Friday, April 4, 2014

Memoirs of last summer

I am Summer, came to lure you away from your computers (and smartphones)... come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches. ~Ora Greenian

Bamboo Island, Thailand


Spring flew swiftly and here comes summer.


Time to shed one's tension and stress, along with ones clothes. (not all of it)


Gather all your love ones, call all of your closest friends. 


Head to the nearest beach and create fond summer memories together.


Let me entice you...


Maya Bay, Thailand


Maya Bay, Thailand


Maya Bay, Thailand
Maya Bay, Thailand


Maya Bay is a stunningly beautiful bay that's surrounded by 100-meter high cliffs on three sides. Inside the bay there are several beaches. The main one is around 200 meters long with silky soft white sand, underwater colorful coral and exotic fish in exceptionally clear water.

Maya Bay has become the main tourist attraction of Phi Phi since "The Beach" was filmed here in 1999. It was always very popular before the film but now people around the world who haven't even heard of Phi Phi have certainly heard of Maya Bay.


Bamboo Island, Thailand

Bamboo island is remote and less famous than the beach of Maya Bay. But as always in Phi Phi, and especially during the peak season from December to March, it's crowded.

A small island with stunning white sand and crystal clear water. 


Pang Nga Bay, Thailand

Pang Nga , Thailand

Phang Nga is a province equally renowned for its beautiful land, spectacular bay, and amazing islands. Most famous is Phang Nga Bay National Park, a wonderful place filled with islets, sunken caverns, and amazing rock formations rising vertically out of the sea.


James Bond Island, Thailand

James Bond Island is a famous landmark in Phang Nga Bay. It first found its way onto the international tourist map through its appearance in the James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun".

 
Enjoying our long tail boat ride


Summer comes and go fast, we'd better make the most out of it.


Swim, ride, hike, climb,dive, fly,  dance, sing....


Do whatever your heart desires to experience.


Don't miss it, make history.


Or you might need to wait another year again.


Kayaking at Pang Nga


While we’re young and beautiful, living free and easy. Here without a worry, dancing in our bare feet because when the summer’s done we might not be so young and beautiful. - Unknown





Vacations doesn't need to be in beautiful places though, what matters most is that you spend it with the people that matters to you the most.

I hope you enjoyed our photos.

If you did, please let us know in the comment section below.

Also, follow us on Google plus.

If you like this article tweet or share it in Facebook. 

And don't forget to like my Facebook page.

Cheers!

Alex






Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sweeter the second time around

We were able to take portraits of Kristine again yesterday.

To see photo of the first shoot, click here.

I was not quite happy with the results back then.

Fortunately, Kristine agreed to meet us again and re-shoot.

This time we made sure we have enough time to do the shoot.


Chatuchak park Thailand is a nice weekend getaway.


Chilling out with great acoustic music.


Country girl armed with a guitar

Alone with her music



Shot taken by my wife Lyn. Candid and lovely! :)

This time we are more relaxed, we have enough time and light.

The photos are somehow what I envisioned them to be.

I hope you enjoyed the photos too.

-------------------------

I'll be visiting my home country Philippines next week.

I'm looking forward to take portraits of awesome people and beautiful landscapes there.

Cheers!

Alex




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Back to Basics

Recently, I bought an old all-manual lens.

I'm not sure if you can call a lens built in the 80's a classic?

Retro?

Vintage?

It's as old as me.

The old Russian made Helios 44m-4, 58mm f2.0

Companies of modern cameras and lenses are competing for the the fastest auto focus, and here I am buying an all manual lens.

Call me crazy, but I am actually curious  how the photographers of the past experienced photography.


Adapted to be attached on my Nikon body.

It made my D3100 more compact.

Made with only metal and glass, it is a little heavier than my Nikkor prime lenses.




Time to test my skills in manual focusing and metering


Focusing is quite difficult at first, especially wide open. 

As I practice more, I think I quite nailed it in most of my shots.

Metering is quite easy as long as you know the basics of exposure.




Sometimes we fail to notice the beauty of simple things around us.

Take time to notice simple details that collectively created the beauty of the whole.

This lens helps me to see beauty in details.






Swirly lovely bokeh!

How a simple flower is so beautiful up close.


If only we take time to notice...



I think I have a new favorite lens.

Look how thin the DOF is, I only got a few strands in focus.

This lens excites me!

It made me look at things differently.


It is excellent for close up shots too.







I can't get enough of its character!



Below are some wider shots.







Can't wait to try this on portraits.







Will this replace my Fuji X100 as my favorite camera of choice?


Probably not.

I still love how compact and good the X100 is.

And there are instances when you really need an auto focus.

Below are photos taken by the Fuji X100 just this morning when I'm out and testing the Helios.







Conclusion


I did not regret buying this lens.

Manual focusing and metering is actually fun.

It makes you slow down and think before pressing the shutter.

This is pure photography, the one that photographers of the past enjoyed.

Today's photography is more like a trigger-happy-shutter-crazy-all-auto style.

It made our life more easier, but it ruins our experience.

It won't hurt to try the joy of  experiencing the basic and simple things in life sometimes.

I know I will be using this lens more, especially on portraits.

Cheers!

Alex



Friday, February 28, 2014

Looking back: A self-review

As everyone does, I sometimes like to look back and (cringe) criticize my photos.

Admittedly, I took around a hundred portraits since I started this hobby.

Most of them are so so.

They look like selfies with instagram filters on. Ha!


It's either I am experimenting or didn't know what I'm doing.(probably both)


To make me feel good somehow, posted below are  my few favorites. (in random order)


Tum @ Mahidol University

Kristine @ Queen Sirikit Park

Coach Ariel 


Ernesto @ Koh Larn Thailand

Lyn @ Erawan national park



Jashiel @ Suan Rot Fai


Fujifilm model

 Thai model


Lyn @ waterfalls


Jash reading

Janette @ Koh Larn


Did I made any progress?

I hope so.

I also realized that I am still learning, and will have a lot yet to learn.

Any suggestions on how I can improve my photos?

Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Cheers!

Alex






Sunday, February 23, 2014

A weekend at Rot Fai park

After almost two months of not seriously engaging myself in photography, we had the chance to take some portraits at the park yesterday.

Good weather created a perfect afternoon for portraits.








Jashiel brought her favorite book.


We found a good spot and took some photos of her, reading her favorite novel.







It's the first novel in "A song of Ice and Fire" series by American author George R. R. Martin. 







"A game of Thrones"






A lovely sunset, a peaceful place and a good book to read. 





We were also able to roam around the park during that warm afternoon. 







Also took a photo of Lyn too.








What a peaceful and lovely Saturday afternoon!





(Behind the scene photos)





My beautiful voice activated light stand wife.








Patient enough to hold the speed light and the shoot through umbrella for us. 






Me, Lyn and Jashiel.

 



A great weekend, and my first try again at portraits this year.



Looking forward to shoot some more. 



I hope you enjoyed our photos.



Any comments or suggestions  to help us improve our shots are welcome in the comment section. 


Cheers!


Alex