Happy new year everyone!
Here’s Ezra’s last portrait for 2012 I forgot to post it here on my blog last night, whoops. We shot this on the 30th (the same time we did her 51st portrait).
She loves that furry hat of hers. She wore it all the time when we were in California last year. Unfortunately, it’s way too hot in the Philippines to wear this. What do you call these types of hats anyway?
So that ends another 52-week project. I’m not sure if Ezra will continue doing this in 2013, but I think she mentioned that she will. In fact, I think she already has some ideas for her next self portrait
Week 52/52 : I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be
Last day of 2012. This year just flew by!
This was taken in Coron (Palawan) a few days ago. My family went there for a 4-day vacation starting Christmas day. It’s such a beautiful place This was shot at Mt. Tapyas. We had to climb 700+ steps to reach the top, but it was worth it because the view was amazing! It was the perfect place to shoot my last self portrait for 2012.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who followed and supported me during my 52-week journey this year. I know I post late most of the time and I can take forever to reply to comments, so I’m super thankful to all of you who have stuck with me despite this. You guys are awesome! I hope you’ll still be around when I do my 52-week project for 2013
(Credits to my cousin Raffy for the shot.)
Things have been pretty busy over here so I haven’t had that much time to shoot again. My aunts from California are here for the holidays, so we’ve been trying to keep them entertained.
This was taken in front of our large mirror at home. I was trying to shoot a portrait next to the lights on our staircase but I couldn’t get the angle right so I ended up doing a mirror shot instead – which explains why my camera was on a tripod.
I really love our house, especially during the holidays when it’s all decked out for Christmas. I don’t know why, but coming home to a house full of fairy lights just makes me so happy
Belated Merry Christmas everyone!
We rushed this shot yesterday. There was only one day left in the year and she still had 2 self portraits to do. I told her she had to finish them both before 2013 arrives XD
I like the blues in this shot. She’s wearing her new wig, but the blue hair extension was a gift from Kurt many years ago. She finally got the chance to wear it
A break from all the strobist stuff I’ve been doing lately. I missed doing photomanipulations My editing skills are getting a little rusty. I hope it doesn’t look like I’m being eaten alive by moths (or worse – flies). The concept behind this is that my dress (and me, I suppose) is slowly dissolving into tiny butterflies. It’s supposed to represent the transition into a new me as we enter a new year.
Our attempt at high-key photography. We’re obviously still having a lot of fun with my strobes Aimed one strobe at the wall behind her, and I bounced a second strobe off the ceiling. We also placed a reflector on her lap so her face wouldn’t be too shadowy.
I love how this turned out. She looks so angelic in this shot, totally different from her true personality, mwahaha. Peace Ezra XD
(Title came from a quote by Hans Christian Andersen)
Ezra’s Christmas portrait. We shot this early December on the first day we had our Christmas tree up, but we keep forgetting to upload it. This was back when I had just bought my flash and we were experimenting with it. I put one strobe behind her and aimed it at the tree to light it up a bit, then another one above her, which we bounced off the ceiling. We also but a reflector on her lap to bring some light to her face
(EZRA) 48/52 : Some of the greatest things in life are unseen; that’s why you close your eyes when you kiss, cry or dream.
We were trying to do a low key shoot here, but I placed her too close to the wall (which was blue), so it didn’t end up black. In the end we decided we liked it anyway, so I added another flash behind her and aimed it at the wall for that glowing effect
Another portrait we took while playing with my flash. This was shot the same day as Ezra’s samurai portrait. This was the result of our Rurouni Kenshin fangirl moments after we watched the movie. Rurouni Kenshin was an anime we watched avidly growing up. Seeing it on the big screen was like having our childhood dreams come true.
I really love how this shot turned out. I do think that my face is a little too bright, but that’s alright. I probably should have adjusted the flash … but I’m still learning how to play with light. I’ll get it right someday XD I used two strobes for this shot as well. One was aimed at my face to give it some light, and it was bounced using a car reflector to illuminate the back of the yukata. The other strobe was behind me to separate me from the background.
This was how our set up looked like:
Pretty fancy eh? NOT! We did the shoot in the middle of our living room. I don’t have a strobist kit (yet – hopefully that will be fixed soon) so we had to make do with what we have. I don’t have light stands so I used two tripods to mount my strobes. We used Ezra’s car windshield cover as a reflector and propped it up using some stools. The umbrella was just a regular white one we had lying around the house. I initially planned on using it to diffuse light, but I couldn’t get it right so we ended up doing away with it.
Thanks to my sister for styling my hair and helping me take the shot!
(Quote in the title is by Giorgo Armani)
Inspired by the Rurouni Kenshin movie. We’ve been waiting for it to come out on DVD but, luckily, SM Cinema took pity on Filipino fans and decided to show it. We watched it last week. It was awesome! It made me miss the anime so much that I’m planning on watching the whole series again
Rurouni Kenshin was Ezra’s favorite anime growing up. She’s been a huge fan ever since we saw a random episode on AXN when we were in high school. She loved the anime so much that she thought no actor could ever do Kenshin justice. We were so glad to be proven wrong. Sato Takeru is the perfect Kenshin. (Our first choice was actually Kamenashi Kazuya, but Sato Takeru looks like him anyway so we were pretty close XD)
Ezra had to dig around our attic to find her old sword for this shot. It used to belong to my dad but he gave it to her during her Rurouni Kenshin fangirl days. She used to keep it in her room but he put it in the attic for safekeeping after she “accidentally” poked a large hole in her window while she was playing with it.
I used two strobes for this shot. One was aimed at the wall for the high key effect, while the other was bounced off the ceiling to bring some light to her face. This was the effect we were going for:
But we decided to do in color instead of black and white. I’m quite happy with how it turned out. This is probably one of my favorite portraits of her for 2012.
Another low key shot. I know this is very different from my usual posts, but I’m still enjoying playing around with my new flash. Can’t believe it took me this long to decide to invest in one.
This was shot the same day as Ezra’s 46th self portrait. We already had the lights set up and everything, so I figured I might as well do a self portrait too. Since this was our first time shooting low key, it took a lot of trial and error before we were satisfied.
Ckloy took this shot of me last week. It was our 7th anniversary that day. Normally I post something with hearts or Ckloy’s name on our special week, but I was just too busy this year. I asked Ckloy if we could maybe take pictures together instead, but we didn’t have time to do that either. Although he did manage to take this picture of me on our actual anniversary, so it’s still something special.
We spent our 7th anniversary at the Grand Villa Resort and Butterfly Center. Unfortunately, we didn’t really go there to relax. We’re currently enrolled in FPPF’s advanced photography workshop and our lesson for that day was travel photography. To make it more hands-on, the organizers arranged for the class to visit the resort so we could take pictures there for our final photo contest. Basically we spent our anniversary attending class, but it was a field trip (sort of) so we still enjoyed ourselves
Happy 7 years Ckloy! I love you baby!
My parents got me a Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlight flash as an early Christmas present the other week. Ezra and I have been having fun playing around with it. I’ve been meaning to get a flash for so long, but I just kept putting it off. I somehow deluded myself into thinking that I can get the same effects through Photoshop. How silly of me. Anyway, my dad also let me borrow his old Pentax AF 280T flash. He bought it back in 1983 and it’s still in good working condition. Can you believe I’m using a flash that’s older than me?
Ezra and I have been trying to do high key and low key shoots based on some tutorials I found on youtube. This was one of our successful attempts We shot this in the gym with the lights on. I put my flash on a tripod, about an arm’s length away from her. I set it a little below a foot above her head at around 45 degrees. The camera settings I used were ISO 400, f/11 and 1/125 shutter speed. I’m not sure if those are the proper settings (or set up) to use when doing low key photography since my approach was mostly trial and error. But we liked how it turned out, so we’re happy
Last month, Amie, Kat and I went to Ilocos to present our theses at a symposium that our adviser organized. It was held at the Villa Del Mar Ivory Beach Resort. The place was lovely, so after the symposium, we all headed over to the beach to unwind. We swam and played around until the sun went down. Watching the sun set at the beach is always so magical.
Amie took this picture for me. She’s becoming an expert on these silhouette shots. Two years ago she took a similar one of me when our adviser showed us around Ilocos for the first time. Thanks Amie!
ANOTHER shot from Tagaytay. This is the last one in our 52-week project, I promise! But this one wasn’t posted late because I got lazy, we really planned to submit this on December because of the giant Christmas ball.
The resort we went to had this nice little Santa’s Village with many cute Christmas decors. We stopped along the side of the road and spent about 20 minutes there just taking pictures
Two weeks left till Christmas! I can’t wait! 2012 went by so fast. Exactly this time last year, my family was in California visiting our relatives for the holidays. I wish we could go there again, but it’s their turn to visit us this year, so we’ll be spending the holidays here in the Philippines.
(EZRA) 44/52 : The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind, but the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.
Another old shot I’m submitting late. This was once again taken in Tagaytay back in October. This was supposed to be her self portrait for the first week of November. It’s almost mid December now, so we’ve got a lot of catching up to do…
This was shot in the same area where I took my 44th portrait. You can see the pillars behind her.
(She got her title from a quote by Chanakya)
(Quote by Gerard Way)
Another selfie from our Tagaytay trip.
When I did my 52-week projects in the past, I always made sure that the self portrait I’m uploading was taken that week. I felt like I was cheating whenever I considered uploading something that was over a week old. But this year, majority of my uploads were shots that were taken weeks (sometimes even a month) before. Now that Ezra and I both have jobs, we don’t have the luxury of shooting self portraits every week. We have very little free time, so when we get the chance, we take as many pictures as possible for our 52-week project. It may not be ideal, but it beats having to quit. I’ve been doing 52-weeks for almost 4 years now, and I’m not ready to give up yet.
Thanks Ezra for taking the shot!
(Quote by Napoleon Hill)
A quick shot taken during our short Tagaytay getaway last month. Ezra took this picture for me. Thanks Ez! I love it.
You can’t really tell from the picture above, but the stone thing I’m holding on to is actually a HUGE pillar. The resort where we stayed at had a bunch of them in one area and they were part of a large arch that went over the road. We were on our way out to do some sight seeing when we came across these and we knew that we had to get some pictures taken with them.
Here’s how they look like from far away:
Ezra looking like a little drummer girl
I bought this jacket for her when I went to Ilocos last month. Kat, Amie and I had some free time on our last day there so we went to Robinsons to relax. When we got to the mall, we found out that they were having a huge sale and a lot of their items were 50-75% off! Needless to say we went a little crazy and bought more things than we should have. I found this jacket and I knew Ezra would love it, so I got it for her.
( Title came from a quote by Audrey Hepburn)
Week 43/52 : A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.
I shot this sometime during the end of October, but I didn’t have time to edit and post it until the other day.
I really love my job. However, I believe that there is no profession in the world that wouldn’t cause you pain/stress every once in a while. For most teachers, this usually happens at the end of every semester. As much as I’d like to pass all my students and give them a grade of 1.0 for my subject, my job requires me to ensure that a student is given a grade that they have earned. I’m very transparent about my grading system and how I compute final grades, but there are still those who are shocked to see that they’ve failed my class when the end of the semester arrives. Their disbelief often astounds me since I return their test papers and quizzes on time, so they pretty much have an idea on how they’re performing in my class. And yet there are still those who refuse to accept that they’ve failed the subject after failing all the exams I’ve given them during the semester. It’s also usually during this period when these students approach me and start spewing out the most absurd excuses for why they failed. I don’t really see why they feel that they have to provide me with a reason, but maybe it’s because these excuses are usually followed by phrases like “that’s why you need to give me another chance”. Yes, that’s right, some students actually *demand* a second chance. They don’t ask you for it, or beg you to reconsider, they give you reasons on why they deserve it. Thankfully I only get a handful of these every semester. I get more students jumping up and down (or dancing) in my office while thanking me for the grade that I’ve given them
The main reason I love to teach is because of my students. I don’t know if I’m just lucky, but I always seem to get amazing students every semester. And when I say “amazing” I don’t mean students who gets good grades, but ones who take extra steps to stand out. Students think that teachers only remember the star pupils, but honestly it’s not grades that make a student memorable, but the effort we see from them. True, we do remember the brilliant ones, but some of my most memorable students were actually ones who struggled to pass the course. A lot of the times, these are the ones who find the subject so difficult that they make the effort to visit me during my consultation hours and ask for extra help. Naturally, when the pass the subject at the end of the semester, I can’t help but be extremely happy for them because I know how much they worked hard for it. While I do occasionally get students who can only be described as “a teacher’s worst nightmare”, the good ones often make up for it. Every semester I look forward to meeting my new students because I know that there’s always going to be someone in my class who will inspire me to do my best.
Another shot we took during our short Tagaytay getaway. The place we went to was beautiful! There were lots of pine trees at our hotel so Ezra asked me to take her picture with them in the background. She didn’t get too close though, because pine trees usually make her allergies act up. We learned this when we helped my aunt set up her Christmas tree last year.
She got her title from the song ”Make a Man Out of You” from the Mulan soundtrack. (One of our favorite Disney films and OST ever!)
This was taken when we went to Tagaytay for my Mom’s birthday a few weeks ago. Ezra’s really behind on her self portraits so we tried to cram as many shots as we can that weekend.
This was taken at our hotel, inside a little chimney/fireplace thing they had in front of the elevators. It looks more like a window in this shot though … Anyway, the elevators there take forever! So while waiting, I asked Ezra to crawl inside for a quick shot.
I thought I posted this earlier, but I guess I forgot again. This was Ezra’s Halloween portrait. Surprisingly she didn’t go for anything too gothic or bloody. She normally loves those things but she told me she already has a lot of pictures like that so she decided to just be a sassy devil.
The horns were from my aunt. She bought them last year for Halloween but decided to not wear them, so she gave them to me instead. It comes with a tail too. (I’ve actually been waiting for Halloween to come around so I can use them for my self portrait, but I ended up doing something else XD)
Belated Happy Halloween you guys! Meant to shoot this yesterday but we spent the day visiting cemeteries and paying our respect to the dead so it was quite dark by the time we got home. This was taken this morning instead.
This was my submission to TOTW‘s theme this week (“Phobias“). I went with haemophobia, or the fear of blood. I really can’t stand the sight of blood. Pictures are fine, but in real life (and sometimes even in movies) it seriously creeps me out. My knees get weak and I start to hear a strange buzzing noise in my head when I get too near large amounts of blood. That’s one of the reasons why I decided not to go into medicine even though my parents strongly encouraged it.
My title came from Within Temptation’s song called “Angel”. The actual lyrics went something like “no remorse ’cause I still remember the smile when you tore me apart“, but I changed it a bit.
Splatter brushes came from HERE.