Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lomo Horizon Perfekt

I admit this is a dream camera of mine. To those who doesn't know anything about this camera, this is a special type of camera that takes 120 degree panoramic pictures. It uses any 35mm film (Each shot yields a 58mm long negative or nearly the width of two standard frames) may it be color negative, black & white or slide and uses a swing lens technology. Swing lens is a type of mechanism which the lens swings from side to side, a narrow vertical slit between the lens and film rotates along with it - thereby progressively exposing the film as the lens moves. The film plane is curved, thereby keeping the film tight and maintaining a uniform distance from the lens.

I know the price of the camera is almost the same as those of the high end digital cameras out there but I guarantee you that you won't regret shelling out money for this camera. Specially those who are fans of the old-school film cameras, this is something that you'd like to add to your collection. To those using digital cameras, the panoramic view of this camera is so unique that even digital cameras are not able to reproduce the same quality (and note this is not battery operated).

Photographer Notes:
  • The Horizon Perfekt Yields amazing 120-degree panoramic shots
  • Uses Multi-coated Arsat 28/2.8 glass for great color, contrast, and sharpness
  • The Horizon Perfekts Aperature range is f2.8 to f16
  • The Shutter speed ranges from 1/500 second to 1/2 second

Monday, December 22, 2008

Love Images

Christmas is just a couple of days away and I really don't have any Christmas themed posts that I can think of but maybe this post can be related to the holiday spirit. I came across a photo blog called Le Love (I think it's translated as "of Love") and from the title itself you'll pretty much have an idea what the pictures in this blog is about. To connect the point I'm trying to make, Christmas is about Love... it's not about gifts or presents and other material things that we want. With the recent unlucky streaks that I had, I realized that I'm still lucky in a way. I'll be spending the holidays with the people I love and that to me is the most important thing to have.

Here are some of the visually passionate images you can see from Le Love. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ten things you can do to improve interestingness and increase chances of getting into Explore

Most photo enthusiasts have their own flickr account. If you are one of those, you might be familiar with the term Interestingness and Explore. Basically, Interestingness is a term used on how "interesting" your photo looks. If it garners enough attention then a lot of people will view it or add them to their list of favorites. Then your picture will make it to the "Explore" section of flickr where only the "best or most interesting" photos are included. If you're are new to flickr and would like to know how to get your pictures to that "elite" stage, here's an article written by one of my flickr contacts kevindooley that discusses on how to do that.

I know that some of you are going to yell that Flickr "interestingness" and Explore are silly things to worry about, and that's fine... But for those interested in how it works, let me run down a quick top 10 list.

Caring about getting into Explore per se is silly, because Explore has a big random component to it. However, Explore is important because it is the only "signal" we easily have about how "interesting" the photo is. Flickr doesn't give us the actual interestingness number so Explore is a good way to know it must be pretty high.

Why does interestingness matter? If you get happier the more people that see and appreciate your work, then you care about interestingness. Beyond your contact network, the vast majority of Flickr views come from search engines. Flickr has a zillion photos, so if you're photo isn't Flickr-interesting, people will never see it come up in the search engines.

Ten things to do to improve Flickr Interestingness:

1. Take good photos.

2. Have a good network of contacts who will view and comment and fave.

3. Post to at least one group, but don't post to more than five for the first few days. During the first week, posting to lots of groups hurts; after the first week, it helps.

4. In first week, don't post to more than a few award groups.

5. Have notes.

6. Have map and camera data. If you block camera data, or use film and don't add the camera meta data, you'll be penalized, A LOT. There's thousands of film people or people who don't want to give up their "secret settings" who can't figure out why they can't get into Explore... This is it!

7. Have a title and tags and text that people will search for, as that drives search engine traffic.

8. Don't upload too much per day. Maybe 3 max? If you upload more than 3 per day it not only hurts interestingness, but it taxes your contact network. It also means any given photo is de facto seen by less people, since most contacts only look at last 1-4 photos.

9. Be active. If you give significantly less than you get, it terms of views, comments, and faves, all of your photos will be penalized significantly.

10. Challenge yourself. There's a lot of competition when it comes to grabbing people's limited attention. Take interesting photos!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Your Photograph of the Year

Christmas is just around the corner but in these times when financial crisis is written all over our credit cards and wallets, is there any other way we can buy the stuff in our Wish list (like a new lens kit or camera bag) without having to shell out cash? Well, here’s an idea that you might want to try: Participate in photo contests! It's fun, exciting and most of all, it's also an opportunity for you to challenge yourself to get that photographic creative juices flowing. We all have our share of our precious images just lying around the corner of our hard drive that’s waiting to be put it into use.

I'm currently rounding up my best pictures so I can join PhotographyCorner's 2008 Photograph of the Year contest. PhotographyCorner and GetData is giving away $11,500 worth of prizes! Some of the prizes include Epson Stylus Photo R1900 Printer, Digital Holster 20 Camera Bag courtesy of ThinkTankPhoto, Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom and more. Just take a look at their website to see the rules of the photo contest, how to submit a Photograph and the complete list of prizes waiting for the lucky (or talented) winners.

Start browsing your My Pictures folder or your Flickr account and send in your best photograph. You'll never know, your entry might just win the top prize and more importantly, the coveted title of 2008 Photograph of the Year! Sounds nice right? I personally would like to have that in my portfolio.

This contest is also sponsored by MyPicTales, ColorRight, SmugMug, BigBlackBag, ThinkTankPhoto, Mpix and Daymen.

The Day The Waters Stood Still

the day the waters stood still
Originally uploaded by me!
I've been getting some rave comments in my flickr account with this picture. I don't know if it's because of the timely title because The Day The Earth Stood Still opened in the theaters just a couple of days ago but whatever the reason is I'm quite surprised it's getting so much attention. For those who are curious, this is in Harbor Square in Manila where the Manila Yacht Club is located. I used my Lomo Holga camera for this shot loaded with Fuji Provia Film.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Converting Over/Under Exposed Shots to B&W

I've mentioned in my previous post that I convert my Over/Under exposed shots to black and white when it's not possible to adjust the exposure through Photoshop or Lightroom without totally ruining the colors of the image. I won't be able to detail how I mixed it up through my photo editor since I can hardly recall the exact amount of adjustments I made with contrasts and brightness etc. There is no really exact way to do this but to trust your eyesight and your vision on how the picture should represent the image you have in your mind. You also have to consider that not all pictures converted to B&W will yield nice results. There are pictures that are really made to be seen in color. Below are some examples of the images that I converted through black and white, to the left is the original picture and to the right is the black and white conversion.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In Mono

They say black and white film is great for portraits and for portraits only. This might be true in a way because when you look at a B&W image, you tend to focus more on composition and detail instead of being overwhelmed by colors. For the same reason, I find it easier to shoot using black and white films. I don't need to have a subject that's full of color, all I worry about is framing my shot in the view finder once I see something that is worth shooting. Black and white is also a scapegoat and last option for me when I have colored pictures that are too under/over exposed and cannot be repaired using Adobe Lightroom, I just convert it to black and white and the problem is solved.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Water Bearers

The picture shown at the left is entitled as "Water Bearers" which I took using my Holga camera. I'm proud to say that it was included at's The best Holga Photos from Flickr-November 2008! I feel honored to be included on that list because as a Lomographer, it's always nice to see your work be appreciated by other people. This comes as a surprise to me because I felt there are other pictures in my photostream that looks much better than this but I guess beauty is relevant and such an abstract thing to quantify.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lomo Pushers For Lomo Addicts - Looking for Fuji, Kodak, Agfa Films for Sale?

Here are some links that sells Lomo stuff (cameras, accessories, films etc.). Will update this post every now and then.
Have fun shopping! :)