Wednesday, November 30, 2011

on Revisiting Dannica

"Seek and you shall find..."

At the request of Dannica, I revisited her shoot to look for one more photo she could use as portfolio for a contest. I found this particular photo. At first it was a bit over exposed but I liked how her beauty radiated through with the setting sun behind her. So I went to do some post processing on it to see what it would look like. And after about an hours worth of tweaking the levels and exposure, I found what I was looking for. Its still over exposed but in a good way. This photo was indeed a diamond in the rough. And I am left wondering why I skipped it before.

Spurred on by this photo, I'll be revisiting some of my other shoots and perhaps I'll be able to find more hidden gems. And since my archives is over a 100gb, I am sure that the odds of finding workable photos are high. This is also a good practice for my post processing skills.

Monday, November 28, 2011

on Rainy Days and Mondays

There are good days and there are bad days. And there are times when one photo is enough to make your day.

I had a recent shoot with Sofia along with some of my Photobomber friends on a rainy Monday afternoon. It was a damp and dreary afternoon. For me, rainy afternoons is the ideal time to sleep. But boredom got the better of me and we decided to proceed with the shoot. And on the first location, I didn't even bother looking for keepers as my brain wasn't working.

On the second location, my friend had the idea of taping a strobe to an umbrella and letting the model use it as one would use a normal umbrella. When I knew I had my shot, I passed on the strobe trigger and called it a day.

Portrait #11 by Darryl Lara (martian1018)) on

Ansel Adams once said that having twelve good photos in a year is a good crop. In the age of digital photography, one good photo per shoot will make it worthwhile. And with a model like Sofia, a shoot is never boring as she has a limitless supply of energy. A fun shoot plus a fun model always makes things interesting.

PS: click the image to be redirected to my portfolio.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

on Portrait #24 in High Key Mono

"One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty." -- Paul Outerbridge

Most of my friends say I shoot better in black and white. I don't really intend to shoot everything in black and white but it admittedly does makes my photos more interesting. I have found that I tend to process my ambient light shots in color and my strobist shots in black and white. It probably has something to do with my preference in shooting. I tend to find it easier to shoot in ambient light than with strobes. Although I get more flexiblity when I control the light, I find it much simpler to just find a steady light source. Or probably I just hate setting up the lights. Plus it is easier to balance my lighting when it is an ambient light source.

Here is the latest addition to my portraits project in High Key Black and White. Simple white background, 3 lights and my model Aya. Shes still in highschool but works as a part time ramp model. Its always fun when you have a cheerful model who easily adjusts to the shoot. We had a ton of laughs while doing the shoot.

Portrait #24: Aya

  B&W (1 of 1) 

And it is the first time that we used my house as location for a shoot. I started thinking of putting up a makeshift studio in the garage during the Christmas break. Hopefully, I find the resources and time to do it.

PS: special thanks to Karina Asetre, our MUA and Stylist for this shoot.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Confidence, Fashion and Portrait #23

The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt. -- Henri Cartier-Bresson

I do portraits and I find interesting. Well, not as interesting as Macro Photography; but still interesting. There is that need to show the personality or the soul of the model in the shots you take.

But the hardest thing for me is doing fashion shoots. And in this set, I attempted to do just that. I wanted output that I could place on a billboard. That is something hard for a guy who doesn't really look at magazines or care about whether his shirt matches his jeans.

This shoot was done in one light, with a blank wall that was painted in a funky shade of pink. I chose to do shots with a whole lot of negative space and I used the lighting to walk the eyes towards my subject. It is kind of like those billboards with the negative space where you place the brand or the tag line for the clothing line. I'll just leave that space for my viewer to add whatever he/she wishes.

I know that I need to work on my fashion photography a bit more but this is a start. When I get better with the simple outfits, I'll try and do complicated ones. I'll watch some Zack Arias DVDs so I'd get a better idea of how to deal with fashion photoshoots. Working on my weaknesses would be a real confidence booster for me if and when I do solo shoots.

Here is the set...

Fashion Monochrome
fashion photo b&w (1 of 1) 

Fashion in Motion
fashion photo jacket (1 of 1) 

And before I forget, the model is Margarette Shane. Shes a nursing student at a popular university here and has a really bubbly personality. Though shes not a professional model, she does look the part in front of the camera. Outside the shoot, shes a bit boyish and simple which is a bit of a contrast to what she shows when doing shoots. One thing I do know is that her confidence is evident the moment you see her strike that pose.

Portrait #23: Margarette Shane
fashion photo (1 of 1)