The past couple of months have been action packed with lots of traveling, learning and thinking of the year ahead. Inevitably, when one starts to think about the challenges and hopes for the future we find ourselves reflecting on the past. It was this time last year that my wife and I finished a successful Kickstarter campaign for the Katutubong Filipino Project (Indigenous Filipino people project). It feels like a lot longer than a year ago that we ventured into this project, but we are thankful for it and for all of the people we have meet because of it. We are still working on the project with two major areas still to visit with our Kickstarter funds.
Over the past month I have made two separate trips to Mindanao in the hopes to document the ethnic sport of horse fighting that is still occasionally practiced by the areas Lumads (indigenous peoples). My first trip was during Davao’s Kadayawan Festival, which is an annual week long celebration featuring the different tribes from Davao. This festival is like most other festivals in the Philippines, complete with street dancing, beauty pageants and plenty of people walking around the streets. In years past horse fighting was one of the side events at the Kadayawan Festival and was the sole reason I made the trip to Davao. Sadly, the tribal Chieftain, Datu Causing Ogao, who was in charge of this years horse fighting was murdered only three weeks before the festival. This murder was one of three tribal murders in the same time frame throughout this part of Mindanao.
Last week I had the opportunity to take some images for the Gift of Grace Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides resources to elementary school children living within the Umapad dumpsite of Mandaue City, Cebu. There are four large dump sites around metro Cebu with more than 5000 people living and scavenging for materials just trying to survive in whatever way they can. Many of the children living within these dumpsites are born into a life of extreme poverty and are often given very little opportunity to escape the cycle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When most of us hear the phrase “photo editing” we generally think of editing a photo to enhance it in some way using computer software. Although that is usually a big component of post-production, the “photo editing” process should always start with photo selection. When photo editors edit photos, what they are usually doing is selecting images that they feel will work for a particular use. Most of us end up being our own photo editors, so we should be familiar and learn how to select our best images. The photo editing selection process should be one of the most important parts of your post-production, but is often not given enough emphasis.
Last Saturday I had the opportunity to shoot a project that is helping to change lives in an extraordinary way. MyShelter Foundation has always been at the forefront of creative and groundbreaking technologies and this is their latest venture called a Liter of Light (Isang Litrong Liwanag). The concept is simple. By using plastic bottles and filling them with water you create a prism that captures sunlight and dispersers it into a home.