllll Soooooooooooooon!!!!!!!"

image courtesy of