Samsung MetroWear 2007

Tippi, my classmate in French, invited everyone in class to the Samsung Metrowear 2007 fashion show where she will be showcasing her latest designs along with those of other designers. Only three(?) of us actually went and just as well since the place was already packed as it was. We had to squeeze our way to the front of the catwalk and we ended up standing towards the back.

Of course I took pictures. But do they suck! The light was low so I had to use a lower ISO resulting in graininess. We were also a bit too far and my pitiful kit lens couldn’t reach out that far so I had to crop resulting in loss of detail. Finally, my shooting posture was awkward as I tried to shoot over the heads of people while being careful not to jostle anybody. Bottom line: I need to practice more under different conditions.

Digital vs Film Camera

My college dorm mate posted in our mailing list this link to a blog entry written by her friend: Why I Don’t Like Using A Digital Camera In My Personal Life. It’s a personal preference thing but I do have comments on some points:

With a digital camera, it takes at least 30 seconds to get back into the holiday because of the irresistable need to review the image, check the histogram, zoom in to see if it is really focussed well or not (and too often it isn’t) and then more often than not, I’ll take another picture of the same thing because I might not be totally satisfied with the one I just reviewed – or I’m just not sure if I am – it’s hard to really judge an image on a tiny LCD in the bright outdoors. During that 30 seconds or so, I am no longer ‘in the moment’ of the holiday or the outing. My attention has been taken completely off the environment while I was reviewing the image on the digital camera. I resent that.

There’s a term for this: chimping. You go take a picture, then review, then take picture, then review, ad nausaum. You don’t have to do this. You have to not do this. Take that shot and go on. It just takes some discipline and confidence in your photography skills. That being said, I chimp more often than I want :D

And I really resent that the LCD monitor on the digital camera is so darn hard to view in the bright outdoors.

It’s true that LCD monitors, especially older ones, are sometimes hard to view so it’s still good to get a digital camera with a dedicated viewfinder aside from an LCD monitor. Then you can also have the option of turning off the LCD monitor, just use the viewfinder, and reduce the temptation to go chimping. Sadly, this is not an option if you want an ultra-compact camera as most dispense with the viewfinder in the interest of compactness.

I especially resent the time I have to spend in the hotel room every night transferring the images from the memory card to the laptop computer, reviewing the images yet again during the transfer process, and setting up the battery charger for the evening.

This is probably because the article was written in 2004 and a lot has changed since. If you take that many photos that you need to do this, there’s a solution. Get bigger storage capacity. That way you don’t need to transfer to your laptop nor do you even need to bring a laptop. Note that it’s better to have 4 1Gb cards than 1 4Gb card for safety purposes. Besides, if you take that many photos, you’d be worrying about rolls and rolls of film.

As for the battery, these can actually last hundreds of shots, unless you use the flash a lot in which case you’d still need to worry about batteries whether it’s a digital camera or a film camera. In this case, there are digital cameras that use rechargeable AA batteries. The same batteries for both the camera and your dedicated flash unit, if you have it. And if you abhor recharging, you can just grab some disposable AA batteries off the shelf of almost any store. But that’s not too environment friendly.

Capoeira Batizado

_IGP4789Jem and I went to observe and shoot a capoeira batizado this afternoon. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that has a distinct dance feel because way back during its inception, martial arts was prohibited and as such was disguised as a dance. The Batizado is a capoeira event where practitioners are “baptized” into the art.

I’ve heard and read about capoeira before but this is my first time to see it for real. It was a bit underwhelming since most of the performers were apparently new students and the instructors were also playing it lightly. Of course, they could just be trying to fool me. If so, they succeeded.

I watched as the practitioners go around throwing kicks high and low. There’s also the occasional hand strikes. The instructors also employ sweeps and other take-downs. Definitely it is graceful. But overall, it just seemed too flashy and looks ineffective. But that’s just me. Of course the the music and dance aspect add quite a bit to the fun factor.

But martial is the operative word here. I have decided that a good martial art must be easy to learn and proven to be effective. Easy to learn because you don’t want to spend a lifetime to be able to defend yourself. And proven effective because you don’t want to learn that your martial art is far from it while you are facing a drug-crazed maniac in some dark alley.

I think that the closest it gets to this simple ideal is a grappling art like jiu-jitsu complemented with some kickboxing (which originated from muay thai, karate, and boxing but is now essentially a distinct art). This mix is the usual combination that has been proven time and time again in the UFC which is about as real as it can get.

In the UFC, you don’t see flashy martial arts like Wushu, Tae-kwon Do, Aikido, etc. Maybe, these are effective once you master those but apparently the fighters representing these arts in the UFC needed to study a bit more. There goes easy to learn.

Arts and Music Festival

Early yesterday morning, Izza (Thanks dudette!) gave me a heads up about an arts and music festival being held at SM Mega Mall. I checked the event schedule and I found two  two events that seemed to be good photo shooting opportunities: a body painting fashion show and a cosplay fashion show. As luck would have it, they’re scheduled one after the other. How convenient can that be? And because it’s been some time since I last did any shooting, I made it a point to go.

I got there early and positioned myself right in front of the stage. About thirty minutes and two bands (Julianne and Juana) later, the body painting show started. The models were good. They definitely know what they’re doing. They moved then paused to give photographers ample time to shoot. I can’t say the same for the cosplay models. They moved around without coordination, sometimes bumping against each other, and they just don’t stop long enough for a shot. You need to aim and shoot fast. Coupled with the poor lighting, the whole shoot was quite a challenging exercise. That, in a way, made things a bit more  interesting.

Photos of the body painting fashion show and cosplay fashion show posted at the gallery.


I went to CCP with my sis to watch the screening of Tribu, an entry to the Cinemalaya film festival. She was the Production Manager for the film so she had to be there. I, on the other hand, wanted to see her work as well as maybe rub shoulders with the artsy fartsy filmmaking crowd.

Tribu is about Tondo and its street gang culture. Interestingly, the gang culture as portrayed in the film seem to have mirrored US gang culture with rap and hip-hop occupying a big part. This is, according to my sister, actually the reality. In fact, the production team really tried to portray Tondo as accurately as possible. Though I felt that some dialog seem contrived, I suppose it is to establish the fact that the characters have dreams… dreams that are being shattered by poverty and gang violence. Of course, it could have been done more implicitly and less explicitly. Quite a problem with many films. But overall, it is relatively good.

After the screening, I walked around the lobby taking a few photos. It’s just a month since I took a break from playing with my DSLR and man do my photos tonight suck (more than the usual)! I need to go do more shoots.

UPDATE: Tribu won Best Film, Best Actor (Ensemble) and Best Sound. Congratulations sis!