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Exploring Cebu from the Air

A couple of months ago I added a Phantom 3 quadcopter to my collection of tools as a photographer. It has been wonderful learning to fly this and being able to use it as another creative tool. I have been exploring both photos and video with the quadcopter, but I must say that learning video with it has been awesome. My family was recently in town and with visitors comes some travel. We stayed around Cebu during their vacation and I got in as much flying time as I could. I try to approach video in the same way I take photos, focusing on strong natural light to create mood and emotion.

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First Two Video Episodes from Tawi-Tawi

Here are the first two installments from Project Katutubo in Tawi-Tawi. Thanks again to The EXTRA MILE Productions for producing these. There are still more in the works and some exciting plans for a longer version. In the first episode I shoot the geometrical patterns and colors of a Tepo, a mat made from pandan leaves, as well as the Sama-Bajau who diligently weaves it. The second episode was taking while visiting a seaside village in Sanga-Sanga. Here we chanced upon a young Bajau-Sama bride who was to be wed that evening.

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Guest Judge on History’s Photo Face-Off

I had the privilege of being a guest judge on the finale of History Channel’s Photo Face-Off Season 2. It aired in Asia at the end of October. My first big appearance on TV and it was a lot of fun. I helped judge the second of three challenges in the finale.

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New Video Reel from Tawi-Tawi

Last month I teamed up with The EXTRA MILE Productions who documented my trip to Tawi-Tawi, the southern most province in the Philippines. This is a place I had always wanted to visit, but because of certain security issues it took some planning to make a trip happen. More than three years on since we started this project on Kickstarter we are still going strong with plans to continue this important work.

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5 Fundamental Elements of Great Photographs

There are five common elements that great images typically have; Good use of light, color, a captivating moment, correct composition for the given situation, and the photographers choice of distance to their subject. Many times good images will use one or two of these elements, but lack strength in the others. I will be the first to admit that it is difficult to have all of these elements come together in one frame. Rarely do I take what would be considered a great photograph, but by aiming to capture all of these elements makes me strive to be better.

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Using Lightroom 4 to Recover Almost Unusable Photos

Adobe Lightroom 4 has some significant changes within its develop module that gives us photographers several new impressive tools when post-processing images. Adobe came out with a new image process version (2012) which is basically the image processing engine behind Lightroom and Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw plug-in. This new process version provides many significant updates, including more options when making local adjustments and the new highlights and shadows sliders (which essentially replaces the recovery slider in Lightroom 3). Because of these new powerful features in Lightroom 4 we can now, with much greater ease, recover those photos which we may have thought were unusable.

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Case Study: Two Travel Photos and the Process of How They Were Taken

I often find myself analyzing other photographers images which inspire me. This helps me to think creatively and technically when I’m not out shooting myself. When looking at other photographers photos I ask myself questions such as; Where is the light coming from? How did the photographer interact with the subject? What is it about the composition that makes this a strong image? These kinds of questions are typically answered casually when I’m browsing photos, but it’s important to slow down occasionally and look a little closer. Here are two travel photos with more specific information on the conditions of how each was captured. I hope these examples will sprout some questions and get your creative and technical juices flowing.

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What Photographers Must Know About The Sky When Shooting Outdoor Photos

Whether you are taking landscapes, portraits, or travel shots one of the bigger questions photographers are often faced with when shooting outdoors is what do we do with the sky? Because the sky is dynamic, it’s constantly changing its look, from its color to its brightness to the types of clouds it has in it, creating numerous photographic opportunities and challenges. By being aware of how the sky can influence and change our photos we will begin to make the most out of the different situations we find ourselves in. Here are a few suggestions that might help you think about the sky when shooting outdoors.

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2 Essential Corrections to Know When Post Processing Underwater Photos

With the market today providing an assortment of underwater casing options, more and more of us are beginning to bring our cameras under the surface to explore this fascinating world. From the more affordable soft casings for our DSLRs to the simple waterproof coverings for our smart phones, underwater photography is becoming more and more popular among photographers. Often times for those just starting out with underwater photography, our pictures don’t always come out exactly the way we remember seeing it. There are likely a few reasons for this, but this article will focus on two simple techniques we can use during post-processing to help improve the quality of our underwater photos.

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The 7 Essentials of Crowd-Funding Your Next Photography Project (and How We Funded Ours)

Crowdfunding is a relatively new phenomenon that has emerged over the past few years to help creative people fund their personal projects, including photographers. Kickstarter was the first company to offer this type of platform and others such as emphas.is and IndieGoGo have emerged since. Crowdfunding is a unique way to raise funds for projects by offering creative rewards to individual backers who pledge various amounts. Recently, we successfully funded our project on Kickstarter and wanted to share some lessons we learned along the way.

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